Monday 28 January 2013

That's What Your Mum Said

Sometimes I just can't keep my mouth shut. Particularly when there's a dirty joke to be made, or an innuendo to be pointed out. This frequently gets me in to trouble.

On a first date when I told the waitress that I hadn't enjoyed the lemon liqueur even though I'd clearly drunk it all and she said, "But you managed to force it down your throat?" I couldn't help myself but gesture to my date and say "I'll be doing that to her later".

In a technical meeting when I proposed a quick and dirty engineering work-around my boss said "It's absolutely filthy but I like it". I accidentally replied "That's word for word what your wife said to me." He stared at me until I apologised.

A conversation between a young admin girl and somebody who knew how to use the printer went "Which way does headed paper go in?" "Face down bottom first". To my shame I said to her "That's how your mum likes it". She was so upset that she couldn't speak, and I think I made her cry.

There's a woman that I work with and she doesn't seem to like smutty jokes (or me) very much. The very first time I talked to her it was about project management and prioritization. She asked me hypothetically what I'd like to look back on and see that I'd done when I was 65. I maintain that this is a good joke, I said "a long string of beautiful women". She wasn't impressed.

More recently, since she was promoted far above me, she said to me "I can't believe I invited you to my meeting" and I said "I can't believe I came" and then added "That's what she said!" She didn't laugh. I did, however, nearly got a standing ovation from the rest of the office.

One of my proudest moments was last week when I was waiting at the printer. The same woman came up and asked "Can you find my little thing down there?" In a mind boggling fit of self control I said NOTHING and politely handed her her printout.

Richard "I had no trouble finding your mum's little thing" B

Tuesday 22 January 2013

Shared House

Since last week's column about my clothes moths there has been quite a lot of chat to the effect that normal households haven't had moth problems since Victorian times. Moths are still a real problem, specially if you have wool carpets, but my house has had some much more old-school infestations: Rats in the ceilings, rats in the compost bin, and weevils.

I was delighted when I found out what was scurrying about in the ceilings late at night because trying to sleep in my house in those days was really frightening, and uncannily similar to the beginning of "The Exorcist". The Weevil infestation was handled very easily by throwing away all the flour, rice and pasta and washing out the cupboards. Unfortunately I had already served a vegetarian lasagne which probably wasn't strictly vegetarian, or sanitary.

Richard "infestation" B

Wednesday 16 January 2013

Keep Calm and Carry On

Spiders terrify and repulse me, but I encourage them to live in my house and I protect their webs and nests. I encourage them because they are the only allies I have in my long battle with clothes moths. The spiders tirelessly catch, kill and eat the little pests whose babies are busy eating all my carpets and clothes.

I've got several mugs with the "keep calm and carry on" poster printed on them, my advice for living with moths unconsciously echoed that phrase, but it's less catchy. "Keep all you suits and cashmere jumpers in bags, accept that the carpets are fucked and carry on".

Richard "infestation" B

Tuesday 8 January 2013


I was reminded of a funny phone conversation from about a decade ago when I was in a very long distance relationship. Over the years I've tried to maintain relationships with women over various distances:

  • Living in the same house: Workable, but too close for comfort.
  • Chaddlewood to Saltash: Excellent
  • Chaddlewood to Southampton: Ideal
  • Chaddlewood to Guildford: Slightly too far
  • Chaddlewood to San Francisco: Too far.
The woman from San Francisco once rang me when I was in the bath. The ringing was very insistent and I eventually got out of the bath and went downstairs (undressed and dripping) to see who was on the phone. I made her wait while I quickly dried myself and put on pyjamas. I then said "That's better, I'm not wet and naked anymore" and without a beat of hesitation she said "That's the worst beginning to phone sex that I've ever heard". In fact she was ringing for help with a computer programming problem.

Richard "helpline" B

Friday 4 January 2013


A few snippets of conversation that made me laugh over the Christmas break.

  • My mum, who has a low tolerance for alcohol being cautioned not to drink as much as yesterday: "But yesterday I had a full glass, this is only a third of a glass." "And how many of those have you had?" "This is my third."
  • Professor Farnsworth from Futurama talking to an idiot: "Just being in the same genus as you makes it embarrassing to call myself homo."
  • One of my nieces, disgusted by some of my medical history: "Ewww. OVERSHARE!"
  • My other niece, with a hangover: "The sausage heals me." "What?" "Sausage is Jesus.... Backwards."
  • Friendly shop assistant: "But if you haven't got a TV what do you point the sofa at?"
  • My sister (I think): "You've missed 2013, it's nearly half past eight."
Richard "Susej" B