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» First rude thing I ever saw

I've worn glasses since age 7
and my eyesight is pretty poor.

As kids, we seemed to go swimming an awful lot. One local pool changed the layout of its changing area and created a central locker area with a male and female changing room each side.

This wasn't a problem until I finished swimming, came back to the locker area (sans specs, obviously) and realised I didn't know which way to go. I couldn't see well enough to read the signs on the wall and wandered into the wrong room by mistake. I couldn't really see the people in there very clearly either. I noticed that some of them were wearing one piece swimsuits (as favoured by women) and they all seemed to be staring at me.

This alerted me to my mistake, so I walked towards some of the naked ladies, squinted and peered intently at them to verify that they were, indeed, ladies. Once I realised I was in the wrong I walked out, blushing.

I realise it would have been more socially decorous to go outside the room as soon as I thought I might have made an error, but I was actually quite an innocent child. The women and girls I approached with a look of fierce concentration and stared at probably didn't think so, though.
(Sun 14th Aug 2011, 12:37, More)

» Bad gigs

who the fuck is alice?
Went to see a band for a female friend's 31st birthday in London. It was billed as 'a few people' but due to dropouts it was me, her, her newish boyfriend and one other girl (Alice). A bit like a couples' evening except that one of the 'couples' - me and Alice - had never actually met.

Still, I was happy to find that Alice was attractive, even if the pre-gig drink was a bit awkward due to my friend already being half-cut, her boyfriend being foreign and Alice being a bit shy with a particularly quiet whispery voice. We were obviously supposed to make friends, if not actually sniff each other's bottoms, but I couldn't make out half of what she was saying and she kept trying to start side conversations with the other girl - our mutual friend - rather than talk amongst the whole group. It was something a relief when we got into the gig.

The band we'd paid to see were a sort of folky indie oufit. The support act were an incongruous teenage thrash metal act and everyone did their best to ignore them. At this point the foreign boyfriend decided the whole thing was stupid and wanted to go to a normal pub. His missus staved off a mutiny by throwing beer down his neck, quickly followed by herself. They stood in the corner snogging furiously as if it was the last few minutes of the school disco. She briefly broke off, grabbed my arm and smirked at me unsteadily. "Alice ish twenty-sheven and shingle", she confided with a meaningful leer. She also attempted a wink but the effort almost caused her to fall over, so she steadied herself against the foreign boyfriend and resumed her attempt to swallow him whole.

Alice had by this point wandered off, but the support act had thinned the crowd out so it was easy to spot her. I walked over to her with a friendly grin. She looked at me like she didn't know who I was and it occurred to me that she had a point as we'd only exchanged a couple of sentences. I tried a few icebreakers but conversation was impossible as her tiny voice just didn't carry over the howling teenage metalheads. "Shall we go over to the bar for a bit?" I bellowed.

"No, I think I'll just stay now". The proper band came on soon after and the venue started to fill up. After one song Alice turned to me and actually made an unprompted remark. It was, "I'm going to go and stand over there". And she did. Didn't look back to see if I was going to follow her, just walked ten yards away to make it easier to ignore me.

The other two were still wrapped around each other oblivious, so I stood there for another hour like a prize lemon, then we all walked back to the tube station together, chatting amiably as if we'd had a convivial night out. Cracking.
(Fri 26th Jul 2013, 0:53, More)

» Driven to Madness

don't even start me on the bloody
"quiet carriage" on the train.

Should just be called the 'stress you out' carriage. Basically a place for people who enjoy provoking others to get a bit of practice.

There is a bloody sign with pictures on the wall stating that you shouldn't use your phone in this carriage. Please note that there are no exemptions specified for 'only a quick call', or a call to arrange a lift, or a call made whilst the train is stopped in a station.

And, of course, the idea is that it's self-regulating. But it's a tremendous social dilemma - how far does one's own part of the collective responsibility extend? It's fairly obvious that you yourself should obey the rule, and ask the people next to you to desist if they are breaking it. But what if it's someone two or three rows down? Someone who is too far away to speak to at a normal volume? Is it your job to get up and walk over to tell them off? What if the people closer are ignoring them, and therefore the malefactor can legitimately question your right to the moral high ground by using the defence that "it's not bothering them, so you're the one with the problem" ...

Absolute nightmare. Plus, of course, the law is not on the side of the quiet person in the quiet carriage, because no law exists to cover it. If I was a cunt, I'd definitely sit in it and be noisy, just so that I could tell anyone who complained to jog on.
(Fri 5th Oct 2012, 1:19, More)

» Dodgy work ethics

who was in the wrong?
In an equestrian line of work:

Boss: "Slowly, one of our (foreign) staff has lost her confidence. We've already got too many staff who can't ride anything that's not bombproof. I want you to tell her she's sacked".
Me: "Boss, her work record is unblemished. I'll do whatever you want but I'm warning you if we sack her she could claim unfair dismissal."
Boss: "She won't, she's foreign."

I told the book-keeper fella who worked in the office, who was a stroppy bugger at the best of times. He went ballistic, shouted at me that it was my duty to refuse to sack her. "That's what I've been told to do" I shrugged. He spent the next two hours on the phone to other stables in the area finding this woman another job, before I'd even got round to sacking her. (Lovely woman and I wouldn't have one bad thing to say about her. She cried buckets.)

The stroppy bugger had done such a good job that our ex-employee had a choice of two new jobs. She duly took one offer up, and on her first day ... fell off a horse and broke her wrist.
(Thu 7th Jul 2011, 19:49, More)

» Bizarre habits

Treating a 'lady' properly
Not me but a friend of the opposite gender (female), with whom I have a long, platonic friendship, which is under threat for the reasons I shall proceed to describe.

A while ago, she informed me that the correct behaviour for a gentleman, walking alongside a lady, is to make sure that he is the one closest to the road. In this way he is 'protecting' her from cars, splashes and other dangers real & imaginary. "Oh right", I replied blandly, assuming that she was telling me this because I'm perpetually single and she was worried that I might drive away the love of my life on our first date with my poor knowledge of ambulatory etiquette.

Not quite. Apparently she wanted me to do this when I was with her. Over the next few days, she proceeded to train me. The training took the form of her stopping in the middle of the pavement to yell at me every time I found myself on her 'wrong' side. This happened quite a lot, because I wasn't used to doing it and didn't care very much anyway.

We were on holiday at the time, and the week took a sour turn when I got bored of being chastised for continual breaches of this arbitrary new rule. A drunken argument developed, which quickly escalated into a stand-up row with onlookers. I demonstrated just how far I was from acquiring gentleman status by informing my friend, (quite loudly by this point) that I would only bother treating her like a lady if I wanted to impress her, that I would only want to impress her if I was hoping to shag her, and that I wouldn't want to shag her because she was fat, ugly and now apparently mental as well.

Clearly I didn't cover myself in glory, but what I want to know is why she suddenly insisted on this new arrangement after we'd been friends for a decade and more?
(Fri 2nd Jul 2010, 0:40, More)
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