Sunday, 31 January 2010

Cagney & Lacey

Prior to moving to Birmingham I had a number of fruitful trips with various friends. The visits whereby most mayhem occurred was with Phillip. You will notice a pattern forming that when Phillip is mentioned in these blogs, wrongness plays a huge part.

Anyway on said trip we had been out, drinking and lots of tomfoolery and returned to our hotel, namely the Ibis...we then started to play up.

Now I'll use this as a chance to mention that we had a fixation with Cagney & Lacey (American drama series following the life's of two female cops in New York for those of you that are not aware of this amazing series). So much so that Phillip was Cagney and I was Lacey.

So, back to telling you what occurred after our return to the hotel. Upon arriving in our room we started playing up, which then turned into us running run the corridors of said hotel singing the theme tune of said 1980's cop show having a lovely time. Once we got bored of doing this, we returned to our room and I ventured into the bathroom to get ready for bed...leaving Phillip to get up to no good!

Whilst I was in the bathroom, I could hear raised voices so took a look to see what was going on. To my amazement, Phillip was hanging out the window talking to someone. Upon further inspection, I noticed that there were a small group of Chinese men shouting up at our window and Phillip was profusely apologising. It then became clear that Phillip had thought it was funny to hang at the window and pretend to shoot the men as they could be 'baddies' that Cagney & Lacey were after. So, they then thought that Phillip had a gun and were duly on route to our room to sort us out. PANIC!!!

I dragged Phillip in from the window and then began trying to explain what had happened, he was drunk, we had no guns, did I look like the sort of person to have a gun and insisted that there was no need to visit us in our room as it was in fact a bad joke gone horribly wrong and I was so so so sorry and assured them that it would not happen again! After what seemed like a age, but was in fact about 5 minutes, they accepted my apology and went on their way.

Moral of this story...never leave a Phillip unattended!

Friday, 29 January 2010

The Gym

Now I am like many of us who go to the gym, maybe not as many times as I should go in a week, but all the same I do go on a regular basis...well a few times a week.

Recently, I went to the gym after work. Upon arriving I changed into my gym outfit, which I'd like to point out doesn't match and I don't opt in for all this skin tight Lycra stuff, and locked my belongings away nice and safe.

Once I had run around like a lunatic I returned to the changing rooms to retrieve my stuff however there was a problem....the locker wouldn't open. I tried the combination several times and nothing. Not wanting to look like a fool, I tried to do this discretely. However, I failed. I now had audience. I then began to realise that I wasn't getting into said locker so took myself to reception.

I got the attention of the ever so NOT helpful member of staff, I explained my predicament. She asked "Are you sure that you are putting the right combination in?" My response "Yes"...what a stupid question to ask. Like I'm gonna put the wrong combination in and then waste my time telling her that I cant get into my locker?! She explained that the only way to get into the locker was to use bolt cutters to cut the padlock off. I decided to cut my loses, well cost of a padlock, and asked for this to be done.

She returned to the changing room with me accompanied with a pair bolt cutters. After a struggle, she manages to destroy the padlock and free my belongings that had been held hostage. Now here was the wasn't my stuff in the locker that SHE had just broken into. I obviously hadnt realised that the locker I was trying to get into wasn't mine, hence the combination I was putting in not working. Its now that I glance down the row of lockers and spot my padlock. Without saying a word, I slide up to said padlock, turn the dials to my combination and boo-ya the locker opens and there are my belongings. I then turn to the assistant who is now stood there with a bolt cutters in one hand in and broken padlock in the other...not impressed.

I make my apologises, trying to explain that its a mistake anyone could make. However, this didn't wash as it wasn't anyone but me who had made the mistake and her who had committed breaking and entering AND criminal damage to the padlock. What made it worse was that she had no idea as to who the locker belonged to. Needless to say, she wasn't impressed with the fact that she had to stay with the locker until the rightful owner turned up. It was at this point that I thanked her for her assistance and made a sharp exit!

Moral of this story; make a mental note of the locker that you use when going to the gym and if the combination doesn't work the first time...try try and try again various other padlocks in the changing room BEFORE you seek assistance.

Saturday, 23 January 2010

When I was in a girl group...well almost

A few years ago I went to the grand ol place of Gran Canaria with a very good friend of mine, Phillip. I wasn't gonna name him in my blog but sod it, he can take the blame of this episode in my life.

We did the usual, as one does; saw the sights, drank, partied, sunbathed, etc, etc...I'm sure you get the drift.

One of the first nights we went bars and then ended up in a club, worse for wear of course. We got talking to various different people and whilst talking, and slurring our words in the best possible fashion, I overheard my Phillip telling our new friends "Yeah, shes in a group, don't know if you've heard of em, 411?" Now at this stage its becoming clear that he's telling people that I am in a girl group...hardly, who about a few years ago. So at this point I SHOULD have put them all straight and said that he was pulling their leg. However, I didn't. I made the choice to continue the facade and spun a web of lies, only white ones of course, about my life with the girls in 411 and posing for pictures, as you do. Once back at the apartment, we had a laugh about it and thought nothing more of our eventful evening.

Now I don't blame either Phillip or myself for this, I blame our new found friends for believing such fodder!

So the rest of our holiday continues, much of what you do on holiday but we continually kept bumping into the people we had told this story to and they insisted on singing 411 songs at me, so I politely smiled and congratulated them on knowing all the words. I'd like to point out that I didn't know the songs as well as I should have done, as a member of said girl group. They also informed us that they had sent the pictures back home to their family and friends, telling them that they had spent the night with a (non) member of 411.

Now the final night of our holiday arrives and we see fit to have a go on the karaoke. We duly put our requests in and after copious drinks I'm called to the stage...

For those of you that have had the delight of hearing me sing you'll know that I cant! So onwards to my performance which was in true karaoke fashion...awful!

When I finish my turn on the stage it become clear that I had been busted. Enter the group of people who had believed that I was in a girl group. They made us fes up that we had em good and proper and they did eventually see the funny side but were a little embarrassed at how they had been sucked in and tangled up in the web we had created...oops!

Tuesday, 19 January 2010

What should have been a quick trip to get chicken...

Every now and then I like to treat myself. This can be via a number of mediums and one of them is not cooking and making a trip out to collect a takeaway.

Now being a person of colour, I enjoy chicken. So I took a trip to the local KFC, drive through. On arrival at the drive through there was a large queue so I made the decision to park my car and go inside to place my order, thinking that this would be the quicker wrong could I be?

On arrival inside said restaurant I was greeted by two women shouting at the staff behind the counter. As I approached the counter one of the women shouts at me "Don't go get serve by her, she be rude and ignorant." Now I am torn as I really couldn't give two hoots as to what is going on. However, the women look mean and angry and I'm not wanting to push their buttons further so with great hesitation I now stand alongside them. Now you may think that I should have ignored them, but you weren't there and they were mean! So, now I pledged allegiance with the two women and now more customers arrive. The women do the same to them that they did to me and the innocent bystanders do exactly as I do.

Now a group has formed and the member of staff that they are directly their torrent of abuse has disappeared behind the scenes and there are two new members of staff to serve the rather large group of people waiting to be fed. The women commence with their order as do I and all appears to have calmed down. WRONG...its just the beginning of another episode of drama.

One of the troublesome two starts to examine her order, fingering through the bag of food and the following unfolds with one of the workers of KFC...

"Er I want different chicken"

"Why, what is wrong with your order?

"My chicken is small"

"What do you mean the chicken is small"

"Its not as big as the chicken on the poster up there (woman is now pointing to the display board above the counter)"

"Ur...none of the chicken is that big. Those pictures are enlarged images of chicken for the purpose of advertising"

"That's not good enough, when I ordered my chicken I wanted a piece like whats on the picture and I haven't got it"

"And as I have already explained to you, we do not have any chicken that big to give you"

At this point I could hardly move from where I was stood as I was in shock, astonished and many other things that I cant explain. It was by far one of the funniest conversations that I had ever experienced and could not believe my eyes and ears!

I then realised that the other one of the troublesome two was staring at me and my order that I had just been given and shouted "Check your food lady, they be thief's and liars in here and give you ickle pieces of chicken". I saw this as a perfect opportunity to.....RUN! And that's exactly what I from the restaurant, my order under my arm, dived into my car and never looked back!

My name

Now we all get given a name when we are born. Some are considered common, not in the tacky sense, but in the way that they are recognised easily.

I was tagged with the name Arlene. Throughout my younger years I never considered it to be a problem for me. Whilst I was taunted with the song "Come on Eileen" by Dexys Midnight Runners, I never realised until my late teens that it was Eileen that they were singing about and not Arlene. Therefore, will this knowledge I corrected people, who would point at me singing and jumping around like crazy people and then they would stand corrected.

Now I move onto my twenties and more so the recent past of my early thirties. When I introduce myself I am greeted with either a "Hello, that's an unusual name" or "Sorry what's your name" and then this is where the confusion starts and sadly never ends. Ive been called a number of things, all polite, well as far as I'm aware. These range from Eileen, Elaine, Iris, Olly, Aileen and the list is endless. So for a number of years I have always corrected these people when they do call me something other than Arlene. The conversation can go something like this...

"Hi I'm Arlene"
"I'm sorry, whats your name"
"No Arlene"
" No, Arrllleeennnee"
"O I do apologise, did you say Iris?"
"No I said Arlene, as in Marlene and drop the M"
"O, Arlene (long pause) nice to meet you"

After the bating back and forth with my name, when they do eventually get kinda kills the actually introduction and then there is an air of embarrassment, on their part of course.

Recently, I had the most bizarre conversation as I introduced myself to a gentleman on the went something like this...

"OK, can I take your name please?"
"Yes, its Arlene"
"Can you spell that for me?"
"Yep, its A r l e n e"
"OK got it, that's pronounced Eileen"
"No it's not, its pronounced Arlene"
"No I can assure you that its pronounced Eileen"
"Urm (getting slightly annoyed now)...I'm gonna have to beg to differ there as its been my name for some thirty odd years now and its always been Arlene and in fact I have never been corrected before now."
"Well, OK but its how Eileen is spelt"
"O OK, I will contact my Mum and tell her that the daughter she named, some thirty odd years ago, well....she didn't do I good job with the pronunciation of it as its wrong."

Needless to say that with this not being the best start to a conversation, we did what we had to do and the call ended.

Now I'm not sure what lesson can be learnt from this. I would say not to name your child with a name that they will struggle with. However, then I think NO go name your child with whatever you want, within reason though as you have to remember they are stuck with it for a long time.

The question that I often ask myself is that if I wasn't called Arlene, what name would I have? Well the answer is simple...I wouldn't have it any other way!

Me against the machine

Now I like to consider myself to be in charge of my vehicle, I mean as my car and not the vehicle that is considered by some to be my body...anyway, tangent there so I will get back to the point.

It was only yesterday that after going to the gym for a heavy Boxing session I arrived home with a rather large gash above my left eye, bleeding profusely and shocking my housemate in the process. Now you may think that I had gone ten rounds with Tyson...well you are wrong. I left the gym unscathed, arrived home safely and then I go the boot of my car to retrieve my bags. It is then that I was attacked by my car. Well if the truth be know I stupidly got in the way of the boot as I slammed it shut. I hear you ask "How on earth can someone stand in the way of the boot as they are shutting it". Well I really can't answer that question but can tell you to avoid it as it really does hurt. The result was a nasty injury to my face and slightly dented pride...Car 1 Arlene 0

Beggars - it beggars belief at how rude they can be!

We all come across people begging for money for the infamous cup of tea. Some give the line "spare change" for a cup of tea or the next bottle of cheap cider more like. However, I am of the opinion that I don't have any "spare" change. I don't open my purse and think to myself "O look at all that spare change that I am carrying around that I don't want or have a need for". Therefore, if I am asked "Do you have any spare change?" my response is always "No", not in a rude way as you can say no without being rude...I just say no.

So, I was recently walking home and saw a man sitting on the pavement, asking passers-by for "spare change". So as I come to walk past him, my big moment approaching I hear the question "Have you got any spare change please love?" I then politely respond "No, sorry". Why I said sorry I will never know as I wasn't sorry (please see above). Then what I heard next was a complete shocker. The beggar then sneered at me and said "Black bitch!". O maybe I should point out that I am of dual heritage and therefore am a person of colour. I was utterly shocked by how vile the git had been as I had succumbed to his charm and parted with my hard earned cash. So in a second I thought, well we are obviously playing the game as to lets shout out what the other person is so I quickly snapped back at him "Tramp!". With that I made a hasty retreat to the comfort and safety of home.

Lesson learnt here I think....if your not prepared to give people your hard earned cash for doing absolutely nothing in return, be prepared to be abused and called names!

Monday, 18 January 2010

The Start

I've had an idea to start a blog, to get my thoughts and ideas out there in the hope that I can make people smile, laugh and enjoy "The comedy that is my life".

Laughter plays a huge part in my everyday life and I enjoy making people laugh, as I'm sure we all do...they say that laughter is the best medicine...well that is the case unless you are truely ill and then laughter really ain't gonna help and my advice would be to seek medical attention.

I have a pretty normal, gym, socialising and other general normal stuff. However, it seems like there is always an episode or two each day that I encounter that I will then share with the people around me that will then become a comedy moment that will make people laugh.

For example, it was only a couple of weeks ago that I was having a wander round a clothes outlet on my lunchbreak, minding my own business and heard someone making a loud bellowing noise. It became apparent that this noise was coming from a disabled gentleman in a wheelchair. So, I ignored the noise and carried on browsing the rails. It was a few monents later that I was trying on a pair of shoes to have got one of the shoes stuck on my foot. I duly bent over to remove said shoe when all of a sudden I felt a hand grab the left cheek of my bum...not just a pinch but a grab, the whole hand in contact with an entire cheek. Quite shocked by what I had experienced, I turned around, still bent over with said shoe still stuck on said foot to see the man in the wheelchair grinning! Still in shock I looked around and noticed the gentleman's carer fingering through the rails and doing anything but care for the guy. She then noticed what had happened, tapped him on the arm and said "No grabbin". I then waited, expecting her to say to me "O I do apologise" to which I would have replied "No worries". However, she said nothing to me...just carried on with her browsing, this is whilst I was stood there, feeling used and abused after being fondled by the gentleman in the wheelchair, who I might add was still grinning and now rubbing his hands together! Needless to say that when I returned to work and shared my experience...all they did was laugh lots...charming, I felt used and abused!!

I am hoping to share my experiences in the hope that someone finds it funny and enjoys my tales...

I'd appreciate any comments/feedback...this is a working progress...hope you enjoy!