Tuesday, 3 March 2009

Small, slightly pathetic acts of rebellion

Sometimes by 'rebellion' I mean small time criminality. In another few years, I will be seized by the security guards in Delhaize shoving lightbulbs and packets of toffees down my tights, like a low rent Belgian Winona Ryder. And worse, I will be totally unrepentant.

1. Taking the teacup from the meeting room at the conference of doom today and putting it in my handbag.

2. Faredodging on the clanking useless stupid trams. Because unless they give me back the good trams, and not the rickey pre-war ones with rationing sized doors, I will not pay. Also, the four lone inspectors for the Brussels region were on my route last week, so I am safe until at least 2016.

3. Taking the dog to bed with me, even if it doesn't want to come in defiance of House Rule #1.

4. Walking out of the most boring sessions of the conference of doom (hard choice! so many contenders!) several times today looking purposeful and carrying a piece of paper, when in fact I was only going to lie on floor of ladies and doze.

5. Prominently displaying my Glenn Baxter postcard entitled "The Wonder Book of Boredom Vol. 1: Fun with 2 Eggshells" on my Corridor of Ennui desk. (Also, not doing my timesheets, ever, but only fellow legal zombies will know the true transgression this constitutes)

6. Choosing to believe Lashes' blatant lie about not having homework tonight.

7. Purloining teaspoons everywhere and anywhere (well, not other people's houses. That would be rude). I say "purloining" in the hope that the authorities will not know that this means "steal".

8. Throwing away 1 and 2 centime coins sometimes, instead of collecting them in a giant jar until I am a millionaire.

9. Stroking people's fur coats in the street and on the tram. I don't want one, I promise. I just can't help reaching out to touch them. They demand to be stroked.

It's a bit lame, isn't it? Can you suggest some slightly more exciting ways that I can inject a very small note of spontaneity and danger into my life? I exclude nothing in principle but will consider only minor felonies. I am after all a member of the Law Society of England and Wales, and could be struck off for crimes of dishonesty (by which token, apparently, murder is fine as long as I don't lie about it afterwards).

Dare me! I dare you.


Razzmatazz said...

I am physically incapable of transgression, which has really led to the most boring of lives. The closest I ever came to it was hiding a packet of chewing gum in my mother's shopping trolly as she went through the checkout when I was 5 (she didn't realise it was there).
So I can't help.
Just keep up the good bathroom-floor-lying work. (When I worked in france I think on some days I spent almost 50 percent of my time in there. God knows what they thought I was doing).

WV: 'beduss'. like 'badass', but lame.

Persephone said...

You have sole inspectors on Belgian trams? For why? Are they looking for shoe bombs or doggy-do-do?

G said...

I dare you to mix recyclable waste with non-recyclable. Gets you into serious trouble chez moi, but gives me a thrill EVERY time.

Or for something more radical, I dare you to send a work email without punctuation. Because that is the very definition of defiant rebellion.

sprout said...

I dare you to eat grapes at the supermarket. BEFORE YOU HAVE PAID FOR THEM. Once you have mastered this, you can progress to cherries, apricots, and peaches - if you're man enough. My mother does this routinely. I double dare you to do it when Fingers and Lashes are around.

Iheartfashion said...

I've never stolen anything, even when I worked in a pharmacy in high school, but I have thrown away all my pennies for years now. I'd probably be worth millions, but I can't stand their smell.
And I'm terrible about recycling.

K said...

This is a great post.

I also used to leave meetings like I was in a hurry when there was no where I had to be.

Now that I work from home, I just blog during all virtual meetings and phone calls.

Vic said...

I got to "low rent Winona Ryder" and spit my coffee out! I'm pretty sure you are the funniest and sometimes most poignant writer (and often both) in the blog world. I'd tell you that every time, but it would get old, so just imagine I'm telling you.

Mrs Trefusis... said...

Glad you took the teacup. Tee hee. I once went out with a lawyer. One day we took ourselves off on a super-romantic trip to Paris. I got into the swing of things early on and half a bottle of champagne and a croissant later and much carried away by alcohol and an excess of romantic sentiment, persuaded him to accompany me to the eurostar lav for a shag. However, halfway through he suddenly stopped and said in a terrified voice "I'm a member of the law society of england and wales. I think this is a breach of the code of practice". And that was that. So filching things, by this logic, is fine, but canoodling in train lavatory will get you struck off. Just in case you were thinking of trying it...

Cassandra said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Cassandra said...

Sorry about that.

Well, I would never do this myself, what with being unemployed, but why don't you go to work wearing no knickers?!!! And then say, to one of the man-made fibre wearing zombies, "I'm not wearing any knickers, you know." Then when he looks both shocked and horried, act like you never even said it!!!!

Do you get BBC 1? Mistresses is on tonight - HURRAH!!!! Cx

Cassandra said...

I meant "horrified", not "horried". WHERE HAVE MY FECKING MARBLES GONE????????????

bevchen said...

You are much more rebellious than me. I buy my tram ticket for 71 euros and 50 cents evry single month and so far I've been checked exactly 3 times. In 7 months. It would have been cheaper just to pay the fines! But I can guarantee if I didn't buy the bloody thing they would put an inspector on my route every single day. In both directions.

monk said...

Christ, I hate those fecking tram doors. Does anyone actually fit through them? Certainly not the Belgians.

I occasionally jumped the barriers in Paris metro, but I was always wearing a skirt and the embarrassment got too much to bear. Plus I've been checked 3 times ths year there, so I'll have to look for another to get my kicks

Frau said...

I have cut the lawn on a Sunday...total no no here. Also talked on cell phone while on my bike and gave someone the finger! Also both big no no's in Germany. I havent been ask for my tram ticket sense October but I wouldnt dare be without you are my hero!

Jaywalker said...

Your audacity ASTOUNDS me. Especially you, G. I am going to bed filled with wild transgressive ideas. At five to ten. I will respond properly tomorrow.

Kate said...

i'm such a goodie goodie (goody goody?) it's kind of pathetic. My transgressions today:

mixing up brownie mix and eating some in bed before having a nap, eating a brownie for lunch (baked), and then going out to a real lunch though i couldn't afford it.

Nothing illegal... I've been thinking of you and wanting to email you. Also want to finally do your masthead... tomorrow maybe.

WV - ingesto - doesn't that sound like a magician who can eat anything?

katyboo1 said...

How about putting a spoonful of Andrews Liver salts in your mouth just before going into a particularly tedious meeting and then frothing everywhere, running from the room shouting 'The weepette has given me rabies! Women and children first.' and having a pretend fit by the water cooler?

Just, you know, a suggestion.

Mr Farty said...

Hahaha! This very day, a coworker was having an increasing annoyed phone conversation with some other fucktard. Eventually he just exclaimed, "I must go now, I'm late for a meeting!" Then he hung up and just sat there. Ace.

Have you tried eating After Eights before eight o'clock?

p.s. What's a "tram"? I live in Embra and such things are only an ancient myth here.

GingerB said...

I'm not as bad as I once was. And I nearly lost control of my bowels when transit police on the Paris Metro shouted at me in French to show my ticket, since my French is not quite up to high volume, high conflict situations. I would never be as bold as you, Jaywalker.

You didn't hear this from me, but it is supposed to be quite fun to sit at the bottom of a hill in a car and point a hairdryer out a window at speeding motorists. I don't know if laser/radar guns used by police in Belguim are as similar as US devices but I hear this can be fun.

However, if you want to leave your neighbors alone and focus on authority or at least ennui, fun can be had in an office if you move the keys around on someone's keyboard or glue coins to the floor.

Persephone, at least she doesn't have to contend with soul inspectors.

wv: flesq - obviously, a flesh colored flask I'm going to stop right there . . .

mothership said...

I'm not very good at this kind of thing. I'm more of a one for explosive bridge burning of the spectacular kind with as large an audience as possible and maximum humiliation for everyone concerned except me because I am immune to shame due to high level constant fury and sense of moral superiority.
On very rare occasions, though, when I'm annoyed with Husband and don't have the energy for an argument I hide the book he is reading and then feign complete ignorance to its whereabouts. I so rarely lie about my disagreeable habits that he believes me and spends many satisfying hours searching for it in full view.
My word verification for your amusement:
I think this is a message for me, but it's too late

mothership said...

PS I've started a trend on your blog with the word verification!
and to confirm it, my word on this one is

Completely Alienne said...

I think I must be a really sad and pathetic person these days. Practically all my transgressions involve chocolate - my soft drug habit is a thing of the (now long distant) past. I would not dare travel on public transport without a ticket because I would die of shame if caught, and I ALWAYS do my timesheets. They are mostly works of complete fiction mind you, but I always do them. I think I need to get a life.

Jools said...

Upstanding lot, your readers. Lots of my transgressions involve smoking illegal substances. Well, they used to. Lately, I have stolen straws from Starbucks.

Wife in Hong Kong said...

Walking out of restaurants without paying. If they stop you you say, "Oh, I'm so sorry. I thought he'd paid while I was in the loo."
Speeding, jumping lights - I have points to prove it so not very clever really.
I eat grapes in the supermarket all the time. My kids eat croissants and sometimes they finish all evidence before we get to the check out..
Actually my little ones were once quite good at shoplifting from their buggies. And I never noticed until we were half way home that they were clutching a packet of biscuits or whatever. But you are reading the words of a woman caught shoplifting aged 10 so clearly my children have a criminal bent in their genes.

Liberty London Girl said...

I too am crap at transgressing (am scaredy cat). But I must also point out that weepettes down bed are a Yorkshire tradition and therefore perfectly acceptable. LLGxx

ps On further reflection, could be argued that I am actually v gd at transgressing as am v gd at persuading myself of righteousness of actions. x

The whippet is a relatively young breed, originating in England in the 1800s. Most commonly listed as its ancestors are the Greyhound, the Italian Greyhound, and the Bedlington, Manchester, and English White Terriers. Whippets were once called Snapdogs, because of their ability to snap up and kill rats and hares. They were also referred to as the "poor man's Greyhound," as they were often kept by coal miners who raced them for sport. These early whippets were often the most valuable thing the working man owned, and they lived in their owners' houses, sleeping by the fire or curled up in bed with their people. Many were said to be fed better than the miners' own families

Also please click link for useful Whippet rules:

Phoenix Berries said...

Okay, I triple dog dare you to hum the theme to "Inspector Gadget" loud enough to be heard within four meters every time you see a man in a trench coat on your next day at the Corridor of Ennui. I'm pretty sure public humming is legal, but it's certainly exciting.

Wife in Hong Kong said...

I thought weepettes were to be seen in 15th century Flemish Mille Fleurs tapestries. They were used as hunting dogs.

Jaywalker said...

Razzmatazz - I don't know why it helps, the lying on bathroom floor, but it does, doesn't it?

Persephone - I meant there are only 4 inspectors in whole of Bxls. But my word order went a bit funny. I have tried and failed to sort it out.

G - especially now that in brussels it is strictly verboten to throw glass in ANY bin. Oooh!

sprout - yes, I think I could do this one. The CFO had a friend who used to go to supermarket every lunchtime for his lunch. Like, not to buy it, just to eat it off the shelves.

Iheart - what never? Never anything? Really?

Vic - ooh, I will imagine you whispering compliments to me all day now. Which will be odd, but cheering.

K - it's a great trick, the 'I must go now' one.

Mrs Trefusis - presumably that was 'bringing the profession into disrepute' or something. Whereas actually it would have been great PR for legal zombie.

Cassandra - crotchless spanx. I'm just saying.

bevchen - 3 times in 7 months is LOADS. I've only been checked twice in all the times I have lived in Brussels over the years. See? Free transport.

Monk - stupid ass doors. Stupid skinny trams. I want the new ones back. Though I do like the crossed out cornet de frites they use to suggest you shouldn't eat on tram.

Frau - oh, yes, we did the cutting grass thing, but evil Mauricette next door came round and threatened to denounce us.

Kate - the great Ingesto! It could also work for the weepette. Am around on the gmail address.

katyboo - I think the frothing might be even better if I didn't say anything. just frothed quietly in a corner.

Mr Farty - ye gods man. after eights before 8? the world would crumble, no? Tram is indeed a mythical beast, occasionally sighted in middle distance.

Ginger - I am sure there would be some fun to have with a flesq, no?

mothership - ah, the hiding of things. It is very fun isn't it? Ching ching.

CA - I thought the timesheets confession would shock you to the core.

Jools - you see, if you lived here, that wouldn't even BE a transgression. Going to Starbucks would be though. It's banned. Only permitted at airport.

Wife - ooh yes. I like yours, proper small scale badness. all good ones. I once inadvertently shoplifed a pretzel from selfridges food hall, but given prices in selfridges food hall, did not feel compelled to take it back and confess.

LLG - Oh, the weepette rules are horribly true. CFO must never know though. I don't think the 'longstanding yorks tradition' argument will work with him.

Phoenix - it might have to be on way to C of E - they usually leave their trench coats in their cells to wander greyly along the corridors. How about sexy thing? That might be fun.

Fanny said...

Hi Jaywalker,

Be careful with the Belgian tram guard! I lived in Brussels a while back and once saw them punch a guy on the bus because they thought he was faking being asleep (he wasn't, he woke up - terrified obviously - and showed his ticket).

Another time, I got busted for not having my ticket and they shouted at me and gave me a fine and filmed me crying for Belgian tv.

They almost never get you, but when they do they're brutal! Who do you think the police are going to believe, you or the STIB?

ps. Your blog sustains me through patches of boredom at work. Thank you :)

ps. ps. The "walking purposefully out of the meeting, holding a sheet of paper, looking determined" can easily get you all the way out of the building and into shops/a bath/bars.

indigo16 said...

Teacup? I hope it came with a matching saucer? I prfer to call them freebies. Fashionistas get goodie bags, we get freebies. Your halo therefore remains firmly intact

John Lancaster said...

I once nearly caused bloodshed at a posh dinner party when I asked if anyone had ever shoplifted. All most all the ladies admitted they had, or did it regularly (to save time) and all the men adamantly denied ever having done it. They then turned on their wives and the most vituperous rows I have ever heard ensued. My wife has forbidden me ever to do this again.

katyboo1 said...

I used to pretend I had important errands to run on the director's floor. I would gather some papers, go up there and hide out in their toilets. They were much nicer than the plebeian toilets downstairs. It was so calm and relaxing.

Once, when I worked as a receptionist at a solicitors a woman was so rude to me, she said; 'Do you know who I am?' I lost it and shouted: 'I don't care if you're the Queen of England, you're a very rude woman and if you want to get anywhere I suggest you try to be more polite when you call back.' Then I hung up the phone panting. Everyone in the office was deathly quiet. It was brilliant.

I also, when I ran my own company had a ridiculously insane man making a complaint about something we hadn't done. He kept threatening to call the police. In the end I said; 'Call the police then! See if I care you fucking peasant.' and slammed the phone down. I was never allowed to do customer care after that.

Persephone said...

Hmmn. Now it sounds as if they're inspecting "lones" on buses (presumably the sleepers that they like to beat up, as mentioned in Fanny's rather terrifying comment about her experiences on Brussel's trams).

How about "...all four of the inspectors for the Brussels region were on my route last week..." This gets the point across that there are only four of them.

Courtesy of Persephone, your personal style guide and editor. (Please don't punch me, or steal my teacups...)

Juci said...

Next time you go to a restaurant (if ever), ask for a steak well done. And no frites. They will look at you like you're something that has died three weeks ago and been left there.

Kitschen Pink said...

Go to moo.com and have 100 minicards printed with this blog address and then leave them lying around nochalently near the coffee machine at work. Go on! I dare you. t.xxx (this is entirely selfish -if they have no humour and sack you then we will get you to ourselves as a full-time writer! Hurrah!xxx)

Mud in the City said...

I can't offer any assistance today because I have been condemmed to my own corridor of ennui. BUt my, you have made me laug, and realise that there Is Life Out There.

One of these days I'll run away, until then I'm off on the hunt for an unguarded tea spoon....

Bluelilyleif said...

Rebel, rebel...refuse to write in anything but red ink.

decide to never cut your grass ever again

proceed to dress down at work in increment stages so that no one really notices until you have jeans, sneakers, and t-shirt...then you can say, "I've been wearing this stuff forever..."