Readers share their stories of the Bad Pennies that have plagued their life
My bad penny is actually a 5c piece. I carved an X on it when I was young. I put in in the poor box and then the next week the shopman gave it to me in change. I was livid.
The worst penny I’ve ever had is sitting in my large intestines. I was a very curious child before the care home.
I lost sight in my right eye from a bad penny. Those Shamrock Rovers Scum had sharpened it and flung it at me while I tried to officiate a match.
I had a shilling sneaked into me tankard and ended up serving in the Royal Navy until my death in 1814 when a cannon ball fell on my foot and I fell in to the sea and drowned.
I’m a waiter of an Italian restaurant that relies on tips. I counter this by running a “Take a Penny, Leave a Penne” scheme that keeps the larder full and the coppers scarce
I’m a plastic warrior and live virtually cashless. But I still have a couple of Bad Pennies on my statement every month. 50,000 of them. Anyone know why “Car Parts” comes up at 3am every friday night? I was nowhere near a garage, I was in a Stripper Club.
I don’t know why everyone is so vexed by bad pennies. They’re still legal tender. You get 52 of them and you can buy cream in Tescos. It’s even less if you steal the cream. Significantly so.
I ghosted a girl call Penny sometime ago and she wouldn’t stop hounding me. I’m glad I did because time hadn’t been kind to her as the months after we’d been together she put on a lot of weight localised in her stomach.
Exclusive Explosive Extract We are pleased to share with you the opening chapter of Danny Cannon’s (the author) latest page-ripping thriller Do Fear The Reaper. Danny Cannon (the Character) is tasked with infiltrating the most dangerous, home grown, radicalized terrorists group: Hippies. Who if left unabated would destroy all the great progress our corporations have made.
It’s hard not to feel too clean in a place like this. I’m far from the fanciest stud in the ranch but next to these “artists” I’m immaculate. I could literally taste their sweat, stank and musk yards before I even got in to this “Art Space”. A canny name for any building whose ownership has gone into disrepute and taken over. Tonight the freaks and work-shys were convening for a “Poetry” Night. Every ragtag straggler that could string a few words together was here. I panned over them and their glossy eyes as they prepared their “takedowns” of big business and globalisation. I could hardly hear CEOs quaking in their boots. It was far from the night out I’d have planned for myself. But it was an assignment and I was finding it very hard to relax having returned from security detail in Dubai. I was better working, even if it was in the bowels of society.
I pushed my way through to the throngs, dodging the fleas and lice to a spot at the back. The crowd were facing the empty “stage”, an apple box and a microphone hanging off its stand, waiting for the first “rhymer” to disseminate the pillars of civilisation. I had to laugh. A pair of scruffs edged in front of me. They looked like a couple but I was at a loss which was the Man and which was his Woman. They both looked liked they’d climbed through a few ditches to get here. They were sharing a plastic bottle of cider in recyclable cups. The shorter one’s fuzzy dreads dipping in to the cup as “she” knocked the scrumpy back. I turned away. I had a bottle of American Whiskey inside my Motorbike jacket and a few quick pulls of that had the sting taken out of my eyes.
A dippy young one, with green hair and a pair of over-sized boots that made her look like a clown, took to the “stage”. She mumbled her way through her introductions. Thanking people before the night had even started. I had to laugh. She initiated a round of applause for the first “act” with the proficiency of a two legged greyhound. I took the aural blanket as a “poet” walked out with his toothy grin to get back to the case at hand.
I had still had sand in my boots when I was approached by the party representing Senator Wilson. I knew very little about him save for his achievements in property development and thus knew I could trust him. He was due to retire and his organisation were planning a farewell, testimonial-style dinner for him. One last, deserved, passing around of the cap. But his people wanted to be certain there would be no maggots in the margaritas so they called me. Sen. Wilson had a, very ungrateful, granddaughter. She turned her septum pierced nose up at everything he gave her and fell in with these dirt worshipping hippies. And for all their shit talking about peace and love they have an unnecessary penchant for big “political” protests. I had to neutralise this selfish freak before she released a load of “fat cats” at Sen. Wilson’s retirement dinner. Or whatever tenuous, big statement they were planning with all the time they weren’t spending at work. Only thing was I didn’t have anything but a description of her, and that fit with every one of these “radicals” here.
The pube-bearded man-child finished his drool poem about Starbucks and left to the opposite of deafening applause. The clown girl stumbled back out to thank everyone again. I was starting to worry that due to the needless reverence of the proceedings I’d have to wait until after the “poetry” for the obligatory mingling and feigned congratulations to question and prod these soap dodgers for intel. I reached for my American Whiskey at the thought of that. When the clown girl invited Misty Terra Wilson Marley to the “stage”. I spun my head around as the short stinker with the soggy dags from earlier adjusted the microphone. “Hi.” She muttered into the side of the microphone. “I’m very nervous so if you can help me with the good energies we can all get through this as one. This first poem is called “Sins of the Grandfather”.” Bingo. Target acquired. I felt relief that she’s was finally in my cross-hairs. And then dread as she took out about an inch thick stack of crumpled paper from her patchy saddle bag. This is going to be a long fucking night.
Do Fear the Reaper may return but I wouldn’t bet on it being any time soon.
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The insurers should only pay out if there was a massive car pile up. Not trivial things like a scuffed bumper, clipped wing mirrors or a minor crash with a single fatality.
To lower fraud you have to lower premiums, to lower that you have to lower accidents, to lower that you have to lower the speed limit. Only problem with that is it encourages curb crawling and with that the decay of family values. It’ll have to be one or the other.
My insurance company has been hit with a lot of fraud in the last few years. As apparent in the fact that they can only sponsor a shit team like Norwich City. Had there been another £50m spare they could be on the shirts of Chelsea or Arsenal.
If I stop at every stop sign all my life I’ll not get a penny back from them vultures. But should a racer boy decide to fling his car off a bridge he’ll get a lump sum and some really cool scars that the birds will go jelly for. Some justice.
Insurance is a big con. You give money for the, against the odds, chance that you’ll get loads in return. It’s an absolute swizz and scandal. And I wish I had every red cent I’ve had to pay back so I could put it towards something worthwhile like the bookies.
Typical day? “I’d arrive at a gig an hour early to eat a burger while the MC sets up and belittles the support acts. If the MC is struggling for time I will also help him belittle the support acts.”
Material? “One of the hardest challenges is living inside a Comedian’s Mind where wild and zany ideas fly at you every few weeks.”
After Parties? “A comedian’s job doesn’t end when you get off the stage. That’s when the most important part begins: Self Promotion. Basically if you shag someone all their friends will know who you are.”
Glamorous? “After reciting your five year old set word for word, night after night, the glamour fades. But that’s the job and I’m happy to take the money.”
Fame? “For posters you can trim the URL and post reviews from big websites even if it’s just a reference in the comment section.”
Hecklers? “I detest anyone that tries to interrupt me when I’m on auto-pilot. I will turn on them in a heartbeat. Would they shout at a surgeon while they’re preforming an operation?”
Dying? “No good comedian ever dies. There’s may be times where the audience aren’t reacting appropriately. But if you’ve done the set before and there were laughs then you are right and the audience is wrong. I’d get thick with them, try and shake them to life, then get back to reciting my set without change.”
Heroes? “I no longer look up to famous comedians as heroes. I look across to them as peers. And if you’re ever on before a household name I’d not be shy in saying that I was their support act. It implies that they picked me personally even if they’ve never heard of me. They shouldn’t mind helping a fellow comic using their name to promote themselves.”
Advice to wannabe Comedians? “You think it’s easy to get up here? You wanna come up here now and do a tight seven, do ya? Well come on then ya fat prick. Oh now you’re shy. Now ya wanna keep your fat mouth shout. Who’s that beside you? Your day release officer? Take him to the zoo next time, ok?”
Career? “Every day I wake up and I have a gig that night I get to tell the world that I’m a comedian. If you gig, no matter if you phone it in, you can tell everyone before and after that you are a comedian. And I wouldn’t give that up for the world.”
Dear Aunty. I’ve had the same outfit on two days in a row in work and they’ve started to call me Two Day Trouser Tony! What am I to do? I don’t want to change my way of life.
Well Tony, the best thing you can do is quit your job but in this economy you might as well pick out a sleeping bag and a doorway. Or you can do what I do and wear the slacks inside out. I’ll break it down. Day 1 normal, Day 2 inside out, Day 3 normal but backwards, Day 4 inside out and backwards, Day 5 back to normal. With this method you can get the most out of your clothes and for all intensive purposes people will think you’re wearing five pairs of britches. You’re welcome Tony.
Dear Aunty. My wife never washes the dishes. Everyday there’s a stack the height of liberty hall of dirty plates and crockery beside the sink. She’ll not even say a word she’ll just yawn after meals and sit in front of the tv with a packet of fig-rolls. How do I tell her that I’m sleeping with another woman?
If I’ve said this once I’ve said it a thousand time: Domestic Bliss is as fleeting as Mist. So many people go into a marriage thinking that it’ll be all the fun of the fair when in reality it’s seething resentment and passive aggression. Try spicing up the boring job of doing the dishes by donning the marigolds and nothing else. She’ll either join in or have a laugh at the sight of you. Patching the gaping crack in the relationship for a moment at least.
And don’t tell her about your hush hush smush. In my experience people hate hearing about stuff like that.
Dear Aunty. I can’t stop myself from criticizing my children. I know I’m only doing it from a place of love but I can get really nasty with them. I had the five year old crying for hours after I called him a scumbag that no one loves. It was hurtful, I know, but it’s for the best, right?
The problem I’ve always had with children is that by the time you figure them out they’re already grown and set in their ways. It’s like when you see wet cement and wanna write something funny in it so you have a think and then by the time you get the idea the cement has set. That’s what it’s like with raising children. But the good news is that once you get them to 18 they’re out the door and are no longer your problem. The Bouncers, Guards and Judges will have to deal with them then.
Dear Aunty. I’ve recently found my calling, I want to be an Army Man, but when I’ve shared this with my family they were anything but supportive. My mother in particular was very against the idea. I think sometimes she’d rather I was just a common gardener. But I don’t wanna get muck on my hands and flirt with a bored housewife. I wanna get blood on my hands and flirt with distraught widows of war. How am I to convince my family to get on board my dream?
You know what you do to someone that won’t let you become a Professional Killer? Can you guess? You want to kill but there’s someone standing in the way of you killing? What could you possibly do to overcome this hurdle and pursue your dreams? If you’re thinking Drone Strike than you just might be the ideal Army Man.
Dear Aunty. Everyday on my bus to work there is this young lad. He is on the bus I take to work and on the bus I take home. He looks too young for a job yet too old for school. I’m very concerned as to where he is going. I’m not trying to keep tab I just want to make sure he’s alright. I was wondering what I should say to this kid to find out where he could possibly be going everyday. How should I broach the subject with him without me looking like a nosey rosey?
He’s going to college.
Dear Aunty. My husband keeps shiteting on about things I don’t care about. How do I stop him talking?
The only way to stop a man talking is to stick a big pie in his fat gob and wash it down with a cold can. I’ve a husband too and anytime I get it in the ear the oven gets turned on stat. If you really don’t have time there are microwave pies too. They’re high in starch and carbs but who wants to be married forever.
Dear Aunty. There’s a girl in my life that I have honest intentions to wed. But there’s a wasp in the medicine: She’s thick. Now I’m not one to prejudge and it’s not a problem for me per say but to everyone around it’ll look like I’m divvy scooping. I really like her and almost half of what she says but I don’t know what to do. Please help Aunty.
Sounds to me like you’re caught up in your own bullshit. Spare her the bother and leave her the fuck alone.
Dear Aunty. I think I might be the dying with the plague. Should I tell others or just go quietly?
Our very own flour-fingered Fiona hopes to wear the big white hat one day. But right now she’s a slice of life. “The customers love a smile and a chat.” And the free day-old sponge cakes surely help too.
“Gary” the Kebab Man
Everyone knows that you gotta eat after a tipple or you’ll wake up with a headache. “Gary” starts rolling the kebab bread and spraying that big chunk of meat with grease at 6.30pm when most of us are still doing ourselves up (women) or pre-drinking cans at home (men). Gary reckons he’ll have served 500 gargled drunks over one night. “I remember every face even if they don’t remember how they got home.”
Ella on the Helpline
Superstar Ella is the friendly voice you hear when you have an enquiry about your myTaxi being overcharged. She can speak three languages. And her line manager says “it’s a shame she can’t speak them all at once during our peak hour (saturday 4.30am)”
Simon the War Man Rep
Roy Orbison may have been working “for the man” but Simon is working “for the Empire”. That’s the King of the Galaxy that all the little soldiers are serving. Simon has a wealth of facts about them in his head. And knows more than a thing or two about paints and bags of fake grass.
There was a tarot card reader at this stall. Buried down the back of this indoor market. It was an odd little thing this market. It itself was bury in the back end of Dublin and this tarot stall was bury in the back end of it. The market was filled with noting useful. People selling stones painted like Mexican skulls, some old garb that some girl is trying to shill so she has money to buy more, and a lad selling tea and coffee. That was probably the busiest one. I had a coffee. I wasn’t feeling great that day. There was foolery the night before and I was ploughed with it now. I was feeling like the cork board bottom of me had given way and all the compassion and self-warmth I had had fallen out on the floor like a gush of vomit through a brown bag. I felt like shit basically. Like the type that deserves nothing bright to happen to them. Bones rattled, brain cramping and guts dirty with grit and scars. I was hopping around like a loon probably pissing everyone off and I felt that. I felt how much I was pissing everyone off and there was nothing I could do cause all feelings where dropping out my arsehole. And any that survived I’d stub out with my foot like a still lit smoke. I had a wander around. I’d done the rounds of the stalls a few times already. And I’d no spending money, so was the last pair of eyeballs the vendors wanted. But there was some band on in the middle of the market. A live band. They’d play and you’d shop for craft tat. It was an idea, I’ll give that to them. But I didn’t wanna get involved in that. So I wandered down to the tarot card stall. I peeked in at the standard issue middle age woman. Her stall hadn’t been that busy and I felt bad for her. I felt bad for myself too. I had that clacking of shitty brain cells going on so I trundled into the stall. “I don’t have any money but… but what’s my fortune? Like in general?” She took a brief glance at me. “You’ll have a good life.” “Really?” “Yeah” I dug for something in my pocket but there was hardly anything. I’d just be insulting if I gave her a twenty cent coin. So I just pulled my hand out and gave her the thumbs up, said thanks and left. A good life. That’s what she said. If she was looking for money she’d have given me a lead-on fortune that’d get me curiosity. She just had one look at me. And I wasn’t looking good. I was a drunk and shit stained mess. But she said I’d have a good life. Sometimes I imagine that’s true. Sometimes.