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» Heckles II

Show us your pianist
Rather like the Chubby Brown tale from earlier...

In the late 70s, while at college, I worked part-time as a drinks waiter in one of the last cabaret clubs on the circuit - chicken in a basket, full floor show, bit of dancing etc.

There was a support act on one week called Mike Terry, Liberace-type pianist, looked a bit like Mike Flowers Pops if I remember right. As camp as tits, in a working-class Manchester suburb not really known for its tolerance.

He did a week there and was quite popular, except for the last night where he got constantly heckled by some drunk at the back. He put up with it, but you could see he wasn't that happy.

As he finished, he did the customary round of thanks - management, staff, audience. The last thing he said before he went off was:

'As for you' (nodding towards the heckler at the back), if your cock's as big as your mouth is, I'll see you in the gents afterwards.'

For a second you could have heard a pin drop. Then someone laughed and the place fell apart. Could have gone either way, though.
(Fri 13th Jun 2014, 16:43, More)

» Biggest Sexual Regret

Regret-me-not
I've never really been a fanny-hound. I was too naive for quite a while through and beyond my adolescence which meant that there were several opportunities that I didn't even realise were there until it was too late. This one's slightly different.

Many years ago, when I was a mere stripling of 19 or so, I trained to be a croupier in a casino in Manchester, where I lived. It seemed (at first) a glam world that had more than its fair share of good-looking women - most of whom, at that time, seemed completely unattainable to a council-estate refugee such as myself.

A new girl started work one evening, let's for veracity's sake give her the initial S. Gorgeous. Blonde, legs up to her armpits, figure to die for and as if that wasn't enough, she had the hots for me. While technically I wasn't a virgin you really wouldn't have called me experienced in anything but imagination and the five-knuckle shuffle, so this was just like dying and waking up in heaven.

The only trouble was that, like me, she lived with her parents and couldn't afford to move out, even to share a place. So we hung out for a couple of weeks, fiddled and fumbled here and there without having anywhere to really get down to business, much to a collective chagrin (she was so up for it, it was untrue). It was really never going anywhere, as was driven home to me in devastating fashion one night when she went off with my immediate superior, a worldly, ex-army loudmouth dickhead who made no bones about where she'd be better off (she obviously agreed) and took her back to his place, leaving me shrunken and humiliated in a corner (really - I couldn't wank for weeks). She left work shortly afterwards and I never saw her again.

But I never forgot S and, although he never knew it, I especially never ever forgave him. And while I had no real grudge against her for what happened (she was a bit rude for her part in it but I had to admit that if I'd have been her, I'd have been off elsewhere fairly sharpish too), I nurtured a hatred for this man that smouldered and, in the way that ineffectual people think makes them powerful, swore by all the demons I could summon in my vivid imagination that one day I'd have my revenge. Not because he'd whisked this woman away from me, but because he'd done it by deliberately making me look like a cunt in a roomful of people whose sympathy only really made me feel worse. I'm not usually a vindictive person, but everyone has things they really can't forgive - this apparently was one of mine.

Fast forward five years or so. He and I have both gone our separate ways. S is always somewhere in the background - strangely so, since our paths have never crossed to this day - and still the failure to bed her haunts me. I've travelled, changed jobs several times and am back in Manchester for a while. Women are, by now, a regular-enough fixture in my life and in my bed for me to think that things are kind of how I'd like them to be and, without being smug, I was fairly content. But still S was, in my mind, the one that got away. And I still, even then, harboured a deathly grudge against this cockwipe cunt in a way that I've rarely ever done before or since. It really festered, to the point of being the kind of memory that really torments you when you're having a down moment. Occasionally his name would creep up in conversation and while I was fine on the surface I would go all weirdly psychopathic inside my head.

So imagine my dismay when one day he walks through the door of the place I'm working to be interviewed for a job. The second I see him the hairs on the back of my neck stand up, I'm grinding my teeth and I'm instantly transported back five years. In the meantime his career has in fact gone backwards and he's applying for a job that means I'll be his supervisor. It's the last thing I want but naturally he's hired and I have to deal with him on a daily basis.

Cue Mexican stand-off. I loathe him but I can't let him know why. We have to speak but I can't bear to be near the man. And then one day he says to me the very last thing I ever want to hear from his faeces-smeared lips. 'Hey, do you remember S?'

I freeze inside. I maintain a poker face and pause long enough for it to be a plausible period of consideration. 'S who?', I say - and then, before he can speak say 'Do you mean the blonde girl at the X club? What about her?'

There's a pause and then he says 'Did you ever shag her?'

Now this throws me slightly. He must know I didn't but this has now built up to such a pitch in my mind that it's all I can do to ungrit my teeth long enough to (hopefully nonchalently) say 'No, I never did. Why?'

'Just wondered', he says. Another pause. 'She gave me a dose, you know.'

It was a moment when for a split-second, I almost believed in God. My insides were turning cartwheels and I remember turning to face him and starting to laugh. 'Really?', I said. 'Lucky me...'

I've often wondered if it was his way of trying to apologise, although it still didn't stop him being a cunt. He left shortly afterwards and I've never seen or heard about him since. And nor have I obsessed about them since. I have peace, at last. Took a long fucking time, but it was worth it.

(Sorry it was a bit long. Think of it as closure.)
(Sun 11th Dec 2011, 2:17, More)

» Hitchhiking and fare dodging

Foul of the filth
First time I ever went to Glastonbury, in the 80s, I realised on the Friday afternoon that I'd forgotten to go to the bank en route. 'No problem', says my friend, 'Just walk to Shepton Mallet - it's not far.'

Never been in that part of the country before but, undaunted, I set off and being confronted with a crossroads at the entry to the festival, asked a friendly policeman which way to Shepton Mallet.

He looked me up and down and then points along the road to my right, which seemed to stretch on to the horizon. 'That way', he said.

And so, being slightly stoned and completely ignoring the streaming crowd of people carrying straight along the road in front of me, I turned right and started walking into the empty distance. Away from everybody else.

About an hour later I was wondering exactly how far it was going to be to Shepton Mallet when I heard a car engine and a Volvo estate pulled up beside me. An old couple, must have been in their 70s, sat there.

'Where are you going, son?'

'Shepton Mallet.'

'Not that way, you're not. Get in - we'll give you a lift.'

And so, despite my protestation of being quite muddy (we'd arrived the night before and it was a bit rainy - 'Oh, never you mind that, it's only mud...') they drove me all the way to Shepton Mallet and dropped me off more or less outside the bank, just in time to cash a cheque, which shows you how long ago it was.

On the way they asked why I'd walked along that road and I told them the police had directed me that way.

At which point the old woman said: 'Oh, they're bastards, they are. The local police are all right, but they draft loads in from all over the country and they hate being here. You stay as far away from them as you can.'

What lovely people - I'm sure they went well out of their way to see a total stranger right. No idea who they were but I've never forgotten them.

(Sorry, it's also a bit boring but it seems to be that kind of a week...)
(Mon 25th Aug 2014, 16:51, More)

» Controversial Beliefs

Lightbulbs
I'm not generally a believer in conspiracy theories, but has anyone else noticed how much it costs to light your house nowadays? I never had an issue with the environmental argument for banning incandescent bulbs but the sheer cost of the replacement, whether dim low-wattage halogen bulbs or the even lower-wattage long-life twisty things is, by comparison, eye-watering.

Halogen bulbs cost at the least a quid each and you generally need three or four of them for one single rack - we don't have a huge kitchen but it's an L-shape so there are two racks of four bulbs each, plus a single socket. There are rarely a full rack of bulbs in working order - generally at least one out on each rack and they never seem to last very long. We have three single halogen bulbs in a small bathroom - same thing there.

And the large bulbs with the halogen inserts are even more unreliable. The slightest nudge can break the filaments - easily done if they're used in a table lamp or suchlike. Another couple of quid down the drain if that happens.

The long-life eco-friendly spirals are even worse - they start off really dim and never really seem to emit that much light. They are also nowhere near as long-life as they claim to be. It's yet another way of the public being palmed off with sub-standard goods at inflated prices.

Someone is making a killing out of this radical alteration to the fabric of our existence. I'm convinced that the whole thing is nothing more than the fiendish brainchild of a shadowy group of big businessmen bent on global domination through the economic stranglehold of the supply of artificial light.

And who would be behind such a devilish plan?

Well, I'd have thought it obvious - its the Illuminati, innit...
(Sun 28th Apr 2013, 2:59, More)

» Stupid Colleagues

big numpty prick
My missus was asked to run her eye over a friend-of-a-colleague's CV that wasn't getting much in the way of responses, despite plenty of experience. Turned out his previous position had been with the Banque Nationale de Paris, and said CV was littered with references to his previous work with the BNP.

Apparently, even when it was explained to him, he still didn't quite get it.
(Sun 6th Mar 2011, 20:42, More)
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