Saturday, 16 September 2017

Cripple Sex

Many years ago I worked briefly in a residential unit for severely physically challenged people. Now, I say “briefly” because my employment lasted exactly one day and 90 minutes. The first problem arose one day one from my candid conversations with a small group of 16-19 year old about how exactly sex is possible when one’s body is severely contorted with spasticity and lacking any overt conscious control.

Some people in such situations have a number of problems. One is that nurses and care staff rarely see it as part of their duty to assist their charges in having sexual intercourse with each other. Another problem is that a person with such severe disability may well have the same attraction strategy as anyone else – i.e. attraction to fit and able-bodied people. Now, in terms of attraction and integrity, which self-respecting cripple would knowingly date a person who is sexually attracted to, and aroused by, people with serious physical deformities? By the very nature of the problem, some cripples are destined to only ever date perverts.

These were the issues comically put to me by my teenage charges, and the conversation was interrupted by my boss who clearly wasn’t happy. Clearly, sexuality amongst these teenagers was a subject to be institutionally ignored or there’d be trouble. That was the first indicator that there was a problem. The second and biggest problem, or at least, the problem that was written down on my dismissal notice, occurred on the second morning around 7am when I found myself at variance with the manager over exactly what “residential unit” actually meant.

For all I know I might be a pedant over such semantics and be unaware of my own pedantry. So this is of course quite possible, but when I was told to enter a room at 7am, turf the “resident” out of bed and bath him whether he liked it or not, I found myself questioning a few things. After all, I was aware that some of the residents, including the one I was to turf out of bed, were up until about 2am watching all three of the Omen movies.

And today was Saturday.

You will do as you are told,” my manager barked. She was disturbingly good-looking, blue-eyed, blonde and about 4 years older than me. She pointed her finger at me and fixed her stare. The previous day, some of the resident cripples had told me, with much-hushed mirth and laughter, of her nick-name. It was quite appropriate given her general demeanor, attitude and the place in which she was in charge.

Get on with your work.” She demanded. Now, personally, when I get up in the morning, I like to take my time. I usually begin with a cup of tea, catch up with the news headlines, another cup of tea in the bath and then onto breakfast. Apparently, in this “residential” unit, things were quite different.

The finger continued to be pointed at me, and as I had a rudimentary understanding of Bateson’s work at this point I knew that “the pointed finger denotes the fist, but does not denote that which is denoted by the fist” - so I pointed both my forefingers and middle fingers back her as though they were pistols and grinned, saying, “Ha! Outgunned! Now whatcha gonna do, call the sheriff?”

Well of course, what she did was sack me on the spot. The reasons given on the paper work I received later were “inappropriate attitude”, “inappropriate conversations with residents” and “unwillingness to perform the required duties of the organization” which I guess in their own way were all quite accurate.

Before I left though, I did let slip to her what her nick name was. I had to. I’m just that kind of guy.
How weird it was though when about four years later I found myself sat opposite her at the dining table of an Army friend’s wedding reception. Trapped for over an hour opposite someone nicknamed “Margaret Mengele” who, on sitting down next to her rather frightening looking husband, looks over to me and says, “Oh hi! You seem really familiar, where do I know you from?”

Oh happy days...    

Tuesday, 15 August 2017

The problem with Nigel

The phone rang in the therapist’s office. The mother on the other end outlined the problem – Nigel, her son, now aged 44 had been in care for nearly 8 years in a state of catatonic schizophrenia. Various drugs and electroconvulsive therapy had been tried with only moderate and always a temporary success. Neurological assessments revealed nothing of significance. Nigel spent his days in a seemingly twilight world where there was minimal, if any, apparent interest in his surroundings. In short, Nigel appeared fully conscious yet totally unresponsive.

I think they have given up on him,” his mother told the therapist, and knowing his reputation asked, “Is there anything you can do?

Oh yes!” Replied the Good Looking Therapist.

The trickiest part was getting the psychiatric care home to allow the therapist in. There are all sorts of rules about these things and territorial considerations, but with persistence and some wiley charms, the therapist was able to get the relevant forms signed.

With minimal observation, Nigel’s care routine became obvious. In the morning, the care staff would wash him, drain off the catheter bag, dress him, place him on his chair, feed him and then park him in front of the window or television for the morning. Periodically, they’d lift him and move him to prevent pressure sores. On Wednesdays, the weekly enema was given to prevent constipation. At lunchtime, the catheter bag was emptied and Nigel was fed and watered and after lunch was parked either in front of the television or back in front of the window. The evening routine was similar and then he was put to bed.

This was pretty much Nigel’s life had been for the past 8 years. Now the care was mostly professional and was indeed very caring. He’d never developed a pressure sore, suffered unreasonable constipation or any other unreasonable physical health problem. Often, the staff would talk to him and read to him, but rarely was there even so much as a flicker of interest from Nigel.

I think he is lost to us,” one member of staff voiced to the Therapist, “what are you going to do?” she asked. “I’ll show you tomorrow,” the Therapist replied, “I’ll show you tomorrow.”

The following morning the Therapist was in early before the more dependent residents had been gotten out of bed. He brought freshly made doughnuts from the 24-hour supermarket and made all the staff tea and coffee and waited to be called. “Just let me know when you have Nigel out of bed,” he told them.

Forty minutes later, Nigel was out of bed and the Therapist waited patiently as the staff spoon fed Nigel who ate disinterestedly. When he had finished eating, the Therapist indicated to the nurses, “He’s mine, give him to me!” He demanded and as he took over control of the wheelchair leaned down and whispered into Nigel’s ear, “Just play along with me, I’m getting paid a fortune for this,” and wheeled him up along the corridor.

Reaching the small cleaners cupboard, the Therapist took out all the mops, brooms, dust pans – took out everything – and found to his delight that the cupboard was just about big enough to fit one man and a wheelchair into it. “Shhh! Just play along with me!” he said quietly as he shut the door, locking it after he did so.

It was at this juncture that the staff went nuts! What did this therapist think he was doing? Did he not know how unprofessional this was? What if something happened to him in there?

Look!” the Therapist explained. “That man is catatonic, he hasn’t moved in nearly 8 years and he is locked safely in a small empty cupboard. What on earth is going to happen to him? And besides, he’s safer in there than out here – haven’t you noticed, this place is full of crazy people?!

The staff were clearly uncomfortable with the whole situation and put up quite a protest. All this was occurring outside the cupboard where Nigel resided. This was part of the Therapist’s plan. Nigel might be unresponsive, but there certainly was nothing wrong with his ears.

He stays in the cupboard!” The therapist ordered, showing the staff the written authority that had been granted to him for the unconventional intervention. The staff went away unhappy. The Therapist did notice later that day that the doughnuts brought earlier remained uneaten.

At lunchtime, the therapist unlocked the cupboard and wheeled Nigel back to the care staff that ministered to him in the usual fashion.

After lunch, Nigel was wheeled back into the cupboard with the passing whisper, “Look, let’s see if we can string out this all week, it’s a really cushy number!” and the Therapist once again locked the door.

That evening Nigel was handed back to the care staff and the therapist went home. He was back in early again the next morning and when he took command of Nigel in his wheelchair, Nigel did something – he looked at the Therapist, and it was a look that communicated something. Precisely what that something was no one was sure, but the care staff saw it too. “He seems angry,” said one of the nurses.

At around 8am, with Nigel fed and watered, the Therapist wheeled him along the corridor to the cupboard. As he did so, he said in a jovial manner into one of Nigel’s ears, “Thanks ever so much for this – I really do appreciate it,” and placed him back into the cupboard and locked it.

By 1030am that very same morning, that cupboard door was off its hinges and a very angry looking Nigel was found standing in the corridor screaming, "cocksuckingmotherfuckingcuntingshitcuntbastard!” And as if to complete the image, he actually had spittle flying from his mouth and drool on his chin.

It certainly as if Nigel was awake and he was looking more responsive than yesterday. Yet, this behaviour appeared to unsettle the staff more than when he was locked in the cupboard.

So, the first thing that they did?

They sedated him.

Monday, 14 August 2017

How to make a promotional video

There appears to be a set formula for how one should produce a self-promotion video if you are a coach, NLPer, hypnotherapist or wotnot.  To make it easy for the new alphabet therapist (IEMT, EMDR, NLP, CBT, EFT, NAET, TFT, TAT etc) to fit in, I'll briefly outline what you need to do to make a video for your website.

1. Location.  Without a doubt, the location is the most important aspect.  As you know sitting in front of a bookshelf will make you appear intelligent, so take the time to select the right books to have on the shelves that will appear behind you. It doesn't matter if you have actually read them or not.  Alternatively, you may wish to use a plain background, in which case you should position yourself in front of an interior door for that plain-background-that-is-actually-the-bedroom-door appeal.

2.  Lighting.  There is no need to use proper lighting, the 11watt economy bulb that pretends to be the equivalent of an old style 100watt bulb will do just fine.

3. Microphone. The mic that is inbuilt into your video camera will do just fine.

4. A tripod is entirely optional, you might want simply to borrow a family member with a steady hand to hold the camera for you.

5. Remember to tell your story. Absolutely everyone wants to hear "how you got into" NLP, ABC, EFT or whatever it is. Everyone will be riveted to hear how you have always had an interest in people, words and so on and how you are so happy to have this gift of being the special one.

6.  Script/content.  Forget decent content because there is no need to offer your viewer anything that is actually useful, after all, you don't want to give away the shop. Instead, simply state your name, location and preferred alphabet therapy that you practice.  Then use a generic, "…and so if you have problems with <insert short list of conditions> then please contact me on my website." Use the simple logic that looks like, "because I am a hypnotherapist and you are a depressive, then you should call me for an appointment."  Yes, that'll work.

7. Where to put the video. Simply upload it to youtube, because this is the type of video that Youtube fans just love to watch. Badly embedding the video code onto your web-template web page will, of course, drive a torrent of traffic from eager customers to your video.

Once you have this video uploaded, your colleagues will recognise you as one of their own and you will fit right in. The only thing left to do will be to start posting onto public internet forums asking for advice from other experts as to what techniques you should use with your next client.

Good luck. something different.  Here's Topher Morrison. I don't know him nor his work, but this is a great promo video.

Please give other examples, good and bad, below.

Wednesday, 2 August 2017

How much to charge?

A very common theme in the hypnotherapy and complementary therapy world is that of "charging as much as you can" and "the higher you charge, the more you will be respected."

Something I have encountered a lot is, "if it is important to the client then they will pay anyway."

I'm not so sure about this, and I personally wonder if this reflects the elevated egos of so many private therapists.

The reality is that many people with problems simply do not have the money and so to insist that they pay a high fee will only add to their burdens and not necessarily help them in a positive way.
The other issue of a high fee is that it acts as a very good filter by excluding those people at the really shit-end of life and instead works to select in those who have a significant disposable income to spend on a luxury as hypnotherapy.

Therapists do like their YARVIS clients the most (Young, Attractive, Rich, Verbal, Intelligent and Sane) and the really screwed up ones who are without money, have poor articulation and poor personal hygiene are definitely the ones to be avoided. 

It's easy to claim a high success rate when one's clients don't really have many major problems in living and what they have are basically cosmetic problems.

But then we all want to earn a good living and have the dream life that they told us about on our training course. Or more importantly, the dream life they told us about in order to get us on their training course in the first place.

Well, what did you expect?

What do therapists do when they don't get enough clients…they run training courses in how to get clients of course!

So here's a simple guideline for knowing how much to charge:  do you feel bad, guilty or awkward with the amount of money you charge?  Are you scared of "being found out"? 

That is the clue - you are charging too much.

For years I have suffered the problem of ego maniacs and general dipshits in the NLP world telling me to put up my prices.  Well, where are those people now?  Most of them are either in enormous debt or have gone back to their day jobs.  Really.  But their websites are all still online displaying the ridiculous prices they pretended to be charging when in fact they never got any clients at all.

How do I know this? I do a credit check on these people.

The internet is a grave yard of websites that preach success but actually were never successful in the first place, and this gives the illusion that people are all earning loads of money and we are the ones who are not doing so well.  I have copies of the financial records of a good number of trainers and therapists and it doesn't make very good reading at all.

Despite it all, I still don't understand how it is possible to rack up a six figure debt by being a hypnotherapist, but it isn't uncommon.

Something I did several years back which was quite successful was to offer two prices - £25 (students, low wage) and £95 (waged) - I always let people decide for themselves which price they paid.  People coming via my websites hardly ever selected the cheaper option. The local social services such as community housing, probation office, crisis centres and so forth did provide me with a steady stream of £25 clients which kept me very busy indeed and helped me to build the extensive professional network that I have today.

Years back, I also did "Free Fridays" where I'd offer one or two sessions for free on Friday - anyone could book those sessions, regardless of income.  Again, people were good about that, the waged ones would mention that they deliberately weren't asking for a free session. 

And the ones who did book the free sessions?  Well, most of them were either late, didn't show up, or were moaners who always wanted more, more more and nothing was ever good enough.  So I stopped the free Fridays.

Anyway, just some random thought, hope this helps,

Monday, 31 July 2017

Bad business

THIS was originally posted in 2013, but it remains my consistent experience of trying to book hotels and venues:

I think I know why there is a recession on.  There's only one reason - people are completely crap when it comes to business.

Or maybe it is just me and I'm having one of those weeks.

A company I employ to handle my credit card processing sent me a snotty letter. "Your direct debit has failed and you owe us £23.40p."  But there is no reference as to why I owe them this money, or an invoice number or anything at all in fact.  But the letter continues, "Failure to pay within 7 days of this letter will incur a £30 penalty as outlined in our terms and conditions."  

Well, that's just charming.  So I check with the bank - all direct debits are working just fine.  
So I call the company's billing department.  Apparently my call is important to them, but no one answers.  I try umpteen times over several days.  Still no luck.

So I email them.  No reply.  This all began back in December.  On the 20th, to be precise. I email them repeatedly.

Still no one answers the phone, and no one has replied to my numerous emails.

Then customers started to complain to me that they couldn't make payments online.  I contact the company support desk.  Eventually I get a reply.  Apparently there is nothing wrong with the credit card processing, my customers simply aren't using it correctly.

But still those pesky customers keep complaining that they can't pay me money.

Several arguments later with the technical support monkeys and I cancel their service.  Still no word on that issue of the £23.40 pence though.

I'll wait for the legal letter, maybe their legal department will be more helpful.

Then on Monday a venue that I had booked for an event this year emailed me.  Sorry they said, but due to a computer glitch, they need to change my booking.  What this translates to is that someone there has double booked the venue and as the smaller player, I get dumped.

Now the thing is the room I booked was a very specific room. The requirements for the venue ware exact and this booking fulfilled those requirements. I'm offered an alternative room "at no extra charge" but this alternative doesn't fulfil the requirements.  It's a bit like paying for an iPad only to be told, "Sorry, we have had to cancel your iPad, but here's a mouldy banana and a free cup of tea instead at no extra charge."

So, I start shopping around for alternative venues.  I think I find one and i send off an email to the conference booking manager.  Yes, we have a room that is perfect for you," she tells me.  

"Can you send me a picture?" I ask

"No." she tells me.


Wait. So, let me just check.  I'm wanting to book a large training room for the better part of a week (about £3000-£4000) plus refreshments (probably about £150 a day) including hotel accommodation for about 35 people for either 3 or 4 nights at £147 per night. People who will also inevitably buy breakfast and an evening meal as well drinks at the bar.  And this person can't be bothered send me a photo.

"Perhaps you could use a camera phone and send it over to me?" I try suggesting.

"Sorry, we don't do that, but please don't hesitate to let me know if there is anything further I can do for you!" she says cheerfully ending the converstion.

And right there, right then in a little *poof!!* noise and a painful lack of initiative, £20,000 of guaranteed business for that hotel vanished in a little puff of smoke.

So, I move on.  I find a well known hotel chain with a good reputation.  I've stayed in some of their hotels before and always found them to be very good.  So, I go to their website to find the phone number of the exact hotel I require.

But there is no phone number for the hotel. 

I can only find a generic central phone number. The website suggests that I enter a web-enquiry and a customer service agent will call me back.

Now, remember, my requirements are very specific. A customer service agent in Calcutta is unlikely to be able to answer any of my questions.  "Fuck it," I think, "nothing to lose", so I click the link.

Except it doesn't take me to a phone number or a place where I leave my phone number.  No, what it does is it takes me to an account creation page and only when i have created a business account can I "submit my enquiry."  Fuckwits.

And right there, right then in one swift click, £20,000 of business just vanished for that hotel chain.

I call the next hotel.  The phone rings out in the conference booking department.  I wait half an hour and call again.  It rings solidly and rings out.  No answer phone to leave a message.  So I look at their website, there is a "submit enquiry" form. 

I fill it in.

I click send.

And I get a screen load of error messages.  Stack overflow runtime error 6000, or something (I don't care. Nerds, please don't bother trying to correct me or explain it to me, I'll probably just be rude to you).

And right there, right then, another hotel loses £20,000 of guaranteed business.

And then something magical happens.

Calming me from my mounting fury, I find something really special.  I mean, really, really special.  I can't tell you what it is, because it would reveal where it is, but trust me, it is the Piece de Resistance of training venues.  I know it will be expensive, but I think it is worth a punt.  I send off a speculative email enquiry outlining my exact requirements.

A reply comes really back quite quickly.  But there is something a bit strange about the reply. 
It has a bunch of attachments that are actually booking forms and confidential data that has been sent over to them by another potential customer.  

God only knows how they got attached to the reply email. Then there is the thing about the price. It seems far too cheap for what they are offering.  But, the email says, in bold red letters beneath the venue details, that this is the correct price and for this specific venue.

I go bounding into the other room where my wife is working.  I think she is pleased that I've finally stopped ranting.  I tell her the good news.  The dog wags his little tail, he too is happy.  But the look on my wife's face tells me what the voice in the back of my head is also telling me.

I send an email back querying that they have sent me the correct details.

"Oh no," they tell me, in complete contradiction to the big red letters in their earlier email, "The price we have quoted you is for the other main training room, not [the really special place]"

The main training room seats 20. It's another mouldy banana.

But did they think, "Oh, maybe we should give him the prices for the other rooms?"  

No they didn't. That would require some kind of initiative, so I have to send another email back to them to ask this.

And guess what.  No reply.

I'll watch the news later.  It will continue to tell me that we are in recession.
And I will smile a little knowing smile of exactly why this is.

Do please share your stories in the comments section below.

Monday, 24 July 2017

Fake Phds

On my Brass Bollocks training where I open the doors to the business end of my work and show exactly how and what I did and do now to run a successful business I repeatedly expound a simple principle:

"Humility will save you from humiliation."

It shouldn't be a difficult concept but in the world of personal development where everyone is chasing a high status in the industry, it is a very rare thing indeed.

This may sound familiar to some of you. Some trainers who bought the program now use this repeatedly themselves in their own versions of my product.

You can get the original here: (it's a bit old now, but still pretty good and is less than a tenner)

I believe that I can accurately predict how quick a new practitioner will fail and return to their day job.  The quickest failure will follow a single use of a single word. "Us"

On the practitioner's contact page they write, "Contact Us" instead of "Contact Me". This is an excellent predictor of failure where there is a just solo practitioner, rather than a group practitioners on the site.

Why do they write "Contact Us"?  Well, because he or she is trying to appear more than they actually are.

Their very first point of contact with their customer is built on a simple little deception, a lie.  Not exactly the best start, don't you think?

And the reason their business will fail?  Because they are deceiving themselves as to the true nature of their business and they will continue to build on this lie as they ever inflate their ego and bolster a false identity.

A fairly common extension of this lie is the use of false and fake qualifications and certifications. 

The fake PhD is just one example.

Another tragically common example is the endless creation of self-serving "Regulation Boards" "Associations", "Societies", Institutes" and so forth all in an attempt to afford status and prestige, when in fact they are just merely a brief invention to "endorse" their own practice and courses.

What this does is contaminate the marketplace so much that the public no longer knows what is a genuine society (i.e. it actually has members, a charter, etc) and what is just a webpage on the 'net purporting to be such. 

Actually, I think so many hypnotherapists are utterly ignorant and in their quest for status they don't ever bother checking these things out themselves.  They just send off a cheque, receive a certificate and that is that - they are a member, have a logo and so on, and so that they unknowingly perpetuate the lie and the falsehood.

Several years ago I managed to terminate the totally fake and illegal "British Board of NLP" operation by threatening to bring a criminal action against its "chairman" unless he removed all traces of the website and notified his "members" of such. 

Yet, if you google it today, you will still find people claiming to be members of "The British Board of NLP", displaying a logo and claiming status as a result.  It worries me when supposed experts in mental health display such crass stupidity. And I do think this is a stupidity rather than a deliberate fraud.

And here's the funny thing - they display these logos, memberships and false qualifications so that them.

It's worth mentioning here that a few years ago the original "chairman" of the "British Board of NLP" sent me a legal letter threatening me with litigation for libel unless I immediately ceased my public statements about their shenanigans.

I couldn't help but wonder how interesting it would be to see them actually try to prove in court that the 'British Board of NLP' actually existed.  It didn't and never did, so it was impossible for me to libel it. I never heard anything further from them until "it" (actually, this was just the domain name for the website and company name, which wasn't actually "The British Board of NLP") changed hands and the nonsense started up all over again.

I've recently challenged people about the use of fake PhDs on a hypnosis forum and interestingly received a collective outrage from forum members suggesting that to do so was somehow unsporting and that I was being aggressive.  Needless to say, the usual threats of litigation followed and expressions of outrage ensued.

A recent anonymous blog ( has taken to "outing" the hypnotherapists who claim to have PhDs when they allegedly don't have any such thing. Whilst I cannot claim to know the validity of the claims that are made on this blog, I thoroughly applaud the sentiment. I'd just like to add that in some circles that this is believed to be one of my sites. It isn't, nor do I know whose it is. Yet, periodically I receive emails from outraged individuals who think I am the one posting the Fake PhD Blog and telling me to cease and desist.

The hypnotherapy community appears outraged because apparently such a blog is unprofessional and brings the profession into disrepute.  Well, I have news for them - so is lying about one's qualification in order to defraud clients out of their money.

Here's the link to the BBC program about such nonsense that was aired in 2009 to which I was a main contributor behind the scenes and make a fleeting appearance and accidentally ask to see a lady's breasts.

I would love to read your comments in the section below...

Monday, 17 July 2017

Two Rupees

Every now and then a well-placed word or sentence can change everything for a person.  Sometimes this can happen more by chance than by design, but it doesn't have to be this way.  Here's an example from a trip to India about 14 years ago.

I was hopelessly lost.  I'd gotten off the bus unknowingly at the wrong place and headed across town in what I thought was the right direction, only to discover my error.  Being a Sunday, most things were shut and there weren't too many people around, and by the time I found the bus station, I was completely alone.  There was no one there at all.

I stood pondering the best course of action when movement from across the bus park caught my attention.  A small man was sprinting across the bus park and directly towards me. I thought this curious and thought it more so as he closed in and was clearly going to run straight into me.  What is this madness? I thought, and in the last moment, he swerved attempting to snatch my bag from my shoulder as he did so.

Now, with me being twice his size and having braced for impact, a comedy moment ensued whereby he was wrenched from his feet and fell flat on his ass right beside me as the bag remained securely around my shoulder.  I was dumbfounded and for a moment had no idea what to do or say.  I kind of stood there open mouthed staring at him whilst he lay there in a similar state staring back up at me.

I helped him to his feet.

"Give me two rupees." he said.  I told him no, I wouldn't give him two rupees and that maybe, just maybe, he might want to go away.

"Two rupees," he replied.


"Two rupees!"

Now, at this point, he started pulling at my shirt and made another attempt at snatching my bag.  I pushed him away, but he was quite insistent.

"Two rupees!" he kept demanding, holding out his fingers in a begging gesture.

Now, of course, I could have simply handed him two rupees, but there were a number of potential scenarios that could have occurred.  The most obvious was that he'd take the two rupees and then simply demand another two rupees.  The other possibility was that the moment I take my wallet out of my pocket, he'd try to snatch that too.

He looked impoverished, downtrodden and poor.  But he was also a problem to me, it was clear that he wasn't going to give in or go away too readily.

He kept pulling at my shirt, "two rupees!" he was saying over and over.

I was beginning to get quite irritated and now was stuck in a mind set commonly known as "The Principle Of The Thing"  - this man had tried to steal my bag, and now he was demanding money and wasn't going to go away. There was a principle at stake here.  Thinking outside the box was not going to be part of this.  Stupid mindset.

I started to walk away but he still kept tugging at my shirt, "two rupees, two rupees!"

Then he started walking in front of me, "two rupees!" and then at my side, "two rupees!" then blocking my path, "two rupees!"  This went on and on for what seemed like hours, but in reality was only about 30 minutes.  There were still no people around, "where is everyone?" I pondered.

I began to get very angry indeed.  

"Two rupees! Two rupees!

"NOO!!!  NOOO!!!  NO!!  I AM NOT GIVING YOU TWO RUPEES!!  NOW F*CK OFF!!"  I screamed, I bellowed, I waved my arms, I displayed as much hostility as I could muster.  All pointless of course, because…

"Two rupees!"


I crossed the threshold of sanity and did what is known in my part of the world as, "Completely Losing The Plot"  The words streaming from my mouth undoubtedly lacked too much coherence, but the message was unmistakable.  Copious bile was spat in his direction….

"Two Rupees?"

I hated him.

My anger and feeling of powerlessness over this infuriating little man continued to rise and I could see no end to this ridiculous charade ever happening.  It was like I was in some kind of hell that would last forever and I could see no way out of the torment.

And then I entered one of the least proud moments of my life.
I shoved him as hard as I possibly could away from me, shouting at him the whole time. He nearly fell to the floor.

"Two rupees!?"

I was now incandescent. I picked him up, twirled him around and dropped him on the floor and towered over him, shouting and threatening him.

And then something happened.  A voice.  A different voice that came from behind me.

I glance around and see a young man in spectacles holding a pile of books.

"Excuse me, Sir," he said, "I think I can see what the problem is."

"WHAT IS IT THEN!?!?!?!?" I shouted, realising as I did so that I really shouldn't be shouting at this young man.

"You see, Sir, that poor man on the floor doesn't speak English!"

The sheer ludicrousness of that statement broke the tension and I burst out laughing.  Doesn't speak English?  Which bit of any of my communication needed any translation? The young man just raised his eyebrows and looked at me with disappointment in his eyes. The man on the floor started laughing too, but I doubt that he any idea what he was laughing at, he was probably just trying to humour me and stay alive.

As I say, not exactly one of my proudest days, and that annoying man still kept following me.  For another full hour in fact.  I remained quite calm, and I gave him the two rupees.  Actually, I gave him more than that, and yes, he did those two things as I predicted.  He tried to snatch my wallet and when that failed, he continued to demand two rupees.  I eventually escaped in a taxi who initially drove slowly enough to permit the man to run alongside the taxi shouting, "two rupees!" whilst he held out his hand.