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Stranger Than Fiction

So this morning on the way back from take The Boy to school, I saw something I thought existed solely in comic books and cartoons: a guy, right across the road from me, slipped on a discarded banana skin.

His arms didn’t spin round and round; he didn’t skate on said banana skin; there was no cartoon exclamation marks over his head; there was not that comical *crash* sound. He simply fell over and muttered, “Bollocks.” Then he got up and skulked off, embarrassed. I wanted to say to him that it was only me who’d seen him and not to worry about it, but then realised I would likely embarrass him further by blogging about it, so didn’t say anything. It’s a cruel world.

This got me thinking – there are so many things you could NEVER put in a script because people would accuse you of stereotyping or general madness. Like the time when I was ten and bit into a spearmint chew – and it broke in half AND CUT MY CHIN OPEN. Or the time when the family cat Fidget jumped in through one of the small top windows and it shut on his tail, so he ended hanging by it and dislocating it in three places according to the vet. Or the time I put my then-five year old’s shoe on and he complained there was “something” in it – so I turned it upside down expecting a stone and a LIVE MOUSE FELL OUT and ran under the sofa.

What mad, real-life things have happened to you that you could never put in a script ‘cos no one would ever believe it?

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19 thoughts on “Stranger Than Fiction”

  1. Whilst driving to work, I got a puncture and pulled over into a layby.

    A kindly lorry driver stopped to help and even offered to put the spare wheel on for me.

    But then another (male) motorist stopped and he was convinced he could do a better job of it than said lorry driver.

    This resulted in a scuffle and ended in the motorist having to be taken to hospital with a stress induced ‘suspected’ heart attack.

    I felt terrible.

  2. A former work colleague fell in love with two men at college in the Midlands. She married one, but always regretted not choosing the other. Her first marriage ended in divorce after ten years, and she moved on with her life in London.

    Several years later – and entirely by chance – she bumped into the man of her regrets on the street while in a part of London she’s never visited before.

    They rekindled their friendship, rediscovered their love and now are happily married with a child.

    She only bumped into the love of her life again because he happened to be in that part of town on that day at that time because he was doing a temporary job nearby.

    Pure coincidence, something no script editor would ever let you get away with.

    Unless you were writing When Harry Met Sally.

    And even then probably not.

  3. You should feel terrible JR for not knowing how to change a tyre! Tsk. (I don’t know but also don’t drive, so I am exempt 😉

    David – Ah, the perils of coincidence… One of the weirdest coincidences that ever happened to me went like this:

    My friend Dionna (female) asks me to come over one evening; she’s house-sitting at number 66 on a particular road. No problem – trot over there. Knock on the door. Woman comes to the door – it’s not Dionne. “Oh. Is Dionne in?” I say. She looks at me funny, goes back inside and a big burly man comes to the door. “Yes?” he says. “I was looking for Dionne.” I say. “I’m Dion.” He says. At this juncture my friend hails me from across the road – she was at number SIXTY THREE. What are the odds of going to the wrong house AND finding another person called Dion/ne I wonder???

  4. Tried to phone a friend called Linda the other night. Got a child, asked for Linda. Child went and fetched Linda – a completely different Linda. Turned out I had transposed two digits of the telephone number, dialling 894 instead of 984. Freaky, and it wasnae even Friday.

  5. VERY freaky – I read about a similar case, actually. There was this guy driving somewhere, he pulls up in a layby – and the telephone in the box there rings. He picks up, “Hello?” It’s his own secretary, wanting to run something past him. He says, “How did you know I would stop at this phone box and at this time??” She says, “I’m calling you on your mobile.” He says, “You’re bloody not!” She checks and says, “Blimey, I just called your PAYROLL number by accident!”

  6. Seems a reasonable excuse to de-lurk.

    A fortnight ago, I walked from a pub toilet, through the bar, with a metre and a half of toilet paper stuck to my shoe. Surely that shouldn’t happen in real life.

    At least it wasn’t out the back of my pants.

  7. Trousers – “surely that shouldn’t happen in real life” is going to become my new motto!

    Tearooms – tubes are a fantastic source of madness. Once I got off the district line and left my shoe balancing between the door and the platform, just in time for a kid to kick it onto the rails.

  8. That could only happen to you, Luce. ‘Tis true tho – tubes are mental. Who can forget the time you and I got separated on The Jubilee Line and I spent the rest of the day running around underground looking for you and even reported you missing to the transport police… but you were actually in that bar ABOVE ground, watching the entrance like a sensible person waiting for me to come out??

  9. I see the exam invigilating is going well my love! ; )You’re right, that was hilarious. Almost as funny as the time we were at Tottenham Court road in the dead of night and were talking about that moment from AMERICAN WEREWOLF IN LONDON and then we heard that HUGE howl echo down the escalator and ran for our lives… Must’ve been the wind. Never did find out though, maybe it was an actual werewolf?

  10. Of course it was an actual werewolf, you fools. Don’t you know about the werewolf of Tottenham Court Road! That was the primary reason I moved out of London and to Leicester ffs.

  11. Such lies. You moved to Leicester to be with your ickle bro you numpty. As for the exam invigilating:

    4 mobiles confiscated
    1 cheater discovered
    3 kids thrown out for whistling and rustling

    I luv module GSCEs

  12. I had sort of the opposite – where real life is almost like a film then turns out to not be at all. Got stuck in a lift in a huge office building with five strangers. There was a good mix of different character types in there too – all different ages, and different approaches to the problem. We were in there for an hour and a half, tried various escape routes, introduced ourselves, got to know each other, bonded a bit. We talked about going for a drink together at the pub across the road as soon as we got out.

    Then we finally got rescued, which I guess is when the credits would roll, and everyone went their separate ways without another word! I worked in the same building for a few months after that and never saw any of them again, which ruined any potential for a sequel.

  13. I was seventeen, with two mates walking across the street in Athens. A bloke walking next to us was so busy ogling us that he walked straight into a lamppost. Could you get away with that in a film? Mr Bean perhaps.

  14. I was once driving up a dual carriageway just outside Edinburgh, and a small white goat ran past me going the other way. I was the only person around, so still wonder if I imagined it.

  15. Not related to coincidence, but related to banana skins:

    Watching the BBC News last night, a story on some aspect of the global the financial meltdown (wasn’t really paying attention, sorry) was illustrated by one of those generic shots of neighbouring banks on High Street, Anytown.

    The shot was at quite an acute angle, so you could just see four signs jutting out in to the street, and four familiar logos: HSBC, Barclays, NatWest and A Banana Skin.

    We don’t appear to have the banana skin bank on our High Street. A rare example of honest corporate rebranding, or some new fryit-based chain we haven’t got here yet??

  16. “A woman opposite me on the tube once ate a whole slab of butter like it was a Twix.”


    I once put a deck chair up in the back of a van and when it pulled off the laybye and onto the duel carriageway, the chair toppled over. Instinctively I put my hand on the door handle to stop myself falling… and fell out of the back of the van.

    my feet got tangled in the deckchair and so I was dragged along the tarmac on my elbows…

    they bled.

  17. Mr Bishop, I will see your transposed digits and raise with two people called Rachael in neighbouring towns with exactly the same telephone numbers apart from the area code.

    Potdoll. Your injuries must have been very painful. Rachael and I are very sorry about how much we laughed at your anecdote. We are bad people.

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