Humorously or fascinatingly bizarre things that have happened to you in your life

Discussion in 'The Observation Bar' started by mmbarnes, Dec 1, 2016.

  1. mmbarnes

    mmbarnes I'll Lock Up

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    Life has lots of twists, turns and cul-de-sacs. In thinking about all of the interesting characters who frequent the lounge, it occurred to me that there must be lots of bizarre experiences out there. I think that it would be a hoot to read about them.

    I'm talking about humorously or fascinatingly bizarre experiences. The kind of ones that leave you with a sense of surreality or "I cannot believe that just happened." So... fun stuff. But not alien abduction or ghost type stuff.

    Hope that others will enjoy, too. If a thread like this is already out there, please direct me that way. My searches (feeble as they may have been) revealed no such one.

    Enjoy.
     
    Last edited: Dec 1, 2016
  2. Benzadmiral

    Benzadmiral Call Me a Cab

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    Twice I've met the previous owners of my cars. Since I usually buy from a dealer, I have no idea who owned a car before me. However, in 2000 I'd entered my big steel-gray '86 Mercedes 420SEL in the Denver MB Club's show -- just for fun, not for judging. A middle-aged fellow comes up to me and says, "Like that car?"

    "Yep."

    "Used to be mine."

    He'd traded it for the succeeding model, and had found it to be a lot of trouble. "Wish I had the 420 back."

    Then it happened to me again, eight years and two cars later. I'd parked my Buick Park Avenue outside the window of the barbershop/stylist where I've been going for lo, these many years. An elderly fellow peered at it and said, "I used to have one just like that. Chrome wheels and everything."

    "Wait," said I. "Where'd you trade it in?"

    "Crown Buick, right up the street. Last August."

    Yes; unless there were two dark gray-over-cream '03 PAs with factory chrome wheels at that dealer then, my car had been his before. As with my previous encounter, he was not too fond of its successor. "Doesn't ride as well. I wish I hadn't had to trade this one; but it depreciated out."
     
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  3. LizzieMaine

    LizzieMaine Bartender

    Cleaning up after the Tuesday matinee this week, we found on the floor a pair of size 7 white cotton Hanes womens' underpants. I've found a lot of things on the floor over the years, including a hot pink sports bra and a leopard-skin thong (after the Al Gore movie, no less), but this took the cake. There wasn't a woman in that audience who was under seventy years of age, and they were all wearing pants. How and where this particular garment got to where it was is a mystery I would prefer not to see resolved.
     
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  4. Inkstainedwretch

    Inkstainedwretch One Too Many

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    In the 70s my wife and I lived in Scotland where our daughter, Alayne, graduated high school and began nursing college. When we returned to the States she stayed behind to finish nursing school. She is a skilled violinist and she also studied Scottish fiddling. She became interested in Shetland fiddling, which is different from Scottish, and went to Shetland to study with Tom Anderson, the legendary Shetland fiddler who trained Aly Bain of the Boys of the Lough.

    In the early '80s We were living in a trailer on a mountaintop in the Appalachians of southwest Virginia. Our daughter was with us again and working at a local hospital. One night the phone rang and my wife answered. It was Tom Anderson, calling from Shetland and asked if Alayne was available. She was on the night shift, but Tom and my wife chatted for a while and she mentioned that her husband was a writer. Tom said he had a writer staying with him right then. My wife turned to me and said, "Have you ever heard of a writer named Magnus Magnusson?" I just gaped at her. I was sitting there with a book open in my lap. It was a book about Viking religion titled "Hammer of the North." Its author was Magnus Magnusson.
     
  5. mmbarnes

    mmbarnes I'll Lock Up

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    That's great. Funniest part is how both of them missed the now yours car.
     
  6. mmbarnes

    mmbarnes I'll Lock Up

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    I simultaneously laughed and shuddered as I read this.
     
  7. mmbarnes

    mmbarnes I'll Lock Up

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    That is one of those great jaw droppers. Fantastic! I'd like to see a mathematician try to calculate the odds on that!
     
  8. Three times over the past 5 yrs or so I have had someone buy my dinner anonymously. The first time I was seated alone at a table in Tulsa, OK. There were booths along the wall & when I was seated I noticed a woman sitting in a booth alone. When I asked for my tab I was told it had been paid for by a woman as she left. Remembering her I looked to the booth & she was gone. I can only assume it was her.

    A yr or so ago I was eating in a restaurant I frequent, seated at the bar alone with my back to the room. About the time I was ready to leave a manager walked up behind the bar & asked if everything was satisfactory, then told me my tab had been paid for. Remembering the incident at Tulsa & not believing this could be happening again I asked him by whom? Motioning with his eyes behind me & to my right he said a gentleman & his lady had asked to pay my bill. When I got up to leave I wanted to acknowledge them so I looked in the direction he had motioned but there was no couple matching his description. Shell shocked I left without leaving a tip for my regular server. The whole incident this time unnerved me because I worried it might have been a business acquaintance or associate that I certainly would want to acknowledge but just did not see in the crowd. So the following evening I stopped in briefly to apologize & tip my server but he could shed no more light on the anonymous customer who he said had paid in cash.

    Just a couple months ago I went to yet another restaurant bar. The bar is built in a big square & I sat leaving one chair between me & the corner. Just around the corner in the first two chairs sat a couple drinking & sharing an appetizer. Not wanting to eavesdrop but I could hear every word of their conversation. They talked mostly about some shopping she wanted to do on their way home. I had a couple of drinks then ordered my dinner; they shared a couple of grafts of summer Sangria with their appetizer, but we exchanged no pleasantries. I didn't pay any attention when he paid their bill but as they walked behind me to leave he said something to the effect that "now the fun begins" & I thought he was referring to her shopping. She said for me to have a good evening. When I went to pay my tab the bartender told me it had been paid for by the couple. Shocked again, I asked her why they would do that; I certainly didn't know them. She didn't know them either, they were not regulars. They had paid the tab with a gift card plus cash.
     
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  9. Fading Fast

    Fading Fast

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    ⇧ HJ, that is a great story - you could, at minimum, by adding in some imaginative details, build that out into one heck of a good fiction shorty story.
     
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  10. Once at yet another place I frequent the manager comped me on a couple of beers off my bill in appreciation of me being a regular but I had to pay for my meal. I briefly gave some thought to that being what really happened during the 2nd incident but fail to see why the manager would comp my tab himself without telling me he was doing so.

    I've tried to look for any commonality between the 3 incidents. I was in Tulsa for about a wk on a job but it was the only time I was ever in that restaurant. I was not wearing a hat. At the restaurant where the second incident happened I am somewhat of a regular there, on average maybe weekly at that time. I was wearing a hat & it was probably my BGCD. I am less of a regular at the last location but I'm known by some of the staff there. I was wearing my Akubra Woomera with the horseshoe crease.

    I've thought about the influence of "Pay It Forward" but this all began a good 10 yrs after the movie came out.
     
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  11. mmbarnes

    mmbarnes I'll Lock Up

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    Profoundly weird and cool.
     
  12. mmbarnes

    mmbarnes I'll Lock Up

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    Location:
    Virginia Beach, Virginia
    Since he was very young, one of my son’s and my favorite Saturday morning pastimes has been to frequent flea markets around Virginia Beach looking for neat stuff.

    In October, 2011, when Gabe was ten, we headed out for our usual bonding ritual and ended up at a small flea market held at a local church. As we leisurely meandered around, we came upon a table manned by a very nice elderly gentleman.

    As you would normally expect, various tools, nick nacks and articles of clothing were strewn across the table. As he perused the wares, Gabe came upon a round clear lucite disk with bits of material orderly suspended and labeled within. He showed it to me and we noticed a second nearly identical disk on the table. We picked up the second disk and examined it. A wave of incredulity and an almost out-of-body feeling washed over me.


    We asked the gentleman where he had obtained the two disks and he relayed his story of having found them in a lot that he purchased from a storage facility abandoned property auction. He also said that he had no idea what the disks were.


    We asked how much he was charging for each disk. I believe that he wanted $8 a piece. For most of our flea market jaunts, I didn't carry cash. Gabe on the other hand was always prepared with his allowance savings just in case he found a nifty toy, military related paraphernalia or other item. So, I asked him to buy the disks and promised to reimburse him.


    Disks in hand, we drove away from the flea market and parked on an adjacent street. My sense of awe and surreality persisted. We discussed whether what we were holding could possibly be genuine. We sat in the car for a while and I did some research.


    I located a newspaper story and several other websites that convinced me that these disks were the real deal. After 20 minutes or so engaged in this endeavor, I dialed the number for the Norfolk FBI agent to tell them what we had. Being Saturday, there was no one available to take my call. I left a voicemail for an agent. We then immediately returned home.


    At home I researched the legal implications of our possession of the disks and whether they were property that we could legally keep (I was almost certain that the answer to the second question was a resounding "no").

    The following evening, I called my uncle who is an attorney and discussed the disks. On Monday, he called me back and confirmed my conclusions. The FBI also returned my phone call and the agent was unsure of who I should contact.


    I next located a number for an office at NASA’s Johnson Space Center. I called and spoke with a nice lady who sounded flabbergasted and somewhat doubtful of the story. She took my number. Within minutes, a gentleman called back from Johnson. We excitedly discussed the disks and I described the labels and the story of how they ended up at our house. He later called back and requested that the following day, we take them to NASA’s Langley Research Center which is conveniently located only 20 miles away in Hampton.


    I left work early the next day and picked up my wife, Gabe and the disks. At Langley’s Gate, we were met by the center’s head of security and an investigator. In stunned excitement and gratitude, they accepted the disks from Gabe.


    What Gabe had stumbled upon were national and world treasures: two lucite disks created by NASA at the Johnson Space Center for use in educational programs. The first contained meteorite samples. The second contained samples brought back from the moon during the Apollo missions!

    They had been stolen out of an unlucky NASA educator’s van in Virginia Beach five years before. In 2011, they ended up with us and we were lucky to have bits of the moon sojourn at our home for an extraordinary and surreal 3 days. And I bet we made the NASA educator who had them stolen while in her custody the happiest person in the world.

    Here are photos of the disks as well as a very proud Gabe holding them, and later returning them at Langley. I also attach a link to a UPI story about the 2006 theft.
    IMAG0912-1.jpg IMAG0906.jpg IMAG0908-1.jpg IMAG0939-1.jpg IMAG0944-2.jpg

    http://www.upi.com/Odd_News/2006/01/16/Thief-gets-sample-of-moon-rock/UPI-98811137449334/

    The whole thing still just flabbergasts me. Best part... I never formally reimbursed Gabe. [emoji6]
     
    Last edited: Dec 2, 2016
  13. Wow!

    You'd better pay him back...
     
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  14. mmbarnes

    mmbarnes I'll Lock Up

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    Oh... That boy has been paid back MANY, MANY times over. Just not FORMALLY. [emoji6]
     
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  15. Bamaboots

    Bamaboots

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    Wait till I share this with Lady B, a NASA employee for over 25 years.
     
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  16. I have heard that a lot of the moon rocks brought back have disappeared. Back in the 90's I did business with a company whose VP had a chunk from the Berlin Wall that sat on his desk all the time.
     
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  17. As the name would imply the Rebels Against Razors Victorian Men's Social Club is for men only. A couple of yrs ago some member's wives had been wanting to get involved & began pushing their husbands for the club to host a social event that would include women. They proposed the idea of a Holiday Ball complete with period music & dance in Victorian attire to be held each Dec.

    After some months under pressure the Council decided to throw the idea back into the laps of the two members by allowing them to pursue it figuring that would shortly put an end to the idea. Surprisingly within a month or so with the help of their wives these two members approached the council with plans for food, drink & music. They even found a ballroom with some history at an old military academy which could host the ball.

    As the final details were being worked out before signing a contract for the use of the ballroom one of the Council elders said we should all realize most of us would have to take lessons, because after all we would be expected to dance!

    That's when the motion died & was never brought to the Council again!
     
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  18. There are numerous lunar samples that are currently "unaccounted for". Most were "gift rocks", given to various governments following the Apollo missions. Many were stolen from their respective governments, sometimes appearing on the black market for millions of dollars.

    A handful of samples have been stolen from NASA's possession, the story described above is one of the most famous examples. Pretty amazing how it ends up involving a fellow FL member!

    For the record, it is illegal for an individual to own or sell any piece of the moon's surface brought back on any NASA mission. It is illegal to attempt to sell a fake sample. The only legal way to own a piece of the moon is through any dust that may be present on any legally owned artifact that went to the moon and came back. There are examples of dust being collected from parts and patches, and a few specs of dust sells for extraordinary amounts.
     
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  19. mmbarnes

    mmbarnes I'll Lock Up

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    Truth be told... even after I researched the legal issues, the thought certainly did cross my mind to just put them in a box somewhere. I could then periodically take them out, hold them and (like Tolkien's Gollum) mindlessly mutter "my precious" over and over again.

    Of course... I still do that. Only it's with my hat collection instead of lunar samples.
     
    Last edited: Dec 8, 2016
  20. That would be awfully tempting. Of course, you'd never be able to tell anyone, and that's half the fun. That, and moon rocks have no magical powers.
     
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