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SpookdaddyOffline
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PostPosted: 29-09-2005 20:57    Post subject: Only in real life...! Reply with quote

I thought we should have a thread for those events that we might experience occasionally which aren’t at all paranormal but which are nevertheless bizarre and ludicrous enough to stick in our minds and which, if you saw them in a movie you’d think were far-fetched or contrived. A kind of non-spooky IHTM. Anyway, I woke up this morning thinking about this event and felt the need to share it.

A few years ago I was drinking the worst pint of Guinness I’ve ever tasted, to the accompaniment of the worst Irish band I’ve ever heard, in a bar in Copenhagen. In old slapstick films you get the guy running at a door in order to break it down only for someone to open it just as he’s about to make contact - well that’s how this strange looking bloke entered the pub, his trajectory suspended only by the fact that someone had thoughtfully placed the bar in his way. He was short, stocky, ginger haired and was wearing a kipper tie and the kind of loudly checked sports jacket last seen in episodes of Kojak - and he landed right next to me at the bar. Anyway, we got chatting and it turned out that he was in Denmark for a couple of days as a consequence of his job as a Finnish consultant for Carlsberg.

He bought me a drink - I bought him a drink . We started on the Vodka at about 21.00. The next several hours are a bit of a blur, although I know a trip to Christiana was involved and that he would insist on asking me to explain THE WAR IN IRELAND at the top of his voice (in an Irish bar forfucksake), until sometime in the wee small hours when I find we are at the quayside having lost his Danish minders along the way and that my little ginger friend is becoming alarmingly loud and emotional and appears to be trying to explain something rather complicated to me in Finnish while occasionally breaking off to sing very loudly and cry a bit. Being a reserved Brit this all struck me as all a bit off and European and I was trying to work out how to get some distance between us when the distressed Finn started shuffling towards the quayside while at the same time trying to divest himself of his atrocious jacket. To my horror I realised the man intended to jump in, presumably in order to drown himself (why he thought the jacket was worth saving is beyond me) as a consequence of whatever emotional turmoil he had been trying to explain to me in a language I didn’t understand while we were both stupendously out of our skulls. It struck me that it might be easier just to let him get on with it but after a rapid and rather slurred internal dialogue between the bit of me that wanted to go to bed and the bit that retained a tattered and weary fragment of human decency, I started after him.

He started running. I started running. A few metres from the quayside I floored him with a surprisingly competent rugby tackle. However he was a stocky little bugger and as strong as an ox and commenced wriggling towards the water’s edge with me hanging on to his ankle for dear life. It was like trying to wrestle a portly ginger seal which smelled strongly of whisky. Eventually, after crawling up him a bit, which only succeeded in slowing him down, I realised that the only way I was ever going to stop him was to sit on him - which, after a brief struggle, I did. Which is when I got the giggles. Which is when the police turned up. Which, for some reason (possibly the looks on their faces), made me laugh even more.

You can see their point. An monumentally inebriated 14-stone, six-foot-something Englishman with a shaved head giggling like a madman while sitting on top of an emotional and faintly wriggling Finn at three in the morning. I would have arrested me too.

Anyway it all got sorted out in the end . I was a bit taken aback though when I asked him on our exit from the police station what he had been so upset about, assuming he had marital or family problems or something like that, he looked at me quizzically and answered “Oh no, no problems. That’s just the way it is with us Finns sometimes.”

Anyway, just felt I had to get that off my chest!
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KondoruOffline
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PostPosted: 29-09-2005 21:02    Post subject: Reply with quote

Gosh, I have Finns in my family too.
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MythopoeikaOffline
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PostPosted: 29-09-2005 22:37    Post subject: Reply with quote

You're a decent human being, Spookdaddy. Well done.
I guess Finns and Norwegians are a little predisposed to suicide and depression because of the cold weather and the 6-months dark, 6-months light days.
Enough to send anybody round the bend.
That man should move to a sunny country - he'd be as right as rain (eventually).
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Ringo_Offline
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PostPosted: 30-09-2005 13:09    Post subject: Reply with quote

Mythopoeika wrote
Quote:
I guess Finns and Norwegians are a little predisposed to suicide and depression because of the cold weather and the 6-months dark, 6-months light days.
Enough to send anybody round the bend.


The same goes for here in Sweden. Bill Bryson wrote that our national sport was suicide! Laughing
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YithianOffline
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PostPosted: 30-09-2005 13:15    Post subject: Reply with quote

I have no statistics but i saw some of the fattest people i've ever encountered in Finland.
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min_bannister
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PostPosted: 30-09-2005 13:33    Post subject: Reply with quote

Yes Finland had a big (boom boom!) obesity problem but is getting a hold of it now.

http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/health/3451491.stm

MPs are looking at how they tackled it to see if it'll work here!
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YithianOffline
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PostPosted: 30-09-2005 13:38    Post subject: Reply with quote

Whoa, according to that article 26% of British Women are 'obese'.

How much overweight do you have to be to get in that category? Double 'ideal' weight? More?
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YithianOffline
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PostPosted: 30-09-2005 13:40    Post subject: Reply with quote

Answering myself:

Quote:


How do you know if you are obese?

Most doctors calculate obesity using a formula known as the Body Mass Index (BMI).

It is a measure based on height and weight that applies to both adult men and women.

To calculate your BMI divide your weight in kilograms by the square of your height in metres.

Body Mass Index
Underweight: less than 20
Normal weight: 20-25
Overweight: 25 - 29.9
Obese: over 30
Morbidly obese: over 40

Calculate your BMI

A BMI of 25 to 29.9 is considered overweight and one of 30 or above is considered obese.

Doctors have recently recognised a new category: those with a BMI above 40 are considered morbidly obese.

People with BMIs between 19 and 22 live longest. Death rates are noticeably higher for people with indexes 25 and above.

The BMI is not infallible. For instance, it is possible for a healthy, muscular athlete with very low body fat to be classified obese using the BMI formula.

http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/health/medical_notes/3189930.stm
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SpookdaddyOffline
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PostPosted: 30-09-2005 14:57    Post subject: Reply with quote

The guy wasn't fat exactly - just stocky. But he did have about the worst dress sense of anyone I've ever met.

He told me (bearing in mind that both of us were only barely conscious at the time) that although the Finns drink large amounts of alcohol their tastes are very limited and therefore, although there is potentially a large market for foriegn brewers in Finland, it is, or was, extremely difficult to break into. This is how he'd ended up working for Carlsberg - although I think he might have been taking his factfinding a little too seriously.
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MythopoeikaOffline
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PostPosted: 30-09-2005 21:02    Post subject: Reply with quote

Ringo_ wrote:
Mythopoeika wrote
Quote:
I guess Finns and Norwegians are a little predisposed to suicide and depression because of the cold weather and the 6-months dark, 6-months light days.
Enough to send anybody round the bend.


The same goes for here in Sweden. Bill Bryson wrote that our national sport was suicide! Laughing


Oh, sorry Ringo - I forgot Sweden.
Yeah, I guess you've got the same day/night problems (and consequently the same kind of suicide problems as Norway and Finland).
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SpookdaddyOffline
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PostPosted: 30-09-2005 21:48    Post subject: Reply with quote

Come on guys! Someone's got to have had bizarre stuff happen to them - the kind of stuff people think you're making up when you tell them in the pub.

I don't want this to get needlessly autobiographical but here's another little episode.

When I was a student I went to stay at a friends house in Wallasey. His family were devout Catholics - his mother extremely so, and the house, which was enormous, was littered with religious statues and paintings - which give me the horrors at the best of times. Anyway, we’d been out on the piss all day because it was my mates 21st and then we’d gone into Liverpool just to make sure we really wouldn’t be able to remember a thing about his birthday. We must have got home somehow because I woke up at around four in the morning not being able to remember where I was or why I was there but knowing that I definitely needed a piss as a matter of some urgency.

Not wanting to wake anyone up I decided to try and find my way in the dark which, seeing as I had no idea where the toilet was and I was very drunk, wasn’t a particularly good idea. After what seemed like several hours of bumping into things I found a set of stairs and decided that the toilet was probably down them somewhere. About halfway down I tripped over a burglar - a bit shorter than me, and oddly cold and hard to the touch - but definitely a burglar. Imagine my surprise when the ensuing noise wakens most of the household who, turning the lights on, discover me halfway down the stairs wrestling with an almost life-size plaster statue of the Blessed Virgin in my underpants (which are in not-quite-on not-quite-off mode).

They were very understanding but I have a horrible feeling that some of their worst fears about protestants were confirmed that day.


Last edited by Spookdaddy on 30-09-2005 21:57; edited 1 time in total
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SpookdaddyOffline
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PostPosted: 30-09-2005 21:54    Post subject: Reply with quote

I could also tell you about the time a French midget tried to teach me how to breathe fire in a pub toilet in Edinburgh using a bottle of stolen brandy and a fag-lighter but no-one ever believes that one - sounds too much like a Tom Waits lyric.
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LeaferneOffline
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PostPosted: 01-10-2005 17:05    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
Imagine my surprise when the ensuing noise wakens most of the household who, turning the lights on, discover me halfway down the stairs wrestling with an almost life-size plaster statue of the Blessed Virgin in my underpants (which are in not-quite-on not-quite-off mode).

They were very understanding but I have a horrible feeling that some of their worst fears about protestants were confirmed that day.


rofl

THANK YOU for brightening up a horrendous couple of weeks...and I'm dying to hear the midget story. (is there such a thing as a bad anecdote about a midget? I think not)
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again6Offline
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PostPosted: 01-10-2005 17:41    Post subject: Reply with quote

English carpenter in Australia was asked to build a movable, circular stage for a nightclub. He constructed it in two semi-circular halves which could be pushed together and locked by pins. After the performance the two halves could be detached and pushed out of sight. The grande performer was a short, squat American 'belter'; a wannabe Ethel Merman ... although in truth she looked more like Ernest Borgnine in drag.

So there she was; middle aged, over the hill, but giving it all she had, feet planted wide and belting out: 'Swwwwaaaannnneeee, how I loves ya, how I loves ya, my dear Ole Swannie ' .... when her wide-spread stance grew wider ... wider..... as the two halves of the circular stage began drifting apart. The old trooper's short, fat legs were stretched to the max, but she kept wailing her lungs out until the end ... when she ended up falling in a heap. Patrons thought it was all part of the act and cheered like mad.

The English carpenter's wife, meanwhile, was playing a Cinderella role out the back in the kitchens. Blessed with a superb voice, she was singing a not-bad version of Silent Night as she laboured over sinks-full of dirty dishes. Desperate because his star had stomped off into her dressing room after her forced splits courtesy of the drift-apart stage, the manager rushed a microphone into the kitchen to capture the warbling of his dish-washer as substitute entertainment for his customers.

At around this time, the English carpenter burst into the night-club, brandishing a short-handled axe. Monumentally drunk, shirtless and sporting a Tarzan physique and tan, the English carpenter screamed Rambo-style: 'Bring the bastard out here ! Where's that fecking pussy-cat waiter who's been shagging my wife! '

The room fell suddenly silent as the carpenter's dish-washing wife recognised her husband's roar through the thin kitchen doors. The soaring strains of Silent Night were replaced by an alarmed: ' Oooo, bluddy 'eck ! ', followed by frantic whispering.

Leaping acrobatically from table to table, axe raised high, the English carpenter closed in on a particular waiter who'd been trying to slip unnoticed from the dining room and into the kitchen.

' Oi ! You! Yes -- YOU, pansy boy! ' screamed the carpenter to the petrified waiter, who was what they used to describe as a 'Continental' type; all brycreem, narrow moustache and olive-oil smile. 'Cum over 'ere, you fecking wog bastard, I want a bluddy word wi you ! Cum an' get a bit o this ! ' and the carpenter brandished his axe with a chilling grin.

The patrons were enchanted with this bit of theatre -- judged it a huge improvement on the usual Christmas Eve entertainment -- and egged the combatants on.

In the end, the carpenter only used the blunt edge of his axe on the waiter, who dropped pleading before he'd even been clouted.

The nightclub manager, who's motto must have been ' I rush in where angels fear to ...' saw his chance and dashed at the carpenter to complain about the come-apart stage. He received a thump to the ear, as did those patrons within easy reach who'd been stupid enough to cat-call the still pumped carpenter.

Meanwhile, the carpenter's wife had high-tailed it home, three doors up, followed shortly after by her axe-weilding, wild-eyed spouse. He was in the middle of jumping up and down on the presents he'd bought her for Christmas, in between holding a bread knife to her throat whilst instructing his pale-faced children to: 'get to bluddy bed and get back to sleep, quick smart, or there's no bluddy Santy Claus for YOU !'

This touching Christmas tableau was interrupted by the sound of one of the two local police yelling into a loud-hailer: 'Come on out with your hands up and no-one will get hurt '. Or words to that effect.

'Yeah -- and I'll be taking sum o you bastards wi me ! ' screamed the carpenter, his wild grin exploding in joy at the thought of half-worthy opponents at last. Grabbing his spear-gun and ordinary gun, and tucking the axe in his belt, he flew from the door, tried a commando tumble-turn which didn't quite work and ended up in a heap against his car. Undeterred, his next maneouvre was a fair impersonation of ground crawling jungle-warfare moves, which brought him to a grassy mound near the kiddies swing-set of a little public park. Arranging his armoury next to him, be began screaming abuse at the gentle-natured local constabulary, in the hope of getting some fireworks going.

But before the shoot-out could commence, out of nowhere flew a rotund, sweating, swearing lump which landed square on the prone carpenter's back, releasing a surprised 'oooof '. Not exactly the cavalry. In fact it was the carpenter's sometimes best-mate; an 'I'm not German, I'm Swiss' chef from the nightclub. He arm-wrestled the stunned carpenter into submission, so that the two nervous policemen could slip on the handcuffs and go home to their families.

The carpenter had a great time in the jail that night. It contained some of the area's more interesting characters, who talked and sang for hours. Meanwhile, at home, the carpenter's wife locked herself in her room, surrounded by her smashed Christmas presents, and pretended to play the piano on her dressing table, to the strains of a Liberace record. As the dawn light touched the little home, her little daughters tried to explain to their even younger brother that no -- it hadn't actually been Santa who'd been yelling through the loud-hailers. Then together the children gathered the unwrapped, broken toys strewn around the floor after the night's drama, and tried to put the pieces together in order to play with them.

A few years later, having moved to a quiet, rural area in which he practised a more respectable demeanor, the carpenter built the new town church. As crowning glory, he constructed a modernist lectern, which could be raised or lowered to suit the height of the preacher, via a slide-and-lock gizmo.

Came the great day when the church was to be formally consecrated. Notables and clergy joined the local farmers as they posed for reporters and photographers. Then all filed inside in their Sunday best, with the carpenter and his family honoured with front-row seats. Speeches, hymns, more speeches and then the biggest of the big-wig clergy strode to the lectern. A hush fell over the audience. This was the biggest, most important speech of the day about to occur here ... you could hear a pin drop.

Placing his hands Chuck Heston style on either side of the Norwegian looking lectern, the Top Clergyman cleared his throat before launching the voice of which he was so proud. But it was drowned out by the congregation's shocked squeals and his own startled grunts as the lectern plummeted earth-wards, taking him with it.

It was a great idea, that raise and lower lectern ... like the come-apart circular stage had been. If only someone had remembered to lock them together before using them.

The carpenter's children grew up to distrust anything that had to be put together by human hands; things such as roller-coasters and other fair-ground rides for example. And they're obessive about checking the nuts that hold the wheels on, after they've had their cars serviced. Other than that, they're reasonably normal, apart from getting a bit depressed for some reason, around Christmas time.
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Anonymous
PostPosted: 01-10-2005 17:47    Post subject: Reply with quote

Leaferne wrote:
THANK YOU for brightening up a horrendous couple of weeks...and I'm dying to hear the midget story.


i second that one, tell us the midget story Spook. i haven't laughed so much in ages!

Cracking story there Again! rofl
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