You’re job’s bullshit? Girlfriend turned into a passive-aggressive sociopath? Accidentally walked into a Jimeoin gig? Sometimes in life you just have to cut your losses and run. So considering how many times I’ve spontaneously disappeared in the face of danger/emotional-commitment, and it’s Deebs’ birthday on Saturday - it’s only fitting we have a 101 Things about running away from your problems.
45 – Do a Runner From a Fancy Restaurant
In June 2009, I’d spent a month in Exeter applying for the marines doing all of my medical and fitness assessments, finishing off with 3 days at CTCRM doing the “Potential Royal Marine Course” where you get a taste of what you’ll be enduring for the 8 months of basic training. I passed, and immediately went to London to do the Monopoly Board Pub Crawl for the first time to celebrate. And then flew to Vancouver to see my best mate from high school (and the guy who gave me the 101 Things book) for Canada Day…
And I mention Canada because on returning to the UK I met a funny little Canadian girl – “Deebs” who I mentioned above – in the hostel I was living out of. And after we got chatting about Canada (dropping out the bit about the handbag or the homeless guitar player I demanded play Electric Six songs at 3am) who I ended up showing around the museums of London for a week – becoming what can only be described as the dodgiest tour guide since Ivan Milat started showing backpackers around the Belanglo State Forest. But because Deebs was a lactose-intolerant vegetarian, and I’ll only eat food if an animal had to give its life for it, finding somewhere to eat lunch was a constant nightmare
Lactose Intolerance – the worst kind of intolerance
But on the day before she headed off on a tour of Ireland we finally managed to find somewhere that would serve tofu for her and a barely cooked dead cow for me - The Ultimate Burger in Tottenham. We were both so overjoyed to have found somewhere we could both eat, we practically bounced into the restaurant. And while it may have been a “Burger Joint”, the pictures on the website show you – this place was fancy. It was also completely empty, and I’m sure the staff were just glad to have a few friendly customers in.
So after we’d ordered our respective tofu/pound of seared cow burgers, we both tucked in heartily. These were some tasty burgers. So tasty in fact we swung back to the counter after we’d finished to thank the staff for such awesome food. Now I maintain Deebs thanked the staff, then started heading to the door – she thinks I thanked them, and then led us out the door. All I know is once we were outside and around the corner, I turned to her and said ”That was awesome, but I guess we’re never going back” Deebs: “Why not?” Me: “Because we just walked out without paying”. And she freaked the fuck out.
Now you may say it’s not really doing a “runner”, but I’ve done a proper “runner” since – bolting from a fancy Italian restaurant in South Kensington after they double charged our drinks and I got pieces of foil in my pizza. And deciding to run from the front row of a Jimeoin gig 5 minutes into the show in Edinburgh (because we’d been directed into the wrong venue) could be called a “runner” too. But casually walking out of a place, then telling someone they’ve just left a bill unpaid and having them call you evil because you knew it was happening?
Not that I’m adverse to actually running from situations. Take for example the last time I was in Perth - I was back purely because I needed a new visa, and was trying to a) take as much money with me as I could, and b) was selling everything I owned because I wasn’t planning on coming back.
This wasn’t the first time I’d tried to escape the clutches of Perth though – I’d tried joining the Aussie Army as an officer in Canberra, had gone to the UK for the royal marines, and had moved to Melbourne for a summer before joining the Aussie Navy. As such I’m now pretty practised at selling/giving away everything I own, to the point where last time I was in Perth I started selling and giving away shit I didn’t own (sorry Dad).
But when I was approaching the end of university and applying to become an ATO, I decided to give selling stuff on eBay a crack. And what better thing to sell before joining the army than my own personal army of Warhammer 40K models.
I’d spent the better part of year 12 building and individually hand-painting ~30 of these models, plus a tank, instead of studying for my university entrance exams. But after having them sitting them on a shelf looking pretty for 4 years, I decided they were better off going to someone who’d actually play with them. So the advert went up on eBay, a minor bidding war started, and in the end my hundreds of dollars of models/paint and the hundreds of man-hours making them went for… US$250.
Then the prick who bought them gave me a shit rating because the rule books I posted with the models took a couple of weeks to get from Perth to the US. Which is about the time I had proof that while people who play Warhammer 40K might be losers – people who paint Warhammer then sell it assembled and painted – for less than what it cost them – are worse.