b3ta.com user fan-dan-go
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Beardy twunt who shoots films at walls from a darkened room somewhere in England's piss-wet Northwest. Likes sushi, tea and existential ennui.

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» Narrow Escapes

Don't mention the war!
So 17 year old me was on a college exchange trip to Germany. On top of working in a turbine factory and studying in a German technical college we were also treated to a few excursions (we visited a typewriter museum!).

One such trip saw us traipsing around a smelting plant. It was hot and dirty and not in the good ways that I have seen on the intertubes. Nothing very exciting was happening until a huge sodding bucket starts to move along a track suspended from the ceiling. Cameras at the ready! The bucket reaches the end of the track and starts to tip. A ton of molten metal starts to cascade into a container below. The heat is immense. The sight is strangely beautiful. Camera flashes are popping all around me.

Aware that my camera was a bit crap I decided to get closer to the safety barrier at the edge of the drop. I lean over trying to get a good shot. With mission accomplished I turn around and head back to my mates. As I do, I hear a collective gasp. At about the same moment I notice a tennis ball sized globule of molten steel in my peripheral vision. It had come within inches of grazing my face.

Strangely we were the last class ever to take part in the exchange program.

Good times.
(Thu 19th Aug 2010, 19:11, More)

» My most gullible moment

An Easy Mark...
...Is exactly what I must have been. A fair few years back I used to work night shift as an aircraft interiors cleaner at Manchester Airport. I would get out at about 9am and catch the train to Manchester Piccadilly, grab a bite to eat and then shuffle home to my bed.

This day was very much the same as the rest, save for one detail. I was sitting on the shuttle bus from the station looking at nothing in particular when I noticed a personable enough looking chap taking notice of me. I put this down to my rugged (ie hairy) good looks and thought nothing more of it. Upon disembarking, said chap ran up to me an exclaimed "fan-dan-go, do you remember me, it's Steve, we used to work together at the airport". Now I have a particularly bad memory for names and faces at the best of times, but after twelve hours of vacuuming in-flight meals out of already crusty carpets I didn't stand a chance.

So, myself and "Steve" got to chatting. We had a coffee and the more he said the more he seemed familiar. Everything was proceeding amiably enough, at which point "Steve" asked a favour of me. You see, a friend of a friend of his was coming back from Europe with a - probably illegal - consignment of cheap fags and booze and that he had agreed to take some off his hands, but he had left the cash at home. He was sure that as we were "old workmates" there would be no problem with me lending him £50 until he sorted the deal.

I was naturally apprehensive, as I always am when it comes to parting with my money for reasons other than to expand my collection of useless tat, but I obliged when given the promise of a swift return of my cash with interest.

In retrospect, this was a silly move. "Steve" failed to meet me at the spot we had arranged. Only then did it dawn on me that he could have easily read my name off my airport I.D. which had been hanging around my neck and that he didn't really supply enough specific details to confirm his identity to me.

So "Steve" was a scammer, I was tired and out-of-pocket and an important lesson was learned. Trust No One.

Although one positive thing did come from that ill-fated encounter. It gave me a new method of passing the time when out-and-about and bored. Using the techniques of Steve the scammer I will occaisonally study people walking around Manchester and then when the time is right introduce myself as someone they met once at a party/at work/in a restaurant. Not for any malicious purposes I might add, just for fun. The human psyche is a fascinating thing. People will often construct memories so that they can place you in them. I heartily recommend giving it a try, but be aware, the more savvy element of society may take umbrage at your attempted deception, so be prepared to make a swift getaway.

Speaking of which. Toodles......
(Thu 21st Aug 2008, 22:41, More)

» Political Correctness Gone Mad

Multiplex Cinema Blues
I work for a very large, well known chain of cinemas.

My particular cinema is based in Manchester.

At the time of this occurence, I was beginning to get excited about the release of "The Assasination of Jesse James By The Coward Robert Ford". It also happened that I was in charge of the display of promotional materials around the cinema and the local area. So naturally I began my campaign to plaster the faces of Brad Pitt and Casey Affleck in any conceivable space.

The following week I received an e-mail from our regional office stating that all promotional materials for the film must be taken down immediately so not to cause offence to the family of a boy named Jessie James who had been shot and killed in the Moss Side area of Manchester the previous year.

However, I was also told (not quite so publically) that the film wasn't expected to bring in much money at our site and that we could probably gain more revenue and spare any potential bad press by showing an alternative film aimed at our main target demographic of children and young families.

Overt political correctness annoys me as it is, but when it is used as a corporately responsible facade for making more money, then it just needs to stop.

Sorry, I know this isn't funny. It just annoys me.
(Thu 22nd Nov 2007, 19:16, More)

» I Quit!

Please, no more pasties!
Whilst I was still an Aeronautical Engineering student (what a fucking stupid choice of degree!) I made some extra money from working for the cafe branch of a certain well known chain of bakeries.

I had worked there for about 18 months and despite absolutely caning the overtime I was still a piss-poor student. So I decided to apply for a promotion to store supervisor (by this time I was already too aware that I was never going to be allowed to design aeroplanes for a living). To my surprise I was offered the position and started training almost immediately (on minimum wage I might add). Then, enter the new guy. Thick as two short planks, but with the looks of a Calvin Klein model. Naturally my manager (gay, but slightly self-conscious) takes a shine to him. Quite a shine it was too, as I discovered after returning from a few days off to find him in a supervisors shirt.

I never did ask what my manager meant by "better qualified", but suffice to say I left work early and found another job on the very same day (thankfully I have been promoted since then and am earning a not brilliant, but respectable-ish wage). When it came to working my last day I decided that I was owed something for all my trouble, so I filled my bag with frozen pasties and sandwiches (after purposefully making too many), hid the managers car keys in a fridge and pissed of early to go to the pub.

Those pasties kept me fed for at least two weeks, but now, nearly four years later, I still feel queasy when confronted with the smell of hot, flaky pastry. Maybe its karma, maybe its just healthy paranoia.

Whatever it was I am interested to see what I can get away with if I ever get fired from my current job as a projectionist. Sexy scenes spliced into kids movies anyone?

Disclaimer: For my colleagues whom I know read B3ta - I am of course kidding and would never do such a thing. For the rest of you - if you ever met our technical manager you would understand why!
(Fri 23rd May 2008, 14:26, More)

» That's me on TV!

Corporate Whore.
Yep, thats me, fan-dan-go, lapdog to 'the Man'. And that is exactly how I found myself doing an excruciatingly hammy turn in a cinema commercial on the now defuct satellite channel 'Eat Cinema'.

Unfortunately the channel had about 12 viewers nationwide, so my talent was never exposed to the masses. I could have made it big too!

But if you know of anyone who used to be involved with the channel then get in touch as I would love to track down a copy of the ad for bragging rights.
(Fri 12th Jun 2009, 0:39, More)
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