The lengths we go for love..lust…luurve?

aircadetsSo, back in the day as a younger, more simple soul…I would fall in love with monotonous regularity.  I am pretty sure that teenagers the world over suffer from this.  Especially hormone riddled males of the species.

When you became besotted with a particular person, you would go pretty far in your own little pursuit of happiness.  With that in mind, and trying to forget the fact that I seem to have regressed to this exact stage recently, I bring you a tale of 15 year old Dave, overcome with desire for a particular 16 year old lady.

The first thing you should know about me, I never really had any desire to join the Armed Forces.  I lived the life, enjoyed the perks and ignored the dangers, but it was never really in my foreseeable future to join up.  I had plans, such grand plans and the Armed Forces were never going to do it for me.

So you can imagine the surprise expressed by my parents, when I came home one day and let them know that I was joining the A.T.C. (Air Training Corps).  The A.T.C is essentially the Junior Air Force without all that pesky war zone stuff.  You would do drills, learn marksmanship, team activities and a whole host of other stuff.  You also wore, what was essentially, the RAF Uniform.

I think they assumed it would be good for me and would help me become a better person or something.  Which meant that they didn’t really question me.  This was good, as I hadn’t really been able to formulate an excuse for wanting to join up.  Don’t get me wrong, it had some nice side benefits.  My Dad showing me how to polish your boots properly and press your uniform in that “Just Right” fashion that is expected of those wearing it, was great.  Quality time with Dad, check.  Becoming a Marksman with a variety of weapons was also fun.  I did actually have a good time when I got there…but my reasoning may have raised an eyebrow or two in my general direction.  I’ll take you back a few weeks before I walk through the door and announce my intentions to join up.

It is a few weeks earlier and I am at school with mates…

Friend 1: “You doing anything this half-term then?”
Me: “Don’t think so, Dad has to work, so we are deffo staying here”
Friend 2:  “Same here, anything going on?”
Friend 1:  “ATC have their weekend BBQ and Party.  Doesn’t help you two though”
Me / Friend 2:  “Party?? What Party??”
Friend 1:  “They do it every year.  Camp out for 3 days and do a massive BBQ Party.  Music and the whole thing.  You can take your own tent or share one of the massive ones”
Me:  “Amanda (Can’t remember her actual name…sorry) is in the ATC right?”
Friend 1:  “Oh dear…yes, yes she is”
Friend 2:  “Dave, where are you going?”
Me:  “Joining up, you coming?”

You needed to be a member for a while before they would allow you to the party.  They didn’t want people just joining up for the BBQ weekend and then leaving you see.  So the timing of the conversation was good as it meant I joined up just before the cut off time.  What it meant, however, was that I had a few months of ATC’ing to do before the party.  As I already said, it definitely had its benefits, and I did actually enjoy it…but I always knew I was only going to be there until after the party.

So, did it work?  Well, yes and no.  We got together on the weekend of the party and then had a blissful month together before we both “fell in love” again and went our separate ways.

I do know that I took my own tent, I also know that we had a moment of terror when they came around shining torches on the walls of the tents to make sure that the hormonal teenagers were actually asleep and, more importantly, alone.

I also know that I left the A.T.C about a week after Amanda and I broke up.

Totally worth it though.


Home on the range

Love and Lust
So, as I appear to be in a reminiscing frame of mind at the moment, I thought I would share a story about a pursuit of lust love.  This pursuit would lead to my joining a uniformed organisation and would ultimately lead to a shooting incident where a number of people could have lost their lives.

Exciting, right?  Absolutely…prepare…..for….well, disappointment I am almost certain.

Hmm, I have sat here for at least 5 minutes, trying desperately to remember the year that this took place.  Not that it is important to the story, but I know how you all like to have complete facts and not just spurious memories.  Let’s see, I was in Gütersloh, which I left in 1990…so this would have been a year (ish) before that.  Ok, ok…I’ll say 1988 for the sake of argument.

So, back in 1988 I was living in Gütersloh, Germany as my dad was in the Royal Air Force (I may have mentioned this before).  It was fast approaching the summer, my Uncle Fester/Panda Hybrid looks were not even a remote possibility.  I played regular football, table tennis, squash and a myriad of other sports..and I was fortunate enough to be in the relatively “in” groups.  Life was good and I felt good about that.

A particular lady, however, had achieved the dubious honour of having me lusting after her and, indeed, being somewhat obsessed with her.  She was in a group of friends that regularly overlapped with my group, so we were chatting quite frequently.  Despite my (moderate) successes with the ladies…and the group that I was with…I was still abnormally shy about making any “moves” I hadn’t attempted to get with the object of my desires yet.  During one of our chats, it was revealed to me that she was a member of the Air Training Corps (a sort of youth Royal Air Force if you will) and that they were having a huge summer event in a couple of months.  After discovering that the event was a full weekend camping, with BBQs, party and other activities…I decided that I needed to get to this event.

Unfortunately, this was specifically an ATC event…no friends or external invites.  What was a boy to do?

After signing up to join the ATC and getting my uniform sorted out, I embarked upon, what I describe to be, a low point in my life.  Low because of what I was going through in an attempt to be with the object of my infatuation.  I attended every week, went to the special events…learned how to march, how to strip and clean a gun and also how to fire a gun.  Eventually, I got the all clear…I attended the weekend event and had a very….very good time….you don’t really need to hear more than that.

That is not the story though….oh no.  This story is based around what happened during my (self) enforced time in the ATC.  As I said, I attended everything that they wanted me to religiously, mainly to make sure that they couldn’t exclude me from the summer event.  Everything.  Including many visits to the shooting range, where we learned about firing various guns…how to keep them safe, strip them down and clean them etc…and of course, how to fire them.

I excelled at firing them and rapidly gained a marksman certificate for every weapon that we were allowed to handle.  I was one of, if not the, best shot out of everyone there.  We would visit the range almost every week and so I got plenty of practise.  This particular visit to the range was no different.

I should probably, at this point, explain how the range was setup.  It was a very long range, lots of dirt on the floor leading from where we shot to the targets at the other end.  The targets were set at about 1.8m from the ground and were supported by (and placed in front of) lots of sandbags.  For extra support (I think), the sandbags were themselves placed on the top of some rocks.  It was a pretty good setup.

We were firing SA-80s from the “prone” position, which is basically laying down, and were instructed to stop firing.  The rule was that you had to make the weapon safe before standing, then check the chambers and place the weapon (barrel facing down-range) onto the table next to your firing position.  We had done this many many many times and were all pretty skilled at it.

For some reason, one of the girls…I shall call her Brandine, completely forgot what she was supposed to do…stood up and went to place the gun on the table.  At the moment that she was doing this, the Sergeant who had been watching all of us intently, decided to act.  I am fairly certain, that, had he approached her in a calm manner and explained the issue, it would have been rectified without further incident..unfortunately, he decided to be a cliche and proceeded, at the top of his lungs, to scream “MAKE THAT WEAPON SAFE CADET BRANDINE”.

As you and I might reasonably expect, this did not have the desired effect on Brandine…what it did do was to scare the shit out of her.  Brandine, who at this point was in mid-reach to the table whilst attempting to put the gun down..jumped out of her skin and immediately dropped the weapon on the floor.

Dropped.  The.  Weapon.

As I am sure you can imagine (it wouldn’t be much of a story otherwise), the one in a million chance of a weapon discharge happened.

The bullet, travelling at god knows what speed, left the barrel which was (thankfully) pointing down range..and was, I swear, kicking up a dust trail as it went hurtling towards the targets…at about 2 inches off the ground.

This of course meant that it hit the rocks underneath the target and I got to experience my first ever real ricochet.  The Sergeant decided to scream again…but this time with a little more justification and we all hit the deck.

Fortunately, nothing bad happened to anyone (except Brandine, who was banned from the range)…but it could have done…which makes it exciting.

Surely by association, I am indeed exciting and interesting right?

What do you mean no?


So you see the sort of crap that us guys are willing to go through to get the girl.  Impressive or Sad, you decide…just don’t tell me about it.

Oh, and as for the object of my desires…we did get together at the weekend event…had lots and lots of fun…and 3 weeks later we were both seeing other, more interesting people.

Still, it was fun while it lasted.

Cheat much?

Happy New Year!So, I promised myself to deliver a post every day this month….I seem to have achieved it with this very post.   Now, I don’t think that making a post about making posts is necessarily cheating….

It was bloody hard, totally lacking in quality and did I say hard?   I stepped over to a blog the other day that had over 50 posts a month….without guest posters.   Ok, some of them were only a couple of lines long, but still…. OVER 50 a month….

I don’t think I could come up with that amount of posts, unless I live (more than I do already) at my keyboard and post every thought I have (which isn’t many, I *am* a bloke after all).

See thats the thing, as a bloke, there are many many times where I am genuinely not thinking about anything.   That doesn’t mean anything in particular, which suggests I am thinking about unimportant things, it literally means nothing is going through my mind.

It’s an almost zen like state, and completely incomprehensible  to women.

Ladies (in my limited experience) tend to be thinking about something at all times.   This view is therefore transferred to the simpler of the species (ie  men), which is where it goes wrong.   The question “What are you thinking?” when responded to with “Nothing” tends to create the “So what’s wrong?” comeback.   This is presumably due to the fact that nothing must be something, which must be something we don’t want to talk to you about, therefore we are hiding something from you and there really is something big.   When you work it the other way round, it works though.   If I ask a woman “What are you thinking?”, the response “nothing” always means something…..something that they don’t want to get into right now, but will do so… I fall asleep.

I’m with Ed Byrne on this one, women seem to store up information throughout the day, just to use it in the designated speaking area that they see the bed to be.

Anyway, now I have alienated half of my (very limited) readers, I am off to continue my celebration of managing to post at least 1 piece of meaningless page vomit per day for an entire month.   I will probably take a 3 month haiatus to allow me to find something to write about…


Social Networking?

I don’t know why I haven’t written about this before, especially as it was such a big part of my life for a long time. Now, I have to warn you, some of this post will be deeply geeky. So to that end (and for our American friends):

Those of you with a “jock” disposition, should probably close down your browser……hang on, they wouldn’t be reading anyway, surely. *meh*

I used to run LAN parties many moons ago. I like to think that the emphasis was on party and that the LAN side of it was a means to an end. In fact, we probably had less stereo-typed geeks than most other LANs could lay claim to. For those of you that don’t know, a LAN party is essentially a get-together of people that like playing computer games against each other, people bring their computers to a central venue and spend a weekend shooting people. The main game at my LANs seemed to be centered around drinking as much as humanly possible.

Unfortunately, not many business want to give over a large venue with enough power for say 70 computers, so I moved around a number of different venues. One of which had an ornamental pond outside and was a no smoking building. The pond was on 3 levels like a set of steps, starting at the top with a huge pond, then one level lower that had a slightly smaller pond, ending at the bottom with a small pond. One guy gave us a moment of drunken comedic genius by falling into the top pond, where he panicked and scrambled out of it….. into the next pond down, where he panicked and scrambled out of it….. into the next pond down, where he panicked and scrambled out of it onto the grass. A lot of people took a very long time to recover from that. I managed to pull myself together for long enough to stop him heading into the room with all of the very expensive computers….

At the same LAN, a guy got so drunk that he started stripping down to his boxer shorts and mumbling incoherently. When he finally passed out, we very kindly….stacked beer cans and alcohol bottles around his inert form and balanced them on his head. Well, it seemed like a good idea at the time.

At some point we decided to run a LAN in Blackpool which, up until this blog post, was known as the LAN that shall never be named. The main reason for this was that I was completely stitched up by the hotel owner. I visited him and was given assurances that he could meet the power requirements of some 60-70 computers and all associated paraphenalia. He also told me that, as it was out of season, we would have the entire hotel available. When I arrived, he was checking in a stag do, which meant I couldn’t have the entire downstairs…there weren’t enough tables and chairs so friends from the area had to scrounge them from other hotels, there was no parking that he said we could have and then to top it all off… power. He expected us to run everything from 2 or 3 plug sockets. In the end we had to string power extentions into the hotel next door. The stag do were a bunch of arseholes and none of the guys were happy leaving their equipment out. I basically spent the whole LAN trying to calm people down and not have to give them all their money back.

In the end we overcame the shite and had a great time. There was Evs destroying everyone in the UT competition. He was so good that I stopped monitoring the match to sit and watch this guy play. Couple that with the fact that he was just having a laugh and getting pissed, just made it all the more impressive. We also had operation car breakout. A military style operation where Preachys motor was extricated from its clamp hell with an angle grinder and about 20 fairly sizeable guys telling the clampers to fuck off.

After Blackpool, we headed back to our previous venue – Also known as the “Sex” LAN, which basically seemed to revolve around me fighting with the “caretaker” of the building when his power tripped and he didn’t know what the fuck he was doing, and people being randomly “sexed”. For those of you not in the know, sexing involves taking a photograph of a sleeping member of the LAN, whilst having a photo of you gyrating your hips above their head. It was quite the sport across that one. This was also the LAN where Exo chose to drink almost every left over beer and glass of..whatever the hell was left. When we got him back to mine, he thought that Sarah was his missus and tried to get her in bed with him…fell over and cracked his head on a shelf. We checked he was ok, but he didn’t wake up for quite some time….mad Irish Goat pr0n loving bastard. This was the first LAN where we had a rare breed…the female gamer. Finally Lee decided to try his hand at topless modelling….oh and eyballing various alcoholic beverages. It was quite an eventful weekend that’s for sure.

Yes, that does look like we got Pierre Luigi Collina pissed and posing.   In fact, when we went to Anfield a load of lads took their photo with Lee as he could pass for PLC :-D

I also started running private LAN parties.   This started with the guys and gals from Loony Asylum.   If we thought that the WolfLAN mob were drunken party machines, these boys were pros.   If I were to post all of their exploits in party form it would take all month to read this post instead of just all day.   Let me bulletpoint some of my fave memories:

  1. Actually naming Man Love Central
  2. Shooting airsoft weaponry at each other…in the room
  3. Someone getting rammed on Jack Daniels and throwing up after losing control…but maintaining enough control to find a plastic bag
  4. Bringing an entire professional Karaoke setup
  5. Porn displayed on 30 PCs and also 15 feet high on the projector
  6. An asian lad being more offended at being called Jackie Chan by some dickhead.   Asking to at least be called Chow Yun Fat
  7. A few local lads kicking off in the venue thinking that Loony were a bunch of computer geeks.   The same lads being very surprised when 40 fairly un-geeky guys wandered downstairs in some sort of “The Warriors” stand-off
  8. Sharing so much porn across the network that it couldn’t actually handle it
  9. Conning a barman to leave the bar unattended for slightly too long…

There were many many more things, but my absolute fave has to be a lad called Geordie.

Now let me just explain, we had a venue above a pub in Edwinstowe.   It was run by Andy and Andy, a gay couple and a superb laugh.   You know how cats will always jump on the lap of the only person in a room that is allergic?   Well, Little Andy had much the same knack, only his particular talent was finding people that were slightly uncomfortable with homosexuality.   Well, Geordie fell into this category.   He wasn’t homophobic or anything like that, he was just a little uncomfortable.   So the drinks are flowing, the bar has been closed and has turned into a lock-in for the Loonys.   Little Andy decides to have some fun at Geordies expense, by flirting with him…you know, stroking his head, leaning a little too close when he was talking…all the classics.

Geordie, for his part, took it all in reasonable spirits.   That said, it was fair to say that he was drinking slightly faster than perhaps he would have normally done.   This ended up with him being comatosed in the bar.   The lads took it upon themselves to make him pay for this lapse of judgement and write on him, spray shaving foam etc etc.   One lad went a little far though, and got some Veet hair remover and sprayed it on his head.   Anyway, Little Andy finds him and decides to wake him up and help the poor guy.   So he took him to his shower, stripped him and showered him.     Being the kind and generous soul he is, he recorded the event for posterity.

I don’t think I have ever seen a man so completely broken as Geordie was the next day.

You know what, I think I may have to post more about WolfLAN at a later time….

Great times..

I don't have an alcohol problem

John White. Web site http://www.whitebeertravels.

I drink…I get drunk…I fall down…no problem!

A few years ago, I was working in Cardiff and had a South African colleague called Thys. Great guy and a great laugh. As he was South African he was able to get Sambuca Gold and Aftershock that… didn’t conform to european standards shall we say. They were somewhat stronger than their British counterparts, and the Aftershock had the added bonus of crystalising when the lid was off, which increased the strength of the stuff.

So it was with much merriment that a friend and I decided to consume a bottle of Sambuca Gold and a bottle of Aftershock Red before going out. I don’t know why we did it, we were perfectly sober when we started drinking…it can’t have taken much to get us to the “good idea at the time” stage.

All I know with any certainty is that a few people turned up at the house, more drinking was done and the decision made to go to the pub. Upon arriving at the pub, I ordered a round for everyone. The barmaid asked me for the money, so reached into my back pocket to get my wallet. It was only when I tried to open the wallet to extract cash that I (along with everyone else) noticed I was trying to pay with my stereo remote control.. Unfortunately this is not a currency widely adopted in the UK and I was forced to perform a veritable stagger back to the house to collect my wallet.

It was also around this time that a friend and I decided that a “Leo”* was called for. We spent the bulk of it drinking lager at the Snooty Fox. At some point we decided to move onto Harvey Wallbangers, which we decided to use as chasers to the beer. Then, my friend decided that he would also quite like to do Tequila shots, which we chose to be the chaser of the chaser. Unfortunately, I hate the taste of Tequila, so I needed either beer or more Harvey Wallbanger to wash it down with. So the order was changed. Tequila shot, followed by Harvey Wallbanger, followed by a lager chaser.

It was with no small measure of shock that we were plastered by around 5pm. I remember Sarah driving past us both, me leaning on the wall and waving and my friend attempting to do the same. Unfortunately the wave took him a little more off-balance than me, and he slid down the wall and onto the floor….where he stayed for a little while.

My fave story though from around this time is that of a house party that a few friends and I were invited to. Having nothing better to do, and probably not really thinking, we arrived at the party precisely at the invited start time. Now this is normally a mistake in party attendance terms, as being the first people there tends to make the initial part quite dull. Still, in an effort to gee it up, I started handing round a bottle of Smirnoff Black Vodka that I had taken as my bottle of choice in the “bring a bottle” stakes.

What I failed to notice was that, as I passed the bottle to the next person, the bottle was simply passed around, without anyone drinking any…until it came back to me. Essentially, this meant that consumed a 1 litre bottle of this stuff in a little under 40 minutes. I was “reasonably well oiled” by the time the party really started going strong. A friend arrived with a bottle of some Vodka that a Russian visitor had given to him and the same pass the bottle strategy ensued…although at least this time there was one other person actually drinking the stuff.

Suffice to say that in less than 2 hours, having consumed 1.5 liters of Vodka straight from the bottle, I was a little worse for wear. I decided to go outside for some fresh air and, in a vain attempt, to clear my head. I ended up kneeling down on the driveway where I could hear the plans being concieved to go outside and strip me…just for fun you understand.

My overriding issue at this point was not, as some might imagine, being stripped naked for a laugh. No no no, my only issue was that if they wanted to strip me, that would involve moving me…something I definately did not want to happen.

Most of the rest of the night is a blur, although I definitely remember being put into a taxi, complete with head hanging out of the window like a pet dog….taken to my mates house and placed in the toilet with my head positioned over the bowl. Just at the point I was starting to fall asleep there, Simon decided to pour a bucket of ice water over my head.

After the initial shock, the effect was instant sobriety and we headed back to the party.


*Leo = Leo Sayer = All dayer = All day at the pub

SP…the true spirit of Christmas

No…I will not call it Xmas just to satisfy the PC brigade…

Anyhoo, this is a story about the inimitable SP from many moons ago, it was the 2006 works Christmas party, and, not knowing any better we all tagged along.

Free food, free beer and something resembling free entertainment (Genius really, 90% English speaking contingent….entertainment all in German). On a boat, travelling up and down the Main. We were trapped and forced to consume all that was put before us….and some that was put next to us, behind us and occasionally hidden behind the bar.

The beer had been flowing rather well and a good time was being had by all. When I decided, as a joke, to mix my full glass of red wine into my half pint of lager. One taste revealed just how bad of an idea it was, but still – it was worth a try. The old saying is true, you really shouldn’t mix the grain and the grape.

Further along the table, a somewhat inebriated SP was entrenched in conversation with people and had turned away from his pint. As the evening wore on, he didn’t spot that his beer never seemed to require being replaced, he had obviously found that holiest of holy grails…..a never ending beer glass.

Not noticing the perpetually full nature of his glass was actually the least of his troubles, every time he drank some of his beer PH would top the level back up with white wine. This went on for a looong time, so long that I think he must have drank at least 3 pints of nothing but wine. Every time someone asked what he thought of the beer, they were met with the response that it was pretty good.

This was also the night where we met the lunatic edge that is KT on the dancefloor. More energy than the Energiser Bunny and less control than an incontinent alzheimers patient with a leaking bag and broken zimmer frame. Still, it was fun watching him practically pogo and mosh his way to various strains of Take That and New Kids On The Block, dancing around various corporate types.

Christmas parties are definitely the place to learn about the people you work with…that much is certain.

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 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 “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.

Hmm – There could be a reason for the price…

So…I moved into a flat that is above a busy Irish pub in Frankfurt. The rent is great and to be honest the noise doesn’t bother me. In fact, since I moved in, it has been considerably quieter than I anticipated.

Tonight, however, may test this theory. The bar across the road from the flat left me a flyer in my mail yesterday…

Could be a sleepless night

You will note the “19:30 bis 22:00” statement on the bottom left of the flyer. Check out the “ab 22:00 bis 05:00” on the right. This could get loud.

Now I heard them warming up earlier and they sounded pretty good, even though they are called “Born Wild”. I am expecting a tiger prowling the stage with them….I will probably see a woman in a 80s style leopard print catsuit and a bloke with hair reminiscent of a certain Joey Tempest of Europe fame.

Also, lets be honest here…nothing good can come from a DJ called “Lord Dagor”

I am scared.

I think I need to have a few hours sleep before it starts, just to make sure I have actually had some….. I just saw this outside my window.

Coming soon, Final Countdown karaoke ;-p

This should be fun 8-O….oh, and, no I didn’t zoom the camera at ALL, that is really how close it is

Neighbours from hell (Hospital Ward Edition)

Steve – Steve, is that you Steve?

Turn that bloody tele down Margaret

Steve, it sounds like you

I said turn that tele down

“Soils self”

The above is a transcript of my ward neighbours when I was first admitted with “Gallstones“.

After being admitted, I was pushed past a number of wards by the orderly. Some of them had empty beds and younger people in them, some had older people and empty beds…they were all peaceful and for the most part silent. So it was with no small amount of surprise that I get placed on the ward with the nutters. I say nutters, which is probably not altogether fair….there were 6 beds, 3 of which were occupied by older gentlemen, and 3 were empty.

I was allocated the 6th bed, closest to the Nurses station, but opposite a man who I came to refer as “The TV Guy”. All seemed well, the morphine drip started it’s wondrous journey though my body on minimal doseage and I drifted off to sleep.

About an hour later, Sarah was back. She had brought me some know, the usual assortment of drinks, sweets and biscuits that the hospital shop can provide. It was during this time that “The TV Guy” sprang into action. He looks straight at me, who was talking to Sarah at the time, and shouts…not says, shouts…”Turn that bloody tele down Margaret”.

Both myself and Sarah look around for anyone near, see noone and make the mistake of actually mentioning that the TV is not on and that we don’t know who Margaret is. That just makes him worse, repeating the same sentence over and over, interspersed with occasional bouts of “How many bloody times do I have to tell you” and “You never listen to me”.

Oh joy thinks I, and begin staring at the morphine in the vain hope that I can somehow control the flow speed with my mind.

It is at this point that the commotion from TV Guy, causes guy number 3 to join in. Clearly confused, he is asking for Steve and is in fact convinced that Steve is somewhere nearby. As he is struggling to be heard, he raises his voice a few decibels to counter the effect of TV Guys shouting. So I now have 2 guys shouting about people that are nowhere to be seen, both within 3 meters of me and my bed for the next god knows how many days.

Just when I thought it couldn’t get any worse, the thus far quiet guy number 3, decides he should get involved in this little soiree. Clearly TV Guy and Steve Guy are having way too much airtime on the “Welcome Dave to the ward” party special. He realises, however, that the others have really cornered the market on random shouting and noise level, so he tries a somewhat unique angle. He soils himself. A lot. For quite a while. I won’t try and describe the olfactory attack that followed, god forbid anyone reading this is eating… Suffice to say that I now had nausea to add to my, not inconsiderable, pain and growing headache.

Like a boxer saved by the bell, visiting hours are announced as being over, and Sarah bolts for home. I think she remembers to say goodbye, but it was hard to hear, what with her rapidly accelerating down the corridor and out into fresh air. I don’t blame her.

Fortunately, the morphine kicks in shortly after and I drift off to sleep. I wake up in the middle of the night to the now familiar choir of the ward going through the motions. Sensing that more sleep is some time away, I indulge in a little light TV watching. I pay the bargain basement price of ?10 from the machine at the end of the ward for a days worth of viewing, strap on the headphones and crank up the volume.

Hah – Nice try Dave, you think Doctors are bastards? Not as much as hospital administrators apparently. The wonderful hospital administration, that had chosen to install these little TFT TVs with built in phone and internet, had also had the remarkable idea that would avoid headphone bleed.

I don’t know if headphone bleed is the correct way to describe it…let me try another way. You know when you are on a train journey, and you end up sat next to somebody with an iPod that is just a bit too loud? You hear little snippets of what they are listening to, but incredibly tinny and annoying. I am sure you have experienced this, and probably been pissed off with it like me.

Ok so, whilst I recognise that it can be annoying to hear these tinny noises emanating from the side of someones head, they chose to set the volume on all of the TVs to have a maximum volume level of something akin to a silkworms fart. Oh, and they chose to make this change…..around a week before I was admitted.

Is it any wonder that I hate hospitals?

Administrators. Are. Bastards

I love the smell of napalm…

…although perhaps not the taste.

It was long ago, a simpler time when men were men and New Years Eve BBQ street parties were brought together by the contents of what looked like a dark green varnish tin, but in fact contained a purple jelly like substance known as Napalm.

The thing about Napalm, the important thing to remember about Napalm, is that it is not listed on very many outdoor cooking sites as a suitable BBQ lighter fuel.   The reasons for this should be relatively apparent….toxic sausage* anyone?

So the scene is set:

  • Grassed area usually used by kids for football, taken over for party  – Check
  • 4 giant oil drum BBQs – Check
  • 3 12×12 RAF tents to store….stuff – Check
  • Enough food to supply an estate of people with around 600 houses – Maybe not, but some people won’t come – so… Check
  • 1 x Organiser with serious shortcomings in the sense of humour area – Check
  • Oh… and booze – Lots of booze – Check

The party starts getting underway, is in full swing some might say.   I, at approximately age 14, and along with my friends, have found the backup booze stash and started “experimenting” with different concoctions in a Stein.   This does cloud my actual memory somewhat, so some of the specifics of the night escape me.   I do know that this was my first experience of a beer induced pavement pizza…

Things that may or may not have definitely possibly  happened:

  • Napalm smoked BBQ food scattered everywhere after taste #1
  • Organiser type person completely unable to put out the Napalm induced BBQs….as this is the way Napalm works – FFS**
  • 200 people decided that they would follow my Mum and Dad*** to their cellar bar for a “Proper Party”
  • “Argumentative Couple” have their weekly argument, things get broken and the Military Police show up
  • My Mum decides that the best use for Napalm flambe sausages is to plug the police cars exhaust pipe like in the movies****
  • Police car makes a decidedly unhealthy noise, some would call it a bang, I called it an explosion and the engine breaks
  • My Mum and her cohorts try to sneak back to the party unseen and fail…miserably
  • Some stupid 14 year old kid, whose name escapes me*****, walks right up to his parents and announces that he is not drunk and has not just been sick.
  • Same 14 year old kid throws up in front of parents
  • Then falls in pavement pizza
  • Parents respond by laughing uncontrollably
  • Organiser type person begins shovelling mud/grass from field into BBQ to try and quell heat/flames
  • Rest of street party attempt to squeeze into my Mum and Dads cellar bar – Most end up in my bedroom (in cellar at my request btw)
  • Topfer Strasse collective party hard and almost nothing gets destroyed in either the cellar bar or my bedroom – Result!
  • Organiser person refuses to recognise that his party died hours ago and stays resolutely at his post, seemingly cooking the field now
  • Organiser persons wife and kids are forced to stay with him whilst the rest of the estate are in our cellar
  • New Year comes and goes
  • Nobody notices
  • Last person leaves our cellar at approximately 8am

That was the night that was – I do not recommend napalm smoked sausages – But I can recommend parents like mine that managed to save an entire estates New Years Eve party….even if it did annoy organiser type person…. yey!

* Oh come on, there has to be a band called Toxic Sausage…”Please put your hands together for Toxic Sausage, and their number 1 hit single…Napalm BBQ”

** Seriously, someone from the RAF that has  access to stores of Napalm MUST have even the most basic understanding of how it works

*** Now, I know other people claim to have the coolest parents in the world  OK Seriously for example  – I just want to go on record to say that actually mine are at the top.

**** See!!!!

***** Me :-?