What a weekend :)

Me and the broodWell, I am back from blighty (Britain to you non-natives out there) and I had a wonderful time.   I still managed to put almost 1000 miles on the hire car…seems to be my lot in life I guess.   What I did have though was an amazing weekend with my 4 (count ’em) amazing kids.

Not a single harsh word was needed, they were all amazing well behaved and I thoroughly enjoyed every moment of it.   All of the stresses of recent times just evaporated when I got to hold them and spend time with them.   The best of it though, was just spending quality time with all of them.   I had planned to go bowling, to parks, do this and that and the other….it was going to be a full and packed weekend.   When I saw them though, I realised that I didn’t need any of those distractions.

We were out and about, visiting my brothers and sister in law with my amazing nephew Josh.   I have since been told that he is like it with most blokes, but I made an instant connection to Josh and he would cry whenever I left.   Quite nice really as I am inherently bad with other peoples kids, if they are related to me or not, but Josh was different..such a placid and nicely mannered boy for his age.   I got to see him walk, which he has only just started doing…which was cool :-)

I resolutely refused to allow Ellen to be “Little Mum” like she always used to end up being whenever she has visited me in the past.   I looked after all of the kids, properly, and enjoyed every minute of it.   I think they enjoyed it too.   Don’t get me wrong, I know Ellen loves to mother people and be involved, but she is a kid too and deserves to be spoilt like the others.   I treated them all to some useful sports stuff for school/after school activities, rather than trinkets that they won’t use in a week.   We played, we laughed, we cuddled up and watched a movie, went to the park, went for a walk, played rugby in the garden.   We just generally had fun together and for my part I got to reconnect with my children and loved every moment.

It is a strange life as an estranged father, but I intend to make the most of it whenever I can.   I absolutely refused to fall into my past routine of spending time on the computer and leaving the kids to their own devices.   I think I was on Facebook for a total of about 20 minutes, and I checked my email about 3 times…and I didn’t get the shakes – go me :-) .   I made sure that we only visited my family a few minutes away from where we were, as I didn’t want to waste time travelling and then be distracted by spending time with friends and not the kids.   We were all up at the crack of sparrows and went to bed quite late each day (not too late though ;-) )

None of the kids wanted to go home, and I agreed as it was far too short of a visit…something I will rectify for next time definitely.   Obviously I have to work around their holidays now to make sure I can have a week or two with them next time, but do that I will.   Tears were shed by everyone, but I know with complete certainty that they all genuinely love me and miss me, and I hope they know that I miss them all so much it is heartbreaking for me.

I did have to put up with some shocking music in the car, some eurodancetrashpopdrumbasehouse nonsense that they seem to like.   However, they are my kids afterall….which meant by the end of the weekend, they were all asking for The Wombats, Maximo Park and Dragonforce to be played so that they could all air guitar and air drum their way to wherever we were going.   Hey!   Kids need decent music too you know….and at least mine have taste….even if it is ruined by technogarageshed garbage from time to time.

Normal posting will resume shortly, I just wanted to share the best weekend I have had in a bloody long time :-)

Tradition or slow suicide?

BBQ

We have a tradition in our family…created I think by a series of drunken bets on behalf of my parents and their friends.   The tradition is that we will barbequeue on New Years Day…regardless of location and weather conditions.   It is something that I have tried to maintain over the years….it just seems like a bloody good idea.

Some of the conditions that we have achieved this in:

Torrential Downpour…protected by a series of strategically placed bin bags
8 inches of snow (thanks Berlin Christmas weather)
Sleet
Actual sunshine

These bbqs have been carried out in a number of different countries and the food is not always traditional.   I believe Mick (RIP) and Andrea once told my Mum that they wanted Swordfish steaks…..and sure enough, Swordfish steaks were bbq’d on New Years Day.

It has been bizarre sometimes, and the reason for the title is down in large part to my own attempt at keeping the tradition going a few years ago.   Everyone was invited, beer and food were purchased…when the heavens opened.   Now, having no real location to work with where the bbq could be located and covered with the aforementioned bin bags…I felt no option but to move the bbq into the garage.   I figured that the doors being open would provide plenty of ventilation….. I figured wrong it is fair to say.

I also failed to notice that the garage roof was made of asbestos and technically should have been pulled down a long time before.   So, after cooking in the asbestos garage for around 4 hours, it was of little surprise to people when I started feeling really ill and had to go and lie down.   Still, asbestos burgers have a little more zing to them I feel.   Also…totally worth it.

I do struggle to accept food from other peoples bbqs though.   Not that I am the best bbq chef in the world or anything, but I at least recognise when food is cooked and when it isn’t.   For example, burned on the outside does not always mean cooked on the inside.   I will always be seen cooking with a water sprayer to keep the flames down and the heat up…if anyone asks me why I am spraying water onto the coals, I make a mental note never to accept an invite to one of their bbqs.   A decision that has kept me virtually salmonella and botchulism free for many a year.   Unfortunately frostbite, man flu and asbestos poisoning are somewhat harder to avoid with my families penchant for bbq’ing in ridiculous weather.

We also like to play drinking games…and as with all drinking games, the aim is to drink even more should you make a mistake.   We have things like Fuzzy Duck, Railway Stations, Rippy Tippy, One Hand and various others.

One hand is my favourite – It is simply a repetition game, you all go round in a circle..someone starts off with a phrase (in this case “one hand”) and everyone takes turns to repeat it.   Then another phrase is added “One hand, and a couple of ducks” then another “One hand, and a couple of ducks, and three brown bears”.   It gets progressively more complex as it goes on….for example “Five pairs of Donald Veezers Tweezers” and “Six thousand screaming Mastedonians charging over the hill in full battle array”…”Eight sacred Egyptian monkeys from a sacred Egyptian crypt”.   It is normally around number 6 that people start emptying and refilling their glasses with terrible rapidity.

We like it…not that we drink in our family…oh no – Drink is the devil

:-P

My family and other animals

Wolf PackBeing the eldest of three boys is not always fun….it can be, but not always.   Especially when your brothers get to the age where your Mum starts asking you to take them with you wherever you go.

I have to say that the age gap helped, so I wasn’t forced into that too often.   That said, I love my brothers…although back then it was mainly for their usefulness.

We were living in Leicester many moons ago – I will never forget it..the Eyres Monsell area of Saffron Lane.   It wasn’t that bad really, but the local borstal was just up the road…anyhoo I digress.

I learned real quick that my brother Kev was a tough nut, always throwing himself everywhere and just getting up and laughing when most kids would be crying…actually, now I come to think of it, Zak is just like that now.   I was babysitting once, and decided to play football in the house…of course the ball ended up bouncing up onto the wall unit and breaking something (I forget what – sorry Mum), but Kevs exploits meant that it was plausible.   I escaped with a telling off for not keeping an eye on him, instead of being grounded until…well…now I suppose.

He was pretty fearless though, but this got him into trouble from time to time.   My Mum had her friend over and they were chatting and drinking wine.   After a little while, they notice that the bottle of wine has gone from the kitchen…it was open but untouched.   Kev was found drunk and a panicked Mum had to figure out ways to sober up a small child…it was made slightly worse, if I recall, by the fact that he had used a straw…

Younger siblings always tend to copy their elder siblings though, and I caught him stealing a cigarette from me once, so I forced him to chain smoke until he was physically sick.   I am actually quite proud of that as (to my knowledge) he has never smoked since.

My brothers have both always had their heads screwed on though, certainly more so than me.   They both excelled at whatever sport they turned their hand to and Paul in particular puts us all to shame with his dedication to academia.     Through it all, they have managed to be leaders, not followers and noone ever has a bad word to say about them.

Kev is married now and my nephew is 1 and Paul is engaged and about to enter into that most heinous of crimes….living in sin.

It’s strange to say, but we are a very close family…we just don’t feel the need to be in constant contact that most people seem to think being close requires.

My Mum and Dad have always been very supportive of me and my foibles….I was the one that got into all the trouble…smoking, drinking, wreaking havoc with my friends.   My Mum is incredibly forthright and will let you know if she isn’t happy with something…my Dad is a little more subtle, and he has always been the calming influence on my life I suppose.   I definitely needed it from time to time.

I remember my Dad and I walking across the base, on the way to the bowling alley.   The base was an RAF Officer training camp, so there were a lot of young kids that had rank.   We were in street clothes (civvies) as Dad wasn’t at work, and we walked past this snot nosed Officer Cadet.   My Dad casually said hello to him as we walked past (you never salute unless you are wearing the uniform yourself).   The cadet stopped and started having a go at my Dad.. “You will salute an officer and show some respect”…or something similar.   My Dad, simply leaned in and then really quietly, but with no small amount of contempt said “When in uniform, I salute your uniform and respect it and the rank it gives you, I do not however, have to respect the fucking idiot wearing it”.   Then he turned, put his arm around me and we went bowling for the night….legend.

My Mum and Dad are also responsible for my knowledge of drinking games, my sense of fun, sense of humour and my morality.

Thanks Mum and Dad

Is this yours?

I am starting to detect a theme here, a lot of the stories I want to tell seem to revolve around alcohol.   Now I wouldn’t mind, but I don’t generally drink that often and neither do my family.   It’s just that, drunk stories seem to be funnier….at least to me.

Picture the scene.   Family friend and long time Sunderland Football Club supporter Alan has his 50th birthday.   My parents decide to throw a shindig for him at the football club bar.   Many people arrived, many a drink was drunk (all at RAF prices) and a jolly good time was had by all.

Presents that were given included a signed, framed picture of Newcastle United Football Club and a polyester lounge suit that Alan was forced to wear and be pictured with.

Now, when you are young, keeping up with the men is a favourite past time at parties.   When you are old enough to have reasonable drinking experience, you tend to think you have the same capacity as these men….this is a dangerous notion and one that should be stopped immediately.   I was fortunate enough to be a little older and wiser, therefore calling it a night relatively early.

I tried in vain to persuade my brother Kev that the best idea would be to come with me, but by then he had that drunken aura of invincibility that around 10 pints of beer brings you.   I left, he stayed.   Oh dear.

I went back to my parents place and was watching DVDs (Bill Hicks if I recall).   At around 4am the doorbell goes and I wander to the door, ready to hurle abuse at whichever lunatic had forgotten how a house key worked.   Opening the door, I was face to face with a stranger.   This stranger had a large (and slightly angry it seemed) dog.   I breathe in and puff my chest out in the classic pose of bigger is stronger that the animal kingdom tend to employ, when he utters the immortal words :

“Is this yours?”

He turns towards the front lawn and nods.   I recognise immediately that it is Kev….face down and starfished on the grass.     I run over to see if he is ok, while bloke with angry dog wanders off chuckling to himself.

Essentially Kev has been beaten, beaten badly in a drinking competition by the “olds”.   Made worse by the fact that they are still there, still drinking and having a good time.   He was a broken man.

It’s a level of shame that I am not sure he ever recovered from, all I know with any certainty….he never took up that challenge again.

For completeness…I am not a total bastard.   After waking him up and taking the piss for a while, I ended up staying awake all night to make sure he didn’t swallow his tongue or anything stupid.

Next time….it’s his turn to babysit

Stay tuned for more alcohol induced frivolity…

What is it with parents??

I was talking to Sarah last night and the subject came up of Zak and Brandon about to start doing Karate and Judo respectively.

Nothing particularly strange there, until Sarah mentions that it is ok, until both of them end up in competition on the same day in different places. How will she be in both places at once etc… We then move on to the statement that obviously, if it is a big competition, I will fly over for it. I wouldn’t be able to get there for every competition, but big ones would be no problem.

I mean wtf, the lads haven’t even joined the clubs yet and we have them entering multiple competitions and some major ones, where I will head over from wherever I am and cheer them on. They will probably become world and olympic champions and get a series of hollywood movies written for them, based on their martial arts prowess alone!!!

Babysteps…babysteps – We should probably at least allow them to join the club and buy the uniform first – I think that sounds reasonable. They can get their movie deal next year.

I don’t know if this is a normal leap of faith for parents, or if I am about to turn into “overly competitive Dad”

Jesus I hope not, I met a few of those when I was a kid playing football and frankly it was quite scary to watch these really talented kids losing any interest in the game thanks to their Dad giving them a hard time for the slightest mistake. Thankfully my Dad wasn’t like that for me and I don’t intend to be like that for my kids.

It does remind me of my time playing football as a kid though, I played for a couple of different teams while we were in Germany. My first was a team called Schwarz Weiss Elmpt, a German team where I made an immediate impact on my debut…..by scoring an own goal. I went on to do quite well, although I would probably be most remembered for my Mum turning the lovely black and white kit turning a distinctly grey colour :oops:

Also, playing on shale pitches was never fun, looking back I understand now why most of my team mates wore tracksuit bottoms under their shorts. Being a manly and oh-so-tough Brit, I continued to wear shorts, despite losing skin faster than a shedding snake. Still, I had a good time and even got to play against the Borossia Muenchengladbach junior side, which was nice.

When we moved to Gutersloh, my Dad took over the RAF Gutersloh Junior football team for my age group and we had no end of fun. We got promoted pretty rapidly and I remember warming up for a game against the team that were top of the league (we were 2nd at the time). We were in the dressing room before they arrived and were on the pitch before they were, and the speculation was mounting about the type of team they were. Based on some of the teams we had played already, the general opinion would be a team of man mountains.

When they finally came out of the dressing room, it was a team that seemed to consist entirely of Munchkins. It was almost like they had sent out the team about 3 ages lower than ours. So we thought we would have a little fun and run riot. We hadn’t anticipated them being a bunch of dirty bleeders. I got fouled by one and , while I was on the ground, another one stamped on my chest. They were doing this all over the pitch and we started to get pissed off. Eventually we got the upper hand, I think I broke the ankle of a guy I tackled. I used the often derided block tackle method, where you literally trap the ball between their foot and yours and then (if you are nasty….I was) lean into them.

It was a rough and tumble league and, as a defender, I was regularly in the wars. I got taken out (I know, it sounds a bit extreme, but I can’t think of another phrase) by a team whose name will stay with me, long after I have forgotten my name, my address and what a car key is for. FC Kaunitz. Bastards. Their entire team must have been 18-20, most of them were shaving, or not…they had beards FFS. I was playing for the under 16s at the time, so imagine my joy at performing a back somersault after a guy simply ran through my leg as I passed the ball. I landed in a position that I simply refer to as “Awkward” (yes it deserves the capital A) and, through tears of pain, looked up to see my Dad with his hands wrapped around the throat of the referee.

Good times.

Umm…where am I going with this?

Parents have silly expectations of their children?…..maybe, but no

Turkish adult males playing in an under 16s football league are bastards?

That’ll do

Nan & Grandad

I’ve been thinking about my Nan and Grandad a lot just recently. I miss them, they had such a huge impact on my life. So much in fact, that I turned down jobs abroad to make sure I stayed in the area so I could be there if they needed me.   Don’t get me wrong, I don’t miss them in a sad, feeling sorry for myself kind of a way.

They were both amazing and generous people who would never turn their back on family or even friends.   And, they had a great sense of humour.

We were living in Newark and I was just about old enough to go to the park on my own….I say just about, which kind of translates to: I legged it to the park at any given opportunity.   After the panic of my disappearance, Nan started looking around for me and eventually found me at the park.   It was raining and I refused to go home with her, to the point where I sprinted to a climbing frame that was essentially a huge stepladder curved into an arch, and climbed to the highest point and proceeded to taunt her.     It was like the top left one in the pic below.

Climbing Frames

What I didn’t expect, was the turn of speed my nan was capable of displaying, and she shot up the climbing frame at a rapid rate of knots and grabbed me.   I demonstrated the kind of caring child I was by yelling “I hate you nanna” repeatedly.   This was interspersed by my nan responding with “I hate you too”, followed by a slap of my arse.   This continued all the way home, until I was grounded :(

My Grandad was known to perform amazing tricks like, stopping in the middle of a crossroads because the lights on the other side turned red as he was going.   He would laugh hysterically as we would look for a change of underwear.

I blame my nan for my current size (unlike most people who blame bone structure or water retention).   My nan was like Mrs Doyle on speed, but instead of cups of tea it was food.   I will blame her, I always have…she loved it really.   This was really down to her generosity though more than a need to feed people to bursting.   She would also order stuff that was too big, or that they wouldn’t want, just to be able to give it to members of the family.   They took this to the extreme once when I needed a washing machine.   My nan convinced grandad that they needed a new washer as it didn’t “fit” with the look of the kitchen.   A week later I had their perfect condition, 1 year old washing machine.

They had their little foibles too though, both of them would go nuts if anyone touched my grandads grandfather clock or stereo equipment.   It had to be me and only me.   Someone else tried to change the time on the clock once, got it wrong and was almost exiled from the family.   I was called immediately after they left to sort it out.   Same thing with the stereo equipment, my grandad had 2 stereos and swapped them from time to time so as to keep them from wearing out.   Quite why he couldn’t have bought one and used it until he needed to buy another one was something that always escaped me.

There are hundreds of stories of how they affected my life in a positive way, how they never stopped believing in me, eventually I even started to believe in myself, and for that I am eternally grateful.   I have still never managed to forgive myself for not being strong enough with my boss to leave work when my grandad was dying, I blamed my boss, but in reality my lack of strength resulted in my grandad passing literally as I pulled up in my car.   Something I have most definately addressed since that day, so thankyou Grandad.   I have to say though, Sarah was there when he passed and said something which I now see as a nice thing.   She said that they all heard my car and that either Sarah or my mum said “Davids here”, and my Grandad smiled and passed away right then and there.   She says that he did this because I was there to take care of everyone and be strong for him.   To start with, that just hurt me more, but over the years I have come to take some solace in that whenever I look back.

My nan passed a couple of years ago and I made sure that I was there, I called the family together when people were unsure if it was the right thing to do…basically the strength I got following my Grandads passing helped me through it.   Nan was fading in and out, but I recall a very lucid moment about a day before she finally (and peacefully) passed.   She called all the family together, like the veritable matriarch and gave every single one of us some information that she felt important, something a lot of people don’t get the time to either give or recieve so we were all grateful to that.

The information she gave me?

“Get to Germany David, don’t let anything stop you, there is nothing holding you here”

Thanks Nan and Grandad…. I love you both

xx

Back in the day…

… I wasn’t always the upstanding IT professional that you find today.     No no no, I was quite the tearaway says I…says my mum…my dad…and pretty much anyone that knew me back then.

I can’t remember exactly how old I was, I think I was around 14 or 15.   Much too old to go on a camping holiday with my parents and kid brothers.   So, somehow, I managed to persuade my mum and dad that they should leave me behind, where I would stay at a friends place whilst they were away.

I would of course require the house keys..you know, in case I needed anything.

Oh christ….what was I thinking.

Well, obviously I was thinking party.   It would be the best party in the history of best parties anywhere, featuring girls, beer, more girls and possibly sex…given any kind of opportunity.

I was left at a friends and the plan was hatched.   We told his mum that there we would be staying at someone elses place on the Saturday night (yeah I know, classic – but it worked..go figure), everyone did likewise.   If any of us had been kidnapped, the combined might of the 3 CSI teams and that bloke from Numb3rs couldn’t have worked out who was supposed to be where, let alone where we all actually were.

Come to think of it, if anyone could have gotten hold of my Dad, he could have sussed it in about 2 minutes.

Anyway.   The groundwork was laid, beer was organised, food laid on, people invited.   That really hard kid from school that noone likes, but always gets invited to the party to keep away the “unwanted guests”.   And like any other hot blooded teenager, unwanted was defined as anyone that could have potentially pulled whichever girl I fancied my chances with…it was a thorough tactical analysis and invitation scheme.   If I could remember the formula it could well be used to solve many crimes….

So the party begins, and everything is going well.   Then someone found the Beer Steins.   For those of you that don’t know a Beer Stein holds around a liter of liquid.   I say liquid, as beer was only a very temporary option.

My parents had quite a substantial booze cabinet with a wide and varied collection.   Of course at the tender age that I was, you don’t fully appreciate the rapid effect that alcohol has on you and those around you.   The Steins were rapidly filled (and then refilled) with what can loosely be described as “Cocktails”, insofar as the literal definition of a “mixed drink” goes.   Generally, cocktails have names like “Fuzzy Duck”, “Pan Galactic Gargleblaster”, “Screwdriver”, “Screaming Orgasm” and the like.   If I were forced to name our attempts, I would have to go with something appropriate..like “Stomach Pump”.   It was only our tender age that meant the pump would not be called out, as within minutes of drinking the massive quantity of alcohol in the Stein, most of us were sick pretty quickly.

So the party progressed, around an hour after it started most of us were “somewhat merry”.   I definately recall gatecrashers getting their arse kicked by the hard kid.   I have a vague recollection of trying to fit around 15 of us into a normal sized double bed.   At least 2 people were asleep in the bath and another on the bathroom floor.   I forget where I slept.

I do remember waking up, kicking everyone out and then looking at the mammoth task of the clean up.   A task that was made all the bigger when I realised that my mum had turned the boiler off to go away on holiday…and I had no idea whatsoever as to how to get the feckin thing back on.

So now I am cleaning everything using cold water and no small amount of panic.   Honestly, I thought I had done a good job.   I was pretty happy with the place when I headed back to my friends for some sleep.

My next memory is being dragged (literally) from my bed by a somewhat annoyed Dad.   Turns out that they had all gotten sick on the camping trip and got back almost a week early.   A day earlier and they would have turned up mid-party.   As it turned out, my “superb” clean up effort had not been the best and they had realised what had happened within about half a second of their arrival home.

I was grounded until after we moved back to the UK…in fact, there is a chance that I am still grounded.

Good times.

Honesty is the best policy

A few years ago, the elder of my two younger brothers got married.

It was a fantastic day and everything that it should have been for the married couple.   Everything went superbly from the “Mad Professor” organist to me spinning my Nan around in her wheelchair because “she would love to dance with everyone, but can’t these days”*

My youngest brother gave the speech, and quite frankly blew everyone away.   Who  knew he could be so eloquent and funny….clearly he has my share.    I was trying to take photographs of the speeches, so I  can’t remember the entire speech, but the  opening was fantastic.

“Being asked to be best man is kind of like being asked to have sex with the queen…. It’s a great honour, but nobody really wants to do it”

I don’t know if that had been done before, but a lot of  photos came  out blurry just after that :-D  

Now, as has already been mentioned, my dad was in the RAF, so as such we led a pretty fantastic life.   I wouldn’t say that we were spoilt, but we certainly weren’t left wanting for anything.   Living in the security of the British Armed Forces, you have experiences that a lot of people may never get the opportunity to have.   You tend to have a very dry and sarcastic sense of humour.   You also get used to certain things.

One of those things is (in my case) RAF bars.   RAF bars (to the uninitiated) run at cost for the most part, and tend to be staffed by service personnel as part of their job.   Let me give you an example; A single shot of Smirnoff Vodka in a normal UK bar would set you back around ?2.00, in an RAF bar you would be expecting to pay around ?0.60

 To my family and I, this is perfectly normal.   To people that are close enough to my family and I to be invited to bases regularly, this is normal.   To most of the guests of my brothers wedding, most of whom have never been to an RAF base…let alone a bar, this is not normal at all.

 I recall buying a round of drinks for 10 people and getting change from a tenner…yes folks, it is THAT good.   I recommend applying to your nearest RAF recruitment center :-D

Now, to the title of the post.   After this happend the first time, I actually stayed at the bar so that I could watch the reactions of people when asked for payment.  

It was very easy to classify family and regular visitors, their behaviour is thus:

  1. Order
  2. Pay
  3. Thank barman/woman/person <— damn political correctness
  4. Make the statement “And one for yourself” to the barthingy <— this is how they earn a bit extra
  5. Take drinks
  6. Leave

It was also quite easy to classify those that have been to an RAF bar or two in their time:

  1. Order
  2. Pay
  3. Thank barthingy and laugh about how cheap it is
  4. Make  hysterical comment about how you  would never leave etc etc  
  5. Wait for polite laugh of embarassment from barthingy to confirm that you are indeed a comedy genius
  6. Take drinks
  7. Leave

It was also easy to spot those that were in an RAF bar for the very first time… However, they fell into two distinct categories:

Category 1 behaviour:

  1. Order
  2. Ask for price
  3. Show moderate disbelief and ask for price again
  4. Confirm that barthingy hasn’t forgotten to add the <insert multiple beverage here> to the bill
  5. Ask for price again
  6. Pay
  7. Thank barthingy and laugh about how cheap it is
  8. Take drinks
  9. Leave

Category 2 behaviour:

  1. Order
  2. Ask for price
  3. Raise eyebrows for a split nanosecond and fumble in wallet/purse for money quick
  4. Practically throw money at barthingy
  5. Whilst waiting for change, beckon friends to sprint over and get all the drinks
  6. Take change
  7. Smile to self and skulk away before someone notices that a ?30 round just cost you ?5

It was category 2 that kept me at the bar for the better part of an hour, that and the ?0.50 cost of the ApfelKorn :-D.   I guess what I found the most funny about this was that, their behaviour was repeated every time they came to the bar.   Although they would try and send someone else each time, I assume that this was just in case the barthingy realised that they had made a mistake and came after them.

What is the point of this?   None really, although observing this behaviour gave me an evil thought.   It may also have been the Apfelkorn, I can never be sure…

I waited a little longer until I saw a category 2 male heading to the toilets and followed.   When he was on his way back, I took him to one side and told him that the barmaid had been sent home (true, she had been working 8 hours and someone else came in to take over).   Apparently the till was around ?90 lighter than it should have been.   I also may have mentioned that, as the barmaid is a member of the RAF, she would not get fired, but she would be arrested by the Military Police on grounds of theft.   I couldn’t quite commit to, but recognise the possibility that, I may have also said that it is likely she would be courtmarshalled.   I also seem to recall a voice, not too dissimilar to mine, mentioning that this particular barmaid had already been questioned before about undercharging and possible theft, which is why it was so serious now.

My explanation for not turning him in, my dad was in the RAF and had vouched for every person on the base for the wedding, even if he didn’t know them, and he could get in trouble for this.

I told him that if I happened to “find” the missing money, I could claim that she had dropped it whilst counting the till (quite impressed he bought that tbh)…I said that people would believe me because of my dad, but that we only had about 15 minutes before the MPs arrived.

I waited for him to round up the money from his cohorts and told him I would go and “find it”**

The moral of this tale?   READ THE FUCKING PRICELIST ON THE WALL NEXT TO YOU

People can be idiots

* How I didn’t make her throw up is beyond me…she always loved having fun  – RIP Nan, I am always thinking about you…

** I did give it back later. No honestly..I really did