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» Amazing displays of ignorance

The broken lens
Many of the stories here are about stupidity rather than ignorance, so I'll follow suit and post a story I've been waiting a long time to share.

Back in the 90s my mate Pete worked for a company which provided coatings for various types of lenses. One of his workmates, named Gavin, was renowned for doing stupid things, so he spent most of his time working in the mailroom where he couldn't do much damage.

One day he was wrapping up a coated lens which had to be sent to Germany. Said lens was worth several hundreds of pounds, or at least it was before Gavin dropped it and it broke into four identical pieces. Fearful that this really would mean the sack this time, Gavin asked Pete and some of the others how he could get out of this. Simple, they said, just send it anyway and when the German company complains, claim it must have got broken in transit. A very grateful Gavin thanked them for saving his bacon and went off to complete the task.

A few days later Gavin was called into the boss's office. The conversation went something like this:

Boss: Gavin, our German client's just been on the phone. That lens you sent was broken into four pieces.
Gavin (smugly): Really? Must have got broken in transit then. Some of those delivery companies can be very careless and...
Boss: Gavin, if it really did get broken in transit, will you kindly explain to me why when it arrived, each of the four broken pieces was wrapped individually?
(Fri 19th Mar 2010, 5:04, More)

» I should have been arrested

Farm girl
Years ago we lived near a farm and the farmer was one of the grumpiest bastards ever to walk this Earth. He used to hire temporary workers - hard up students most of the time - and pay them peanuts. And when I say peanuts I mean the cheap, generic ultra-discount variety. He made these people do back-breaking work for absurdly long hours, and not surprisingly none of them stayed very long. Then along came Abina. She was a sweet little thing and how she managed the work I don't know, but she stuck it out for months and months. As far as I could tell the farmer (whose name I unfortunately can't remember) made her work harder than any of the others - he probably still believed that people with dark skin were fair game to be made into slaves. So he was a racist, grumpy bastard.

One day I was walking past the farm and saw Abina running up and down the field waving her arms around and making strange noises. I asked her what she was doing and she explained that the birds had got used to the scarecrow so she was having to do its duty along with all her other work. Now that was one of the times I really wished that I was big and hard and tough, so that I could have gone and smacked the farmer, but at around 10 years old that was a mere fantasy. So I did the next best thing - partly out of chivalry, partly because I had a bit of a crush on the girl - and took over her bird-scaring duties while Abina had a long and well-deserved sit-down.

So I shooed; Abina rested.

(gets coat and rushes for nearest exit)
(Thu 26th Jan 2012, 21:54, More)

» Devastating Put-Downs

Not sure if it's funny but it worked
A teacher I knew had this response to an obnoxiously disruptive 15-year-old girl in his class who stated in front of the whole group that it was obvious the teacher fancied her:

"XXX, you have made a very serious accusation. Not only have you accused me of being a paedophile, but also you are suggesting that I have communicated my alleged illegal and immoral desires to you. If what you say were proved to be true, I would lose not only my job but my career. I would get a criminal record and maybe even do time. I would certainly have to move a long way away so as not to get beaten up or have my house vandalised. So if I were prepared to risk all that to get a girl half my age, don't you think I'd at least go for one of the pretty ones?"

She had no comeback, the class laughed at her and she hardly caused any trouble after that.
(Sat 26th Nov 2011, 11:11, More)

» Neighbours

A while ago I lived in a top floor flat for five years. During that time I had three sets of neighbours living in the flat below. The first two were very nice people. Then Kevin moved in with his girlfriend.

I won't call Kevin chavscum as that would be insulting to decent, hardworking chavscum everywhere. Suffice it to say he had "KEV" tattooed on his hand, presumably in case someone asked him a difficult question like "What is your name?" Shortly after Kevin moved in, I was enjoying a quiet evening at home listening to music. There was a bang on the floor and Kevin appeared at the door and asked me to turn it down. Fair enough of course - Wagner isn't to everyone's taste and I had no idea that it was audible as none of the previous neighbours had mentioned it. I made a point of playing music much more quietly.

Not long after that, I was woken at 7.30 on a Saturday morning by a sound like you would hear from someone having his testicles removed with a blunt and rusty knife. I soon realised that this was Kevin's idea of singing. It went on for an hour, and I was subjected to the same atrocity against music pretty well every weekend, early in the morning. For variety he would burp for an hour and one Bank Holiday I heard him singing THE SAME FUCKING SONG for three hours on end, with the accompaniment of what I assume was a karaoke machine.

I decided that if he was going to be that annoying, so would I. So I put on a CD at a reasonable listening volume and sure enough, the first orchestral tutti was accompanied by banging from below. I went down and tried to point out that if he he expected me to be considerate, he should be too. His reply was that he thought he was quite a good singer. When I disagreed, he came up with the line "You don't like our music, we don't like yours."

You can't argue with someone like that but anyway I believe revenge is best served drunk. Every time I got home from the pub I would piss on the doorhandles of his van, and after he'd particularly annoyed me I removed the van's aerial. His vocal effort the next morning, resonant with rage, was probably the best performance he ever gave.
(Mon 5th Oct 2009, 19:39, More)

» Hotel Splendido

Youth hostel, Brittany
Many moons ago I went on a school trip to Concarneau in Brittany and we stayed in a youth hostel. On first sight all seemed well - the place was clean, the beds reasonably comfortable and the breakfast very edible. However one day we'd been wandering around town in the blazing heat and when we got back to the hostel, all we wanted to do was get clean. This was rather thwarted by one of our group, an ace guy from Newcastle, coming out of the bathroom with a disgusted expression.

"There's a turd in the bath" he announced. We decided that rather than deal with excrement from an unknown source we'd rather stink. Until someone suggested that perhaps the guy had made this up in order to get the bathroom all to himself. So we went to look.

Said "turd" was indeed in the bath, a small green amphibian with warts on its back, hopping around and obviously rather bewildered by the attention it was getting.
(Sat 19th Jan 2008, 11:12, More)
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