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Old 07 May 2004, 18:48   #1
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Desperados

Whilst in Cherbourg on the St Vaast cruise (where were you all!) Caprisante's crew just happened upon this bar that sold Desperado beer. As we needed two more bottles to play "Hi-Ho" and we'd never heard of it before, Paul & I thought we'd give it a go. It's brewed in France, tastes like Top Deck shandy, but effectively it's lager with a shot of tequila and at 5.9% it seems to get the job done.

Upon our return to the UK and our enthusiastic reports (we had already sampled about 9 litres of other local brew between us) a few people said "Why didn't you bring some of it back then?" so today I managed to source 5 cases of the stuff from Utobeer in Borough market by London Bridge.

I would like to offer up a case as a prize fror the best true life confession, boating or non boating, to be submitted on this thread by 31st May. It should essentially be true, be your own story (not trawled up through search engines) and should be embellished only by the passing of time and the fact that your memory is shot to pieces.

I am happy to kick it off with a couple of my own in the hope that this will encourage others to join me in the confessional.

.................................................. ...............................................

Do you remember the 70's and those ridiculously low sofas that were all the rage? I was sitting in the reception area waiting for an important interview. I was nervous as you would expect and had already checked that my tie was fully up into my collar a number of times.

I was sat in a sofa where my arse was lower than my knees and was attempting to look cool and self assured by placing my left ankle on my right knee. (It worked fine for Steve McQueen) I was wearing boots that day and noticed a piece of mud protruding from the heel. Just as I went to flick it away, my appointment bustled energetically through the doorway and I attempted to hoist myself back into an upright position.

He greeted me warmly, we shook hands and he showed me in with the usual pleasantries as we sat down.

After a few moments, I noticed that I no longer had his attention and he was raking the palm of his right hand with the fingers on that hand, rather like he was rolling a cigarette one handed. This went on for a couple of minutes, and his interest in his right hand was diametrically opposite to his interest in me. I tried to carry the conversation as enthusiastically as I could, but was soon distracted by his fixation with his hand and started to blather.

He excused himself and left the room. I knew that it was not going well but just didn't understand what the hell was going on or how I could get it back on track.

Then my heightened senses picked up a whiff of that foul and familiar odour. It was not mud on my boot but dog dirt and I had placed it firmly in his right hand when I stood up to shake hands....


.................................................. ...............................................


It was a Saturday night in The Crown in St Johns Wood and the place was heaving. There was some sort of band and we were all in good spirits and I was trying to impress an off-duty nurse.

I thought I was doing OK when some guy looms out of the crowd and tells me to back off. Always one to rise to a challenge, I ignore him and direct even more of my semi-inebriated attention at young Florence Nightingale.

A few moments later and there's a tap at my shoulder. As I turn around, this guy nuts me in the face and attempts to make his getaway through the crowd. Within a couple of paces, I have caught up with him, hauled him to the ground and am attempting to pummel the crap out of him. Whereupon I am set upon by all the onlookers, who drag me off this guy and heap derision on me.

Young Florence is particularly scathing "You're a pretty big guy, you are. Fancy beating up a bloke with only one arm !" It turns out that this guy is a local in the pub, has feelings for Young Florence and on closer inspection does not appear to have a right arm.

I slunk out of the pub, feeling like the lowest form of pond life, berating myself for not checking that my attacker had all his bodily appendages before seeking retribution..
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Old 07 May 2004, 19:06   #2
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You've certainly set the standart high there, Brian! Sounds like the "hair mouse" scene in the film "There's something about Mary" could have been loosely based on your first confession!
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Old 08 May 2004, 04:01   #3
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Like this one Brian...will have a joint think...





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Old 08 May 2004, 04:36   #4
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Strangely enough I have a few from my touring days Therees one about a monoped and another about a californian girl that I can only tell you in a Bar.

You'll really like the californian one.
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Old 30 May 2004, 16:42   #5
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OK I've held back with my modest offering until now, but someone needs to kick this off...

When I was seventeen and had recently passed my driving test, I spotted an advert in the local paper (I lived in a rural area in North Yorkshire) for a tractor driver. Decinding that this would be a bit of a breeze, I applied and was given the job. I then found out that my employer converted 40' lorry trailers to hitch behind the tractors and I would have to manoeuvre this through town and country lanes, all legal on a full car licence at the time!

Things went OK until I was turning into a field entrance one afternoon, and being a little pressured by a huge traffic jam caused by my slow progress along the road, I failed to turn widely enough. The trailer caught the gatepost at the entrance to the field, and in the mirror I saw not just the gatepost fall, but almost half a mile of fencing ripped out of the ground in a collapsing-domino-like manner. Oops! I was so worried that I sneaked back that night with a hammer and a bag of nails and spent ages re-assembling the fence.

Having managed to cover up the first major cock-up, a few weeks later found me in the cab of a tractor which had the additional hazard of a bale lifter mounted on hydraulic rams at the front. This is a bit like the front bucket of a JCB but with a 6' square frame mounted on it. To avoid hitting anything with it, the usual practise it to lift it high and I did that. Negotiating a sharp turn, I allowed plenty of room for the large trailer. I checked forwards, to the side and behind, and confident that I had negotiated the turn correctly, looked forwards again to hear a thud and notice the telegraph pole, situated opposite the turning, falling gracefully into the field behind...
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Old 31 May 2004, 05:45   #6
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Nice one Richard. CK would have been proud
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Old 31 May 2004, 07:46   #7
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Heres one from last year:

Me and a friend went to watch the pop-beach concert in Great Yarmouth last year. The plan was to watch from the comfort of my “Quicksilver 270 ad”, and get away without paying the £12 entry fee.
All was going well - we had successful made our way round to Yarmouth having launched a few miles round the coast (with only a 6hp long shaft engine at our disposal, it took quite some time!). We finally got the to the concert, and joined the other boats near the pier. Being an ignorant teenager I thought a mud weight would be more than enough to anchor us in position, but hadn't taken into account the strong tidal currents that flow around there.
So, we threw our mud weight (which was really just a flowerpot full of concrete) into the sea, only to start drifting. It wasn't looking good, so I decided that we tie up on the end of the pier (stupid I now no, but there weren't any signs that said not to!). We chugged over. My friend was supposed to tie a line around something on the pier, and then onto the boat, but he didn't, he just sat there shouting how there were barnacles on the pier. We consequently hit the end of pier, and gained a 6 inch long gash in the side of my lovely two month old boat. I was mortified, although my friend was more worried about whether his lunch had got wet.
We got onto the beach, and sought assistance from a nearby coastguard vehicle. Fortunately all three of the local lifeboats were at the event, along with the coastguard RIB. One of the boats volunteered to return us to our starting point, so we put the now half deflated SIB on the back of their RIB, and made a swift return under the power of a 150hp engine. The guys on the boat thought it was hilarious what I had done, even more so when they discovered that it was mine and not my fathers!
In the end I managed to get the boat repaired for about £70. I wrote a letter to the company that ran the pier saying that they should put some notices which say “no mooring on the end of the pier”, but got a letter in return saying only that "the incident had been noted".
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Old 31 May 2004, 15:53   #8
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Well confessed, Tim!
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Old 01 June 2004, 03:27   #9
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Well I guess its my turn !!

12 years ago I was a young photocopier engineer working for a small office equipment company in Crawley.

I was sent out to a private house in the upper reaches of Surrey one day to attend to a copier that had a persistant jamming fault The house was owned by a wealthy gentleman who taught piano to other very wealthy people !!

Several other engineers had already visited but the fault kept coming back, so as you can imagine the customer was not a happy man.
When I got to the house I was shown to the room that housed the copier. On the way up the stairs I passed a kitten. The kitten had just been bought by the gentlemans wife and he HATED it. He screamed at the poor thing as we walked past it and it shot off up the stairs in a terrified cat sort of way.

I was shown to the copier and told in no uncertain terms that I'd better sort it this time and properly.

I started work on the machine and as I was young and into cutting corners I didn't unplug it from the mains first.

Yep, I got a huge shock off the machine !! As I got the belt of electricity I let go of the screwdriver that was in my hand. This now flying screwdriver sailed through the air landing on the lid of a very large grand piano on the other side of the room putting a scratch in it.
As I picked myself up off the floor I heard a call from down stairs asking what was going on. I tried to call back but was still getting myself together.
As this was all happening the kitten walked in.
Now panicking because the customer was walking up the stairs I grabbed the kitten and put it on top of the piano, got my screwdriver and just made it back to the copier as he came in the door.

HE WENT MAD !!

The poor cat was chased round the house like it was Tom being chased by Spike the dog! Eventually he caught it and threw it out of the house with the promise that it would never return.

I will be forever guilty of blaming the damage I caused on such a small defenceless creature and causing the removal of the kitten from the house on a permanant basis.

I beg the forgiveness of all.

Phil
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Old 01 June 2004, 03:42   #10
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Okay, but did you fix the copier?
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Old 01 June 2004, 03:49   #11
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Nope !

He called back next day because it broke down again !!!

I left soon after this !
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Old 01 June 2004, 16:05   #12
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Crikey Phil... I also had an illustrious career in the office equipment industry!

And you've reminded me of an incident...

One day I was working "off patch" in Northampton. I was very wary of creating a stir as the usual Northampton based copier engineers were a very fussy bunch who delighted in finding evidence of shoddy work or customers upset by not having their usual engineer.

I visited a very particular customer in the town centre who reported a number of niggling faults, and after spending some time attending to every fault, I had fixed all of them apart from one - a common "fault" where a customer set up multiple options on the copier, then became distracted by a telephone call or something similar, then returned to the copier to find that it had reset itself and needed all the options seting again.

My customer, a lady of somewhat rotund appearance, returned as I completed the work, and I briefed her on the completion of the work, but when I got to the point of explaining the reset problem, she became quite irritable. "No, no, no!" she exclaimed, "I've explained this to other engineers before, it does it much more quickly, after just a second or two".

Perplexed at something that I thought was quite simple, I asked her when exactly this happened. "Usually between changing pages" she said. I asked her to demonstrate this, and she produced a double-sided A3 form to copy in a complex manner. She set up the copier and did the copy of the first side, then leant over the copier to lift the lid to re-arrange the original on the glass. As she leant over the copier, I noticed that her frontal appendages (I daren't specualte which part or parts) flopped over the keypad and operated the "reset" key Faced with the prospect of explaining that this lady was actually too fat to operate a photocopier, I opted for the only sensible course of action...
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Old 01 June 2004, 16:12   #13
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I opted for the only sensible course of action...
So what did you really do then!!!

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Old 01 June 2004, 16:54   #14
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So what did you really do then!!!




Married her !!!!!
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Old 02 June 2004, 03:21   #15
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Richard

Fantastic tale and I think your answer to the problem was the best thing to do !!

I did a very similar thing when I visited a pump testing station in Newbury.

I fixed their copier but whilst doing so I pinched a live wire. When I switched it on I blew every fuse in the building plunging it into darkness !!!!

Not only this but it also shut down all the pumps that were on a six month constant running test and had been running for over 3 months by then.

I also ran whilst the building was still in darkness !!

It was the high point of my career as a copier engineer but that was the end of it.
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Old 02 June 2004, 12:40   #16
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The Confessional

Written by my wife and printed inYachts and Yachting-a true story....


It had been the hottest day of the year so far-and the weather forecast had promised a heatwave for the rest of the weekend.We found ourselves in tied up in Ryde Marina on a grey,cold,bleak saturday morning with a good force 5 blowing onto the shore,and the children exchanging the preliminary insults prerequisite to a really good bust-up.

There were six of us on board our Spring 25 yacht Springtied - my husband Paul, myself, three children, and Denzil our black Labrador. Denzil, whom we acquired with sailing in mind, had been the smallest in the litter. he has since grown to the proportions of a small donkey, on a carefully balanced diet of sailing shoes (left foot only, kitchen chairs, one complete set of school books, half a No.3 jib, the Oxford Companion to Classical Music and a packet of wallpaper paste).

To the obvious dismay of all around us, we tied up on the end of the pontoon, separated the children, and despatched them to various corners of the marina to go crab fishing. Paul then felt the need come upon him, as the tide retreated to climb into the knee high, pungent, black mud, and scrub the slime off the boat's bottom. I went for a walk into the town.

We all returned to the boat to find a beautifully scrubbed bottom and gleaming hull.

Paul returned the hose, had a shower, and then retired gratefully to the cockpit opening a can of beer prior to the afternoon's siesta.

Denzil had other ideas. he had been eyeing the black slime longingly for some time, and, unable to contain himself any longer, launched himself gleefully off the end of the pontoon into the mud. The resounding squelch could be heard from one end of the marina to the other. Paul propelled himself from the cockpit and, with the aid of the boathook retrieved Denzil before he disappeared from sight.

The dog was completely covered in thick black muck. Denzil then did what any self-respecting labrador would do in that situation; he shook, vigorously, coating not only our boat, but the boat opposite us, and its occupants, who were enjoying their lunch, in an even spattering of foul-smelling mud.

The mud in Ryde has a particularly tenacious quality, and is not easily removed with just one shake. While retreating up the pontoon towards the hosepipe, Denzil shook himself again and again, in fact, approximately every 30ft or so, coating every single boat he passed.

Paul meanwhile, determined not to be beaten, hurled himself upon Denzil with all the determination of a New Zealand quarter back, in a vain effort to stop the resulting shower fo mud, and then proceeded to wrestle him to the floor. This scene aroused quite a bit of interest from passers-by. Man and dog walking side by side up the pontoon, both completely plastered in mud, stopping every few feet to fall to the floor in a canine half-nelson, then walking another few feet to repeat the process.

We would like now to take the opportunity to apologise to all who returned to their boats to find them splattered; to the people next to us who were very understanding, and even helped us scrub all the boats as best we could and the pontoon as well, and of course to the local oil refinery which - despite our best efforts with the hose - we heard getting the blame for a fall-out of mysterious black spots.

OK a bit late-but I thought it worth posting anyway!
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Old 03 June 2004, 00:44   #17
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Nice one Sue...and Paul!!!


Did you illustrate that one for the magazine Sue? Pics must have been priceless too!!!

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Old 03 June 2004, 01:33   #18
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Bad to worse....What do you say? #1

Richard B's funny episode reminded me of a friend's story about working at a bank in Cork. She had just returned from maternity leave and was in the back office ...and in the days before glass partitions in banks as the long snaking queue stared bored and frustrated at the lone teller on desk duty my friend became aware that the poor young teller was struggling with a cheque which a rather irate looking male customer was trying to pay in his account.
Moving out front to help her colleague...my friend reassured the man that all would be taken care of and the cheque safely deposited...
She then leaned over the counter to have a closer look at the handwritten cheque and promptly sprayed the whole thing with breast milk leaving it even more illegible than before...
OK she then did wot Richard did.

God knows how the teller sorted it out!!!!

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Old 03 June 2004, 11:54   #19
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Nice one Sue...and Paul!!!


Did you illustrate that one for the magazine Sue? Pics must have been priceless too!!!

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No, I just wrote the article - payment (would you believe) was the original cartoon used to illustrate it by peyton............
Sue
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Old 03 June 2004, 14:49   #20
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Hopefully increasing in value...

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