b3ta.com user reallywittyname
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Who is he? Just some guy.

Where is he? A long way from everywhere.

Why does he rabbit on so much? Because he's bored.

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» And that's the thanks I got

Damned scroungers
We have these two people living in our house. We took them in when they had nothing, they were literally penniless, and made them feel like part of the family. We feed them, but they don't offer to muck in or even do the dishes. They mess up the house, and have to be coerced into clearing up after themselves. Neither of them have jobs, we pay for everything they need.

The other night, one of them had drunk so much he even pissed in his own bed!

You know I'd tell them to go back where they came from, but I don't think they'd fit up through my wife's vagina any more.
(Sat 26th May 2007, 17:26, More)

» Evil Pranks

Score one for the nerds
Our school was way ahead of the curve when it came to IT provision. This was back in the 80s, but we had a dedicated computer block with four rooms full of kit. One room contained a couple of dozen networked RM Nimbus PCs -- state-of-the-art at that time, and us nerds were in hog heaven. We'd spend our break, lunch and even free study periods there (often sneaking into other peoples' lessons and using the free machines at the back). No, none of us had girlfriends.

Anyway, the whole system used a single, central hard drive (or 'Winchester Disk' as we called it, rather quaintly). This meant that machines could share files, and one bright spark realised that you could use this feature for a primitive form of Instant Messaging: a 'client' machine saved a message to a file, while the other client was looking for the file every second or so. Once a message was seen it was deleted, and another message could be sent back. And so on. Great for chatting across the classroom when you were supposed to be working.

At the same time, a friend of mine had been working on a little program that made a very basic stab at 'natural language' (a bit like Eliza). Although it was occasionally amusing, it was never more than a curiosity. However my devious little brain put two and two together...

There was this fella that no-one particularly liked: he hung around with us because we were the bottom of the social ladder, but he was an obnoxious twat and we just used him as the butt of our jokes. So one day my friend invited him into the lab to show him his secret project...a truly artificially-intelligent computer program! In under 50K of BASIC!

I sat on the back row, apparently working on some unrelated project. Dickhead was in the row in front, chatting (typing) away to this program and gradually becoming more and more astounded at its ability to understand and respond instantly to even the most complex questions. Not only had it mastered the English language and learned all about the world, it had even mastered insults:

Him: "What colour is the sky?"
Computer: "The sky is blue."
Him: "No it's not, the sky is pink."
Computer: "No you stupid bastard, the sky is blue."

The funniest part was watching him the following lunchtime, as he excitedly told everyone he met about this amazing program. Eventually, of course, we had to let him in on the joke -- and the payoff of watching his face as the truth dawned was simply priceless.
(Thu 13th Dec 2007, 14:55, More)

» What was I thinking?

I grew a mullet
I didn't really want a mullet, but my hair has a kind of afro-ness to it that meant that I couldn't really grow it long or I'd end up looking like a white kid that got kicked out of the Jackson Five.

Anyway all my mates had long hair and I wanted to be like them so I just grew it at the back. It looked fucking awful, especially when combined with the glasses and the bad skin that cursed my teenage years. I kept it for a couple of years, then on the day I left school I went to the barber and got a short back and sides -- the same style that's done me for the twenty-odd years since.

Anyway my embarrassment at this follicular faux-pas had almost entirely dissipated by the time of my wedding, some dozen or so years later. I'd been quite merciless in my destruction of all photographic record of it, erasing a whole chapter of my life in order to escape the horror. But I didn't bank on my best man's sneakiness or my Mum's ingenuity: she remembered the one and only remaining pic, nestling unharmed inside my old passport which she'd stashed in a drawer somewhere.

It was with some surprise, then, that -- after having sat through a This Is Your Life style recap of my first 30 years (and the hairstyles) -- I witnessed my so-called friend instruct each and every one of the assembled guests to reach under their chair, where they would find a golden envelope containing their very own copy of the photograph in question. For years afterwards I'd wander into a friend's kitchen, only to be greeted by my own morose, mullet-bound mug staring back at me from under a magnet on their fridge.

(Thu 23rd Sep 2010, 13:41, More)

» Helicopter Parents

The sad truth of parenting
...everyone else thinks you're doing it wrong.

One of the most striking things I noticed on becoming a parent is that everyone -- everyone -- has an opinion on how best to raise your kids.

Friends, family, complete strangers...they're all quietly (or not) filing away little nuggets to gasp and gossip over. It doesn't seem to matter whether or not the person has had children of their own, you can guarantee that they'll at the very least be tutting to themselves at whatever it is you're doing. But often enough they'll just come right out with it.

You might think that by spending a lot of time with them you're being reassuring and attentive. You're wrong: in fact you're being over-protective, you're spoiling them, you're not giving them space to develop their personality.

Perhaps you think that by backing off and letting them do their own thing that you'll avoid such criticisms? Oh no, a laissez-faire approach is neglect, you're letting them get away with everything, they're out of control!

Try to maintain some of their childish innocence, sense of wonder? You're sheltering them from the reality of the world, let them grow up!

Try to teach them reading, writing, basic maths? You're hothousing them! Let them be children!

Try to keep them clean...you're stunting their immune system. Watch as they coat themselves in mud, eat snails...what kind of parent are you?

In the end, the only conclusion that I've come to about parenting is that there simply is no right answer. Read all the books and studies you want, watch Supernanny all fucking day if you like, there is no magical one-size-fits-all approach to bringing up your kids. They are people, not robots to be programmed or pets to be trained, and as long as you bear that in mind then chances are you won't go far wrong.

Wait, what's this...oh sorry, I appear to have mistakenly worn my rant hat today.

*makes nob joke*
(Thu 10th Sep 2009, 17:15, More)

» Things we do to fit in

...grew my hair long, put on make-up, took to wearing short skirts, low-cut tops and frilly underwear. I even started reading Smash Hits and listening to Duran Duran!

But they still wouldn't let me into the girls' changing room.

(Thu 15th Jan 2009, 13:27, More)
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