b3ta.com user Rambo, John J
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» What nonsense did you believe in as a kid?

City centre
As a kid I believed that a city centre was a massive shopping centre that every city had right in the middle.

Persuaded my mum and dad to take me to 'The City Centre' one time and was gutted when we got to the CBD, asked my dad where the city centre was and he replied 'you're standing on it.'

(Thu 19th Jan 2012, 8:42, More)

» Messing with people's heads

Irish vs the rest of the world
Being an Irishman travelling around the world, I'm always up for a bit of banter, but having settled in a small backpacker town in north Queensland and being one of only a couple of Irish people in the town, I was fair game for piss taking. Usually to do with the accent, potatoes and Leprechauns.

On a night out at the local bar/ backpackers and chatting away to a crowd of backpackers, comprising Americans, English, Australian, Serbian, Mexican and few others - one of the guys in the group started taking the piss about the latter. Essentially along the lines of, 'How stupid must Irish people be to believe that Leprechauns are real?' I endured this calmly for a few minutes, saying nothing but sipping on my pint and smiling genially.

When the tirade died down momentarily, I feigned surprise and said, 'You mean you don't?'

Sniggers all around. 'Of course not, they're not real!'

I frowned and said in a 'everyone knows this' tone, 'Yeah they are. You don't know this?' I looked around the group with a look of shock. 'Seriously? You guys all think they're not real?' Uncertain looks were exchanged, uncomfortable shuffling and awkward downward glances, their certainty at my idiocy starting to evaporate. 'Have any of you guys actually been to Ireland?'

One of the group said 'I have.'

'Did you go to Mayo?'


I shrugged matter-of-factly and spread my palms in the 'well that explains it then' way.

'Well that explains it. They used to be all over the country, but now their numbers are reduced - you can only find them in Mayo, and even then, only in certain remote parts. They like the wild countryside you see.'

The ringleader snorted, 'Bullshit. You're saying there're Leprechauns running around Ireland with pots of gold and smoking pipes and all that shit? Like a little fucking colony of Hobbits or something?'

'Ach well now... Thats just Hollywood. Course they're not people.'

I took a long slow sip of my pint and carried on, 'They're animals. Bipedal in nature but vaguely tall and humanoid enough to be mistaken for people at a distance. That's how the myth got started in the first place, you see?'

On a roll now, and revelling in the silence and uncertain expressions which validated my lie, I elaborated. 'In fact, as I remember, their numbers are down to less than a thousand. If you see one you'll be lucky. I've never seen one apart from on youtube and documentaries and I'm from Ireland!'

A bemused English girl voiced the groupthink, 'You mean they're... they're real?'

I nodded slowly. 'Yeah, but not like people, like I just said. They're animals. Check them out on wikipedia or youtube or something when you get a chance.'

As I leaned back and let the lie become truth I diverted the conversation to other myths and legends from other countries, elaborating on how they all had their basis in fact. (By now making shit up on the fly, mixing truth with fiction and just generally taking the piss.)

We were in a small town in TNQ with no mobile phone reception I should note - there was no-way for anyone to jump on their phone and verify the crap I was coming out with.

After 15 or 20 minutes of discussion and after i had them well and truly convinced I finished my pint and stood up to go to the bar. I paused, chuckled and shook my head, 'No such thing as Leprechauns, me arse.' I then strode off without a backward glance.

(Wed 18th Jan 2012, 7:13, More)

» Tactless

University degree
I was always a bit of a studious kid in school - doing well in exams, reading a lot, getting picked last for the gealic team - you know the sort, right? This of course all went to shit once I hit university.

Over the course of 4 debaucherous years and after putting in minimal effort (but making it look all the while as though I'd been studying very diligently) I was able to scrape a 2:1 in university.

Very chuffed with myself I went home and told the folks my result. My mum frowned in consternation; "Is that like, a 'B'"?
(Thu 10th Nov 2011, 4:59, More)

» Training courses, seminars and conferences

Chuffin' well just be like me!
I was sent on one of those 'inspirational' seminars a few years ago by a boss who was all into the NLP/ power of persuasion side of sales, networking and all that shite.

The day long affair was run by your atypical salt-of-the-earth, 'I squeezed out 10 kids, divorced my asshole husband, started my own business and am well on my way to becoming a millionaire by the time I was your age' Yorkshire lady who used all sorts of fluffy motivational catchphrases such as 'positive mindset', 'trust your instincts', 'conceive, beleive and achieve'.

Not to say I didn't like her or her presenting style, but after half a day of her explaining to us how she got where she was today via nothing more than good old-fashioned can-do gumption; we then had to use the blank notebooks she supplied to write down our career and life goals.

And that apparently was it.

The only thing I recall with any clarity was her penchant for swearing, then apologising loudly for swearing, retracting the apology by saying 'I don't apologise for who I am!', then repeating the offending sentence but replacing the swear word with the word 'chuff'.


Boss spent about 700-800 quid sending me on a motivational sales seminar that would have been better spent on a supply of self help books.
(Wed 21st Mar 2012, 9:22, More)