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Potato Chop virgin. Have the program but lack the verve to actually read the instructions.

I have two shopable Siamese cats though...

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» The nicest thing someone's ever done for me

White van man saved my wedding
The morning of my wedding (10 years back now... yoinks) I was at my Best Man's house. I'd woken up with only a tiny hangover, which was long gone by 10am, and everything was going with military precision: calls back and forth between the two wedding camps to check everything was ok, deliveries were being delivered on time etc etc.

So, comes the time and we pile into my mates car to set off and get to the church in plenty of time.

We get to the slip road of the A3, and have to stop. Some stupid fcking white van driving cnut is REVERSING down the slip road, right in front of us. We're looking on open mouthed at this bloody idiot and making every single assumption about white van man you possibly can.

He reverses up till he's parallel with us and winds his window down. Just before my mate gives him an earful about how reversing down sliproads is an unbelievably stupid-prick thing to do, he says:

"Saw you in all the wedding gear in me wing mirror mate. You ain't getting to a wedding this way, there's a 10 mile tailback and it's not moving at all. Best go round the houses if I were you."

Pause.

All of us (meekly) "umm.... thanks mate, you're brilliant..."

So we go round the houses and got to the church on time, praising white van man all the way. Some of our guests didn't have an angelic van driver to set them right, and missed the entire service, stuck for more than 3 hours in the traffic jam. I still shudder to think how close I came to missing my own wedding.
(Fri 3rd Oct 2008, 12:45, More)

» Have you ever seen a dead body?

Hospital portering: the most disturbing student vacation job ever
Many years ago, and having accumulated a crippling overdraft over the previous year at college, I took a summer-long job as a hospital porter, working on the operating theatre level. Daily duties included collecting patients for their ops, and trying not to appear as the Angel Of Death whilst they were ripped to the tits on pre-med before the anaesthetic gets administered.

But the worst duty was rubbish removal, because occasionally this involved boxed up body parts that had to be taken to the morgue.

The morgue was euphemistically called 'Rose Cottage' so as to avoid upsetting people on the geriatric wards: "Where's so-and-so gone? His beds empty." "He's been transferred to Rose Cottage." Sounds lovely, doesn't it? Well, Rose Cottage was actually a very functional 60's built building just down from the main hospital site. You'd go in and the first room was the freezer room, gleaming steel fridge doors lining the walls. Then through a plastic hospital double door to the work room, where the pathologist would usually be at work. If you were lucky the doors were closed, but if it was a hot day they were wedged open for ventilation, and you couldn't help but see whatever he was up to. That bit in Heroes where Claire wakes up post her own autopsy? Pretty realistic that.

The pathologist was a nice bloke - he was the county forensic pathologist, so any sudden death would go to him for autopsy to see if foul play was involved. He was reputedly so good, he could open up a cadaver neck to groin, lean his face fully into the body, take a deep sniff and declare "arsenic..."

Anyhow, my first bin run on theatres involved the usual stuff - yellow bags for normal waste, sharps boxes and red bags for 'infectious waste' which ran the gamut of tumors to the contents of voided bowels.

And then you had the hastily sellotaped cardboard boxes. See, body parts come in all shapes and sizes, so there's no standard box to put them in - they just find the first available box and stick it in, seal the bugger up. They put them in a bag first, but chances are if it's an amputation, it's been amputated because of gangrene, and tends to be a bit... well, drippy. The bag didn't always work and you'd see a box with suspiciously wet bottom corners.

And there it was: my first box. Quite a small affair, probably a forearm. This needs to be hand delivered to Rose Cottage for proper disposal. Dutifully, I get rid of the main rubbish, and then it's off to the morgue.

Mr pathologist is busy. I shout through the plastic doors to avoid seeing anything horrible, and he just says 'Freezer 3". I open freezer 3, and it's a 3 level affair, all levels occupied. Top shelf and middle shelf have the normal corpses covered with sheets, but the bottom shelf is slightly different: it's a sheet covered corpse alright, but the sheet seems to get to neck level and then... nothing. Except a red stain. Below that, on the floor of the freezer, a box big enough to contain, say, a human head.

I'm staring aghast trying to process this and Mr Pathologist comes out to check on me. "Ah yes..." he says, "motorcyle crash. Awful really."

Gingerly I put my measly arm-in-a-box next to the clearly show-off head-in-a-box and get out as quick as I can. That bit at the end of Se7en where he's saying "What's in the box? WHAT'S in the BOX?" has special relevence for me.

But the worst one was when I had to deliver a larger box - an above the knee amputation. It was heavier (but at least not dripping this time) and as I was walking over to Rose Cottage, something happened. There was a dull thud from inside the box, and a sort of movement.

I nearly shat. I stood stock still waiting for any other 'suprises' and then pegged it as fast as I could into the morgue, my face ashen. After I'd calmed down, Mr Pathologist worked out what had happened. They obviously didn't have a big enough box to lay the leg flat, so they's sort of bent it at the knee joint and stuffed it in that way. As I was carrying it, a gangrene ravaged tendon somewhere had finally snapped, causing what was left of the septic muscle to contract slightly and 'kick' from inside the box.

I left shortly afterwards. And never cleared that bastard overdraft either.

If you got this far, thank you for your patience...
(Thu 28th Feb 2008, 14:34, More)

» Pet Peeves

Morrisons
When they individually wrap 1 piece of fruit or veg - they do this with apples and peppers.

Fucks sake, like we need more fucking packaging.
(Fri 2nd May 2008, 13:36, More)

» Pointless Experiments

Not a story, more a question.
For some reason, I like soda water and get through loads of it, to the point where Mrs Vertigo pointed out we weren't exactly helping that whole environmental thing by continually buying 2 litre bottles of the stuff (yes, we recycle them, but not buying them at all is better, right?)

Anyway, the upshot was that we bought a Sodastream. After getting over the initial retro 70's thing (btw, the 'flavours' are uniformly disgusting. Just the fizzy water for me thanks), a question has been scratching the back of my brainpan like a continual annoyance: can you Sodastream milk, what would it taste like and would it fuck up your Sodastream?

I think the result would be, yes, foul and absolutely. But I'd be interested if any b3tan has given it a go in the interests of scientific advancement.
(Thu 24th Jul 2008, 15:45, More)

» Restaurants, Kitchens and Bars... Oh my!

B3ta Waiters, Barmen and Chefs
Fed up with having to serve customers who may be rude/want something off the menu/don't buy enough drinks/didn't tip much last time/look a bit 'funny'?

Then go find a better fucking job, instead of stuffing your potential health hazard genital and bodily excretions in to food ffs.
(Thu 27th Jul 2006, 14:12, More)
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