Tuesday 30 April 2013

Cyrano de Saltash

Sometimes my life is like a poor parody of Cyrano de Bergerac. In the real play Christian is handsome but tongue-tied and he loves the beautiful Roxanne. Cyrano is charming and eloquent but is ugly and has a very big nose. In the scene that everybody can remember Cyrano hides under a balcony and prompts Christian as he woos Roxanne.

In my version I'm shy talking to woman and have the big nose, Cyrano de Saltash is a beautiful woman. Some years ago at band practice I asked for help text-flirting with a woman I'd met. Cyrano took my phone and sent several messages pretending to be me. I still don't know what they said but I must have been charming and persuasive because the next time we met we were in bed together within an hour. (it was monstrous)

A few weeks ago I got talking to a woman from Helston. She eventually texted me and I asked Cyrano for help formulating my reply. I ended up as nothing more than a text message proxy service where I would forward text from Helston towards Cyrano, and then rephrase her replies in my own words and send them back to Helston. The system performance was poor with some replies taking up to a couple of hours. Worse, I couldn't tell which messages were intended for me, and which were intended to be forwarded on to Helston. (In the end it petered out)

Richard “in-band signalling” B

Tuesday 23 April 2013


According to my brother, most sets of directions given in Norfolk use movable objects and landmarks that no longer exist. (It's opposite where the post-office used to be, there's usually a minibus on the driveway, etc.) I found it hard to believe, but a man directing us to a curry house told us to turn right where the co-op used to be.

During my holiday we met a curatorial volunteer in the fine art section of Norwich museum. She showed us some paintings that my family had given to the museum. My brother tried to explain to her where the artists' graves were but insisted on starting from a landmark that no longer existed. "Do you know where Godfrey's DIY used to be?" he said.  She didn't, but she said she knew where Woolworths used to be.

Later in our visit to the museum the assistant couldn't find one of the store rooms with the oil paintings. It was in the natural history section, and was supposed to be next to the "bat case". She eventually gave up and asked one of the stewards how to find it. It turns out that the bat case no longer contains any bats, but it still used to describe where to find things.

Richard "turn left at the black cat" B

Tuesday 16 April 2013

Single II

I told yet another story this week that made somebody ask "Do you think that's why you're single?". My older brothers and sister were christened, but I never was. When I was going out with the beautiful broody girl (pictured in last week's blog) she mentioned that she wanted a big white wedding in a church. What I heard her say was that she wanted an expensive and hard-to-organise day where we forced all our friends to sit on uncomfortable benches while we stumbled through a religious ceremony that we didn't believe in.

The girl was vey trusting. When she said that she wanted to get married in a church I jokingly said that I'd never been christened and I couldn't set foot in a church. She believed me completely and was bitterly disappointed. It's a credit to the woman that she didn't demand that I start going to church, or trade me in for someone who could. Instead she gave up all her hopes for a wedding day that she'd been dreaming of since she was a little girl.

Richard "I phoned a girl, she hung up when she realised who I was" B

Tuesday 9 April 2013


In the last few weeks a couple of stories have made people ask “Do you think that’s why you’re single?” I don’t, but I include them here so you can make your own minds up.

There is an old joke amongst technical support staff where people would be issued reference number “ID ten T”. If anybody rings up and quotes “ID ten T” you know that the real problem is that they’re an idiot (or ID10T). When I lived with a woman I put up a washing line that was a big loop of line running between two pulleys. The loop could only go round half of the circuit because the tensioner wouldn’t fit through the pulleys. One Sunday morning over a lazy breakfast in bed the woman mentioned that she’d only been able to hang clothes on the first half of the washing line before she got to the end. What I should probably have said was “You’ve got to push it back to the beginning before you start.” What I actually said was “I’ll issue you with a fault ID in case you need to contact me again about this same problem. Just write down fault ID ten T”.

Many years earlier my boss and I noticed that my girlfriend (a different one) was getting very broody. We decided to administer a course of aversion therapy. Whenever one was available we’d hand her a baby and then pinch her. In this photo you can see a glowing new mum (at the far end) and nearer to us, a beautiful young woman who’s just about to get pinched.

I can’t really say how effective the aversion therapy was, but we certainly never had a baby together.

Richard “do you think that’s why you’re single?” B

Tuesday 2 April 2013


On bank holiday Monday I had a road trip to Redruth where I did sound engineering work for an Oasis tribute band. When I got home I had to attend to various bits of band administration by text. I found this exchange funny (and slightly racist):

ME: blah blah blah band admin blah blah blah. Ps I think I've got a date in helston. RJB
GIRL SINGER: U are supposed to b sorting out the sound not chatting girls with webbed feet up
ME: Seemingly I can do both at the same time - just not very well. RJB
GIRL SINGER: Does she have a tail aswell
ME: Piss off, she's a very good looking woman. Works as a fitness instructor. Probably out of my league once she's sober. RJB

[the next day, after I'd been sent a detailed and slightly disturbing pdf about human tails]
GIRL SINGER: Check ur work email
ME: I have. You're a bitch. I replied and said I hope I get the chance to check for a tail.
GIRL SINGER: U know im only teasing u. But seriously do check as she is cornish lol
GIRL SINGER: Well wen u meet up for gods sake dont mention ur ex girlfriends
ME: Or you apparently. Being matey with a good looking booby blonde woman who can sing didn't do me any favours with Wxxxx the second time round. RJB
GIRL SINGER: Any woman worth their salt shouldn't be threatened by an elderly woman whos ready for the scrap heap. Also dont mention ur taking Sxxxx as ur +1 to a weddin next month either
ME: Maybe I'll have to take webbed feet and tail INSTEAD of Sxxxx! Don't worry about that Jxxxx was very clear that I wasn't allowed a girlfriend until after he was married. RJB

Richard "fingers crossed" B