Cock Please

I’ve been asked to provide five possible short stories, which display language errors – for a Korean made English language book – I suppose the aim is to point out possible mistakes that could be made, so that English learners don’t have to make them personally! Anyway, I have to get them done by Sunday! Phew, that’s a lot of work! So yeah, rough and ready; here is the 1st of 5: 

Every once in a while, as Korean work culture dictates – the boss will take all of his employees out for a staff dinner. The set menu of this occasion is usually something like; meal, drinks, more drinking, karaoke, more drinking, then slump back to bed wishing you hadn’t had those last few soju shots. It’s a well established formula, and always makes for gossip fueled dramas, as well as silly memories among your work colleagues. Some people dread it, some people love it.

Dunno GIF

What I wasn’t expecting to be offered was…errr…something other than food, alcohol, and the microphone…I mean I certainly wasn’t expecting to be offered “a cock”. 

You see there I was…happily chowing down on some grilled meat, and vegetables – when my boss leaned in to my ear – and whispered…“would you like – a cock?” Erm. Errr…well, I was frozen to the spot. I didn’t know what to say – no one wants to be rude to their boss, especially in Korea that is a big no-no! So I asked him to repeat his question…maybe I had misheard?

“Would you like a cock?” 

Ralphie Shock GIF

No. I hadn’t misheard – that is most definitely what he had said – I looked around for someone, anyone to save me…thankfully I noticed the waiter next to me, and worked out that he actually meant to say Coke, as in Coca Cola! 

“Oh, yes!” I replied – “One cock, please!”

www.facebook.com/storytimewithjohn

Fight Club

I would like to think I am a lover, and not a fighter…after all, usually physical conflict doesn’t really solve much when you think about it. Obviously some people make it very tempting, but more often than not, non-peaceful ways to shut them the hell up, are somewhat frowned upon!  Naturally if your dear old Granny was being mobbed by a set of escaped rampant ostriches, you’re probably okay to get the broom out. But in most cases, you’re just likely to get yourself into trouble…

But I was forced to think about this by a guy today – and thanks to his inane question regarding the matter, I’ve been mulling over past bouts ever since…

I only really had one big proper fight at school – which is quite a feat as I went to an all-boys secondary in the North-East of England – not sure how I escaped, I guess I was very good at running away. Anyway, I used to be very embarrassed about its living memory – but now that I look back on it, it was a pretty funny situation, and one which I should have laughed off immediately – rather than getting all defensive about;  you know – blushing, and shrugging whenever anyone asked me about it.

Godfather GIF

But back then I lived even deeper in my thoughts than I do now, I didn’t express much, apart from between my nearest, and dearest – stifled by shame, self-consciousness, and a bitter embarrassment regarding just about everything (like, literally.) So this is the first time I’ve told the story to a larger audience…so please bear with me…

It all started on an unassuming school day. I was with my friends on the smaller courtyard, where you could largely avoid the manic hustle, and bustle of the main schoolyard – by which I mean footballs being blasted off your face at every juncture, and/or birds shitting on you in passing, as they scrabbled for the scraps of leftover sandwiches.

That’s not to say it was totally peaceful where we spent our break-times. It was still basically a war-zone…

Explosion GIF

Unwanted oranges, apples, and bananas (note: no chocolate was ever thrown) would fly from one end to the other – accompanied with blood-curdling cries, and bellowing swear word strewn sentences, that would even make Vinnie Jones wince.

On the day in question, it appeared to be particularly heated – and the various food items were flying with an increased ferocity. We huddled together, my friends and I, attempting to dip, and dodge any incoming missiles – before scraping them off the floor, and hurling them back. You could only pause momentarily to laugh, should it hit your target – because luxuriate in giggling for too long, and you can be sure that the dirtied tangerine segment would be SPLAT , back in your face!

Food Fight GIF

So it was quite a surprise when I was told that one of our sworn enemies (that day), now wanted to fight me…something about I had thrown a sloppy banana right off his forehead, and for whatever reason he wasn’t too fond of that fact. I didn’t even know who he was…so they pointed him out…of course, yup – just my luck – he was taller, and about four people wider than me. My friends didn’t care, the occasion had pumped them full of testosterone, and all of a sudden they wanted to see blood. A couple of them ran off to tell him I was up for it, as the others tried to make it seem like a great idea:

“He’s a year younger, man…he’s not even THAT big…well okay, he is…but you know – you throw like one punch, and then we all join in – then it’s like seven versus one! No worries  – YOU HAVE TO NOW!” 

NO! I wasn’t going to do it! No…but how to plot my escape out of this situation – could always go out the side-door, yeah…I began to walk away, with several friends still trying to convince me that it was a great idea – I wasn’t having any of it – “FIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIGHT!” Someone randomly screamed to my complete horror, and disbelief – before I knew it a crowd had circled in, barring my way out – and there he was, this massive entity. There was no way out of this, I’d never live it down if I ran now…or perhaps I could fake a heart attack…nah, that’s be even worse probably. It was time to face the music. I turned to my fantastic friends, who had basically orchestrated this whole thing – the excitement level for them was clearly off the charts – on the other hand, I was so scared I felt like I may literally shit my pants.

Bloodthirsty GIF

I looked at my foe – clearly if he got his hands on me, he would literally murder me. One punch from him, and I’d be eating through a straw, for the rest of my life. Couldn’t let that happen. I’d obviously have to try some unusual tactics to avoid him caving my skull in with meaty fists. But what? I had no ideas, so just lunged in there – to no avail, thankfully he missed me too. I turned back to my friends, with a look that said “Jesus Christ – please fucking help you set of complete dickheads” – but no, they just made gestures for me to get a move on.

I was quivering with a fearful kind of excitement, everything was blurred in a mad frenzy – perhaps I would cry, that would be humiliating. Light bulb. I jumped in and booted him in the chest…I pretty much bounced straight off him, cue laughter from the blurs that surrounded me…I tried again, It was literally the only way I could think of to keep distance from this unnatural behemoth. It never worked, I just pinged back as if I was the pinball – and he was the strong flippers at the bottom. He attempted to grab me on numerous occasions, but never quite managed it.

So there I was – just flying in with useless kick, after useless kick. Like a demented version of Kung Fu Panda, but without any of the guile, or charm that makes him admirable. But I had no Plan B – I’d just keep trying this until a teacher would inevitably break it up…after all, there is NO chance any of the onlookers would do anything of the sort. That’d be way too mature, way too sensible.

“OI! WHAT’S GOING ON OVER THERE?!” 

“Oh, thank God” I thought to myself, with a sigh of relief:

Happy RElief  GIF

The crowd dispersed, in every direction – and we fled back to our respective corners. But there’s no real code, and soon someone, somewhere had snitched…and the teacher was over next to us, asking questions. “WHO WAS FIGHTIN’? HUH?”  Everyone insisted that nothing had happened, that he had been seeing things…“NO FIGHT? THEN WHY WAS THERE A MASSIVE CROWD? HMM?” One of my friends tried to cheekily claim that the crowd was to do with a Yu-Gi-Oh card, and that it was really rare, so everyone was crowding around to see…inventive, I’ll give him that – but the teacher didn’t buy it. And before long the truth came to light.

We were suspended for the day, the two of us. And while we waited for our parents, we had to sit together – which was awkward…I felt like at any moment he would smash my face through one of the glass cabinets, or at the very least strangle me to death with his banana stained tie. But he didn’t. Just stared at me non-stop, as I squirmed with unease.

Fortunately both my parents were out at work, so it fell to my Grandad to pick me up. Which was a lot less daunting. I slumped into his car, and he immediately wanted all of the details – did I get a good punch in? How big was he? etc, etc! I said he was massive, so I tried to kick him, but it didn’t exactly work out. I thought it best not to mention the fact that I was flying around like a terrible Hong Kong Phooey imitation. And that if I wasn’t so small, he would have probably crushed me to death…

Crushed Head GIF

Anyway, we drove on to my Grandparent’s house, where we had mountains of bacon sandwiches, and gallons of hot sugary tea. My Grandma fussed over me, as Grandmas do – whilst my Grandad made me laugh with Rocky impressions. Later on he called me up to his attic, where he showed me an antique crossbow he had kept hidden for years. “YOU BETTER NOT BE SHOWING HIM THAT CROSSBOW KEITH, IT’S DANGEROUS!” called my Grandma from the kitchen…

He lied, and winked at me – whilst trying to fight back a grin. Then we went back downstairs, and lounged around watching cowboy films for the rest of the day. I suppose in this life, you have to take the good with the bad – and this memory encapsualtes that message entirely for me…it was both the worst day, and the very best day. And for that reason I wouldn’t change it, even if I could. 

Well…perhaps…I wouldn’t have went with the lame kicking technique – would have been nice not to be labelled “Jackie Chan” for the rest of my school-days! But yeah, never mind…

www.facebook.com/storytimewithjohn

I ATE A DOG.

I ate a dog in China, and it has haunted me ever since…I mean you really don’t forget that kinda’ thing! Arghhhhhhhhh! 

Oh, and by the way – while I am here…the WordPress suspension has been lifted, they sent me this message “You may have seen our earlier notice that some social features had been disabled in your account. We have now reversed this block and hope the disruption to your use of our service was minimal.” Thank you so much to each, and every person who expressed concern over the misunderstanding. It was great to see the community come together in that way, and I am beyond appreciative. Honestly, thank you so much. 

www.facebook.com/storytimewithjohn

Question-time with John!

Hello there friends of the WordPress world! So just yesterday I asked for questions from you guys for this Q&A post, and you well and truly delivered!

Thank you GIF

Here are 25 of the best questions (in no particular order); the variation says a lot about how weird and/or wonderful you lot are! ~ oh, and sorry if you didn’t make the cut…I had to stop somewhere… ~I still love you, you know that right? RIGHT?! Please don’t leave me…

Continue reading “Question-time with John!”

About ME.

Many thanks to Andy Lawson and Susanne Leist who have both nominated me for the “One Lovely Blog” award – I appreciate it! Usually I don’t go for these things, but I feel this will be a good way for my readers to get to know me a little bit better…anyway…here are seven little facts about, well…me!

1. My full name is John Lee Bartholomew Taggart. I am just going to go ahead and assume that the ‘Bartholomew’ bit is leaping out at you as unusual…rather than say, the ‘Lee’ bit. Well yeah, I thought it would be amusing to pick that name when offered the chance during the Roman Catholic “confirmation” ceremony as a thirteen year old. Perhaps I didn’t take it as seriously as I should have, but I certainly stand by my decision.

Bart Simpson GIF

2. Despite being raised a Catholic I am not sure what I would call myself these days, possibly Jedi if I was being a little jokey, Wizard if I was being serious – I guess cynicism and doubt has creeped into my mind, which has pushed out things like religion and spirituality to some extent, or so it seems. I think this is a bit of a shame, but that’s just how it is.

N.B. If Jesus or anyone wants to come visit me, then my door is always open though. Or an angel…to like, tell me everyone has it wrong and I need to set up my own church – either way, I am totally and completely down. Drop by, or send me an email.

Jesus GIF

3. I am one of five children – which basically means at some point in time we have all worn the same clothes – big families are just all about that hand-me-down life, that’s just how it is! Unless the clothing item is torn into shreds by some unavoidable bush, SOMEONE is wearing it. Think the Weasley family from Harry Potter, but a little less magic…oh, and yeah, not fictional.

Weasley GIF

4. I am an ex-red head. That is to say as a young child I had bright ginger hair which somehow vanished as time went on…there are only a few photos which can prove this…but it is the truth! These days I am lumbered with all of the same inconveniences a red haired person may encounter – such as pale skin and a hatred of the sun, but none of the positive things – namely interesting hair. Instead I have mousey coloured hair…or dirty blonde…basically things that sound a little sewagey…that is the description my hair gets these days. Great.

Ginger GIF

5. I don’t make a regular habit of buying lottery tickets – simply because every single time (I have on perhaps three occasions) I truly and wholeheartedly believe I am going to win…like really, I honestly think that this is it, that any money woes are a thing of the past, and that by the end of the week I will be a multi-millionaire. I pick out houses, cars, fountains…I get in touch with statue designers and artists so that once the money comes through they can get to work on crafting out images of me that will be placed pride of place in my mansion for generations to come.

Then I sit down on the evening and find that none – not one of the numbers, has came through for me. I tend to enter a massive sulk for at least a week which totally consumes my whole life. Not worth the upheaval, not in the slightest.

Rich GIF

6. I am somewhat of an over-thinker…actually the single biggest reason I try and go for every opportunity (whether it be travel or anything else) is largely because of some weird notion that it could pave the way to an even bigger opportunity that in retrospect I would have been a fool to miss out on. I always think of myself as a decrepit old man sitting in a rocking chair, slowly shitting myself to death, thinking of what would have happened if I…anyway, that is usually enough for me to think – “RIGHT JUST GO FOR IT!”

Old man GIF

7. Oh, and last but definitely not least – I absolutely fucking love cheese.

Cheese GIF

Here are 15 bloggers you should definitely check out, they are some of my faves anyway:

1. http://wandabvictorian.wordpress.com
2. http://thebritishberliner.wordpress.com
3. http://ladysteene.wordpress.com
4. http://openroadbeforeme.com
5. http://rjgreenphoto.wordpress.com
6. http://xiotteilegends.wordpress.com
7. http://redhottruth.wordpress.com
8. http://rockandrollsupermom.wordpress.com
9. http://auntdoris.wordpress.com
10. http://ramblingsfromamum.wordpress.com
11. http://franciscalaureijs.com
12. http://10eveningflowers.wordpress.com
13. http://charlypriest.wordpress.com
14. http://apromptreply.wordpress.com
15. http://reluctantcatowner.com

Oh, and here are the original links from Andy and Susanne:

http://lawsonandy.wordpress.com/2014/07/22/awarded-one-lovely-blog-award/

http://susanneleist.wordpress.com/2014/08/07/one-lovely-blog-award/

Thanks again guys!