before I forget...
while in birmingham a few days ago, I was sitting in victoria square, eating shortbread and consulting my map, when a hairy old man in a new york yankees cap sat down on the other end of the bench and struck up a conversation. he said the hat was authentic american, given to him by a friend from the states. he also said that he used to work for the fire brigade in london, has been potholing in yorkshire and was only unshaven because he was on his way to the bank to discuss morgages and wanted to appear tough, as the lady he was due to meet was a crankypants. he didn't use the term crankypants.
he asked me what the most exciting or thrilling thing I've ever done was. I told him caving, but later thought that maybe I should have said whitewater rafting in the alps. before he left for the bank, he gave me a penny because I guessed what his first job was on my first try. he asked me if I would go home and tell my friends about this random strange guy I met in birmingham who bet me a penny I couldn't guess his first job, and I said of course I would.
and now I have.