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Oh come on, nobody cares what I think.

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» Sticking it to The Man

A ltter two teh ferrys
As it's Fathers Day, I think I should treat you to the tale of when my dad finally swallowed his pride and asked me for help. There's two things you should know prior to this story: 1. My father and I get along like kittens and a lawnmower. I've undergone 22 years of physical and psychological hell at his hands, only staying because a bunch of Tories got together 30 years ago and decided to make it impossible for me to get a place of my own while simultaneously affording luxuries such as gas, electricity and food. We exchange maybe two sentences a month. 2. Helen Keller could write a better letter than my father. Anyway, here we go....*wavy lines*

A few months back, the rest of the Badger family are off on a day trip to France. I'm not invited. After doing their bit of shopping and whatnot, they go to head back on the ferry. The bloke at the stall points out that my Dad, somehow, misbooked the tickets to state he'd be coming back a month later, not the same day. It's a choice of spending a month in France, or coughing up £80 to rectify the error. They choose the latter. The next day, Dad is at the computer writing a letter, giggling. He prints it off and shows it to my mother with pride, going on about how 'the bastards will pay'. She goes to the kitchen, tears welling up. Me being a curious chap, I take a look when he's not about. Below is the gist of the message:

'Dear Sir:

We booked a ticket with your company on [this day], aiming to come back the same day. I realise now that my wife must have made a mistake as I have never gotten it wrong myself in the past, and we were charged 80 quid to come back. Clearly she shouldn't have been allowed to book the tickets herself because she's dyslexic. If you give me my money back we'll call it even.

Thank you

Mr Badger'

'Well,' I thought 'I think I know how this is going to end.' Sure enough, a week later a letter arrives telling Dad in as many words that a) it was his own silly fault b) his letter was incredibly sexist and c) stop wasting their time. Faster than I could say 'I told you so', the letter is thrust upon me and I'm told that I'm far better qualified to do this than he is, so why don't I stop smirking and solve this problem myself. Yes, where I come from, that's the closest I've gotten to my father passing the torch. I got to work:

'To whom it may concern,

I am writing in regards to the aforementioned letter from my father in dispute of the additional charge incurred at his own ineptitude. I would like to apologise for the ill-mannered and sheer incompetence in which he addressed you. Clearly, he was in the wrong, and made a laughing stock of himself under the misguided ideal of redemption. However, to pin the problem on the dyslexia of his wife of 25 years when the fault was in reality his own, is barbaric at least. We don't want the £80 back, but would you please reply consoling my mother that the guilt shouldn't be hers?


Foxy Badger'

I didn't expect to hear anything back. A fortnight later, I get a letter from the company.

'Dear Foxy,

Attached is a cheque for £80, addressed to you. Buy your mother something nice. There's nothing wrong with being dyslexic.'

We went out for a fancy meal with the rest of the family. Dad wasn't invited. In reflection, I feel rather fluffy.
(Sun 20th Jun 2010, 17:12, More)

» School Days

The Headmaster
I'll get it off my chest nice and early. You know the kid in class who always turned up early to lessons, handed homework in on time and showed an interest in what he was taught? I was one of those guys. Hell, I still am and I'm comfortable with my existence.

As you can imagine, I was bullied from the ages of 7 to 17, which I took in my stride. There weren't many people in my life who supported me through those dark years; my father was abusive and my mother would quickly change the subject to how my complaining was making her want to leave home. The only two people I could confide in were my doctor (a thoroughly caring guy who has guided me through several cases of depression), and the headmaster of my primary school, Mr. Dodds.

He was a modern day Churchill, a stout ex-squaddie who would address every lass as 'darling' and start any conversation with a handshake. To me, he was the father figure I'd always wanted, and I idolised the man. I got a lot of stick for it from minds too feeble to grasp the concept of respect.

And then one day my mind just snapped. It was a damp spring day in 1996, and I was a 9 year old Foxy who had spent the morning frustratingly staring at cards of dots and told to recall the number I saw. I didn't see anything. I saw dots. Lots of little brown dots. After a lot of 'are you sure you can't see anything?'s from the man in the suit, I was diagnosed as colourblind and returned to class with a letter. Handing it over to my teacher, she read it aloud to the class, explaining that as I was now 'too retarded to even see properly', she would no longer address me as a member of this school. I did what every 9 year old would do in that case; I cried in front of a class of 30 laughing children. I ran from the room, slunk in the shadows in the playground and prayed for the day to end.


Next thing I know, I'm on the floor. I'm bleeding from the back of my head. Maybe this is my punishment for being retarded. Pulled up by my hair, I'm held against the wall while the brains of the operation does a number on my ribs.

'You're a retard Foxy and we all hate you. Your mum hates you. Your dad hates you. Even Dodds hates you.'

And then I lost control. A man who embraces the principles of respect and understanding has no room for hate in his life, and his name would not be spoken in vain. That was the one moment of my life where, for several beautiful minutes, I woke up. There was no ripping of shirts as I mutated into a 10ft behemoth of brutality, I simply lost all reasoned thought. Shaking off my oppressors, I grabbed the closest one I could and threw him to the floor. Grabbing his head, I thrusted it up and down against the drain cover. Up and down. Over and over. Again and again. My hands were stained with shards of milk teeth and blood when I was finally pulled off the now unconcious body and I was thrown into the headmaster's office.

I was in the shit now.

Dodds braced into the room, sat down on his upholstered chair, and extended his arm. I expected a belt across he head or two, just like back home. Just like I deserved for making a student leave school in an ambulance. I must've stared at his palm long enough to count the hairs on his knuckles. It silently hung in the air, waiting for me to react.

'Foxy, you're one of the few people in this establishment who is going to do something with his life, and there will always be people trying to stop you. What you did today I spent every day for the last 2 years hoping you'd get the nerve to do. Well done at growing some balls finally. Now get back to class'

I shook his hand and left.
(Thu 29th Jan 2009, 14:51, More)

» I'm going to Hell...

Grandad's Funeral
Ignoring 95% of backstory, my grandad was an utter legend and if I was old enough to do so at the time when he kicked the oxygen habit, he would have been my number 1 drinking buddy.

Come the day of the funeral, his war veteran senile mates all arrive at the crematorium to bid him farewell. Ceremony starts, dreary organ music chimes in and sets the somber tone as the man of the cloth takes to the stand(this is why I'm going into the flames to the Magic Roundabout theme; far more fun.) Being 9 years old at the time, I'm crying worse then than I did at the end of Terminator 2, as are the rest of my family, although I think that was because of the funeral though and not the whole Arnie thumbs up in molten steel thing. Senile gits are whispering among one another, which only angered me and made us all cry harder.

Quoteth the father:

'The late Mr FoxyBadger McAwesomeness Sr., who bravely fought for his country in two world -'

'HOLD ON!' pipes senile old timer #1 'The cheeky bastard is late? What selfish turd turns up late to their own funeral'

'It's just like that Mr FoxyBadger!' screams senile old timer #2, in agreement with the rest of the coffin dodgers 'I don't know why we bothered turning up to this fucking place if he won't grace us with his presence! Sod this, we're leaving this guy to burn'

All at once, senile gits stand up and form an orderly line to the door. My jaw was still enduring the strong gravitational pull of the carpet when every over 65 in the room does a U-turn and travels over to the casket to give their farewells before returning to their seats like nothing had happened. Not a word was said.

It was a pact among their war survivor group that the first one to shuffle off the mortal coil gets their sending off ruined for dramatic effect. My grandad was a hero, but is probably still burning now.
(Thu 11th Dec 2008, 17:22, More)

» Customers from Hell

Reduced to clear
I worked for Britain's largest supermarket for a good 3 years of my life, as a part-timer no less, so I really got my share of shitty jobs, shitty bosses and shitty customers.

After being there a few months I was granted the power of handling all the reduced to clear pricing. I'd fix sarnies for 10p for my mates and generally abuse my responsibilities to the point where I sold 10 quids worth of high-end cakes and eclairs (to myself) for 50p. Generally it was a tasty job that provided a good source of backhander income, including reducing 40 crates of Carling to a quid each because someone out back "forgot" about them for a year. I split the bill with my mate and sold them for a tidy 700% markup. Alas, I digress...

The problem with working in a discounted section is the zombie influx of bargain hunters that emerge when darkness falls. They tend to be the mothers with 14 identical children tied to their trolleys, no knowledge of English or culture and a bigger budget for fags than food who would argue for England or whatever country they claim to be from for 5p off a ready meal.

Normally I'd oblige if the date was running out or it looked a bit scuffed, until I met the pikiest of pikey scum who decided he wanted some knock-off yoghurts. Yoghurts, if you don't know, could survive a nuclear apocolypse in terms of their sell by date. They also tend to be flimsily put together. Regardless to say, I wasn't having any of his begging and turned him down for a reduction.

In a moment of 'genius' in order to get his discount, he decides to take the damaged route by throwing his multipack of Muller yoghurt onto the floor, which promptly exploded over feet and clothes. Oblivious to how foolish he looked, he forged the smuggest self-satisfying grin ever recorded.

"It's now damaged," says he. "You better cut the price down. Plus my clothes are ruined thanks to you. I want some replacement ones".

"Okay then," say I. "I'll go get a cleaner to help get this tidied up and be with you again in a minute."

I went home. He apparently kicked off and got escorted out by security 10 minutes later when he realised he was standing in the middle of a crowded supermarket covered in cherry syrup and vanilla bellowing that he wanted free clothes.
(Thu 4th Sep 2008, 17:29, More)

» Family codes and rituals

A stranger is just a friend you haven't met yet
For reasons which escape me now, my mother has a maternal need when in public to humilate me in front of others.

Naturally over the 21 years of my being this has slowly eroded all traces of self confidence, but in recent years I realised this isn't typical motherly ridicule. Oh no, dearest Mumsie will make eye contact with people passing by, point at me and randomly exclaim such classics as 'well it's not much fault you've put so much weight on'(I'm a foot taller than her, weigh a stone less and am suprisingly under the recommended BMI bollocks)

Every time I'd ask why she does it, I'd get the guilt trip of 'why, are you ashamed of your own mother?' and so on until I feel even worse about myself.

So business continued as normal until a hospital visit the other day to see some family. We're patrolling the echoing result of a cash-starved NHS avoiding the Mrs.A when mother notices a sullen looking old fella shuffling towards her in the opposite direction. Concluding that he needs cheering up in the best way she knows (at my expense), she decides to look him in the face, laugh and proclaim:

'Foxy, you really need to go on a diet, don't you? Doesn't he love?'

Aforementioned old fella, cool as a cucumber and without so much as a blink of hesitation lets out with:

'Leave him alone you chubby tart; he should be ashamed of you'

I was. And she did. The bigest shit eating grin exposed his few remaining teeth as he walked on by proudly.

Well done to you, good sir.

Apologies for lack of funny. My parents were mean to me.
(Thu 27th Nov 2008, 13:27, More)
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