Metatalktail Hour: Least Plausible You August 16, 2021 2:43 AM   Subscribe

bendy has asked "It's an old thread but could we update "the least plausible story about yourself" as a Metatalktail Hour?" Sounds good to us! Tell us your strange true tales, mefites!

... or just let us know what's up in your life, what's been on your mind, what you've been watching or listening to, or whatever you'd like to share! Just, no politics, please! 🍹
posted by taz (staff) to MetaFilter-Related at 2:43 AM (90 comments total) 13 users marked this as a favorite

I'm one of about two dozen people who have viewed video tapes of actual jury room deliberations, as a research assistant.

I will never be seated on a jury again. I also can't practice law in Arizona.
posted by Eyebrows McGee (staff) at 3:23 AM on August 16 [15 favorites]


I once caused the power to go out in two different dorm halls while having sex in college.

:)
posted by Hermione Granger at 6:28 AM on August 16 [23 favorites]


I was walking down the street and an old lady stopped me to ask if I could help catch her escaped budgerigar. I couldn't (turns out they can fly away), and we gave up after losing it. I walked a few streets home and it flew down and landed in front of me. I managed to grab it and bring it back. She called me a hero and it was the best day of my life.
posted by Ned G at 6:56 AM on August 16 [49 favorites]


A college friend from Tucson was visiting me in my new home city of Seattle, and we were at lunch at a café, reminiscing. At the table next to us, a couple received their order and one of them said to the waitperson in a really singsongy voice: "And we thank you!" My friend and I looked at each other and back at the couple, and I exclaimed to them "You went to the University of Arizona!" Their mouths sort of dropped open, and they agreed that they had. In thanking the person delivering their food, they had been imitating a cashier at Louie's Lower Level, who had said just those words in just that musical way to every student passing through her line.
posted by QuakerMel at 8:03 AM on August 16 [23 favorites]


In high school I was sitting against the gym wall at half court. There was a bunch of athletically gifted guys playing basketball. Eventually the ball came my way. I picked it up and stood. Just for the hell of it I shot it underhand at the basket.

Nothing but net.

People freaked out. As did I.

Edit: To be clear, it was a basket. It didn't just hit the net. :)
posted by Splunge at 8:45 AM on August 16 [8 favorites]


I got a stern talking to^H^H^H I almost got arrested for weapons smuggling in eastern Europe. Turns out some countries take a dim view of kitschy tourist souvenirs from neighboring countries. I thought it was just a short walking stick, you know?

Had I not been able to talk my way out of it I think the story of being actually arrested for international weapons smuggling would have been worth it.
posted by Nonsteroidal Anti-Inflammatory Drug at 9:01 AM on August 16 [2 favorites]


aaaaand NSAID wins the thread!!!
posted by supermedusa at 9:46 AM on August 16 [1 favorite]


My college job was arcade attendant at a mini-golf/games complex. I figured out that when token slots on games jammed, the tokens were falling into the bottom of the machines, never to be retrieved. I cleaned them all out, smuggled them to my car, then came back and played the crane game several hundred times, until I'd won most of the stuffed animals. We lined the floor of my friend's VW van with them, and then drove around Memphis, cruising up on people, sliding open the side door, then pelting them with stuffed animals.
posted by DirtyOldTown at 10:13 AM on August 16 [16 favorites]


I know too many people who have died via airplanes; it's a statistical impossibility, and yet it's true. Two of my college classmates, in different disasters, in a class of fewer than 650 humans. Plus another, unrelated person on one of their flights. WTF. I already hated flying.
posted by wellred at 10:22 AM on August 16 [1 favorite]


I've mentioned it here before, but I intimidated Robert Fripp when I saw King Crimson in a little club in Asheville NC, by standing next to the stage and singing along with "Happy With What You Have To Be Happy With".
posted by Daily Alice at 10:27 AM on August 16 [7 favorites]


Years ago, I was working on a super secret project at a huge corporation. Security was very tight - very few employees had access to the area we were working in.

One day, I saw a flyer in the breakroom for an event at a small inn in another country. It was a random location in the middle of nowhere hundreds and hundreds of miles away. I had stayed at that same inn every summer for years, and had partied with the owners, who were ex-pats from a small town in a third country almost exactly halfway across the planet.

The group that I went with every year included another employee at the same company I was working at. That old friend just happened to work there, too. We hadn't referred each other, or anything. The company was an hour and-a-half commute from where we both lived, and not a common place for people from our town to work. It was just a coincidence that we both worked there. But that friend had been the one who first invited me to join his group of mutual friends traveling to that inn.

Over the years, that friend had become pretty good friends with the inn's owners, so it wasn't surprising that they would put up flyers for them. But there was no reason I could think of that my friend would have access to our breakroom. We worked in completely different parts of the company, and I was pretty sure my friend wasn't supposed to know about our super secret project. So I reached out, and my friend had no idea what I was talking about.

So I started asking around and eventually discovered that a contractor had put up the flyer. The contractor was an ex-pat from a small town in a country almost exactly halfway across the planet. And was good friends with the owners of a small, random inn in the middle of nowhere hundreds and hundreds of miles away in another country. Did I say "good friends"? He had been the best man at their wedding.

And it turned out that one of the inn's owners was traveling to our area on business that very week. Which my friend new about, but the contractor didn't. So when we all met up for drinks, we surprised the inn owner with his best friend from almost exactly halfway across the planet.

Lovely hangovers were had by all.
posted by It's Raining Florence Henderson at 10:51 AM on August 16 [26 favorites]


I've broken three bones in my life, all on the left side of my body: once in childhood, once in college, once in my 30s. Here's hoping that doesn't continue now that I'm in my 40s.
posted by wicked_sassy at 11:11 AM on August 16


I stepped in a bear trap on the edge of our farm six years ago. It caught a rock when it closed or I mighta lost my foot.

So I am bleeding and hurting trying to get it off and a bear comes and sits down and holds up a leg to show me two missing toes. I appreciated the empathy but not the proximity.

Turns out she is a really friendlyold bear
Good with kids and dogs. Hates coyotes.

We don't feed her directly but she has her own garden that we plant for her and I pick up roadkill in the winter.
posted by Mr. Yuck at 11:14 AM on August 16 [94 favorites]


For a tiny, splinter of a second, I was almost a child co-star in a pretty bad tv movie in the late 1980s. This is a total self-link, but if you want to long story version, it's here.
posted by thivaia at 11:29 AM on August 16 [7 favorites]


The most famous person I've met (besides Joel Hodgson of MST3K fame who touched my arm once (on purpose! I can show you where!)) is a famous sports figure in another country.

In 1997 Mr Sencha and I were on a two week trip to Japan, mostly visiting as many old castles as possible. We were in Tokyo for a few days toward the end of our trip and decided to check out the Sumo Museum, which is attached to a larger sumo complex; we got to the entrance and, because my Japanese was pretty terrible, I couldn't read the signage. We're standing in the rain and I'm flipping through our guidebook and trying to summon up enough Japanese to ask the security guard what we should do - and then a bright red Jeep Cherokee pulls up. A very tall, very big guy gets out, as well as a very tiny woman who followed holding an umbrella over him with her arm pretty much fully extended; he walks over to us and says with a highish, raspy voice in fluent American-accented English, "Are you here to see the museum?"

We nod, dumbly.

He says, "Follow me," and we do. On one side of the building, men in yukata (cotton robes) and hair in topknots were leaving the building, and started bowing furiously at our guy. We got to the museum entrance, he pointed, we said thank you, he continued on his way.

We found out later that the guy was Musashimaru, a professional sumo wrestler originally from American Samoa who was at the time at the ranking (Ozeki) just below grand champion (Yokozuna) - which he achieved two years later. He also led the American athletes at the 1998 Winter Olympics opening ceremony parade in Nagano, nine months after our encounter.
posted by sencha at 11:55 AM on August 16 [13 favorites]


In the late 1990s I struck up a conversation on a train with a young man who said he was a musician. We had a nice conversation, he got off well before my stop. As he left, he gave me a business card, which read: "Jason Mraz, Troubadour."
posted by chavenet at 12:13 PM on August 16 [6 favorites]


I was once cajoled into going up on a stage and telling a detailed story about crapping my pants on a college date, in front of about 50 of my peers and the senior leadership of the 3,000 person design firm I work for. I still work there.
posted by q*ben at 12:19 PM on August 16 [4 favorites]


I have both been worshiped as a good, and I have met a god.
posted by GenjiandProust at 12:55 PM on August 16


As the bottom fell out of my career in newspaper journalism, my food blog went viral and it led to a cookbook deal, a book tour, an appearance on Good Morning America, and then three more book deals.

It’s weird.
posted by veggieboy at 1:29 PM on August 16 [16 favorites]


then three more book deals.

I knew your first one but didn't know you had more! I'll be picking up at least one of those this afternoon 🧇💥
posted by Nonsteroidal Anti-Inflammatory Drug at 2:00 PM on August 16 [3 favorites]


Something I wrote for another forum. Not sure if I have put it here. CW drug and alcohol use. Assholishness.

The Day I Saved the B-52s

So I decide to apply as security for the April, 1990 Earth Day Concert in Central Park. I am accepted. I am happy.

My girlfriend at the time is not happy.

Okay. So the GF is not happy. But she still needs me to purchase 25 Xanax for her. She is a true Diva. A Juilliard trained pianist. She has the voice of an angel. She is hell to deal with. Her jazz piano teacher at this time is, and I shit you not, a blind black man. She hates him because he makes her stretch her keyboard chops. I like him because he insults me when we meet him at a bar.

Anyway, on the day before the Earth Day concert I meet a truly greasy dude that I know from Kenny’s. He would always have various pills. He would often give me some to come into the bar.

I would accept them. I was rather stupid back then.

Anyway, I hook up with him near the bar. I tell him what I need. He actually has to go to the trunk of his car. Man, HST had nothing on this dude. The trunk of his car had enough felonies to put him and me in prison for… well forever.

So now I have 25 Xanax. And I want one. But I do not take it. This is to calm down my bitchy diva GF. But right now I’m thinking:

Yes she is hot. Yes the sex is awesome. Yes I … well kinda love her… Well…

So it’s Earth Day, April 1990. There are several stories here. But I’ll avoid too much verbiage. And yet a few things. My boss (and good friend) Bobby asks me if I can get him back stage. I say, sure, not knowing if that is even possible. The GF is furious, but still wants her medication.

I arrive at the staging point. Along with hundreds of others. We are pointed to a table that has piles of green T-shirts. The front has a silk screen of something Earth Day oriented. The back has nothing. Except for one shirt that has the word STAFF on it. It looks very official. I grab it. I am now STAFF. Nobody else has one.

I am guessing that the venue was going to print STAFF on the back of every shirt. Until they realized that it was too expensive or time consuming to do so. So I got the test shirt. This is important.

Then we are brought out to the street. Our first job? Escort the new mayor, David Dinkins to the park. It was fun. A bunch of hippies in green shirts paving the way for a mayor.

Anyway, we get to the park. It’s early, concert won’t happen for a good while. We are given vague instructions about where to stand and what to do. The handlers disappear. It is my time to explore.

Up to this point, I had been clean and sober for several years. But the GF and I were occasionally having sake with our sushi. So not really sober. I wander around and find a wonderful tent. It is not far from my ‘official spot’. It is the beverage tent. There is water and sodas. And a huge tub of beers. That does it. My mind snaps. I grab a cold beer and wash down a few Xanax.

Let the fun begin…

So after a couple more beers. And another Xanax, I wander around. I’m heading back to my ‘post’ when I hear someone from the crowd behind the metal barriers calling my name. Who the fuck is that?

Holy shit, in the scrum of unwashed humanity is my boss, Bobby. I’m all ‘hey dude how did you find me?’ He’s all, ‘I didn’t I just got here.’ So I open a barrier for him. He gets in and a bunch of people try to follow him. No way, we’re big guys. We were both bouncers at one time. Nobody gets by. I bring him to the beverage tent. We have beers. Then I tell him to now get lost. There is an after party and I give him the name of the bar and say I’ll meet him later. Cool.

So finally, several beers and xanax later, I return to my spot. Right away I notice this cute girl. She’s all excited and decked out in brand new white sneakers. She’s doing this cute little dance shuffle to the canned music playing. I decide to impress her with my nonexistent dance moves.

So I jump next to her… and into a mud puddle. Splashing her new kicks with filth. She gives me a look that could incinerate aerogel.

Commence profuse apologizing. I actually take a bandanna out of my pocket and try to wipe them off. She starts laughing and says no, too much, stop. We are friends now. And perhaps more…

Now a few notes. At this time it’s about noon. The actual concert starts at dusk, call it 6PM. So I have a lot of time to get fucked up. And I do

Also it sounds like I am a complete asshole. Taking drugs that my GF paid for. Drinking when I should probably not. Hitting on a cute girl. Acting like I’m in charge because of a shirt. Secret answer. I am an asshole.

Okay. A few things. First my apologies to the people who actually come here to hear cool music. They made me do it. :) As well I am sorry to be dragging this out. It’s strange because at some point I was popping Xanax like Tic-Tacs. And sucking down beer. This combination usually leads to a complete blackout. So I remember vignettes, bursts of crystal clarity, and then nothing for a while. This goes on until the end, which I remember quite clearly.

Shari and I spend most of the day bonding. She is so very cute and funny. We get along very well.

Eventually the sun starts going down and the bands begin. I do not remember any of the opening acts. I remember sneaking her beers. And beers. And I realize that Xanax Rich is completely without a filter. Yet actually doing my job pretty well. I am actually doing a damn good job. Fixing spacing on our line of hippies and stoners to keep the crowd back. Well, I was a bouncer. I tried to stay out of the mud puddle too.

Eventually the B-52s come on. The sun is down. The crowd is fucking huge. They play a blazing set. If I remember correctly, two encores.

It’s time for them to leave the stage. Right where I am standing. The crowd pushes forward. It’s like a fucking tidal wave of humanity. The bust through the barriers. And the B-52s are halfway down the stairs and looking nervous.

I tell Shari, “Tell everyone to your right to link arms and hold on.” Then I tell this to the guy on my left. We all link arms at the elbows. The crowd pushes. We hold. They push. We hold. I’m yelling something like, “Be strong. Hang on!” The band makes it to their backstage van.

I have saved their lives.

There is an after party. But I shouldn’t waste your time. Thanks for reading my shit.

posted by Splunge at 2:09 PM on August 16 [13 favorites]


For 8 months in 1978, we [Myself, Herself and 2 y.o. boy] lived in a single bed-sit room in Dublin 15ft x 15ft x 10ft up [4.5 x 4.5 x 3m]: big window, shared bathroom. In 2018-19 I mentored a MSc student from Tamil Nadu, who after graduating got an exploity job in a Dublin pharmacy at the start of the pandemic. The commute from Co. Boondocks was hell, so he persuaded his two roomies to shift their home to Dublin. They ended up living in exactly the same room as we inhabited 40 years earlier except that they also had the room in the back of the house and their own kitchen and bathroom as well: a proper apartment indeed.
posted by BobTheScientist at 2:13 PM on August 16 [4 favorites]


I nearly - accidentally - killed one of the Royal corgis, gosh decades ago now. At an event where we were invited to receive certificates of achievement for something academic, I saw a dog wandering around and people pointing at it. The dog looked - to me - a bit hungry so I started to feed it chocolate drops I had (unaware, then, that you do not give chocolate to a dog).

A dog minder staff person leaps over, grabs the dog and very quickly forces it to regurgitate what it had swallowed. Curse words were uttered by the bloke, dog was whisked away. This all happened in a few seconds, leaving me still with chocolate drops in my hand, poised to give to the dog, and dog vomit on the royal lawn.

Another staff member suddenly appeared, grabbed the chocolate drops from me, demands I empty my bag, and confiscated the Curly Wurly inside it. I apparently uttered the word Motherf***** at this point (a classmate had an early video recorder and a stash of illicit adult video tapes from somewhere unknown and I heard it on one of these) and was promptly frogmarched out of the grounds by my head teacher.

The dog was, apparently, fine.

I got my certificate via school, eventually. My Curly Wurly was never returned.
posted by Wordshore at 2:32 PM on August 16 [29 favorites]


I was picked up by the police for shooting a cop and put in jail.
posted by y2karl at 4:13 PM on August 16 [3 favorites]


I once knocked Princess Margaret on her arse.

I was only three at the time, but to be clear I regret nothing and would do it again.
posted by BlueNorther at 4:14 PM on August 16 [17 favorites]


In the early 2000s I was volunteering on a political campaign in the western suburbs of Sydney. My job one Saturday was to give a lift to the candidate and a former Prime Minister of Australia—let's call him 'Bob'—to a shopping centre. I, a young man, had only ever driven small underpowered cars, so was completely unprepared for the AU Falcon I was handed the keys to, and managed to spin the tyres into a fishtail coming out of the driveway. We didn't crash. Bob made no comment.
posted by Fiasco da Gama at 4:39 PM on August 16 [8 favorites]


I got married to a man I hadn't even kissed before at a drive-up window in Las Vegas. Less than two months later we moved to Transylvania together. I mean this isn't MeFi-implausible but it's larger world implausible.
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 5:03 PM on August 16 [46 favorites]


Both Iain Banks and the Legendary Pink Dots have slept on the floor in my apartments. I think Banks got an air mattress.
posted by GenjiandProust at 5:46 PM on August 16 [14 favorites]


Based on my current analysis I cannot categorically deduce what you humans would determine to be an unlikely-yet-still-plausible aspect of my current sojourn here on Earth; though preliminary results suggest that the typical sense of humor of my kind does not always coincide with your own.
posted by Greg_Ace at 6:00 PM on August 16 [3 favorites]


I went hiking once. No one who knows me believes that.
posted by betweenthebars at 6:30 PM on August 16 [16 favorites]


I mean this isn't MeFi-implausible but it's larger world implausible.

A tagline wrapped inside a riddle within an enigma.
posted by y2karl at 7:05 PM on August 16 [3 favorites]


Unrelated but @Ned G re: budgerigar

Much like "quid", I'm happy to have solved - without intentionally seeking - another piece of angloslang.

Though that is probably the *most* plausible story of me.
posted by DeepSeaHaggis at 8:31 PM on August 16 [1 favorite]


"the least plausible story about yourself"

I just spent the last almost five years taking care of somebody who'd come to the slowwww end of their life.

Life goes on.
posted by philip-random at 8:51 PM on August 16 [7 favorites]


I have shaken the hand of 4 sitting US Presidents. (They were standing.) Pappy Bush, Slick Willie, Shrub, and Barry. Bush I and Clinton were very nice. Gave me 30 seconds. Bush II and Obama were curt.

I have also met Hillary Clinton (very funny), Chris Christie (also funny), and **ahem** Andrew Cuomo (very stiff - no pun intended).
posted by AugustWest at 9:56 PM on August 16 [5 favorites]


I got married to a man I hadn't even kissed before at a drive-up window in Las Vegas

Jessamyn you told me the whole story of this in a bar in San Francisco on September 13(?) 2001. Six days after I arrived in San Francisco.
posted by bendy at 12:44 AM on August 17 [1 favorite]


I was in Memphis the day Elvis died.

I was in one of the first gifted students program in the Clinton's Arkansas in the 70's. Our group was going to the governor's mansion for lunch, but six-year-old me refused to wear a dress and my mom wouldn't let me go.

I asked her about this recently and she says she still stands by her decision.
posted by bendy at 12:51 AM on August 17 [5 favorites]


And Jessamyn, I've never forgotten that story.
posted by bendy at 12:52 AM on August 17


I spent Christmas night 2017 in the drunk tank and in retrospect it's not really that implausible.
posted by bendy at 1:01 AM on August 17 [5 favorites]


I was mistaken for a secret agent by security at a British embassy.
posted by antiwiggle at 3:35 AM on August 17 [7 favorites]


The first time I drove a motorcycle I got on, engaged the go-thingies on the handlebars, popped a wheelie, drove 200 yards on one wheel, finally relaxed my death grip enough to set the front wheel down, got off and walked away. It was also my last time driving a motorcycle. After that triumph I figured I had peaked.

(Also, this story seems pretty tame after reading some of the others... you all are awesome.)
posted by evilmomlady at 4:13 AM on August 17 [9 favorites]


"the least plausible story about yourself"

At different times plausible meant and means different things. And to different groups. To people I knew way back when, it would probably be, "I can speak German. No, really, like fluent German." Whereas to people I know here now, in Germany, it would probably be, "I've taken hundreds of hours of German classes. Mostly at the Volkshochschule in Charlottenburg. Really. Twice a week for at least two years." (Followed by polite nodding and the helpful point that, "It is German after all. It's a very hard language to learn." "Yes, especially after 40.")

Really, most of my life is implausible. I'm gonna take it for granted that I am not in the minority here.
posted by From Bklyn at 5:48 AM on August 17 [5 favorites]


You know those signs at the airport that say "anyone who asks if you need a ride shouldn't be giving you one"? Years ago, when my husband and I were youngish and still pretty naive about, well, everything, we arrived at O'Hare on a late evening flight without having thought about how we were going to get home from the airport (we live about half an hour south.) It was late, we were super tired, had finally gotten ahold of our luggage and were just starting to think about how to get a taxi when this big, friendly, white-bearded guy came up to us and said "you guys need a ride? I'm a limo driver, c'mon, I'll take you." Like a couple of goobers we followed him to his limo (which turned out to be a minivan), he threw our luggage in the back and off we went.

The guy proceeds to talk the entire way, telling various "hilarious" anecdotes about sketchy shit he'd been involved in or privy to, and at some point insinuated he'd been in the mob. We nodded politely, nervously chuckled where it seemed expected, interjected the occasional "wow, that's wild" while anxiously glancing at one another like, holy shit.

So we finally pull up in front of our apartment building, the guy tells us how much we owe and says "Tips graciously accepted!" So my husband hands him what he thought was the correct amount plus enough left over for a tip. The guy looks at the money, looks my husband in the eye and says, "I SAID, TIPS ARE GRACIOUSLY ACCEPTED!" He shakily handed the guy a couple more bills, who then thanked us kindly and drove away.

And that is the story of how we almost slept with the fishes for inadvertently stiffing a mob guy.
posted by Serene Empress Dork at 6:04 AM on August 17 [3 favorites]


Similar to Splunge's sports story, I very occasionally used to play indoor tennis with my family as a teenager at the place where we had gym membership (and this was something that truly only happened a handful of times as we're not super sporty or tennis-y people). There were full-sized trash cans on every court near the net posts, but with covers over the top to make the aperture significantly smaller, presumably to minimise the amount of tennis balls that ended up in the trash. Except for the one occasion where I served...directly into the tiny hole in the top of the trash can next to the net, an opening barely bigger than the ball itself.

Given that my school report PE section around the age of 9 said very explicitly, "[first name] will never excel at ball sports", this was absolutely fluke rather than skill.
posted by terretu at 6:09 AM on August 17 [2 favorites]


Here's one: during the blogs-to-books rush in the '00s, I was courted by 50 Cent's literary agent.

50 Cent's literary agent. That's a fun idea to roll around in your head. I mean, it's not really that crazy, I guess. He wrote a memoir I think. But still.
posted by DirtyOldTown at 8:52 AM on August 17 [4 favorites]


This isn't super out there, but one summer while home from college I was volunteered to work at vacation bible school by my mom. Baptist. I'm an atheist and I don't like kids.

The other thing, I guess, is that one day I served as an interpreter in court in a language I'm really, really not fluent in. Turns out the defendant was an acquaintance of mine whose native language it was, so he was used to my bumbling along, I suppose. I did get paid for it. But the court did have to wait on me a few times as I tried to keep up.
posted by Occula at 8:58 AM on August 17 [2 favorites]


engaged the go-thingies on the handlebars

Wow, you even had the technical lingo down pat!
:)
posted by Greg_Ace at 8:59 AM on August 17 [5 favorites]


Tomorrow marks three years since I’ve seen anyone in my extended family in person.
posted by bendy at 11:39 AM on August 17 [4 favorites]


I once smuggled drugs into Ghadaffi's Libya with the help of a customs official.
posted by tigrrrlily at 11:55 AM on August 17 [6 favorites]


When I was a kid I would stand in the middle of my backyard and stare up at any airplanes flying overhead. I vowed that one day I would be in one of those airplanes looking down at my house. At some point later one of my brothers teased me, saying that if I couldn't handle a roller coaster (I couldn't) I would never be able to learn to fly and I shouldn't even consider it. I decided he was right and forgot all about that particular goal. My older brothers were always good at crushing my dreams.

Flash forward a few years. I'm in my late 20s, rummaging around the basement at our apartment when I stumble upon my landlord's David Clark headset and flight bag. The dream returns. I realize I'm an adult now and can actually learn to fly. It's the late 90s, the internet is still pretty new, but there's enough out there that I find plenty of info about learning to fly. The landlord loans me his headset and I find a local flight school.

It seems I also have severe (not diagnosed at that point) ADD, anxiety, and a fear of flying. My first few lessons are just me nearly shitting my pants while the flight instructor demonstrates power on stalls and the like.

One day, on maybe my fifth lesson, I'm a total mess. It's hot and humid and I'm fumbling everything. We're flying all over the greater Boston area while I try to maintain level flight and whatever else I'm supposed to be doing. I decide maybe flying is not for me after all.

Then I suddenly recognize where we are. I see a mall. I see a lake. I exclaim "Holy shit! I know where we are!" to the instructor. I ask him if I can fly over that way just a little bit.

I see my childhood home. I see my backyard. I can almost imagine that I see a little me looking up at this tiny Cessna 152 a thousand feet above. I circle around my back yard a couple of times. I calm down. I remember why I was doing this. I'm so excited I go home and write up my adventure and email it to all my friends. This would eventually be the first page of a blog I would start.

I eventually soloed a few times but never finished my lessons for a number of reasons, but I achieved what I set out to achieve. I flew a plane and looked down at my backyard. Little me would be so happy.

I don't know how implausible that story is, but I've already told my marriage-because-of-moose-collision and naked-man-warned-me-about-a-bear stories elsewhere on this website.
posted by bondcliff at 12:34 PM on August 17 [40 favorites]


I met Oliver Sacks after a triathlon near Havana. It was the 90s, or at least I think it was.
posted by computech_apolloniajames at 2:41 PM on August 17 [4 favorites]


I was photographed with Elizabeth Taylor for Vanity Fair magazine and survived a major plane crash at Kennedy airport within a few weeks of each other.
posted by gingerbeer at 2:45 PM on August 17 [11 favorites]


One day, I was in my twenties, and I was a secretary at a place that was being worked on by a bunch of people.

One night, I partied with some of them, it wasn't planned, it was just like, hey, we are all here and we are partying. Then they decided to show me off the roof. By off the roof, I mean, they held me by my ankles on the stones so I could look down onto the parking garage. I was like, cool, and then I went home.

Then I realized I had lost my wallet and entire paycheck, while partying with construction guys.

That Monday morning, my supervisor gave it back to me, and said she never wanted to hear about what went on, and to never do it again.
posted by Marie Mon Dieu at 5:52 PM on August 17 [13 favorites]


I have previously recounted a few unlikely things on the site, but one minor one that was much on my mind at the beginning of this millennium: in 2002 a fire on an Egyptian train claimed nearly four hundred lives; ten years to the day earlier I had been on the same train making the same trip. A year later the Staten Island Ferry crashed into its dock killing eleven people and injuring seventy, exactly one year to the day after I had taken the same trip.

I felt like something supernatural was gaining on me.
posted by ricochet biscuit at 6:53 PM on August 17 [3 favorites]


I had a semi truck and tractor slide sideways on a black ice highway and sandwich me into the side of my delivery van that I was standing next to.
posted by hippybear at 7:31 PM on August 17 [6 favorites]


It was because the maintenance guy had found my wallet, which had fallen from my purse, from me being dangled on the roof, onto the roof of the parking garage, and he had seen it, and retrieved it, and then given it to her.
posted by Marie Mon Dieu at 7:51 PM on August 17 [7 favorites]


When I was a kid we lived in a rent-house on five acres, so even though I lived in a white bread Chicago suburb it also was a really outdoorsy childhood, we had a horse (a brown and white pinto named Freckles) and I had bb guns and bow and arrows and a five minute walk from a springfed pond where I fished many times et cet and et cet.

Freckles was pretty cool, he had blue albino eyes, he was 16 hands tall but really spiny, not at all fun to ride bareback. I'd ride him back to the back of our allotted piece of land and then turn 'round and come back in, he *hated* to go away from his little corral and he balked like 23 different kinds of a jerk but he never, ever balked on the way back in, he fairly flew. One afternoon we're hauling ass back in and we jumped a rabbit, Freckles stopped hard as he could and I flew over his head, did a twirly, landed on my back just in time to see Freckles bearing down on me, not one hoof hit me but they landed all around me as he ran on in.

That pond I fished at for years, never caught a turtle, one day I caught two of them, brought them home to show them off then took them back to the pond.

A dog should name itself. My first pooch was a German shepherd, took a week or two for her name to become clear -- Shadow. Because she shadowed every step I took. She was truly great, a spectacular animal, she was beautiful, incredibly smart, protective as hell, 105 pounds. I didn't take her when I took off, she stayed with my parents, and then with a sister, lived to 15 years old.

June 1987, I want back up to Chi, spent 6 months there. An old habit -- throw a bunch of tools into the trunk of whatever car I was driving, or on this trip threw even more tools into the back of the pickup I had. Working in the trades paid a lot more in yankeeland than in Texas, I'd always come back with a stash o' cash. Anyways, I now had my red doberman, Rusty, The Wonder Dog, she was in the truck with me. I'd never have named her Rusty but I was her third or fourth owner, a bit late in the game to change it, aside from the addition of The Wonder Dog, which she damn sure was.

My sister and her husband still had Shadow but they also had a young dog -- Jamie -- and, as I have seen so many times, the younger dog was putting the older dog off of her food bowl, off of her water, never gave her any peace, act like a total jerk. I know that it's natural but I damn sure hate to see it -- here is this valiant dog, Shadow, and in her last years to be treated like this -- a nightmare.

We pulled into the driveway, there at my sisters place, we got out of the pickup, Rusty took one look at the situation, sized it up, and immediately threw a flying tackle onto Jamie. Rusty was like Walter Payton, she wasn't but 72 pounds but oh man, when she threw a tackle she hit like getting hit by a truck; I've seen her throw many dogs, she had this huge dog smile she'd be wearing as she crucified whoever it was that fucked up.. She had this great sense of fairness, of right and wrong, it was just built in to her. She knocked Jamie into next week. It was absolutely great. Unreal. I loved Rusty anyways, and you would too -- she was all heart, just tons of fun -- so I loved her anyways but to see how she immediately picked up on that situation, and set it right, and gave Shadow that new lease on life -- it's one of the best things I've ever seen. Ever. I love animals, and I've had some great times, I've got some great stories. But Rusty, The Wonder Dog -- she beats all, and this particular piece is one of the best I've ever seen. And it wasn't that Rusty was mean, or didn't like Jamie -- they got on great, they were great running buddies. But -- Shadow was "Always" in on it. Always she was in on the fun, too. Always.. Rusty became everybody's hero. And in that six months Jamie came to understand to not be a jerk, and that held even after Rusty and I were back in Texas, back into Houston New Years Eve 1987-1998.
posted by dancestoblue at 8:26 PM on August 17 [13 favorites]


Every time I get on a helicopter, as soon as it leaves the ground I fall into a deep sleep - something to do with the vibration I'd guess.
Sometime in the nineties I was on a long flight into Aberdeen and was woken up by a roughneck punching me in the arm and screaming, "Wake up ya wee shite! Fucking chopper's on fire!"
Sure enough, the cabin was full of smoke, flames flickered above and the chopper was on the tarmac surrounded by emergency vehicles.
No-one was hurt fortunately. It got me a useful reputation for fearlessness though.
posted by thatwhichfalls at 9:04 PM on August 17 [13 favorites]


With this thread, I have had a number of new favorites on my original comment. . ..Just thought I’d give an update.

My Austrailan buddy and his wife are still more family than our blood relations. It turns out that his wife’s father was a a prepper/survivalist but kinda aged out of being able to maintain his off grid compound and willed it to my buddy. This is out in the central Cascades. So they’ve been spending the pandemic at his compound that is fully solar powered and lives on well water. They have an enormous vegetable garden. My kids spend weeks out there swimming in their pool and helping out and we spend weekends as often as we can. He’s a video game writer, she’s an assistant attorney general for WA state. They don’t really hunt but have the guns to do so if shit really goes tits up. So they are really spending rhe pandemic off grid and I love that we have the option to join them.

Our house has become the outpost in the city for when people need to be present for meetings, etc. and their place has become the retreat for maintaining stability when the pandemic or politics get too serious to stay in town. It’s the perfect solution and I’m thrilled to have my extended, adopted family to make this work.
posted by Slarty Bartfast at 9:10 PM on August 17 [7 favorites]


When Kevin Smith was shooting "Dogma" in Pittsburgh, one of the locations (for what scenes, I couldn't say) was in a bar down the street from my apartment. The trailers were set up in a parking lot across the back alley, and so production people wandered up and down that alley behind where I lived.

My roommate at the time worked the early shift at his job and got home between 3 and 4 pm, and I worked 3-11 at my job, so I missed all the excitement, but my roommate hung out with movie people all afternoon and evening for a couple weeks.

He told me some stories about stuff that went on, including I guess he bought Chris Rock an ice cream cone one day. I don't recall digging for details on most of this stuff.

One evening, somebody mentioned that the last episode of Seinfeld was on, and my roommate said, well, my apartment is right up here, so he and a few people piled upstairs to watch, and that's how I wasn't home for Jason "My Name is Earl" Lee watching the last episode of Seinfeld in my apartment.
posted by Mister Moofoo at 12:55 AM on August 18 [5 favorites]


I was visiting my parents in the small town in San Diego where they live. We went out to eat at a local Italian restaurant. It came up that I was visiting from England and the owner said "You know, one of my closest friends lives in England and runs an Italian restaurant there." but when pressed for where it was he admitted he didn't quite remember.

So I go back home to where we live in the English countryside. We go out to our local Italian restaurant. We were regulars but hadn't seen him, the owner, in a while. We mention we just got back from San Diego where my parents live. He begins "Ah! San Diego! You know my best friend..."
True story.
posted by vacapinta at 10:47 AM on August 18 [26 favorites]


I've mentioned it on Metafilter before, but I was an extra in the movie Something Wild (along with most of the then FSCJ Theater Department.)

A guy I knew then (Del) shows up in the finale high school reunion scene. Del was apparently very aware of where the camera was, because no matter where the camera seemed to be placed, Del managed to get himself in the shot.
posted by wittgenstein at 7:03 PM on August 18 [1 favorite]


I once handed Richard Tillinghast a twenty dollar bill for a book by a visiting Irish poet.
"You must be the money man"

That look was priceless.
posted by clavdivs at 11:53 PM on August 18 [1 favorite]


As a tourist, I wound up playing the guitar and singing in the band at an Indonesian wedding. They just figured the white guy could do it and, oddly enough, they were right.

Top request: “Chee Chy Chickee-chee Rye,” which I had already learned meant “she’s got a ticket to ride.”
posted by argybarg at 7:59 AM on August 19 [4 favorites]


I saw a rat the size of a deer once.
posted by CheesesOfBrazil at 8:58 AM on August 19


In April 2012 the Vietnamese peacenik and dharma teacher Thích Nhất Hạnh visited Ireland. Among other events, he was scheduled to address the Norn Iron Assembly at Stormont. A succession of contingent accidents found me as the designated driver of the Popemobile rented 7-seater people carrier. With grey hair, a dismal-Eeyore demeanour and dressed in my interview-wedding-funeral suit with a sober tie, I looked the part. A peaked cap would have degenerated the costume into parody, so I skipped that.

Very respectful I was too: not speaking unless addressed, not restlessly searching for soccer commentary on the radio, doing my best to go easy on the gear-changes. There was one dicey moment on the way up to Stormont when I missed a turn in suburban Belfast and did a quick-thinking U-turn neeeeooooww across two lanes of oncoming traffic. The monk sitting in the passenger seat turned a whiter shade of pale but the VIPs in the back seats were in a state of satori - they didn't yelp! anyway.

The following day we headed back to Dublin. TNH elected to sit in the front seat to see a bit of the countryside; his team of attendants sat in the back singing Vietnamese pop songs and generally larking about - because the Stormont gig had gone rather well and we were all relaxing. TNH was quietly amused by a sign on the Gormanston toll-booth: [Arrive Alive] and when we finally pulled into the place they were staying in Dublin that evening, he put his hand on my arm and said "Arrive Alive" with a little nod of appreciation. Maybe he'd been more alert than I thought when I did the two-wheeled U-eeeee the day before.
posted by BobTheScientist at 9:01 AM on August 19 [14 favorites]


The first time I met someone's partner, she claimed to have met me at a ceilidh (plausible) and that we'd gone naked tubing together (not at all plausible). I am still a little pleased that meeting someone for the first time, at a funeral, and she pegged me as a risk-taker.
posted by MichelleinMD at 9:35 AM on August 19 [1 favorite]


In 1987, at the age of 17, I ended up on what can be (very loosely) described as an accidental 20 minute "date" with Demi Moore on a Caribbean island.

Sooo, to make this wildly implausible story more plausible, here's the background.
  • My stepfather built and owned a popular hotel in Anguilla (a small island of approx 10,000) in the 80s and 90s. During school breaks, that was essentially my home from 83-92.
  • In the Spring of 1987, Demi Moore was 25 and had just wrapped up filming scenes from "The Seventh Sign", a terrible film (although she's actually not bad in it!), parts of which had been filmed in Dominica, a nearby island.
  • My parent's hotel was a hot ticket in the 80's for the Hollywood jet-set, and the executive producer Paul Gurian had been there previously and decided to bring Demi there during a break in the filming.
Ok, so that's how I ended up sitting in the hotel's bar with my parents, Demi, and Paul while they all had pre-dinner drinks. This happened quite frequently: I would often tag along with my parents while they socialized with guests, although not typically such high profile ones.

The exact reasons escape me, I think maybe my parents had to go deal with some hotel "emergency" (a daily occurence) and Paul Gurian had to make a phone call or something. Whatever the specifics, I found myself alone hanging out with Demi Moore and talking about the film. (Even in high school I was interested in movies and in college I ended up going to film school). So we talked about the filming a bit.

Demi wasn't going to be a huge star for another two years, she had done St. Elmo's Fire and a couple of other movies and this was 5 or 6 months before she met Bruce Willis. So while she was pretty well-known, she wasn't like super-famous yet.

Nevertheless, this was easily the most famous person I had ever met, nevermind had a conversation with. My 17 year old heart was beating ferociously most of the time. Never mind the fame part, but well, it turns out movie stars are exponentially more beautiful and charismatic than most of us (go figure!). And 25 year old Demi Moore definitely was in this category, maintaining any sort of eye contact was a bit like staring into the sun.

Despite this, my main impression is that she was a bit insecure, or maybe "vulnerable" is the right word. Looking back this kind of makes sense, The Seventh Sign was her first lead role, and I wonder to what degree she knew that the script was terrible. I remember her mentioning how hard the filming was (lots of apocalyptic, scary scenes filmed in oceans and other unusual locations) and how exhausted she was.

At some point she asked me what it was like to grow up in a hotel, and I told her it was cool, I knew all the secret spots and stuff. "Like what?" she asked.

Which is how 5 minutes later I found myself sitting on the top of the hotel's tile roof with Demi Moore next to the air conditioning generators looking out at the Caribbean Sea at night.

I wish, dear readers, that I had a more scintillating, or at least interesting ending to this anecdote, but that's where it ends. We went back to the bar and met back up with everyone. The total time spent hanging out alone was about 20-25 minutes.

Postscript: I ran into Demi one more time after that, this was a few years later: she and Bruce Willis were married. They both came to the hotel a few times over the years, and that overlapped with a short period where I was helping my family sell Haitian paintings at the hotel (I've had an unusual life) and she and Bruce bought a couple from us. They were both surprisingly down-to-earth people as it turns out!
posted by jeremias at 10:58 AM on August 19 [20 favorites]


In the early 2000s I was an expat in London suffering documentation deficit disorder. I did all kinds of things to make money including being a photographer's assistant. That is how I took an important role in a, in retrospect, very interesting photoshoot.

A whole crew had set-up at a Jazz club in Camden to photograph this recording industry secret who was about to release her first album. They did not show up and were not answering their phone, after two hours the crew started packing up. I wanted to get paid my 5 pounds per hour so I went hunting her down. Went to her address, no one at her apartment, but a neighbor had seen her with a laundry basket. Found her in a laundromat in a very surly mood.

The photographer did not want to do the shoot, the light in the laundromat was all wrong and the rest of the equipment was all packed up. I set up some reflectors made of someone else's bedsheets and promised I knew how to color correct for the fluorescent light in the laundromat.

They shot the pictures. I traded a little bit of programming work for a stolen laptop and pirated photoshop and color corrected the pictures. The whole thing is now one of the earliest Amy Winehouse photoshoots, before fame, in her natural habitat. I got paid my 20 pounds.

Completely unrelated, but I found out that one guy who owes me two dollars and fifty cents, and who promised me more than three times that he would pay back, is the son of a Russian oil billionaire and personal friend and former classmate of one of the Princes of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland. I am not sure what the best way to recover my money is.

I also managed to cultivate a particular mushroom all the way to sporulation, at home, using an improvised still air box, home made substrate, and very sloppy lab technique. When I uploaded the pictures to a forum I was accused of lying. Turns out there are only two recorded instances in the literature of people managing to cultivate this mushroom, and only after hundreds of trials in very fancy labs and with impeccable technique.

Similar story, I captured a queen ant just outside my house and raised the colony to around 1,000 ants before releasing it to the wild. The colony is still doing fine. I did a preliminary species ID and sent picture to the universities around here for confirmation. Two myrmecologists agree on the species, but both called me a liar because this species has not been documented within 500 kilometers and 1,000 meters of altitude of where I live. They have not accepted the invitation to come take a look at the ants living 2o steps from where I am sitting right now.

I personally don't think these two are that implausible, but based on the reactions of the professional mycologists and myrmecologists they are beyond impossible.
posted by Dr. Curare at 12:59 PM on August 19 [16 favorites]


When I was 15, we took a car trip to Tennessee, and the day we got there, a historic drought broke with torrential rain.

The next time I was in Tennessee, I drove past possibly five separate tornado events during a major storm (I kept getting radio alerts but there was nowhere safe to pull over.)

Anyway, I m a little scared to go back to Tennessee.
posted by emjaybee at 6:31 PM on August 19 [2 favorites]


Implausible, eh? I once sat at the front-center table of an American Family Council fundraiser where the star guest was George H. W. Bush. I found him shockingly charismatic in person, even though I detested everything about him and the group hosting the event.

(My MIL was a big donor and my wife and I were still too young to feel comfortable refusing the invite.)
posted by Ickster at 9:40 PM on August 19 [2 favorites]


In a previous job, looking after VIPs, one time a rather grumpy and sort of dishevelled looking elderly gentleman came into the VIP Lounge. It turned out he had flown in from the US in his private plane for a private very much exclusive lunch, but said lunch had just been cancelled (i knew and was quite happy as working / organising that lunch had kept me sleepless for many weeks and was worried how it would pull off).
I knew the gentleman's name but no background because he had been invited/vetted directly by the host.

So i offered him to have food brought to the Lounge, or with the other guests who also had been expecting lunch with x, so he could eat while waiting for his driver and get back on his private plane. He declined, saying as x was not present he could not be bothered, and anyway it was his wife's birtday party that same evening in DC.
As traffic was Bad, and everyone else lunched without x, i ended up chatting with him, offered Austrian cakes, which he enjoyed and he mellowed out quite a bit. Told me about his wife being busy and expecting him to be punctual tonight. And all kinds of stuff i sadly cannot post here but just fascinating. A very nice Gentleman.
Then he stained his (already rumpeled) shirt with creme from a pastry and asked i should remove it, whilst he was inside the shirt. I refused, polite but firmly, suggesting he could change in the private jet. He then revealed there was no change of clothes in the plane and his wife would be so angry if he attended her DC Dinner party in a stained shirt.
So i relented, as he was quite upset, and cleaned as best as possible.
After some more fascinating stories about people he knew, and more Austrian cakes, finally the driver came.
After he had left, i googled him and it turned out his wife ist Diane Feinstein.
posted by 15L06 at 7:58 AM on August 20 [1 favorite]


I once drove a monster truck with six foot tall wheels from South Carolina to Tennessee. I’ve never had truckers at a truck stop look at me with as much respect and confusion as they did when they saw me get out. It had been poorly built and wanted to fling itself to the left if you ler go of the steering wheel, which was dangerous to other drivers, but in fairness, that drive also had a thousand foot drop off the left side of the road when I had to pass uphill grade semi trucks using the left lane. The story is the only good thing that came of that weekend.
posted by Callisto Prime at 3:15 PM on August 20 [5 favorites]


The first time I went to NYC, I kept seeing St. Vincent/Annie Clark's "Actor" album cover all over the city. The photo captivated me, so I gave her album a listen and fell head over heels in love with her and her music.

The second time I went to NYC, 6 months later, I was staying in Park Slope and found out that Annie Clark also lived in Brooklyn. "Wouldn't it be amazing if I ran into her on the street or on the subway?" I chuckled to myself. I wrote a little song about it!

On my last day in NYC, I was trying to visit Momofuku Milk Bar, but I accidentally went to Momofuku Ssam Bar. I quickly realized my mistake, but right before I turned to leave, I saw a thin pale woman with a mop of dark curly hair sitting at the bar. Her back was to me, so I couldn't see her face but I was 50% sure that it was Annie. The woman turned her head to laugh at the man sitting next to her, and then I was 75% sure.

Being a shy, polite midwesterner, I didn't want to interrupt their conversation, so I sat at a table close to the door, ordered some pork buns, and waited to figure out what to do. Eventually, the man she was talking with got up to leave, and as he passed me, I squeaked out:

"Excuse me sir, is that St. Vincent?"

"Yes, she is!"

"Do you think she'd mind if I said hi to her? I'm such a big fan!"

He told me go for it, so I shot my shot, told her that she was the bee's knees and invited her to come to my band's show that night in the East Village. She was so warm and charming and politely considered the show invite (though thankfully she did not actually show up!)
posted by chara at 3:58 PM on August 20 [3 favorites]


I currently work for one of Timothy Leary ex-wife’s.
posted by tarantula at 4:03 PM on August 20 [3 favorites]


On three separate occasions on random city streets, people have just pulled over and asked me to park their cars. I've done it successfully but apprehensively each time.
posted by StephenF at 4:15 PM on August 20 [7 favorites]


Mr. Angleton came to my wedding.
posted by Ideefixe at 7:48 PM on August 20 [2 favorites]


I am still owed 800 French francs for a performance I did there in 1999.
posted by altolinguistic at 2:55 AM on August 21 [1 favorite]


METAFILTER: I m a little scared to go back to Tennessee

though now that I think of it,

METAFILTER: pretty much every comment in this thread.

or better yet ...

METAFILTER: the least plausible you
posted by philip-random at 7:30 AM on August 21 [2 favorites]


My favorite stupid factoid about myself is that TWO times in my life, I have walked into my own apartment and found a couch that wasn't there when I left that morning.
posted by nakedmolerats at 5:32 PM on August 21 [8 favorites]


I once walked within 3 feet of Brad Pitt, up on the Island In The Sky, in Southern Utah. I didn't recognise him, until I was well past. He had a camera in his hand and smiled, and I was sheltering mine, so as not to fall on it if I tripped. Jennifer Anniston had quietly sat down on the sandstone edge of Grandview Point. The friend I was with was behind me and didn't pick up on any of it. Implausible stuff, I once got a helicopter ride on my lunch break, working at a hospital in Salt Lake City. I once ran the only vegetarian restaurant in Utah at the time, and so I was called to cater the vegetarian rock bands, Yes is the only one I remember. I made all the food, and served them in their hotels, because my restaurand didn't do an evening thing. I was lightly bitten by a rattlesnake, 3 years ago. I did suck and spit it out, when I realized my hand was a glove of blood, I realized some sort of intense blood thinner was involved, yeah, I did that, and washed my mouth out, after, and did it some more. I had a scrape that ended in a puncture, and a minimal puncture. I had donated plasma, before and I recognised the smell/taste of the blood thinner they make from venom.
posted by Oyéah at 8:56 PM on August 21 [4 favorites]


Random out to lunch from this morning.

Don't have a seizure
About the plums I found
In your freezer,
I ate them,
Yum.
Find a different hill
To die on!
posted by Oyéah at 9:56 AM on August 22


I and my blundering-tourist family once accidentally broke into CERN. (We didn't realize it until we walked up a flight of stairs and noticed, "Hey, there's a serious-looking security gate at the top." [Light slowly dawns] "Huh, look at the tourists milling around on the other side. Oh look, there's a security desk next to the gate. There's a big security guard sitting there. Why's she sitting with her back to us?.... Oh. Shit.")
posted by cybercoitus interruptus at 4:01 PM on August 22 [4 favorites]


I, a US citizen, somehow managed to be an official observer for the Monster Raving Loony Party during the Crewe and Nantwich by-election vote count in the UK in 2008. I was there on vacation walking the Llangollen Canal, and I guess it just goes to show that you never know who you're going to meet in a pub. I probably invalidated the election by my very presence, and it probably somehow led to Brexit. Sorry.
posted by mollweide at 5:32 PM on August 22 [4 favorites]


Oh, yeah; forgot I have a bit of a reputation for future predictions.

I dabble in a bit of scrying, every now and then. Sometimes I write up what I see. Towards the end of 2015 I had one particularly negative session; in January 2016 I was asked for my predictions of the future, as one of the former editors of an online library magazine. Here's the two paragraphs, which you can find originally in that magazine article:

+ + + + +

The future? Once the Greenland ice sheet melt accelerates, academics will discover whether their MacBook Air makes for a good flotation device (it's about the same size and shape as the floats we used in 1970s primary school swimming lessons, so there's hope). Assuming we survive that, the coming pandemic, and four years under President Trump, we should see more haptic net devices, an evolutionary development from the current wave of VR kit. Excellent! I don't want to just see pictures and videos of deep fried butter on a stick at a midwest American state fair; I want to feel, smell and taste and swallow it as well. Through my browser. Think how much improved the Great British Bake Off, or every Nigella Lawson cooking programme, would be when experienced through a full sensory Internet browser. (Jamie Oliver: not so much)

What else of the future? After the 2020 election sweeping cuts will be ordered by Prime Minister Boris. Examination passes, from age 6 months to postgraduate level, will be rewarded solely with badges. Siri, replacing teachers, will be sentient and predictive, telling you what you need to know before you know you need to know it. But much will stay as it is. Twitter will still be full of angry work colleagues, and Facebook still full of angry relatives; the Internet will still predominantly consist of cat videos; professors will still reply-all to email; MARC will still be an annoying, and annoyingly used, format; academic meetings will still be utterly pointless; and Birmingham New Street railway station will still have inadequate seating.

+ + + + +
posted by Wordshore at 9:43 AM on August 23 [2 favorites]


One day after school when I was 12, I was waiting for my mother, who taught at the school, to be ready to go home (she always stayed in her classroom until 4), and I wandered down to the very end of the school campus, where I sat down against the chain link fence and read a book. There was a residential property on the other side of the fence, and I saw a tall dark-haired boy come out into his backyard with his dog. He didn't see me because of the trees, but I watched him idly whenever I glanced up from my book. It became one of those things one remembers for no reason, and it seemed to surface surprisingly often in my memory over the years that followed. I supposed it was because it was a beautiful June day, I was happy that the school year was almost over, I was enjoying my book, and it was fun to covertly watch that boy.

Perhaps 21 years later, I was talking to a guy off an online dating site, and it turned out that he was from Newmarket, Ontario, the town in which my school had been, that he actually lived right next to my former school... and he was the boy I had seen that day. Too bad he turned out to be a douche, because that would have been one hell of a meet cute story.

In another remarkable coincidence, years ago someone I was involved with wanted to call me but didn't have my number with him, so he went to a payphone and looked it up in the phonebook. When he called me, he told me there were two listings for people with my first initial and last name, and the [O. Swan] that wasn't me was living at the same address as he had lived at back when he had lived in Toronto himself.
posted by orange swan at 6:58 AM on August 27 [6 favorites]


I have seen five blimps in the sky at the same time. Two Goodyears, a MetLife, a Budweiser, and a FujiFilm. It happened in Indianapolis at the first Brickyard 400, way back in '94. It was a highlight of my adolescence.
posted by The Potate at 12:24 AM on September 6 [4 favorites]


Are we still doing these?

I met TV's Frank Conniff in the darkened Peachtree Mall after 11 PM at DragonCon one year. He was just sitting where while we were running to catch MARTA. He was gracious. I was on the phone with a friend back home who was also a MSTie, and I put Frank on the phone with him. It was probably a weird thing for me to do, but, there you go.

Here is another story that I swear actually happened.

I had roommates in college, and we lived in a two-story apartment. My room was on the second floor. Down from the room's only, small window was an enclosed porch with high tabby walls and various junk in it. There was no roof on the porch.

At this time the roommates had a dog named B.J. (I think this was before that became general slang for a blowjob? It was like B.J. Hunnicutt from M*A*S*H. I blame South Park for that.) The dog, like many dogs, hated thunderstorms. We had taken to leaving the dog outside on the porch when away from the house because of food theft and poop-related accidents. One of these had happened to me--for a while I had agreed to let them keep B.J. in my room while we were away during storms. We came back and I laid down in the rumpled covers of the bed. My hand came to rest on something... huh, what is this object? It's small... it's soft... it's kinda warm....

B.J. got scolded for that, and B.J., a medium-sized, smart and anxious dog with a heartrending desire to please, remembered the incident. After some months I would eventually relent and let them keep the dog in my room again, although I would be on the lookout for accidents. One time it was due to storm particularly badly, so I said sure, it's kind of a pinch and you need somewhere to put the dog while we're out. Okay.

We come back. I go back up to my room and have a nap. We had forgotten about B.J. being in my room. In fact, he wasn't there. I fall asleep. A few minutes later, a roommate comes up, pretty angry. B.J. was outside on the back porch, during the storm, and had apparently had been so scared that he had hurt his legs a little clawing at the door trying to get back in! Oh no, the poor dog! Didn't I remember to put B.J. in my room? I thought, yeah, I did, but wait. I mean, sometimes I am absent-minded. Maybe I had forgotten? It wouldn't be the first time I've forgotten something like that! I apologize profusely.

But wait. Now that I think about it, I'm sure I put B.J. in my room! What happened? Did B.J. get out somehow? I always leave the door to my room closed, and even if he had escaped, how would he have gotten out onto the porch? Why would he have gotten out there, during the storm?

But wait. My room overlooks that porch. The porch has no roof. Could B.J. have... fallen out the window, down to the porch, and that's how he hurt his leg? But why would he do something weird like that? B.J. was a weird dog, but that seemed to defy belief. I mean, the window wasn't even open by much. It was one of those screw-types, where you turn a handle and it cranks the window open and closed. Looking at it, it looked like there might be just enough room to squeeze out. But if this happened, why? I looked down.

There, resting on the windowsill, was a turd.

Fortunately, B.J. was okay for having fallen out a second-story window when trying to poop outside, presumably having lost his balance while trying to stick his rear end outside while he did so. He was a weird and nervous but very smart dog, and prone to doing odd things sometimes. Eventually the roommates had to get rid of him, and I was very sad to see him go, but that is a completely different improbable story.
posted by JHarris at 7:16 PM on September 10 [1 favorite]


Let's see.. I'm a pretty nerdy trans woman whose main hobbies are reading, writing, and watching TV, but by age 40 I've been both divorced and widowed, flown a plane and then skydove from it, been 175 ft underwater, swam through a sunken ship,, rappelled down a waterfall in the cloud forest, ziplined over canyons, gone spelunking, spent New years drinking in an ancient church in a ghost town, drove 1,200 miles to meet and stay with a stranger from the internet, been backstage and on the front rail of two very famous EDM musicians concerts, and was slightly behind and above the command booth for a large cities 4th of July fireworks display. Life is sometimes weird.
posted by Jacen at 12:56 PM on September 13 [1 favorite]


Who landed the plane??
posted by iamkimiam at 1:27 PM on September 13 [1 favorite]


Dave, the guy who was there to land the plane and keep it steady while a bunch of crazies jumped out of it.
posted by Jacen at 8:57 AM on September 14


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