b3ta.com user Miraclefish
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Aloha. I'm Miraclefish. Sorta. I'm 25, blokey, a journalist and writer and I live in *UPDATE* south-west London.

Say hello sometime. Or not. Umm.

Did you know that spiders have 32 knees? It's true. I have a tarantula. It was an impulse buy. The pet shop man said "I'll chuck it in for a tenner". True Story.

Oh, this is what I looks like (on a good day...) and do for a living (on a very good day)...

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Best answers to questions:

» Evil Pranks

Picture the scene...
There's a girl you like. Big time. You adore her. She's perfect. And she's single. You flirt a little, but it goes nowhere. She's wary of being hurt or messed around.

My friend Tom was that guy. And after nearly a year of groundwork and being turned down times beyond number, the girl, the perfect girl, finally agrees to go out on a date.

Tom is beside himself. 'I'll take her to the finest restaurant in town. The new Thai one - it'll be perfect. For weeks, he rants and raves, gushes and giggles. Tom is on cloud nine.

We're all rooting for Tom. As D-Day approaches, we slap him on the back, ease his nerves and wish him well.

On the night itself, most of us have forgotten, or merely pushed it to the back of our minds.

Not Alan. Oh, no. Alan's car turns up outside everyone's house at 8PM, beeping like a maniac. What's going on?

Ten minutes later the answer is clear - we're parked opposite the new Thai place. And look, just inside is Tom, the perfect gentleman, the happiest man in the world.

Al begs silence. Al's phone appears. A number is dialed. Not a whisper is heard.

"Hello, Thai Kingom?"

"Good evening, this is doctor Wilkinson of Grantham Hospital - could you please pass on a message to a gentleman I believe is dining with you tonight? A Mr Thomas Lastname? Yes, please, could you tell him that his wife has just gone into labour? Thank you. Good evening."

The helpful manager strolls over to the table. We lip read. Word for word, the message is relayed. The girl stands up. Slaps him. Leaves. He runs after her. A few steps outside he pauses, then stops.

He sees our car. He sees his friends in stitches. He clicks. He screams. He runs towards the car, profanities flying. Five people are laughing so hard that they are in danger of having a cardiac arrest. The car lurches away.

We avoid Tom for three weeks....
(Thu 13th Dec 2007, 20:42, More)

» The Dark

Egypt, 2009
Last year I was invited to Egypt as a guest of the government and the tourist board and... blah police escorts, military checkpoints, lunatic politicans and far too much drinking. Anywho. Penultimate night. Bedouin camp, 10 miles into the desert. Perfect darkness.

I walked away from the lights, away from the life. Light is safety, warmth and security. I walked until all around me was dark. The only senses I could rely on were touch and sound. For long minutes I walked on, eyes down, letting myself adjust to the stygian blackness, the nothingness.

I've never felt so disembodied or disorientated. I sat on the sand, alone in the desert. Slowly I looked up.

In that moment I saw all the splendour and wonder of the universe. Galaxies, shooting stars, the Milky Way itself. I saw all life and all creation in the sky. I felt that, at that moment, something I've never experienced before or since.

I got up and slowly walked back to the camp in the blinding dark. Shuffling, walking, guessing.

I'll probably never see what I saw that night, the modern world is slowly killing the stars. The light blocks out the dark.

The dark isn't scary.

Sometimes, you have to go into dark places to see the light.
(Thu 23rd Jul 2009, 22:09, More)

» Little Victories

"You can't park your motorbike there, you idiot!"
Just last night I rocked up to Tesco to buy some food. I parked right by the shop, stepped off the bike and started taking my helmet and gloves off.

At which point I was accosted by a very irate man. "WHATTHEHELLDOYOUTHINKYOUREDOING?"
"Damn right you should be sorry! You can't park there, it's bloody dangerous, you're on the path! And what makes you so special? Why don't you park in the car park like everyone else?"
"Come on? What have you got to say for yourself?"

At which point I pointed at the floor. To the words 'Motorcycle Parking'. In two-foot high letters.
(Mon 14th Feb 2011, 15:41, More)

» Schadenfreude

Actually this one is about me.

About ten years back, when I was a spotty teenager, me and my older brother were messing about in the garden. We’d climbed up a pallet and onto the fence. A big, wooden one that’s about 10ft tall. My foot slipped and I lost my grip, sliding down and dropping to the floor.

Only I didn’t quite. I fell almost to the floor – my descent was interrupted. By a bamboo pole stuck in a flower pot. The (mercifully blunt) top end caught me between my arse cheeks, taking a good inch or so of jeans, underkex and all with it into the ‘exit only’ zone.

Oh good lord. Thankfully the sturdy, pre-Tesco jeans denim held, saving me from resembling a victim of Vlad the impaler. But my feet were still a good half-a-foot from the earth and blessed escape. And the wall was just beyond my reach.

‘Owwwww help me! Ahhh it hurts!’ I thought, I expected, I hoped that my older brother would spring to my rescue and lift me off. Only he couldn’t, what with being crippled with laughter. He fell off the wall, landing on the soft grass (bastard), racked with belly-laughs so hard he was crying.

I was close to tears myself. At this point it was clear I had to save myself. So I leant forwards, felt the pot wobble, then shifted my weight back, forwards again, building up momentum until my fingers almost touched the fence. Every movement hurt like a bastard, but it was the only way to gain freedom.

I managed it, gripped the wood and scrabbled upwards towards blessed, sweet release!

I then booted him as hard as I could in the stomach, being as he was still on the floor, giggling furiously, having watched my comedy pendulum plan come to fruition. Sadly it wasn’t that hard, what with having just being violated by a bit of stick and the laws of physics.

(Thu 17th Dec 2009, 17:18, More)

» Narrow Escapes

100mph-0 rear-wheel lock-up on an Autoroute
Anyone who's familiar with motorcycles will know what a tailpack is. For those not so au fait, it's a large bag which straps onto the passenger seat of a bike to carry luggage. A nifty little solution.

Less so when one of the critical, load-bearing bungees snaps and, unbeknown to the rider, the 5kg bag rocks off the other side, falling onto the top of the wheel where it's kicked into the gap between rear suspension unit and the tyre. The irresistible force of the wheel pulls it further in until it's locked solid

Of course, the first you'll know about this is the rear wheel locking solid and your world filling with white-hot panic, the banshee death-wail of screeching, tortured rubber and acrid, cloying white smoke. The bike will buck and kick, the rear end will hop and tear and shred apart in seconds.

Normally, the rear will bite - hard - and the back end will entirely lose traction and knife around like a truck. The bike will ungracefully kiss the tarmac in a shower of sparks, the plastic and metal shredding like tissue as the road puts it through a hundred-mile-per-hour meat grinders. It'll disintegrate the solid steel frame and engine casings in a matter of seconds. At close to 100mph this will hurt. A lot.

If you go into the ARMCO barrier or a car coming up behind hits you, that's it, game over, do not pass go, do not insert coin for extra life.

If you're really, really, really lucky, you'll keep the back vaguely behind the front, forcing the bike to go with nothing but brute force and desperation until you scrub enough speed off to gather (what remains) of your your wits about you and gradually increase the pressure on the front brake, bit by agonising bit, until you're braking hard enough to life the back tyre and come to a controlled (ish) stop, on one wheel, trailed by a quarter mile tail of thick smoke, the stench of violently shredded rubber and a need for fresh underpants.

Unfortunately, they were in the tailpack and, thus, now somewhere on the N4...
(Thu 19th Aug 2010, 16:35, More)
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