Sunday, 18 January 2009

And there goes the car.

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So, on Friday I broke the frame on my Dawes Milk Race, which I have had since passing my Common Entrance in 1988.

Today, upon leaving Sainsbury's car park, the prop shaft fell off the Delica. Buying the guitar is looking more and more like a mistake.

One interesting thing about this is the diverse nature of human behaviour. In the scenario of a supermarket car park everyone is very busy and selfish. Around a dozen cars manoeuvred around me, sounding their horns, whilst I stood in the road and picked up my prop shaft; none offered to help. Of these, all but one then pulled back into the right lane and queued behind my stricken Delica, sitting with her hazard warning lights on and without a driver, and proceeded to toot their horns in rage at the commander-less car.

Given that I was actually standing in the road, holding a prop shaft in my arms, one would imagine that they could have considered the situation and avoided delaying themselves further.

In stark contrast, once I was out on the open road (the great joy of a four wheel drive truck is that, on the occasion of breaking a half shaft, prop shaft, or even the diff, one can slip into 4WD and trundle on, to all intents and purposes a normal front wheel drive vehicle - that and being able to go jumping in the woods) several individuals were intent on warning me of my oil leak (I lost a chunk of gearbox in the process of the prop's suicide) in a friendly manner.

Given that the first group of people were merely forced to change lanes momentarily (if you are a Usonion then you probably need to look that word up - the way you use it is entirely wrong) and the latter chaps were actually having gearbox oil sprayed all over their cars, I would suggest that we, as a species, cope more easily with problems as they become more severe.

Either way, my Delica is undoubtedly beyond economic repair (the prop managed to take a goodly chunk out if a fuel tank and the water and oil pumps look likely to die, quite aside from the broken gearbox) so I am sans voiture, as the French almost certainly would never say.

I shall take a picture but, in the mean time, I shall settle for swearing mildly about it on the internet:


Friday, 16 January 2009

Late for a wank?

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It turns out that my 12 week specimen was due on the 8th. I had completely forgotten and we have all been somewhat under the weather, so this morning I had an early start and then cycled off to the RD&E with a pot of rapidly cooling semen in my pocket.

Now, as you almost all will know, when one has, for whatever reason, the need to drop off a urine sample at the physician's office there are special containers provided for the purpose. These come in a variety of guises, some with salts or chemicals in the bottom, some with labels and some in bags, but they all have feature thing in common. They are almost, but not quite, exactly the opposite of 'large enough for the task'. As a man this is less of a problem. Your average gent has a combination of penis length and waist measurement which afford a reasonable view of the proceedings and, whilst slightly piss-ridden hands are an oft-unavoidable result, getting the sample into the pot is relatively achievable. For those amongst us with orifices which number into double figures the procedure is somewhat more convoluted and I doubt that there are many in your number, dearest readers, who have not at some point thought to themselves 'why do they not make the bloody things in a bigger size?'.

Well they do.

So I am sitting in my bed contemplating an entirely cold-blooded activity which, by its very nature, requires an element of enthusiasm. It is hard enough to muster this with the need to get from the finishing post to the hospital in good time, not to mention getting to work on time and a house full of other people preparing for their day. Adding a collection container which seems better suited to housing an entire shoal of barracuda does nothing for the confidence.

Seriously, the average human male produces between 2ml and 5ml of ejaculate. Where in the name of Hades's least desirable convenience is the need for what is essentially a half pint beer glass with a plastic lid?

So it comes to pass that, with a basically empty pot stretching my jacket pocket to bursting, I cycle off into the cold January wind.

Some men can be somewhat embarrassed about this sort of thing, so the hospital is discrete. There are no large signs at the hospital bearing the legend 'Jizz samples, this a-way!' nor does the depositor have any requirement for human interaction. There is, instead, a small letter box on a building which spectacularly fails to claim it's pathology credentials (I know, I know, but they have all the equipment for the study of liquids, so it's a cinch really).

So, after a minor issue with a car trying to run me over whilst I transport my precious load of hopefully infertile semen, I arrive at the hospital and spend 15 minutes asking a variety of people for directions which, obviously, is far, far less embarrassing than an actual sign saying where to go would have been. Praise the Lord Zeus for the consideration of the powers that be for providing haven from potential ridicule.

In a way it was somewhat anti-climatic. I dropped my pot into the flap and then I was done, so off I rode into the morning mist. To be honest it was probably the least exciting part of the process to date. I simply pedalled off up the hill where, as happens, my bicycle frame snapped cleanly through at the head-tube as I was overtaking a bus.

I have been riding this bike for 21 years now, so it was very upsetting for me as I am sure, gentle readers, you can appreciate. To cheer myself up I bought a Vintage AMG1 Bell Brass Resonator on impulse, so now I have a broken bike and no money to pay for a new frame.

These things are sent to try us.

For those who have asked about the pain, it is still with me, but I intend now to wait until I have the all clear (or, Heaven forbid, the news that I am still fertile) before bothering the Quack again. Poor old bicycle.