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» The Police II

Bad news
Many years ago my grandfather sold his house, moved to a tiny retirement bungalow and then proceeded methodically to plan and realise his exit from life with the aid of an overdose of painkillers. This isn’t his story.

The police, alerted by a concerned neighbour, broke in and found him. It was summer, I was 19 and the only one at our family home when the police car came down the drive. Much of the detail has now faded with time and was anyway blurred by the numbness that accompanies such a visit. I remember the copper’s gentle sympathy and concern even now though.

He was almost apologetic when he said they needed a formal identification and would I go over to the house. I searched for the car keys; he looked at me and said “Don’t worry, I’ll give you a lift”. In the car he pulled out a pack of B&H, offered a much needed cigarette saying “We’re not supposed to smoke in these but who’s going to know.” When I sent us the wrong way he just grinned and did a three point turn on a roundabout. “That’s the beauty of driving one of these - everything’s legal”. He hung around while we did the formal stuff and while I rang my dad. He missed his break to drive me home again.

So this is about Gary, a stranger, who did his job with a kindness and humanity for which I’ll always be grateful.

[First post, please be gentle, sorry for lack of funnies etc]
(Mon 9th May 2011, 12:24, More)

» What nonsense did you believe in as a kid?

Black holes and revelations
Not long after acquiring the power of speech the very young Custard looked up at his father, the source of all knowledge and authority with a troubled expression.

“Yes son?”
“What are black holes?”

Not accustomed to being questioned on astrophysics by a toddler my dad was slightly taken aback. He quickly marshalled his thoughts and explained in as simple terms as possible about gravity and how some huge celestial objects had so much of it that nothing could escape their pull; not even light and that was why we called them black holes.

I listened attentively and then thought about this new information for some time. Processing. Cogitating.

He dared briefly to wonder as to how one raises, encourages and nurtures a gifted child and the responsibility this brings until I finally broke the silence.

“Yes son?”
“Rabbits live in black holes don’t they?”
(Thu 19th Jan 2012, 14:21, More)

» Shops and Supermarkets

Photo shop
Before digital cameras and picture phones gave us an easy way to create our own erotica, enthusiastic amateur snappers of bedroom antics had to entrust their intimate images to the local photo-processing lab.

My first Saturday job was at a large high street camera emporium and much of our trade was sending off film for developing and printing. For the record, no it wasn’t completely automated, yes staff reviewed orders for ‘quality control’ purposes and no, that wasn’t always completely at random. But I digress.

One day in walked a rather ample lady, plain featured, wild hair; think a younger Susan Boyle on a good day. She’d lost her counterfoil slip for her photos, which was fairly common and not really a problem. I took the name and picked out a couple of possible candidates.

“We’ll just check if these are the ones” said I, opening the first pack and fanning out a few prints on the counter. Her various children craned their necks to see the exciting new family photos.

I looked down, then up, then down again. The enduring horror is probably a combination of my embarrassment, the images themselves and the realisation that those kids had just seen their mum, recumbent, legs akimbo and exhibiting her frankly astonishing muffro to maximum effect.

All I could manage to say as she hurriedly gathered up the pictures and stormed out of the shop was

“Yup, those are definitely yours….”
(Fri 11th May 2012, 14:22, More)

» Social Media Meltdowns

Vegas News 2004
Not strictly on topic but the comments meltdown when an article about the rehabilitation of Roy Horn of tiger mauling fame featured on a certain UK mailout was briefly amusing. Tina Cockwash rules.

Now only available in archives.


Link shortened so as not to break the board. No horses, just tigers, promise.
(Thu 20th Jun 2013, 19:47, More)

» Devastating Put-Downs

Warning: may contain cats
There is the quick put down, the witty put down, the deliciously bitchy put down, and of course the ubiquitous perfect put down that you thought of after the event. All good. But how about the Freudian put down? Neither intended by the supplier, nor immediately recognised by the recipient. It speaks from subconscious to subconscious until, at some uncertain future point, dawns the devastating realisation of what was really said…

Many years ago a few friends were gathered in a front room, wine was consumed and pleasant conversation was passed. Meeting the group for the first time was Michael, the new beau of one of our own. To be honest we were suspicious; we suspected he was taking advantage of a trusting nature and that hurt would inevitably ensue. We were protective and we didn’t like to see our friend played for a fool. However he was a guest and we kept the collective claws sheathed.

Pus-Pus on the other hand didn’t. Objecting to Michael’s advances with a feisty feline one-two she made her feelings plain.

Laughing it off, he announced to the room “I don’t know why but cats just don’t seem to like me”

And with no conscious thought Guy immediately replied

“Yes. They say cats can be very perceptive”
(Thu 24th Nov 2011, 21:06, More)
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