20 Questions - Ben Hughes
10.08.12 by Dazzler
How old are you? 30
Where were you born? Barts Hospital in London. Right in the middle of a power cut ;)
How long were you a courier? Technically I haven’t quite retired yet but I think I’ve done 12 winters now.
Hang Name? Rap-attack
Who did you ride for? Let see, before I joined the circuit I worked in-house at Team Photograhic in Endell Street. Then it was GLH, Desperations, Shity Sprint, 2 weeks at Pink for a laugh, Lewis Day, Creative and then on to Addison Lee.
What was your first bike? Christ, can’t say I can actually remember. The first bike I do remember was old yellow bmx that was bought second hand for my older brother and the passed to me.
What do you ride now? A steel Dave Marsh that I completely love, perfect fit for once and all the parts picked for it. All my other bikes have been recycle jobs from the last one.
What’s the best docket you’ve ever been given? Working on the Amex contract whilst I was at Shitty Sprint. It was when they first won the contract and hadn’t figured how much they could **** the riders for. So we were starting at 9, sitting in the office with a coffee for half an hour sorting our runs and then heading out to deliver the credit cards. Finished by 2pm and making about £120 a day. No radio, no controller and if you were really up for it you could go and do the other half of the day on circuit. Good times, Shitty Sprint paid for my studio gear back then.
It didn’t last….
What’s the worst thing about being a courier? The irregular pay and the lack of anything you can do about it. Doesn’t matter how fast you ride if there’s nothing on the screen. That’s what winds me up as it gets you into that ‘I could be doing other important things right now instead of sitting on my arse’ mind frame. But then other days you make good money so you keep coming back.
What’s the best thing about being a courier? Having your own space whilst you work and having flexibility to get other things done in your life.
Describe your childhood in 3 words. good old days
what is your earliest memory? It’s either being in a cable car in the clouds of Switzerland or the day we moved into the house that I grew up in. I’d have to ask my mummy which was first :)
Who are your heroes? my family and friends who do and have done so much with their lives.
What’s on your music player? All sorts, lots of my own stuff to be honest. I find that riding around is a great time for working on ideas, writing and generally getting inspired.
What’s the best piece of clothing/equipment you carry? Helly Hanson base layers, I swear by them. I’ve had mine for most of my time on the road and they are only just starting to die.
What advice would you give to any wannabe couriers? Have something else going on in your work life. Study, start a business, something like that because one day you won’t enjoy the job quite as much as you used to. And once you stop you will realise what amazing flexibility you had with it. Don’t waste it.
What’s the best lunch deal in town? The Sandwich Man depot in EC1. I’m surprised at how many couriers I mention it to have never heard of it.
What’s the best chat-up line you’ve ever given to/received by a receptionist? I don’t get chatted up although I usually get comments on my eyes. Either that or they say “oooo you know who you look like?”
Favourite place to stand by? soooo many. I do love the Barbican estate and have been working on a personal photo project there for years so I don’t mind being empty there if I have the camera with me.
What made you become a courier? Saw an advert in the job centre and decided that delivering photos on my bike sounded like fun.
In a parallel universe you would be… a slightly different version of me? Isn’t that how parallel universes work?
What one thing would improve the quality of your life? Honestly? More money. Simply so that I could do less ‘bread and butter’ work and spend that time doing more enjoyable work and then spend the freed up time with my wife and kids. There is nothing worse than having to tell a small child that you’re very busy and can’t possible build a train track or Lego zoo.
They say money can’t buy you time, but it sure as hell can help you do what you want with the time you do have.
Who’d play you in the film of your life? Robbie Williams apparently although I don’t get that as much these days. I must be getting old.
What would be your catchphrase? According to my daughter it’s “ok?” in a moaning voice
What has your been your proudest moment/greatest achievement? Watching my children being born.
If you could go back and edit the past is there anything you would change? All sorts probably but then wouldn’t that affect the future and push this present into a new parallel universe? I’m just saying
It’s the dream dinner party – what 5 people are there? ummm The gods from all religions so we can sit around, get drunk, laugh at mankind and argue over which twat actually did the creating bit and what the hell were they smoking that day (personally I don’t believe in god but it would be a good dinner party, and if they were all wankers I could always just leave)
what’s the worst job you’ve ever done? production line work in a whole foods warehouse. 8 hours of folding cereal boxes and putting bags of cereal in from the conveyer belt. Mind melting stuff I tell you
what is the most important lesson life has taught you? you really can do anything you want in life, but you have to try reeeeeeeeeealy hard. You don’t get told off for not doing your own homework in life
_how would you like to be remembered?_In this day and age I recon it would be nice be remembered at all. I’ll take what I can get.
when were you happiest? it’s gonna be the kids being born thing again, sorry. Happiness is kind of relative and changes with the time of your life and the point your at. I’ve been super happy working my ass off before but it’s different to the birth thing.
what would your superpower be? I really can’t decide. Maybe it should just be super decisiveness?
Freedom is… a much debated word and concept. The cause of so much upset and conflict. I do hope it actually exists. It’s what you make it, I guess, even a slave has freedom of one kind or another?
You have a time machine – where would you go? really far into the future, just to see if mankind actually grows up and makes it there alive.
You are allowed to pass one new law – what is it? painting trains is legal
How do you relax? with much difficulty these days. Doctor Who audio tapes, old sci-fi b movies, general lounging. Smoking spiffs just gets me wrecked these days, again, getting old.
Tell us something about yourself we would never guess. ummmmmm I have a double Uvula. Well now you know
What was the last book you read? ‘Flow my tears, the policeman said’ by PKD
You’ve got one youtube link – what is it? hmmmmm hard choice. This always gives me a giggle
Tell us a joke. Well everyone else dose so I’m gonna steal a Wookie joke (and tell it wrong probably)
Young guy sitting at the bar having a drink with his friend. An older man next to him at the bar leans over and says “hey, I f**ked your mum”
The young man just ignores him.
He leans over again and says “I f**ked her good you know”
The young guy says “look’ just shut up will you” and carries on drinking
After a a bit the old man leans over again and says “yea we f**ked all over the house, your mum is f**king filthy!”
The young guy slams his drink down, turning to face the old man and shouts “Look, you’re f**king pissed dad now just go home!!!!”