b3ta.com user bigjonnydynamite
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» Overheard secrets

Dieting secrets
On a bus in Sydney, three 15-ish year old girls at the back of the bus.

Girl 1: I heard that the supermodels eat balls of cotton woll so they expand in their stomachs and means they aren't hungry
Girl 2: Really? I wonder if that would work?

Discussion follows on the merits of cotton wool based diets.

Girl 3: I tried to be bulimic but I don't have a gag reflex.

I wanted to say to her that's a talent which will make her popular in the future but I didn't want to end up on a register.
(Sun 28th Aug 2011, 7:39, More)

» Guilty Laughs

At my expense
I am usually the butt of most guilty laughs due to my tall, quite inelegant manner and a habit of making an arse out of myself. I blame the extra time it takes for nerve impulses to travel from my brain to my hands and feet due to my extra height. A tenuous excuse you may agree.

Anyway one particular family holiday when I was aged about 15 we went on a canal barge holiday down the Avon with my aunt, uncle and cousins in tow too. As the kids we excitedly hurried around whenever it came to locks and bridges to break up the long sections of crawling along at the sort of speeds usually reserved for emphysemic pensioners tottering down the local post office.

This particular bridge was a swing bridge where you push it open and closed using a beam projecting out of the back of it, that way you're always on the bank. We'd already been through it once on the way out and were coming through it on the way back to the start. I'd eyed it up on the way through and figured it was ripe for some sort of James Bond-esque manoueuvre whereby I'd push it closed from the bridge end and swing over the river from one bank to the other amidst gasps and a round of applause from the watching gallery.

It didn't quite work this way.

I started off with an almighty push and jumped off the bank, hanging onto the end of the bridge. It stuttered and stopped in the middle of the river, me dangling from the handrail at the end. Now I wasn't reknown for my upper body strength (I've still never really managed a convincing chin up as I'm a heavy bastard) and I couldn't haul myself up onto the bridge. My sister did try to push the bridge clsoed on her own but being about 12 she didn't have the required grunt. After maybe a minute postponing the inevitable and gathering a small crowd (the same ones I was hoping for a hero's welcome from) my grip gave out and I landed in a sludgy canal up to around my chest. As I waded folornly back to the edge I was greeted by my parents, aunt and uncle and bunch of passers by sniggering and asking me what on earth possessed me to do something so stupid. They struggled to haul me out of the canal as they were all giggling too much. Red faced, I retreated down into the barge to shower off the filth, rat urine and whatever else you find in your local canal and pretty much refused to come out until I was sure that all the people who saw me had gone.

I would like to say I had learned a valuable lesson that day and that I always thought through the likely consequences before embarking on something like that again but I'd be lying. I really do want to be James Bond.
(Fri 23rd Jul 2010, 2:24, More)

» Cars

Engine trouble?
My dad was a member of a relatively posh golf club in Kent and as a treat one Sunday (or due to the fact all his normal playing partners were unavailable) he invited me along to indulge in one of my traditional hacking, swearing, kicking the ball off the green rounds on the promise I was well behaved.

Now a certain ex-Arsenal and Crystal Palace footballer was a member of the club too and my dad always took great delight in pointing out the fact. I was never overly impressed - like his presence made the club that much classier - but humoured the stories of sharing a pint with "Wrighty" after a round (though I suspect the closest they came was perhaps a cursory nod).

This particular day my dad spotted him across the car park with the bonnet up at the front of his Ferrari 360 Spyder. We approached from the rear end of his car and with barely contained glee at getting to show me to my face that he was on speaking terms with him my dad strode over and said, "Engine trouble, mate?". Ian's head popped up from in front of the car, pulled out his golf clubs and said "No mate, this is the boot. The engine is under the big glass bit at the back". Cue Ian Wright's wryly amused expression, my facepalm and my dad never mentioning whenever he saw him at the golfclub again.
(Thu 22nd Apr 2010, 17:20, More)

» How clean is your house?

My flat is clean now...
...thanks to a relatively clean and tidy housemate who doesn't own much stuff and seems happy enough to do my washing up for me. I do have some (not so) fond memories from my life as a student.

1. Bin Jenga - I'm sure most students play this one where when the bin gets full you start to pile things on top, balancing things ever more precariously, until the one who makes it fall has to empty it.

2. The one housemate who never washes up who left his half eaten mashed potato in a pan until it started to go mouldy. It was then removed to his bedroom where I think it remained until the day we moved out about a year later. I think maybe the mould reached some level of self-awareness by that point.

3. The George Forman grill which was used to cook just about everything and was never cleaned beyond a fairly cursory scrape. We used to collect the fat which dripped off into the tray and decanted it into a series of empty Dolmio jars which we proudly displayed on the windowsill. The most interesting bit was looking back through the layers in some sort of filthy greasy version of what I imagine geologists would do with some sort of rock core to determine the different cheap-ass student food we'd consumed (Co-op burgers made exceptionally thick layers). George never respnded to my emailed photograph asking if they wanted to use it in their promotional literature.

4. The bathroom extension built at the rear of our house in the age when outdoor toilets were being replaced. Sadly they neglected to provide any sort of insulation to it and it used to suffer massively with condensation. When we moved in the bathroom had recently been painted white but as time wore on it gradually all began to turn green. First it started from behind the tiles around the bath and then white furry stuff started growing out from underneath the bath, along the carpet. When tiles started falling off the wall, being pushed off by streaky black fingers of mould I made one of the decisions I regret more in my life. I unscrewed the panel from the edge of the bath, "just to have a look what's happening underneath". The oozing blackness beneath, looking like some sort of Cthulhu-type horror is an image which still haunts me. I used to leap out of the bath in the morning lest it's inky tendrils grab my ankles and pull me down into damnation.

...but the grimmest one was

5. Again at the place with the bathroom of horror I was discussing the state of it with my housemates when one of them made a horrific admission. The toilet was in its own little cupboard at the end of the bathroom and it had a very long pull-cord for the light switch. He said, "Oh yeah, and I hate it when you're wiping your arse and you get the cord gets all tangled up with you". Queue a moment of disbelieving blinking while the realisation of what he said sank in and then trying to remember all the times where you went to the toilet and turned the light of using what now turned out to be a soiled pull-cord and then maybe gone to make a sandwich without adequate handwashing. What followed was much scrubbing of hands then donning of rubber gloves and cutting the light-cord to remain at head height.

There are many things about being a student I miss: casual sex (or at least the thought of it maybe happening to me one day), cheap booze and cheese and tuna toasties. Living surrounded by filth is not one of them.
(Mon 29th Mar 2010, 12:56, More)

» My Arch-nemesis

Like two gerbils in a bag fighting over the last chipolata
The cyclist who always seems to be on the same stretch of Wandsworth Road with me every morning. I'm a quick cyclist but he's a similar speed and he seems to love overtaking me and then climbing out of his saddle to peddle. Unfortunately he has a 1980s pair of quite threadbare red cycling shorts and it leaves little to the imagination.

Not exactly ruined my life but certainly had an effect on my breakfast most mornings.
(Thu 29th Apr 2010, 12:59, More)
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