b3ta.com user ellen smellen
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» Stuff You've Overheard

Tourists and tarts
In my second year at uni I had to write an essay about the significance of Notre-Dame cathedral for the French national identity (yes, I did one of THOSE degrees) and so I decided that I should probably go and look around the place before writing about it. While wandering around trying to look interested and taking notes about the statues, I overheard an American teenager (sorry about the stereotype but it happens to be true) telling her parents that there should be some 'like, little man with, like, a lump on his back hanging around so that tourists could have their photo taken with him.'

Also, on the bus home from work (back in good old northern England) I heard one girl telling her friend that she wasn't going to wear her tight leather trousers anymore because the night before she had got her pubes trapped in the zip and it had given her a "go-faster stripe"
(Thu 10th Jun 2004, 11:01, More)

» Rubbish Towns

oh the shame
I was born and grew up in Barnsley (my therapist says that just admitting to this is a big step). I lived there until I was 18 when I moved away to university and now live in Paris.

About four years after moving here, I met the current Mr Smellen. Not long after we got together, we were having drinks with some of his friends when one of them said:

"Smellen, you did say that you came from a town called Barnsley, didn't you"
"I may have done. Why?"
"You really need to watch the repeat of the programme I saw last night"

Nothing more was said. Video recorder was set for 2.30am repeat.

The said programme turned out to be a piece of televisual toss called 'live my life' in which people are sent to live for a few days with someone they wouldn't usually get along with (black activists with KKK members, catholic priests in abortion clinics, you get the picture) with "hilarious" and "thought-provoking" results. Crap. But. This particular episode saw a French rugby fan from Bordeaux who claimed to hate the English sent to my home town for the weekend. Oh dear.

Most of the programme was quite tame. A trip to the driving range. An "amusing" incident in the market when he was sent to buy marmite and ended up in a clothes shop (although the bloke in the shop was a bit of a tosser, pretending not to understand what the French man was saying, asking him if he was looking for a mermaid). Full fried breakfasts were consumed. Ho. Ho. Ho.

Then, it was time for the pub crawl. Oh god the pub crawl.

The prime of Barnsley womanhood was dressed to the nines and out on the pull. The pooor bloke was manhandled and molested in every pub. As the evening went on, more and more drunken women grabbed onto his neck screaming "gizzasnogfroggy".

Then came the high point of the evening. As the clubs kicked out and the masses headed to the nearest kebab shop, one particularly well-built young woman saw the TV camera and did the only thing she could do. She bent over, pulled up her (already far too short) skirt and flashed her white flabby arse at the camera.

Mr Smellen's friends have never looked at me in the same way since.

Now I tell people I'm from "near Sheffield".
(Wed 4th Nov 2009, 11:24, More)

» Strict Parents

Hypocrite? Her?
The nightclub in my town used to run underage nights in the middle of the week: no alcohol on sale, chucking out time at 10pm - looking back, it must have been crap but I'll never know since my parents banned me from going. They also tried to ban me from working in a pub when I turned 18 because the pub in question "used to be a brothel".

I was a model daughter. Straight As at school, always helped with the housework. Stayed at home reading while my classmates were drinking White lightening in a local park. Got a job while I was doing my A Levels and gave a percentage of my wage to my Mum to contribute to the bills. The ONE time I slipped up and came home at 1.30am instead of 1am (at the age of 18), they forced me to give up my job in the bar and had to account for every minute spent outside of their house.

6 months later, I packed my bags and moved to France. It took me years to get over the urge to ask their permission before doing something and feeling guilty when I stayed out late.

To top it all, a few months ago, my aunt told me that during my Golden Girl years, my mother would frequently complain that I wasn't normal, never went out with my friends, yata yata yata. I was 14 OF COURSE I wanted to go out with my friends, get drunk, have underage sex but SHE banned me from leaving the house.

Now she sees my once a year and one day, when she's old and infirm she'll have to go into a nursing home because I won't be there to look after her. Ha!
(Thu 8th Mar 2007, 21:47, More)

» The passive-aggressive guilt trip

I live in a different country to my parents. Which is nice. But. Since I moved away, they have made a point of the importance of taking it in turns to ring each other on a Sunday evening. Not on a Monday. Not on Wednesday. Not even on Sunday morning. Sunday evening (just after off-peak hours kick in) and birthdays. Any deviance from this rule is met with a disappointed silence and pointed comments about 'not understanding how their only daughter could be more interested in going out than talking to her parents, especially after she callously moved away to another country.'
A few months ago, they discovered Skype and decided it was much better than the phone because it is free but, apparently, the Sunday evening rule still applies meaning that not only do I have to be in on a Sunday evening, I also have to be sitting by the computer, waiting for that god-awful ringing sound. If for some reason I'm not there, they send an email saying 'we tried to skype you but you weren't there. Maybe we'll be able to catch you next week. This is my cue to call them and apologise profusely for daring to have a life.

One day I'm going to move house, change my mobile number and email address and not tell them.
(Thu 13th Oct 2005, 15:50, More)

» Petty Sabotage

mobile phones
I recently quit my job and when I left I had to hand in my company mobile phone. Before handing it over, I ran the battery down, then turned the phone off, not bothering to mention that I had changed the SIM code. There was just enough battery to turn the phone on and type in the wrong code 3 times before the phone turned off completely. I also 'forgot' to hand in the charger. Once they had bought a new charger and called customer services to reset the SIM number, they gave the phone to my replacement, who took 2 weeks to work out why customers were calling the Managing Drector's direct line and asking to speak to me. This was because they hadn't changed the long-distance access code to the voice mail so I was calling every morning and changing his message to say "This is Ellen Smellen, the number you have dialed is no longer in use but you can contact me on my direct line (insert MD's phone no here)"

I also reformatted the hard drive on my computer and reset everything to factory settings and put all of my files through the paper shredder before I left.

The coup de grĂ¢ce was realising that the IT bloke hadn't changed the admin access codes for the product web site after I left so one day I logged on and changed every single link to redirect to a rival product's website.

The irony of it all is that my ex boss (now a very good friend) knew what I was doing but she was so pissed off with them she helped me out by telling me when the new guy's phone was likely to be switched off etc. She got fired less than a month later...

Length is important. I will never apologise. Infact, I demand length.

Edit: this is not really revenge as they hadn't really done anything particularly bad to me, I just didn't like them very much
(Wed 11th May 2005, 12:48, More)
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