The Brighton Marathon race packs are no longer posted out, which means that a trip to the expo is required on the Friday or Saturday before the marathon. Thankfully the company I work for have an office in Brighton, just a stones throw from the expo, so I casually made up a reason to join my Brighton colleagues for the day so that my employers paid for my train ticket (they don’t read the Internets, right?) and I could dash to collect my race pack during my lunch break.

My plan was to stroll into the expo at 11am when it opens but that changed after I was warned that a queue forms before well before then. Instead I strolled down at 11:15am and was able to join the end of the queue as it moved into the door and up into the building. It didn’t take long to reach the collection desks although I had to make a detour to a separate reception desk because I hadn’t received my race number in advance by email. It didn’t take long for them to lookup my details and then I was through to collect my race pack and the packs of some Eagles friends who had supplied me with the required signed forms and ID.

That just left the expo to wander around. I saw a nice trail jacket for next year on the Wiggle stand, some nice options for hanging up race medals, a queue of people waiting to pre-register for the 2015 Brighton Marathon at the early bird price (I should have done the same, dammit!), the pacing team and the name printing service for your running top or vest.

I had brought my Eagles vest with me and wanted to get my name put onto the front & back. My name is Dan. That’s very important. My blog is called Running Dan. That’s because my name is actually Dan. Can you see what I did? Let’s revisit my visit to the name printing service…

Dan: Hi, I would like to get my name printed on the back & front of my vest.

[Dan shows vest]

Serving Guy: Sure, no problem! How many letters in your name and what colour letters do you want? We can then look at what size letters will fit.

Dan: Black letters and there are just 3 letters in my name so this should be easy.

Serving Guy: Is your name Tim by any chance?

Dan: No, it’s DAN. D-A-N.

Serving Guy: Ok, no problem Tim. You should be ok with medium  or large letters.

Dan: No. My name is DAN. Not TIM.

Serving Guy: Sorry Tim… I mean DAN… why do I keep calling you TIM?

[Probably because you’re a numpty thinks DAN]

Dan: No worries. I want DAN on the front, next to the Eagles logo, and then DAN on the back, above the Eagles name.

Serving Guy: Ok Tim. Sorry! Dan. We need to complete this form where we draw the design of the vest on the template you write down the letters to be put on the front & back. Ok, Tim?

Dan: It’s DAN!

Serving Guy: Sorry! Dan! Here’s the form and let me draw on the existing logo.

[Serving Guy then draws the position of the Eagles logo & text on the front & back of the template on the order form]

Dan: That looks good but I have a vest and not a t-shirt. Is there an order form with a vest design and not a t-shirt?

Serving Guy: Doh! My mistake Tim, really sorry.

Dan: D – A – N. DAN.

[Serving Guy screws up the form and takes one with the outline of the front & back of a vest instead]

Serving Guy: I’ll draw the position of the logo again…

[Serving Guy then draw the front of the Eagles vest onto the template marked BACK and the back of the Eagles vest onto the template marked FRONT]

Dan: Isn’t that the wrong way round?

Serving Guy: Sorry Tim? What do you mean?

Dan: Dan! I mean you’ve drawn the front onto the back and the back onto the front.

Serving Guy: Oh, sorry! Let me scribble that out and rewrite it.

Dan: I think it might be better if you get a new order form… that might just confuse whoever is printing the letters.

Serving Guy: Don’t worry Tim, I’ll make sure to do your shirt personally so there won’t be any mistakes.

[Somewhere, in what I like to think looks like a deep bunker housing über secret nuclear missiles, a series of warning lights flash RED and lots of sirens go WOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO! and someone shouts “Danger, Will Robinson!”]

Dan: I really think it would be better to draw a new form, is that ok?

Serving Guy: Sure Tim… I mean DAN! Why do I keep saying that?

[A thought bubble replies NUMPTY]

[Serving Guy then completes a new order form with the shirt design the correct way round and the Eagles logo in the correct place]

Serving Guy: Ok, just complete your details on the form Tim… DAN!… and write what you would like printed on the vest.

[Dan then carefully writes down his name “DAN” twice, for the front & back respectively, completes his personal details and pays for the printing]

Serving Guy: That’s great. I’ll do this one myself so they’ll be no mistakes. It will be ready in 30 minutes. We hang the completed vests and shirts on that rail over there so when you see your vest hanging up, just pop by and collect it with this ticket.

Dan: Cool. I’ll pop back later this afternoon as I’m going to get some lunch.

[Dan goes to meet his colleague Dan and they eat some spicy chicken at Nando’s]

[Dan returns to the expo and goes to collect his Eagles vest but notices there is no “DAN” printed on the back]

Dan: Hi – here’s my ticket and I’m here to collect my printed vest, it’s that black & white one there but I cannot see my name of the back?

Serving Girl: Let me get my manager, there’s been a little problem.

[A thought bubble appears saying “Ru-roh, Shaggy!”]

Manager: I’m really sorry but we made a mistake on your vest. We can easily fix it but we need to speak with you first….

Dan: Ok, what happened?

Manager: We started printing the wrong name and then printed DAN in the wrong place on the front and the back.

Dan: I see…

Manager: We can remove the DAN on the back, and it just leaves a faint silver letter lining, and put into the correct place. We only put a “D” on the front in the wrong place before we realised. Do you want to leave them ‘as is’ or get them corrected?

[Dan inspects the vest. There’s a DAN in the wrong place on the back and the silver outline of a “D” in the wrong place in the front]

Dan: Remove what you’ve done and put them back into the correct place. I’m not worried about the remnants of the silver outlines.

Manager: We’re really sorry. I’ll fix this straight away.

[Dan goes to wander around again then returns…]

Manager: Here’s the vest. Is this all ok?

Dan: That looks great, thanks for fixing everything.

[Tim wanders off into the sunset…]