Downtime Stories

Short stories for when you have time for a short story.

Moving To Washington D.C

Sometimes I feel that life would be easier if I moved to a suburban community just outside of Washington DC.

I’ve been watching a lot of American television recently. It’s probably the fault of things like Netflix and me not having enough money to go out as much as I’d like.

Or more that I did have enough money to go out, but I sort of thought to hell with it and spent all of it in the first two weeks of my pay cycle on a surf  board and not being sober.

Yeah that’s probably it.

It’s because everyone that lives in small American suburban communities seem to have really nice houses. Like, with island kitchens and golden retrievers running through beautiful back yards, beautiful wives and 2.5 kids.

Well… maybe not everyone, but definitely most of them. Then again I can’t be sure because I’m basing this hypothesis on the first 4 episodes of Homeland. But if that red head guy can be a prisoner of the Taliban in Afghanistan for 8 years and still afford such a lovely home it must be the case.

Which suggests if I move there I could have one of those fancy houses too. I think I make more than a prisoner of war in Afghanistan but I’ll have to double check.

Screenshot 2016-02-13 14.16.53

Yep, got it. My job pays better.

I feel like when I have my house there every conversation will go like this.

David: Sam, how are you? Are we golfing this Saturday?

Sam: Only if you bring that new driver of yours, oh boy does that thing hit straight!

D: I wish my son was that straight; he’s a weird one. He wears eyeliner and dark clothes. The other day I found him in my bedroom holding my handgun, muttering something about bullies. Children can we weird right. And how’s Sally, is she studying for exams yet? And little Chris, he had a mean swing at little league the other day. And the other .5 of your children, the one you literally cut in half so you could have the perfect amount of children? How’s he doing? Still just sort of lying there whaling? I think I can hear him sometimes

S: Oh they’re doing just fine, yes Sally’s 16, she’s homecoming queen, and as for little Billy, well yesterday we found him trying to drown himself. We put him back in bed but he just kept wheezing and saying “kill meeee”. It sure is different being a parent.

D: Right you are Sam, I’ll see you Saturday. You be sure to say hello to that wife of yours.

Yeah, it seems nice there in Washington DC.



Kill Two Birds With One Stone

Things change. They say that right?

Well the world is one of those things.

For example, did you know that millions of years ago the world was actually controlled by birds? You probably didn’t know this, and if you did, you probably had the sense not to talk about it publically. Things happen when you talk about it publicly.

Well it’s true. Birds used to be the dominant life form on Earth.

You can actually see traces of this in today’s society. Like have you ever heard the expression “To kill two birds with one stone”? Sure you have. We all have.

What you don’t know is that the majority of people are actually misusing this phrase now because it actually, originally, meant something different.

Here’s the story of what it meant.

As I said, at one time in our planets history birds were the dominant life form. Big, 6 foot tall birds. It was well before Jesus, it was well before the Romans. It was somewhere in between the dinosaurs and the Greek empire. Probably about half way. This is where the story is set.

At this time there was a hierarchy of birds, they had jobs, they contributed to society, they paid their taxes. They watched bird films, they ate humans at restaurants the way we eat chicken, without a second thought, and with quite a bit of enthusiasm. Especially when we are fried.

And they also indulged in a bit of human hunting. They called it sport.

But there were humans who fought back.

They wanted desperately to better the standing of their race and just survive in a world ruled by birds. Kind of like how magpies swoop you these days, little gestures to say “we don’t approve, we’re not food”.

One of these such humans was named Rob. Just Rob, people didn’t have last name’s back then. But if they did, his would have been Dickens, and he would have looked like this.


Rob was a free range human, and Rob was being hunted. And to be honest, it wasn’t going well.

They had him trapped in a dead end. The birds had been chasing him for days, and his energy, like the chase was coming to an end.

He was desperate. Backed into a corner. Tears running down his face, mixing with snot as he faced his pathetic destiny.

The birds by then figured they had this won. They’d taken their foot off the accelerator and had smugly queued in order of eating hierarchy. They were going to move in for the kill, gut him, and roast him.

It was a hopeless situation.

As Rob started to come to terms with his fate he backed into the stone wall of the cliff behind him, his hands behind his back, where he felt something solid, jagged, and heavy.

“Shit, a stone!” he thought.

“Fuck it” he said “Fuck these feathery evil bastards who keep most of my people locked up in cages and feed on us. Who hunt us for sport. Who feed us crackers and make ridiculous noises. “Fuck it.”

He spun around, and with incredible pace and accuracy threw the stone at the lead bird moving in for the kill, striking him right in the temple. The bird died instantly, dropping to the floor in a pathetic heap, but not before the stone ricocheted off its head straight into the eye of the second bird, the 2IC, the general. His death was not slow. The general started to scream in agony as blood gushed out of the wound all over the other birds, all over Rob. As he slowly blead out Rob started screaming. “FRIENDS, ATTACK NOW.”

From everywhere free humans started running with spears and rocks, the other birds had nothing to do but to run for it. To head back to town and talk about Rob, who killed two of them with one stone.

Now this story was not the end of the bird oppression, but it was the beginning of the change for humans. It was the catalyst for their will to overthrow the birds, to centuries later eventually even master them, forgetting about their oppressed history and becoming the oppressors themselves.

This should be a cautionary tale, but it wasn’t. We’ve learnt nothing from the mistakes of the birds, and are at risk of too at some point being overthrown again. That’s the message, that’s what we should remember. But we don’t.

We now just use the phrase to mean achieving two things with one action while we really achieve nothing.

Rob’s story will be forgotten, but the memory of his bravery and lifesaving accuracy will forever live on in our vernacular. Or until we are overthrown.



It’s a completely true and widely known fact (amongst those in the know) that it’s possible to purchase wine at any establishment in France and its overseas colonies.

And I don’t just mean the obvious establishments like supermarkets, cellars, off licenses, corner stores, bodegas or bottle shops.


Primary Schools, Hospitals, Dry Cleaners, Vending Machines. They all stock wine, if you know what to ask for, and who to ask

And that’s because legally all French citizens are required to have at least 3 bottles of wine (a white, pink and red) on their person at all times should they get thirsty, or be required to share a drink with a fellow citizen or tourist who may be short of wine at that time.

The law was originally passed at the end of the 19th century to encourage the citizens of the relatively new republic to embody the nations motto Liberté, égalité, fraternité (liberty, equality, fraternity) believing that carrying, and sharing wine represented most effectively these three pillars of the new France.

Over the next 200 years France was joyous and happy, but towards the end of the 20th century for different reasons people starting concealing their wine cleverly, not liking foreigners to know the secret formula required for a French citizen to share their wine.

You may have already noticed this if you’ve been to France, or indeed met a French person. Haven’t you walked past a French man, woman or child and failed to notice even one bottle of wine on them?

I certainly have.

The thing is, they’ve developed clever ways of concealing them. Extra clothing like the beret, optical allusions like stripy shirts. The stripy shirt method is detailed here

Josh is french

Can you see the wine cleverly hidden?

Whilst it may be hidden, they are still required by law if asked in a certain way to share or sell wine to you.

This certain way is quite tricky, and if done incorrectly could see you receiving a swift kick in the shin. But if you pull it off you’ll find yourself with a new friend and a refreshing verre de vin just when you thought all the shops were closed.

And I’ll tell you what it is.

You simply have to approach a French person (preferably a Parisian) and do exactly as follows.

  1. Interrupt them from whatever they are doing, particularly if it looks important
  2. Speak very loudly
  3. Put on your best American accent (preferably Texan, it’s the most effective). Try holding your nose if you find it difficult
  4. Say as loudly as possible while pointing and making gestures “EXCUSE ME, WHERE IS THE NEAREST DISNEYLAND

At which point the French citizen will have no choice but to ask you politely “The red, or the white sir?”

Now don’t worry if you’ve heard that the French prefer people to start conversations with an attempt at French, or that they particularly don’t like the American tourists.

This was just a cleverly started rumour by the French government to ensure the French get to enjoy wine too.

Bon Chance!

AOF Mathematics 2015 Exam Paper – Summer Term – Level 1

By the super fancy, super funny Sam Knowles @knowles56

**Show all of your workings**

Section 1

  1. Daniel is tying Matthews’s fingers to the blades of the lawnmower around the back of the cricket pavilion. Taking into account Daniels blasé attitude towards heavy machinery and the good quality of the string, how likely is Matthew to attend his piano lesson in two weeks time? (Display your answer as a percentage)

(3 marks)

  1. Jill has just gone into anaphylactic shock in a Turkish restaurant in Bethnal Green. Predictably, her stepson Callum has sold her epipen to a group of school children, so an ambulance needs to be called. A&E is 16 miles away and the ambulance driver is about to finish a 13 hour shift. Driving at a steady speed of 45mph and not using bus lanes, how long will it take for a medical professional to arrive?

(5 marks)

  1. Using a set of compasses, draw seven circles that intersect each other in such a way it would make a sex trade worker blush.

(5 marks)

  1. Knobby, Ginger-pubes, Date rape, Wanky-Doodle and Gay Kevin have all booked a “large one” in Bosnia & Herzegovina this summer. As per usual Wanky-Doodle is having a last minute panic attack about flying anywhere near the former Eastern-Bloc and has locked himself in a cubicle at Terminal 3. Given Gay Kevin’s pelvic injury, how long will it take the lads to break down the door and draw a penis on Wanky’s forehead whilst he hyperventilates?

(7 marks)

  1. I text my wife at lunch time to ask if I should pick up her prescription from the chemist on my way home after work. By 3pm she still hasn’t responded. We live in an area with one of the strongest 4g receptions in the country, so I know she received the message. Assuming I cycled in today so that she could have the Clio… is she fucking Steven again?

(15 marks)

**End of Section 1**

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Image credit:

Saturday Night, De de dooo de dooo de de

“I can say unequivocally and without a shadow of a doubt that I am indeed sitting in my own living room. This is my television and these are my Doritos. Yes I’m naked, but why not? It’s my house! And the fact that you two are just stood there, staring at me, you sir looking angry, and you madam crying is making the whole situation feel quite odd.”

The middle-aged couple didn’t say anything. They just kept staring.

What could they say? At first they’d screamed in fear upon getting home and finding the naked man on their couch, watching Buffy and eating Doritos.

The man had yelled, the woman had yelled.

They’d threatened to call the police, and they’d asked nicely but nothing would make the intruder budge.

They’d even started bringing over different pictures of their friends and family they had framed around the room, but to no avail.

“A trick” the man had screamed, whilst looking at a picture of the middle aged couple’s trip to Disneyland.

“A particularly cunning trick in which you have clearly broken into my house previously and removed any pictures of myself and replaced them with you two individuals. A cunning trick indeed. I will be reporting this to the police and demanding all my pictures be returned.”

“We’re not burglars” the middle aged woman replied, her voice shaking.

“Well that’s what you would say isn’t it. And if I’m being honest with you it might seem like the truth, had it not been for the fact that I can’t remember what I was doing before I was here, and where any of my clothes are. What have you cunning con artists done with them?”

“We haven’t done anything… And I don’t want to sound rude but you do seem quite drunk, so maybe that has something to do with you not remembering?”

“You could be right. I do feel quite drunk. But that doesn’t explain why I’m naked and you’re here staring at me.”

“Well the thing is, it might actually.”

When the man didn’t say anything the woman continued drawing confidence from the fact that the he appeared to  be seeing some reason.

“We actually recognise you, you’re the young man from 15. It’s the apartment next door. Sometimes we hear you screaming things at 3am.”

“Screaming things, what sort of things?”

“Well, there was the time it seemed you thought you were in Harry Potter and were screaming ACCIO followed by different objects around your house. That was a Sunday night, I remember because I kept falling asleep at work on Monday… it was a bit hard to sleep you see.”

And then there was the night you had some of your friends back and listened to that ABBA song on repeat for 3 hours. We were actually quite impressed that you managed to keep listening to it for so long.”

“And then there was another time when you were on your roof screaming “I’m the cherry on top, the sweet, sweet little cherry on top of the cake.” But you got down that time because the police came and sprayed you with that hose.”

“Ahh.… well that does sound like me…”

The man paused for a moment, thinking.

“Your house did you say? Well I’m terribly sorry, would you mind pointing me in the direction of my clothes? I’ll get out of your hair.”

The next day the young man walked out of number 15 and the middle aged couple from next door smiled and waved at him.

“They’re nice.” he thought. “People in London don’t say hi to strangers enough.”


The Microwave Conundrum

Time goes slower when you’re waiting for a microwave.

That’s why I always take a microwave with me when I do something really important or really fun.

I first noticed this theory when I was at work in the kitchens. There was a man in there waiting. He had 1: 16 on the microwave to go so I thought I’d wait. Surely we could make small talk for that long.

I smiled reassuringly as if to say, we can do this. We’re two guys that must have something in common, we do the same job for fucks sake.

He on the other hand seemed a bit nervous. Looking back now it must be because he knew about the microwave conundrum.

How’s your day going I ventured.

He paused for what a person that was not near a microwave would say was about 30 seconds.

Oh fine he said, with a look of desperation which I now know is because I was moving too fast, way too fast, not respecting the laws and times of the microwave conversation.

I looked back at the clock. 1:15. I couldn’t believe it, surely 30 seconds had just passed.

We continued talking while I did some calculations.

Much on for the weekend?

Another 30 second pause

Y E S   M Y   W I F E   I S   H A V I N G   A   B B Q 

Why was he speaking so slowly?

I looked back at the time. 1:14, and I understood. It seemed that for every 1 microwave second it was 30 seconds in real time.

That meant me and this man were going to have to get through another 2,220 seconds. That’s 37 minutes of conversation, or risk losing my place in the microwave line.

And then another horror thought struck. Once my food is in someone else will come along and wait for their turn. Another potential half an hour.

We pushed through, and 37 minutes later we finished, dishevelled, stressed, my hair falling out and my phone out of battery from opening as many apps as possible to pass the time. I closed with

H O P E F U L L Y   T H E   W E A T H E R   H O L D S  F O R    T H E   B B Q

Bing, we were done, it was horrible, but it opened my eyes up to the possibility, the new power at my finger tips.

That’s why now I always do anything really important while I’m next to a microwave.

Toasters work too, but they can be a bit unpredictable. Microwaves are definitely the best bet, because you get an accurate formula on how much time you have.1:30

I used to microwave all the time. In the morning when I woke up to get a few extra minutes sleep, on the weekends, in the bath.

You know I spent the first night with my wife next to a microwave? The most special day of my life, which I didn’t want to end. I set the timer for 24 hours and we just lived, and God it felt like the perfect bit of forever.

I noticed that I was aging faster than everyone around me. I went to a doctor and he calculated that I was now 36 when I should have been 30. And that I’d greatly increased my risk of cancer from all the radiation. It’s tough, you know? It’s like I’ve found this amazing gift but it’s slowly killing me.

Now I use it sparingly. I have a young daughter so sometimes I get the microwave out over family holidays just to relish the time I have.

To everyone else I’ve lost a lot of years from my life, but I’m not sad, you know? Because you know what they say, a life lived next to a microwave is a life well lived.

The Great Australian Camel Threat – A thriving hair trade or total warfare?

Somewhere in Canberra there is a government department dedicated to coming up with solutions to basically any conceivable problem or national threat that could happen. Anything.

It’s called the Crisis Co-ordination Centre and provides whole-of-government situational awareness to inform national decision-making during a crisis.

They sit there and brainstorm a threat, and then solve it, just in case it happens, so we are ready.

(I feel it’s important to note that this department also comes with a caterer.  I met her once. It seems the Australian government too is also aware of the universal truth, that no strong solution can be created on an empty stomach.)

I imagine the department works something like this:

“OK Paul, this week it’s your turn, what’s the threat?”

“Erm aliens invade?”

Aliens invade – we’ll do this. Aliens with grenade launcher hands – hmm a bit tricky, maybe this will work? Aliens with grenade launcher hands with impenetrable armour and strobe light eye blinding crotches– we’re ready. All because Paul and the guys sat there figuring out exactly what to do, and because their caterer made sure they had sandwiches.

It’s also important to consider why most don’t know about this team, and why these plans are not often released to the public.

One popular theory is because I’m making most of this up.

Another, possibly weaker in facts, is because most of the solutions to different problems probably include Paul pressing a red button that encompasses Canberra in a protective dome so that he, his colleagues, his family and his caterer live long happy lives inside the dome whilst the rest of us are mercilessly killed by aliens with flashy crotches, but that’s probably why they’re not released, so no harm no foul. Amirite Paul?

There’s a problem that I think we all need to know is being addressed.

What’s the plan for when the wild camels of Australia unite and overthrow the current Australian government.

I was recently told that there are twice as many camels in Australia as there are people.

This came as quite a shock to me having never seen evidence of it. Sure I’ve seen the odd camel parading around Rye foreshore after a break from the carnival. And yeah I know they are associated with deserts, which we in Australia have plenty of,  but still you’d think we’d be aware of their masses and their potential revolutionary tendencies.

It’s the very fact that I haven’t seen them around that makes me think that they’re up to something worthy of investigation by the Crisis Coordination Centre.

If they were living normal lives, commuting into work like me, spending time with their families in parks, Barbecuing, enjoying Australia’s unhealthy and semi racist attitude to sport then maybe I wouldn’t suspect as much, but it seems to me they’ve gone underground… It seems to me that they might be different to us, and growing in numbers at what I can only imagine is a dangerous rate.

It’s for that reason in my completely uneducated opinion that our current peace can only last so long. So we have to do something about it, and the way I see it we have two options.

We send out a peace convoy offering the straw of friendship, we set up trading agreements with them stating they trade milk, meat, some of their hair, transport in their pouches etc. and see how they respond. Perhaps they could tell us why they have two humps? What’s inside their humps…Perhaps we can build a bright new future together?

Or total and unrelenting warfare. The war to end all wars, we spare no expense, and no camel survives to continue the line of camels that may one day seek revenge.

I pay my taxes (I think?) and I hope that pays the Crisis Co-ordination Centre to look out for me here  and make sure we’re ready for the above courses of action.

camel war



Feat some words from @erikageraerts

There are so many great things. Great. Things.

Things that when you notice said great things, you can’t help but stop and just say, holy shit. THAT. THING.

Yes, for every great thing there’s a bad thing. But for all the bad things that happen: horrible stories, horrible people, horrible news shoved down our throats, there are things that just flaw you with their simple, great beauty.

Nils Frahm. Nils Frahm- You... You started this thing.


Hitchikers Guide to the Galaxy.

Douglas Adams. Remember this sentence? “There were about three other customers in the place, sitting at tables, nursing beers. About three. Some people would say there were exactly three, but it wasn’t that kind of a place, not the kind of a place you felt like being that specific in.” Oh man. Thing !

Kissing people. Kissing someone you like. The smile you get after it happens. It’s a little hidden but it’s yours, you know? It’s your thing.

Her freckles. + + +

Simple, really great things that can happen. That aren’t connected, and that don’t quite mean a thing.

Old buildings.


People rushing around a city.

The smell of coffee. What the hell are you meant to do when you smell that?

Piano. Listening to someone play that thing. Have you had much of that? My mother is a pianist so that’s just normal for me, but when you just stop and that thing that makes noises just from someone’s fingers hitting small wooden pieces and it is floating through you wherever you are and it’s almost. too. much. That thing that makes noises.

Breathe in. Breathe out. It’s hard not to get caught up and carried away. Don’t you think?

Tea. Making a cup every night that you won’t drink, but instead that will sit at your feet, waiting to be the optimal temperature, before you forget about it and the moment is gone. Leaving 3/4 filled tea cups all around your apartment.

The whole Count of Monte Cristo thing.

Just books in general.

I’m just trying to say books.

The feeling you get when you know you should be going to sleep but that book thing is just too good. And you’re falling asleep rereading that one sentence that you keep falling asleep over, willing yourself to finish the page even if it takes you the rest of the night. “All human wisdom is contained in these two words – Wait and Hope”. Well played Dumas, well played indeed.


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The Day I Accidentally Proposed

OK so this is a tough one to write about.

Have you ever lied about something by mistake and then sort of just had to go with it?

No? Well that’s lucky. I have.

It’s because of a freak accident. A series of events that culminated in something too hard to take back.

It turned into me accidentally proposing to my girlfriend, now wife. Well sort of wife. We’re separated.

You’re probably wondering how you can accidentally propose. Well I’m going to tell you, and without a word of lie this is what happened.

I had been with Rachel for 3 years. We didn’t live together yet, but I was seriously considering asking her to move in. We already spent most nights with each other and were forking out money for rent on two places, and that seemed silly.

Things with us were good, and yeah it wasn’t exciting all of the time, but it was good. You know what I mean? The sort of good where you spend 90% of the time thinking about what you guys will do the following weekend, and 10% wondering whether you still had it, and could pull the pretty bar tender serving you beers.

Rachel hadn’t explicitly mentioned that she wanted to get married and we’d never had a serious conversation about it. At 25 it’s not something you think about too often, but I did know that she idolized her parents relationship and they had married early. They were one of those weird couples that are so in love that they fall asleep together every night on the couch watching TV, and are completely content you know?

So how did I end up accidentally proposing?

We were out for lunch. We were eating on Collins Street, the Paris end which is a wanky way to allude to the fact that there are some expensive clothing and jewelry shops up there. Rachel worked at 101 Collins at that point, and we would often have our lunch breaks together.

It was a beautiful day so we were sitting outside at a table on the street. The sun was shining and we were having a nice time. We’d just been talking about how we actually met at a bar on Collins Street after work one night. We were sitting about 100 meters from where it had all began.

It was just a normal lunch, a normal day. And here’s where the freak accident happened.

Now I know parts of this story because I found out afterwards, from the other guy that was involved. We pieced it together sitting dumb struck at a bar a few nights later after exchanging details when the smoke had cleared.

He was walking down Collins Street. He had a hop in his step and was smiling. He’d just picked out an engagement ring for his girlfriend. He was ready, they were ready. He’d been working up to this point for months, he’d asked her father, taken her sister ring shopping for advice, stolen one of her rings to make sure it would fit and they were flying to Noosa the next week. He had just picked up the ring.

He just kept getting it out and looking at it and smiling. Pulling it in and out of his pocket and admiring it. As he got it out a man bumped into him and he lost site and control of the ring, and it, and the box it was in dropped to the ground.

It landed right next to my foot, and I bent down to get it.

“Hey” I called out to him trying to get his attention to let him know where it landed.

But it wasn’t only his attention that I got. Rachel turned around too. She turned around to see me, holding a beautiful engagement ring looking between her and something off in the distance, off in the direction of the bar that we first met 3 years ago. And she burst into tears.

“I…” I said… I couldn’t say anything. I was looking between her, and the guy standing on the street who was taking in the scene, me seemingly proposing to my girlfriend with his ring.

He was looking between us as though about to say something but didn’t. He was looking at Rachel crying with her hands over her mouth and understood what had happened.

My mouth was open, his mouth was open, and he sort of shrugged in a what the fuck can we do sort of way.

And then my attention turned back to Rachel.

“Yes” she screamed and the tables around us started clapping. The waiter brought out Champagne, the guy walked over and shook my hand and said congratulations, slipping me his business card. The rest I hardly remember, it was phone calls, and Rachel putting photos on Instagram, it was my parents calling, it was her parents calling.

A few days later I was sitting in a bar with the guy, his name is James and he was informing me that I owed him $10K. I told him I’d need a bit of time, and he was really cool about it. I actually ended up inviting him to the wedding, we’re still mates. His marriage is still in tact.

Anyway, that was years ago. Recently Rachel and I were having some problems. She suggested marriage counseling and they said it was a safe, open environment where you can share anything. I shared that story… It wasn’t a safe environment.

As I said I’m separated. We’re working it out, but it seems even white lies can cause massive issues.

Anyway, life can be funny sometimes. Thanks for listening.

Code Names

A normal everyday story can be made a lot more exciting when people’s names are swapped out for code names.

I was talking to my friends Sam and Rob. I think they’re real cool guys, and I think they’re very funny. The other night we gave each other code names… Well Rob didn’t really, he was in bed because he’s in New York so the time difference meant when he woke up he had a code name, which in its own small way is quite an achievement.

He went to bed as a normal guy from NZ, trying to make his way in a big bad city, and woke up with a code name.

Anyway, to prove my point, first I’m going to tell a really normal, everyday story, and then I’m going to re-tell it with the code names, so we can see which one is more interesting.

Melbourne, August 2013 – A cold winter’s day

Rob Dickens and Sam Knowles approached Burke Street, walking past the various car parks, graffiti filled walls and cafes.

The morning haze was wet with mist that moistened Sam Knowles’ hair, his top knot hanging to the side.

They were on their way to meet David Toussaint at Kiss and Fly, the place they deemed the best coffee, within a reasonable walking distance to their office.

On their way Rob Dickens was telling a story about a girl he’d met over the weekend.

She had skin like milk that the Gods would drink, you know? You know when their skin is like that?”

Sam knew. He knew it well.

At that moment a guy from work that they didn’t like that much walked past. He got Rob stuck in a pretty boring conversation.

Sam was worried, it didn’t look like they were going to get their coffee any time soon, but then David arrived and said Hey, we’d better get our coffee now.

You know, just that usual Monday stuff.

Now, to make that boring Monday story a bit more interesting using code names. Last night we decided that our code names were:

Rob Dickens = Rip Dickens

Sam Knowles = Thor Hardcock

David Toussaint = Tyson Iron-Thighs

Melbourne, August 2013 – A cold winter’s day

Rip Dickens and Thor Hardcock approached Burke Street, walking past the various car parks, graffiti filled walls and cafes.

The morning haze wet with mist that moistened Hardcock’s hair, his top knot hanging to the side.

They were on their way to meet Tyson Iron-Thighs at Kiss and Fly, the place they deemed the best coffee, within a reasonable walking distance to their office.

On their way Rip Dickens was telling a story about a girl he’d met over the weekend.

She had skin like milk that the Gods would drink, you know? You know when their skin is like that?”

Thor knew. He knew it well.

At that moment the evil sewerage people of Melbourne ascended from their underground lairs. 50 of them, 7 ft tall with dark eyes holding metal pipes that they’d fashioned into weapons of death.

Rip Dickens and Thor Hardcock were surrounded. They started to fight their way out but there were too many of them. One grabbed Rip in a sleeper hold, he couldn’t breathe. Thor tried to make his way over to him, fighting off the sewer people as he went but they over powered him, it was over, they were going to die there alone, to be dragged down into the sewers and have their bodies used as sex vessels for the sewer people’s sick pleasure.

But no, just when they thought all hope was gone, Tyson Iron-Thighs flew in from the roof of a car park “Let go of my friends” he said, in that way that people say things in Hollywood, when the camera zooms into their face.

He fought them all off, they started fleeing. “Not so fast” he said in that Hollywood way, and totally did something cool and killed them all.

It was over, they were saved, and they went and got coffee and went back to work.

You know, just that usual Monday stuff.

See what I mean? Code names are cool. If you think you’re name is boring why not try a code name? Sign off an email to a colleague with it and you’ll see the difference.

Good luck everybody.



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