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This is a question Cheap Tat

OneEyedMonster remindes us about the crap you can buy in pound shops: "Batteries that lasted about an hour and then died. A screwdriver with a loose handle so I couldn't turn the damn screw, and a tape measure which wasn't at all accurate."

Similarly, my neighbour bought a lawnmower from Argos that was so cheap the wheels didn't go round, it sort of skidded over the grass whilst gently back-combing it.

What's the cheapest, most useless crap you've bought?

(, Fri 4 Jan 2008, 7:26)
Pages: Latest, 17, 16, 15, 14, 13, ... 1

This question is now closed.

My dutch bike
I spent part of my university years at the Universiteit Leiden, in Holland. Now Holland is even bigger on bikes than Oxford or Cambridge, and it immediately became obvious to me that I'd need a bike to get around, if only because all my mates there had one and I'd need to keep pace with them whilst out on the piss.

The only problem was, I didn't want to spend actual money on it. I'm not a tight-arse, this was a tactical decision: I'd rather spend the money on beer and women, than on a fucking bike.

Being a resourceful chap, I hit upon a solution. This was Holland - bike theft is more endemic in Leiden than the clap is amongst prostitutes in the red-light district. I didn't have the skill (fair enough - or the balls) to nick a bike myself, but the by-products of bike theft littered the streets - the odd wheel here, a rusty frame there, maybe a saddle or two. My block of flats also had a communal bike garage, where there were a few sorry-looking bike carcasses. So I decided to build my own bike from abandoned parts - a Frankenbike, if you will.

Over a period of a week or so, my bike took shape. The frame I'd found was painted in Rasta colours, and badly painted at that. The tyres were so bald that bits of inner tube actually poked and bulged through holes, like some rubber hernia. And - this was the bit that surprised me most - the front wheel was bigger than the back wheel. Turns out that there are two different commonly-used wheel sizes, and I didn't have the privilege of having more than two wheels to choose from, so a matching set was impossible.

The result was awesome to behold. The bike looked like some demented, broken-down, Rastafarian chopper. It was so shit, it was actually cool. Of course, it got punctures every second day, but I loved it. Even when I got a puncture taking a girl back from a bar to my love-nest, and she spent the entire journey berating me for my shit bike whilst she walked beside me, I still loved it. Mainly because she still put out regardless.

But karma was enforced. Despite my bike clearly being the shittest, most broken contraption within the Amsterdam-Leiden-Hague metropolitan area, it still got nicked from outside Leiden railway station. I never replaced it because I couldn't bear to ride any other bike.

And, of course, because I was still too tight to buy one, and I'd now used up all the available parts on the streets.

No apologies for length - you love it.
(, Sun 6 Jan 2008, 12:05, 8 replies)
My boyfriend
is about to purchase a load of sex toys online, including a 10 pence cock ring. This may turn out to be a cheap tat story :P

Click 'i like this' if you would like pictures of usage of aforementioned sex toys.

I have no shame :)
(, Sat 5 Jan 2008, 21:49, 7 replies)
I believe that personal organisers are our future…

Approximately 1825 moons (or 5 years) ago, I went to a ‘Computer Fair’ (you know the type: ‘Tomorrow’s technology at yesterday’s trade prices blah blah’).

Despite the fact that these fairs are notoriously shoddy, invariably leave me nostril-deep in useless crap, clutter and claptrap and are swamped by infamous twats, charlatans and tat-mongers…these places are like catnip to me.

Gadgets, you see…really pump my nads.

So it will not come to anybody’s surprise to hear that when I saw a crudely written sign on one of the stalls saying ‘Latest Personal Organiser’, I shot over there like a fat-arsed rubber bullet fired out of some sort of twunt-gun.

The grubby looking Fagan lookalike behind the stall, no doubt sensing that he was going to soon be on the decent end of the quickest, easiest and stupidest sale of his life, leaned towards me and grinned a wry smile, looking for all intent and purposes like an old wise gypsy who was about to reveal to me the secret of eternal life.

“These things are smart, mate”, he gushes, pointing to the plastic-sealed item in front of him. “Pocket PCs, they do your accounts, sort out your appointments, you can write memos…everything! Dead handy…You’ll never be without it”

Looking down, his story seems to check out. I see an item that is about 7 inches by 3. There is a big red button on the top and on what looks like a massive screen there are sort of touchpad keys with an odd, not quite QWERTY keyboard and a few extra buttons.

I realised there and then that this was the one item I needed to make my life complete.

With my eyes wide and gleaming, imagining the jealous looks on my friends and relatives’ faces and using my sleeve to wipe the drool from my mouth I tentatively plead: “H-h-h-how much?”

“25 quid” the scruffy cunt exclaims, “And I’ve only got this one left”

To be honest, he hadn’t even got to the ‘Q’ of ‘Quid’ before my left hand launched at the item (before anybody else could snatch this uber-bargain away), and my right hand was thrust into my pocket, desperately grubbing for cash like a starving raccoon looking for scraps of food in a dustbin.

My luck was in! 20 pounds! I hand it over to him and continue to rummage through my change. As I struggle to gather about another 3 pounds or so in loose change and place it in his increasingly weighed down hands the man sighs:

“That’ll do mate, call it 23 quid”

I thought to myself ‘Surely this is the single greatest act of kindness I have ever witnessed’ as I make my way to the exit of the fair.

I can hardly contain my excitement as I burst through the door of my house and tear at the plastic packaging, hopping from foot to foot.

The organiser came with one of those pointy prodder stick jobs and I used it the press the big red button. It jumped into life with a satisfying ‘beep’.

It was here that I noticed the first problem. The screen which appeared to be about 5 inches across was actually about 1 inch at the top.

Undeterred, I continued. ‘I wonder how I set an appointment on it?’ I thought as I pressed the key saying ‘Memo’. It didn’t work. Neither did any of the QWERTY keys.

In fact, only the number keys worked. I had bought a trumped up gargantuan calculator badly made to look like a PDA.

Truly, I was a twat.

I’m still waiting for the donkey ears to sprout from my head.
(, Fri 4 Jan 2008, 10:45, 6 replies)
Some cheap wine I found in a local shop in Newcastle


Tastes like it too.
(, Sun 6 Jan 2008, 11:00, 6 replies)
A cheap coat
"It's not me it's you"'s post reminded me of a coat I had at school. It was about 1982, and I wanted a parka, the cool kind with the furry collar.

Well, I very nearly got one. Instead I got a coat which, while undoubtedly having a furry collar, seemed to be made of neoprene. Yes, the stuff you make wetsuits out of.

Now, I am not being ungrateful, because (a) the family were pretty skint at the time, (b) I don't think it was actually that cheap, and (c) this was in fact the most amazingly waterproof coat in the world and I never got wet or cold wearing it, no matter how hard the rain or how late the bus. Thanks, Dad!

But the reason it's in the "tat" QOTW was because of its amazing rubbery properties.

If you relaxed, the springiness of its rubberized fabric meant that your arms arose from your sides to about a 30 degree angle. You had to actually work to keep your arms by your sides. (Or put your hands in your pockets.)

The same property meant that it would stand up by itself. You could zip up the front, hold it by the hood, and place it gently on the floor, where it would stand, looking like an invisible Eskimo just after stepping in a seal hole.

When you're 12, this is endlessly amusing.
(, Mon 7 Jan 2008, 22:56, 4 replies)
James Bond watch
I bought a watch in Bangkok that was also a lighter. You pressed the bezel and a flame came out of the top of the dial.

I was pretty smug until a girl came over and asked me for a light, and managed to give myself an almighty electric shock and burn her fringe with a giant flame at the same time.
(, Mon 7 Jan 2008, 14:39, 2 replies)
Razors
I bought thirty Poundland razors for--guess how much?--that's right, a pound. Bugger those expensive ones. Seriously, what difference can there be between a razor that costs three pence, and one of those fancy ones where the replacement blades cost a king's ransom?

A lot, it turns out.

They had no lubrication strip, and one blade. Gent's ones in black, ladies' in pink. Obviously I went for the ladies' one.

I then made possibly the biggest mistake of my life. I decided to shave my minge with one of my remarkably cheap purchases. Perhaps this would be a good answer for last week's QOTW, because one should never shave one's minge with a Poundland razor. One will be left with a horrific red rash and, bizarrely, most of the hair still remaining.

Did I learn my lesson? Of course not, I'd spent a hard-earned pound on thirty of the fuckers. It was like a game of Russian Roulette. Some were sharp, some were rather like shaving with a spoon. My legs now look like those of a miserable goth because of the number of Poundland-induced wounds.
(, Fri 4 Jan 2008, 16:12, 14 replies)
This is kind of an anti-answer...
Back in 1988 we got our first house [only possible with my parents' help as it was a 2-bed terrace in Hounslow and cost a fortune: £77,000 - but that's a bit of a tangent]. With a house - especially one in an advanced state of disrepair - comes work. When skint, this work is necessarily self-inflicted; when married, it is to the man that the noisy/heavy work devolves.

Now, it is a truth universally acknowledged that a married woman in possession of a small house is in need of cushions...and shelving. Shelving to put cushions on and cushions to put on shelving; when the shelving is full of cushions, it is not time to get rid of cushions, it is time to put up more shelving. I needed a drill, and by lucky happenstance, my brother had a drill he was willing to give me. It was a bottom-of-the-range Black & Decker, features included: one speed, uni-directional, smooth/hammer action, short flex, turquoise coloured. It was small and light enough to hold easily in one hand but had grooves on it enabling easy two-handed action. But hey, it worked...in fact it worked hard and long and often.

For a while I trained and then worked as a cabinet maker. The drill got even more regular use, I learned to use it carefully, got the best from it.

We did the place up, sold it just as prices were falling and moved north. Bought another do-er up-er, got the drill out, more plugs, screws, planks, shelving. Did furniture design at uni, then got a job at one point as an odd-job man at a pub (have drill, will travel), we moved house again etc. etc. The poor old drill got more and more scratched up, I'd forget to change bits and forced the drill to make holes with blunt ones. Then after a while, there was no difference between the hammer action and the smooth - it was worn down to nothing. The motor would spark like crazy and smoke a bit when pushed. The plug got loose, bits would spin in the chuck and need re-tightening after a while - I'd lose bits in walls as they unscrewed themselves deep in cavities.

1998 - another house, more work. My tool box (well, three boxes really) resembled the back of a workman's van: bits of plumbing, electrical bits, gubbings from a washing machine, wire wool, clout nails, washers, wood stain, araldite, a candle stub, rawl plugs, 13 amp plugs, 2" sink plugs, allen keys, radiator keys, chuck keys, tenon saw, dovetail saw, mitre saw, keyhole saw, jigsaw, three hammers, two planes, four chisels, two bradawls, six screwdrivers, plane blades, old drill bits, jigsaw blades and about 850 different types of screw from 1/8 inch brass slot-head No.2s to 120mm No.12 cross-head super-screws. The old drill quietly celebrated its 10th birthday un-loved and neglected.

Finally - 2004, we're wandering around the DIY store when I see a new powerful drill. It has a variable speed, slow-start, dual action, reversable motor. It has a handle attachment so it's a bit like an AK-47, it's silver, it has it's own case and a very long lead. It comes with 20 drill bits - 10 for wood, 10 for masonary - did I mention it was silver? It's on special offer, reduced from £59.99 to just £29.99...it's nearly my birthday. My dear wife says: "Why don't you get it? That old drill of yours won't last much longer anyway." So I do, and I take the old drill to the dump - carefully place it down in the metal/electrical trailer, give it one last pat and walk away.

And do you know what? I don't like the new one much; it's too heavy, it's too big to get into awkward places, the flex gets tangled, it's hard work and difficult to get it to go back into it's smart carry-case. I miss that old drill - cheap tat though it was.
(, Mon 7 Jan 2008, 15:41, 5 replies)
Extendable dog leads
I bought an extendable/retractable dog lead from a pound shop (it cost £1 in case you were wondering). Next day I'm walking the dog and he sees something he wants to investigate and pelts off after it. He reaches the limit of the lead but instead of jerking sharply to a halt he simply pulls the lead straight out of its case and carries on.
He was a Yorkshire Terrier.
(, Fri 4 Jan 2008, 12:19, 3 replies)
This was actually bought for me
Growing up in Fareham, there were more charity shops than anything else, but the one pound shop we DID have was MASSIVE, and what's more, it sold pretty much everything.

For my birthday one year, a mate of mine, being a fan of all things Vic and Bob, decided to get me a frying pan. Best. Present. Ever.

It was made of some flimsy alloy, akin to metallic paper, and painted red. The best bit, was that it caused absolutely no harm when you attempted to spang someone on the head with it, but it did make a lovely metal "CLANG!" noise.

This was all well and good, causing much merriment in school with even the teachers enjoying the odd spang. It all came to an end when I decided to use it for the intended purpose however.

There were no other clean pans, the parentals were away and I was hungry, so I popped some oil and an egg into my spanging pan, and put it on the stove....

Firstly the red paint began to smoke and bubble, before peeling away from the pan and falling to the bottom of the hob in a flaming mess. Then, the wafer thin pan began to warp and bend. Yup, that's right, a melting frying pan. Stunning.

(N.B. Obviously I removed it from the hob pretty damn sharpish)
(, Fri 4 Jan 2008, 13:46, 3 replies)
Over here they're called Dollar Stores.
When I was in my last apartment we had a Dollar Store in the little shopping center at the edge of the apartment complex. My son went up there one day and returned with two big bags of those thick rubber bands, which he proceeded to tie together into a very long rubber band rope.

Then he stood at the edge of the balcony on the third floor and dangled the end of it down to his brother, who stretched it across the parking lot. The one on the ground let go, and the rope made a truly evil sound as it snapped toward the balcony- where my son was crouched behind the railing, protected as it slammed into the balcony.

After much giggling they did it again- only this time the one on the balcony let go, resulting in a couple of pounds of rubber bands slamming into his brother's testicles. There was a howl, almost drowned out by the rest of us cracking up...

I think he's still got that bag of rubber bands somewhere.

Length was about 300 feet when stretched.
(, Fri 4 Jan 2008, 21:07, 1 reply)
mmm, cheap meat, cheap enema
When I moved house a while back, I had to blow every damn penny I had on security deposits and moving costs, so I had to last a week on £15 before my next pay packet came through. So off I trot to asda and buy all the cheap shit I can find, lots of pasta, rice and joy of joys, asda economy burgers. 8 for 99p!

Dear Lord, never again.

I've never had food poisoning before. And I'll die a happy man if I never have it again. Approx 11/2 hours after eating a couple of these sawdust burgers, I was being very, very, very sick into the toilet. It was spraying out so violently that I had to dip my head under the rim to keep it all in the bowl. As if that wasn't bad enough, it then started coming out the other end with just as much gusto. I had to choose between sick in toilet or shit in toilet. In the end, to save destroying the carpet, I had to puke in the toilet and shit in my pants. This went on for about 30 minutes. By the end it was just bright orange bile coming out of both ends. My throat and arsehole burned red hot for days.

I'll never forget the sensation of hot liquid shit endlessly filling the seat of my trousers and then spreading down the legs. I had to bend my legs tightly to create a seal and keep it all from spreading out onto the carpet. And to round it all off, those 99p burgers ruined a £20 pair of jeans.
(, Fri 4 Jan 2008, 12:42, 7 replies)
Shockers
Working on a big outdoor arts event in birmingham, about 15 years ago, I set out to find some lunch for my crew. It was sunday and everywhere around the site was shut. Kept looking and finally found a little corner shop open.

All I could get my hands on was a sorry assortment of biscuits, sweets and crisps. All were mysterious crap brands. One thing that caught my eye was packets of 'Shockers' "Four licorice flavour gumballs, which ones the shocker" Bought a packet each for everyones desert.

Back at base after our hearty meal our game of gumball russian roulette begins.

Taking it in turns to chomp on the gumballs we speculate on what the shock might be

Could it maybe be really hot?
Or really sour?
Oh hang on, has it made my tongue blue?

Three gumballs gone, one left in the packet and so far no shocks.

I bite into it and immediately start to retch uncontrollably

Squinting at the packet I discover that the mystery ingredient is.... Ammonia. Like biting into one of the bleach blocks you get in urinals. Well I have to confess I didn't see that coming, that was indeed quite a shock.

Never saw them on the shelves again either
(, Wed 9 Jan 2008, 19:11, 3 replies)
That reminds me...
It's going to be a long one...

My previous post reminded me of this...

Morrisons is the supermarket of choice for those who feel they are too upmarket for asda. A home for the troglodytes/chavs/marsupials that seem to populate our society these days...

My housemate and I decided to host a party in the style of fancy dress, as you do, and as part of the role of host i decided to whip up some flavoured vodka (favourites being skittles, werthers originals and xtra strong mint varieties).

Morrisons decided that this weeks special offer would be litres of obsure brand vodka for £5 each... bargain thought I!

Four litres of vodka, several packets of the finest sweeties money can buy, and a weeks worth of brewing/fermentation later, the evening was set... my classy ninja costume secured i was ready to wow my guests with vast quantities of alcohol, stunning choons and conversational wit...

It started well, The winter fairies from down the road were getting on well with the witches and warlocks from the other side of town... The mexican farmer was slowly trying to worm his way into Action Mans pants, and Daisy Duke seemed to be enjoying herself with the Jock in drag...

and then it all went a little hazy, the cheap vodka did not mix well with the copious amounts of beer and weed... various puddles of red, yellow and white began to appear around the garden, my stomach started to quiver in time to the bassline... things were not looking good...

By this point it was too late to warn anyone, the last of the vodka was consumed, the garden was full of vomiting fantastical creatures, the dwarves were hurling on the elves, who were in turn vomiting on the fairies. The evening had degenerated into chaos...

suffice to say, that was the end of the evening, everyone who was in a fit state left as soon as they were capable, those unable collapsed where they were in soggy heaps. I have no recollection of the remainder of the evening apart from answering the door to my loudly complaining neighbour, and when told to keep the noise down answering with a well thought out reposte of "Bleeuuughh" complete with chunks of sausage roll from my nostrils...

I learnt my lesson though, never, EVER buy cheap vodka... it'll be the death of you and quite possibly your friends...

If you click "i like this" I'll post some of the pics from the night in question...
(, Mon 7 Jan 2008, 16:10, 11 replies)
Rainbow = Metamphetamine abusers' playground

Sort of related...

My wife and I frequent a discount store called 'Grocery Outlet', often referred to by the people of my town as 'Rainbow' for no more reason than the fact that their logo is a large, tacky, 70's-style rainbow. Great cheap, foodie deals are to be had there - rounds of brie for 50 cents, 10 yogurts for $1, a quart or organic milk for 90 cents, and so on...

Partly because of such modest prices and partly because of the locale, Rainbow is often frequented by folks who are addicted to metamphetamine. In fact, when we shop there I usually play a game (much to the disapproval of a more compassionate Mrs. luvtub) that I call 'Spot the Tweaker', for there's virtually always at least one or two to be found in house.

Tweakers are renowned for exercising somewhat impulsive behavior while under the influence. Take Exhibit A, for example, in which an 8-pack of bear claws (a Stateside breakfast pastry) became a 7-pack:

Image Hosted by ImageShack.us

Unfazed, Rainbow higher-ups simply marked down the sticky buns from $2.50 to $1.50 for the lot.

Exhibits B and C further illustrate the phenomenon, but one can hardly blame the offender - who doesn't love a raw hot dog while zipping about a discount shop, giggling in pressured, paranoid fits?

Image Hosted by ImageShack.us

The downside, of course, is because the 8-pack has been opened, the goods have become unsalable, haven't they? Not so fast! There are still 7 perfectly good franks in there. Originally $1.50? Let's just fix that...

Image Hosted by ImageShack.us



Please be kind. I'm shy and don't post much.
(, Mon 7 Jan 2008, 1:54, 5 replies)
There was a special offer in tescos.
Just after christmas, A bag of clementines for 5p.

Not wanting to turn down an offer such as this, we took full advantage.

'I like this'. It helps you get the ladies. Or men. Or both if your lucky.

We later bought 56 tubs of cream, Came to about a fiver. Seemed a great deal.
(, Sat 5 Jan 2008, 1:00, 7 replies)
Dvds
off a Chinese lady. They were obviously going to be bad quality but i didn’t expect the Chinese man filming it to take the camera with him to the toilet.
(, Fri 4 Jan 2008, 10:07, 3 replies)
Paint is paint right?
Or so I thought a couple of years ago. At the tender age of 29 I had finally managed to save enough to move into my own house. A minor problem (or so I thought at the time) was that a colour-blind mentalist had painted every room; it was all dark maroon and lilac with lime green gloss.

So off I troop to Homebase. Never having bought paint in my life I didn't realise how expensive it was, £15 for a 5ltr tin of magnolia? Fuck off! So I did what any other self respecting skinflint would do and started loading my trolley with Homebase own brand paint (£5 for 20ltrs, get in!).

Then something strange happened. Suddenly there was an old bloke stood next to me, he fixed me with a beady eye and said "Don't do it lad, 'tis like painting with milk".....Needless to say I ignored the old mans warning, hell, I had council tax to pay and beer to buy. What do old people know anyway?

As it turns out they know quite a lot about paint. The white emulsion was so thin it barely clung to the brush and took 4 coats to cover an already white ceiling. So the next time you are in Homebase, don't just ignore the wise old man and go and look at the chainsaws, heed his advice and buy the decent stuff, and then go and look at the chainsaws.

Does anybody want approx 30 litres of the cheapest shittiest ‘paint’ known to man? “Homebase value paint: It doesn’t do what it says on the tin”
(, Fri 4 Jan 2008, 10:16, 5 replies)
Amstrad
Years ago I bought an Amstrad Stacking Hi-Fi system. . And as is my wont, I stripped it down because I was fascinated with the "Noise Reduction" button. If you pressed it, a wee red light came on. But to my untrained ear, I couldn't make out the slightest change in the sound. So I had a look.

Turns out that the noise reduction button had one function and one function only. It turned on the LED. It wasn't connected to anything else - just a simple on/off switch for the LED.

Cheers
(, Tue 8 Jan 2008, 23:12, 2 replies)
Cheap Holidays
My parents like anyone always have their eye out for a bargain. When I was in my teens and therefore sick of cheap camping type holidays, I wanted to go somewhere sophisticated, stylish, somewhere I could brag about to my friends.

So my mother saw a week long holiday to Mayrhofen, Austria during the ski season.

Sophisticated! Stylish!

And all for £45!!

Okay so none of us skied...

None of us had decent winter gear...

But it was £45 for a week in a posh(ish) hotel in Austria!

So after my parents had spent a few hundred pounds on ski jackets, hiking/snow boots, new woolly hats, gloves, and so on, we were finally ready to set off on our exciting Cheap winter holiday.

We'd never had a Winter holiday before.

We were flying to France and then a coach would take us on to Austria.

We were flying from Lydd airport. Yes, Lydd.

Where?

It's on the Romney Marsh and not that far from Camber Sands in East Sussex. It's flat, very flat around there and on the Marsh the folk have webbed feet.

Anyway, the flatness of the area means it's prone to fog.

Our flight was cancelled because Lydd was fog bound. But not to worry, a coach would be despatched and we would be taken to another international airport instead. Manston.

At the time we lived not far from Manston. Lydd is about 45 miles from Manston, we were going to be driving on a coach back home.

The coach arrived and it was held together by old bus tickets, camel dung and string.

All the luggage was loaded into the boot, we passengers were loaded into our seats and off we set down the potholed road out of Lydd.

We had gone about 100 yards when someone started to shout from the back...the door to the coach's boot had opened and all the luggage was strewn out on the road behind us.

Luggage collected, journey safely completed to Manston, we arrived at the airport.

And we sat outside in the coach. All of us. A plane load.

Why?

Because no one at Manston appeared to know we were coming. There was no plane ready.

Eventually after some strong words were exchanged we were allowed to get on board a flight. This was a chartered flight and not a scheduled one so things had been organised pretty swiftly, but it also meant that the speed of change over had removed the opportunity to restock the plane with drinks or any duty frees. Not a problem really, my parents had already spent the spending money on the ski wear (did I mention we don't ski?).

At long last the plane taxis down the runway (coincidentally Manston has one of the longest runways in the UK and was at one time on the list of emergency runways for the US Space Shuttle to land should it need to abort).
The plane goes faster and faster.
The plane begins to shake from the speed.
The nose of the plane begins to lift.
Slowly the plane tilts back as it hurtles along faster and faster.
BANG!
The door to the cockpit flies open....the catch had given way and we are treated to the view of the pilot and co-pilot wrestling with the controls (I'm sure what they were doing was entirely normal, but to the untrained eye it appeared they were physically pulling us up into the air). As the plane continues to climb the door flaps open and shakes along with the passengers.

The remainder of the flight passed without a hitch...well, until we were circling over Calais airport.

Yes, for those of you familiar with the geography of the Nord Pas De Calais region (most of Kent comes into it according to Brussels)..Calais is approximately 35 miles from Manston (as the crow flies) or approximately 45 or so by road and ferry. Yes, it would have been simpler to have used the road and ferry, but this was all for £45!!

Calais was like Lydd - fog bound.

We had to fly onto Brussels. Where, like Manston, they didn't know we were arriving. We had to argue at the passport control that we were all entering the country.

Then we had to wait a few hours until our coach turned up.

Then at last we were on our way, overnight to Austria. On a coach.

We did no skiing.

I knew why we had never been on a winter holiday before - unless you are skiing snow is cold, wet and often quite miserable.

Everyone around us was having a fantastic time. Skiing.

But it all cost only £45.

My parents have never been on a winter holiday since.
(, Mon 7 Jan 2008, 22:41, 1 reply)
During Euro 96
when the Three Lions song was being rammed down everyones throats, my friend (ahem...) bought an England shirt from Romford market.

It had two lions.
(, Fri 4 Jan 2008, 17:03, Reply)
Tesco value toaster
Unlike Penguin of death's, mine has been working perfectly well (reasonably well anyway) for over a year, but I do have one question about it. (And most other toasters in my experience)

The setting dial goes from 1 to about 6.
1 = Lightly toasted
2 = Medium brown / Well toasted
3 = Carbon - Sets off smoke alarms all over house


What the fuck are 4, 5 & 6 for???
Perhaps;
4 = Burn down your house?
5 = Cause a local blackout?
6 = Blow up the national grid?
(, Fri 4 Jan 2008, 13:25, 11 replies)
Cheap Bike
In my financially challenged youth, I once bought a bike from a classified ad in the local freesheet. After a few days the back brake stopped working, but since the front brake still worked fine I wasn't too bothered (Can you guess where this is going?).

I used to use this bike to get to and from work, and to go home at lunchtime since the dysentery on offer from the work canteen didn't appeal. I lived in a quiet village, and there was rarely any traffic in the middle of the day. I'd got into the habit of barely slowing down at a blind t-junction en-route (You can definitely guess where this is going!).

Anyway, one day late as usual, I was heading back to work as fast as my hairy little legs could carry me. I approached the junction, gave a feather-light touch to the brakes and casually glanced left.

There was a car coming.

I slammed on both brakes so hard I probably left finger marks in the brake levers. The back break did nothing, the front brake gripped the wheel harder than a pikey gripping his dole cheque.

Over the handlebars I go. Amazingly I managed to execute a perfect somersault and land on my feet. Had there been judges watching, all would have held up cards with 10 written on them.

"Well, that's didn't go too badly," thinks I, "That was actually kind of cool".

I didn't guess where it was going.

The bike saddle hit me on the back of the head, and the cheap cast iron bike frame came crashing down on me, propelling me into the path of the oncoming car. Thankfully the driver had decent reflexes, so my only injuries were grazed palms and bruised dignity.

Length? Just over a metre and made of cast iron.
(, Fri 4 Jan 2008, 10:01, 3 replies)
Young Chickenlady the snob - Cheapest EVER wedding
Back in my late teens/early twenties I dated a chap who received a wedding invitation from one of the guys he'd been at college with.

We went out and purchased a lovely china vase from one of the department stores in town - you can never have too many vases in my opinion. It was the ideal wedding present for someone I didn't know at all and my then bf knew only slightly.

The weeks rolled around and the bf was all set to go on the Stag Night. I was to drop him at the agreed pub (one of the roughest in town...) and then I planned to go home for a quiet night in front of the TV.
Reached the pub and the bf asks me to go in with him for a quick drink - I'd get to meet the groom and the bf would have the opportunity to show me to his mates....

But the pub was empty...except for the groom.

And his bride to be.

So I stayed with the intention of leaving once the best man turned up, as did the bride.

The four of us had a quiet evening.

Skip forward to the following weekend...

The Big Day

The church ceremony was in a small mining village near Dover, a village renowned for its rather 'rough and ready' inhabitants...they all had ASBOs before ASBOs were even invented....

So we go into the tin hut chapel, sit through the ceremony, the bride looked lovely in her dress and the groom looked...well...I never did like those little short jackets that were popular in the 1980s (this was the 90s), especially with red bow ties.

Anyway, at the end of the ceremony the priest begins to talk about how lovely it is to be marrying another sister from the family and how if any more of the family would like to be married there we had all better contribute to the plate now coming round. Nice.

Out we file from the chapel and walk down the street to the Miners' Welfare club. There we find trestle tables had been laid out with tablecloths and the wedding meal - a bit of lettuce, tomato and a chicken drumstick each.

Now the majority of the guests (myself and the bf included) had no problem with this simple wedding meal. The couple were very hard up - they planned to live in a caravan parked on her parents' driveway and neither family had spare cash for a flash wedding.

Unfortunately his father thought that the bride and her family were cheap, common and downright nasty.

So he refused to sit at the top table, instead he joined the rush for a seat with the rest of the guests (no seating plan). He then proceeded to shout loudly that he wasn't going to touch this shit that the bride, her mother and "those two fat bitches of sisters" had prepared for everyone.

Instead he flicked the food around the hall like a badly behaved child while the bride and her family looked increasingly upset.

Soon it came around to cake cutting.

The bride and groom got up and went over to the cake (again made by her mother and sisters) and the two sisters hurriedly took photographs as they cut into it.

All appeared to go well...until five minutes after the cake had been carved up and handed around to the guests a scream went up...from one of the sisters (who, it has to be said looked like larger versions of Selma and Patty from the Simpsons) they had forgotten to put film into the camera.

They cried, the groom's father threw back his head and laughed louder and more manically than I've ever heard someone do before or since.

Shortly afterwards the punch up broke out.

Now...where was the cheap tat?

Well, admittedly the wedding was done on a shoestring simply because they were from a poor family and hadn't the resources for some large fancy do.

But

The real cheap tat....

The wedding presents.

All piled up by the door, not wrapped, just a pile of gifts...

Useful gifts mind you...


Six washing up bowls

Countless yellow dusters

A mop

Three dustpan and brush sets

Yes, these were the wedding gifts and not the clean up gear waiting in readiness for the end of the party.

How do I know?

Because the vase we had given was in pride of place at the front.
(, Mon 7 Jan 2008, 14:04, 14 replies)
A mop
... one of those with a side handle that folds the head in half to squeeze out the water from the sponge head.

Except that the hollow metal shaft was weaker than the sponge, so on the first squeeze, the whole thing neatly folded itself in half.

At least that made it easier to put in the bin.
(, Fri 4 Jan 2008, 10:00, 2 replies)
Why o' why?

Cheapest tat ever.

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Remember this kids: Buy cheap, buy twice.
(, Fri 4 Jan 2008, 22:59, 6 replies)
My wife
she cost seven pounds + P&P from thait-brides.

within a week her cock fell off
(, Fri 4 Jan 2008, 15:46, Reply)
Racist thumb protection
Ah the summer holidays of 1985. I was 8 and my brother was 5, and one of the days my dad took the day off to look after us.

He decided that we would visit Stratford Upon Avon as it was just down the road and it was borderline educational.

On getting out of the car, my dad delved deep into his pockets and gave us both two hundred pence. A fortune for a tiny child in the eighties. He told us that we could spend this money on whatever we wanted, but that it was the only money we'd be getting off him that day.

In one corner of the car-park we'd pulled up in, was a stall selling tourist trap nonsense. Ye Olde Maps, Shakespeare Mugs, Union Jack T-shirts and the like.

My brother wandered over to the stall, and returned having spent his entire £2 allowance on...

...a thimble.

But this was no ordinary thimble, for it was adorned with a portrait of none other than Prince Phillip.

He still maintains that it was a worthwhile purchase.

To be fair to him though, I can't even remember how I spent my two quid.
(, Tue 8 Jan 2008, 18:10, Reply)
At the beginning of my first year of uni,
I thought to myself (wisely) "I should buy a can opener."
Off I went to the nearby Tesco, and spotted a fairly functional-looking one, all metal, probably sturdy, only Tesco Value because (I thought) it was so no-frills and had uncomfortable handles.
I got it home and couldn't for the life of me open a can with it. I tried it every way up and every way round, but neither I nor anybody else could get it to work, as its business end had been made the wrong shape to grip a can.
It was a can't opener.

P.S. I since bought an identical one that does work.
(, Mon 7 Jan 2008, 13:05, 3 replies)
Mum
My mum loves a bargain and places absolutely no value on quality.

She loves poundshops, and actually brought me to tears a couple of years ago when she proudly declared that she'd done the Christmas shopping at B&M. It's a family joke that she's so tightarsed that her shit's like cotton reeling off a bobbin.

However even mum surpassed her previous tightarsery the year that she sent me and the bro Christmas cards.

Aye, Christmas cards.

Given to her by my sister.

Whose husband runs a printers.

Who'd been given some sample Christmas card prints.

With the word SAMPLE ptinted on them.

On the front.

On the back

And on the inside.

She wasn't even inventive enough to make light of it all by doing summat like:

To Heyzeus,

Merry Christmas

SAMPLE

some ale and have a great time,

love mum x.
(, Sun 6 Jan 2008, 0:31, Reply)

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