Monday, July 12, 2010

Wetting the baby's head

AFTER two and a half weeks of putting my feet up (... hold on that should be up and down the stairs about 30 times a day) I have finally returned to the relative comfort of work.
My colleagues on the Screws have been immensely supportive during the period since Olivia was born and we have had loads of congratulations cards and prezzies for the new arrival. Thanks to everyone for being so kind.
The charity doesn't extend to the office environment, however. Some people, in particular, can be exceptionally cruel.
Take one of our design experts, Adders. During the serious business of conference the other day he interrupted talks of World Cup finals, Liverpool future signings and the like to pipe up: "I bet Rippers is going to save a lot of money with this baby."
Everyone looked at him rather perplexed, and the boss asked him for an explanation. "Well, she can wear all Rippers' hand-me-downs," he replied, a rather crude jibe over my stature.
Rather than sympathy from my colleagues, however, the whole office fell about laughing, leaving me to consider my options. After all it was a particularly heightest remark.

Another rather cruel demand came from sports editor Macca, who ordered me to the pub in his dulcet east end tones. "Right, Rippers, down the pub. We have to wet the baby's head."
No arguments about having things to sub or e mails to catch up with would be entertained.
So, with heavy heart, we headed off in baking London temperatures to a pub which Macca assured us was a really good East End boozer, having a landlord with a heart of gold and a beautiful beer garden in which to soak up the rays. No doubt it sold jellied eels too.
No doubt I say because we reached the boozer only to find it was shut. No matter, we moved on to another very nice pub called the Town of Ramsgate. A bit of a walk from the office and when Critch followed on later, dodgy knees and all, he insisted that he would probably need a taxi back.
Still, it was a fun afternoon with much conversation surrounding the fact that one of our happy band, design guru Jim'll fix it, had spent the previous week in Berlin pestering the locals dressed in a giant Lion suit. He had become so enraptured with the Screws' website cartoon character Leo the Lion that he had "volunteered" to travel to the Brandenberg gate to "scare" the locals before England's last 16 World Cup tie against Germany.
Taking his role extremely seriously, it appears that at one stage Jim actually texted the editor at 10 at night, communicating AS LEO. The message infered that he was "one chimpanzee short of a gorilla". None of us would argue.
The heat obviously got the better of him, too, because there is one picture doing the rounds of Jim, prone on the floor, apparently asleep in Lion costume minus head, which is lovingly tucked under his arm. Disney wouldn't do it justice.
As for the scaring, it must have worked. The Germans were so petrified they ran, very fast, towards the England goal, depositing four goals into our net into the bargain.
That was the end of the Capello challenge, and last night the World Cup came to an end for another four years with Spain beating Holland 1-0 in extra time to become the new champions.
Well deserved, too.

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