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(without the 8s etc)

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I like anything that doesn't irritate my eyes. Like sleep. Or Loreal for kids.



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» Karma

Flatmate from hell
OK, so I'll get straight into it...

In 2002 I went to uni in Edinburgh. Initially I was quite anxious as it was quite a way from where I'm from (NW England) and I was the only one I knew going there, but it is a beautiful city and student life is great. Turns out anyway, that Edinburgh uni doesn't really present much of a cross section of Scotish society, being largely made up as it is of rich English people from Surrey eager to try out the snowy wastelands on Daddy's tab.

Cue the end of 2nd year. My group of friends and I are choosing who lives with who as we move from halls to flats. My course is pretty intensive so 9 times out of 10 I would have to turn down any invitation for a night out/spliff/party. Hence, my name was not too high up on people's wishlist when it came to populating their soon-to-be uberparty-pad. So I got lumbered with 3 other guys. Now, two of these guys are fine, one (Joe - a rather wealthy Surrey boy) was unknown to me and, as you'll see, turned out to be a bit of a shit.

We got lucky with our flat. Super-close to the new Parliament and with 3 floors for 4 people, the rent was undervalued hugely because it was brand new and we were the first tenants. Everything was gleaming - it was worth £500k apparently. Not bad for £270pm each in Edinburgh. So we got everything signed and went to our prospective homes for summer to work etc. Except for J, who decided to hang around for summer and enjoy the festival. The last I see of him is when I leave for home having just put all my coursework, architecture models, computer stuff etc in my room and locking the bedroom door behind me.

About a month later, I'm heading up to Edinburgh with 2 friends. We decided to celebrate my birthday by having a week in the festival. Why not? I've already paid for the rent. On the train up I get a phone call from one of the other flatmates telling me he's moving out.

'What?!' says I, a tad surprised and concerned.
'It's the flat, man. It's fucked up. Joe's fucked it all up'. Says he.

It doesn't sound good. So I tell him I'll check it out for myself and not to tell Joe that I'm coming.

We arrive in Waverly, walk the short distance to the flat and get ready for what awaits us. The plan was set: go quietly straight up to my room on the top floor, leave our stuff then have a look around. Up we go. As I reach the top of the stairs I notice something different about my bedroom door. There seems to be only half of it left on the hinges, the rest splintered across the floor. Shit.

We go in to my room. There's three tussled but empty sleeping bags. I step on a used condom. I survey the room. My flatmate's description was accurate: it's fucked. The blinds have been torn and snapped off the wall. The en-suite (nice flat as I say) - brand new until now - was a tip. Piss everywhere. Smears of what I can only assume to be shit along the shower walls. The shower head is smashed and hanging like a New York payphone. I open my wardrobe. Coursework: crumpled into a ball. Architecture models: completely decimated. Computer: side has come off and one of my jumpers has be shoved inside it. On inspection the insides have been smashed. Time to see Joe.

We go down to the kitchen via the living room. The living room is off the kitchen with double doors, so it's pretty much one huge space. Walking in, we see about 10 sleeping bags and a mattress (we had no furniture at this stage). In the corner is a comatosed Joe half on the matress, half on the floor. His head being on the floor. We step over him and enter the kitchen.

What followed was the most breathtaking site I've ever seen (including goatse). Scattered amongst spilled beans and cans of beer were: 1 large pile of coke - the scale of which can only be described as 'Scarface', the remenants of about 50 lines, a bag of ketamine, 5 large bags of pills, 2 (!!) ounce-bags of weed. Many discarded pieces of foil with burn marks (I presume crack, heroin). The fridge is ajar. It's full - to the point it won't close - of mushrooms. And there, in the middle of all this, is one used syringe.

I walk over to Joe to wake him up. His eyes are deep pink. His expression on seeing me standing over him was a lot like the 2 girls 1 cup mammal thing on the front page. Imagine your expression if your dad walked in on you wanking over a picture of your mum. That's the kind of shock/shame/fear in his eyes right now. He stares at me. I stare at him. Finally he pipes up with, 'What the fuck are you doing in my flat?'.

Come again?

'Get out, man. This is my flat now. You can fuck off. Go find yourself another place to stay.'

This went on for a while. Me pointing out the obvious, him still tripping off his tits telling me to get out of his newly-conquered territory. I'll cut this bit down as this is getting long... Basically, I looked for another flat. Eventually, I realise I've got a good one as it is and shouldn't have to be spending my birthday flat hunting because he decided to fuck up our current flat. I decided I'd better get the landlords involved.

We met the next day outside the flat (we were staying at my mate's in the meantime). On the way we walked down Princes St. We saw something rather bizarre: some guy leaning forward off a traffic light post in the middle of the road (think Titanic, king of the world scene) staring at oncoming traffic as if wanting a fight. He then lets go and runs straight at the oncoming cars. Cue much beeping, running over bonnets, and narrowly avoiding a bus. All while half naked and screaming 'Wahoooooo!'. Wierd. But it is festival time.
Anyway, I explain everything to them. They were shocked but, to their credit understanding. They appreciated the honesty and the chance to save their expensive new property. We say thanks and stand back as they enter the flat...

Now, you know that scene from Ratatouille where the woman's ceiling falls down and about 10,000 rats come flooding out of the house. Yeah, like that but with Spanish and French people. Some half naked, some fully. All fucked up and running as if Robocop himself had just walked in. I've never seen so many bouncing dredlocks in all my life. After about 5 mins it's pretty quiet except for a shouting/whimpering exchange. Then, just as things look like they're coming to a close someone sprints past us heading for the flat, bumping us on the way:

'Wooohooooooooo!' The half naked guy pelts straight in ready to join the party. About 3 seconds later he comes running out again, minus the woohoo.

So yeah, the karma is, he got kicked out, he lost many friends and fucked up his degree. The one stand out moment, though was when my friends and I were sitting in my bedroom window a few minutes later. I was enjoying the fact that I no longer had to face flat hunting at the worst time of the year or be homeless, while my mates were happy to be watching the spectacle. As Joe slinked away, pashmina-clad girlfriend in toe, he looked back and we all gave him a wave. The cunt.
(Wed 27th Feb 2008, 7:14, More)

» Housemates

Flatmate from hell
I previously posted this as an answer to the Karma qotw, but this seems like an appropriate time for it to come back round as it were.

OK, so I'll get straight into it...

In 2002 I went to uni in Edinburgh. Initially I was quite anxious as it was quite a way from where I'm from (NW England) and I was the only one I knew going there, but it is a beautiful city and student life is great. Turns out anyway, that Edinburgh uni doesn't really present much of a cross section of Scotish society, being largely made up as it is of rich English people from Surrey eager to try out the snowy wastelands on Daddy's tab.

Cue the end of 1st year. My group of friends and I are choosing who lives with who as we move from halls to flats. My course is pretty intensive so 9 times out of 10 I would have to turn down any invitation for a night out/spliff/party. Hence, my name was not too high up on people's wishlist when it came to populating their soon-to-be uberparty-pad. So I got lumbered with 3 other guys. Now, two of these guys are fine, one (Joe - a rather wealthy Surrey boy) was unknown to me and, as you'll see, turned out to be a bit of a shit.

We got lucky with our flat. Super-close to the new Parliament and with 3 floors for 4 people, the rent was undervalued hugely because it was brand new and we were the first tenants. Everything was gleaming - it was worth £500k apparently. Not bad for £270pm each in Edinburgh. So we got everything signed and went to our prospective homes for summer to work etc. Except for J, who decided to hang around for summer and enjoy the festival. The last I see of him is when I leave for home having just put all my coursework, architecture models, computer stuff etc in my room and locking the bedroom door behind me.

About a month later, I'm heading up to Edinburgh with 2 friends. We decided to celebrate my birthday by having a week in the festival. Why not? I've already paid for the rent. On the train up I get a phone call from one of the other flatmates telling me he's moving out.

'What?!' says I, a tad surprised and concerned.
'It's the flat, man. It's fucked up. Joe's fucked it all up'. Says he.

It doesn't sound good. So I tell him I'll check it out for myself and not to tell Joe that I'm coming.

We arrive in Waverly, walk the short distance to the flat and get ready for what awaits us. The plan was set: go quietly straight up to my room on the top floor, leave our stuff then have a look around. Up we go. As I reach the top of the stairs I notice something different about my bedroom door. There seems to be only half of it left on the hinges, the rest splintered across the floor. Shit.

We go in to my room. There's three tussled but empty sleeping bags. I step on a used condom. I survey the room. My flatmate's description was accurate: it's fucked. The blinds have been torn and snapped off the wall. The en-suite (nice flat as I say) - brand new until now - was a tip. Piss everywhere. Smears of what I can only assume to be shit along the shower walls. The shower head is smashed and hanging like a New York payphone. I open my wardrobe. Coursework: crumpled into a ball. Architecture models: completely decimated. Computer: side has come off and one of my jumpers has be shoved inside it. On inspection the insides have been smashed. Time to see Joe.

We go down to the kitchen via the living room. The living room is off the kitchen with double doors, so it's pretty much one huge space. Walking in, we see about 10 sleeping bags and a mattress (we had no furniture at this stage). In the corner is a comatosed Joe half on the matress, half on the floor. His head being on the floor. We step over him and enter the kitchen.

What followed was the most breathtaking site I've ever seen (including goatse). Scattered amongst spilled beans and cans of beer were: 1 large pile of coke - the scale of which can only be described as 'Scarface', the remenants of about 50 lines, a bag of ketamine, 5 large bags of pills, 2 ounce-bags of weed, many discarded pieces of foil with burn marks (I presume crack/heroin). The fridge is ajar. It's full - to the point it won't close - of mushrooms. And there, in the middle of all this, is one used syringe.

I walk over to Joe to wake him up. His eyes are deep pink. His expression on seeing me standing over him was a lot like the 2 girls 1 cup monkey thing that was once on the front page. Imagine your expression if your dad walked in on you wanking over a picture of your mum. That's the kind of shock/shame/fear in his eyes right now. He stares at me. I stare at him. Finally he pipes up with, 'What the fuck are you doing in my flat?'.

Come again?

'Get out, man. This is my flat now. You can fuck off. Go find yourself another place to stay.'

This went on for a while. Me pointing out the obvious, him still tripping off his tits telling me to get out of his newly-conquered territory. I'll cut this bit down as this is getting long... Basically, I looked for another flat. Eventually, I realise I've got a good one as it is and shouldn't have to be spending my birthday flat hunting because he decided to fuck up our current flat. I decided I'd better get the landlords involved.

We met the next day outside the flat (we were staying at my mate's in the meantime). On the way we walked down Princes St. We saw something rather bizarre: some guy leaning forward off a traffic light post in the middle of the road (think Titanic, king of the world scene) staring at oncoming traffic as if wanting a fight. He then lets go and runs straight at the oncoming cars. Cue much beeping, running over bonnets, and narrowly avoiding a bus. All while half naked and screaming 'Wahoooooo!'. Wierd. But it is festival time.
Anyway, I explain everything to them. They were shocked but, to their credit understanding. They appreciated the honesty and the chance to save their expensive new property. We say thanks and stand back as they enter the flat...

Now, you know that scene from Ratatouille where the woman's ceiling falls down and about 10,000 rats come flooding out of the house. Yeah, like that but with Spanish and French people. Some half naked, some fully. All fucked up and running as if Robocop himself had just walked in. I've never seen so many bouncing dredlocks in all my life. After about 5 mins it's pretty quiet except for a shouting/whimpering exchange. Then, just as things look like they're coming to a close someone sprints past us heading for the flat, bumping us on the way:

'Wooohooooooooo!' The half naked guy pelts straight in ready to join the party. About 3 seconds later he comes running out again, minus the woohoo.

So yeah...he got kicked out, he lost many friends and fucked up his degree. The one stand out moment, though was when my friends and I were sitting in my bedroom window a few minutes later. I was enjoying the fact that I no longer had to face flat hunting at the worst time of the year or be homeless, while my mates were happy to be watching the spectacle. As Joe slinked away, pashmina-clad girlfriend in toe, he looked back and we all gave him a wave. The cunt.
(Fri 27th Feb 2009, 10:15, More)

» Bullies

Poor Ben
I should start by saying that I heard this story from the person involved. It may well be total shite and a story that every school has. If that's the case, though, I've no idea why he didn't admit so and save himself years of bullying.

Anyway, there was a kid at my school called Ben. He was super clever and also a really nice guy. The kind of guy who was honest to a fault. He was into radiohead before anyone else and got stick for years before everyone else realised he was right. Music tastes, however, were the least of his worries. He had very strick parents. The kind that ensure academic success through a distint imbalance of the carrot/stick ratio. I dare say he was terrified of them. We sure were. Two super-strict Egyptian surgeons who prided themselves on discipline. And this made sure the story that sentenced him to 2 years of abuse all the more special.

As the story goes one day 16 year old Ben was sitting at his desk in his bedroom doing a little bit of internet surfing. As is the way with a combination of a teenage boy, privacy, and an open internet connection, he soon found himself looking at porn.

Now, Ben had recently heard that having a wank while sitting at your desk is like having a shit with your clothes on - it gets the job done, but there are more enjoyable ways. So he decided to walk on the wild side and have a standing wank. Hence, a couple of minutes of flesh-staring later, reaching the vinegar strokes and legs spasming, he was in the wanking version of what sportsmen would call 'the zone'.

Then in walks his mum.

Now, under usual circumstances - as we all know - the reflex kicks. Something is thrown over your crotch, monitor turned off and tissues hidden within about 0.1s. This is, apparently, not so easy with your trousers round your ankles, monitor out of reach and legs going through spasms. So, horror-struck at hearing the door open what does Ben do? He freezes. He turns to face the door and freezes. But it was too late. The vinegar strokes had arrived. So, stopping dead and clutching at his penis, his mum enters into the room to be welcomed by the sight of - you guessed it - Ben jizzing right at her.

Apparently he hit her dress near the ankle. She didn't stop. She simply walked in, got spunked on, and walked straight out again like an incestuous dial-a-bukkake. All within the space of about a second.

Needless to say, they never spoke about it. And, riddled with such a mental cluster-fuck, Ben confided in his best friend. Who told his best friend. Who told.....etc His life was misery from then on. Even the teachers knew - one once even joking about "seeing Monica Lewinski, er, I mean you mum" at parents evening. I mean, what's Ben going to do? Tell his dad?

The poor lad is getting married soon. Almost none of his friends from school are invited. Presumably to avoid his fiance learning that her new husband once spunked on his mum.
(Tue 19th May 2009, 5:45, More)

» Kids

Frazzle Frazzle Frazzle
When I was about 13, I used to spend every weekend with my best friend. Thing is, we lived quite far apart so one week he'd stay over at mine, the next I'd stay at his. One week his little cousin was staying over. He must have been about 8. These days, he'd probably be diagnosed with ADD but in those days he was a 'hyperactive little shit'.

After some hours, we got a bit impatient with the little bundle of despair so decided to annoy him as much as we could. It turned out this wasn't hard. We would simply whisper to each other in the childish manner of 'pppssswwwssswsss' that you do. He soon figured this out though, so we stepped up to Stage Two of our highly sophisticated plan: whisper 'Frazzle Frazzle Frazzle' (yes, we did eat many packs over the weekend).

Cue one child going absolutely mental at the merest mention of 'Frazzle'. What did it mean? Why did the bigger boys know about it and I didn't? etc etc

The highlight came when we (me, my frend, his mum, the cousin and the aunt) were all having a rather civilised lunch in the back garden when the aunt offered the child some crisps:

'Do you want some Frazzles?' she asked
'I HATE YOU!' came the reply as the kid hastily slid off his shoe, threw it square into her face, and ran away crying.

We managed to stifle our laughter while the kid was whisked away, leaving us to play Duke Nukem for the rest of the day.
(Sun 20th Apr 2008, 3:01, More)

» Phobias

Construction sites
OK, so perhaps not so much a phobia as just plain flashback-terror...

I’m an architecture student. I still have 2 of the seven years to go, but I think it’s a fair bet that once I finish, visits to construction sites will be a not-unusual occurrence. It’s quite a shame, then, that I am now fucking terrified by the lot of them. Allow me to explain...

Edinburgh uni: starting my undergrad all those years ago. Now, for anyone who’s ever lived in/visited Edinburgh uni Pollock Halls, you’ll know of Chancellor’s Court. For the uninitiated, it was a new building of student rooms within the halls of residence campus. My first year in the uni was the first year it opened and, compared to the other halls around it (of which I was a resident) it became a shining beacon of upper-class nobery. I shit you not when I say Edinburgh Uni is, in actually fact, twinned with Sloan Street. Ok, I shit you a little, but it’s not far off the mark and every single rah-rah 18 year old in tweed with rosy cheeks and a bmw seemed to get grouped into this one building.
Now, for you and me, student halls will conjure up images of sterile but somehow cosy corridors of endless identical doors. Grotty kitchens and every wall coated in that school-toilet paint-fleck stuff that everyone seems to have been expose to. Not Chancellor’s Court.

Here’s a picture of normal halls (the view isn't bad to be fair): http://www.maths.ed.ac.uk/or41/talks_v26t/pollock_04.gif

Here’s a picture of Chancellor’s Court: www.edinburgharchitecture.co.uk/jpgs/pollock_halls_070209_aw01.jpg

Mother. Fucker. This building had it all. Every room an ensuite. Every room a double. Every room with fucking swipe card access and a TV provided. It had its own ‘private’ bar. It had talking lifts. And the best bit? Those corner glass boxes? Those were the communal kitchens. All mod cons and beautiful to boot. Bitter? Not a bit. :/ Anyway, when I was there it was just about to finish construction. I guess it had run over deadline because they filled the finished bits to 40% capacity at a reduced price to recoup some costs while they finished the lower floors.

Cue me and a friend coming back for a few drinks with some relatively normal people we had met out. We had our drinks and shared awkward silences as the others from the corridor discussed who had the most powerful ‘daddy’. *cringes* Right, says I, time to leave. I think it is important at this point to point out that I was wasted. Ok, perhaps not entirely accurate: super-fucked may be a better phrase. Now this building is big and pretty confusing to navigate, so I had to ask for directions to the lift. “Go out the door and turn right, then left, then left again”. Cool. So I go out of the door and turn left. Twat.

I get to a door with stairs beyond. Fuck it, thinks I, it’ll do. So down I go, wobbling all the way as I clumsily try to send a text before my battery dies. I count the floors, 2nd, 1st, ground – ok! I open the fire door and go through, swearing at my phone as it figures out if it’s going to send the text or not. About half a second later I notice that this doesn’t seem like the reception. For a start it’s pretty dark. I look up from my phone and notice the windows. They’re glowing from the lights outside. They still have factory plastic coating on. That seems to be the only light coming in. My gaze wanders around to see an entire open plan basement floor scattered with concrete dust, odd bits of scaffolding and fire extinguishers. Tits. We were drinking on the 1st floor. As I turn, the new high-spec fire door does that annoying new-door thing of slowly gliding shut before suddenly slamming to a close. Grr. Still, at least I didn’t catch my fingers. I turn the handle to open it. The handle doesn’t work. Why? Because there’s a fucking swipe card reader next to it and, as I’m not a resident, my card doesn’t work. I look to my phone just in time to see the power down screen. Arse burgers.

So there I was, locked in a basement level construction site with no phone and getting more drunk every second as the freshers promos started to really hit. I try the windows (the basement was at this stage on a lower-ground floor as landscaping was yet to come). They’re locked to only open 5cm. Left with no option, I open one that far, grab the top edge and jump, putting all my weight on it. *crack* Sorted.
Slipping through the window I reach the soil. Although, this being Edinburgh, it was now a slick of mud and sludge. Inevitably I slip. I slip and I keep on slipping. To say it was only 20m to the edge of the construction site is like saying the burglars from Home Alone only had to go upstairs. Seriously, I think builders spend their evenings setting up traps for any student thick and/or drunk enough to find themselves in a construction site at 4:30 in the morning. You name it, I slipped over it, fell down it, fell into it, broke it, stubbed my toe on it and – in the case of a pile of left over copper cladding – reached out to grab it as I fell and sliced my hand open. After what seemed like an unnecessarily long eternity I got to the edge of the site, only to be greeted by a 9 foot wall. The type with the diagonal timber bracing so you can’t climb it. Well, after many false starts and slippy encounters with near-shitting myself, I reached the top. Only problem was, I hadn’t really figured out what to do once I got that far. So I jumped down. Now, I’m not sure if you’ve ever seen a drunk, mud-covered student jump from a 9ft wall. It’s not graceful. I started the motion of leaping then decided against it midway, turning around sharpish. Unfortunately, the first stage in jumping was to let go of the fence. Hence the cartoon-esque mid-air twist, clamber, wall/face drag then spine crunch as I hit the pavement. Luckily I was too drunk to feel all the pain, but I still have a lump on my lower back from that.

Finally I had made it. Just one humiliation left as I got back to my corridor and tumbled into a friend’s room. There was everyone – including the guy I had left in Chancellor’s Court about half an hour ago – all sitting warm and comfortable. As I opened the door they all turned from their film to look up at me: at this stage propping myself up on the wall, so drunk I was dribbling spit down my chin, leaving a smear trail of blood on the paint-fleck wall as I slowly slid forward, caked head to toe in a predator-style mud/concrete dust combo, and with window-coating plastic wrapped around my shoes mumbling something about ‘fucking copper’.

Now every time I go on site I can’t help but count the exits and plan the best escape route. This does not usually involve a 9 foot wall.
(Sat 12th Apr 2008, 7:51, More)
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