Complaint to Shell fuels

Complaint to Shell fuels

Dear Shell,

Your attendant refused to switch the pump on for me last night at your Northfield, Birmingham forecourt.

I ride a motorcycle, and have spent 17 years filling up whilst sat on the bike, so that I can safely see what I’m doing and fill the tank to the maximum safe level.

The attendant said that she was new, and had been told not to allow bikers to fill unless they dismount. I got back on my bike and rode off to fill up at the next available forecourt, with no issues.

I stayed calm and polite, despite the humiliation of having your staff member gesturing wildly at me (I thought she might be signalling “Intentional Grounding” but then realised she wasn’t an American Football referee) for a while, before I had to walk into the shop to enquire what the issue was.

I can only think of two possible reasons why I may have been refused:

  • Theft. Shell assumes all bikers are thieves who will run off with the small amount of petrol a bike can hold. Apparently the 2 seconds it takes to get back on a bike makes a major difference to this?
  • Safety. After 17 years of filling up without turning into a fireball, admittedly this COULD be the one time I set myself on fire somehow. Again, I’m not sure what major difference there is when it takes me less than 1 second (note this is quicker than getting on the bike) to dismount whilst my leathers and helmet are engulfed in a chemical blaze. Please also note that the ‘safety’ option makes even less sense when you consider that after I’ve filled my tank to the brim, I will then be climbing on top of it, resting my torso on the tank, and starting the engine in a series of controlled explosions to power me away from the Shell forecourt.

Could you explain why this is, if this is even policy?

Also, what can you do to compensate me so that I feel welcome using your fuels (and I will always pick Shell over the competition) in the future?

Yours faithfully,

Nasty Evil Ninja

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The New ‘Crap Bike’ – Yamaha FZR600R

The New ‘Crap Bike’ – Yamaha FZR600R

After around 6 years of service, the GPZ500, or as I fondly refer to it, The Crap Bike is being retired.

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It’s rideable and fixable, but after new front wheel, head bearings, welding to repair the exhaust, wheel bearings, and many more hours work, it will still be just an old slightly less-crap bike.

So I decided it was time to upgrade.

I looked at what I could get for as little as possible that would do for a commuter – not even considering something a bit fun this time (apart from a CBR600F that tempted me…). It was CB500 and EN500 city, with a slim chance of snagging an SV650 to join my V-Twin stable.

Then a friend with some unfortunate circumstances offered me his bike. I dismissed it instantly, as I knew he’d done loads to it, and didn’t think he’d appreciate me killing it through the Winter.

I was wrong, and he gave a good price – and so here is my new, sensible commuter (which I’m not sure I can call ‘The Crap Bike’):

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Ooh yes! My very first bike was a blue and white Yamaha TZR, so this was going back to my roots!

I picked the bike up, realising that this would be the first time I’ve ever ridden a 600cc bike on the road, the rest being on track, and pootled it home to see what I’d bought.

It wasn’t running great, possibly needing a carb balance, but I was happy with the deal in whatever state, and you can’t buy a 19 year old bike and expect it to not have any issues. And it had been stood for a good while.

Other than not wanting to pull away or rev at the top end, the low-down grunt was ok. It felt much lighter and flickable than I’d expected, and with those combined it was already seeming like a good commuter.

It felt old, and with the speedo showing up to 180mph, it seemed the bike was barely moving as I was doing around 60mph – I thought that might be a bit of an effect of using such a small portion of the speedo, as a really good one may get just over 150mph back in the day.

The front brake isn’t as sharp as I’d like, but I can put R600 calipers on and sort that out, and tyres are all good.

I took it out for a blast the next day to see if I could blow the cobwebs off, stopping off for a few pics as I tried to get lost down country lanes as I got a feel of the bike.

After about 25 miles I headed back towards home, having given it beans and not scared myself. But then, after the VTR ripping my arms out on the throttle, what could I expect from a tiny old 600?

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Then I accidentally over-revved it and it was like flicking a switch!

The sound changed as all four cylinders suddenly woke up. I got back on the power and hooooly poop!

The front lifted as the race can snarled out its true potential, and I revved out the first few gears to see what it had got.

It’s got more than I thought!

The exhaust note was now reminding me of the 600 track bikes I’d been on, hitting that sweet spot at about 13,000rpm where it’s like a drill being rammed into your eardrum.

I was suddenly approaching the corners “quite a bit” faster, and now KNOW I need to sort out the front brakes.

It also means a track day might be back on the cards!

Who was it who told me 600’s were crap on the roads? And that old bikes are slow and heavy?

I think this little old FZR600R could make me fall in love with Yamaha again!

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David Cameron – What CAN we do??

David Cameron – What CAN we do??

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All over my news feed this morning is stuff about our Prime Minister who’s family have been dodging taxes for generations.

Of course, that’s after you get around the deflection by the press, who are trying to make me feel angry that some pointless Russian kid called Putin is doing the same! So fucking what? He can do whatever the fuck he wants to, as long as he’s not living on my street!

But Cameron, who also voiced his outrage at Jimmy Carr for being “morally wrong” in his tax avoidance a while back, appears to be doing exactly the same.

I honestly can’t even be arsed to point out how and where this is all so wrong.

You know.

They know.

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And you all know of my utter contempt for politics because they’re not there for us. They never will be until we pay the lot of them minimum wage… Ok, some work hard – let’s cap their maximum wage at £25,000 to be fair.

But I digress. We all know that we need to do something about it.

But what CAN we do?

Wait another 4 years until we can try and vote the fat cunts out to be replaced by more fat cunts who are also only in it for themselves? Ooh – that’ll scare them!

We can refuse to, err… buy stuff? Err… err…

Yeah, that’s right – we can’t do a fucking thing about it. Suck it up, losers!

So I’m just going to have this rant, and then I’ll go back to work hard to earn money so that I can afford to live in a house that I’m never actually IN, because I’m at fucking WORK!!!

What. The. Fuck?

And then I look at the ‘Top News Stories’ and what do I see about all this??

Loch Ness Monster, Caroline Flack (?? Is that Nessie’s real identity??), and Britney ‘fucking’ Spears. Because we don’t want to give a shit about anything important, do we?

Maybe I should just write an angry letter?

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Return of the Duck Face

Return of the Duck Face

Wow.

It’s been a while since I actually wrote a full-on ranty blog. It’s not because I haven’t had anything to rant about – more because I couldn’t be arsed, and am happy to see the daily views ticking over from you pervs reading my erotic stories.

Anyway, sneaking a look over someone’s shoulder earlier today, I was pleased to discover them flicking through a few pics of a rather good looking Facebook friend.

Or she WOULD have been good-looking, except every picture looked like this:

My initial thought was “What in the blue-waffled FK are you doing???”

Had I stumbled onto the promotional manager for the new Zoolander film, trying shit out??

Maybe I was witnessing a rare cancer of the lips, or someone who’d had some kind of -ing accident with an airtight sandwich grill??

No – it seems that the duck face/trout pout trend is still going strong.

A quick look through some other peoples pics showed more of the same.

Now, I know I’m not up with current trends and fashions, so maybe I should give the benefit of the doubt here?

Are there people out there who do find this look attractive??

There must be some reason why women do this in the first place?  I mean, you looked great until you started doing that crazy shit with your mouth!  And I don’t mean THAT crazy shit…

Are you looking at your selfie (with obligatory toilet, Anal Glide or abandoned toddler in the background), and actually seeing something else through your poor, slack (to hide the wrinkles) eyes?

Just SMILE, you knobs!

Maybe I should also categorise this blog under ‘erotica’ so you duck-billed wankers can jerk off to that, too?

Auto Aid – the best breakdown cover

Auto Aid – the best breakdown cover

The big names like RAC and AA take all the limelight for breakdown cover.

Without a doubt, they are good – but they’re also very expensive.  Even if you think you’re getting a good deal having cover free from your bank etc, the chances are you don’t actually have the cover you want or need.

A basic policy can be had for £60 that doesn’t include (what should be) essentials such as home start, and, more importantly, most of these will cover only a specific car, or you as a driver, until you start paying £200-£300 per year for a service you may never even use!

But even then, what  if you own cars and bikes, and want them both to be covered when you’re riding?

It still amazes me that so few people have even heard of Auto Aid.

You pay £40 per year, and that covers YOU as a driver or passenger in any vehicle.  And you get home start, forward travel, and pretty much everything you need.

So what’s the catch?

Well, assuming you are unlucky, and actually have to use the service you’re paying £40 per year for, you have to pay for any roadside repair or recovery out of your own pocket – but don’t panic!  All you do then is send Auto Aid your invoice, and they will reimburse you the full amount in about a week.

I was a little dubious about this aspect, but assuming you have a credit card, it won’t be a problem.

Having held a policy for years, I actually had to use it for the first time a few months ago – and I had to test exactly the dodgy stuff that you’d be worried they would refuse to reimburse you for.

Basically, the brand new Honda VTR1000 that I bought minutes before broke it’s drive chain on my way home with the bike.  So on all the DVLA systems I was not even owner of this bike, although I had taken out insurance (not that they ever asked – as the policy covers me as a person!).

I rang up at around 10pm, and they got a local contractor (exactly the same as some of the more expensive companies) to come out to me within about 40 minutes.

With no hassle at all, they loaded up my bike and took me and the bike home, as all the garages were closed at that time of night.

I paid their flat fee of £50 for a journey of about 20 miles by card over the telephone.

Now for the dodgy part – I had to get the bike from my house to a garage the following evening (again outside of working hours), and the person on the telephone had advised me to just call them again, and they would send someone out to collect the bike and take me there.

Again, no hassles – I paid by phone another £50, and they took me where I wanted.

Still nervous, I posted the invoices and receipts (keeping a copy just in case) back to Auto Aid with their simple claim form, and exactly as promised, they refunded the entire amount to me!

I’m not making anything from this, I’m just doing my good deed of the day by letting you know of a brilliant and much cheaper alternative.

You’d be crazy to sign up to anything else!

NHS Complaint to Bromsgrove MIU

NHS Complaint to Bromsgrove MIU

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The online feedback form I left on the NHS website should pretty much explain this one.

My answer to the question before, “What could be done to improve your visit for next time?” was: Get the nurse to wind her neck in.

“How likely would you be to recommend our service to friends and family?”

Very unlikely.

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“Please tell us why you gave that answer?”

Oh, ok then… *takes a deep breath*

I was told to go to x-ray and MIU by my GP with a suspected wrist/scaphoid injury following a racing car crash a week ago, where my open wheeled car had collided with another car, torquing my hands around with the steering wheel (and launching me 3ft in the air before another heavy landing, if you want all the exciting details).

The x-rays thankfully showed no fractures, and I dutifully booked in to MIU as advised. I do not like hospitals or doctors, hence me having waited a week in considerable pain from my injuries, but was extremely pleasant to all staff, especially after the x-ray as I was happy that nothing was broken. I am aware this pleasantness and cheery attitude may have been interpreted to mean I was not in pain – when in fact I would have rated my pain on this visit at a 7/10.

The student nurse who saw me very quickly advised as it was a soft tissue injury there was likely nothing more that they could do as the preferred method is not to strap up such injuries. This was absolutely fine with me, as was the quite long subsequent wait as she went to seek advice from a nurse. The wait was also fine, as I was by no means a priority case and fully understood others needed staff attention.

A blue uniformed nurse then returned to me pushing a trolley load of attitude before her, making her impatience with me extremely clear as she asked me – yes ME – why I was there. Somewhat confused by this, I told her the GP had told me I should go to MIU after my x-ray. She snapped on about x-ray being the ones who would refer me to MIU – which may well be the case, but I don’t see how I’d become the naughty schoolboy?

After answering “I don’t know?” when she asked what they were supposed to do, she then dug her thumbs into what I believe is known as the ‘snuff box’ area of my wrist.

I’m not sure how she then managed not to notice my hissed intake of breath through bared teeth, but declared instantly that I wasn’t in any pain (Really?? I’d have rated that a good strong 9, thank you very much!!!) before stroppily lecturing me that I would need a serious bone deficiency to have any chance of a scaphoid injury in that type of incident.

If I wasn’t so shocked by this whole damning onslaught, I would have corrected her that it is, in fact, one of the most common injuries of open wheel racing drivers in exactly this type of incident, but still trying to hold onto my relief I thanked her (not even sarcastically, because I’m apparently too polite a person for such hateful interactions!), and left.

Having been very worried when my GP advised scaphoid injuries could cause major complications such as necrosis, I realised I should have been more willing to seek medical advice sooner – but after meeting Blue Nurse from MIU, I’m back to thinking I’d be better off with a staple gun, duct tape, and staying away from corrosive moody people to solve my medical needs.

I am actually sorry for wasting your time, as if I’d known there was no after care I’d have just gone back to work sooner. But I don’t know that – and I feel that it’s the job of Blue Nurse and her ilk to advise me. Nicely.

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Best Man Wedding Speech

Best Man Wedding Speech

I had the great honour recently of being one of the three best men at a friends excellent wedding.

After the initial panic about having to speak in public, I decided to embrace my fears and treat it like my own performance.  Like being in a band again, and going out on stage to own the place and entertain everyone.

At first I did intend to just lift chunks of speeches from other ones online, but after reading a few I decided I had enough to say about my mate in my own words, and so why not have something totally original?

I wasn’t even that nervous about it – until I heard the corks being popped on the Champagne before they poured it into the toasting flutes!

I then had a flap that the speech was far too long, and almost tried to lop huge chunks out, but then stood up and just went for it. 

I stumbled a few times, but managed to engage with the 90-odd people in the room, making sure I looked around the room as much as I could (my copy of the speech had key words and lines printed in bold so I could latch onto something when I looked back at the paper), projecting my voice as if I were speaking to the person at the far end of the room, desperately trying to talk as slowly as I could (you’ll speak at a million mph when all eyes turn on you!), and put the paper down as much as I dared to chat away unscripted.

It wasn’t perfect for me, but it did go pretty well, and I enjoyed doing it!

I thought some of you might want to see my basic speech (without my ad-libbed bits, unfortunately), and hope you’ll join me in wishing Lee and Anita a long and happy marriage!

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Best Man Speech

Good afternoon, ladies and gentlemen, boys and girls.

It’s been a wonderful day already, so I figure I probably can’t ruin it too much with my speech!

Anita, you look wonderful, and it’s been great seeing so many happy faces here today to share this celebration with you both.

For those of you who don’t know me – I’m James, one of Lee’s chosen best men here today, and the one given the task of the Big Speech.

I’m normally very laid back – but Lee… well let’s just say that you can see the soles of his shoes when he walks!

I doubted that for a moment last Friday, when I got a text from Lee asking if I’d got a shirt yet? He sounded like it was a bit of a telling off for leaving it so late to sort it out, so I sent a sheepish text back asking a few questions about shirts, half-expecting a bit of anger. When he replied it was to tell me that he was, in fact, just out looking for a shirt for himself!

And as anyone who knows Lee will attest to, this is the pace of life you need to adjust to in order to avoid murdering him. Anita has either found this, or seen his life insurance policy.

Our bond was formed during the many years we shared in our band Black Church. Some of you may have had the pleasure of hearing our very technical and streamlined thrash metal, and it won’t be any surprise to see how Lee’s skill as a guitarist, singer and songwriter has flourished into the excellence it is today.

What most of you won’t have heard about is how we formed our very first band.

I first met Lee at when we both started at Bridley Moore High school in Redditch in 1990. That’s 25 years ago.

TWENTY FIVE. That’s a hell of a lot of time to be left unsupervised, so it’s a good job Anita came back on the scene!

From when we first met, we were both the coolest kids in the school. Probably not to anyone else, but to US, we were the coolest.

We hit it off straight away, and our horrible little minds were in the process of being corrupted by heavy metal, and the obvious step for anyone so cool was to start a band.

So we did, writing lyrics in lesson time, and planning how we’d take over the world with our band – Death and Eternal Destruction – DED. We’d write those three letters on our arms so often with biro I’m amazed it ever washed off. Every underpass in Redditch saw the letters DED scrawled on them – err, not from us – from fans. Ahem.

It was about 6 months later that we decided it was time to actually buy guitars, and shortly after we even learnt how to play them.

Lee picked up lead guitar very quickly and was always a natural – probably because we’d already imagined playing thousands of stadium gigs in our heads before we got instruments.

The band name changed to Black Church, and that was an absolutely massive part of both of our lives for the next 8 or 9 years. Many of you will have been tortured with this obsession, had to sit downstairs with earplugs in as we practised, or been banging on the door in rage trying to get us to shut up.

Lee was the first person I drank cider with in a bus stop. Being truthful, that’s not totally accurate – what we actually used to do was buy huge bottles of ‘Mild’ because it was cheap, and then wander around the streets, bloated, wondering why we weren’t feeling drunk on out 5 litre bottle of 2 percent alcohol, which we both thought tasted of watered down vomit.

**check Champagne glass**

Looks like he’s done better this time!

Highlights from school that I won’t go into included taking it in turns to skive off French lessons because Mrs Jones HATED us.

Taking it in turns to sleep in English lessons and making sure we told each other the answer when the teachers noticed.

Aceing Spanish and Italian lessons whilst constructing technically perfect sentences that used to make the teachers go mental.

I still remember our one from Spanish:

Tome la primera calle a la izquierda, la Ciudad de la Muerte esta aqui.

Sounds good. Sounds bueno! What it actually MEANS, is:

“Take the first street on the left – the City of The Dead is nearby”

I don’t think Lee has really changed since we were back in school, so it’s not really that surprising that he’s chosen to marry a teacher.

And, of course, for those of you who don’t know, it was back in those days at Bridley Moore High that Lee first met Anita.

At school, Anita was actually in the year above us – so untouchable and totally unapproachable in terms of school hierarchy.

Despite what Redditch teenage pregnancy figures might indicate, we were pretty much terrified of girls.

Still, as always, Lee doesn’t so much rise to the challenge, as totally ignore the fact it’s a challenge, and does it anyway!

This was no exception, and Lee was soon stalking – err, I mean TALKING to Anita.

I think it’s fair to say that I liked Anita instantly, too. My outstanding memory of her is the most fantastic parody of the scene in ‘Aliens’ where Hicks is showing Ripley how to use a pulse rifle. Only she made it sound like something out of a very dodgy soft core porn film!

Despite our teenage awkwardness around girls, I still remember Lee saying to me in the school corridor one day: “I’m going to marry that girl.”

Sadly, Anita then left Lee unsupervised for over 20 years…

One of the main things women look for in a husband (according to a desperate Google search for wedding speeches and stuff) is responsibility.

Lee is very responsible.

He’s very responsible for causing all kinds of mischief that nobody should ever talk about in front of a large crowd at an important event.

Like the time I bought a new air pistol – a Crossman Sportsmaster. Serious power. I showed it to Lee in my living room, while my Mom was upstairs. After pumping the pressure up to maximum, Lee proceeded to wave the pistol right at me for a while, before luckily settling on the light shade on the ceiling.

Pulling the trigger, we were surprised to find it was, in fact, loaded, and the Prometheus tipped pellet went straight through the light shade, through the light bulb, and disappeared deep into a hole through the ceiling!

“Yes, Mom – the light bulb just EXPLODED entirely on it’s own without Lee touching anything at all! It was a terrible thing!”

The small patch of Tippex we covered the hole with is actually still there today – and my Mom STILL doesn’t know anything about this!

Years later Lee turned up already somewhat inebriated at a quiet local pub on his birthday with a cake in the shape of a rather ample pair of breasts.

He was very subtle as he harassed the mostly elderly drinkers with a cheery:

“Go on! Have a bit of tit!”

Despite this, he then somehow managed to convince the landlord to give him a huge chefs knife to go stumbling around the pub with as he shared his bosom with everyone.

I’m not saying it got us banned – we just haven’t chosen to go back there since.

I know some of you would be expecting much more embarrassing or criminal stories about Lee’s past – and I’d like to say that other than what I’ve said here, Lee is squeaky clean. The truth however, is that I’m involved in most of them, and don’t want to incriminate myself.

You’re one of my oldest friends that still has hair, and it’s been an honour and a privilege to be best man today – so thank you.

Something that you used to say has always stuck with me: “Keep trying until preparation meets opportunity” – today is more proof that this isn’t just some esoteric yet inspirational line and can actually work. The opportunity to take Anita’s hand in marriage only took just over 20 years!

Seriously, though, it’s awesome to see you end up with your childhood sweetheart Anita. You’re great together, and I’m sure that both of you will be extremely happy for years to come.

And on that note, ladies and gentlemen, could I ask you to stand with me, and raise your glasses in a toast to the new Mr & Mrs Britton.

We all wish you well for the future.

To Lee and Anita!