Tuesday, October 19, 2004

Zen and the Art of Johnny Grays

You've been waiting for it. You've been wondering who/ what the Johnny Grays is /are, well due to an overwhelming majority of two, nows your chance to find out. Here it is the Johnny Grays story......


I was at university and in the toilets of the Union bar was an old condom machine. It was a particularly old design with rather a large opening for the product to fall into. We found that a supple wristed person with small hands could, with a bit of wriggling and dexterity, just about reach the packets with their finger tips and gently ease the packet off the rack to have it fall into the palm of their hand.
My friend Tom was just that man, he would stand by the machine and offer to obtain a one pound pack of three for 50p, thus supplementing his drinking expenses. Further logic suggested to him that instead of waiting in the bogs for customers and getting an unwarranted reputation, he could pre select (read steal) the condoms and have them in the bar area ready for sale, so he could carry on drinking. To this end, he spent an hour with his hand up the condom machine, filling a carrier bag with as many packets as the machine held. The unfortunate side effect of this was he got what we called the "Johnny Grays" that is parrallel grazes on his wrists where he'd wriggled in the machine.Sadly Tom hadn't done his market research, now he was out in the open, he found could not sell the packets of three. Also by touting, he was in danger of drawing attention to himself as the purveyor of stolen condoms. The bar staff took a dim view of this. So the upshot was, he got bored with it and threw the carrier bag at me. "Here you are Mike you can have these. I don't need them, the girlfriends on the pill."I took the bag opened it and looked in, I'd never seen so many packets of condoms. What was I going to do with them? My girlfriend was on the pill too. So I took them home to my digs.I was in a hurry, it was Friday night and I was on a promise, so I just slung my books on the bed, then thought "what do I do with the condoms. No problem I opened my cupboard and threw them in next to my stereo. Slammed the door shut and dashed off to visit my girlfriend.
Saturday night I got back to my digs walked into my room and it was tidy. Hmmm the landlady had been in tidying up. My books were all neatly placed on my desk. My clothes folded and placed on the bed. The floor had been hoovered. Some music was called for. I opened the cupboard to turn on the stereo and found all my packets of three neatly stacked in piles. Shit the landlady had found my stash. Oh the shame! If only it had been drugs I could have lived with that.
My landlady called me. She was a big woman, more of a man than I'll ever be. Hair in rollers and a pinny on like Andy Capps wife."Yes."
"Do you have something to tell me?" she asked, she was pretty broadminded was my landlady.
"Er no."
"Got a special weekend planned?" she asked.
I felt myself going bright red. "Not really. I just like to be prepared."
"Well there's being prepared and ............ you know I never thought of you in that way before." Eeeek! "The children are away this weekend with their father. Perhaps ..........you'd like to watch some TV with me."
"That's kind of you but I'm busy tonight."
I spent all that evening walking the streets, just to be out of the house. From that day onwards there was always something extra on my plate at dinner time, maybe a little trifle or a chocolate bar, handed over with one of those knowing looks and a wink.

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