b3ta.com user Carpe Cyprinidae
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Normally known as CarpeCyprinidae - and yes I know thats not good Latin and dares barely even claim the moniker of bad latin

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» Theft

Customs & Excise
Bored on an october weekend, I got a last minute return ticket for the channel tunnel and went for a drive around Normandy.

Didnt do much - found a few pretty seaside towns and stopped for a meal, had a passing look at some war damage, picked up a few cheap packs of tobacco and headed back

My mistake was only being in France for about 4 hours - made the (British) customs officers at Coquelles suspicious and after questioning me they proceeded to strip and search my car.

after 2 hours of them looking inside door panels, inside the air filter and pollen filter, they finally admitted I had done nothing wrong and could continue on my journey home. The roller-shutter on their inspection building slid up, I chucked my coat onto the passenger seat, jumped in, fired up the choky old diesel engine, filling the inspection building with soot and smoke, and rolled out toward the train home

As I drove out, I heard one of the customs guys ask, between coughs, "where did you put the toolbox?"

It was under my coat on the passenger seat. Still got it.
(Thu 7th Nov 2013, 13:37, More)

» Ignorance

The words you never say
Not the rude ones, oh no. Everyone says those eventually.

I mean the ones that there's no normal reason to say. The words you can define perfectly well, but never tried pronouncing.

A professional meeting, aged 27, was NOT the best place to find out that 'Antelope' does NOT rhyme with 'Penelope'. But everyone else had a damn good laugh.
(Mon 3rd Sep 2012, 20:12, More)

» Funerals II

His life and entire career revolved around the application of chemistry to destructive purposes - the web remains littered with his writings on scientific matters on patents and methods for deploying them in the most devastating ways possible. I can't even talk about half of it for fear of the Official Secrets Act.

His life had knocked any sentiment about religion out of him and his wish was that his body should be brought back to his house, some of his favourite music (brass bands) be played and if possible some loud noises made. Then he wished to be taken to the crematorium alone, with no service, no followers and no further ceremony.

So naturally a significant quantity of alcohol and fireworks were obtained.

Equally naturally this attracted the attention of the police and halfway through our difficult but joyful proceedings a police car arrived. Sound was cranked up to 11, explosions were going off at momentary intervals and his residential street was crammed with people drinking , laughing, crying and holding hands.

The discretion they showed attracted our appreciation - they blinked their headlights once to acknowledge us and reversed a few hundred metres back to be on-hand and clearly show a police presence but at the same time not to cause any added distress

It was a great misfortune that the largest rocket we had was next to be fired and something went wrong with it - it rose slowly from its launcher, fizzled, wobbled, and headed off sideways. Like a moth drawn to the flame it converged on the police car and exploded directly above it at a height of perhaps 10 metres. The driver had seen it coming and put his foot down but this actually brought them far closer than they otherwise would have been.

We should be very grateful to them - they didnt slow from their acceleration, and the driver waved a fist at us in comic style as he belted past and disappeared off, never to return.

One of the local cats had befriended him in the months before his death and visited him at home occasionally. This cat also turned up at our wake-cum-party-cum-funeral, wended around us for a few moments and then slipped into the hearse to rub cheeks with his coffin. After he'd gone it came and slipped inside my jacket under my arm and hid there for the rest of the day, alternately purring and resting its head on my lap in seeming bafflement

We also owe thanks to the funeral director who (unasked and unprompted) took a glass from the kitchen, filled it with red wine and placed it atop the coffin in his hearse. He drove off with it still there, completely unconcerned having said to my dad that the mess was a small price to pay for seeing such a great send-off

Cya round grandad. you were great.
(Fri 12th Apr 2013, 19:38, More)

» LOL Bigots

My first proper job
Working for an aged Chartered Accountant who was approaching retirement. This guy was a pillar of his (local, small, rural) community, a church deacon, a local organiser of charitable events.. and completely lacking self-awareness that his 1930s Buckinghamshire ways of speech didn't really fit 1990s Hertfordshire.

He wasn't a racist: Let me make that very clear.
One of his first customers was a partnership that ran an Indian restaurant: Badrul and Nasrul were their names. My boss immediately decided that was too difficult and throughout their enduring business relationships called them Bovril and Nostril.

The crowning moment came at a company social event when as a new employee I was introduced to some of the oldest customers, including one of those two brave (and tolerant!) Indian chaps

"This is Nostril, runs the {name of restaurant}. Splendid chap,. works like a nigger.."

Slightly cut off as the other partner in the practice drops her mug of tea in horror. Nasrul - bless him - after years of dealing with my boss, didnt so much as twitch.
(Fri 22nd Feb 2013, 0:07, More)

» Sorry

Sorry for making you think your life was over
Some people who deserve an apology: I caused them to believe they were about to die, quite badly. They weren't - and it was unintentional - but must have taken its mental toll.

I grew up in a medium to large town in the Chilterns - a town made entirely of glacial hills and valleys. One day some friends and I noticed that the weird grated outflow into the canal lined up perfectly with several large manholes placed along the route to our school. Much investigation - and recourse to the local reference library - showed that a river once existed along that axis but was no longer to be found.

It had been quite literally buried into a large underground pipe travelling nearly 3 miles across town and directly under our school. Subtle investigation found a few manholes that could be lifted and we used a car jack to widen the grille at the bottom end so we could get out, and began exploring an underground world using skateboards , torches and candles (the later in the chambers under manhole covers). We could travel several miles up and down the tunnel and go down some fairly tight off-cuts to rise up out of the ground in several places including, helpfully, in our own school grounds.

It was very useful as a way of quickly leaving grounds without using the gate or jumping the fence.

One day we were rolling along downhill when we realised beyond the usual gurgles of the water below and insane echoes off the concrete lining from our skateboard wheels, we could hear something ahead. People swearing and scurrying

It was a british waterways maintenance team. From their perspective, having entered through one of the more public manholes then tracked upstream for half a mile to inspect the tunnel (we assume) they thought they were alone. Then we pelted down the tunnel at them on rubber wheels, out of the darkness

They thought we were an oncoming flash flood and were crawling very fast but clearly aware they wouldnt have been able to get to the exit before we got to them.

Their reaction was a mix of shock, anger and relief. we reversed course, retreated up a side route too narrow for them to follow and lifted a manhole to get out. The next time we looked everything had been welded or bolted down.

So, to whoever you were, sorry for the near heart attacks.
(Thu 17th Jan 2013, 18:21, More)
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