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» Out of my depth

More smuggling
Peelmytangerines' story reminds me of a smuggling story of my own. So, end of first year at uni and, what with it being first year of uni and everything, I'd been having a somewhat on-off fling with Mary Joe Anna.
Come the end of year and time to be picked up I'm left with about half an eighth left. Do I chuck it or donate it to the numerous needy individuals living around my Halls in Camberwell (for those unfamiliar with the nature of this particular area of South London, watch Withnail and I). Do I bollocks. Tight arse that I am I stick it, along with some tobacco and skins, in an empty fag packet and tuck it into my shoulder bag.

So, all's progressing well untill a week or so later and my family and I are belting down the M1 heading towards Heathrow, late as usual for a flight on our way to Trinidad (does it make it any better if I point out that it was all paid for through Air Miles and Hotel loyalty points my Dad got through work?). Suddenly a chorus of angels appear singing to me: "you still have illegal drugs in your bag, in a container that will look mightily suspicious on an X-Ray. You are just about to go through airport security. You are fuuuuuccccckkkeeeed."

The following conversation ensues at the airport:
"Mum, I need to go to the loo"
"Don't worry, you can go after the security check"
"No, I'd prefer to go now"
"Don't be so silly it's only a few minutes"
[Staring deeply into her eyes in the manner of a stage hyptonist/Obi-Wan Kenobi]
"No, Mum, I. Really. Need. To. Go. NOW."

Anyway, even after getting licence to go to the loo (I fessed up, thankfully Mum was something of a hippy chick in her younger days and just laughed) I still hadn't learnt my lesson. Flush it? Hell, no, imagine getting stoned on a Trinidadian beach. Down the sock it goes.

So, Security check at Heathrow was breezed through and everything looked plain sailing. Except for the fact that we had to change at Miami ariport. Miami airport. Home of the most intense anti-drugs policing of any airport in the world. Oh, poo.

Sure enough, while waiting at the carousel for the bags along comes an armed-to-the-teeth (well, he had a gun which is scary enough for us Brits) cop with the obigatory Alsatian in tow. And guess what the Alsation immediately takes an interest in? That's right, My Left Foot. The longest, most agonising minute of my life is then spent whistling and attempting to look nonchalant (and I'm not even sure I can spell it) while German Shepphard spittle is trickling into my left shoe. And then... the cop just tugs his adorable doggy away.

I was completely baffled until I saw the sign on the wall reading "Attention all UK visitors: no meat or dairy products are permitted to be imported into the USA." It was right in the middle of the foot and mouth crisis and I can only suppose that the cop in question figured that I wasn't likely to be smuggling a frozen hamburger in my shoe.

The story ends happily with me succeeding in getting stoned on a beach in Trinidad, having become probably the only person in human history to smuggle marijuana from Europe to the Carribean.
(Sat 16th Oct 2004, 15:08, More)

» Stupid Tourists

Pedantry and putonghua
Beast with big balls: 'See I told you honey, the White House is older'. The current Houses of Parliament was built in 1834, and most of the House of Commons is only 55 years old, since it was bombed in 1941 and rebulit in 1950. The White House was rebuilt in 1814 after we, and the Canadians, burnt the original to the ground. So the White House is actually 20 years older.

OK, pedantry done, here's a stupid tourist story. The tourist in question is, erm, me. I currently live in China and, as has been mentioned before, Mandarin (putonghua) is a bit of an arse. The main problem is the intonation. There's 4 main tones, falling tone (imagine saying "hmm" like you agree with something), rising tone (imagine saying "hmm" like you're answering someone calling your name), fall-rise tone (imagine saying "hmm" like you're doubtful about something) and high tone (imagine Joe Pasquale saying "hmm"). Basically, use the wrong tone and you have a completely different word. And, since Mandarin is ebil, all common words have incredibly rude equivalents with different tones.

So, flash to me taking a quick trip to Beijing. I need a pen to take down details of my flight. I ask a woman working in an ice cream stall nearby if she has a pen. Now, what I should say is "yo meiyo bi?" with bi as a fall-rise tone. What I actually say is "yo meiyo bi?" with bi as a rising tone. Which means "Do you have a cunt?" (no, it doesn't translate as anything more polite). I didn't notice her slightly shocked expression but, fair play to the girl, she hands me a pen. A remarkably large pen. One of the largest I've ever seen.

Yes, folks, the next sentence out of my mouth was "nide bi tai da la!". So "your pen is very big!" became "your cunt is too big!".

I'm assuming it wasn't considered a compliment because she didn't look best pleased.
(Sat 9th Jul 2005, 15:38, More)

» Losing Your Virginity

Not mine, not lost
My own v-plates story is actually pretty mundane (apart from the the quite remarkable feat of coming and then carrying on going which I really should learn how to replicate), however, my former university mate's failed "attempt" bears repeating.

So my friend, let's call him Michael John Wilson of Stoke-On-Trent (to protect his identity that's not his real middle name, which is James), had previously had a few near misses (mostly he missed) but had not, as of his first year at university, known a lady.

However, one night he was out carousing in the university bar with some friends from his course who happened to get chatting with a couple of student nurses. Now Mike's friend was getting on famously with one of the two, no great surprise there (rumour had it he'd been around the Halls of Residence like a particularly virulent strain of Meningitis). The fact that it was Mike who was making the most headway with the other one was a surprise, however, not least to Mike, especially given that she was blonde (Mike's favourite kind), a student nurse and had, in his words, "tasty knockers."

The surprise was intensified when, as the night was slowing down, the two nurses invited Mike and his friend back to their room, no doubt with nudges and winks added in to the bargain. The rest would seem inevitable. Sadly it was not.

Having managed to arrive at the Halls the two "couples" started to head up. Mike's friend and his new companion head off in a different direction, leaving Mike all alone with the girl of at least some of his dreams. Before he can lay on his silky moves, however, his companion informs him she wants to go check on the others and could he wait for a second.

Now, kind B3Tards, what would you do in this situation? Brusquely announce "not a chance, love", whisk her off her feet and march her up to her room to get at least one of your wings? Tell her it really isn't safe for such a fine, voluptuous young woman to be walking around on her own and insist on accompanying her, arm in arm, to her destination? Or, Mike's preferred choice, wait a decent amount of time (about 3 minutes) and then run as though your very life depended on it. In his own words he "didn't stop until I got to the bus stop."

He chose to share this beautiful tale of lost love with us next day in the middle of the Halls canteen. At the time we weren't sure which we found more shocking, the immense idiocy of his actions the night before or the even greater idiocy of telling a group of young men of said idiocy in the middle of a public place.

I think the piss taking kind of died out a couple of years later, though we did occasionally advise him, if he was out on the town: "be safe, wear Nike."
(Mon 7th Mar 2005, 12:42, More)

» Your Revenge Stories

Another uni story
In our halls of residence we had this ridiculously anally retentive senior student we nicknamed Velcro because of his velcro shoes (crap nickname, but this isn't the best nicknames question). Anyway wheras all the other senior students were sensible (ie have parties if you want just don't wake me up, keep drinking after 11 as long as I can't see your pint if I don't look too hard) this guy followed the letter of the law exactly, snatching pints out of your hand at 11:01 and prowling other people's corridors to check for the vaguest hint of noise. You know the really geeky, annoying suck-up guys who cause trouble for the cool kids in crappy American college flicks? That was Velcro.

So, to cut a very long story long Velcro's next door neighbour was a skateboarder who was prone to using the corridors as a practice circuit. The result was 3 none-too-cheap skateboards being confiscated. Naturally he wasn't a member of the Velcro fanclub. So when Velcro left his key in the common room he immediately grabbed it, legged it out of halls to the nearest locksmith, got a copy cut and then handed it into lost property. He had this key for a couple of months until divine inspiration struck. All he had to do was wait until Velcro was out, grab a few people who also hated him (not too hard a task) and revenge was afoot...

One day Velcro comes back from a tiring day of royally pissing everyone off in the Student Union Council, opens his door to his room and finds... nothing. Not a stitch of furniture bar the sink and shelves on the wall. Naturally he freaks out and runs to the porter to get them to call the police. He then proceeds to interrorgate everyone on his corridor ("nope, didn't see a thing, honest") before nature called and so he headed to the large communal toilets. Where he found his room. Laid out exactly as it had been: desk next to bed, lamp on the bedside table (though not plugged in, obviously), posters of S-Club 7 on the wall, everything. For the next couple of months he was on the receiving end of numerous cracks about his new "en-suite" room.

Sorry about the length (not the first time I've said that)
(Fri 14th May 2004, 12:43, More)

» Pretentious bollocks

Ballet schmallet
At primary school we had a drama teacher who existed on a world not entirely similar to this one. On her world taking a mixed group of 10 year old boys to see "Swan Lake" would be an uplifting experience for them. As we know in the real world it would likely:

a) be boring as shite (the most popular choice)
b) produce interesting new sensations at seeing women in tights with legs wide apart
c) produce interesting new sensations at seeing men in tights with legs wide apart (this just applied to Freddy. Who liked playing with girls and talking about his cats).

At the end of it all we were expected to write a report on what we saw. I produced a lovingly detailed description of the decorations on the theatre ceiling. And I got an A. How's that for post-modern?
(Thu 29th Sep 2005, 2:55, More)
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