You are not logged in. Login or Signup
Profile for Je suis un vagabond:
Profile Info:

The most interesting thing about me is that I take photographs.

I'd like to take this opportunity to apologise to you personally for whatever it is you find upsetting about either me or my behaviour.

Recent front page messages:

Guten 'gens, alles. Have this:

EDIT: Hi mum!
(Tue 7th Jun 2011, 9:06, More)

Polololotics, Shirley?

EDIT: Hi Mum!
(Wed 8th Sep 2010, 11:44, More)

Best answers to questions:

» Absolute Power

So, fresh out of university, I was temping for the Department of Industry, doing general office admin.
Our unit was coordinating a several hundred thousand pound, if not million pound government grant to develop a green, sustainable form of transport for London and the UK.

One of my jobs was to print out, envelope and send the rejection letters - standard letter personally addressed using a mail-merge.

One chap, however, took great umbrage to the rejection, and looking over his file I'm not surprised.

The entries ranged from someone drawing a kite tied to a cart and saying "Green" on it, to designed models, and then this chap's entry, which was a hundred-page study that cost him personally tens of thousands of pounds in the commission of research and materials.

The contact number on the rejection letter was the 'phone at my desk, and a few days later I was called, and the chap on the other end swore and ranted and cajoled, pleaded, begged and then threatened to get me fired over this.

I reported back to my manager, who told me to ignore it, but sure enough round two came, so I said simply "Listen, the matter's out of my hands, I'm sorry I can't help, but that's the way it is."

He went quiet, then apologised sincerely, and rang off.

Three days later, a handwritten letter arrives addressed to me personally, in which the author apologised for his handwriting (his blasted printer is broken at the moment, but rest assured he is investing in a new one!), and also for ranting and raving at me so rudely - he's passionate about the project as it's close to his heart, but that's no excuse for his behaviour.

By way of apology, he enquired, he wondered if I would be so kind as to allow him to buy me lunch at his club, say - next Friday?

I read it.

I re-read it.

I put it in my pocket and kept my gob shut.

I composed a return letter saying that I'd be delighted to join him for lunch next Friday - how kind.

Next Friday came, and I turned up in my cheap whistle to a quiet street in Pimlico.

I find the address - it's lidderally just two massive oak doors and nothing else.

I knock.

I am greeted by a butler.

I am shewn through to the oak-pannelled, gleaming tap'd, classic and detailed, Art Deco bar. This place is straight out of James Bond, Yes Minister, Dickens - all of that. It actually IS the archetypal London Gentleman's club, and not in the rude way.

"Sir, Mr. X sends his sincere apologies, but he is currently running over on a meeting, and will be approximately five minutes late. Can I get Sir anything from the bar at all, and perhaps a paper?"

I order a water - I've got 10 in my wallet and it looks like if I order a beer they'll want a kidney and the rights to my first-born.

Mr X turns up - for one so strong of voice he's an old guy, bordering on the doddery.

"Ah, Mr Vagabond - how good to meet you!" he beams. "I take it you are being attended to in a decent enough manner?"

He's absolutely charming and I feel like the fraud I am. I want to tell him I'm just a temp, there's nothing I can do, and that he'd be far better off taking the head of the department out, as she's got serious leverage. He's a lovely old man, who's done well for himself, and he's just trying to do the good thing - I understand that - he's done his time, he just wants to make the world perhaps a little bit better. He's no saint, he's just a sinner, but trying to do the right thing and help in whatever way he can.

But fuck that.

I'm poor, young and hungry, he's rich, fat and old.

We're led through to the dining room, which is as you'd expect - full of suits discussing Important Matters, and as we are led to his table by the window, he nods to a few of them, muttering to me that he's the ambassador for Hong Kong, he's the owner of Saatchi's account handlers, that's the Minister Without Portfolio, etc etc.

The menu - of course - has no prices on, and he heartily recommends the fish - it's the best this side of Russia.

We drink - of course - a bottle of the correct wine with each course.

Over lunch he continues to try and butter me up, detailing his plans for the project, and how he's going to seek finance elsewhere, but that the government really could do well out of this on the PR front. I listen attentively, nod encouragingly, and, using my scant knowledge of industry from my GCSE Geography, drop in a choice phrase or two, such as "Renewable energy resources as part of the GDP", as I deem appropriate. It works.

We retire to the smoking room for coffee and liqueurs at around 2-30, and I stagger back into the office at about 4-30, pissed out of my skull, and am fired on the spot.

Totally worth it.
(Mon 12th Jul 2010, 10:33, More)

» Awesome teachers

The Speech
Fans will remember that I was schooled at a minor public school.

One of the bigger lads at the back thought he'd cheek up the new physics teacher:

"Oi!" cried the lad, in his posh voice, to the teacher, "Why don't you fuck off back to South Africa?!"

His sycophants laughed and beamed their approval.

The teacher - a stocky man in his early 30s, who had opened his first lesson with a talk on centrifugal force, displaying it with a genuinely impressive display of yo-yoing, including Rocking The Cradle and all that - walked over slowly to the lad.

The lad - as I said, was one of the bigger ones - a stereotype of the public schoolboy: an over-priviledged, arrogant shit, who's probably now in parliamentary office, MD of several failing companies, and taking back-handers from banks in exchange for signing off deals on brown-field sites. He stood up, equal to the teacher.

The teacher stood in front of him, eyeballing him, and the lad stared back defiantly.

"When I started teaching, my first lesson was in a school in Durban. I walked into the classroom, where there were two boys bigger than you beating a girl with sticks for refusing to be their whore. As I walked in one of them pulled out a gun, pointed it at me, and shouted 'OI! TEACHER! FUCK OFF!". I taught both those boys and that girl to both read and to write.

YOU smell of talcum powder, get pocket money sent to you each week from your daddy in Dubai, and think that smoking cigarettes is cool. You've already got a car waiting for you for your birthday, you'll have a job as soon as you leave school, but I know your dad will thrash you if you get a bad grade, so if you want to take your chance, be my guest, but I'M staying here."

With that he put his hand on the boy's shoulder, and pushed him down hard into his seat.
(Tue 22nd Mar 2011, 11:38, More)

» Unexpected Nudity

Nekkid woman
My ex-stepmother is far too worthy, self-righteous and power-happy to do anything other than make an utter fool of herself in absolutely everything she does. She is also so egotistical she is prone to create rather disturbing, bordering on the abusive, but ultimately in hindsight terrifically funny scenes like that detailed below, as a result:

When I was about 14, I'd got to the stage that I was decorating my room and generally turning into a bit of a punk/goth, so there were a lot of drapes and "arty" pictures in my room.

My wardrobe door was a bit tatty, so one day when I passed a shop selling long, thin posters, I decided to get one to cover it.

The one I chose was of a topless woman standing by a deep red velvet curtain, holding a black rose, by a white marble plinth thing (I make no apology - I was 14 - full of poetry and wobbly-voiced sincerity).

I put it up and that was that.

That evening my stepmother knocked on my door, opened it a crack, and told me "Vagabond - I don't like your poster. It's demeaning to women so I want you to take it down and throw it away."

She'd obviously planned this, as I played straight into her hands.

"It's only a naked woman - it's nothing to be ashamed of."

"Oh YEAH?!" she replied "Well if you want to see what a naked woman looks like, HERE IT IS!" and she burst in, in her birthday suit.

She danced around the room several times, tore down my poster, tore it into little pieces, threw the little pieces all over the room, and ran out.
(Mon 1st Jun 2009, 13:57, More)

» Schadenfreude

We used to keep chickens.
They hatched a brood of chicks - all little yellow fluffy things, and one black one, which was always the last at everything, being the chick equivalent of the fat kid with the one permanently blocked nostril and the other always running, that gets picked last for everything, and then only because they've got to be picked to even up the sides.

I went to feed the chicks one day, and replinished their water. They raced towards the plastic dish that served as their bowl, squeaking and bleeping with delight, and the black one was, for the first time in his life, at the head of the pack. As he got to the bowl in his excitement he stamped his big flat foot on the edge of the dish, thus spanging himself as hard as possible right in the face while drenching himself and all the others with water and destroying their water supply.
(Thu 17th Dec 2009, 16:12, More)

» Beautiful Moments, Part Two

On the last 'bus home out of town in Somerset one Saturday night
A group of lads at the back were being drunken, loud, but friendly - absolutely no malice at all.

Every single female that got on got a HUGE cheer from these lads.

A little old lady in her 70s got on - cue the HUGE cheers.

She paid for her ticket, turned to them with a wink and a smile, and pulled her skirt up a little exposing her knee, and pouted.

Cue HUGE cheers, wolf whistles, "Cor!" etc, but nothing filthy or dirty. Just good, clean fun.

(Mon 9th Aug 2010, 16:22, More)
[read all their answers]