Funny Stuff

Real Life Lara Croft?

The planets aligned today, creating a scenario that saw me engaged in an activity known as Geocaching. For those of you unfamiliar with this particular activity, it involves downloading of an app to something like a mobile phone or tablet, deciding which Geocache spot to go to and then go.

So my good lady wife got herself a new mobile last week and apart from filling it with music and playing the Simpsons Tapped Out she decided it might be nice to have a go at Geocaching.

The youngest daughter thought this was an awesome idea and before long we found ourselves in a patch of woodland near to where we live.

Dear daughter was thoroughly enthused to be out looking for hidden things…

…Like Tomb Raider.

She then decided she might like to do the same job as Lara Croft as her job is cool…

apart from the tigers.

Sad to say once we’d explained that most archaeologists don’t actually fight tigers and international baddies, her attention waned. Unfortunately we were deep into Gruffalo territory by then and The Wife managed to get the app to work.

Initially we were directed here…


But as you can see (in spit of the blurry image) this is more like the kind of place you’d find a corpse than a geocache so we moved on.

DD spotted this suspicious object and insisted it was exactly the thing we were after.

Digital Camera

But it turned out to just be a piece of trash with nothing in side apart from a couple of ants.

With much head scratching and cries of ‘It’s over here, it has to be! we turned round and managed to connect the app. Trudging  up a dirt track we were abruptly alerted to the fact we were really close.

I dived into the woods immediately only to find a few discarded chunks of wood and…

Digital Camera

Our first geocache! Under this fake rock was a plastic bag with a little dog and the log list in it.

Egged on by this overwhelming success we picked the next one and set off on a yomp to find the new cache.

Which we did after about five minutes of searching. This one was a bit bigger and had an array of goodies inside. Signed and re-buried, we took off for the next spot.

After about half an hour of trudging and a mad dog encounter (Elvis! Eeeelllvissss!) we came to a rough picnic spot next to a polluted pond which was once part of the Whitstable-Canterbury railway, using the water to help power a steam ‘winding engine’ as the locomotive ‘Invicta’ wasn’t powerful enough.

After a good ten minutes searching, the app led us to this fence post and assured us we were on top of the thing.

Digital Camera

Unfortunately, in spite of searching at the base of the post, a nearby tree, rotting stump and discarded nappy we couldn’t find the cache.

After three hours of trudging along rough paths we were all just about ready to go home. Plus The Wife’s batteries were running low. (Long story)

So it was, with aching feet, legs, shoulders and bum! We made our way back to the car. Still, two out of three ain’t bad and it was our first time but there have been a few side effects.

Many of you might know I’m not the most svelte of gents and I’ve found I can barely walk today. My hip joints feel as it they need a good dose of WD-40 and my shoulders ache. How walking hurt one’s shoulders I can’t quite fathom but there we are.

Also DD got bitten by gnats in about seven different places and I ended up with a long scratch from a wayward Hawthorne.

All in all geocaching was a partial success and if we go again I think we’ll go somewhere a little more urban and paved.

Funny Stuff

Things Annoy Me More Than They Should


Today’s world can be a confusing place for many people, especially the aged and infirm such as myself. A quick flick through the myriad pages of Urban Dictionary just goes to show there are about three and a half billion new and confusing words people are using that I have no idea about.

Bae is well hench

Which according to some means strong shit.

So with my being in a bad mood, I’ve decided to take a few of these oft-used words and sayings then rip them apart to make myself feel better.

Number Five

‘Bants’ Possibly the most offensive word used in the most ridiculous way at the moment. Back in t’day playful banter could be defined as a witty conversation between a pair of friends who might poke a little fun at each other.

‘Ah, Bertie, you are such a dapper chap.’

“Why thank you very much, Tarquin, you appear to be a chapper dap yourself.’

Bants today seems to be more like an excuse to utter the most vile, outrageous and downright evil things to another human being. As long as at some point there is an interjection of ‘It’s just bants’ then. seemingly, anything goes.

I hope you get skin cancer and your face rots off – just bants, it was only bants.


Number Four

‘Just reverse back a bit.’ Well what other direction would I or anyone else reverse? Sideways? Diagonally? Through a rift in space-time?

This is often shouted at low frequencies and high decibels around garages (auto shops for US readers) where ape-like mechanics bellow at each other while emptying the bank accounts of unsuspecting car owners.

John! Reverse back mate!

Back up? Fine. Reverse back? NO!


Number Three

‘Round Circle.’ Often uttered by the limited in intelligence, round circle is in a similar vein to reverse back. What other manner of circle would there be? A rectangular one? An egg-shaped circle? A circle shaped like a dodecahedron? No, sorry but by it’s very definition a circle is round and there is no need to say round circle.

Change it to another shape and it becomes clear how abjectly stupid it is.

Just draw a boxy square.

Number Two

‘It’s a no-brainer.’ Well that is lucky as you appear to be severely lacking in that particular department.

Often heard uttered by an orange-skinned, vapid bimbo, this particular saying is almost at the top of my list of stuff that annoys me more than it should. The addition of a simpering voice and ridiculous sounding accent simply makes this phrase worse. I find myself with jaw clenched and fists balled whenever I hear some idiot say this.


Number One

Okay, top of my list (and it is just my list) The out and out, most annoying, stupid, obvious thing people say. And it gets said a lot now.

It is what it is.


What else would it be? If it wasn’t what it was it would be something ELSE!

Seriously! Stop. Just stop saying it. It’s not clever and it just highlights the fact you have nothing better to say than to state the obvious. Might as well go round saying, ‘The sun’s yellow’ or ‘The world’s round.’ ‘I have feet.’ Give up and go home.

It is what it is? Jesus!

So there we are, bant rant over. You can carry on with your happy lives now and if this post has upset you in some way, feel free to go die in a hole. Just bants.


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Guess Who’s Back?


After battling and struggling, I’ve finally managed to get back into my WordPress account. Thanks go to Liz, one of their support genies, without who I wouldn’t be here now.

The whole situation is odd though,  I got locked out of my account when I switched to using a new browser. It said it had imported all my passwords but as soon as I tried to get into WordPress it was a no go.

‘Fair enough,’ thought I, ‘I’ll just set a new password by clicking this little linky thing here…’ and waited for an email.

….and waited


…and waited.

After a couple of days of trying to get the site to send me an email, I went to WordPress and looked through the FAQ regarding this matter. I’d already done all that and got nowhere so decided to look at the forums.

WP: Please sign in to your WordPress account to access the forums

Me: I can’t sign in, help me!

WP: Please sign in to your WordPress account to access the forums


So to get help signing in, I had to sign in to the account I wasn’t able to sign into in order to get on the support forums but couldn’t sign in but had to sign in.


So I had to create a completely new account with a new email just to be able to get on the forums!

I’ve noticed this with the Microsoft account I HAVE to sign into every time I open my laptop.

Ms: The password you have entered is incorrect. To change your password, please go to

Me: How? I can’t sign in with that password.

Ms: The password you have entered is incorrect. To change your password, please go to

Me: Yeah….you mentioned that.

I know people are supposed to have fifty-six different devices they can sign in on (I’m using this now)


but really? How the fick am I supposed to change the password on an account I can’t get into to change the password?

Funny Stuff

Wuvwy Animal Wednesday!

Some people have been asking me if I’ve got any photos of the pets I mention in my bios on books and websites and the basic answer is yes. So here, in a feel good post (with a catchy title)  are some pretty photos of the pets what are in me life.


In an incredibly risky revelation I’m going to kick off by saying I like dogs more than cats. I realise the internet is a cat-lovers paradise and I’ll come in for a stream of abuse and flack but there you are.

This beautiful man was Jasper. Unfortunately you read that right as he passed away about seven years ago now. Jazzy-boy you will always be missed.

This thing is Arthur, often referred to as ‘The cantankerous Yorkshire Terrier’

The cantankerous Yorkshire Terrier…

Hobbies include barking, yapping and barking more. If there’s a siren he barks. If the wind blows he barks. When I Hoover he barks. If nothing happens he barks. But it’s not just a bark, it’s the highest pitched, yappiest, ear splitting sound you’ll ever hear.

This is Fudge the bestest, most loving, good choccy lab there ever did be. After the sad loss of Jasper, we managed to find this lovely specimen for sale by a “breeder”. I put that in quotation marks as when we got him home he stank of cigarette smoke and was covered in fleas. I have to say he’s not always quite as distinguished as he appears in these pictures.


There are currently six – SIX! – cats in our house. Our four and two that came to us when the daughter moved back in. Six!

Brennan and Booth (yes, from Bones) are the original two cats we had. She’s the tortoiseshell one and was an unplanned addition to the family. Originally we were going to get Booth in all his pristine glory but when my wife and eldest daughter came back from the lovely gentleman who was selling them there were two. In a stunningly bad move, we got Booth neutered. I say bad move as we should have had Brennan spayed first. A move she rewarded us with by getting pregnant. Resulting in…

Coco and Angel. These are the two we kept of the six (where have I seen that number before?) kittens Bren-Bren had. Coco the black and white one was my wife’s favourite while we just couldn’t find anywhere for Angel so she stayed.

Kitten 1

Iccle baby Coco, not long been born and sleeping in a hand (possibly mine).


Do I know I’m beautiful? Yes. Yes I do.


Despite appearances, I’m not as high as a kite. Nor is the human I’m cuddling.

Fudge and Coco 3

Aww the bromance boys holding hands  All out cats love Fudge but he and Coco share a ‘special’ bond.

So there we have some of the lifeforms that share the house with me. I based a cat in Time To Turn Back on one of them grab your free copy here and see if you can tell which one.

Got a pet as cute? Drop a comment or send a pic, I’d love to see them.

Funny Stuff · Uncategorized

From The Depths of Darkness

A new dawn rose over my life yesterday bringing warmth and new birth. Power burst through me and a wealth of knowledge flowed into my mind bringing peace and harmony to the universe.

Yes, I, Gavin Ough (just turned 43) …

…joined Twitter!!


No longer will I have to guess at what people’s innermost and secret thoughts are…

No longer will I have to wonder where they had dinner or what they ate…

No longer will I be able to dodge their unwanted and puerile political opinions…

Now, every thought that anyone ever had, ever will have or even didn’t have (huh?) is mine for the ingestion.

So follow and drop me a Tweet if ya like.

Gavin Ough


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The Importance of Being Burnished

I’m taking a break from the When I Were a Lad theme this week to potentially amuse and entertain you, dear readers, with a few unusual but true stories from my family’s past. Many of you will notice some of these stories have a running theme – that of my Mother-in-Law.

Scan, as her husband used to call her for some reason no one could ever figure out, was one of those ladies whose influence was wide and far reaching. One of the original residents of the Swalecliffe council estate, Shirley was a force of nature. What one would class as a larger lady she had a zest for life and a mad sense of humour.

She was also a jinx!

Guaranteed if you went anywhere with her in tow, it would rain. If there was no rain, you’d get lost and end up asking the guys at Twickenham rugby club how to get to Legoland (true story)

So here goes with a little section I’m calling…

Cavalier Attitude

In the late 90’s and noughties,  we were the proud owners of a pair of Vauxhall Cavaliers. One was a dark blue and fairly nice, the other was the same powder blue colour as a comedy tuxedo in some sad sit-com and a rotting pile.

The dark blue one eventually died in spectacular fashion. For some time the wife had been telling me the temperature gauge was making ever more frequent trips into the red. As one of the millions of red-blooded, technically-minded British men that abound in the world, I promptly flipped open the bonnet and proceeded to touch things in a random fashion.

This is also known as mechanics by faith healing.

It’s not particularly effective.


With little income, we wisely chose to leave the problem and see if it worsened. Which it promptly did, causing the maximum disruption and distress possible.

Somehow around nine years ago, I managed to get my wife pregnant – possibly through faith healing techniques. Several months into her term, she set off to collect her mother (the jinx) from a visit to her lifelong friend in Cambridgeshire.

The phone call I received a few hours later went along the lines of “The car’s on fire! The car’s on fire!” While I was sympathetic to the plight of my gestating wife, I was approximately sixty miles to the East of her and unable to assist with the conflagration she was experiencing.

When she finally returned, I received the full tale. The dark blue Cav decided to smoke like an old stick on the approach to the Dartford Tunnel! My wife pulled in, as you would, to be told by a helpful chap standing around doing nothing, “No parking here! You have to move!” Unmoved by my wife’s declaration her car was about to explode he added, “Go, go. No parking here.”

Finally managing to convince the gentleman a fire was imminent and entering the confines of the Dartford Tunnel would be unwise, he relented and allowed her to stop there.

Meanwhile dark blue Cav had stopped churning out black smoke and calmed itself down so the wife decided to call the AA. When the grizzled, scarred, apparent baby-eating man from that association arrived – complete with teardrop tattoos beneath his eye, a definite reference to the number of people he’d shanked in prison – he promptly decided the Cav was too dangerous to drive and jacked it onto his towing dolly.

Illegally towing her through the Dartford Tunnel, performing a U-turn at Thurrock and then dragging her back over the bridge, the driver decided it would then be possible for her to drive back home.

Which she did. In ten minute intervals to stop and let the engine cool to sub-molten temperatures.

The upshot of this spectacular death of the dark blue Cav was that the Jinx had to spend another week in Cambridgeshire until I could collect her the following weekend in my chugging, diesel Nissan D21, featuring the same suspension as seen in traction engines.

Plus we ‘retired’ the Cav.


The light blue Cav was a different matter. This one served us well until its final demise a year after we bought it as the MOT tester said it was a ‘deathtrap’ and ‘shouldn’t never be driven by no one.’ Of this Cav there is one amusing tale.

My wife was driving, my two children were in the back seat and I in the passenger seat with a newly purchased 2.5l bottle of Coke sitting at my feet. We were on the approach to the traffic lights where Herne Bay High Street meets Canterbury Road when the bottle fell over. I thought nothing of this happening until the bottle rolled back with the movement of the car and hit the seat rail, piercing a small hole.

With the added pressure involved with this popular carbonated drink, a three foot high fountain of the sticky brown liquid jetted forth and soaked the dashboard, inside of the windscreen, gearstick, me and the passenger door/widow in a liberal coating of sugary goodness.

With my wife unable to fully see and the children screaming with laughter in the back seat, I in my infinite wisdom decided to hang the bottle out of the open window. I cannot overstate the volatile nature of this beverage when a pinhole is punctured through the side of the PTFE bottle. Even the slightest movement provoked a fresh fountain of sticky brown Coke to erupt from the side.

Picture the scene as we cruise down  Canterbury Road with me hanging out of the side window soaking passers-by with Coke as my wife and daughters howl with laughter inside.















Funny Stuff

When I Were A Lad – Again

Life on the Grimshill estate was grim exactly as the name suggests. We didn’t have much in the way of games consoles and the web hadn’t been thought of yet so we actually had to leave our homes and venture forth into the world using our imaginations to provide us with entertainment that the children of today seem to have to rely on others  to generate.

With limited resources we made forts, camps and bases often using things the everyday folks left behind in the manner of real life Wombles. What could be achieved with a few pieces of rotting wood and some rope was nothing short of miraculous and could be anything from a neolithic cave dwelling to the bridge of the Starship Enterprise.

This leads us neatly to one of the iconic fixtures of the 80’s landscape –

The Red Phone Box

phone box 2

I expect just about everyone remembers these and some still exist but I remember when the phones inside took 1p and 2p coins! I also remember the outrage by a number of people when these coin denominations were no longer available, meaning a call could only be paid for with 10p or more. This sense of being robbed was repeated a few years later when the announcement of a 20p minimum call charge was introduced.

I can clearly recall the massive phones inside having strips of metal inserted into the slots to block them up. Obviously a much cheaper alternative to replacing the phones.

Whether K2 or K8, cast iron or concrete our history is interwoven with these bright red boxes. Yet despite their intended use, there have always been a few enterprising individuals who’ve adapted them to suit their own agendas.

As a child the red phone box could be a sanctuary from any number of hostile forces including, but not limited to, bad weather and bullies trying to nick your pocket money. The older kids also managed, with just two skipping ropes and very basic knot tying skills, to re-purpose the kiosks as ‘prisons’.

I clearly recall the image of a sobbing child, sealed up in a red phone box while a group of malevolent, evil boys danced gleefully in a circle around the box, hitting the bullet proof glass with sticks to make him jump. Click here to see my earlier post about the abandoned car which could also be used as a prison. I have seen similar things to this done on prank shows like Just for Laughs where the jolly japesters wrap an occupied box in cling-film while the hapless phone user is held inside. These people probably think they invented this type of imprisonment but they’d be wrong. It was nasty-minded, pre-teen kids on council estates across the land.

On hot days this torture had the added fun of the prisoner being slowly cooked as the sun hammered relentlessly down, bringing the internal temperature up to the level of a convection oven.

Other uses were employed by older kids and adults. Many times I recall entering one of these phone boxes to find it had been previously occupied by a gentleman who had been ‘caught short’ and used it as an emergency lavatory. The vile stench of hot urine serving as a natural expedient to your visit made sure you cut your phone call as short as possible.

Another activity some people utilised the red phone box for was as a make out room. Teens and some adults could be found engaged in a number of late night, intimate acts ranging from kissing and groping to full intercourse. Why people chose to enter a phone box which was mostly glass and illuminated at night time, for privacy is beyond me but I assure you it happened. Maybe this is where the more recent invention of dogging has its origins, who can say?


Oddly I always felt there was some kind of etiquette involved in using a phone box. One that was never shared by anyone else. At all, ever.

If I was on the phone, regardless of the fact I had no one to actually speak to, I always felt a certain pressure if someone was waiting outside. This would be infinitely magnified if the weather was unpleasant. I would feel almost obliged to cut my own call short to allow whoever else was waiting to use the phone.

Never seemed to affect anyone else, however. The deep feeling of doom that would hit you if you turned up to make a call and found some bloke chatting to his girlfriend with a roll-up in one hand and a foot high stack of silver coins on that little black metal shelf beside the phone. You knew you had either a long wait or a long walk in store.

phone box

If this post brings back a sense of nostalgia in you or you just like my entertaining and wittily dry sense of humour, feel free to massage my vast ego by commenting, liking or even following this blog for more of the same.

Funny Stuff

When I Were A Lad Two


In this day of Health and Safety madness, playgrounds are pleasant, safe, nice places to play. They have colourful, soft equipment for children of all ages to learn, grow and exercise.

Not so in my youth.

Kids were expendable in the eighties. We didn’t have spongy rubber mastic to cushion our soft little bodies. Bark chips were unheard of and everything – everything – was razor sharp.

Playgrounds of the eighties were surfaced in acres of concrete or tarmac, often patched, and able to skin a kid’s knees in less than a tenth of a second. Everything was constructed from either cast iron or thick steel painted in vile pale yellow, blue and raspberry paint at least five millimetres thick. Enterprising vandals would add their own artwork, usually some kind of swear word, and there would be a thin skim of shattered glass coating the already lethal ground.

Evidence of the older kids that took over residence late at night could be found in the large amounts of cigarette butts and discarded Rizla packets that blew into sad drifts against the base of the lethal equipment that was securely concreted in.



Slides today are relatively short in comparison to those in my youth. Every one was the same – stainless steel with a step-ladder type staircase to ascend to the heavens. They were all the same height, at least ten feet, and had just a pair of thin handles at the top as a ‘safety’ feature.

This didn’t stop mothers sending their snot-nosed little bundles of joy up to the top to wait in line for the scared one at the front to get pushed, screaming in fear, down by the one behind.

I did hear a story that a man fell from the top of one of these slides and suffered such horrific head injuries that he eventually died. Can’t vouch for the validity of the story but I can certainly believe in the probability.


Roundabouts have been updated recently to be wheelchair accessible, they are set at ground level to aid ease of access and have speed limiting devices in them to make sure you can’t spin your children too fast.


Even this little example is safer than those in my youth. The decking is wooden though to give an example of how things used to be. Holes would often rot through this wood, the perfect little ragged trap for a toddler’s foot. Also note the complete lack of safety railings here, the handrails have been perfectly aligned to ease you from the ride with centrifugal force. At full speed, of course.

Then there was the gap underneath. Just large enough to trap an enticing morsel of something any kid might want. A Lego man, 10p or some other incentive for a youngster to insert their arm. Once in this position, the  sheer weight of the spinning wheel of death could drag them round in a circle, snap their arms like matchsticks, dislocate shoulders and generally cause some horrible injuries.

I recall once being spun so fast by a couple of older boys I couldn’t hold on – or see straight – any longer and was duly thrown across the iron hard ground, rolling to a stop several feet away from my starting position.

The Witch’s Hat

This demonic contraption was a spin-off from the roundabout. A cone shaped arrangement of metal poles attached to a wooden circle at the base and then suspended from a central pole.

witches hat

Again this is a more safety-conscious version. Once aboard the ‘Hat’ children could be dislodged with relative ease in a number of fun ways. Spun off by centrifuge, tipped off by unbalancing, the options were numerous.

The Rocking Horse

Best in show here, this deathtrap device was a six or eight foot long ‘horse’ with a cast iron head.Click here for a perfect example of this savage piece of ‘play’ equipment.

As a male of our noble species, I clearly recall the first violent exposure of my testicles to the ice cold iron when my crotch was slammed abruptly forwards by the ‘rocking’ motion of this half ton device.

More arm snapping possibilities could be found in the general vicinity of this playground toy as once a group of about five kids got it going, it was more like a hydraulic bucking bronco in sheer velocity. Anyone stupid enough to try and reach under one of these things invited the possibility of a range of injuries from grazes and broken bones to severed fingers and possible death.

As stated, kids were much more expendable in the eighties.

playground thingy







Funny Stuff

When I Were a Lad…

Beginning a bit of a series here recalling the good (or bad) old times and wondering where the hell some of them went.

The Abandoned Car


Photo courtesy of Pixabay.

First in the list of things you don’t see any more is the abandoned car. Now I’m not talking about the occasional clamped vehicle parked in the wrong place here, these abandoned wrecks could be found in the most unlikely of places making you wonder, ‘How the hell did they get that there?’

For those of you familiar with the Grimshill Estate (or mini-Beirut as we called it) no explanation will be necessary. For anyone younger or not familiar with it, however, this place of my childhood was similar in atmosphere to a Taliban training camp. Although nowhere near as safe.

In the summer months especially, gangs of roving children would gather at the playground – featuring one of those tall, metal, kid-killer slides – to skin their knees and elbows on the cracked concrete which had been finished in a cheese-grater like top. (More on death playgrounds later)

vw camper

Photo courtesy of Pixabay.

At some point someone had managed to park a Morris Marina next to said playground. It was one of those colours that seem to be reappearing now – Babyshit beige or brown – and had already seen some violence when I discovered it.

For a kid of the eighties, the Abandoned Car was a playground of its own, with a million possibilities for an imaginative boy to entertain himself. From the mundane pretending to drive it to the malevolent using it as a prison to torture the younger kids and poke them with sticks, that desperate old car provided at least one day of entertainment.

Of course when night fell and the older kids took over, the Morris Marina became a place of heady delights, a den of debauchery and excess where all manner of things we had no idea about took place. Like some kind of infant CSI team we found the evidence of their presence the following day.


Minis and Beetles were among the most popular abandoned cars. Thanks to Pixabay for the photos.

From cigarette butts – stubbed out on the brown plastic dashboard – to crushed beer tins, always Tennet’s Extra in the tall, black cans. In some exceptionally lucky  circumstances one of these abandoned vehicles might have been used as a love nest and some enterprising youth would collect the soiled prophylactic on a stick to chase others around with.

Many good times could be had with an abandoned car but, inevitably, some twat would set fire to it and then it would get towed away. Our only memory of those great times, a Marina-shaped scorch mark on the ground and occasionally some melted tyre.

Let me know what you remember about your youth and stuff you just don’t see any more.


Image courtesy of Skitterphoto. Sometimes an engine or oil sump was all that remained.

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Horribly Misinformed!

Come with me now, if you will dear readers, we shall part the mists of time and travel back to the year 2012.

I spoke to my GP, a gentleman that shall remain nameless, about assistance with losing my vast gut.

“I’ll prescribe you this,” he told me. “Try it for three months and we’ll have a look at the results.”

I duly procured the prescription and opened the paper bag to reveal an innocuous white box with the name of the product emblazoned on the side; Xenical.

For those of you familiar with this product, I’m sure you have a reasonably good idea where this is heading. If you’ve never encountered this little miracle drug, read on.

The common side effects list itself makes for a pleasant read and should be taken as a warning.

Oily evacuation, steatorrhea, frequent bowel movements, bowel urgency, oily rectal leakage, and flatulence with discharge.

Take a second to read that again.

Horrid face

Photo courtesy of Gratisography.

For anyone not familiar with the term steatorrhea, like me, it means “the excretion of abnormal quantities of fat with the faeces” Mmm…nice.

As mind violatingly horrific as the list is, especially with the vivid images it conjures, the reality of using Xenecal is somehow…worse.

Following the dosage instructions, I downed a pair of the little blue torpedoes with my meal and sat back, relaxing in the happy knowledge I could trust modern medicine to cure me of all my ills.

Foolish, foolish man.

At the time I was in the process of renovating an are of the house, readying it for my eldest daughter to have somewhere to stay while she attended university for the first year.

So, headphones on and listening to my favourtite tunes at the time, I journeyed upstairs to continue with my labours.

Singing along to whatever I was listening to and smiling as the project was going much better than I expected, I felt a small twinge in my lower abdomen. A mild cramping, nothing more, so I continued.

As the day wore on, the cramping got slightly more severe, but I manfully soldiered on. After all, abdominal pain was yet another of the delightful side effects mentioned in the helpful little pamphlet the company had provided with my medication.

I fully recall the smile falling from my face, the muscles drooping to form a sad emoticon of despair.

After an hour, the bowel urgency had well and truly kicked in and I wisely decided to pay a visit to the lavatory.

Luckily I made it (That time)

A picture paints a thousand words, as they say, but there was no way I was about to take a picture of the substance that exploded from me that day.

Fueled by pressurised gas, the bright rust-coloured greasy mess lanced from my body like a laser bolt from a Star-Wars blaster. Accompanied by some low-frequency grumbling sounds, along with the occasional mouse-like squeal, the overall effect was harrowing to say the least.

I was left, panting and mentally scarred. Beads of sweat formed on my forehead.

Okay, fair enough, that’s over with. I can get back to work now.

Or so I thought.

No sooner had my buttocks levitated from the seat than the whole ordeal was repeated.

When I finally managed to leave the bathroom, dusk had fallen. Stars had begun to twinkle their cheery light down from billions of miles away and I felt weak.

You may think that’s the worst of it but it isn’t. I don’t think I’ve ever seen a toilet cry but that particular day featured a number of firsts.

The orange residue left on my porcelain was impossible to remove! Bleach, acid, hacksaw. I tried it all to get rid of the stuff and where it had been forcibly ejected from me under pressure, there was a generous coating.

Still not the worst.

Think back to the list of side-effects from earlier and consider the phrases: flatulence with discharge and oily rectal discharge.

Flatulence with discharge! This is basically scientific terminology for a shart. And shart I did. Frequently and powerfully to the detriment of my clothing.

I lost count of the many, many pairs of boxer shorts I ended up discarding due to the contents.

Trousers too!

Oily rectal discharge. I won’t even go into that.

Suffice it to say, Xenical is not the drug for me. In fact I would suggest, if you’re human, NEVER use this product.

You won’t, “get used to the side-effects,” as I was misinformed. There will be no, “calming down of the effects,” either.

The makers of Xenical say their product inhibits the absorption of fats in the intestine and that might be true.

But it’s the abject terror of using your underwear as a toilet that makes you lose weight. You cease eating all together, become a recluse and consider the benefits of adult nappies.

No, patient readers, Xenical is the work of evil men.