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» Schadenfreude

When I was a younger ESP, family holidays were a 24 hour drive to somewhere in France or Italy to stay with some Johnny foreigners at a Eurocamp; although we'd always stay in a caravan rather than a tent. We may not have been able to afford trips to Disneyland every 6 months, but we were better than the plebs covered in canvas, damnit.

Anyway, my story of schadenfreude took place when I was about 13. Wavy lines ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

My family had spent a week in Provence, eating baked goods and watermelon for breakfast; having some culture forced down our throats by the rents; the incredible local food for dinner; playing table tennis with hot Dutch girls whose mannish mothers put me off the windmill-livers for life.

I had found a holiday girlfriend, a pretty yet plump creature with a lust for chips (she dumped me a day after this story happened after I refused to give her a chip. I don't regret my decision) and would spend hours laying in the sun, shyly kissing on the lips and holding hands. In the evenings we’d play in the arcade. Well, I played while she and her cousin drank coke and chatted about... fuck knows.

I decided to make my way back to our abode for food and to annoy my sisters for a few hours. Meandering through a campsite in the dark has a certain magic about it. Families of tanned tourists share company and sustenance around mozzie repellent candles, lovers drift by arm in arm, you can see proper amounts of stars. Lost in this wonderful array of sights, and still with the sweet taste of cokey lips on mine, I arrived home.

*To set the scene, the mobile home had two large, clear glass doors leading directly into the living room area where my older and younger sisters were playing a game. Outside there were three steps leading down to the patio where my parents were sitting. The place was somewhat illuminated by the light spilling through the double doors.*

I waved a cheery hello to my mum and dad and ran up the stairs to the apparently open doors. The doors weren't open. I ran into it headfirst and rebounded off, fell back down the stairs and landed in an undignified heap at the foot of them. Instant gushing nosebleed, swollen nose, sore arse and ringing ears from my entire family falling off their seats. My sisters, while laughing until tears are flowing, re-enact my moment of glory repeatedly. After a few minutes mum has managed to contain herself long enough to form coherent words and ask if I'm alright, but can't finish the sentence as my sisters are now pushing their faces into the doors from the other side and doing slow motion impressions of my face impacting, squashing and the look of 'gormless shock' I apparently had as I fell to my doom.

It was a long night, a longer last week of the holiday and a good 3 years before they stopped gurning at me through glass whenever the opportunity presented itself. Can’t say I blame them one bit, really...

Apologies for length, it’s my first time and if in doubt more is usually better.
(Tue 22nd Dec 2009, 11:09, More)

» Little Victories

Precis: Long tale of drunken chatting up ends in a little win.
I should say here that I'm not exactly great with chatting up girls in pubs/bars/clubs. When a bit pissed I either treat girls I fancy like dirt (like a smitten 8 year old stealing his heart’s desire’s toys) or come on all over the top friendly / chatty and they think I’m gay. Luckily for me the future Madame ESP met me sober…

But this is a tale from before the days of monogamy, at a friend’s birthday drinks many summers ago. The girl… let’s call her RODA. She was half Persian half English so had a delightful tan and rather a pretty face as well. I kept accidentally staring down her top, due to the excessive cleavage on display. All in all, a perfect drunken target. We got talking and she didn’t think I was gay. I didn’t insult her heritage, gender, religion or dress sense. It was all going well until I realised she was fucking boring and dull as grey paint. Still, after five or six pints I wasn’t going to throw away my groundwork on a minor issue… I was going to get laid!

RODA and I went with the pack of revellers to a really scummy club where the music was thankfully too loud for conversation. RODA decided that this was a good excuse to stick her tongue down my throat and I agreed wholeheartedly. We danced to Bon Jovi and other masters of cheese and after a couple of hours I did that universal ‘let’s go have sex’ gesture by tilting my head at the door and looking suggestive. RODA agreed it was time to go. I was getting laid, for sure!

We walked back to mine, which goes past a little riverside park, and RODA decided she wanted to see the river. We sat on a little bench, staring out at the Thames, and of course things happened. Clothes start getting shed and all was going swimmingly (by that I mean I hadn’t drunk myself flaccid, and also I was about to get alfresco sex) when she brings up her religion. She’d mentioned that she was a member of a Persian faith with some odd beliefs. She waits until this exact semi-undressed moment to tell me that she can’t have sex before marriage. I wanted to cry. The awesome self control I’d exerted in not acting like a bellend; the dancing, the jokes; the not telling her she was dimmer than an energy saving light bulb were all for nothing.

I’d frozen mid-grope and was deciding how best to abandon her at the nearest bus stop when she told me something I’ll never forget:

“Oh, it’s ok, I’m still allowed to do anal.”

I think that counts as a little victory.
(Fri 11th Feb 2011, 14:20, More)

» Dad stories

Ode to my dad
Right, my dad is quite simply brilliant. [as you can see this is a long one and may be completely uninteresting to anyone who doesn’t know him]

A few things that back up my hypothesis:
1.Regular failure at remotely foreign words: I'm making sushi for my family and my dad is 'helping' (code for 'hovering around the kitchen and asking when it'll be ready'). He shouts out to my mum "love, have we got any wasmati?"

2. On the same theme of getting words wrong, we were on a family holiday about 6 years back, five of us in the car when 'living on a prayer' comes on the radio. We're all singing along when my sister asks my dad what he's singing and we all quieten down to hear him... "Wooooaaah, we're halfway there! Woooaaah living on a beeeaaar!" It's been the default lyric ever since and he's never been able to explain why he thought bon Jovi lived on top of an ursine abode.

3. Typical middle aged man syndrome of waving vaguely and saying tenuous synonyms when he's looking for something.
"Where’s the... the thing... the small thing... the stripy thing?" (a cat)
"There’s the... microwave... toaster... phone...*pokes hand with other finger*" (remote control)

4. Amazing lack of coordination coupled with a spot of bad luck:
We were on a holiday when I was small and were walking through an empty French field. My dad managed to find the only tent peg in the entire place and fall straight over it. With the high grass it looked like he'd been taken down by a hidden velociraptor.

Trick or treating with us kids. We left the house and crossed the road. He promptly tripped up the curb and hit his chin on the pavement. His hands, generally useful for not breaking your face on the floor, were jammed in his jacket pockets.

I've always been horrendous at football, and of course it's a dad's responsibility to teach this oh so useless skill. I'm booting the ball around the park with absolutely no control over where it goes, and my dad decided to step in. "watch this, son" says he, as he places the ball and takes a little run up. the uneven grass shifts the ball ever so slightly as he swings his foot and he ends up stepping onto the ball, his momentum and the springiness of the ball catapulting him up into the air and the cruel mistress that is gravity puts him on his arse.

On top of all the things he's done over the years to amuse us unwittingly; he's a bit of a practical joker. He was once stripping the paint off the front door and decided to yell "shit, the door's caught fire! Bring water!" my mother does so, see his grinning face and dumps it on his head.

He’s also universally liked and respected in his private life and his career and has an admirable sense of fair play and morals. He’s raised three children who have had a fantastic start in life and I pretty much want the life he’s got when I’m his age. He’s a role model and a friend and I’m incredibly lucky to have him as a dad. Mostly though, he just cracks me up.

EDIT: Completely forgot the best story about him! I was 15 and he was dropping me off at a house party.(as with all good parents he would drop me off around the corner) He suddenly says to me "by the way son, if you ever want to bonk a bird, just tell me and I'll take the girls out for the day." horribly embarrassed ESP says "er... thanks dad..." not picking up on the oh so subtle death from shame occurring in his son, he goes "have you got any condoms? NO? right, here's three quid, pop into that pub and buy some from the vending machine!" I can’t think of a more heartfelt gift to a teenage son than the offer of an empty house for sex; despite the horror I was feeling at the time. The whole incident is never spoken of again, apart from every opportunity I can get to say “bonk a bird”.
(Fri 26th Nov 2010, 13:54, More)

» Prejudice

I am an agnostic. For some reason on this site saying that I am one means I'm a spineless fence sitter with a lack of danglies who should read more and make a choice. To the vocal minority who hold this opinion I would like to say the following:

Agnosticism is not sitting on the fence. It's saying that you don't have the arrogance or blinkered mindset to zealously follow a single faith or scientific argument's tenets to the extreme, without sound reason to do so.

I think evolution happens, and that intelligent design in its current form is a sack of idiocy tied with a little ribbon of religious desperation. However this doesn't mean there isn't a sky pixie/beard who made all this true. Science doesn't know what actually caused the Big Bang so why is a being of immesurable power which kicked our reality off for fun/boredom/love/as a by product of a fight with a pirate frog of epic size/by doing a massive shit any more outlandish an opinion than "well... it just happened through no actual cause thus negating most of physics and therefore my entire justification for calling those religious types cunts"? If someone comes along with some proof of what happened to create that superdense matter ball which created us then great, I'll assimilate the new data into my viewpoint. (nobody say 'bang crunch' please, there's still a causeless effect to explian away)

I don't sit on my fence and tell everyone I respect their viewpoints like some sort of annoying zen type. I rubbish homeopaths, despise those who use religion as justification for any evil act and really, really hate atheists who don't take a little time to understand what it is people like me believe before going off on one. The gross presumption of many atheists regarding all other religious and scientific viewpoints I find far more nauseating than someone who really feels the presence of their own personal deity. Plus most god loving types see me as an open mind, rather than a twat.

Before you launch a tirade at agnostics in general, ask what they ACTUALLY believe rather than what you've predetermined through ignorance.
(Tue 6th Apr 2010, 13:32, More)

» Stupid Colleagues

Yay, I just htought of one!
I used to work for one of those temp companies that supplies staff for big events like the chelsea Flower show and Ascot. Low pay and long hours but you can make good tips if you're lucky with your assignment.

I was working at some race course or another with a friendly, if slightly chavvy chap. It was a quiet day so we got talking about all sorts of things and he mentioned that he'd studied catering for a year at college. I love to cook but have never had any profesional training so was eager to find out what he's been taught. Apparently chopping and clearing up were the whole content of his course, and he reserved a special hatred for green beans.

I of course asked him why:
"Why do you hate green beans?"
"They take fucking ages to chop the ends off!"
"But it's really quick, you can chop a whole pack of them in about 10 seconds!"
"No you can't, theres loads in a pack!"
"Er, you grab a handful, tap one end of your bunch on the worktop to line the ends up and then chop them all. Flip them over and repeat."
"I never thought of that... shit."
(Tue 8th Mar 2011, 13:18, More)
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