I despise awkward situations. You know those times where you say or do something you know you shouldn't say or do, to the wrong person, or even to the right person who takes it the wrong way, and end up looking down at your shoes, raising your eyebrows slightly, whistling to fill the uncomfortable silence before bidding a stuttering farewell knowing full well that when that person says, "See you later", you know they have no intention of doing so and are in fact thinking, "What a prick".
Despite my hatred of these situations, I quite often find myself in them. Don't get me wrong, I am no Prince Phillip. I don't stumble around all day working my way into Larry David-esque situations of awkwardness. But my socially-acceptable-and-appropriate scale often differs to that of other people.
In recent years I have found myself being incredibly rude about the Scottish and how they would deep fry their shoes if shoes were edible. Generally accepted as fact by most people, but not the girl I was talking to at the time who turned out to be Scottish. I guess I should have paid attention to the accent.
Cutting out a square of masking tape at work, colouring it in black and sticking it to the top lip in a hilarious homage to Adolf Hitler can be awkward when you turn around and come nose to nose with a customer you didn't realise was there.
Babies and pregnancy can be a massive minefield for us guys. Especially when you are talking to a friend of a friend about their impending delivery when they have in fact already delivered said baby months previously. I guess the clue should have been the fact that she didn't look pregnant in any way at all, and was in a pub drinking alcohol.
Waking up next to a one-night relationship only for her to turn and face you, then leap out of bed screaming "Oh my God, you're not my boyfriend". Where do you go from there?
None of the above however, comes even close to the end of ski season party I recently attended. If you have read previous posts, you will know that I was highly likely to go as something offensive or disgusting. And I don't like to think I disappointed. But as much as I expected something like this to happen, nothing could prepare me for the moment that the wife of the director of the company who kindly employed me during the winter, and who I hoped to work for during the summer approached me and asked what I had come as. My eyes dropped to the floor to look at my shoes. My eyebrows raised slightly and as I got ready to fill the uncomfortable silence with whistling before walking off, I murmured "A scrotum".
In my defense, I had heard people tell me they were going as a sperm, sanitary towels, and other equally disgusting items. No-one followed through on that, leaving me with the dubious honour of wearing the only oversized genital-related costume in the room.
To be fair, I spent a lot of time over the previous days working on my scrotum. I would sit alone, in my room, whiling away the hours, just peacefully working on my scrotum. And a work of art it was, aside from the fact that being made from chicken wire fencing with no protection on the inside, I was essentially wearing an outfit made from barbed wire, which my arms did not thank me for the next day. And this also led to more awkwardness when I spoke to my mother who said, and I quote, "I saw the photos of your scrotum on Facebook". A sentence I NEVER want to hear from my mothers' mouth again.
And so after a month of unemployment, I now have a job once again. I attended a few interviews, none of which led to any hilariously uncomfortable situations, and in the end was hired once more by the company I worked for during the winter. This time in a front line sales role, meaning I get to talk to people, and sell them all the activities Queenstown has to offer. But more importantly, I get to do all the activities for nowt. Zilch. Nada. Gratis. Frickin free innit. And the activities we sell that the company actually own, I get paid to do.
So I went to Milford Sound, which is a sound rather than a fjord, which is a body of water and not a car. That's all I learnt from the trip, but I did take lots of photos in an effort to try and be a tourist again. I was surprisingly impressed with some of the scenery on the way. I arrogantly say that because working seasonal jobs means that frequently you wake up with a mountain in your back garden, so some of it is very, well, pah. However a lot of the Lord of the Rings locations are on the way, and it is obvious why they were filmed there as a lot of the journey is breath-taking.
I have also been River Surfing, which involves a body board, a wet suit, a river, some rapids and a lot of struggling to stay alive. And this time I DID freak out when my face got wet, purely due to the amount of water I inhaled, and a feeling of impending doom as I slapped the surface of the water like a tantrum throwing 7 year old with mental health issues. The jury is still out on how much I enjoyed this, having (as I previously mentioned) not been involved in any kind of water activity for many years. It also led to another awkward moment on the bus, involving the question "So who was it that pissed in the wetsuit"? and a finger pointed squarely at my head. It wasn't due to fear, purely that I couldn't hold it any longer. For Christ's sake, my bladder was full because I had drunk half the river on the way down it!
I have also fulfilled a childhood ambition, and been Hang Gliding. I recall wanting to do it when I was a tiny person, and looked into doing for charity. There was a fee of £275 to do it, unless you raise £3,500 for whichever charity it was at which point it was free, both scenarios slightly out of a ten year olds grasp. Also, my mum wouldn't let me. But now I am older! And I can do it free! And my mum is on the other side of the world! So that's one childhood ambition realised, now if I can just get close enough to Winona Ryders drink, I may fulfil the other.
I have a few other things planned which will be in the coming weeks hopefully. The Nevis arc and bungy (highest bungy in the world I believe), skydiving (fingers crossed), canyoning (despite them not hiring me), it's an endless extreme playground right now, and I don't have to pay for any of it!
So there you have it kids, until next time if I can leave you with one tiny snippet of fucked up wisdom, it would be that nothing says "employ me" like talking to your bosses as a giant ball sac.