Monday 25 July 2011


On a few occasions I have been an amateur soundman for local bands. This weekend I turned pro, I was paid (a pittance) to be soundman by "Supersonic" - Plymouth's first all gay Oasis tribute. I was quite nervous, wanted to do a good job, and to look like I knew what I was doing. I introduced myself to the woman who had booked the band - this is unusual in my experience of talking to good looking women in very short skirts - the conversation quickly turned to microphone selection, polar patterns, amplifier power ratings and impedance. It turned out that not only had she got a huge amount of experience in sound engineering, she'd got a degree to prove it. An honest to goodness bachelors of engineering in the very subject in which I was busy pretending that I knew what I was doing. As if that wasn't bad enough I also had to do sound for her support act which included an acoustic guitar with a very low quality pickup, a fiddle, and a young woman with a pretty but quiet voice. I basically had the choice between mains hum, feedback through the fiddle, and feedback through the vocal mic. I did OK for the main band though.

I though it was going to be great getting paid for being in the pub on a Friday night, in fact I was no richer on Saturday morning, and I felt thoroughly unwell.

My dog's got no nose. How does it smell? It uses a sniffer dog.
My wife didn't believe I could make a car out of spaghetti, you should have seen her face when I was driving pasta.

Richard "going on a summer holiday" B

Monday 18 July 2011

Car Keys

On Saturday evening a friend drove me to another friends house, where we had a takeaway meal, and watched low quality TV. The couple we visited have a nearly-three-year-old daughter who takes great pleasure in playing with car keys and mobile phones. When it was time to go home the car keys were missing. We checked pockets, looked in the little girl's toy box, and asked her where they were. We didn't find them. All four adults then spent the next 25 minutes doing a search of the house that would have put a police forensics team to shame. I removed all the dvds from the shelves to look behind them, I checked every food cupboard and draw in the kitchen. We didn't find the keys. The little girl was asked several times where the keys were, with differing levels of sympathy, her most frequent answer was "not here daddy" no matter which room she was in. Eventually the owner of the car washed his hands after having emptied the kitchen dustbin and not found the keys, the keys were hidden underneath the towel that had been left on a radiator near to the wash hand basin. "There they are daddy".

Childish game of the week
Replace the word "heart" with the word "arse" in song lyrics and titles. Eg. Blondie's "Arse of glass" and Gene Pitney's "Something gotten hold of my arse". Don't send me your suggestions, I have been doing this all weekend.

Richard "stop the clock, I've got the keys" B

Monday 11 July 2011


I don't really understand how it happened, but in a conversation with one of my female neighbours (not the one whose daughter's shoe I once rescued) that lasted about 10 seconds, I seemingly called her flat-chested and poor.

There is a chain of restaurants in America called Hooters. They are found on normal high streets, and are family friendly, but they distinguish themselves from the competition in that every single member of the bar and waiting staff is a busty attractive young woman. Their brand image revolves around a stylised owl (and its large eyes) and the double 'O' in Hooters.

When I got home yesterday I bumped into my nextdoor-but-one neighbour on her doorstep. She was wearing a yellow T shirt with the hooters owl on the front, large eyes (small pupils) front and centre. "Is that a Hooters shirt?" I asked, imagining she would say it was a souvenir, or a gift from an expatriate relative. I didn't expect her to grab at an imaginary pair huge boobs and say

"I haven't really got the assets for that have I?"
"Errrm [note1] I wouldn't say exactly that, I thought maybe it was a souvenir, or something"
"No, Topshop finest, all I can afford." and with that she went back into her house.

I believe that this is a conversational labyrinth that every man who has ever talked to a vain woman has been trapped in. It consists of a single forked passageway where both choices lead to a minotaur. It takes many many forms but in essence it goes like this:

"I look fat/stupid/ugly/old."
"No no, you look wonderfully slim/wise/beautiful/young."
With that you have rejected her opinions and dismissed her concerns out-of-hand. A massive argument follows.

"I look fat/stupid/ugly/old"
You offer sympathy, support and advice.
With that you have tacitly supported her original position. A massive argument follows.
Richard "home jewellery repair" B

Monday 4 July 2011


I had intended to omit this story from my blog, thinking that it was the most crushing and humiliating experience of my life, but over the weekend, one of my close friends easily demonstrated that it was at the absolute worst, the 2nd or 3rd most humiliating experience of my life, so here goes:

There's a little girl that lives on my estate, who has a very beautiful, and as I far as I know, single mother. I previously rescued a shoe for the little girl. To my mingled horror and delight, the little girl and her friend hatched a brilliant (yet childishly transparent) plan to set me and the mum up on a date. I received an anonymous love letter (written by a child), the children pestered my about my correspondence, and then the friend conspiratorially told me that the letter was from Redacted's mum - a bare faced lie. The children then pestered me about whether I liked Redacted's mum and whether I would go on a date with her. When the children weren't about I visited both mums and explained what had been going on, and that I would rather not receive love letters from small children. When I was visiting the nice mum I also asked whether there was a grain of truth in their plan, and whether she would actually have liked to go on a date with me.

Her response was two syllables. The first, "Ha" was completely involuntary, and demonstrated how ridiculous she thought the idea was. The second "No" was laced with scorn, absolute authority, and the kind of exaggerated gesticulation and annunciation that you would usually save for an errant dog, a half-deaf elderly relative, or a foreign waiter. I made my excuses and left.

As if that's not bad enough, when the little girl pesters me in my garage, she now makes fun of my having asking her mum on a date, so I can only assume that her mum has been laughing about the whole thing with the little girl. I've gone off them slightly.

Richard "laughing stock" B