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Friday, April 15, 2011

Spidey Sense

Last night I got home from a night out with friends, looking forward to resting my head on my pillow in my bed as one does when it is night time and one wants to fall asleep.

But it was not to be. Gareth and I met up in the bathroom for a spot of teeth cleaning. Here, he told me the news that was to devastate my evening.

‘Oh,’ he says, with meaning. ‘I’ve got something to tell you.’

Thoughts flashed through my mind – what have I done wrong? Am I getting sued? Did the police call? Is someone I love ill? Have I been recorded slagging someone off? The usual.

‘I was in the bedroom earlier,’ he continues. ‘I knelt down to pick something up off the floor (a rarity, Gareth.) and there, under the bed, was the biggest spider I’ve ever seen in my life.’

It’s okay, I think to myself. This story is going to finish with Gareth finding a pint glass and a bit of card and setting the spider free outside. (not that I care for the spider’s welfare, I just don’t want him in my bed.)

‘We stared each other out for a bit,’ Gareth carried on. Oh god. This story isn’t going to end well is it?

‘I couldn’t go and get anything to put him in, because he’d have run away. He knew I knew that. I knew he knew I knew that. So we carried on staring at each other for a while.’

Then what, man, then what? I can feel him on me!

‘Then I grabbed my shoe and I was going to whack him with it, but I realised he’d have just clung on. He was that big. I’m talking tarantula size. My shoe would have just stubbed his toe.’

Oh god. He’s still there, isn’t he Gareth? We have a tarantula in our bed.

‘So I ran to get the hoover. He was still there when I got back, but as I poked the nozzle at him, he just walked off.’

A tarantula, so strong he didn’t get sucked up the vacuum nozzle, is under our bed.

‘What are we going to do?’ Gareth asked. ‘Shall we call pest control? Or the Natural History Museum?’

Well, first things first. We’re not sleeping in there.

That’s right people. A spider is under our bed, so we slept in the sitting room. I don’t know about Gareth, but I dreamed about that little bastard arachnid all night. Wandering out of the bedroom, down the hall, up the stairs and on to my face.

I’m not sure when we’ll start sleeping in the bedroom again. I don’t know how long he can live under our bed for. Surely there’s not much to eat there?

In the meantime, Gareth’s parents are coming to stay this weekend and we’re going to courageously and selflessly let them have our bedroom. I know, I know, we’re far too kind to them – we’ll take the sofas. It’s fine, really.

So then Gareth finished his little bedtime story, just in case I was going to have any trouble sleeping in my bed ever again.

‘He had such a big belly. Maybe it was actually a female.’ And then, plonking his toothbrush down on the sink and wandering out of the bathroom without considering that the consequences of his next sentence would be that we'd have to move house: ‘I reckon she was pregnant.’

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Friday, April 8, 2011

Road Outrageous

 Apparently, there are other drivers on the road. I wouldn’t know, because I drive a white van now. I was nervous to start with. The road intimidated me. But now, I intimidate it. The road don’t mess with me. Other cars don’t mess with me. I am Queen Vivaro of Warmley, surveyor of all motorways and A roads.

The thing is, in a van, you’re higher up. You’ve also got a noisy engine and a threatening size. Ka’s, Mini’s, Smart Cars, they don’t stand a chance.

I’d like to think I haven’t crashed yet, but I probably have, I just don’t know it. The rear window is blacked out so for all I know, all those silly little cars are being squashed and flattened in my wake and I don’t even know it.

I’m a white van (wo)man, don’t get in my way. I haven’t taken to honking at scantily clad women yet, but don’t put it past me. It’s not my fault I’ve got a honker and they’ve got nice legs.

My right arm is preparing to get browner than my left. I can never find first gear but who cares when you’re dominating the road. In my head, I’m driving this.

The lane from our home spits you out on a roundabout but because it’s not one of the official roads leading in and out of the roundabout, no one ever used to let me out. My Peugeot, Tiger, and I, we used to sit there for ages swearing at everyone, edging out until we were basically sitting in the middle of oncoming traffic, when finally someone would be forced to give way.

I don’t have that problem anymore, now I’m a white van (wo)man. People basically roll out the red carpet, traffic in all directions stop to let me out. That’s right, don’t mess with Eddie. He’ll trample all over you before you’ve even put your hazard lights on.
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Friday, April 1, 2011

Monkey See, Monkey Don't Do.

Dear Richard Branson,

How absolutely wonderful that you have pioneered and masterminded so many diverse and successful businesses. While I expect you are too busy flying into space to take the time to read my letter, I want you to know that the chief executive in charge of Virgin Media has employed a monkey who’s employed a monkey who’s employed a monkey, trickling all the way down to the monkey who is currently trying to fix my internet connection.

I’ve been a customer of yours for three years now and I think Virgin deserve a number of medals for their unwaivering devotion to public service.

I was thinking a silver for Most Terrible Customer Service, a gold for Most Likely Call Centre To Be In India, and a platinum medal with certificate for Most Likely To Send A Monkey To Do A Man’s Job. 

I remember the time I gave up my Virgin Media television after you kept charging me for pornography I was not watching. Oh, how funny that was, Richard! If I wanted to watch pornography, I’d do it for free on the internet, you silly billy. I wouldn’t pay £4.99 per film! But your monkey couldn’t quite understand that concept and continued to charge me for films I wasn’t watching. And when I cancelled my television subscription, your monkey couldn’t fathom that any human being would or could possibly want to be without a television. I was asked to seriously reconsider my decision, and advised to keep my set top box, just in case. Ah, good times.

It’s quite funny actually, Richard, what's happened. I’ve enjoyed three years of broadband with you without too much mishap.

And then we got some lovely new neighbours who, unbeknown to us, wanted to be with Virgin (more fool them). So they arranged for a monkey to come over and wire them up. But then, and here’s the funny part, the monkey decided to cut our line while installing theirs! Ha ha ha!

Left without internet, I could no longer run a business. But don’t you worry your pretty little beard about that, Richard, because your operator in the call centre in India assured me a monkey would be out to fix the problem two weeks later.

Two weeks. How very efficient! I explained that two weeks later wasn’t good enough, I’d lose thousands of pounds of business.

Oh I see, said your monkey. If that’s the case, we can refund you £10 a week until it’s fixed. Clever monkey. Seeing as Forbes rich list cite you as having an estimated net worth of approximately £2.97 billion, £10 a week compensation for my loss of earnings seems totally fair. Should be just about enough to buy the baked beans I’m going to have to live on for the foreseeable future.

Two weeks went by like the clock was wading through treacle. At last, the knock on the door came and two high-visibility vest wearing, white van driving monkeys arrived.

Virgin, they said. How can we help?

Seriously? You haven’t been briefed as to why you’ve been called out? Brilliant. I know absolutely nothing about how the lines are wired or how to fix the problem, but leave it to me to explain to your monkeys what job they’ve been called on, no problem.

Of course, they couldn’t fix the problem, could they? Because they’re only monkeys! A monkey might be able to bash out a Shakespeare play, but that’s only if you give it a typewriter and an infinite amount of time. Your monkeys had neither of these things, keen as they were to crack on with not fixing the next job they were due at.

So now they have gone and I still don’t have service provided. Monkey man tells me that he was sent on eight jobs of this ilk yesterday, and five of them were exactly the same problem as me. Namely, when a new customer wants Virgin, old customers have their signal cut. It’s a questionable business model, Richard, and not one I’d recommend.

I hope the view is nice from your hot air balloon as you soar over the world’s oceans. I’ll be over here, eating beans. While my business falls into disrepair, I can't even watch free porn. And it’s all your fault, you cheeky little monkey.

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