I think I mentioned I was a bit of a practical joker at school on one of my answers to a question on someone's Sunday Roast. My example was that I used to light a fuse in bangers and place them in the toilets, and then enjoy the resulting chaos at a safe distance, watching all the prefects and teachers scurrying to find out the culprit. The poor innocent chaps sitting there doing what comes naturally, only to be shocked and almost jump off the toilet seat.
During summer cricket matches another favourite trick was when I noticed some teachers walking round the boundary, deep in conversation. I perfected my fuse calculations so that frequently the banger exploded just as they passed by, looking round to see who had done it!! - again with me watching from a safe distance.
But today is not about my schooldays; it is during my second job as a copy editor, working in the centre of Bristol. I was about 24 I suppose and our company had just moved into new premises since we had outgrown the former offices. The building occupied three floors. I remember it well because our Chairman had just sold his Rolls Royce to a very famous Bristolian who moved to USA, Archie Leach, who became the famous film star, Carry Grant. I noticed Carry walking towards the entrance and I made a beeline for the typing pool to announce the arrival of the universal heart throb. There was a stampede of women and girls rushing out to get his autograph. He was a quiet man by nature and hated being mobbed by hordes of women and I saw him take flight and run down the street!!! No doubt he returned later when the coast was clear to see our Chairman about the car sale. His mother resided in a Nursing Home in Bristol and he used to visit her regularly.
The ladies' toilet was situated on the ground floor and at the time we had a female Managing Director, wife of the Chairman, and her office was at the top of the building on the third floor. We all knew she was a bit fed up with walking down two flights of stairs when she needed to powder her nose - and walking back as well. By the time she had done the round trip it was time for her to powder her nose again.
On the middle floor we had three gents toilets and we were incensed one day to notice that senior management had decreed that the best of the three was to be used by them alone. One morning we saw a notice, "For Management Use Only". Of course young Bluelight's brain swung into gear. I suggested to gleeful work colleagues producing supplementary notice to be placed beneath their notice, saying "For Big Nobs And Big Noises!" This led to a flash of inspiration to make two other notices, for the second cubicle, "Gentlemen" and for the third, "Allcomers".
The management must have seen the funny side but we were rather surprised that the notice on their cubicle was not taken down. Further, our female managing director, must have learned quickly that there was now an "Allcomers" toilet on the middle floor and she used it from that date on.
Life was like that in those days - full of fun and jesting. We started a wishing well in the Allcomers toilet and of course another notice went up, "Ye Olde Wishing Well". People were extremely generous and obviously had lots and lots of wishes because after a few days there were loads of copper coins in the bowl beneath the water. However, the management left a stern notice on the cistern, "You will desist from using this convenience for any reason other than it's intended design - the proceeds have been donated to a suitable charity." What a long winded way of saying, "No wishing wells please!"
One week the Company Secretary decided to have a cost cutting exercise aimed at saving money when using the photo-copier. A notice signed by him was placed over the Xerox saying, "In the interest of economies, please use both sides". Of course this kindled young Bluelight's humour button. I photocopied the notice and stuck it on the toilet doors. This caused a riot - everyone was laughing, including the Company Secretary, who was an ex colonial diplomat and spoke with a very posh British voice. I got him off to a tee and impersonated him often, making people fall over laughing. He found out and walked into my office one day and remarked he had heard I was the company mimic and would I speak like him. "Of course old boy!" I said in his voice, "tell me old chap, are you going to introduce any cost cutting exercises this week?" I carried on like this for a while and it was a bit exaggerated and he started laughing, remarking that he didn't think he talked quite like that. "Now listen, old chap, you do, you might think you say it this way but actually you say it that way." He collapsed laughing and of course whenever I saw him we had to have a little session.
Well that's all for now - I have loads of stories like this and then some great ones about some peculiar customers I met when I used to be a Painter and Decorator, and of course lots of Ambulance stories. All I need is some time to write the stories and with the workload Mrs Bluelights is throwing at me I am surprised I have written this.
Do you know, we are actually stuck for a colour to paint our new kitchen wallpaper? It was first to be Blush Stone but this was rejected when we tried a sample. Then Soft Peach - we actually bought 5 litres. It looked awful on the bit of wall we painted. So back to the shop for the third time when we bought Soft Caramel - Ugggh! It was dreadful. Then we saw some paint Vinyl Silk Emulsion Buttermilk we actually had in the garage - MUCH BETTER but not quite dark enough, decreed Mrs Bluelights. We are going back to the shop for the fifth time tomorrow - wish us luck!