Including how to make THIS happen…
It’s always a pleasure to welcome a new writer into the Interestment fold, and today is the turn of Gareth – an insightful writer who has made it his purpose to guide the nation’s gentlemen through some of life’s more perilous situations. He’s already talked us through jacuzzi etiquette, pub quizzes, and moths. Today, here are some more pearls
How to blag your way into an exclusive club
We’ve all done it. Stood over our girlfriend’s shoulder as she flicks through Heat. Dreaming in vain of rubbing shoulders with our favourite footballers and rubbing something altogether different with our favourite glamour models. Forlornly hoping the next rat-a-tat-tat of the letter box is an invite to Bruce Forsyth’s 180th birthday bash and not, as harsh reality would have it, the local newspaper with the less alluring headline of ‘Humble OAP in sewage nightmare.’
The door to the world of the rich and famous is rarely open but sometimes, if you keep your wits about you, you’ll find it left ajar and you can creep in unnoticed. Here’s how.
- Suck up. Go to the club you know is having the big bash a few weeks before the event and get in with the staff; take a bar maid out for a drink, or get friendly with the owner or DJ. When sucking up never act with attitude. Be charming and keep your story straight.
- Play act. Get a record box and dress like a stereotypical DJ – shades, baseball cap etc. Rock up to the club and skip the queue. Lift the box when they look at you and say you’re the DJ. Alternatively, get a limo to drop you and some gorgeous girls outside or make a fake ID and go in as a photographer or journalist.
- Ring up and inquire about the VIP lounge. Say you’ve got a client who would be interested in coming for the night. Ask about jumping the queue. If they like you they’ll oblige and you’ll be able to drop a name on the door and hop on in. They need never know the ‘client’ you were talking about was your mate Bill who once had a trial with Plymouth Argyle in 1987.
How to parallel park in one go
Learning to drive can be like journeying through the seven circles of hell. Every time the instructor bangs the clipboard on the dash you feel like introducing it, pen and all, to his rectum. He castigates you when you speed over thirty and acts as though he’d like to castrate you when you hesitate at a roundabout. You long for the day you pluck up the courage to do you both a favour and veer off into the nearest canal. But it all seems worth it when you get that big tick, a pat on the back and a handful of keys.
Here’s how to make sure you don’t fail on the parallel parking.
- Pull alongside the spotted space and indicate.
- Drive forward so that you are directly alongside the car next to you, your bumpers should be in line and there should be about two feet between you.
- Pop into reverse.
- Move gradually back steadying yourself with the brake. Try not to turn the wheels when you’re not moving the car.
- When your windscreen is in line with the other car’s side mirror turn the steering wheel – still reversing at the same time – down towards the pavement, all the way. You should be at a 45° angle.
- Back into space. If your rear tyre hits the kerb do not mount it like a dog on heat, pull forward and start again.
- As your front door becomes parallel to the adjacent car’s bumper turn the wheel away from the kerb stopping when the wheels have straightened up – about two complete turns.
- Back in to the spot and gradually turn the wheel away from the kerb and ease your car into the space.
- Put the gearstick in first, pull the steering wheel back towards the kerb, straighten it up and pull forward.
- 10. You should be no more than a foot away from the kerb; anymore and you might as well have parked in the middle of the road. Adjust accordingly by pulling forward or reversing back a little.
How to give a eulogy at a funeral
The task of summing up a whole life in a handful of notes can be a daunting one but being asked to commemorate someone is not only a great responsibility, but a great privilege as well.
- Point out your relationship with the deceased straight away.
- Pick a theme about their life and begin by setting this out. If your Grandma was a great story teller lead in with this. A hard worker, point it out now.
- Talk about how they affected other people in their life. Include people in the congregation and end on how he or she had an impact on your own life. This should be personal, not something that everyone might know – an in-joke is perfect, if explained, as it shows what your relationship meant to both you and the deceased.
- Recall some memories. Funny and inspiring moments are best but few lives are fairy tales so don’t be afraid to mention some hard times too.
- End by returning to the original theme. For example, say your Grandmother’s story telling lives on in the story she leaves behind. Or mention how you’ll eulogise the deceased by working as hard as they did for a better way of life.
- Research by asking as many people as you can about the deceased’s life.
- Conjure up memories and talk openly about the person – this is beneficial for the eulogy but even better for the grieving process.
- Even if you think you won’t cry, prepare for the fact you might. Ask a sibling or other family member to step in should the situation overcome you.
- Don’t ab-lib. Print off the speech and rest it on the altar as you speak. The chances are you’ll lose your way once or twice.
- Take your time to compose yourself should you become teary eyed. Take a deep breath and continue on at your own pace.
How to build a bonfire
Guy Fawkes. What a big softie. He pretended to turn parliament to ashes and bring Britain to its knees just to encourage an entire nation to write their names in the night sky with sparklers.
Here’s how to pay homage to good old Guy.
- Make your bonfire night a night to remember for the right reasons not for being the epicentre of the forest fire on the News at Ten. Therefore, ensure you’re in an open field where a phone box sized fire won’t catch trees, hedges or dry grass on fire.
- Dig a decent sized hole to set the bonfire in. About two foot deep will do. Consider putting a ring of stones around the bonfire with a diameter of six feet or so.
- Place two large logs parallel to each other with a three-foot gap between them.
- Pack the space in-between with loads of tinder – bark, dry grass, twisted rolls of newspaper.
- Next, grab some kindling and lay it against the tinder like a tepee. Leave a space for your arm to fit through and light the tinder.
- Place two more heavy logs on top of the previous two across the gap at the edge; essentially creating a square with your two original logs on the bottom.
- Repeat the tinder packing and the kindling stacking.
- Add as many layers like this until you have a stack of wood about knee high.
- Surround the bonfire structure with the longest kindling sticks you have and surround this again with larger longer logs propped up against the main structure. Again, leave a gap for your arm to reach through and light the tinder underneath.
- 10. Light the tinder, close the gap or door quickly with a couple of vertically placed logs, and stand well back. Warm your hands, toast some marshmallows and write your name in the air with a sparkler. WARNING: Keep a bucket of water near by just in case the flames get out of hand.
Gareth May is a freelance writer and journalist. His first book, 150 Things Every Man Should Know, is published by Square Peg, an imprint of Random House Books, in November 2009. Visit his website here.