Fortune Cookie

fortune cookie

One of the more ambiguous conversations I’ve had with a waiter.

Me: It was lovely but I just couldn’t finish it. Just the bill please.
Waiter (in an extremely thick Chinese accent): Are you travelling?
Me: (slightly surprised, but hey go with the flow) Yes I’m here for work.
Waiter: Are you a job seeker? (pronounced “seekerer”)
Me: (unsure if I’ve either misunderstood the words used or what he means by them) Erm… I’m here to do work. We have an office here.
Waiter: So you are not seeking work?
Me: No…I probably wouldn’t be here eating a delicious but expensive Chinese meal if I were looking for work.
Waiter: I am a job seeker.
Pause during which he looks at me expectantly and I look back even more unsure if I’ve grasped this conversation.
Me: But you work… You’re a waiter (I add helpfully).
Waiter: But that is only to pay the bills. So I am a job seeker. Like you.
Me: (Getting scared) I really have to go, can I please have the bill?

I’m still not convinced that either of us fully understood what the other was saying here. But it seems to me enigmatic enough to bear many interpretations, as fortunes are wont to be. Am I seeking something, beyond the usual cornerstones of home, food, love and work? Aren’t we all? Does it show so clearly in me that this man couldn’t help but comment?

We’ll never know because I ran all the way back to my room. As men are wont to do from fortune-tellers.

Whisky woes


Graham has an expensive bottle of whisky in the cupboard, and I have an expensive bottle of brandy. Graham poured himself one of his whiskies and offered me one.
When I’d had finished it:

Me: Would you like one of my brandies?
Graham: Oh, I didn’t offer you a whisky just for a brandy in return.
Me, turning away to get on with something: Oh good.
Graham: !!!!

Bus racism rage

Angry bus

I gave up my seat on the bus to an old woman, and then she started chatting to the man next to her about how dirty the bus was.

“Of course it’s because they’re all cleaned by bloody foreigners now,” she opined.

So I shoved her off the seat on to the floor and said, “I’ll have the dirty foreign-cleaned seat back then.”

Not reeeely, but I bloody felt like it.

It’s only a fag

Burning cigarette
A guest post by Graham David Brown, written in his smoking days.

Hear the poem read by the author.

For God’s sake, Mother, it’s only a fag.
You make it all sound as though it’s quite bad.
I like to smoke to give me a high
and who the hell cares whether or not I die.

I feel I’m in heaven – on top of the world!
Never to come down, unless there’s a hill.
And then I’ll accept the damage I’ve done
To my friends, and yourself. And not forgetting my lungs.

I’d rather be cremated instead of lying around
Under the earth way down in the ground.
At least I’ll then be what my cigarettes become;
A small pile of ash to blow away in the sun.

Karma is a bitch

They tell us Karma’s a bitch, but also our best friend.
It all depends on how our inclinations blend.
For a day of good luck we take Gran out to dinner
Then bugger it all by breaking a mirror.

In life’s balance half rises as the other half dips,
And a stranger’s nadir is our solar eclipse.
The wishing-well in our garden, fished by a gnome,
Will recall to the vagrant his distance from home.

For every bad habit too pernicious to kick it
Someone else wins a thousandth of a lottery ticket.
And when bird-shit hits dropped from above
We thank our lucky stars we’ll be the object of love.
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Where are you from?


When you’re scrolling through a web sign-up page, the only thing more annoying than not knowing if they’ve got your country down as “Great Britain”, “United Kingdom”, “Britain”, or “England” is seeing that they have decided to go against alpha-numeric equity and put “United States” first! Sorry US friends, but it pisses me off!