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» "Needless to say, I had the last laugh"

Le sange et dans l'arbre
So there I was, in Kenya, on my honeymoon. We were staying in a standard all-inclusive beach resort and we were looking forward to some time on our own. In order to guarantee that solitude, we'd deliberately booked into a hotel that catered almost entirely to French and German tourists. Neither of us spoke a word of either language, and we were left to our own devices as a result.

We'd already made our biggest decision of the honeymoon; which side of the pool to lounge on. One half of the pool was surrounded by sons and daughters of France, whilst Germany's finest occupied the other. We sided with the Germans, possibly due to our shared belief that if Hitler had gassed the French rather than the Jews, no one would have said a fucking word in complaint.

Anyway, one of the evenings entertainment centred around a bunch of zoologists bringing various native flora and fauna for us to coo over. Think "show and tell" but for drunk holidaymakers and you're pretty much there.

I was, is, and always will be an enormous fan of ickle kee-yute creatures, and my definition of "cute" for those purposes extends to "literally any animal ever". So I set about trying to spend some time holding and/or stroking everything I could (every animal that is. And not like that either. Behave.)

By the end of the evening, only one species of snake had escaped my attentions. And it was currently being held by a French chap who was holding court with his friend and 2 women I assume were their partners.

"Excuse moi. Uhh...parlez vouz anglais?"
'Yes, of course, what do you want?'
"Well, I was wondering if I could have a look at that snake you're holding please?"
~gallic shrug of supreme gallicness~

And he held out the snake to me. Which promptly shrank back into his hands. Bugger. Feeling a little awkward at being snubbed by a cold blooded being, I nervously blurted out:

"Gosh; that snake really likes you."
'Of COURSE it does!'

Cue polite laughs of appreciation from his companions.

~joining in the polite laughter~
"Well, it must be a snake of good taste then."

There followed a pause. There then followed the gentleman saying something to his companions. As I have mentioned, I speak no French. But I do understand tone, posture, and body language. And every one of those aspects screamed "This man has just called you a cunt for the amusement of his friends and his own self-aggrandisement."

Hmmm. Awkward. I'm not one of those tiresome chaps who feels every slur must be met with fists, but neither did I want to let this sorry little fuck get one over on me.

A thought occured.

Smiling sweetly, I nodded and very casually said:
"J'ai comprende francais.

At this point, his face froze into a rictus grin. His companions however started laughing uproariously.

They did not stop laughing for the course of the next 2 minutes. One of them high fived me. I feel I should stress at this point that I am not making this up.

He said something else to me in French which, I assume by the sheepish tone, was an apology. I waved him away, smiling pleasantly as I did so. He gave me the snake. I nodded to him, and walked away with the mocking laughter of his friends ringing in my ears, safe in the knowledge that I had notched up another point in the endless, pointless Anglo-French "fuck you" competition.

And do you what else? I make no apologies for length.
(Thu 3rd Feb 2011, 19:05, More)

» Secret Santa

A gentleman whom I manage has accused me of bullying and threatening him over the course of the last year. So bad is my alleged bullying that he "feels so depressed and suicidal at the thought of coming into work".

That being the case, buying him 2000 paracetamol for his Secret Santa seems quite reasonable to me.
(Fri 15th Dec 2006, 11:41, More)

» Teenage Parties

"....and then his mum walked in"
More post party than an actual party itself...

It was the summer of 93. We were carefree teenagers, blissfully unaware of whatever drudgery the future held for us. For now, all that mattered to us was the sun on our faces and the cider in Dan's mum's kitchen.

As is the wont of horny teenagers who are desperate to see the flesh of the opposite sex but are too emotionally retarded to figure out how to get a peek, we started suggesting that we swap clothes; girls wear the boys stuff and vice versa.

And, due to the mixture of cider, vodka, and the end of exams, all concerned agreed. And there it should have ended, in a haze of cheap alcohol and cheaper thrills.

However, for Rich, the story goes on. Towards midnight, and somewhat the worse for wear. He headed home. He arrived to find an empty house; his parents had taken his two youngers sisters out to see some relatives. Just as well, being as he walked through the front door wearing a short, skintight dress that barely covered the little modesty he has.

Anyway, he decided to do what any teenaged boy would do when left alone in a house and drunk; stick on an art video and crack one out in relative peace and quiet. If only he'd factored in the male tendency for slumber after a satisfying expulsion of manfat...

So there he was; lying, passed out, in the middle of the living room floor. With a dress hitched up to his chest, and his pants round his ankles, deflated manhood still in hand and with a 3 inch long crusty mark on his thigh.

And then his family arrived home and...well, see the title. Personally, I would have committed hari-kari the very same night.
(Tue 18th Apr 2006, 14:38, More)

» The nicest thing someone's ever done for me

When I was but a 4 year old beam of Light, I stood almost a foot taller than my classmates. I've always been a rangy, gangling streak of piss blessed with the kind of co-ordination one would expect to see from a Ballerina with shattered kneecaps.

And kids, of course, can be cruel. Lets be perfectly honest here; they are. So whilst looking down on my peers like some sort of snot-bubbling giant meant that I spent my schoolyears refreshingly free of bullying in the physical sense, aforementioned lack of co-ordination meant that the little fuckers could tease me no end and then run like fuck. Frankly, I was more likely to trip over my own feet than to catch them and what's more, everyone knew it.

So, naturally, I started to keep my own company as much as possible because I started to associate "Other people" with "Humiliation".

That I'm not a complete and utter social retard at this stage in my life is, I like to think, mainly due to a girl called Ruth who was in the year below me.

~wibbly wobbly timey wimey effect~

I was 6 and was in a corner of the playground doing my utmost not to cry. Our teacher had, in the previous lesson, asked us to fold our arms and wait for the books to be handed out. I was *that* lacking in grace that I couldn't actually fold my arms. Instead I sort of looked like I was hugging myself. And, as per usual, some of my wittier classmates were taking the proverbial, opining that my inability to fold my arms almost certainly meant I smelled of poo. And possibly wee.

The teacher...gave a little laugh, a look at me that said "For God's sake you great buffoon, just fold your arms properly", and began the lesson. She wasn't going to come to my rescue, and I was too busy thinking about how I'd like to start hitting my tormentors to concentrate on copying some classmates in that ancient art of arm folding.

So, having failed in that most rudimentary of tasks, I boiled and fumed my way through the lesson. When the playtime bell went, out I went and found a little corner of the playground to sit and have a good cry (what? I was 6 ffs...).

It was then that Ruth approached. Now I'm sure you all remember primary school; contact between year groups basically never happened. To a kids mind, the year below were always little babies and the year above were to be looked at with a mixture of fear and awe. More than a year either way, and the kids may have well been aliens. So Ruth, being in the year below, was doing something rather daring. Particularly as, by then, I'd also acquired a reputation as a dumb, clumsy oaf who would lash out at anyone near him for seemingly no reason.

"Hello. You're Light aren't you? Why are you crying?"

'Go away.'

"Why? I'm not doing anything wrong. So why are you crying? Has someone been nasty to you?"

This was new territory for me; someone I didn't know was speaking to me and something was different about the tone of voice. There wasn't any fear but neither was there any malice.

I dealt with my resultant confusion in the standard way of the 6 year old; I cried even harder and tried to turn my face away so that this little baby wouldn't see me wailing.

"Aw, don't cry."

'...cn fld m'arms...'

"You can't fold your arms? Is that what you're crying about?"


"tch, don't be so silly. Here; stand up."

So up I stood.

"Right, now give me your arms, and..."

And she taught me to fold my arms, smiling the whole time and seemingly enjoying the teaching as much as I appreciated being taught.

"There you are. So will they stop teasing you now? Oh, there's the bell. Bye!"

Still a little bit stunned, I made my way to the line of my classmates to be led back into class. Come the next lesson, we were once again asked to fold our arms and wait for books to be handed out. This time, the little shits didn't even wait before teasing.

I genuinely think that few moments in my life since then have compared with the smug satisfaction of folding my arms properly and their teasing not just petering out, but actually being turned back on them (hey, kids will take the piss out of anyone who makes themselves a target). Had I known the phrase "In your fucking FACE cocktards!!" then it would doubtless have made an appearence then.

As is, I learned how to fold my arms. I also learned that people aren't solely there to make you feel miserable. Gradually I learned the difference between saying teasing things out of malice, and saying them out of affection (or even fear; I'd spent my first school year kicking the shit out of whomever was slow enough for me to catch). Basically, I think Ruth socialised me.

She went to a different middle school, so I never saw her from age 9. And writing this has made me well up like a girl watching Sex in the City, so I think it's safe to say that a very simple act of kindness has had a permanent positive effect on me.

So if your name is Ruth and you were in Amberley First School in the 80s, from the very bottom of my heart; thank you.

(Length? I apologise for nothing!)
(Fri 3rd Oct 2008, 12:36, More)

» Call Centres

Angry letter #1
I worked as a customer service manager at a call centre for a while. One of the few things that made the job bearable was getting the foamers transferred to me when they screechingly DEMANDED to speak to a manager.

The standard procedure is to make the appropriate soothing and mollycoddling noises whilst trying to reach a compromise that keeps both company and customer happy. A letter is then sent confirming whatever has been agreed. 9 times out of 10 this works a treat. But those other times...

Sometimes I'd find myself talking to people so balls-out mental and/or apocalyptically unpleasant that I find myself white with fury by the time I've finished talking to them. I probably shouldn't have taken their impotent mewling personally. But I did. So to try and help me deal with this, I used to write two letters for these customers after a call. The second was of the type I mentioned earlier. The first was for me. How so? Well, I'd write down what I actually wanted to say to these self important buckets of fuck-phlegm. I can only find two, but I think you'll get the idea...

Dear Sir,
I had the misfortune of speaking to you today, and listening to your tales of whining and woe. Upon hearing it, I immediately retold it to my Jewish Uncle, a survivor of the holocaust. He fell to his knees in horror, and blanched as he told me that nothing he had experienced, no indignity that he suffered at the hands of the nazi regime as he watched his friends and family butchered, none of this compared to how awful it must have been for you to receive a slightly damaged cd.

Okay, sure; you were able to download what you needed the same day, and were pointed to that download site by a member of our staff whose patience is, it must be said, akin to that of a saint. But…but that damaged cd; dear sweet LORD it must have been traumatic!

So anyway, aside from speaking to you, I also spoke to that cockspawn employee of yours. Tell me the truth; is he an employee? Is he really? Or is he a cackwizard comprised of tramps syphilis and paupers tears, placed on this earth for the sole purpose of making me want to drive my own thumbs into my eyesockets rather than talk to him for more than 5 seconds?

Having spoken to you, I must confess that I found myself wondering; what has driven you to become such a shitty-tonsilled rapeblanket? Is it your looks? Do you have a face like a fat muppet’s cunt? Or is it the desperate, aching lonliness that permeates every single aspect of your loathsome, slithering existence?

Regardless of what it is, I can tell you that we can make the following offer to you by way of compenstation; we will have you killed, buried, dug up, fucked hard, buried again, dug up again, chopped into pieces, eaten, shat out and finally, buried again. I trust that meets with your requirements?

Should you have any further queries, please don’t hesitate to lock yourself in a festival toilet and plunge headfirst into the swamp of effluent and tampons.

Yours etc
(Mon 7th Sep 2009, 18:18, More)
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