Wednesday, 21 March 2012

If Daisy the Cow Can't Play... Neither Will I?

Yet another example of false advertising has entered my world and caused major embarrassment!! Some of you may remember my attempts to buy "massive shoes" a little while ago. I thought that was bad enough, but imagine my frustration at the sign shown above!?!

I took Daisy the jersey cow to enjoy that rarest of places. A joint play area for farm animals and children. As unusual as it sounds that's what the sign said and who am I to argue with it. I know what some of you are thinking? How stupid and irresponsible! But I will have you know I arrived prepared, like many pet owners, for any unfortunate accidents. I had a number of extra large refuse sacks so I could pick up any mess Daisy may leave around, although I have to say it was a lot harder to pick up the humongous, steaming cow pats than it looked when I have seen dog owners do the same.

As usual there were those that stared and pointed at Daisy and I. Obviously missing the point of this play area. One mother got extremely irate and threatening. Apparently her little boy was scared as Daisy's undulating udders came flying towards him down the slide. If you ask me he should have got off quicker so more people could have a go anyway. Some kids are so sensitive.

Things reached an unfortunate climax when some children came out of the ball pool covered in manure! But what could I do? I had run out of bin bags and frankly didnt realise what Daisy was doing while in the ball pool. It was hard to concentrate with the cries and screams of the children in there. Some parents really should control their offspring?? Needless to say Daisy and I had to leave. Apparently I had read the sign wrong and there was a separate area to look at farm animals.

That didn't sound like much fun to me. Or to Daisy! 

Monday, 9 January 2012

A Bridge Too Far...

Well you may have noticed it has been a while since I have posted on here, so imagine the pent up anger that has been building up!! Ha ha. (Or you may not have noticed at all of course, in which case you probably arent reading this). To ease my way back in to the blogging world however I thought I would post about one of my "Clumsy Man" incidents I mentioned in an earlier blog. However in this case it is more like "Clumsy Boy" as this is an incident from my school days.

This embarrasing episode took place when I was in my 4th year of Junior School. For those of you across the pond I was aged 10. Of course in England it not called 4th year Juniors anymore. It is Year 6 or 7 or whoever knows what!! A rant for another time.

Our teacher, Mr Thornhill, decided to take us to a small wildlife reserve called Tame Valley near the school to do some art work. We all had our pencils, paper and clipboards to have a quiet, peaceful time in the sunshine drawing trees etc. At least that was Mr. Thornhill's plan. I however had other plans. Don't get me wrong, I sketched a young sapling quickly to show willing, but I was suddenly free from the shackles of the school and enjoying the sunshine! There had to be more exciting things to do!! And there was...

I spotted a bridge crossing a stream that had no sides to it except for a low curb. So I soon realised that you could jump off the side of the bridge and across to one of the banks with a little effort! Perfect! But first I persuaded others to join in so the burden of blame could be spread. A few of us did a couple of jumps each without Mr. Thornhill seeing. He had his back to us, happily sketching away while some of the keener kids (teacher's pets) sat with him. So far so good! But I felt I had a greater leap in me!

I stood on the bridge, the sound of the birds and the rustle of the leaves on the badly sketched trees seemed to be egging me on! One last record breaking jump before we were caught. I needed more of a run up. I stepped backwards to create more distance for my impending launch...

And launch I did, but not the way I expected. My heel bumped into the raised curb that edged the bridge side behind me and I fell backwards!! The bridge was only about 7 or 8 feet high, but that's a lot for a 10 year old in a freshly cleaned and ironed school uniform. It all seemed like a John Woo movie then, all slow motion and dramatic music. (Ok not the music, I admit that much). I had time to look down and see the rocks and barbed wire I was heading for in the stream, and in my naivety tried to move across in mid air to avoid them.

Once I had learned my limitations when it came to mid air manoeuvring and soundly crashed into the rocks, barbed wire and shallow water, I made my way sheepishly over to Mr. Thornhill. The cruel laughter of the other children smarting more than the cuts and bruises to my elbows and posterior. Now I would be in trouble! I just knew it. But I was ready for the anger of my teacher. However, my humiliation was completed by Mr. Thornhill bursting into laughter as he saw my bedraggled appearance, dripping and bloody. "Serves you right!" he said. And those words echoed with every squelch my wet shoes made on the walk back to school, hoping those 3 words wouldnt become my motto in life!

Saturday, 8 October 2011

If You Are Going to Fall, Why Not in Front of 8000 People?

Ok, so I asked the question in an earlier post of which story I should post that shows why my blog could have been called "1 Clumsy Man!". They may all appear at some point but for now here goes...

In an old job I had we used to have a convention annually in the States, which I would attend. The climax of the event was an awards banquet for 8000 people, where I and other management would be recognised on stage and our egos massaged. My immediate thought was whether anyone had ever fallen on stage before. The answer being a resounding no! Well as people's names started to be called members of the management team ran up the ramp on to stage and to my horror started to "high five" each other.

I say horror, because I am an English man. We don't "high five"!!! Period!! It fills us with fear of missing, weakly patting hands or maybe slapping some poor person in the face. And I was one of the last so would have to literally run along high fiving about 50 people. Well, fear in my heart, legs and my nervous sweaty hand, I set off. I sped towards the ramp, raised my hand and stumbled. If not for the line of hands continually hitting mine I would have been flat on my face. Doesn't sound too bad your thinking? That's because the following year is when it all went wrong properly.

Same scenario. 8000 people in the audience, a sea of hands in the air waiting for my weak English swipe. And the previous years stumble on my mind. That's when someone bet with me I wouldn't take a bow halfway across the stage. How little they knew me?

Off I ran confidently. A new focus to take my mind off falling. My hand firmly met the waiting palms until I reached the centre of the stage. My run being beamed onto a massive screen for all 8000 to see. I suddenly realised that with the hands outstretched from everyone I needed to side step away to take my bow! If only I had put more thought into this. More importantly... If only I had noticed the drop to my left. Down I went!! I dragged myself sheepishly to my feet, and meekly high fived the rest of my colleagues. Was I mocked? Of course. I endured a few days jibes and comments but that's fine. Surely it would soon be forgotten.

A few months later a package appeared on the desks of all the UK staff. A good friend of mine in the States office had searched high and low and found footage of my fall. I am so glad that thanks to him there are now DVD's dotted around the country that showcase my balletic grace!

Thanks Wade.

Monday, 3 October 2011

Why Can't I Get Some Massive Shoes??

I am sure you can imagine my excitement when I saw this sign in a shop window? Who wouldn't be excited? So in I go...

"I would like a pair of massive shoes please." A simple request I thought. "What size are you?" the shop assistant asks. Of course I didn't think it mattered! They are massive shoes. What size I am isn't relevant is it? I just wanted some massive shoes! Imagine people at TESCO wondering where the painted footprints for the cash machine were, while I smugly stood there like Krusty the clown obscuring their view.

Apparently I had got it wrong. The sign meant there was a massive sale of shoes occurring. How was I to know? I feel rather cheated. Maybe I should get trading standards involved. You can't place such dreams of grandeur in a mans head by advertising massive shoes for sale and then smash them to pieces.

I left rather deflated, my ordinary, average size feet shuffling out of the shop. I guess I can still dream...

Thursday, 29 September 2011

Never Any Painted Footprints When You Need Them...

Where are those smart people at Tesco when you really need them, eh??

Dont ask me why, but in a moment of madness I decided to go for a run in the hills near where I live. Its been unseasonally hot weather this week for Glossop and I guess the heat affected my mind. So off I went up the "Snake Pass" and onto the "Roman Road".

Now as stated in last post, there are painted feet in front of Tesco's cash machines in Glossop. Their usefulness can be argued against depsite my obvious failings. However, such graphic depictions of where to place my size 9's would be more useful along the "Roman Road". Strewn as it is with loose stones, uneven ground and jutting rocks, a safe guide of where to place your feet would be useful. At least if you are as accident prone as me. (Trust me, this blog could quite easily have been called "1 Clumsy Man!")

But to my regret, no such guide exists. So surely it is not my fault then that I (not very gracefully) came crashing to the ground halfway round my run. How was I to know not to stub my toe on a potruding piece of rock? There were no signs, no warnings and no helpful Tesco footprints. Luckily for me, there were no people to laugh at my misfortune either. Just some baleful stares from the resident sheep. Although, when you look as stupid as I did at that moment those "baa's" sound uncannily like laughter!!

P.S. As I mentioned above, anyone who knows me realises I could have called my blog "1 Clumsy Man!". In that vein I have possible posts to illustrate this. Let me know what you might want to hear about from the 3 incidents below:

- "If You Are Going to Fall, Why Not In Front Of 8000 People?"
- "Famous Last Words: Careful Crossing This River Kids."
- "A Bridge Too Far..."

The one that gets most votes in comments I will share.

Saturday, 24 September 2011

How dumb do they think we are? - No. 1

A few weeks ago while attempting to get cash from the cash machines at Tesco in Glossop, I noticed something I hadn't seen before. In front of each "hole in the wall" is a set of painted, white footprints. I assume they are there to show us poor unfortunate people with no common sense where to stand to use the machines efficiently and sensibly.

Imagine my annoyance at having never noticed them before! Can you imagine how hard it has been for me all these years to do something as simple as getting cash out? I assume everyone else knew about these directions of where to stand. I, however, having never seen them have always had trouble retrieving my hard earned money.

Not realising the simplicity of this procedure, as I do now, I have assumed the traffic bollards marked the required distance you need to be away from the machine. The looks I have received as I have stretched out into a plank position, with my finger tips gripping the machine, desperately trying not to fall flat on my face. Only to realise I cant get my wallet out of my back pocket without risking a broken nose. (And the less I say about the time I asked a passing woman to reach into my pocket as I sweated profusely stretched between bollards and cash machine, the better. The police were very understanding I must say).

Even when I have remembered to take out my card before "falling" into the required position, it is a nightmare to push the card in the slot from between gritted teeth, then punch in the pin number with your nose!! And don't get me started on the amount of times the money has been swiped by a passer by, before I can manouvre myself to grab the cash. (Those thieves paid no regard to the clearly designated area. Or maybe they knew about the painted feet?)

Well these problems will beset me no more! It is with great satisfaction that, with the help of those clever people at Tesco, I can carefully place my feet in position over the painted guide set before me to simply extract a little cash.

It is much easier to type in my pin number from that distance. My nose can reach no problem!!

Thank you Tesco!