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» Trapped!

Escape was physically easy; socially impossible
Our family got together at my parents' house for Easter. In the afternoon we played a game of hide and seek with my brother's three young children. When it was my turn to hide, I hid in a cupboard in the bathroom - big enough to be an airing cupboard, but without a hot water tank in. The cupboard's full of shelves, so at first glance there doesn't appear to be space for an adult to fit. There's quite a gap under the bottom shelf though, and having moved a few things around I found I could just fit in.

Before long my eldest niece opened the cupboard to look for me there. She clearly didn't think it was a possible hiding place as she closed the door again almost straight away. I just managed not to laugh.

After about five minutes I could hear lots of people hunting round the house. Clearly the three girls had run out of ideas and had drafted in some adult help.

My brother-in-law Mark came into the bathroom, opened the cupboard door and closed it again, satisfied that I wasn't in there. Then he locked the bathroom door.

No, I thought, oh no, no, no, no, no! He was only checking the coast was clear before he...

Should I say something now, I wondered, before it's too late?

No - this is a great hiding place. I can manage to stay quiet for a couple of minutes.

I hope he's not going to sit down.

By time I could tell that he had sat down, of course it was far too late to reveal myself. There was nothing left to do but wait it out. Everything seemed suddenly very quiet: I'd have to remain completely still. And not laugh.

Mark had eaten something that didn't agree with him. He was there for quite some time.

I hope no one thinks to ring my mobile phone, I thought. Perhaps I can put it on silent? No - it's too cramped in here to move without rustling this polythene bag I'm leaning on. That would be enough to give myself away. But if someone does ring it...

The door handle rattled. 'Is that Mark in there?' asked one of the girls.

'Yes.'

'Is Uncle Tim in there with you?'

I had to bite my hand to keep from cracking up.

'No.'

'Promise?'

'Yes.'

My shoulders were shaking with silent laughter. Oh, I mustn't make a noise now! Somehow, somehow, I've got to last at least until he's pulled his trousers up!

Eventually, after what felt like an eternity, I heard the toilet flush.

The door handle rattled again. 'It's me,' said Debbie (my sister, Mark's wife), 'are you OK?' Mark let her in.

'I'll just check Tim isn't in here,' she said and opened the cupboard door.

'Are you sure you're OK?' she said as she closed it again.

Mark began to describe his unfortunate digestive symptoms.

'Wait a moment!' said Debbie, opening the door again, 'That looked like a knee! It is! He is in here!'

Mark stood there wide-eyed and red-faced.

'Hello,' I said, clambering out.
(Wed 5th Mar 2014, 22:44, More)

» God

Not all Christians are time-wasting twunts
Here's a few I know:

Keith and Kathy are white Zimbabweans (they used to live here in the UK). Despite the growing dangers, they're still running their orphanage on a farm near Harare. They get regularly harassed by the army but continue giving out free food to those in the area who can't feed themselves.

Pastor Sam would be called a wide-boy if he was British. He's constantly doing whatever he can to blag more stuff for the dozens of orphans and abandoned children he cares for in India. Unable to ignore the suffering around him, he's always taking on more.

Christians Against Poverty is a debt counselling charity that helps people who find themselves struggling with debt. They offer practical help - from helping to make a budget to standing by you in court - as well as emotional support. They do such a good job that local councils routinely refer people to them.

Basics Bank is a local (to me) charity that hands out free food and clothes to those who have slipped through the net and have ended up unable to provide for themselves.

Click I Like This if you prefer it when we do this sort of thing to when we bang on about homosexuality and dinosaurs.
(Mon 23rd Mar 2009, 7:19, More)

» The Dirty Secrets of Your Trade

"Buy now interest-free for a year!"
... is what the sign by that washing machine says.

What it means is "Take it home now, Curry's get paid by a third party company to whom you owe the money. The interest rate is extortionate but we won't charge it to you for the first year (unless you ever miss a payment, in which case we'll clobber you for all of that year's interest)".

By law they have to send you a reminder letter before your first payment, when that year of interest-freedom is about to run out. The letter has to be sent at some point between two and four weeks prior to your first payment. They hate this because it means people are more likely to remember to pay.

To my shame, I used to work for a company that held lots of profiling information about pretty well everyone in the UK: your age, marital status, whether you owned your own house, when your car insurance expires, who you voted for, etc. - anything they could glean from any survey you've ever filled in, all cross-referenced and held in one massive database. I kid you not, our database had a field called "DogHasWind".

Anyway, the company who stumps up the cash to pay Comet for your new fridge freezer came to us.

They wanted to use our data to try to predict how likely people are to miss their first payment, dependant on when they receive the reminder letter. If we think you never have anything in the bank, they'll send the reminder letter as late as possible so you'll be most likely to be skint and thus miss your first payment. If we think you're quite forgetful, they'll send the letter as early as possible, so you're more likely to forget to put money by for it and thus miss your first payment.

There are not swear words harsh enough to describe these people.
(Thu 27th Sep 2007, 13:52, More)

» When I met the parents

"Do you know what I like about you?"
... her dad asked me.
"What's that then?"
"Absolutely nothing."
(Mon 23rd May 2005, 13:21, More)

» Political Correctness Gone Mad

I like the minimalist look,
so my living room has pale walls and contains mostly white furniture.

I was sitting on the sofa, whiling away a dreamy summer afternoon with my (mixed-race South African) girlfriend, when the conversation went like this:

She: [looking round at the contents of the room] You quite like white, don't you?

Me: [struggling to keep a straight face] Yes. I feel that that white is a superior colour.

She: Mm.

(5 minutes of dreamy nothingness pass)

She: What!?
(Thu 22nd Nov 2007, 19:16, More)
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