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(Wed 14th Sep 2005, 13:24, More)

meanwhile, in the otter stapling factory...
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First FP ever! And it only took 16,000+ posts...
(Tue 20th Jan 2004, 2:14, More)

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» Morning After Souvenirs

In one of my life's more "colourful" periods
I stole a full keg from the back of one of the student bars on campus, whilst severely inebriated. This was, to my drunken mind, the most cunning and genius thing ever carried out by anyone. "Free beer for a week!" thinks I.

I then, being too afraid to call a taxi or get on the bus for fear of being dobbed in, carried the fucking thing approximately 3 miles on my back, to my house. It weighed a frigging tonne. This took me about 4 hours or so if I remember correctly (which I probably don't, because I was pissed) and involved "staying off the roads" to avoid detection, choosing farmer's fields instead.

In my drunken mind I was Frodo, heading to Mt Doom to destroy the one ring by drinking ALL THE BEERS. I was Willard, off to terminate the Kurtz that was my sobriety. In my head, I was carrying this thing across mountaintops and through canyons and jungles, in the kind of storm that would make Thor wince. This was definitely the most epic undertaking I had ever undertaken.

In actuality, I seem to remember spending about 20 minutes trying to lift it over a fence stile because my arms were knackered. Then I sat on it for a bit and had a rest.

Nevertheless, and spurred on by the thought of free booze and the best drunken story ever, I persevered and eventually got it through my front door. I then spent the next 20 minutes of so trying to lever the cap off it with a chisel.

Eventually it yielded, and I hoisted it onto my weary shoulders once again in order to partake of it's contents. I carefully (for which, read "clumsily") stood over the sink and poured it into a waiting pint glass.

It was full of fucking water.

In one of my other posts this week I mentioned meeting my girlfriend around this time. She worked in the pub I stole the keg from. The first time she came round to my house, she saw the keg (now with a cushion on it and being used as a stool,) and asked me if I had stolen it from her bar. Rather sheepishly I admitted that I had. I told her the story.

"Yeah, we used to fill them up with water before we'd send them back to the brewery. It was to stop dickheads from stealing them."

(Wed 2nd May 2012, 16:40, More)

» War

I have a war story that involves me in a very, very small way,
and is one of the most humbling experiences I think I've ever had.

A very good friend of mine is a corporal in the army. He's done a couple of tours of Afghanistan with the Household Cavalry. He loves his job, and is the very definition of a professional soldier. If you were to talk to him about it, you'd think that the army was just one big drinking session with your mates in various hot countries around the world. I've heard it said that the lads who get into the serious shit over there are the ones that don't really ever mention it...

So, last november, my friend comes to me with a request. It's remembrance day and his unit are laying a wreath for one of their friends that was killed in action. But the picture they have for the middle of the wreath is a shit quality and they don't have any means to print a better quality version out. He knows I work with Photoshop, and so he asks me if I could redraw the picture for them. No problem. He sent the file over and I redraw it at a higher resolution. The picture is the insignia for the Brigade Recon Force. It took me about 20 minutes to do. I sent it back. It was literally the very least I could do.

A couple of days later, and I received loads of messages from my mate, and the other lads in the unit saying how grateful they were to me for redrawing it and how much it meant to them that I'd (a civvie, no less) taken the time to do it for them. It took me 20 minutes.

I don't really understand my own feelings on the subject if I'm honest. To receive all these messages thanking me for a job that took 20 minutes from guys who go and fight - and die - so that I don't have to fills me with a variety of conflicting feelings that I find hard to process. Pride, guilt, sobriety, thankfulness... And for something I (re)drew in my bedroom to be placed on the Cenotaph as part of memorial day... It just forced me to see, in very, very sharp focus, just how very fucking privileged I am. Its an experience I wish everyone not already in the armed forces could have. Especially that little cunt Charlie Gilmour.

Here's the wreath:


The soldier's name was Jo Woodgate. I never knew him, but I am privileged to have played a very, very minor part in keeping his memory alive. His death was in all of the newspapers owing to him being a close friend of Prince Harry (The Household Cavs are his regiment).

He was, by all accounts, an amazing guy. My friend says he was the best human being he ever met. If you have a minute, you should read about him and think for a second about what people like him do, and have done throughout the years, in order to give us the lives we lead.
(Fri 1st Jun 2012, 12:27, More)

» Little Victories

Bunch of irritating "lad" wankers on the train home from Lancaster one evening.
Drinking, being loud and obnoxious on an otherwise peaceful carriage, and generally getting right on my tits - and me without my iPod to drown out the aggravation of the surrounding world.

Then it happened.

I had eaten a rather large curry almost immediately before getting onboard and the rocking of the train, coupled with my penchant for eating more than I probably should at curry houses was making me feel a little uncomfortable.

In order to relieve the pressure, I released a very long, but ultimately silent fart. Sort of like a digestive trephining if you will. The kind that makes it feel like your arse is a release valve opened half way.

A moment or two later and I dared to inhale the air to assess the damage. Strange. I couldn't smell anything at all, when I had been preparing myself to quickly get up and head to another carriage in order to avoid the subsequent accusatory glares. "I've got away with it" thinks I.

Then, the moment of my victory:

One of the obnoxious wankers sat further down the train suddenly goes "Jesus christ! Is that you???" pointing at his mate sat opposite, who immediately denied all knowledge.

"I bet it fucking was you. You never own up, you smelly cunt."

"It fucking wasn't!"

At which point his mates got a whiff and all turned on him.

"Jesus christ, you smelly bastard!! You fucking always do that!"


The conversation went on like this, getting more and more heated until it actually became an argument, with the accused eventually telling his mates that he was "fucking sick of them" and that he didn't know why he hung around with them because all they did was take the piss.

I don't know how it had happened, but the fart seemed to leave my backside, creep under at least 5 rows of seats without any of the other passengers noticing, and popped it's head up directly under the table of the irritating pricks, like some sort of gobshite-seeking arse missile.

The rest of the journey was spent with them sitting in awkward silence, contemplating their friends sudden outburst, not really knowing what to say to the guy who was now sitting in a huff staring out of the window.
(Thu 10th Feb 2011, 17:53, More)

» Morning After Souvenirs

Going to try and keep this one short and honest:
I used to drink a lot. Too much in fact. When I was at University, I would wake up in the afternoon and start drinking from a bottle of vodka I kept next to my bed. I never went to any lectures. Despite this, I completed my first year, but then quit. I spent nine months looking for work to no avail. I felt like I had fucked my entire life up by dropping out and failing to get work. I would drink all day because I was hideously depressed, for a variety of self-pitying reasons. I nearly joined the army (part of me still regrets not doing).

After nine months, I reapplied to university to study film. I was accepted back and saw it as being my second chance at doing something with my life. But, for whatever reason, I could not get my head together to actually apply myself to the course. I missed lectures regularly, missed coursework deadlines and was basically a law unto myself. I had a shaved head at this point, looked like a scrote, and spent all day every day feeling pissed off without ever knowing why. This was when I met my girlfriend, although we didn't start going out until two years later, when I grew my hair long and got my shit together. She told me years later she was not attracted to me in any way at this point. I also had my arm in a cast from a fight I'd gotten in where I shattered the knuckles on my right hand. Definitely boyfriend material.

Eventually my attitude caught up to me, and the University decided to kick me out. I was dragged up before a senate committee, where I had to explain to a panel full of people who I had never met, why I thought I should be allowed to stay. This was a humiliating and uncomfortable process that involved me speaking about things I had never spoken to anyone at all about, and now they were taking notes on me. This largely consisted of me explaining why I fucking hated everyone around me and why I couldn't cry at my Grandad's funeral that had recently taken place (I don't mean that in a dodgy way...) and a whole host of other self-pitying topics that I was not comfortable discussing at that point. It's no exagerration to say I had never talked to anyone about how I felt about anything at that point.

They let me continue on the course, providing I was under report. Basically if I fucked up, I was gone.

This should have been enough to kick me into touch but it wasn't. I was in my second year by this point, and still not falling in line. I received several more cautions over the next few months.

How does this have any relation to this week's QOTW?

My morning-after souvenir was not a pleasant one. A few months after the meeting with the senate, I had gone back home to Manchester, and went out with friends. At some point in the night I got into an argument with someone, then got into an argument with my mates who were trying to calm me down as I had over-reacted massively and flown off the handle. I stormed off apparently. I don't remember it.

I woke up the next day, still dressed and covered in blood. I had no idea if it was mine or not. This is one of the scariest things that has ever happened to me. I could not remember for the fucking life of me what had happened. I genuinely thought I might have killed someone, or beaten the fuck out of someone. There was a lot of blood.

I looked down at myself, and saw a shard of glass about three inches long sticking out of my hand. That was where the blood had come from. I pulled it out, winced for a while, then had a bath.

At that point I felt like I had a complete lack of control over myself, and that scared the shit out of me. I decided there and then - in the bath - that I wouldn't drink any more. Out of all the things I felt were wrong with my life, that was one thing I could control. I literally stopped drinking on the spot.

From the second I decided that, I was completely teetotal for the next three years. I didn't touch a single drop of alcohol whilst I forced myself into sobriety, and more importantly, adult responsibility. I was 21 at this point and it was like being reborn. I went into my third year of University completely sober, and actually managed to apply myself for a year. I got a 2:2 in the end. I could have done better. I spent the next few years rediscovering a love for learning and educating myself, and I found a lot of things to replace drinking; martial arts, film-making, writing music... I can drink in moderation now, and do. To be honest, I don't really enjoy it though. I don't think I ever did. I'd much rather be sober now.

So, that's how a morning after souvenir changed my entire life.

By the way, eventually I remembered how the glass got stuck in my hand. I had put my fist through a bus stop on the way home because I didn't have a constructive means of dealing with or venting my frustration. I remembered this a couple of days later when I walked past said smashed bus stop. I was a fucking idiot.
(Fri 27th Apr 2012, 4:21, More)

» Best Graffiti Ever

Malcom X Is A...
Although I don't condone the acts depicted within this story, I can't help but admit that this is the single greatest work of vandalism I have ever witnessed.

In Bury, my home town, there is a building in a district called Elton, which used to be run by a company called Vanguard. Several years ago, the company went bust and the building was left derelict. It was a fucking huge warehouse type building, halfway up a large hill and in plain view of anyone travelling through Elton.

So, in some sort of pique of righteousness, someone sprays "MALCOLM X IS A GOD" on the wall of the building, in letters about 10 feet high.

This stood proud for several weeks, until someone came along and, in a different colour, sprayed over the word "GOD" and replaced it with "COON".


This stood there for several weeks again, until the original scribe crosses out "COON" and replaced it with "GOD" again.


Again, several weeks went by, and sure enough, a retort was made.


This repeated itself over the course of about 3 months, until finally the second scribe came up with the retort to end all retorts, and this ladies and gentlemen is the greatest piece of graffiti work ever:

(Fri 4th May 2007, 1:36, More)
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