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» Ripped Off

Divorce Lawyers.....
I'm sure I can't be the only one with a story like this:

I'm in the midst of getting divorced. It's all amicable, we've agreed what we want to do, and all my solicitor has to do is draw up the financial agreement. Now, we've actually divided up almost everything in advance, all that's left is the house, so when the lawyer tells me "If it's straightforward, it'll cost around £1200", I assume that's about what I'll pay.

Some months later, no contest on anything from the ex-wife, (who hasn't even bothered with a solicitor), we haven't even got to sending the documents to court yet, and the cnut has already charged me more than £2400. I'm getting a bit tetchy, but I want the thing finished, so I put up with it. The judge calls myself and my wife into court to make sure everything is clear, and rejects my £2500 worth of financial agreement out of hand, as it's completely unsuitable. Now, of course, I'm trying to contest their charges and get them to put their mistakes right for no extra charge. In the process of this, I've requested a breakdown of their charges, which I've received. It made for extremely entertaining reading. Some of my favourite parts included:

A total of £80 or so, charged for drawing up my bills over the period. They are charging the time they spend charging me what they're charging me? Awesome!

After the court hearing, I instructed my solicitor not to take any further action, since I felt he wasn't handling the case competently, and to wait to hear from me. The bill includes a charge the next day for time spent having a meeting with his boss to say "Oh Shit, Sammy is really upset!" and to have her look over the file, and then a charge for her to write me an unsolicited letter saying, essentially, "Sorry you're pissed off, but we're not going to do anything about it".

Lots of charges for "Perusal and Preparation". I wondered why, in a 6 week period where, to my knowledge, he had done nothing, he managed to charge me £800. It appears that every few days, he got my file out, had a bit of a read through, and then put it away again, charging me between £16 and £80 for the privelege.

These last three belong together, and are my personal favourites in a bill that ought to be eligible for the Orange prize for fiction.

18th December - £16:50 for "receiving letter from court". This letter was six lines long, and said that my ex and I had to appear, and the date. By my reckoning, allowing for him to have a hard time opening the envelope, the 6 minutes he billed me gave him time to read that letter 25 times. Despite that, however, he didn't manage to understand the part where I was supposed to appear as well. So........

19th December - £16.50 for "letter to client". This was another 5 liner, telling me that there was a court date set, but that I didn't have to appear. Stapled to the back of it was the order from the court, saying that I DID have to appear.

20th December - £16.50 for "call from client". This was me phoning up to say "Your letter says I don't have to appear, but the court letter says I do. You've made a mistake, haven't you?". So, a total of £49.50 for misreading a letter, advising me wrong, and then taking a call confirming that he'd fucked up.

I can only conclude that I'm in completely the wrong job, and look on open mouthed as they try to charge me a further £450 for work undertaken, and estimate that the cost to bring the job to a close will probably be "less than £1000". Click "I like this" if you think I should go on a brief killing spree. Surely no court in the land would convict me?
(Fri 16th Feb 2007, 14:12, More)

» Worst Nicknames Ever

Resurrection Saga......
There was a lad at my school who went by the name of Jesus, not because he had long hair, but because he had once come back from the dead. Apparently his mother had killed herself, and he was having a bit of a tough time psychologically. One morning he woke and didn't fancy school much, so without giving it too much thought, he called in, pretended to be his own father, and told the school that he had died suddenly in the night. He then proceeded to have a cup of tea and watch the telly, like you do when skiving.

At school, however, it was all kicking off. His mates were mostly the hard biker/mettaller types, and many of them were in tears (he hadn't told anyone he was going to do this). There was a special memorial assembly very hastily arranged, to help the kids deal with it all, and the school was in uproar. This continued until the headmistress and two other teachers went to his house with flowers to offer their condolences........and he answered the door.

His friends were torn between being as angry as hell at him, and having the hugest respect, and from that day forward, he was known as Jesus!
(Mon 22nd May 2006, 16:17, More)

» Unexpected Nudity

I'm the one naked in all my nudity stories.....
But here's a first. I was camping with friends, on bank holiday weekend, at a site behind a pub in Wiltshire. We stayed up late drinking, as did a wedding party at the pub we were behind. Once it got dark, I thought to myself "I bet you could walk naked to the toilet and back, and despite the fact it's as busy as Glastonbury at night, nobody would notice". Anyway, later we went to bed, and at about 2 am, I woke to hear the rain on our tent. I was naked in bed, and the combination of the faff of dressing in the dark in a small tent, coupled with my clothes then getting wet persuaded me to test my theory.

So, naked I emerged from my tent, and padded through the assembled camp toward the pub. I was threading my way between tents where people were still sitting out, and between people walking too and fro, and indeed, nobody noticed that I was undressed. Even as I walked fairly close past the two large tables of people still celebrating the wedding outside the pub, I seemed invisible. Then just as I approached the toilet door, disaster, or rather lightning, struck. The entire area was lit up like day as I was 3 steps from the loo. I struck out and got in there, feeling a mix of relief that I seemed to have made is safely, and concern that, of course, the loo was electric lit, and anyone in there would be in NO doubt of my nakedness. Luckily, nobody WAS there, so I used the loo and emerged, pleased with my lucky escape.

However, as I came out, the two tables of people (perhaps 30 in all) burst into rapturous applause, which only got bigger when another lightning strike lit me up like day! All I could do was wave splendidly, and continue on my way, enoying the applause.
(Sun 31st May 2009, 1:28, More)

» Terrified!

I was in Nepal, at the turning point of a very long trip
Me, my wife, and my (by then) 2 year old son had driven there in a bus, and were about to drive home. We were having dinner in a big, open-sided restaurant in Pokhara with two Dutch couples, and some very nice Swedish guys we'd been hanging out with. My son had finished with his dinner, and was playing with his cars around our feet. Suddenly, we realised we couldn't see him, so we started hunting around the restaurant; he was an adventurous and friendly kid, and we weren't really worried.

We couldn't see him though, so we went back to the table, and 3 of the Dutchies pitched in to help looking. The other, and the Swedish guys, were very stoned and deep in conversation. We searched the restaurant again, asked the staff, checked the kitchen, went out into the street (a dirt track) outside, checked in the shops over the road. There was no doubt about it, he was gone. The most likely explanation was that he had been kidnapped; Madelaine McCann was not yet born, and we were parodying her story. We figured we needed to go to the police station, but it seemed horribly likely that we'd never see him again. I've never known such a feeling of fear; my little blue-eyed boy gone, never to be seen again. We went back to the table to tell the Swedes what had happened, and that we needed to go to the Police station. They looked blearily at us, and about half way through the explanation one of them said "Wait, Sammy? But he's asleep here on the bench next to me......". He had got tired, scrambled up on to the bench, and dozed off, and somehow, the guys had been too stoned to notice us hunting for him in blind panic. I tell you what, you never take your kids for granted after something like that.
(Sun 8th Apr 2012, 17:33, More)

» Lies that got out of control

More of a lie of omission
We tend to prefer to go to nude beaches, and a friend had made the fairly momentous decision to come with us for the first time. Despite being 28, some tricky circumstances meant she was living back with her mum. She told Mother Dearest that she was going to the beach with us, but omitted the crucial part. Fair enough, no reason she should need to know, and her mum (a lovely lady by the way) said "ok, I'm out for the day with my friend", and off everyone went.

So we're on the beach, Studland for anyone that's been (why do nude beaches have the oddest names? There's another call Slapton Sands), as naked as you would expect. Me and Mrs Sammy are sitting chatting, and our friend is in the sea. The next thing we know, she's talking to two fully dressed people. Yep, it was her mum. The naked part of Studland is in the middle of what is a very long beach, and she and her friend had got off the chain ferry at the other end, and decided to walk all the way to the village. They hadn't been too phased by all the naked people, until she had said to her friend "That girl there could do with getting out in the sun more; she's white as an......oh, it's Leanne!).

Anyway, it wasn't a big deal or a problem; Leanne was somewhat mortified, but not enough to stop her coming along again, and her mum thought it very funny. Now, when someone is a bit nervous of taking their clothes off for the first time, we can say "Well, it can't be as bad for you as it was for Leanne....."
(Fri 13th Aug 2010, 9:48, More)
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