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My Worst Presents – The Cheap Football Shirt 21 July 2008

Posted by Basilios in Fun.
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A family friend once gave me a present. It was a football shirt. A cheap football shirt. It was made out of a plastic shopping bag with the bottom cut open, so you’d wear the handles over your shoulders, like a sleeveless shirt. It was coloured with the colours of a football team. It was not my favourite team.

Since I was a good boy, raised to appreciate everything I was given, I said Thank you, and wore it. I even played football for a bit in it in my courtyard. By myself. After a few minutes the plastic on my skin was making me so itchy, sweaty and uncomfortable that I took it off, and by that time the lady who gave it to me was gone, so I just threw it away. I never was asked any questions about it.

What strikes me is that it was bought. It was not a self-made gift, it was printed. It even had a little logo saying Your Favourite Team right over the heart. And the lady who bought it is a very nice woman with whom I am still in touch and visit every time I pass by my town. So it was bought by a person that actually liked me, and yet it was so bad! The poor woman must have been swindled.

Friendly Advice: How to Deal With Visitors For An Absent Roommate 7 July 2008

Posted by Basilios in Fun.
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Once again a friend asked my advice to deal with an uncomfortable problem. This guy works in an office shared with three other people, and of course sometimes visitors show up looking for his roommates while they are out. The uncomfortable bit, my friend says, is where a visitor comes in looking for someone, sees an empty seat where that someone ought to be, and then asks “Is he not in?“, despite being able to see very clearly that he is not. Or asks “When is he back?“, like he’s their receptionist. This rubs him the wrong way, especially since his desk is located right in front of the door, so he’s always the one getting pestered.

This is where I come in. How could my friend, I was asked, deal with this continuous stream of thoughtless visitors? Fear not, I told him, for I am going to provide him with good, measured suggestions. The ideal solution would be for each of the people in the office to put a little note on their door when they’re out, but that requires those distracted visitors to actually notice and read the things. So you’d have to, ahem, encourage them.

  1. Let’s start with a simple approach. Cattle prods! Chap knocks, chap asks, chap gets electric shock. Nothing could be more elegant than this.
  2. Pretend you’re a boring person.No, X is not in, but lemme tell you about the variations in shades of brown paper in post envelopes/Italian politics of the 50s!”. Eventually they’ll get fed up and just mumble “Sorry, I’ll be back later” and go out. This is not a good idea if you hope to have their collaboration in the future!
  3. Absurdist answers. “X is in but he’s turned invisible“. “X doesn’t want to see you so he hid under my desk“. “X retired to a monastery in Tibet“. Again, not a good idea if you need their collaboration in the future.
  4. Chemical warfare. Get a great big soaker gun, and fill it with water and food colorant. Open fire on those that knock. Be sure they are not looking for you first.
  5. Artillery barrage. Get a bucket of cheap foam stress balls, and throw them at undesired visitors. Disadvantage: you have to pick them up after having your fun.

All the suggestions I presented above have advantages and disadvantages, and careful consideration is needed before picking up one. As for me, I favour the simple cattle prod.

Friendly Advice: How Not To Be Approached By People 19 July 2007

Posted by Basilios in Fun.
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Today I’m taking a break from music reviews to help a friend in need. This guy I know has a problem: he’s been invited to a social gathering that his arch-enemy will also attend. How to have a nice time at the party without being approached by an obnoxious nemesis? (more…)