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Let Me Tell You About the Time I… was freaked out in La Senza

You guys should look forward to some more entertaining guest posts next week, but to round this first week off nicely, we have the amazing Karin from Karin’s World

Normally I don’t bother with La Senza – I actually think their stuff is a bit over-hyped and priced for the quality of it. But this was after Christmas so there was a sale on, and we all get a bit mad when bargains are to be found.

So there I was, wandering through rows and rows of bras, minding my own business, when I happened upon the bargain bucket. Basically, it was full of a mish mash of various underwear all thrown in, most of it down to like a euro or something. I wasn’t particularly interested, until I noticed a guy, about mid forties, rooting through it. Guys don’t really beling in La Senza unless they are:
A –
with their girlfriend
B –
buying expensive negligie for a girlfriend and pretending like they know what size their other half is and that they know a good bra when they see one
or C – admitting defeat, keeping the head down, and just heading straight for the counter to buy a gift card.

So clearly, this man was partaking in none of said activites. Even if a guy is just browsing for a gift, he should not be finding it in the euro bucket. Basically, this dude had no business eagerly rooting through women’s discounted underwear.

I was a bit bemused, and slightly curious, so I hung around that end of the shop just in case he would do something that would enlighten me as to what the was up to.

And then, a girl – about fifteen, I would guesstimate – appeared next to him. And he handed her several pairs of underwear.

Let me stress this point. The man in his mid forties handed the young teenage girl several pairs of cheap knickers.

One of two things must be happening here. Either this man is a creepy ass pervert who must be removed from society immediately, or this is his daughter. I really hoped that it was his daughter, until I realised this would be almost as bad – can you imagine your dad picking out your underwear at fifteen?!

Turns out it was the latter, as I did actually hear her call him dad. Which leads me on to the next and clearly most important question: why in the HELL would you go into a sexy underwear shop with your father in the first place?!

To be honest, I was kind of staring by this point (wouldn’t you?!) which the poor girl seemed to cop, as she mumbled something to her dad and shuffled around in that uncomfortable way you do when you are clearing praying for a huge hole to appear in the ground that you can jump into.

Her dad was mortifyingly unfazed by this, and continued to yap on about pairs on pants that he thought were nice! (eww eww EWW) but the poor girl had obviously decided enough was enough; a couple of other people were kind of watching the situation now. Without waiting for further conversation with her totally embarrassing Dad, she legged it for the door, and he wandered along after her, having a good look at everything else as he went.

So there you go… the lesson is, don’t buy pants with your dad!!

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Let me tell you about the time I….stood on a half naked Canadian.

Today’s post comes from one seriously lovely bloggy lady, Kitty Cat from red lemonade

According to my good friend T Cup, I have what she refers to as “a big volunteer head” on me. If there’s some manner of street performance or show going on that requires someone from the audience to get involved, for some reason I tend to get pulled out of the crowd despite my best efforts to blend in with my surroundings and avoid eye contact.

One sunny Saturday while I was living in Cork, I was ambling down Patrick’s Street with T Cup when we came upon a Canadian street performer that we had previously encountered in Edinburgh. That first time we saw him in Scotland I was only called forward to confirm that some prop he was using was indeed solid, or had no strings on it, or something like that.
Anyway, we stopped for a look because we knew he was good, and happily clapped, oohed and aahed along with the rest of the audience in the sunshine.

As he was introducing the next part of his show, he unveiled a bed of sharp and very pointy nails and started explaining the idea of mind over matter. I think.
There was definitely a bed of nails anyway, and as he scanned the crowd for an unwitting idiot, he barged past the four or five people in front of me, grabbed my hand and pulled me into the middle of the circle.
I remember looking back to see where T Cup had got to, but the wagon was nowhere to be seen, as it appears that disappearing into the crowd is a superpower of hers.

Anyway, at this stage Mr. Canadian Street Performer had whipped off his shirt (not the prettiest of sights, I fear) and requested that I remove my boots. Which I duly did, only to reveal a hole in my tights that one of my toes was attempting to escape out of.
While surreptitiously trying to get my toe back into the foot of my tights and not die from embarrassment, yer man had lain down on the bed of nails and instructed me to, one foot at a time, step onto his bare torso.

Now, I’m not exactly a waif and I can’t imagine that the full weight of me on his chest was exactly comfortable, not to mention while resting on a grid of four inch nails. I was standing there for what felt like forever, trying to keep my balance, hide the hole in my tights and hope he wasn’t getting a good look up my skirt all at the same time.
Every so often I could feel myself wobbling slightly and every time I kept thinking “Oh Jaysus, I’m making these nails dig into him even further, WHY didn’t he pick some little dainty bird instead?”

Eventually I was told to step back down, at which point he stood up to reveal all the indentations all over his back from the spikes. I was just glad my wobbling didn’t draw blood. I don’t remember if I actually put my boots back on before rejoining the crowd, or if I just grabbed them and ran away.

Either way, I tend to watch these things from the very back of the crowd now. If at all.

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Let me tell you about the time I… embarrassed myself on National Radio.

Next to take on one of the well-known Chick Named Hermia post themes is Sarah from The Licentiate

It should come as no surprise to the people who read my blog that I wasn’t the cool kid at school.  I wasn’t even one of the average kids.  I was the weird kid.  I liked weird music and dated weird boys and knew weird facts and had weird hair.  I was OK with that.

I also had no social skills whatsoever.  This would eventually right itself when I went to college and learned the fine art of exchanging banter for pints of cheap cider with plastered Law students in the Old Bar in UCC.

But I’m getting ahead of myself.  Rewind back to transition year, and those pints have yet to even grow into apples.

I listened religiously to Rick O’Shea on 2FM every night while I pretended to do my homework.  Every night there was a competition (the name of which escapes me) and the prizes were always good – gig tickets and CDs mostly.  He would play the first second of a song, then you would call in, guess correctly, have a chat on air, then toddle off into the sunset with some musical swag.

However, the last time that I won ANYTHING was a raffle in second class.  I won a dusty poster, which must have dated from the early seventies, of a small girl with a single tear running down her face.  That, and a mini crucifix.  As prizes go, it wasn’t amazing (the primary school I went to was run by nuns, in case you didn’t guess).  I just don’t win things.  So I stopped entering competitions and raffles.

This time however, I knew I was going to win.  I KNEW.  So when the phone rang and it was 2FM on the other line, I was not surprised.  Incredibly nervous, but not surprised.  I correctly identified the song, then accidentally dropped my phone on the bedroom floor.  Clunk.  I don’t know how that must have sounded to the people listening.  They must have thought that I had fainted, what with the excitement of winning tickets to Busted and all.

Then, the moment came.  Rick O’Shea asked me if I was nervous.  I said no.  He asked me why.

I told him that I ‘just knew’ he was going to call.  This, in hindsight, was the point where it all went wrong.  He asked me if I was psychic.  And for no reason whatsoever, I said that I was.

‘YES RICK, I AM PSYCHIC’

*cue dead air*

He said, ‘Really’?

And I can’t remember where the conversation went after that.  I was too mortified.

And that was the pinnacle of my radio fame.  On the upside, I also got tickets to Beck and Massive Attack, and made an excellent profit scalping the Busted tickets.  Every cloud has a silver lining and all that.

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Let me tell you about the time I….was almost killed by Robbie Williams

Emma here from Living Easy Loving Free, delighted to be in for Hermia while she’s on the move.

So let me tell you about the time….Robbie Williams almost killed me!
Back in the day I was a huge Robbie Williams fan, who couldn’t resist the bad boy with the bleached blonde hair?? (please bear in mind it was the 90s!)  So when Robbie’s concert was announced for Dublin myself and my best friend Sharon begged, borrowed and baby-sat until we got the much coveted tickets in our little hands….

At the concert we managed to blag our way into The Pit, where we came face to face with the extreme Robbie fans…you know the type, armed with signs, banners, t-shirts and all other sorts of Robbie paraphernalia! We tried our best to get up to the stage but met with elbows, nudges and crazy eyed girls with dirty stares we decided for our own safety – mid pit would be the perfect spot.

All was going well until the encore when Robbie wiped his sweaty face & chest with a towel and threw it into the crowd. Like a heat-seeking missile it hurtled straight towards me. It didn’t miss its target, smacking me straight in the face & then wrapping around my neck! To make matters worse some crazed fans behind me grabbed it! Sheer panic struck in…I was being choked by ROBBIE WILLIAMS SWEAT TOWEL!!!

Within seconds I was on the dirty floor being stood on by runners, boots and high heels, dozens of sweaty hands were desperately swiping at me in search of the towel. Just when I thought this was how I was going to meet my end, my friend Shaz in super-hero style somehow managed to clear the crowd and pull me from the ground. At a tiny size 8 she may be small but she’s feisty!

We didn’t have time to celebrate, two sneaky fans grabbed on to the towel as I was resurfacing and we found ourselves in a Mexican Standoff! Myself and super-hero Shaz were holding on tight also, nobody willing to give up! Not even my near death experience could guilt them into letting go…believe me I tried!!

It was only when a flock of screaming girls arrived over trying to claim a stake in the towel that our Mexican Standoff suddenly became more like a survivor team challenge. The four of us worked together to beat off the other competitors. With some quick thinking we waded through the packed pit and eventually we made it to the first aid crew…they kindly cut the towel and we divided out our prized possession…

So what became of my Robbie Williams sweat towel…framed and mounted proudly on my wall??

I’m afraid not….I came home from school one day to find it missing from my room.
“Mam where’s my Robbie Williams sweat towel?” I shouted (as you do when you live at home…god forbid you would look yourself!)
“Your what?” Right then and there I knew by her tone something was up! My mam had a habit of putting things into a “safe place” and they are never seen again! I barged into the kitchen “The towel that was in my room – my Robbie Willliams towel?”

She looked on the floor by the door…..I spun around in slow motion, there in a wet heap was my towel which she had used to mop our kitchen floor!!!! “No!!!!!!

Needless to say I threw the old “teenage melodramatic my life is over act” but I soon recovered and we still laugh about it to this day…

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Let me tell you about the time I….ended up at an awkward house party

My own first house-warming party was a sweaty drunken affair that ended with a fire alarm being set off and security breaking up proceedings.
This girl I worked with in Lentra – let’s call her Belinda – tried to organise a formal affair.

Most of the people we worked with wisely made excuses not to go, but myself, Boy and Sinead (sister to this girl) said we would go -me because I was told there was food, Sinead because she’s a nice person and Boy because he was secretly in love with me.
😀

We eventually made it to Belinda’s house, after some near-death experiences courtesy of Sinead our driver, and as we’d been told to save lots of room for dinner, we were starving.
As soon as we took off our coats, the three of use were put sitting with Belinda’s fiancé and his 50-year-old friend, while Belinda sat with a couple of her friends in the kitchen area.

We sat in awkward silence as the two grown-ups talked over us.
We had nothing to say to them.
In the car, we’d been talking about our toy pet snake, Sinatra that we kept under the tills in the shop.
Boy eventually turned the conversation to football so he could talk a little to The Fiancé, while The Friend sat staring at me and Sinead.

Eventually Belinda came over to us with plates.
“Do you guys like lasagne?”
Pfffft, do cows…eh…poo!?
As she lowered the plates towards us, our faces fell because before us were the smallest portions known to man.
And that was the end of the promised food.

After another 20mins of listening to awkward conversation, I couldn’t stand it anymore
“Let’s make an excuse and leave,” I hissed
“We can’t! It’s only….” Sinead checked her phone. “…OMG it’s only 9 o’clock!”
Crap.
“Pretend Orla wants you to collect her now,” I said, remembering that her sister had been asking for a lift if she didn’t get into a club that night.
“No, I can’t. It’s wrong.”
Damn that stupid nice Sinead!

Her resolve cracked a little while later, when she got a call from Orla.
The call went something like this:
Orla: Hey, you don’t need to collect me!
Sinead: You need me to collect you!?
Orla: No no no, we got in!
Sinead: You didn’t get in? Oh ok, we’ll come and collect you then. *makes apologetic face at Belinda*
Orla: No Sinead, we got in! You can stay at the party.
Sinead: Ok, we’ll be there soon.

We had our excuse and Boy sprinted out the door with us.
First we rang Orla to let her know Sinead hadn’t lost the plot.
Then we went to the nearest Eddie Rockets for giant burgers and chips, as well as chocolate malts.
The food was demolished in record time.
And we avoided adult gatherings for a long time afterwards.
In fact, we’re still avoiding them.

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Let me tell you about the time I….was asked for my number

I was standing at the bus stop freezing my ass off this morning when a rather familiar young chap appeared at the other side of the commuter group.
Hmmmm….where did I know him from?
He glanced in my direction, caught my eye and looked away immediately, looking uncomfortable.

Jesus, he’s obviously not pleased to see me.
That really didn’t narrow it down.
Who the hell IS he!?

Eventually I remembered that he used to work a couple of shops down from Lentra.
Ah.
Mayo Boy.
Cue the lightbulbs and falling pennies.
Now I know why he’s not pleased to see me….

Flashback
Flashback
Flashback

Every Saturday, he’d come in for his lunch just before we closed up the deli
And every Saturday we’d make awkward conversation until I’d made his sandwich.

See, I attract weirdos.
I always have and probably always will.
I think it’s because I’m so socially awkward and uncomfortable when I meet new people that I willingly latch on to anyone remotely friendly (weirdos are normally over-eager to make conversation) and then the connection has been made before I realise that I’m about to befriend someone who probably has a creepy doll collection and dresses up as his mother.
At that stage it’s impossible to shake them.

Mayo Boy wasn’t VERY weird, but he was definitely a little strange in the I-wouldn’t-feel-comfortable-being-left-in-a-room-alone-with-you way.
He was also about a foot shorter than me.

This particular day he came in acting stranger than usual.
Mayo Boy: Can I get a *insert ingredients here* roll
Me: Sure. Do you want butter or mayo?
Mayo Boy: URGH! NO! Not mayo!! Just butter! Not mayo!
Me: Eh…ok…no mayo then.
Mayo Boy: Mayo is TERRIBLE.
Me: *shrugs shoulders* Well I like it.
Mayo Boy: You shouldn’t eat it. Mayonnaise makes you die.
Me: *pauses* Excuse me?
Mayo Boy: It makes you die.
Me: Eh…right…but not really.
Mayo Boy: No, it does. It makes you die.
*awkward silence ensues*
Me: Well here’s your roll.
Mayo Boy: Can I get your number?
Me: *looks around in a panicked manner, partly hoping no one heard that, partly hoping someone would rescue me*
Mayo Boy: *looks painfully hopeful*
Me: Eh….no….sorry.
Mayo Boy: Oh…why?
Me: *can’t believe he’s asking that question* I have a boyfriend.
Mayo Boy: Oh.
Me: Yeah.
Mayo Boy: *continues to stand there making eye contact*
Me: *wondering if he’s attempting Jedi mind control* Well, I’ve got to go do stuff in the back room.
Mayo Boy: Ok. *walks off slowly*
Boy (now known as The Boy): *appearing from nowhere* Why is your face so red? What happened? Did something happen with X?

After forcing me to tell him by applying the art of merciless pestering, Boy then proceeded to vandalise my Bebo page with drawings of the event…
And that is how Mayo Boy got the name ‘Mayo Boy’.

EDIT: Some genius readers suggested posting the drawing The Boy did, which is obviously an AMAZING idea, making me an idiot for not thinking of it. However, The Boy thought he was really cool and deleted his Bebo account a couple of years ago and when he did that, all the comments he left and pictures he did were also deleted, so I don’t have them anymore!
I will see if I can persuade him to recreate one of them tonight though!

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Let me tell you about the time I….fell on stage

Ah yes…yet another embarrassing moment in the life of one Miss Hermia.

You should all know  by now that during my three years at Dublin City University I was an obsessive active member of DCU Drama.
My first year was spent in the background of shows playing characters like the legendary Fiesty Villager 3 and That Random Member of the Salvation Army.
It wasn’t until Second Year that I was actually given a proper part with a name and everything!
The show was the annual Pantomime and that year we were doing Back to Neverland.
It’s probably the show I have the best memories of because basically it was the only show that I wasn’t stressed out over as all I had to do was fit into my costume and remember my lines.
Also it was a Hella Funny/Fun show to be a part of.
I do love the random whimsy of panto!

The other day I got a text from the ever-helpful Drama Bob (one of the masterminds behind NYMT…remember Spring Awakening from last year?) telling me that he’d had a chance to put together DVDs of  some of the old shows I’d been in (isn’t he lovely?).
Once I’d gotten them home, the first one I plonked into the DVD player was Back to Neverland.
Curling up on the couch with a cup of tea made by a highly amused The Boy, I began my running commentary:
“Oh God, the Intro Music!! I’d forgotten it was Back to the Future! And oh there’s the music for the Red Indians’ first dance (I played one of the Indian Girls….bimbo-style). OH LOOK, we’re coming out now….and we’re doing our spinning circle thing….and there I am….falling….and still being pulled around in the circle….”
Please see Exhibit A…

Typically, the one night I happen to fall is the night the show is being recorded.
You see there’s a scene later on in the show where the cast comes out with water guns and soaks the audience.
Right before the show that night, some of the lads decided to have a water fight.
On the stage.
And didn’t clean up afterwards.
So as I spun in that circle in my already slippy tights on an already slidey floor and hit a small puddle of water….well I didn’t stand a chance considering I find it difficult to stay upright in ideal conditions.
I think the fact that the people in the circle didn’t stop spinning made it look even more humiliating as the audience got to watch me being dragged along helplessly.

Every other show had gone off without a hitch on my part.
As Murphy’s Law would have it, this also happened to be the night that the Lentra Crew had travelled all the way across Dublin to see my in my first proper role.
They still won’t let me forget it happened.
The Boy (who was then Boy) didn’t come.
He was too cool for plays.
And we may have sorta hated each other then.

Anyway, that wasn’t the only thing that went wrong.
See Exhibit B…

Around the 4:40 mark you’ll see me get a packet of sweets stuck in my bra during our Really Obvious Product Placement gag.
Having the boobies of a ten-year-old, I had no cleavage to nestle them in and so had to jam them under the wee strap at the front of the contraption.
Where they refused to budge from that night.
The Lentra Crew were peeing themselves with laughter at this point.
I should point out that the Blue Indian’s sweets opened up inside her costume during the next show and she was pooping wine gums for the whole scene.

Thankfully I made it through the rest of the show without making a bigger arse of myself.
A miracle, you could call it!
And despite having to sit out the Benny Hill scene because of a twisted ankle caused by the fall, I made it out for the final song, which is still probably my favourite part of the show…

So there you have it.
Hermia’s Terribly Embarrassing Moments now come with video footage (cartoon and otherwise).
Oh and if you’re all reeeaaalllly good, Suzie Q will provide footage of THIS infamous performance very soon!

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