#6 DON'T SAY BASICALLY

We have a challenge in our house when we sit down at the meal table together as a family. You recount what kind of day you’ve had but you can’t use crutch words; ‘basically, like, obviously, literally, honestly’ and if you can avoid it, ‘actually.’ Just for good measure I’m throwing in a bonus word; ‘awesome!’ But does it work?

#5 BITTEN BY A CROC, SHARK AND SNAKE

It’s Australia day today, a country I’m delighted to have spent a month touring last summer. But there’s an air of trepidation for all visitors to this far off land, something that was certainly in the back of our minds as a family as we buckled into our seats for the 23 hour, ten and a half thousand mile journey from London Heathrow to Sydney; what creatures would be lurking under the toilet seats or out in the yards of our various Air BnBs that could bite, sting and generally do harm to us? Here’s the answer…

#4 ROAD RAGE

On my way in to London this morning whilst sat in bumper to bumper traffic on the Western Avenue not far from the magnificent Art Deco, Wallis Gilbert and Partners designed Hoover building, which they’ve just turned into swanky apartments lifting the average house price for that area in anti-gravitational proportions, I noticed in the rear view mirror a man driving a black Vauxhall Astra weaving his way and cutting through traffic even whilst we were all moving at a proverbial snail’s pace. I was all prepared for, road rage.

#3 IS THAT A STEALTH FIGHTER IN YOUR POCKET?

Language is a funny old thing isn’t it? The innuendo and subtlety of it never fails to entertain. Take the company that made the Stealth Condom brand. At face value you’d think; ‘Now there’s a clever play on words. A way to say, look, wearing these things won’t make you feel like you’ve just wrapped your little friend up in a wellington boot.’ But some people didn’t quite see it that way, namely the company that made the B2 Stealth Bomber, who were apparently worried people may confuse the two. Play to hear the short story.

James Bartholomew
#2 DAD, WHY DO I HAVE TO GO TO SCHOOL?

There comes a point, and I think our youngest has reached it, where going to school is suddenly not the fun it was say, only three months ago. And I completely empathise with him, despite the fact I’ve morphed into my own father to repeat the mantra like enthusiasm he had to turn on when it came to the sticky question of; Dad, did you really like school? Really? Play for the full short story.

James BartholomewComment
#1 DO NORWEGIANS LAUGH & OTHER STORIES

I’ve always thought it would be a neat idea to have some kind of audio blog, a PodBlog if you will; a grid that allows me to story-tell. And so that’s what this Fruit Machine PodBlog is all about. Why PodBlog and not PodCast? Well, they’re all short stories, more in blog form than any long form cast. And then why Fruit Machine? Well, for fear of sounding like a line from a 25 year old film, life is like a fruit machine, it’s a game of chance when that handle is pulled as to what comes next. Sometimes these will be stories, journals, observations, and sometimes insights into other peoples’ lives. This is Fruit Machine.

James Bartholomew