Monday, 26 October 2009

Industrial Slip ‘n’ Slide

It’s amazing how you forget things completely until something triggers it. I recently became friends with an old neighbor on Crackbook.

While most of my teenage years were spent on planing how I was going to skip the country, I spared the odd afternoon or 2 for the neighboring hood-rats. Between tearing around the streets on our bikes, tormenting each other with water booms and leaving a trail of destruction through the homes of the folk who were stupid enough to let us in, we also found time to peg a huge blue tarp to my front lawn and create an industrial sized Slip ‘n’ Slide. See the example below for actual size.

The Slip ‘n’ Slide kept us amused for most of the summer holidays one year. It started off tame. It was nothing but 3 kids taking it in turn to go down the tarp with the hose flowing behind us. Needless to say that got boring after the first hour. Phase two involved the resident four year olds, one of which was my brother. After we had convinced Kelton and little Chloe that it was completely safe and we would catch them at the bottom, they too started going down the tarp with smiles on their faces and the wind in their hair. We could convince these two to go down any which way we liked. They loved being included in our game for once so getting them to go down backwards on a body board without holding on was a piece of cake and didn't faze them in the slightest!

Now while this was fun, again it grew boring, so we entered phase 3. Soap yourself up with shampoo first for maximum speed. We three elder children tried it first and for quite some time this was the only entertainment we needed. Even our parents would come out and watch the spectacle of three kids, 2 of which were teenagers, throwing themselves down a hill at full speed covered head to toe in shampoo. Yes, it truly was as ridiculous as it sounds but boy was it fun! If you took a run up you would slide the whole the tarp, hit the grass and keep going. If you hit that tarp too fast, the only thing stopping you at the end of the grass was the gutter and then tarred road.

One afternoon we inevitably started to get tired of covering ourselves in shampoo. We needed a new game. I believe it was Harry who called, “Let’s race Kelton and Chloe!” Placing out bets on which small child would hit the now muddied grass first; we soaped them up and screamed “GO!” No words can describe what happened next. One minute there were smiles and laughter, the next the clouds came over. I don’t remember who won, all I remember is two screaming four year olds and three set of parents giving us the telling off of a life time.

Needless to say the tarp was banished to the garage and that was the end of that game. Bike ride anyone?

Thursday, 8 October 2009

Save a Polar Bear... Kill a bottle!

For the first time in my working days I have come across a passive-aggressive note in the office that I didn’t write. (I’m a little jealous they beat me too it.)

Wednesday, 7 October 2009

McDonalds Gets a B*tch-slap

Sometimes when I'm having a bad I just want to eat pancakes. Should you prevent me from eating such pancakes, be prepared for something along these lines:

Dear Mr. McDonalds,

This morning I visited your store on London Wall. I ordered Pancakes with Syrup. I’m used waiting a little while for pancakes as I know these are prepared fresh. For some reason this morning, I had to wait over 10mins for my order.

When my order finally arrived, the pancakes where rock hard and stone cold. I checked inside my brownbag to find I had been given no butter and no syrup. Just pancakes with a knife and folk. When I asked for some butter and syrup, the cashier handed me butter and told me they had run out of Syrup! I was not informed of this before I paid and was made to wait 10minutes. I find it bemusing that I can be sold Pancakes with Syrup and yet somehow end up with only pancakes. The cashier then said she would get someone to go check if they had any in stock. How you can have breakfast on but have no syrup close to hand is beyond me.

If the Pancakes weren't already cold enough, they were uneatable by the time someone fetched the syrup from 'down stairs'.

The service level was appalling, the wait time was extremely unsatisfactory and the level of food I was given was nothing short of disgusting. I have not only wasted my time but also over £2 on food that I had to throw away.

I look forward to your timely response.

(5 days later, I get this responce)

Dear Miss Lawrence

Thank you for contacting us about your visit to the London Wall restaurant.

I was very sorry to learn of the series of events that you experienced on this occasion and from your comments I can fully understand your disappointment and dissatisfaction felt at the time. Please accept my sincere apologies.

As a company we aim to provide 100% customer satisfaction and high standards of quality, service and cleanliness at all times. I regret this has not been your experience.

Your comments are taken seriously by us and have been passed to the management team at London Wall. The details of your complaint will be used as part of their assessment of the restaurant's performance and procedures. These ongoing reviews help to identify any areas
needing improvement within the restaurant.

You are clearly a regular and loyal customer and we thank you for your custom.

To make amends for your spoilt visit I have sent a voucher to put towards a future meal with our compliments. I trust this is well received. (£5!!)

Again, thank you for taking the time and trouble to contact us.


Friday, 2 October 2009

Big Trouble in Little China

Wow, I don’t quite know where to start with this article. Are things that bad in China that the little people need to band together and set up their own munchkin village?

You can just imagine it. A little man dressed in Town Crier gear, standing on a cereal box laboriously swinging a dinner bell and screaming, “Little people of China unite! Let us live together in our own village. We can reside in Mushrooms, dress up in Fairytale costumes and show those big people we’re no laughing matter!”

Kunming, a bit like Smurf Village or Munchkinland is completely self sufficient. Constantly on guard from giant lizards (mainly the blue tongue and gecko) and other large threats, the residents felt the need to protect and serve their community. The residents have taken advantage of state of the art equipment designed for size appropriate training.
The 120 residents have been able to train and build their own police force and fire brigade to fight off these predators. Understandably, the cost of this was large and to help compensate their efforts the state kindly donates size appropriate vehicles.

Currently the Kunming legal system is working closely with Storyland. One of Storyland’s most wanted criminals made her way over to Kunming to try and avoid capture. Little Miss Muffet, know for her break and enter attempts is now being held in the Kunming state prison and awaits extradition.

It seems that while the world mocks the compound (their words not mine) the residents are very happy with what they have achieved.

Thursday, 1 October 2009

The Awkward Pick-up

I’m sure most ladies out there have experienced the awkward pick up. Some random bloke does something strange or odd to get your attention and then when he thinks he has it he goes in for the kill… only to make the situation more awkward.

I’ve experienced two awkward pick-up attempts in the past couple of weeks. The first happened as Justin and I were walking up to the Wine Warehouse to bulk buy ‘the good shit.’ I was in a strop because I had run out of leave-in-conditioner and my hair was going fluffy. Justin tried to sooth my mood by telling me, “It doesn’t look that bad, fluffy is making a come back!” So now I was really angry. As we walked down the road I stormed a few paces ahead of him. I got to the corner of the T-intersection and there was a wanker in a zupped up car driving down the road with music blearing. Usually I ignore such twits but seeing as I was an angry little munchkin with bad hair. I glared my beady eyes straight into his as he got closer. I stood at the corner waiting for him to turn. He stopped and motioned for me to cross. So I did. I was now on one side of the road and Justin was on the other. The Twit turned the corner and hooted at me. I looked up and he smiled as he slowed down and pulled the car along side of the sidewalk. Needless to say that due to my mood I didn’t smile back. I had 2 words to say to him. One began with F and the other began with O. before I had a chance to say either word, Justin had caught up, put his arm over my shoulder and puffed out his chest like an over protective bird. Queue awkward moment. Me being me, I laughed my little ass off as the twit face drove off in a huff.

The second awkward pick-up moment happened yesterday on the Tube coming back to the office after lunch. I was approached by man on crutches. I felt sorry for him so I offered him my seat. He shook his head and proceeded to muster up the creepiest grin I have ever seen. While smiling this creepy-ass grin he balanced on one crutch while he fumbled around in his back pocket. His eyes lit up as he pulled out a business card. Now this isn’t the first time I’ve been given a business card. Usually you just smile and politely walk away. When you’re on the tube these situations are a bit more awkward. I smiled and politely took his card.
He nodded, “So, are you going to give me your name?”
“My mum always told me not to talk to strangers,” Unless they are incredibly good looking or handing out free-bees on the street.
“Cute. You know my name and number. What’s yours?”
When ever I’m asked my name by someone who is a freak I always respond with, “Mary.”
Thankfully the train pulled into my station. I quickly got up and politely smiled my good byes. As I made my exit, he did this strange squinty blink thing. I can only assume that was supposed to be a wink and I can only assume this was meant to lure me into calling him. It wasn’t and it didn’t.

As I walked from the station, I dropped his business card in the, ‘Mailing Box’ container inside a pub door. Someone will be calling him… but it won’t be me!