Sunday, 27 May 2012

The Lounge Boy

"Serve the drinks, and take the tips from the punters", thats what the boss said the night young Silvio started as a lounge boy in the local boozer. Nowhere in the contract did it stipulate, that I would be required to throw womens knickers, at travelling artistes who happened to be playing in the lounge on any given night. But, that's exactly what happened  the night Joe Dolan came to town. There were plenty of punters in, but most of them were supping from bottles of vodka in their handbags, so tips were few and far between. That all changed when one old dear called Silvio over, and stuffed a pair of white ladies briefs in his hand along with a tenner, then whispered, "Throw them at Joe, like a good lad". How could I refuse!. I got Joe square in the face as he sang the chorus of  'You're such a good lookin' woman'. That's when the flood gates opened. I was rushed off my feet. The knickers kept comin' after that, as did the tips, and young Silvio perfected his throwing technique over the course of the evening, much to Joe's annoyance. Needless to say, the manager never did get Joe back, his fans just weren't drinking enough. Young Silvio was the only one making money that night, as Joe swerved to avoid another direct hit. That was one crap night Joe never forgot, for a linen basket full of reasons.

Sunday, 5 February 2012

The Hospital

Cash was increasingly hard to come by and nights out on the piss were few and far between, so when I was offered the job as porter in the local  hospital I jumped at it. I was sure I could while away the hours lying on a stretcher listening to my ipod, in between chatting up the nurses that is. Reality was quite different however. I was rushed off my feet. I had neglected to factor into my equation that the Irish health service is fundamentally stretched to the limit, and it's the lowest ranking employees who carry the greatest load. I ended up sprinting around the hospital, I was every bodies go for. Yes doctor, no doctor, three bags f@*king full doctor. The final straw came when I was asked by the matron to go around the wards late one night and empty all the bedpans. Reluctantly I set off, bucket in hand. I came to a bed where a family sat around their frail parent. As I crawled under the bed to empty the contents of the pan into my bucket, one of the blokes said, "Are you thinking of making a career out of that". I quickly reversed out from under the bed leaving the bucket and bedpan in my wake. Silvio's greatest moments of clarity usually occur in close proximity to crap. Strange that. Never did find out who emptied that pan either.

Sunday, 4 December 2011

The Circus

When the circus erected their big top in Silvio's backyard, they didn't instantly recognise the need for security around the tent perimeter, in order to stop the natives crawling under the tarpaulin, during matinee performances. The inadequate security measures soon became apparent however, when audience numbers far exceeded ticket receipts. In order to help rectify the situation, and restore a sense of balance to proceedings, young Silvio agreed to lend a hand with security arrangements. The roustabouts were clearly out of their league when it came to outwitting the locals, and besides they were otherwise engaged in their clown roles, once the show started. Silvio's career as minder to a travelling troupe of rag-bag performers had begun. Everything went fine for a few days and word spread through the local community that Silvio wasn't clowning around as far as freeloaders were concerned. Takings were up, the ringmaster was happy!. Then the shit hit the fan. After the late night performance one Friday, the male contortionist, clad in his leopard skin leotard, suggested that Silvio accompany him back to his caravan for a nightcap. Thats when Silvio decided to make a hasty retreat into the darkness of the night, and left the contortionist to cry on the clowns shoulder. That was one crap job Silvio will never forget everytime he see's a trapeze hoisted beneath a big top tarpaulin.

Saturday, 26 November 2011

The Paper Round

Silvio wasn't born with a silver spoon in his mouth, you may have guessed that already. Life was tough on Silvio's housing estate, so tough in fact that the job description of paper round, may not accurately describe what should otherwise have been quite a civilised first job for a young boy, starting off in the world of work and hoping to pocket some ready cash in the process. You see there was a lot of obstacles Silvio had to negotiate on a daily basis, in order to get the papers delivered. There was the guy who would set his rottweiller on young Silvio if he didn't receive a free paper. There was also the family of glue sniffers, who routinely kidnapped anyone who knocked on their door selling anything of value. The various laneways around the estate, were places you were likely to either end up  being an unwilling participant in a boxing match, or witnessing a cock fight at close quarters. Young Silvio managed to negotiate all of these hazards for six weeks, without being ripped apart by rabid dogs or being kidnapped and held to ransom. Then the shit finally hit the fan, the day Silvio's boss forgot to write the house numbers on each of the papers. This was a fatal error that destroyed another wise flawless career. Without the house numbers on the banner of each paper Silvio was shagged, because he hadn't memorised the houses he delivered too. So who got the papers with no numbers?, you guessed it. The glue sniffers got one, maybe two, the guy with the rottweiller got one and the first seventy houses Silvio came too got a free paper. The boss only realised the extent of the problem when his usual punters showed up at his door that night demanding their papers too. Silvio had an accuracy drop rate of around 10%, which left sixty-three irate customers without their Evening Press. Needless to say Silvio never went back to face the music or the various lunatics scattered throughout the area. That was one crap job he'll never forget every time he picks up a periodical to check the racing results.

Sunday, 20 November 2011

The Chimney Sweep

Christmas was closing in fast and I hadn't got a shilling, when suddenly it came to me. The idea that is !,  to get myself a set of chimney cleaning rods, and go cleaning chimneys. In order to build up my clientele I put an advert in the local rag and "Hey presto", the phone start hopping. I was delighted, business was brisk as everyone wanted their chimneys cleaned for the Crimbo. Most of my business came from little old dears, which was great, because I could just ram the rods up the flue, give them a quick spin and then pull them back down. If I walked out the door with a small bag of soot everyone was happy, and the old dears weren't going to bother inspecting the chimneys' afterwards. Then I got a call off a punter who wanted his chimney cleaned because he was relining his flue. "No bother" says Silvio. I showed up the next morning and did the usual, shoved the rods up, quick spin, pull down and filled a small bag with soot. He handed me 70 euro, lovely. I was nearly home and my phone rang. "Get your ass back here", the punter says, "there's still four stone of soot up that chimney", he says. "No way, it's spotless" says Silvio. "I'm after lying down on me back and shining a high powered torch up it and I can see mounds of soot", says the punter. "I'm ringing the Association of Irish Chimney Sweeps about you Silvio", he shouts down the phone. "No need for that, I'll be back in five minutes", says Silvio, trying to avoid being exposed as the chimney sweep from hell. Needless to say he was right, I took a black bin-liner of soot away the second time, and decided to call time on my newest career. That was one crap job I'll never forget for all the wrong reasons.

Saturday, 12 November 2011

Landscape lunacy

I was at a loose end, as I often am, when a friend suggested I should help him with his landscaping business. "Great" I said, out in the fresh air, keeping fit, at one with nature, sure what more could you want. Everything went great for the first week, and I was seriously contemplating making a career in the world of landscaping. My mate was delighted with my unbridled, genuine enthusiasm for the job, and congratulated me on my willingness to tackle any task he threw at me. He said I was proving to be a valuable asset to the company. Silvio was chuffed. Then he suggested I accompany him, to acquire a key element for a job we were going to do the following day. He told me to hitch up the trailer, and jump in the van. I did what I was told and we headed to a secret location in Wicklow. The secret location turned out to be a farm yard, with the biggest pile of shite I had ever seen in my life piled in one corner. The boss reversed into the pile at speed, with the tailgate down on the trailer. Then he told me to run up the pile and start shovelling. I did as I was told and ran up the mound until I was knee deep in excrement. Then as I started to shovel, a pungent, lord of the rings, mystic like steam began to envelope me. The stink was eye-watering. It was at that juncture that I decided to terminate my landscaping career as I shouted, "F@*k this, you can shovel your own shite!!", and with that Silvio hastily made for the farm gate making sure not to upset the farmer on the way out. That was way too close to nature for Silvio's liking. I'll never forget that job or the stink associated with it!!.

Saturday, 5 November 2011

Pot Walloping

Call me old fashioned, but I prefer to let the other half do the washing up after dinner. Thats why I was reluctant to take the job as chief pot walloper, in a busy restaurant in South Dublin. The head chef assured me it was a handy number, so I agreed to give it a whirl. The night started slowly with a trickle of plates arriving at the dishwasher. "This is a doddle" I said to myself. "Washing dishes ain't so bad after all" I thought. I even had time to scrape the dregs out of the Knicker-bocker glory glasses, and finish off the steaks left over by customers. Then the tsunami hit. Waiters suddenly ran at me from all directions, with plates full of discarded food stacked up to their chins. The dishwasher was only half way through the first cycle, and there was already two hundred bone china plates of all sizes stacked up on the counter, not to mention the buckets full of knives and forks at my feet. The chef started to scream for more clean plates. Then he threw eight large grease filled roasting tins at me, and said he needed them back spotless in five minutes. That's when Silvio flipped, no amount of half eaten Knicker-bocker glories or partly chewed T-Bone steaks could keep me in a job like that. "You can wash your own f@*king plates" I shouted as I made for the side door, with a full belly. That was one crap job I'll never forget, neither will the chef in that restaurant.