Funny Stories
An exercise in PatienceBreakfast Wars

By our cad in the canteen,
Barry Subchimp
Utterpants Staff writer, Barry Subchimp, discovers that getting his nashers round a fried slice and a hot cuppa down his neck isn't as easy as he thought
It was nine-twenty in the morning and I'd just helped shift a typically fun-packed first edition, when I sauntered down to the canteen for breakfast. Within seconds of entering the room, the way, along with the sunlight, was blocked by some lumpy heifer waddling around the hot water machine. Unsure of where it was going, the beast trundled aimlessly back and forth, alternately blocking several vital facilities, for which long queues were rapidly forming.

Having been separated from its herd, this grazing munter proceeded to cut off my access to the cups, the tea bags, and to add insult to injury, the hot water machine. It wobbled back and forth between these essential resources like a drugged rhino; apparently fighting unconsciousness with a series of lethargic shufflings and erratic stompings; dancing to some dissonant tribal drum only heard within it's thick, primitive skull. With a surfeit of adrenaline still pumping through my veins from the deadline rush, I struggled to maintain my patience, acutely aware that my fuse could be lit at any time. Suddenly the heifer became aware of the angry and ever-growing tailback of editorial entrants to the canteen caused by its lumbering incompetence and let out an apologetic bellow—so quiet it was barely audible.

Then it came. My attention had been so absorbed by this half-human ball of melted wax blocking my every attempt to reach the elusive tea making facilities, that I had failed to notice what was going on in the rest of the canteen. An ungodly cry assailed my ears; a haunting, slow-pitched wail from the depths of hell, like Chewbacca's first yawn of the day. With my hair standing on end, I realised with mounting horror that this monosyllabic moan had come from a new source in an attempt to communicate with the heaving, snorting hulk before me—my god, these things were multiplying!

It was the entrance of the Sales department—or at least those members of it who were capable of finding the canteen without a map. I should have known! The species was well known to me. Who else would take a break only twenty minutes into their working day? Editorial had been slaving over their hot keyboards for more than two hours; maintaining their tenuous grip on life with bottled water and threats from the management.

Propelled by the fear that if I delayed a moment longer I would expire on the spot, I made a lightning sortie into the besieged caffeine facilities, almost unbalancing the Lump and knocking it right off it's trotters as I swooped in for the kill; cup, bag, water, bang, finished! Taking just four seconds at the liquids section I dived past two back markers in a manoeuvre that Michael Schumacher would envy and accelerated towards the solids, leaving a trail of lumbering bloaters in my wake. Pausing only to snatch a squared-sausage and hashbrown roll, I cruised to a shoe leather screeching halt at the till and coughed up for the nosh. A swift, handbrake turn later and I was headed towards the sugar and cutlery—easy.
But no!

Oh hell, they've joined forces!
Having skipped the solid food section for probably the first time in their lives, they'd got through the till ahead of me and were now circling the cutlery section like a herd of headless wildebeest at a water trough. It soon became clear that the realisation that teamwork would allow them to hold up far more people, for much longer, had now percolated into their skulls. The Lump, Chewbacca, and a new addition to the herd, Baron Greenback, were now waddling in random directions about the cutlery table, prompting a fresh bottleneck of infuriated feeders to make vain attempts to break through the cordon in the hope of finding the exit.
The scene that confronted me was the stuff of nightmares. I watched in frozen horror as the three zoo escapees continually blocked every attempt to reach the sugar—not on purpose, you understand—it would take several millennia before these creatures acquired sufficient intelligence to even entertain so sophisticated a concept—but through sheer, fucking abominable, graceless stupidity. Fortunately, the ox-like moos, guttural grants and occasional high-pitched nicker which passed for communication among the herd lasted no more than five minutes before they vacated the area and stumbled back to their pen to be milked.

If there's one thing I can't fucking stand it's people who have absolutely no awareness of their immediate surroundings, or just don't fucking care. Coffin-dodgers are the worst offenders, even the ones who are still savvy enough to control their bladders. Sure, some of them have trouble convulsing their way between Fish Teas and Pringles, so I can tolerate them as it's not really their fault. But for fucks sake, will the rest of you please keep a fucking eye open on the world around you?

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Story © 2005 Barry Subchimp. Design and construction © 2005 utterpants.co.uk / 250405
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From scathingly witty parodies of the literature of the last century like The Evils of Coffee and How to detect Self Abuse in Young Girls, through stories about Wrapping presents with a Cat, Performance Art and the Perils of Public Toilets, to advice on how not to save your marriage and the dangers of Threesomes, Funny Stories contains some of the very best writing Utterpants has to offer.

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