Friday, March 28, 2008

Excuses, Excuses

I'm awful at lying. There's no other way of putting it, when I tell a lie it's so blatantly obvious - eyes gazing at the ground, my voice suddenly gets shaky and nervous and I start to get really fidgety. The peak of my lying career was in Primary school but it was over before it started when I realised that I just couldn't get away with telling untruths. When I was about 14 I thought I'd have a crack at it again with an old classic - I assured my History teacher that I'd done my homework (I hadn't) but I just hadn't brought my history book in with me (I had). My teacher then proceeded to search my bag and pull out the history book with the homework nowhere to be seen, I got in trouble. The name 'Little Liar' stuck with me for a couple of weeks afterwards. Later on that year I couldn't bring in my science homework because the "Dog pooed on it", naturally my teacher didn't believe me - unfortunately, it was the truth. The science paper was a horrible shade of lime green, which the dog seemed to enjoy using as a target - the said poo was in the centre of the paper on the floor in the centre of my room

So that was it, I vowed never to tell a lie again and adopt a 100% honesty policy in the future. That particular policy has got me in trouble a few times, mainly because it means that I'm terrible at keeping other peoples secrets. On the whole though, I've benefited hugely from it and I can get away with doing things I shouldn't simply because I've been upfront about doing it.

One facet of my life in which the honesty comes in really handy is in my working life. I'm supposed to be in work at 9am every morning, but I've changed that to 10am because "I just can't get up". 10am starts aside, every now and then I'm really late for work.... here's some of the choice 'excuses' that I've used, usually proceeding my colleagues laughing rather than scolding me for it. Bear in mind that I don't work for a tiny little 3 person company, it's medium-sized and reasonably important.

Walking into the office at 12pm:-
Curly: "Sorry boys, I went camping last night and just HAD to go surfing when I got up this morning"

Strutting into a (relatively empty) office at 11pm, most people couldn't get into work because of the snow:-
Curly: "Sorry I'm late, the snow held me up"
Colleague: "But you walk into work, the others have to drive in"
Curly: "Yeah, but I had to go round throwing snowballs at my friends houses, didn't I?"

A text from Curly to colleague:
"Sorry mate, can't come in today - 6ft Blonde"

I went out on an office bash, myself and a guy named Stu hit the beers a little harder than the others. It's 10am the next morning, my phone rings...
Colleague: "Curly, where are you? Are you okay?"
*I was a little surprised to not be asked "Why aren't you in work"*
Curly: "I'm in bed actually, I've just woken up"
Colleague: "That's okay, it's just that Stu has just rung us from hospital.. he can't remember what happened"
Curly: "Me neither, oh hold on.. he's at the door - we'll just get breakfast then come in okay?"
Colleague: "Yep, fine - as long as you're okay"

It's 4pm.. I've just woken up...Shiiit, I scramble around for my phone and phone the office:-
Curly: "Alright mate.. errr... I'm not going to be able to make it into work today"
Colleague: "No shit, it's 4pm"
Curly: "Good point, I guess you figured that out. See you tomorrow"

Strutting into the office at 11:30
Curly: "Sorry boys, surprise hangover!!"

A text from me lying in bed to a colleague
"I'm not coming in today until 12pm"
"Okay mate, any reason?"
"Nope"
"ha ha, no worries - see you later"

Walking to work I get a little peckish after missing breakfast, so I phone work.
Curly: "Hello boys, I'm going to be a bit late - I couldn't resist a bacon sandwich and a coffee"
Colleague: "That's okay, but only because you're going to bring us some sandwiches too"

And the absolute WORST I've ever done.. and I'm not proud of it....

TEN DAYS late for work, I walk in at 10am.
Boss: "Long weekend then was it?"
Curly: "Yeah, it rushed by"
Boss: "Where have you been for the last two weeks?"
Curly: "Sweden.. why? Didn't you know?"
Boss: "No, no-one did"

As it turns out, I hadn't actually communicated the fact that I was going on holiday.. oops.



So, they're mine. Have you got any good ones to share?

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Leo Sayer

Sunday evening, Wales had overcome Scotland in Cardiff the previous day, the majority of the city's residents nursed almighty hangovers and spent the day sitting around and moaning about their aching bodies. I wasn't any different - my legs screamed whenever I used them, my brain preferred impersonating cotton-wool rather than performing powerful cognitive functions and my stomach.. well, I'd better not go into detail about my stomach. I sat down heavily on the sofa after the energy-sapping activity of switching the kettle on, housemate Becca brought over a cup of tea. "I think I'm dying" I croak, trying to get as much sympathy as possible. Becca flashes an unimpressed look - it's quite possible that she's worse off than I am. "What time did you go out?" I ask, "About nine o'clock" she replied, "You left the house at nine in the MORNING, I have no idea how you lot manage to drink for that long!" I tried to smile and shrugged my shoulders - giving the impression that I didn't have a clue how we lasted so long. In actual fact, I knew exactly how we did it - hard work, careful planning and dedication.

The art of an all-dayer:-

Sleep
Plenty of professional sportsmen and women will tell you that they prepare for an event by getting to bed early and having a good nights sleep. Despite the effort involved, the all-day drinker doesn't require such trivial things as sleep - Friday night in a pub is ideal preparation, practice if you like, for the next day. You could tuck yourself into bed with a hot drink and your favourite teddy bear at 9pm, but you'd be making a big mistake - the descent from a sparkling, early morning person into a alcohol-fuelled haze is a long way to fall - start halfway down.

Breakfast
Breakfast IS the most important meal of the day. An empty stomach in the morning will cause problems after a single drop of beer, you don't want to flake too early. Plenty of grease and salt is the key, I usually tell people that grease lines your veins which prevents alcohol being absorbed into the bloodstream. That's a lie - but it's one of those lies which, when told, has people nodding their heads in agreement (Or they laugh). A traditional English breakfast will do the trick, one cup of tea (one sugar), one can of coke and an orange juice will provide the caffeine and sugar powered oomph needed to kick off the day.

A good pub
The traditional pub will open at 11am here in the UK. A good pub will open at around 10am on special occasions (6:30am is the earliest we've managed, thank you sports events in other time zones). The pub will be completely empty, enabling to get a nice seat. Window seats (for staring out of and conversation starters) and seats with tables of suitable height (for leaning on and minimal effort pint-grabbing) are the main requirements.

The drinks
Don't be a hero and dive straight into the sambuccas or vodkas, that's just daft. Obviously only you know what you're keen on but I suggest going for something that you can take your time over, a guinness or smooth bitter. The Extra-cold innovation helps wake up that little bit quicker. Remember it's not a race, it's a marathon.

Lunch
Lunch time doesn't exist. Eat whenever you feel hungry, burgers are filling, non-messy and don't take an age to make.

Energy Levels
Watching sport will help boost adrenalin and keep you going for that little bit longer. Other adrenalin-boosting things are perfectly acceptable, you'll struggle without them.

...and finally, friends
You'll want as many of these buying rounds of drinks as possible, the more people there are in a round - the longer you can sit at the table avoiding walking. They tell you jokes, funny stories and do stupid things when they're drunk while you just sit back and enjoy. Then, when you're doing the same thing, they keep you upright and help you get through the day until it's time to finally crawl into bed.

Thursday, March 13, 2008

Man-Brain

I've started this post about five different times now, I'm posting just for postings sake and I can't really get across what I'm trying to say because I don't think I've actually got anything to say whatsoever.

Things on my mind:-

The rugby - Cope finds it amusing that people are talking about it as though there's a big storm approaching, I find it even more amusing because it's true and I've been passing that off as my own observation since he mentioned it yesterday. In a way, there IS a storm creeping up on us, the rumblings have been getting bigger as the week has dragged on - screw all these high winds and heavy rain that the UK's been getting, this is the big one.

Girls - I did my very best to put them to the back of my head where they wouldn't bother me with all their pretty faces, sultry voices and habit of having me constantly think about them when I should be doing other things. I stayed off the radar for a little while to re-train my thoughts, but it was to no avail, they're back, and they're determined to climb back inside my head and take over. Leading the charge is Hot South African Girl (mentioned a while back) and her big brown eyes backed up by a small army of girls from the past, random cute-smilers and (quite worryingly) a friend's girlfriend. I try not to let them in but it's becoming increasingly hard work. The little devil on my shoulder wants to run around kissing them all but my almost-ever-present morals are thankfully in command.

Food & Drink - My body has been screaming at me to stop consuming something, I'm not sure what it is though - it could be alcohol. I hope it's not because I enjoy drinking alcohol. On the other hand, the sensible part of me is kicking in and telling me to grow up and find something else to do. I don't like my sensible side.


All the usual man topics covered then. I did think about something else, but it escaped me before I wrote this down.

Monday, March 10, 2008

Surely not again?

Three years ago on a (strangley) warm day in March, our little nation turned its attention towards the capital city of Cardiff and in particular, to the rugby stadium at the heart of the city. Wales were on the verge of completing a grand-slam, (that is - beating England, Scotland, Italy, France and Ireland in one championship) for the first time in 28 years. The expectation was huge, no nation is so fanatical about its rugby and no nation can have its mood altered so drastically by the performance of the national team. Cardiff's population increased by a reported 2/3rds of its regular size as Welsh and Irish supporters flooded in from seemingly everywhere. Every corner store had queues of people, buying booze, snaking throughout the store and outside along the streets. It was almost physically impossible to fit any more people inside the pubs, street-wise students flogged beer outside for a huge profit and one major city-centre supermarket completely ran out of beer, cider and white wine - yet there was still a huge line of people snapping up as much red wine as they could carry. Two pubs reportedly had to order in extra barrels of beer as they feared they would run out before the day was finished. No bones were to be made about it, this was a city that was about to get very, very drunk.

Wales triumphed over Ireland that day, the celebrations went on well into the early hours, I remember walking home (still beaming) at around 4am, there were people passed out at the roadside, house parties still going and tired bouncers still dealing with revellers.

This year, this Saturday, France arrive in Cardiff and quite unbelievably, we're set to do it all over again. 80 mintutes of rugby stands between Wales, another Grand Slam and another party that'll stay long in the memories of anyone in the principality. My stomach is already performing acrobatics with all the excitement.

Monday, March 03, 2008

Observations...

...from arriving in work almost two hours earlier than usual.

Commuters look miserable: I'm used to walking through the university campus to work, in the company of students winding their way to their second class of the day. After either carefully selecting their wardrobe or just slapping on whatever they'd been wearing for the last five days , the students excitedly catch up with the previous nights events, laugh and tell stories to one-another - it's a fun environment to be in. Walking past some of the larger office complexes was a pretty horrible affair to be honest. Coffee shops were full of bleary eyed people in similar style shirts and blouses, name-tags clipped on seemingly wherever they fancied and there wasn't a single smile. I'm not lying.

Everything looks grey: Despite the ultra-blue sky, the beginnings of a beautiful day were completely overshadowed by the tall buildings trying their best to project grey-ness up into the sky. The roads joined in this evil campaign, the cars weren't much better. The people... see the previous point. I'm pleased to say that an hour later, the sun is winning.

Everyone I work with enjoys trying to wind me up: Not used to seeing me at such an early hour, I had a couple of "Been home yet?" questions amongst a couple of others. My favourite was from a colleague who didn't say anything to begin with; I asked how he was today, his reply was "I feel really weird this morning, it's like I'm in this really weird alternate universe where you're in work before I am", sipped his tea and got back to his desk - a confused look on his face.

I am tired: That's it.