b3ta.com user Bosch balls
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» Anything For Money

As a student (read: poor young person) I got roped into a medical trial at the university hospital. A mate who studied medicine convinced me it was essential for the advancement of humankind that the doctor folk understood the cells that line our colons. I sympathised with them greatly, especially since they were offering more than a month's worth of beer money to willing candidates.

On the day of the clinical trial, I was basically required to get up on an empty stomach at 6am, take a 3 liter bucket they provided, fill with water and dissolve a bagsy of powder. Laxative powder. Then I was to follow a steady schedule of downing the horrid stuff, tasted like watered down chalk. The taste was not nearly as bad as the effect: within 30 minutes I was on the toilet where I stayed for 3 hours. 3 hours of emptying my bowels and drinking horrible liquid that I knew would leave me very soon. Basically I was giving myself an enema. I imagined I was female and weeing. It didn't help.

That was part one. I then had to leave the comfort of my toilet and my house to bus it to the hospital. By the time I got there it was loo-o-clock again. The trial finished with an endoscopy: I watched on a monitor as my bum got closer, then saw the insides of my intestines. A little pair of tongs appeared into view, grabbed a fold of intestinal tissue and with a swift yank a sample was taken.

I spent another ten minutes shakingly drinking orange juice. Finally I went home with a fat CHEQUE and a 3 liter bucketful of good karma.

TL/DR: I did a wet poo and got a tube up my bum

EDIT: I spell pretty me
(Wed 16th Jul 2014, 21:03, More)

» Hitchhiking and fare dodging

Petty theft
Now there are far too many tall hitching tales on here and not enough petty fare-dodging.

I did do quite a bit of hitch-hiking in Scotland and the Netherlands, nothing overly scary or exciting. Friendly chats mostly.

To illustrate the lack of anecdotes here are the highlights: I recall an English bloke who picked me up at Nijmegen and introduced himself as Squirrel, the road warrior. Nothing more to the story.
Also in the Netherlands a black Golf with tinted glass, banging techno and leopard print interior driven by a platina-blond Russian girl in black latex. I was convinced she was some Russian maffia dominatrix, but the envisioned massive drugs and two-day orgy never materialised. Just a stream of menthol cigarettes were offered.
Finally a driver with 3 frozen rolls of kebab in the back, which he was delivering to a kebab shop his family had. I say frozen but this was a car without airco in a heatwave of 30+ Celsius.

Anyway: fare-dodging. This was in the days when I was not on a lot of money, although I could have afforded the fare for my commute. But as it happens I was also immature and found the high cost of living in London quite unfair.

So I would get on the tube in the morning and touch in with my oyster card, get off at Harrow Wealdstone, there are no gates at that end. I'd walk out without touching out and 9 hours later I would enter Harrow Wealdstone again without touching in. I would then touch out back at the original local station. The oyster card system wasn't as clever then and I was charged me 80p fare for entering the station and leaving again without travel. Regardless of the timespan. Later they put a maximum time on it and charged you the penalty fare after a couple of hours.

The beauty was that there was no actual offence until I left the station and was out of reach. While on the train I was travelling with a perfectly valid oyster card. Sometimes there was a group of inspectors at Harrow Wealdstone: I would touch out and nothing was amiss. On my way back I wouldn't touch in again and change trains to the overground Silverlink connections, their stations did not have gates back then.

TL:DR spoiled expat cries about London tube fares then puts far too much thought into petty crime.
(Wed 27th Aug 2014, 22:35, More)

» The EU

Trouble and strife
I'm not British and no longer live in the UK, but my wife's British and she suddenly finds herself having to apply for a Dutch passport in case this goes ugly. We were already getting our kid a British passport so she'll have dual nationality. So even if negotiations go weird, we should be fine to stay in the Netherlands as a family.

Meanwhile british friends are losing their job. They work for councils or central government on projects for urban regeneration and back-to-work schemes for the unemployed. Until there is some clarity about if and how much of EU subsidies are going to be covered by Westminster these projects are over. Similar sounds come from friends who work in the academic world. Dutch expats working in the NHS are considering leaving since they don't want to work in a health system that is already heavily underfunded and is not going to get better.

On the plus side, I will enjoy spending my hard earned euros there with this new pound rate.
(Wed 29th Jun 2016, 16:54, More)

» More Terrible Hotels

This Hilton Express at SF airport...
No fridge, no bar.

And this notice outside saying "Warning, this facility contains chemical known to the State of California to cause cancer, birth defects or other reproductive harm."

Too late for the birth defect but the first sign of cancer and I'll blame it on that night.
(Mon 1st Dec 2014, 20:24, More)

» Shit Claims to Fame II

My shoulder was on telly
In the late 90's I went to a comedy night at the Edinburgh Palladium and after a few laughs ended up in the cellar bar. I was getting a round in, sort of in a hurry since my girlfriend was being chatted up by the most boring bbc sound engineer in the world. Being fairly pickled already, patience was out of the window. Just as it was my turn, all staff evaporated near me and a cameraman popped up behind the bar almost right in front of me, pointing his lens at the crowd. I got more and more irate, trying to get someone, anyone to sell me 4 pints. My mood wasn't helped by the fella standing next to me who had his elbow firmly in my side.

After a while I was told to take it easy by a bar manager. They couldn't serve me, since Mark Lamarr was filming an intro next to me. I argued that 4 pints wouldn't get in the shot but there you go. I was forced to literally rub shoulders with mister Lamarr while he took 20 goes at speaking 2 sentences coherently. My friends could see the whole thing on monitors and apparently my shoulder was on telly.

First time I related this story to someone in the pub as a claim to fame the answer was: "Yeah, but he's a prat though." Shoulder on telly while standing next to Mark Lamarr, fame doesn't get shitter than that.
(Sat 22nd Sep 2012, 14:08, More)
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