Short Reads

I Hate Bedbugs

In her latest rant from across the pond, Stacey Orth describes how bedbugs have driven her to the brink of complete despair.

Driving Corpses for Money

The following is an excerpt from Brandon Christopher’s book ‘The Job Pirate: An Entertaining Tale of my Job-Hopping Journey in America’.

Lara Croft of the Kabubble

Larger-than-life characters and daily life as a journalist in the surreal world of Kabul, Afghanistan.

Working in a Canning Factory

I took a job in a factory that cans peas, a less than rosy introduction to the working world.

The Summer I Dated a Drag Queen

I went to London with trashy dreams, expecting to finally have the sexually free gay experience. I dated a drag queen one summer but it didn’t work out.

Retail Tales with Brian Brehmer: #9 The Employee Handbook

The employee handbook. Time to knuckle down and get ready to give everything, even your life, for the multi-national corporation in which you work. This is the nature of retail. This is Retail Tales with Brian Brehmer.


Dole Life: Part Two

The Jobcentre can be an ugly place. Steven Bradbury follows up his experience of trying to get on the dole in austerity Britain with the second instalment of ‘Dole Life’.

Dole Life Part One: What you have to do for £50 a week

What you have to do for £50 a week in Britain. This is British life on the dole. Steven Bradbury gives Talking Soup the inside scoop on a life of Job Seeker’s Allowance.

How to Sell Wine

Not everyone who drinks wine has any idea what the fuck they’re drinking. I sell wine and these are the things that piss me off about the job.

I Was Verbally Abused by a Tudor

I was verbally abused by a Tudor pedlar at the weekend. That is not a sentence I ever expected to write but I write it now in a fit of pique.

View of a Funeral

Down on terra firma, it’s my turn to pass through the weathered red, flaking door and into the gloom. The entrance is a small and, currently crowded, five metre square. Despite the doors being open, there is a musty, damp smell which overwhelms the huge spray of carnations, roses and lilies on top of the near empty mahogany bookcase in the corner.  I am handed the white order of service by a faceless man and then it’s my turn to whisper clichéd condolences to two men, one of whom I know very well, the other I have never met.

Confessions of a Bad Waitress

I am a bad server. A very bad server. And I do not enjoy my job at all. But I make money and I won’t be doing this forever.

The Strange Case of Derick Johnson

For some reason, my first instinct was to assume that Derick Johnson was a figment of Nick’s imagination or a sort of creative in-joke between some of the players. The name, I observed, sounded like a character from Mad Men. I imagined a dapper fellow in his mid-thirties turning up to play, with a short glass of scotch on the rocks in one hand and a cigarette in the other.

Masked Vigilante

I’d swoop down upon you each night and stand before you as a silhouette, as a shadow, as a black canvas upon which you paint the faces of all those you loath, as an embodiment of your fear—I’d force you to face your fear, which is at the root of all evil; afraid of change, afraid of difference, afraid of unanswerable questions you’ve held your tongue, spat your lies, chanted your curses, lifted your arm in the air.

Quarter summer

Cheap cotton tank top stuck under my armpits, the summer heat was making us light extra candles and pray for extra $5 donations. I was cheap and stuck at Saint Joseph Oratory under Mary’s smile and she gazed at her feet and I felt her son didn’t really save me. You had sad eyes and your hair was the best thing in the heat.

Laurence Rivers’ New Neighbour

I bit my lip and concentrated as hard as I could at the grainy image on the TV screen. The brief vignette of femme désnudé from the 11 o’clock freeview on the tarot channel. Trying hard to neither concentrate on the phone number nor the colloquially lewd offers at the side of the tiny image, I worked my wrist into overdrive and finally came, it had taken over twenty minutes, fuck sake.

The Sunday Historian

For ten hours on a few Sundays I had the chance to sit and talk with Louis Tindle Dees. I normally found him enthralled in a thick book about Winston Churchill, watching the latest news, or working an intricate puzzle with pieces too numerous for me to even attempt at age 29. He had just turned 92 years old.

A Happy Ending

The affair happened more than ten years ago. We worked together on a project with four other colleagues. She was married and had two small children. During the holidays, she texted me several times saying that she was thinking about me. The first two or three messages, I ignored. I erased them. I seriously thought she was a no-go. The fourth time, I wrote back: “You’re married.” I thought that would end it….

Love in the West Midlands

From 90s suburban Coventry, Holly Watson recalls stories from her childhood. This time she looks at a relationship between her Aunty Mandy and her husband SImon, a man so boring as to drive you to tears.

The Impossibility of Buying Light Bulbs

It used to be a very simple task to purchase a light bulb. Check the wattage on the dead bulb at home, go to the store and pick a similar one from the display shelf, take it home, remove the burned-out bulb from its socket, replace it with the new one, wrap the old bulb in some newspaper, and toss it in the trash.

Having sex in a swimming pool

Unprotected sex, booze, a swimming pool and and forthright businesswomen all face Laurence in a down-at-the-heel Mexican hotel.

Vegan food fair

One of the stringent facets of Mexican life surrounds the imbibing of the local tap…

Q&A with a Popular Tinder Blogger

We hear from the author of ‘My Tindertainment’ a popular online tinder blog detailing one girl’s sexual encounters in the tinderverse.

Welcome To The United States

The security man gives a mean, hawking cough and raises his hand over the glass to wave through the next victim. I mutter my thanks, grab my visa and scurry away. Welcome to the United States, you youthful, naïve ignoramus.