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» Cars

Postman vs Monkey
I Lived in Japan for a couple of years teaching and was lucky enough to teach in a school that was in the Japanese mountains for two days a week - the scenery was beautiful and the work very easy.

I could often be found sitting in the staff room messing about on the internet or reading - the school seemed to have a philosophy that if you were actually at work they were happy - the longer you were sat there the more happy they were, but they didn't particularly care what you did whilst you were there (one ancient maths teacher did nothing but sit upright at his desk sound asleep - he was the star employee.) Therefore, I was sat reading in the staff room when the postman came in to drop off the mail sporting a rather large bump on his forehead and a rather fetching bruise, carrying an umbrella even though it was August and around 38 outside. Clearly, as sleepy guy wasn't going to do it and everyone else was too polite to ask, I was going to have to enquire, in awful broken Japanese, exactly what was going on...

It transpired that a few days before he had been driving through the next village to drop off a parcel when he turned a corner to see a little monkey sitting in the middle of road. Obviously he wasn't heartless enough to squash the tiny primate, but he was in a bit of a rush, so he beeped his horn hoping the monkey would get the hint. He did not and continued to sit defiantly in the middle of the road like a mini hairy bastard. The postman got out and tried to shoo him away. He didn't move, so the postman picked up a small rock and threw it at the monkey, aiming it not to hit it but close enough to scare him off and it worked. Off went the postman to deliver the parcel...

...around three hours later after finishing the remote rounds he comes back along the same road and finds the evil little monkey is sat in the same spot, looking the opposite way this time down the road, almost like he was waiting for the post van to come round the corner. The postman is not amused but tries tooting again and driving up slowly very close to where the monkey is sat but the stubborn bugger still won't move. Still not wanting to squish the monkey, he gets out of the van to try throwing a rock at it again as it worked last time. He steps out of the van, closes the door and is a few paces away when suddenly a whole gang of monkeys appear from the trees on both sides of the road and start pelting him with stones, twigs and fresh monkey poo. The lump and bruise the result of a well aimed stone, the umbrella to protect against flying shit. He'd driven through the same area that morning and even though there were no monkeys in the road, he was convinced that there were monkeys spying on him through the trees just waiting for him to stop so they could pelt him with projectiles. Evil ninja monkeys...
(Fri 23rd Apr 2010, 10:59, More)

» Failed

They all speak English anyway
Not me failing (although I'm sure there are more than a few occasions when I have, I've just managed to block them out) - this story is about one of my ex-pupils in a French class I co-taught whilst desperately looking for another job in which I wouldn't have chairs thrown at me with worrying frequency.

In the pupil's French oral exam, he managed to get 0%. He did this by instead of answering any of the questions in French, answering them in English with a really bad French accent.

Teacher: Bonjour
Pupil: Ello
Teacher: Comment allez-vous?
Pupil: A sandweech and a can of coke
Teacher (slowly and trying not to laugh as this is being recorded to be sent to the exam board): Oů habites-tu?
Pupil: I like to go sweeming and also going eento town with my freeends

etc, etc...

The good news is I escaped, have a lovely new job not as a teacher, and no longer have chairs thrown at me (very often anyway).
(Fri 5th Jan 2007, 15:34, More)

» Cars

Salesman Karma
I work for a large company that has an equally large fleet of company and pool cars. For those that have to travel a lot as part of their job (not me), they obviously get their own company car and, especially as we've let people go in the recession and don't want to be seen to be flash with money around customers in a competitive industry, we have very strict lists as to what is allowed as a company car.

The arrogant office twat ignored this list and went and bought with the company money a giant shiny Audi - his pride and joy. Every day he drove it proudly into the staff car park, parking across two parking spaces and demanding the maintenance staff forgo their actual duties to polish and clean the car. The company cars are supposed to be cleaned every two weeks on rotation with a quick wipe over but office twat has the poor guys out there most days using some fancy car shampoo and wax he's bought on the internet using the company credit card. He refuses to give anyone a lift, nearly ran over another employee's foot as 'they didn't move fast enough' and actually told one of the PAs that she couldn't come in the car with him to an awards night (there were a few of us going but the other car was full) as she 'would squash the seat down too much and damage it.' (she was a few pounds overweight but hardly a heifer!)

Therefore, I could only assume it was karma in action when he came into the office a few months ago in a Corsa courtsey car as the Audi was in the garage and would be for quite some time for substantial body repairs. He had gone to visit a customer who was based in Yorkshire in quite a rural area and parked his car up, where it had been discovered by a rather agressive ram. Upon seeing it's reflection in the freshly waxed door panels, the ram had spent a large part of it's afternoon head butting the crap out of the Audi. Happy days!
(Fri 23rd Apr 2010, 11:20, More)

» Cars

Accident
My brother was driving back from a training conference along the delightful M25 when - not much of a surprise - the cars in front started to slow and a traffic jam formed. Apparently this was not seen by a young American bint driving a large 4x4 who ploughed into the back of him at high speed causing a large pile up and the closure of the road.

Meanwhile, myself and my mum were waiting in a beer garden for him as it was nice and sunny and we'd all decided to meet up for a pub lunch. My brother's never been particularly talkative on the phone so when I got a call on my mobile from him saying "been held up, be there in about an hour" we were not too stressed.

He finally stumbled into the beer garden two hours later with his face covered in bruises from the airbag and dried blood down his shirt. He was fine luckily but still a little (understandably) shocked as all we could get out of him was:

"They made me go to hospital and the doctor put his finger up my bum"

It took a while to convince him that it was a proper medical test and it wasn't that the male doctor 'really, really liked him.'
(Fri 23rd Apr 2010, 13:04, More)

» Buses

bus trips in East London, and Mango Land
I write some bits and pieces for friends to keep them amused at work, and one of my topics is quite often bus trips. It all started when the tube was down last summer...

I’ve been busy riding buses around East London this week following all the tube cancellations. I love buses. On my trip from Walthamstow into Canning Town (and what a delightful place that is!) I’ve noticed many things that I found interesting - firstly, just how many kebab shops do we need in one area? I didn’t even realise there were that many in the UK… and I have a few questions about what I saw on my bus adventure:

1. To the owner of ‘Mango World’ - what possessed you to open up a food shop specialising in (and only stocking?) mangoes? How did you pitch this idea to your bank manager? Are there really that many mango addicts in E15?

2. K.A.K Mortgages - did anyone raise any concerns over the office name or is it only me that finds this amusing?

3. As above, but for the owner of Meb-Boob (it appears to be a travel agency.)

4. Shoe 4 U - is this a bad grammatical mistake or do you really only sell shoes in the singular - a specialist shop for people with one leg?

5. Chevy Chase pub - is it named after the actor? I like the ‘Three Amigos’ too, but not that much…

From there, an obsession grew amongst my friends for Mango World, so this theme continued... unfortunately the shop closed a few months later (or so I thought), leading to this recent update:

Regular readers will recall that, tragically, last year Mango Land of Walthamstow ceased trading*. It was a sad day everyone, and one that has cast a shadow over us all (although those wishing to buy cheap mangoes in bulk more than others) ever since…

But - what is this?! - are we seeing those much promised green shoots of recovery on the very pavements of E17 which so cruelly took the wonder that is Mango Land (previously Mango World) from our lives? Yes, dear friends and fruit lovers, like a fantastical green and yellow phoenix which also provides at least one of our five a day, I can hereby announce that MANGO LAND HAS RETURNED!

Brave fruit-based retailer, we salute you and your recession-battling ways, for surely you have provided what we embittered Londoners need - hope for the future (and mangoes).

I can report that Mango Land is back in the same spot in Walthamstow, ready and waiting for anyone wishing to purchase one (or perhaps a discounted six box) mangoes. They have new tarpaulin signage and have set up their wares outside the shop, using the inside of the premises to store crates upon crates of - you guessed it - mangoes! (I peeked inside)

You may also be interested to know that - possibly due to their bank manager’s advice - they have decided to diversify. Being creative mango-selling types, they have resisted what many would see as traditional routes open to fruit retailers and instead of branching out into, say, the avocado market or the melon business, they are now stocking clocks in the shape of wheels. Yes, they are now possibly the world's only mango and novelty wheel clock sellers on the whole of the planet. This makes me very happy.

*OK, so it is entirely possible that Mango Land did not actually go bust as first thought but instead that they only ever open during mango season, but that doesn’t sound as dramatic…
(Thu 25th Jun 2009, 16:42, More)
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