Archive for the 'Other people' Category

The musical air cooler

I think I’ve told you before that the basis of mine and Student Nutty Nurse’s friendship is arguing and playing practical jokes on each other.

Even though we have not worked together for several months now, he is still managing to play tricks on me at work.

The office where I work is in a converted garage. As you can imagine, it’s cramped and, in summer, it’s hot. We have an air cooler to help us not completely melt in summer, but obviously it’s not necessary in winter and it lives under one of the corner desks.

A couple of days ago, I was in the office with a client and a colleague, when all of a sudden we heard ‘Happy Birthday’ playing, swiftly followed by Highland music! After some investigation, we could only narrow it down to the air cooler.

By this stage, I was getting quite frustrated and decided that there was only one course of action. Watched by a very bemused client and an equally bemused colleague, I fetched a screwdriver and dismantled it. It would not shut up.

Sitting on the floor, surrounded by bits of the air cooler, I began to think I’d made a bit of a mistake. Especially when my colleague lent over, took the batteries out and silence reigned.

Ah.

I tried to figure out what had happened. Why had it been playing music? It had never happened before; I didn’t even know that it could.

There only seemed to be one possible solution.

I phoned Student Nutty Nurse.

“You know the air cooler in the office?”

“Yes!”

“Does it play music?”

“Yes!”

“Did you set some kind of timer on it to make it play?”

“Yes!”

“Why?”

“I wanted to surprise you for your Birthday”

“My Birthday’s not until March. You know that. When did you set it?”

“About ten months ago. I wondered why no-one had phoned me about it!”

So even though we no longer work together, he is still managing to get me into trouble. I managed to repair the air cooler, but I’m not sure it will ever work in the same way again.

However, I have found the instruction book and now I know how to set the timer. I can feel some Christmas music coming on!

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Delete, delete, delete!

I think I’ve told you before that I love technology and all that it can do, but that I am aware of the down side to it as well. One of the main downsides is that unless you remember to delete things you don’t want people to find, there is a good chance that someone will discover it!

Best Friend has a new mobile phone. It was given to her by another friend, who had just upgraded to a shiny new one.

The friend who gave it to her is quiet and has a certain ‘good girl’ image. She’s not. And we now have proof.

It is important to remember that if you give a friend your old mobile, removing the sim card is not enough. You need to check what has been saved on the phone itself.

And delete anything before you hand it over.

Best Friend was playing with her new toy, figuring out how it worked, when I suddenly heard a gasp and then hysterical laughter.

She handed the phone to me.

There was a message from Quiet Friend’s boyfriend. It was a picture of him in a state of…um, excitement and the (completely unnecessary) information that he was horny and waiting for her.

Best Friend doesn’t feel that she’s going to be able to look at her (or him!) in the eye with a straight face for quite a while! I think she has some excellent blackmail fodder…

Hard hats are optional

I quite like puzzles and board games, but the problem is I’m really quite competitive.

At one point I became mildly obsessed with Sudoku and did the one in my newspaper everyday. When Student Nutty Nurse and I used to work together, we would photocopy the puzzle and then race each other to see could complete it the fastest. It was pretty much 50/50, though he will still maintain that he won more.

I also have a soft spot for Scrabble. Best Friend also likes a game, but will now only play with me if she can wear protective clothing, or at least some kind of hard hat. We used to play on a fairly regular basis but things turned ugly one day.

She disputed one of my words and I didn’t react well.

I had put down Qi and was quite pleased with myself, having managed to get it on a triple word score! (Before anyone disputes it, it is in the official Scrabble word book – I don’t want a repeat of the incident!)

Our argument became more and more heated and I’m afraid to say that it ended with me pushing the board off the table and onto the floor (yes, I am embarrassed, but I can be a stroppy cow when I want to be!).

Best Friend maintains to this day that I actually threw the board (hence the hard hat), but I’m honestly not that bad. However, it certainly wasn’t my finest hour!

I now try to stick to things like crosswords. I think it’s much safer this way.

The eternal argument

My parents are locked in a long running battle.

It’s been going on for years and I’m not sure if it will ever be resolved as neither are willing to compromise.

Dad wants a cardigan and Mum won’t let him have one.

My Dad is in his sixties and has been creeping comfortably into ‘old man’ clothing for several years. He has a love of corded trousers, lambs wool jumpers and loafers, though, slightly at odds with the rest of his style, he’s recently bought a very cool pair of Red or Dead glasses!

He has wanted a cardigan for years and has even tried to get Mum to knit him one. I’m not sure why, but he has a longing for a cream cable knit cardie. When he talks about it, he comes over all misty eyed and there is a definite hint of longing to his tone.

Mum point blank refuses to let him have one. When Dad asked her to knit one, she laughed hysterically for several minutes and then hid her knitting needles for several years! On the rare occasions they enter Marks and Spencer’s together, she always looks like she’s about to rugby tackle Dad if he so much as looks towards the men’s knitwear section!

I get the odd call from one or the other of them, specifically about the cardigan issue. Both ask me to talk to the other one and get them to change their mind. Over the years I have been through many options, trying to find a happy medium, but neither are interested.

I’m not sure why Mum’s so against him having one. I know it shouts out ‘old man’, but Dad really wants one. I read in one of the glossy magazines that knitwear’s really ‘in’ for blokes this season, including cardigans, so maybe I could send a copy to Mum and see what she thinks!

Are you sure you meant it like that!

My aunt breeds and shows dogs. She has whippets and absolutely adores them.

I went to visit her the other day and she was telling me about her recent night out with the girls. She was telling me about one of her friends who is retired and seems perfectly happy doing nothing all day.

My aunt couldn’t understand this at all. She informed me that she didn’t see how people could be happy with that, as her other friend works full time and then they “go dogging it”.

I collapsed in hysterics and it took me a good five minutes to be in a fit state to explain why I was laughing.

As much as my aunt is very broad minded and I get a lot of my less responsible traits from her, I couldn’t imagine her and her friend going off to car parks for group sex and voyeurism!

This is the same woman who had part of her email address as ‘janwhips’ until I pointed out that it could be seen in a very different light from a combination of ‘Jan’ and ‘Whippets’!

Though saying that, maybe she is ready to reveal her secret life as a dominatrix dogger!

PG or Cert 18?

There are times when Best Friend and I wonder how we became friends and how we sustain a friendship. In some ways we are very similar and both like to be naughty, but our lifestyles can be very different. I have no responsibility and can do what I like, when I like, whereas Best Friend obviously has The Cool Kid and Bloke to take into consideration. This sometimes means I can witness two sides of her in the space of a few hours.

Take last night for example. I ended up going over there after work. The Cool Kid had got in from school and it was teatime. As I walked in, a plate of spag bol was put in front of me, so I settled down and joined in the conversation. I learnt all about The Cool Kid’s new school, friends and teacher and listened to reminders about P.E kits and dinner money. As much as I see the ‘Mum’ side of Best Friend on a regular basis I’m always slightly amazed each and every time – it’s like seeing the PG version, rather than the Cert 18. I even get told off when she’s in mum mode, though, to be fair, I was mucking about with The Cool Kid when we should have been eating our tea!

As it was a school night, Best Friend had sandwiches to make, but had run out of what she needed so I was duly sent off to the shops, whilst The Cool Kid had her bedtime story. I had been given a list and also picked up some things for myself. This is one of the signs of how different our lifestyles and priorities are. The list I had been given instructed me to get things like bread, milk and ham. My basket consisted of alcohol and cake!

This is one of the major differences between us. Best Friend always has a well stocked kitchen and cooks very well. I have no interest in cooking and often just have things like 3 minute noodles in. Most of my friends know that if you want a cup of tea at mine, you need to bring your own milk! I can, however, always provide a decent supply of alcohol, chocolate and take away menus – which covers all bases as far as I’m concerned…

That’s (not) entertainment…

One of the things that most of us have a problem with is getting older. We all know that we’re aging and that there’s little we can do about it, but it’s something the majority of us resist. We also all have things we associate with ‘being old’. For me, its things like Bingo (though I did play once on a ‘Butlins’ type holiday and won £90!), bowling on the green, socks and sandals and anything that smacks of Saga.

It also seems worse when you don’t feel like the age you actually are and find yourself in a situation you’ve always thought of as the domain of the more mature.

One of my friends, Ms Not So Innocent, is currently going through this. As we speak, she will be cruising around the British Isles, alighting to visit some of more interesting parts and, whilst on board, being ‘entertained’.

Ms Not So Innocent is…umm…a bit older than me, though really doesn’t act like it. She is very funny, with quite a dry sense of humour, has a naughty streak and can certainly tell you some stories from her younger days. Oh, and she has a massive crush on Jarvis Cocker.

When her husband presented the idea of the cruise, Ms Not So Innocent seemed to be relatively ok with it. Sure, she had some concerns but overall liked the idea of visiting some of the places on the itinerary.

Then she read the brochure again.

Ms Not So Innocent became more and more concerned with the whole tone of the descriptions and the advice given. She recoiled at the suggestion that “Ladies often choose to wear cocktail dresses” and “Gentlemen are encouraged to wear a suit for dinner”. I think she became even more distressed when her husband actually got his suit dry cleaned!

The thought of the nightly entertainment drove her almost to distraction. Listening to someone sing covers of ‘Show Tunes’ is really not her Ms Not So Innocent’s thing. I think there was also a hint of the upcoming delights of shuffleboard and whist – though I suspect she may have blocked the full details from her mind. She did inform her husband that she may not wish to be ‘entertained’ and asked what he advised. Unfortunately the suggestion that she could stay in the cabin was not helpful. I think she may have been keener on mine to get drunk and create mischief!

I have said that next year I will take her holiday. She hasn’t said no yet…