Interesting Top Ten Lists

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Top Ten Forms of Procrastination

In Procrastination, Top Ten on February 18, 2012 at 10:22 am

Top Ten Forms of Procrastination

  1. Watching Jeremy Kyle re-runs. I’m working from home for the day, and I CAN do this.  I sit down for breakfast and flick on the telly for ten minutes.  Max.  So imagine my dismay when, at some point mid-afternoon, I find myself nestled into a goodly depression in the sofa, having spent a number of hours inanely catching flies in front of twelve consecutive Jeremy Kyles.   And as I watch I realise I’ve seen this one before.  I know full well that Sammi-Jo is lying through her teeth and Romeo is not the father, but still I feel it necessary to gape open mouthed, perched on the edge of my seat, captivated.  Perhaps it’s the suspense in the studio, Jeremy fumbling with the oversized envelope, Big Will poised on standby.  But something makes me think that – oh God, I don’t know – maybe this time it will be different.  Maybe Romeo is the biological father of little Shanice.

But Shanice’s fate, trapped in a pixelated continuum, is fixed and unchanging.  Unlike my employment status.

  1. Reading About and Judging ‘Celebrities’.Oh Daily Mail Online, how I relish your uncomplicated lure as deadline day looms.  I’m sat at my desk, fresh mug of coffee to my left, all relevant material fanned before me.  I have a press release to compose and distribute for a fairly important client and I must begin right away.  I’m ready to go.  But what’s that you say? Katie Price dons unsavoury leggings and crop-top combo for a night on the town?  Kerry Katona dumped again?  OH GOD, HOW YOU HAVE FORSAKEN ME.  Rich with the misfortune of irrelevant celebrities, afternoons are sacrificed mercilessly at the hands of tabloid journalism.
  1. Watching My Twitter Feed.There is nothing more time consuming than keeping up with one’s Twitter feed.  When following a wealth of fascinating characters, reality TV stars, organisations, and Lord Voldemort, there is simply too much enjoyment to be extracted from observing in no more than 140 delightful characters, the intricacies of others’ existence.

So. Much. Irrelevant. Information. To. Process.

  1. Having a Bath.Ahh bath-time, an excuse so rich in plausibility.  For cleanliness is essential.  And of course if I’m drawing a bath anyway I might as well go the whole hog and get the bubble bath out.  I won’t be showering later tonight if I bathe now, so I’d better wash my hair too.  And where are those candles…

But alas! You cannot take a laptop in the bath.

Now if you’ll excuse me, I’ve left the taps running…

  1. Eating. Woe betide my 30-year-old self.  Merely informed guesswork, but I doubt spending my 20s shovelling any form of edible matter in the general direction of my face every time I find myself approaching an important deadline will bode well for my figure in the long-term.
  1. Fine-Tuning My Blog / Fixing the Stats.Continually refreshing my own blog page in a vain attempt to up the stats.
  1.  Rayman.A classic tool for procrastination, this PS1 favourite never fails to sufficiently distract when I find myself with a project of considerable weight hanging over me.  How, I ask, could I concentrate on a task so trivial as paid employment when the Great Protoon is at the mercy of Mister Dark, thus compromising the future of Rayman’s world?

To the Cave of Skops!

  1. Researching Old Flames On Wikipedia.And by ‘old flame’ I don’t mean ex-boyfriends.  No, no.  I am referring to past celebrity crushes. You know, Zac from Hanson, Aaron Carter, Adam Rickitt of Corrie fame. Though their heyday may be over, I often find my old favourites have crafted delightful new paths for themselves. Whilst Hanson are still very much alive and Mmm Boppin’, and Aaron Carter powers on in the eternal shadow of his elder brother Nick, Adam Rickitt has enjoyed a rather more colourful destiny.  Though currently starring in New Zealand soap opera ‘Shortland Street’, Rickett still holds dear an ambition of a career in politics, even once threatening to overturn Nicholas Winterton as Conservative MP for Macclesfield.  Big dreams.

And obviously, having this information is of paramount importance.  Knowledge is power, after all.

  1. Physical Exercise. A last resort, granted.  But when Jeremy Kyle finishes and the kitchen is bare, I can think of nothing with more tremendous benefit than slipping into some quite questionable sportswear and heading off on a light jog.  Slash walk.
  1. Writing Lists of all the Things I Should Be Doing Rather than Procrastinating.Or, indeed, a list of my top ten forms of procrastination.

by Laura Moulden

Laura is a 23-year old wine enthusiast from Blackburn. Currently residing in Manchester and quite dangerously self-employed, writing is her passion and procrastination her talent. Can often be caught early in the morning drinking coffee and reading magazines. If spending an unjustifiable amount of time on less important tasks didn’t get in the way, she would most certainly give more time to her blog: http://www.lauraem.blogspot.com/.

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Top 10 things I would’ve invented if someone else hadn’t beaten me to it

In Inventions, skills, Top Ten on February 14, 2012 at 3:24 pm

There’s an old saying/lie that goes something like ‘everyone has a novel in them’ but I reckon we all have at least one invention that would make life better/easier/more enjoyable for all. Here’s ten I would’ve invented if someone hadn’t beaten me to it.

1 – Pockets: Did you know that pockets that were first thought of by a Roman, Julius Pocketus? He would hang the cloth pockets from his toga and keep useful items in them like small change and the keys to his chariot. However, in Roman times, coinage was made from very heavy metal and chariot keys carved from granite, so Julius’ toga was often falling down, so pockets never caught on. The modern idea of a pocket as being an integral part of a garment was resurrected by forward-thinking tailor, Robert ‘Bob’ Farah, as he wanted somewhere to store a comb and his wallet while out of an evening and really didn’t want to be seen carrying a bag.

2 – Toast: With the addition of butter, bread is pretty awesome on its own. However, if you add a little bit of heat to the sliced bread and you’ve got perhaps the greatest, simplest meal you can make. In fact, The addition of a nice cup of tea to this makes a food/drink combination that is without equal.

3 – The internet: It would’ve taken me a while but I would’ve invented the internet if Sir Tim Berners-Lee hadn’t beaten me to, but I’m not one to complain so hats off to Sir Tim. The internet is a the first modern wonder of the digital age and has brought all manner of delights from across the world to your internet-connected device. The £10 a month I spend on Spotify is easily the best value tenner I spend a month and Skype is a godsend for keeping in touch with family all around the world. Also, Berners-Lee is a nice bit of rhyming slang for a cup of tea.

4 – The right to roam: In his fabulous folk song, The Manchester Rambler, Ewan MacColl wrote that ‘no man has the right to own mountains’ and he was right. If people hadn’t have trespassed up Kinder Scout a while back, I’d climbing over walls instead of stiles now.

5 – Central heating: Though it’s probably the root cause of global warming, central heating is the bees knees. It’s so great to have that you only really notice it now when you visit somewhere that doesn’t have central heating, like New Zealand. New Zealand is a lovely country which can get quite cold in the winter. But instead of having central heating and insulation they use warm air heaters and electric blankets. This means you end up being in a house that has heat, not a warm house. Also, your washing never dries! I might move to New Zealand and introduce central heating and claim it is my invention.

6 – Family and friends: I really don’t like to think about this because it’s too big for my little brain to ponder for too long. But be safe in the knowledge that If family and friends hadn’t already been invented, I would’ve saved you from an awful life of constant loneliness.

7 – Recycling: Whoever thought that putting rubbish in a big whole in the ground was an idiot: “We’ll just dig a hole and throw our rubbish in it.”
“But won’t it fill up eventually?”
“Nah, it’ll be alright.”
What a doofus. Well done to the person that invented recycling. I’m glad you beat me to it.

8 – Spoonerisms: I don’t come up with these in my everyday speech, I just like the way they sound and subvert the original phrase, like a lack of pies, or a sock cucker. Well done on your early invention Reverend William Archibald Spooner, I’m glad it’s named after you because Gowism doesn’t flow all that well.

9 – Fresh sheets: You can be skint, down in the dumps, dumped, hungover, dog tired or just want to treat yourself on a Sunday evening;  and what is the simplest most effective way of giving yourself a touch of luxury? Putting clean, fresh sheets on your bed and sliding under the duvet. No rogue hairs, no PJs under the pillow, no leftover hot water bottle, and certainly no crumbs. Just you and the cotton. Or, if you’re posh, silk. If fresh sheets weren’t with us I’d have invented both washing powder and washing machines just to make this happen.

10 – The Dictionary: Full of words you’ll never need to know and words you’ll never know how to spell, no matter how often you look them up. The only place that liminology and limousine can sit comfortably side-by-side. For those who like lists (and if you’re reading this site then I guess that includes you), the dictionary is the ultimate list. Bow down and accept, that no matter how good your one invention is, it is never, ever, ever, going to come close to the dictionary.

by Aaron Gow

Like most ‘aspiring’ writers, Aaron writes guff like this all the time sporadically. If you want to read it then check out his blog.

Top Ten Movie Moments I wish had happened to me

In Movies, Top Ten on February 9, 2012 at 11:24 am

As Marina Diamandis, of Marina and the Diamonds fame, put it: ‘Hollywood infected your brain / You wanted kissing in the rain / Living in a movie scene / Puking American Dreams’. Well yes Marina you’re right, I did/am (you have only a fleeting grasp of staying in tense it seems). There is a scene in almost every film I watch where I sit in front of the TV or cinema screen thinking: ‘That could be me…’ Here are ten of my favourite ‘I wish that had happened to me’ moments.

10 – Sugar High, Empire Records

I can’t sing and although I’ve tried everything from the recorder to electric guitar I can’t play any instruments either. Despite this I harbour secret ambitions to be in a band, much like Ms Zellweger’s character Gina in Empire Records. As chance would have it, only a few short hours after confessing this desire to her friends Gina finds herself on top of a record store with a full band being asked to sing (if you can call it that). The song is perfect, shouty enough to cover any dodgy vocals and bouncy enough to accommodate nervous jumping about. Perhaps now I have sent my dream out into cyberspace I too will be called upon to sing Sugar High on top of a shop? Maybe not. I’d probably just forget the words and bounce myself right off the roof.

9 –House Fight, Mr and Mrs Smith

If I found myself in a fight to the death scenario in my kitchen I would like it to be with Brad Pitt. I would also like to know that I was a world class assassin with a huge arsenal of weapons at my disposal and enough money to rebuild the kitchen after we’ve finished blowing massive holes in it.

8 – Diamonds Are a Girl’s Best Friend, Moulin Rouge

I once spent a summer attending Circus School and learning how to perform tricks on a trapeze. No, really. I came home after every lesson with hideously bruised arms and rope burned thighs. Not so for Nicole Kidman in Moulin Rouge. She gets to sit pretty on a giant trapeze, singing a song about being showered with jewels, as she is lowered into a crowd of happy revellers. When I fell off the trapeze I landed on a blue gym mat and got shouted at by a scary woman from Latvia. When Satine falls off she is caught by a muscled man and gently borne away to her dressing room. Yes she’s dying, but she looks beautiful doing it.

7 – Learning to Fly, How to Train Your Dragon

Okay, so it’s an animation and he’s a small Viking boy, but he has a pet dragon. Any sort of pet that breathes fire and doubles as free transportation is a winner with me. I always wanted to have a dog big enough to ride around on when I was little. I used to try and saddle up the cat, but you know cats, selfish little bastards.

6 – Blowing Up the Old Bailey, V For Vendetta

Should I ever have call to need saving in a dark alleyway, it would be a huge bonus if it happened to be by a highly articulate, masked man with a coat full of knives and a predilection for pyromania. Viva La Revolution!

5 – Telekinetic Dancing, Matilda

Wouldn’t it be great to be telekinetic? I became mildly obsessed by the concept after reading Matilda when I was in Primary School. I wasted many an hour staring hard at inanimate objects in my bedroom and trying to move them using only the power of my mind. Like Matilda in this scene I imagine that if I’d ever achieved it, a large portion of my childhood would have been spent dancing to 1950’s Rock and Roll whilst making my mum’s ornaments whizz around above my head.

4 – Dance Magic Dance, Labyrinth

Did I want to be the beautiful girl fulfilling an important quest to save her baby brother from a terrible fate? No. I wanted to be one of the little goblins dancing around with David Bowie. I was either very cool or very disturbed. I’m betting on the latter.

3 – The First Fight, Sucker Punch

Okay, I’ll admit that this is a bit of an odd one. Obviously I’m not wishing for an evil step-father to send me to an insane asylum for a lobotomy. But, if that did happen then I would like to discover that I am in fact a hardcore, kick-ass, heroine type. As someone who spends their days creating fictional literary worlds, it would be nice to think that should I fall into a reality filled with abuse and torture that I could just magic up a new world in which I could overcome any foe without breaking a sweat or ruffling my hair.

2 – Ferris Wheel, The Notebook

Noah is so desperate for a date with Allie, a girl he has met for two seconds five minutes earlier, that he throws himself onto a moving Ferris Wheel to talk to her. The closest I’ve ever come to this sort of grand gesture is a drunken phone call in the early hours of the morning from a boy who’d got my phone number from a friend. Hardly comparable. What I really love about this scene though is that Allie unfastens his trousers and leaves him hanging there in his grimy pants for all the town to see. That girl has enough self-confidence to power the Large Hadron Collider.

1 – Kissing in the Rain, Breakfast at Tiffany’s

What woman doesn’t want to brand herself a free spirit, capriciously reject the love of a beautiful man and throw her cat out of a taxi, only to change her mind upon the production of an engagement ring and have everything turn out just fine? She even found the cat. In my world Cat would be long gone, Paul would have met a supermodel the second he stepped out of the cab and my make-up would have run down my face in the rain. Some girls have all the luck.

by Jordana Hill

Jordana Hill is currently studying for an MA in Creative Writing at The University of Manchester and working on her first novel. She tweets nonsense at @jordana_hill

Top Ten Pathetic Injuries

In Injuries, Top Ten on February 4, 2012 at 8:44 am

A good friend of mine recently broke her foot. We went out for lunch and while she was hobbling about on crutches, well-meaning passers by stopped her to ask how she had done it. She was able to reply with a slightly smug “Well, I was running cross country…”

I have never ran a race in my life, cross country or otherwise. I am, however, horribly prone to pathetic accidents. Here are my top ten injuries, accompanied by the embarrassing stories of their causes.

10 – The Time I Was Given A Black Eye By A Pizza Box

We are in the kitchen of a student halls. It is very late (or very early, depending on perspective). There is a fairly large group of us sat around the table. We are discussing the ‘hijinks’ of the evening, and prolonging actually having to go to bed. Earlier in the evening, someone had ordered pizza and the empty box still sits on the table. A friend of mine, expressing discomfort at the state of the kitchen, picks up the pizza box and frisbees it. A corner comes into direct contact with my eye. It is surprisingly painful.

9 – The Time I Burnt My Wrist During An Argument

We are, again, in a kitchen. This time it’s the kitchen of a Glaswegian tenement flat and there are only two of us. We are arguing about something we won’t remember later, and I, to show my greater maturity, turn my attention to the dinner in the oven. Halfway through removing the dinner, I turn my attention back to the argument and as a result my wrist comes into prolonged contact with the baking tray. And THAT was YOUR fault!

8 – The Time I Fell Off A Bike Into A Log And Ended Up With Two Black Eyes

We are in the highlands of Scotland, on bikes, in an organised group. I am a grumpy teenager and do not like bikes, or organised groups. It has been raining. The rest of the group cycle gracefully down a slight grassy slope and around the corner. I follow and am thrown off my bike and face first into a log fence while my bike goes gracefully around the corner. I am known as “bruiser” for the rest of the holiday.

7 – The Time I Poured Water From The Kettle On to My Hand

We are chatting while I make a cup of tea. The kettle clicks itself off and I pick it up without pausing the conversation. I miss the mug and instead pour boiling water directly onto my other hand. It has to be wrapped by a doctor. A day later we move house. Bizarrely, I am given the responsibility of making hot drinks for the builders.

6 – The Time I Was Bitten On The Shoulder By A Toddler

We are in a bathroom, in the Alps, in France. I am an au pair and bath time is nearly over. The little girl in the bath stands up and holds up her arms. I lift her. Halfway through the lift, for no discernible reason, the little girl sinks her teeth deep into my shoulder. She breaks the skin and leaves a nasty purple scar. I do not know the French word for ‘bite’.

5 – The Time I Dropped A Knife On My Foot

We are in the kitchen, chopping fruit for a smoothie. I drop the only sharp knife we have and it falls, point down, onto my foot. I pick up the knife and think I have been lucky. I continue with the smoothie making until I realise my sock is wet. I take off my sock and find a lot of blood. I nearly faint.

4 – The Time I Crushed The End of My Finger In A Patio Door

We are late for school and I am outside feeding the guinea pigs. I rush back in and slam the heavy patio door. The door is shut and all is well until I realise my finger is in the hinge. I have to open the door again to get my crushed finger out. We go to A&E and I miss a school trip to the Safety Zone.

3 – The Time I Broke My Wrist Running Down A Slope

We are in the Czech Republic, in a tent, on holiday. We are bored. I throw a football down a neighbouring slope and tell my brother to run after it. He does. He returns and throws the football down again. This time, I run after it. Halfway down, my foot catches and I fall, wrist first, onto the concrete at the bottom. My wrist swells to three times its normal size and we visit Czech A&E.

2 – The Time I Broke My Wrist Tripping Over My Skipping Rope

We are in the playground, in summer. I am annoyed at my five-year-old playmates so I commence a violent circuit of run skipping around the playground. When I reach the snakes and ladders floor mural, I trip over my skipping rope and land on my wrist. I do not complain for a week. It is later confirmed that my wrist is broken.

1 – The Time I Broke My Collarbone Having a Piggyback

We have been out celebrating a friend’s birthday. I have a new boyfriend and new shoes. One of them is hurting my feet, so I ask the other to give me a piggyback. For thirty seconds this is successful, but then I start to slip. Someone in the group gives me a powerful ‘boost’. I fall over the top of the new boyfriend’s shoulders and my collarbone hits the pavement. After meeting me at A&E, my mother forbids me from piggybacks for life.

by Katie Anderson
Katie Anderson is currently studying for an MA in Creative Writing at the University of Manchester. She blogs at www.katieandersonwriter.com and tweets a lot @KtAndersonBlogs. Later this year, she will be getting married to a man in a skirt. (Sorry, kilt).

Top Ten stupid things I’ve done while drunk

In Injuries, Terrible Things, Top Ten on February 1, 2012 at 7:57 am

Being a thirty year old man with a slightly obsessive personality means that I have got drunk a lot in my life. Being someone who used to study Performing Arts before spending years as a wannabe writer means that I’ve done a lot of silly things while being drunk. I am certainly not proud of all of them, but some of them are kind of interesting. Maybe. I don’t know, that’s for you to decide, I guess. I have listed them in no particular order, apart from number one, which is probably the stupidest.

10) The Time I Got My Friend To Stub Cigarettes Out On My Hand. 

You know what it’s like. You’re a guy, you get to a certain age, you realise you don’t have any scars (which, for some reason, in your drunken state, you feel is a bad thing), you ask a mischievous friend to stub cigarettes out on the back of your hand. Cue pain, massive blisters that last for 2-3 weeks and you telling everyone that you did it on a grill, because when sober you realise that actually, that was a really dumb thing to do. AND you can only see the scars if you really look for them, so it didn’t even work on a “Hey, ladies, look at my sexy scars,” level, which, let’s face it, it wouldn’t have anyway.

9) The Time I Threw My Phone Onto The Top Of A Building. 

At the time, it felt really good. I was pissed off with some friends and so stormed off out of the pub I was in and went to meet some work mates in a club. I was getting texts from the people I’d left asking me to come back, was I okay, etc etc, as you would if your friend just left in a huff. My reaction to this was to throw my phone on top of the club I met my work mates in. Not turn it off, not ignore it, not any of those rational things, no. I flung it as far as I could.

Which was fine for a few days, until I needed a phone again and had to buy a new one. I hate phone shops, although when I told the phone shop assistant why I had thrown my phone on the roof of a building (yeah, I don’t know why I told her either), she said she would’ve thrown the phone at her mate’s head. At least I didn’t do that.

8) The Time I Did Tequila Slammers “Rich Style.” 

I used to work with a guy called Rich who was from New Zealand. One time when we went out drinking, he bought us tequila slammers. I licked my hand in preparation for the salt. “Oh, no mate, we’re not doing them like that. We’re gonna do these how I do them back home.” Rich started to pour salt onto the bar and separate it into lines. “Right. Now, what you’ve gotta do is snort the salt, then you take the lemon and squirt it into your eyes, then you’ve gotta find your tequila and down it.”

If it sounds like it would hurt, that’s because IT REALLY FUCKING HURTS.

Rich and his friends “Back home” are clearly masochists of the highest order.

Possibly the stupidest thing about this though, is that even after I had done it and knew how bad it was, I managed to get talked into doing it a second time.

Seriously, it’s like the drinking equivalent of medieval torture. It’s the second closest I’ve come to a near death experience in a single drink.

Yes, the second, because the first goes to…

7) The Time I Drank Petrol. 

Now, to be fair this was a total accident and kind of not my fault. Well, okay, it was totally my fault, but it was an accident.

My girlfriend at the time had a car and for some reason we had got her Jerry Can out of the boot. It was empty, so I pretended to be a tramp drinking petrol. As I made a comedy drinking sound, swung my head and the Jerry Can back, a rather large trickle of petrol went into my mouth and straight down my throat.

Drinking petrol is a very odd sensation. It sort of burns, but I remember that fading relatively quickly. No, the real thing that fucks you up with petrol is how it feels. You know how when you drink a neat shot of something really strong, and you sort of feel like you want to cough out the lining of your mouth and throat for a couple to a few seconds? Imagine that feeling, but in your oesophagus and stomach, and imagine it lasting for a couple of hours. It makes you feel VERY odd, and you can feel it in your stomach. It’s pretty uncomfortable.

I probably shouldn’t have carried on drinking after that. That was the night I stole my friends bike and nearly got hit by a car because I hadn’t turned the lights on, then returned to the party in full “Apocalypse Now” mode, saying the Vietcong were in the trees and they were going to kill us.

The hangover was hideous.

Anyone thinking of drinking petrol, DON’T. SERIOUSLY. IT WILL FUCK YOU UP.

6) The Time I Wrote All Over My Body In Permanent Marker. 

Not a massive amount to explain about this one really. I got drunk, took my clothes off, and covered myself in permanent marker scrawls. Which didn’t wash off properly for days. So for the best part of a week I had things like “Feel my taste!”, “The man of atlantis!” and “Ask me for the shoes!” on me. I know it’s not much compared to the others on this list, but it was one of the longest lasting things I have done while drunk, and it was pretty dumb.

Also, the two friends I was with that night were also involved in…

5) The Time I Made My (Then) Girlfriend Think I Was About To Have A Threesome With Two Of My Best Friends. 

Yeeeeeeeeah, this was certainly not the cleverest thing I’ve ever done.

See, me and my friends Bonnie & Clyde (okay, that’s not their real names) went through this phase when we were all free and single of going round to Bonnie’s place, getting really drunk, and taking our clothes off. There was nothing sexual about it at all, we just liked being drunk and naked. On the night in question, we hadn’t done this for years.

After a boozy night out, Bonnie, Clyde, Bardot (my then girlfriend, also not her real name) and myself all went back to Bonnie’s to carry on drinking. Bardot and me were planning to stay the night there, and when Bardot went to bed, old habits came back and the remaining three of us got naked.

Then Bardot walked in, as it turns out she hadn’t gone to bed, just to the toilet.

She walked in to find the three of us naked in Bonnie’s bedroom. What else was she going to think was happening?

I’ll spare you the grizzly details, but amazingly Bardot was still my girlfriend for about a year after that.

4) The Time I Fell Asleep On The Pavement Opposite My Flat. 

I’d been at a party until about four in the morning. Apparently I got very annoyed about something and started shouting a lot saying things like “Say goodbye to my cock!” I don’t remember this. I do remember phoning several people and leaving a variety of voicemails while I was walking home. Then I remember being woken up by a guy asking me if I was alright. I had at some point decided to lie down on the pavement on the other side of the road from my flat and had fallen asleep (why I couldn’t wait til I made the few extra steps inside and to my bed, I don’t know).

First thing I did was check my pockets. Astonishingly, I still had everything. Except for my keys. It was well gone five in the morning now, and I didn’t want to wake my Mum up, so I went to the park we live near and fell asleep on one of the benches. Mmmm, trampy.

I woke up again at just gone seven, absolutely freezing, realising that I should probably get at least a couple of hours in my bed, as I’m pretty sure turning up to work after sleeping rough is a bit of a faux pas. I decided that I had to go back and wake Mum up anyway. As I walked up the street to my flat, I found that my keys were on the pavement where I had been sleeping when that guy woke me up.

I felt really stupid, but also very lucky. And yes, work was pretty awful, but it wasn’t as bad as…

3) The Time I Started Taking Ecstasy At About 1.30am When I Had Work At 10. 

As bad ideas go, this is right up there with, oh, I don’t know, drinking petrol or something. Of course, at the time it felt great and made total sense. I was out for a mates Birthday, the night was still in full swing, yadda yadda yadda, all good fun.

Until the next day. You know how it feels when you’re at work and you have a really bad hangover? Imagine that times, I dunno, A THOUSAND, MAYBE? Working while coming down is one of the worst feelings ever. Oh, and I work in a shop, so there’s nowhere to hide. I had to deal with people all day while feeling like my body was being pulped and reformed into toilet roll or something.

I spent the next two days in bed. I felt hideous.

(It was kind of worth it though. That was a good night.)

2) The Time I Made One Of My Best Friends Think I Was In Love With Them When I’m Not. 

There isn’t really an amusing story with this one, I’m afraid. It was just a case of “I’m really drunk and can’t get my words out right,” which meant that a text which was meant to say, “I’m really pissed off with you for various reasons,” ended up coming across sounding more like I was professing some sort of long held longing for them. It’s strange how the odd word here and there can completely change the meaning of something. I’m still not sure they believe that I’m not in love with them.

1) My 27th Birthday.

My Birthday is in late March, the 27th in fact. Having a Birthday in late March sucks. It sucks because every fucker has a Birthday in March, coz all our parents got down to too much Summer lovin’. Bastards. Anyway, by the time my Birthday rolls around, everyone’s usually Birthdayed out, coupled with the fact that the 27th is usually just before people get paid. This combination of factors almost always leads to a quiet Birthday.

My 27th was different though. EVERYONE came out. It was amazing. I wasn’t used to this, and so got very carried away. I pretty much constantly had three drinks on the go because everyone was buying them for me.

This resulted in a great night, that ended a little… Well, a bunch of us ended up at my then girlfriend’s house (no, not the same one as the petrol and threesome incidents), to continue the fun. Well, I say fun, I mean I was talking to Audrey (again, not real name), not making any sense and then I blacked out and fell face first into her bedroom door. When I came to, I took off all my clothes and started chasing everyone around the house like some sort of alcoholic Benny Hill or something. Then I went to the bathroom, sat on the toilet, and blacked out again, falling face first onto her hard tiled bathroom floor. I did this two or three times.

Someone called an ambulance. Paramedics came round. I was amazed by their purple gloves. I sang Human League songs at them.

In hospital, I really pissed off a nurse by refusing to take my t-shirt off, “Because then you’ll see my nipples and they’re really ugly.” She responded by telling me that I would do what she told me to. Then she found the biggest needle she could and shoved it in my arm. Fair play. I was being a real prick.

I had concussion for a few days afterwards. Tip: Don’t go to work if you’re suffering from concussion. It’s horrible.

Well, I hope you enjoyed that little trip down my embarrassing memory lane.

By Paul Askew

Paul Askew writes and performs poetry, and is editor of Ferment zine. He regularly inflicts his imagination on audiences in Oxford and London. He’s starting to be allowed to do so in other places too, so watch out.

fermentzine.com

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