It's late but let's see if we can make this interesting
June 26, 2018 8:28 AM   Subscribe

 
Arlo Guthrie reportedly serenaded me with the theme to "Sesame Street" when I was four years old. ....I remember absolutely nothing about the incident, unfortunately.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 8:39 AM on June 26, 2018 [16 favorites]


I feel honestly like a large part of my life is a series of implausible stories. If I tell them all, I look like a liar, so I usually don’t. But this thread is glorious.
posted by corb at 8:42 AM on June 26, 2018 [11 favorites]


I found myself in a lunch counter lineup with John Diefenbaker, but I was too tired and grouchy to say anything to him.
posted by Multicellular Exothermic at 8:47 AM on June 26, 2018 [1 favorite]


Wow, I thought I had some good stories about myself, but they seem pretty boring compared to some of those.

I guess the best one is that I met my wife on OKCupid, and it turned out we lived next door to each other.
posted by kevinbelt at 8:47 AM on June 26, 2018 [73 favorites]


Library workstudy gig in college: was asked to saw two legs off a card catalog table, completing the task from the previous shift. That night Mom called to inform me my grandmother had one leg amputated to address her circulation problems.
posted by bendybendy at 8:53 AM on June 26, 2018 [20 favorites]


I once helped a friend steal a banner hanging from a lamppost on the Vegas strip.
posted by tobascodagama at 8:55 AM on June 26, 2018


I dropped out of art school and ended up with a math phd.
posted by kaibutsu at 8:56 AM on June 26, 2018 [23 favorites]


I once called Vince Coleman during a Cards game at Busch Stadium to tell him that an alarm was going off at his house. I may have been the only person in St. Louis who had no idea who Coleman was, let alone that he was playing in a game.
posted by Halloween Jack at 8:59 AM on June 26, 2018 [11 favorites]


I attended Randy Pausch's last lecture. I hadn't intended to be there, but I left my first day of work after graduating from CMU (with permission) and stood in the incredibly long line to get in.
posted by Alison at 9:00 AM on June 26, 2018 [10 favorites]


please be advised that under no circumstances will i elaborate on this but: i once accidentally dated twins.
posted by poffin boffin at 9:02 AM on June 26, 2018 [105 favorites]


I once fell down the stairs aboard a Royal Yacht.
posted by Capt. Renault at 9:04 AM on June 26, 2018 [2 favorites]


This is only implausible if you know what a giant nerd I am, but I've never told it online so:

Marie Claire magazine (around in France since the 1930s) launched their US edition in 1994, when I was in a locally popular band and people had the crazy idea I was cool. A guy who was a writer for the magazine pre-launch contributed to a planned first-issue feature about hip young eligible bachelors around the US. For my town they interviewed me for some reason!

Well, as it turns out they decided to re-focus the magazine on a different audience and so that feature was canned. To this day I wonder:

1) How would my life be different if I had been in that magazine? I'm happily married by the way.
2) Did they change the format after seeing that article and going WTF WHO WOULD THINK THIS GUY BELONGS IN A MAGAZINE? START OVER!!
posted by freecellwizard at 9:05 AM on June 26, 2018 [12 favorites]


Bookstore nights: I once had a fairly lengthy conversation with Nick Nolte about cobblers (the shoe kind), and was subsequently interviewed about the incident by a special detail of the LAPD, who were concerned that he may have violated his parole and specifically wanted to know if he had seemed intoxicated.

I had no idea, since in fact my coworker and I had been surreptitiously splitting a six pack behind the counter all evening.
posted by aspersioncast at 9:11 AM on June 26, 2018 [31 favorites]


I was hired to be a photo editor at Canada's largest newspaper despite being colour blind.
posted by thenormshow at 9:12 AM on June 26, 2018 [11 favorites]


When my spousypants and I were traveling in Italy a few years ago — not long after she graduated — we found ourselves in an interesting little place called Calcata. We went out to dinner, and the proprietor/chef was none other than the brother of her Italian professor at UT.
posted by thedward at 9:13 AM on June 26, 2018 [2 favorites]


I’m in that thread already, but I completely forgot that my mom witnessed Tupac’s murder and didn’t happen to mention it to me for 20 years.
posted by Etrigan at 9:14 AM on June 26, 2018 [37 favorites]


I joined MetaFilter. That often seems deeply implausible, yet true.
posted by GenjiandProust at 9:16 AM on June 26, 2018 [4 favorites]


At a post-reading party in the early '90s I loudly and drunkenly went on rant about how much I hated Allen Ginsburg's poetry and what a fraud-both personally and professionally--he was. This was while sitting immediately adjacent to a half bathroom, out of which Mr. Ginsburg sheepishly appeared a few minutes later.

Later, the host and hostess of said party managed to break the sink off the wall in said bathroom while having sex.
posted by Chrischris at 9:17 AM on June 26, 2018 [42 favorites]


Also, I have met a god.
posted by GenjiandProust at 9:17 AM on June 26, 2018 [1 favorite]


Way back in my twenties, I was on my way to a job interview and realised I was going to be early. I was feeling nervous anyway, so I dropped into a tatty pub near the company's office to kill a few minutes and get myself together over a non-alcoholic drink.

I'd just sat down when the lights went up on the pub's tiny corner stage and a bored-looking young stripper came on. She got down to her knickers and then started rubbing calamine lotion over herself in a rather desultory way. There were about half a dozen guys sitting there watching her, gloomily clutching their pints as the act wore on. They didn't seem to be enjoying it any more than she was.

Five minutes later, I was in the office next door trying to persuade some executive that he should employ me. I did not get the job.
posted by Paul Slade at 9:20 AM on June 26, 2018 [6 favorites]


I helped a member of Norwegian black metal band Aura Noir pick out a couple of the Elves Lego sets for his daughter.
posted by darksong at 9:22 AM on June 26, 2018 [9 favorites]


I did live sex shows in Times Square with my first wife, who was a burlesque dancer.
posted by Splunge at 9:23 AM on June 26, 2018 [10 favorites]


Oh hey! Hi, everyone; there are a lot of excellent stories in there, thanks for joining in. It's almost got me believing that Good Twitter is still possible.
posted by mhoye at 9:25 AM on June 26, 2018 [13 favorites]


My dad is toad from the super Mario brothers movie
posted by The Whelk at 9:26 AM on June 26, 2018 [44 favorites]


I was threatened with a lawsuit by one of the creators of the TV show ALF for a crack I made on the Internet. It worked out. And I once, briefly, impersonated the film director Thom Fitzgerald (with his permission, likely because I liked a movie only his mum liked).

My partner was befriended by Jason Robards when she was a child and was gifted luggage previously owned by Elizabeth Taylor for a baby sitting job she did (not for Elizabeth Taylor).
posted by Ashwagandha at 9:26 AM on June 26, 2018 [2 favorites]


Randy Bachman fostered my cat for a while and his wife renamed her.
posted by yellowbinder at 9:27 AM on June 26, 2018 [6 favorites]


I once won 126 animals from the same crane game in one afternoon. Later, some friends and I would perform stuffed-animal drive-bys in which we would roll up on people and then pelt them with said toys from the side door of a vintage VW bus.
posted by DirtyOldTown at 9:28 AM on June 26, 2018 [18 favorites]


My wife and I have been together for almost 18 years and the biggest fight we’ve ever had was a slightly snippy disagreement over whether Lonely Planet or Rough Guides are better.
posted by The Card Cheat at 9:30 AM on June 26, 2018 [26 favorites]


I don't know if this is implausible, but it's cool - I taught Colman Domingo an Irish folk dancing step and danced it with him. He dug it.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 9:31 AM on June 26, 2018 [3 favorites]


When a toddler, I and my parents were, once, the only ones travelling in a wide-bodied airliner.
posted by Gyan at 9:32 AM on June 26, 2018 [9 favorites]


I was watching a TV show, and just as a plane was crashing on the show a giant pickup truck crashed into my house and destroyed the front bedroom.
posted by thedward at 9:33 AM on June 26, 2018 [16 favorites]


I was seduced by a Russian spy.

I was interrogated by CSIS about my involvement with a Russian spy.

I once declined a game of pool from Jean Luc Godard.

I once turtle-sat for a Spanish gangster.

I know a former police officer who faked insanity to "retire" and get a pension. His act was so convincing, he claims, that he "could kill you right now and wouldn't even go to jail. They'd just put me in the hospital."
posted by dobbs at 9:35 AM on June 26, 2018 [28 favorites]




When I was in my 20s, a young woman came up to me at a bar, and asked if she could buy me a drink, which had never happened to me before. We hit it off and started dating, and when I took her over to meet my parents, she said "hmmmm, I've been in this house before." It turned out that she had come over when we were teenagers, with a mutual friend, to get high, and bought a tiny quantity of weed from me. I had never seen her since. When we moved in together, and were unpacking books together on the bookshelf, I saw a copy of "Mediaspeak: How TV Makes Up Your Mind," and said "hey, I used to have that book," opened up the cover, and saw my "please return to" penned on the inside cover. Turn out I had loaned it to another friend, who loaned it to another, who loaned it to her, and she had kept it all those years. Also turned out that we had two mutual friends who were always trying to introduce us, not necessarily set us up romantically, but thought we should meet, but it never materialized for whatever reason. Also turned out that she used to live down the street from me when I was a kid.

People are surprised to find that I don't have a college degree, and utterly shocked that I don't have a highschool diploma or GED.

Few people seem to accept that I am genderqueer/non-binary.
posted by ethical_caligula at 9:42 AM on June 26, 2018 [37 favorites]


When I was 10 I lived on a boat. We were anchored in Deepwater Harbour, Antigua, and my folks had taken the dinghy in to do laundry. I was downstairs doing my correspondence schoolwork when I heard a knock on the hull and went up to see who it was. I was amazed to discover that the boat had dragged itself into the only open slip in the marina. The crew from the boat one slip over, a 10-meter racing yacht, came aboard to help me re-anchor the boat. I (maybe unhelpfully?) gave them directions as we piloted the boat back into the harbor, dropped the anchor, and ensured that it had caught. I thanked them all and they took a launch back to the harbor.

The boat, it turned out, was Drum, owned by Simon Le Bon of Duran Duran.

2nd place: I once walked in on Big Pun talking to himself in the bathroom.
posted by grumpybear69 at 9:44 AM on June 26, 2018 [16 favorites]


I once told a locally-famous (in Toronto) radio personality that he had a great voice and should be on the radio....

I went to high school with Keanu Reeves.

Bono held my hand all the way through a song at a U2 concert in 1984.

Billy Idol once kissed me and drooled on me while doing so.
posted by biscotti at 9:46 AM on June 26, 2018 [14 favorites]


I went to high school with Keanu Reeves.

He took acting lessons at my work.

I went to grade 6 with Kiefer Sutherland.

I once urinated next to Warren Beatty, who was also urinating.
posted by dobbs at 9:48 AM on June 26, 2018 [3 favorites]


I also feel like my life has been a series of implausible stories. About 50% of them involve me being very close to gay sex scenes while being cisgender female and asexual and a former rabbinical student.

I worked clothes check at a gay sex club in Hollywood.
I am a non-sexual extra in a gay porn film.
I could out a number of closeted actors (but never would).
I own a custom sling (don't ask).
It just goes on and on.
posted by Sophie1 at 9:49 AM on June 26, 2018 [7 favorites]


The summer after I graduated high school, two friends and I did a road trip from the East to the West coast of the US and back, in two weeks. About a week in we reached California, got ourselves excited at the approach of our destination, listened to cheesy California-celebrating music, and eventually got tuckered out. I was riding shotgun, and our friend in the back was dozing. I was zoned out, not really paying attention, when a car started to pass us on the right. Nothing particularly unusual about this, but something odd caught the corner of my eye as the car pulled along side and matched our speed. I looked over, and there was a gorilla driving the car. I did a literal double-take, and realized the driver was wearing a gorilla mask, looking over at me and waving. Then they sped ahead of us. My buddies and I had a good laugh, and we ended up passing and being passed by the car several times. There were a couple of other guys in that car too, and they all looked to be about our age. Their car also had plates from Virginia, the same state we were from. Clearly this was another group of young guys doing a cross-country road trip at the same time as us, from the same state, and we'd just happened to end up in the same place on the interstate together in California at the same time.

I started college that fall, and since I thought this was a funny and kind of implausible coincidence, one evening I told the story to a group of people in my dorm. As I got to the part about the gorilla mask, one of the women I was talking with got a really strange look on her face.

"I think I know those guys," she said.

"What?"

"Yeah, I'm pretty sure I know them. A couple of my friends did a road trip to the West Coast last summer, and they told me one of the games they played was putting on a gorilla mask and waving at people on the highway."

"Oh shit." The hair on the back of my neck stood up a bit. "Uh, what state are they from?"

"North Carolina," she said, but just as I started to calm down, she added, "But they would have been driving a car with Virginia plates."
posted by biogeo at 9:50 AM on June 26, 2018 [31 favorites]


I once forgot where I parked my truck, assumed it was stolen and bought a new car.

(found the truck a few days later)
posted by Twinge at 9:50 AM on June 26, 2018 [39 favorites]


I was stopped and questioned while walking along the Afghanistan/Uzbekistan border (just a dumb tourist) and was found to be carrying "opium" (painkillers) and spent time in an Afghan jail.
posted by Twinge at 9:52 AM on June 26, 2018 [15 favorites]


I once forgot where I parked my truck, assumed it was stolen and bought a new car.

Oh yeah, I've done that.

Well, in my case, it was a cell phone charger, not a truck, but same idea.
posted by biogeo at 9:53 AM on June 26, 2018 [48 favorites]


I figured out (guessed, really) who shot Mr. Burns.

I had no idea there was a contest.
posted by infinitewindow at 9:57 AM on June 26, 2018 [3 favorites]


I once hit the real-life person that a movie character played by Denzel Washington was based on in the face with a frisbee.
posted by biogeo at 9:59 AM on June 26, 2018 [11 favorites]


Maybe I should specify that it wasn't on purpose.
posted by biogeo at 10:00 AM on June 26, 2018 [8 favorites]


I was traveling around Australia during my months-long backpacking trip. On my last night in Sydney, I was coming back from Manley Beach on the train. As the door opened, I saw a college friend of mine from the hockey team standing there waiting to get on the same exact car on the same exact train at the same exact time I was getting off.
posted by astapasta24 at 10:02 AM on June 26, 2018 [6 favorites]


I've been thinking and thinking of a tale to tell, but I guess my entire life has been shockingly plausible.
posted by Squeak Attack at 10:04 AM on June 26, 2018 [21 favorites]


I played T-ball with Hall of fame pitcher Greg Maddux.

Also, in college, I was walking up the stairwell into a fraternity party with friends as several girls were leaving. One of those girls knew my friend from the dorm the previous year. A 15-second shift in timing and we don't pass in that stairwell. My friend and the girl from the dorm the previous year start chatting and at some point that evening she invites him her sorority formal. He says yes. The next morning when he sobers up he remembers he has a girlfriend and decides to back out of the date. When he breaks the date he offers to set her up with me instead. She accepts that offer.

In less than 24 hours I had:

- An improbable meeting in a stairwell
- My friend getting ask out on a date by somebody he hadn't seen in a year
- Him saying yes even though he was in a relationship
- Him changing his mind
- Him trying to set me up instead
- She accepting the blind date

We've been married for 26 years.
posted by COD at 10:04 AM on June 26, 2018 [43 favorites]


I invented, implemented, sold very few copies, and then abandoned, something that's now on every smartphone.

I saw the Beatles on their first U.S. tour.
posted by still_wears_a_hat at 10:09 AM on June 26, 2018 [11 favorites]


I've been thinking and thinking of a tale to tell, but I guess my entire life has been shockingly plausible.

I have plenty of stories but none of them are implausible because everybody knows my life is wild, exciting and full of adventure.
posted by each day we work at 10:13 AM on June 26, 2018 [9 favorites]


My sister, 10-13 years ago maybe, ran into Pharrell in a 7-11 on Christmas eve buying a frozen pizza in his boxers. (not too implausible, he's from the area, but still a fun thing to have happened)
posted by FirstMateKate at 10:15 AM on June 26, 2018 [1 favorite]


My wife and I have been together for almost 18 years and the biggest fight we’ve ever had was a slightly snippy disagreement over whether Lonely Planet or Rough Guides are better.

I assume because you don't mention who won that the disagreement has lasted 18 years and counting.
posted by srboisvert at 10:15 AM on June 26, 2018 [13 favorites]


Ok, a second one. When I was a wee toddler, my midwest parents spent a lot of time in California, and were considering moving there (they didn't, to my dismay as an adult). I grew up with vague memories of playing in an elaborate kid's play house, sort of like a one room cottage built to kid's scale, which was apparently on the property of where my parents were staying. When I was older, my parents told me that while I was playing in that playhouse, they were hanging out with a couple they had befriended and doing a lot of off-the-boat quality cocaine. It was an produce farm, being used to launder money from the cocaine importation business of a man who came from a family with a fortune in (legal) shipping and importation (which he was using as a cover to bring boatloads of cocaine into CA).

Nearly 3 decades later, I was living in California my self, and ended up friends with a person who came from an "old money" family, whose parents had had a produce farm they used to launder money from their cocaine importation business. Who had a lot of long term guests, some with kids. And a little kid's scale playhouse cottage. I said "no kidding, I think my parents were in the same scene back then," and we talked dates and locations, and it felt more and more spooky...

Yep, I met the adult child of the parents that my parents lived and partied with in 1970's San Diego, 30 years later.
posted by ethical_caligula at 10:15 AM on June 26, 2018 [13 favorites]


Well, there was the time I was involved in a running joke with a radio talk host in which I called his show almost daily and made a ritual of saying "oh, one more thing", after which he'd said he'd put me on hold and "come back to me much later" (not really). Someone from the Guinness Book of World Records called the show thinking I might qualify for a record for "the longest ever wait on hold". I heard it and immediately called back in, but we failed to convince them I was really on hold 24/7; however it did help get me my first radio job as the host's assistant/sidekick.

Another radio stunt I like to call "tightrope walking on the 10PM News", when, helping him fill time during an "event" that had attracted TV news crews, I ad-libbed to a giggling audience that I was skilled at tightrope walking, but because they hadn't set up a wire, I just set down some of the audio cable and walked back and forth on it for a minute while a-capella-ing some circus music. I was shocked when one of the local news broadcasts ran my entire schtick behind their closing credits.

I actually experienced fewer "brushes with fame" than my 40 years living in L.A. and a half-dozen years in the radio business should have brought about. But at one of Robin Williams' first performances after John Belushi's death (after he had dropped out of sight for several months), he looked over the audience seeking something to improvise about, saw me wearing a white kind-of-a-tennis-style sweater, pointed at me and said "It's Bill Tilden!" Yep, Robin Williams mistook me for a great (dead) tennis player.
posted by oneswellfoop at 10:16 AM on June 26, 2018 [1 favorite]


Never thought the one about losing my truck would be more popular than the one about getting tossed in an Afghan jail....
posted by Twinge at 10:17 AM on June 26, 2018


I once urinated next to Warren Beatty, who was also urinating.

Same, but it was Mitch Mitchell
posted by Roommate at 10:17 AM on June 26, 2018 [1 favorite]


I semi-successfully sent an impostor to my 10-year high school reunion.
posted by mhum at 10:20 AM on June 26, 2018 [20 favorites]


Not my story, but my great-uncle is a real estate developer that deals (well, he's retired so "dealt") with developing land in North/Central/South America into resorts . In the mid 60's he was somewhere in Mexico helping turn a quiet fishing village into a resort town (Ixtapa/Zihuatanejo maybe?) when he ran into the only other white dude in town. The other guy asked "what brings you here?". My great-uncle was coy since making the town a vacation spot was a secret to keep foreign investors from jumping in and driving up the prices before the deal was done, so he said "to get away from my wife, lol!".

Well, the other dude was a UCLA anthropology professor and turns out his wife was my great-aunt's good friend. He jumped on a plane back to Los Angeles and my great-aunt had like three weeks to stew over why her husband was telling randos all over the world how miserable their marriage supposedly was.
posted by sideshow at 10:21 AM on June 26, 2018 [5 favorites]


I also feel like my life has been a series of implausible stories. About 50% of them involve me being very close to gay sex scenes while being cisgender female and asexual and a former rabbinical student.

How was that salad, though?
posted by DigDoug at 10:24 AM on June 26, 2018 [6 favorites]


Actually, since I mentioned my wife and I; we were born in the same city, in the same hospital (so potentially the same delivery room?). When she was born, I was a year and a half old and living a couple of blocks away from the hospital. Years later, after her family had moved to Thunder Bay, we both went to Queen's University (although I was two years ahead of her) and we were both in the Film Studies department. We never met, although she knew *of* me because I wrote an article in the school paper which made fun of some friends of hers. After graduation we both eventually moved to Toronto. I had cut short a backpacking trip to Australia and was couch-surfing at my best friend's place until I found a job. She was looking to move out of a bug-infested basement apartment and saw an ad for a room on a York University message board, which turned out to be at my friend's place, who was someone she knew from Queen's, and which was only available because the girl previously living there had abruptly dropped out of school and moved back home. And now here we are.
posted by The Card Cheat at 10:27 AM on June 26, 2018 [3 favorites]


I attended two MLB perfect games in one year.
posted by mwhybark at 10:27 AM on June 26, 2018 [17 favorites]


That on the very first date I ever had in my life, I slid down a muddy bank and crashed through the ice on an ice-covered stream and was rolled under the ice for a few yards, and then spent the next few hours, with my date, wading down the swift-flowing, up to chest high icy stream to get back to civilization. I lived with her for five years.

That as a five year old I stalked and tried to kill my six year old next door neighbor with my bare hands and came catastrophically close to succeeding.

And the whole multiple prophetic dreams thing, of course.
posted by jamjam at 10:28 AM on June 26, 2018 [2 favorites]


I would say the fact that I've worked as a quasi-professional domme, but almost everyone I've told that to has squinted at me and gone, "Hmmm, yep.... I could see that."

Compliment taken, I suppose?
posted by rachaelfaith at 10:29 AM on June 26, 2018 [14 favorites]


At the end of the 90's my wife and I were caretakers for a property on Lake Washington. The property was purchased by the richest man in the world and were promptly told our services would no longer be needed.
posted by humboldt32 at 10:34 AM on June 26, 2018 [3 favorites]


I was watching the original The Blob movie, and just at the moment that the film burns in the projector gate at the movie theater, the film burned in the projector gate at the theater screening the film.
posted by StickyCarpet at 10:34 AM on June 26, 2018 [6 favorites]


Evan Dando came into my bar once wearing a pink oxford and tighty-whiteys. I had to ask him to leave.
posted by DirtyOldTown at 10:40 AM on June 26, 2018 [10 favorites]


Oh, here's a Metafilter-related one:

Last year, when I was in the process of moving, I asked a couple of questions about New England in which I mentioned the name of the town in Ohio I grew up in. A MeFite from Maine recognized the combination of the town and my last name and MeMailed me to say that she had gone to high school with my uncle.
posted by kevinbelt at 10:41 AM on June 26, 2018 [2 favorites]


In the early 00's I disappointed a crowd of gawking teenagers which had accumulated at the window of a coffee shop I was in by not being Johnny Depp.
posted by The Great Big Mulp at 10:41 AM on June 26, 2018 [5 favorites]


I refused to let Prince borrow my guitar.
posted by The World Famous at 10:42 AM on June 26, 2018 [35 favorites]


I once urinated next to Warren Beatty, who was also urinating.

Same, but it was Mitch Mitchell


Same, but I was between both Good brothers.
posted by Capt. Renault at 10:43 AM on June 26, 2018 [1 favorite]


I was born in Aurora, Illinois. My family moved to Michigan when I was 6 and then to a small town in Indiana when I was 9.

I found out in high school that a guy I had known since junior high, Mark, was also born in Aurora, Illinois. And then we found out that we had the same birthday. And we were born at the same hospital.

I told my mom and she dug up some photos of me in the maternity ward baby room and you could juuuuuuust make out the last name of the baby in the bassinet next to me. It was my friend Mark.

I brought the photo to school the next day and ran up to Mark to show him and he said, "Hey! My mom found this photo!!" Yep. Him in the bassinet and me next to him.
posted by cooker girl at 10:44 AM on June 26, 2018 [32 favorites]


I once woke up during the night gasping after aspirating stomach acid. The next morning my sister called from another town to see how I was because she had a dream that I was choking.
posted by Mei's lost sandal at 10:45 AM on June 26, 2018 [4 favorites]


By Grabthar's Hammer, such a thread!

My sister and I were once mistaken for Japanese people. We are white people from central Pennsylvania and it wasn't some kind of online weirdness or cosplay, but the situation that led up to it made perfect sense. I've been mistaken for a German person in more than one country, but that isn't much of a stretch.

Not me, but a friend of mine moved to Hoboken in the 80s, and unbeknownst to each other, his next door neighbor from a small town in Pennsylvania had moved into the apartment above him.

I temped all over NYC in the 80s. It was easy to have all kinds of brushes with famous people. In fact, I don't know how one could live in NYC and avoid it, unless one never left the house, and even then they might find you. I even talked to you-know-who on the phone once. (Not for very long - he was calling for someone who was out to lunch.)

I believe I received one of Ray Johnson's "please add and return to" letters once but I never responded because I didn't know who Ray Johnson was and thought it was possibly an invitation to something creepy.

I once won 126 animals from the same crane game in one afternoon. Later, some friends and I would perform stuffed-animal drive-bys in which we would roll up on people and then pelt them with said toys from the side door of a vintage VW bus.

I went to Great America in Gurnee with a friend of mine when I first moved to Chicago and watched her clean out a crane machine while we were waiting for the rain to stop. Reader, I married her.
posted by lagomorphius at 10:50 AM on June 26, 2018 [8 favorites]


I was once briefly detained by Philippine air force MPs for being on-base without a pass. One my employees was a reservist and had invited me to his wedding at a church on the base, neglecting to inform me that I needed a pass and that because I'm a foreigner, that pass had to be approved personally by the commander of the base.

Everyone -- including the MPs -- thought it was hilarious that they got to "arrest" the American.
posted by nathan_teske at 10:54 AM on June 26, 2018 [1 favorite]


I spent a New Year's Eve flirting with Marigold from Polka Dot Door.
posted by Capt. Renault at 11:02 AM on June 26, 2018 [5 favorites]


I have at least one psychic moment that I remember. I was in college, up very late because I had to go to the bathroom, and in the hallway I met one of my friends, who was heading elsewhere. I asked her what she was up to, and she said, "Oh man, I just watched this really weird movie," and in my tired haze, I asked, "Was it The Wicker Man?" It was, and she looked shocked. I have no explanation how I pulled that.

Another college related story: I made an internet friend about five or so years ago who lives in Connecticut. Aside from chatting about rally cars and writing on Tumblr, we had no other connections to each other in real life. One day we were talking about China, and a friend of mine from college had just come back from Beijing, back to Connecticut. He said, oh weird, my friend B just came back from Beijing. I said, "...B H?" Turns out they went to middle school together.
posted by gc at 11:03 AM on June 26, 2018


This is less "implausible" and more "inconceivable," but a friend of mine works in insurance and once took a call from a customer whose voice sounded familiar, and sure enough, it was Wallace Shaun.
posted by uncleozzy at 11:04 AM on June 26, 2018 [13 favorites]


I know who Mel, as in "Mel's Hole" Mel, is. He got me my first job in IT.

I dropped out of film school to work in the Chinese film industry. It didn't take. On my way back to Texas I stopped off in the little Washington town where I grew up, and ran into the girl I had a crush on in elementary school. We were together for four years.

I lived on a 31' sailboat for a longer continuous stretch than in any regular apartment since I got out of college.

When I visited Cartagena, I installed Tinder on my phone in order to incentivize working on my Spanish, which was basically crap, by talking to sexy people. I've been married to my first-ever match for more than three years now.
posted by zjacreman at 11:05 AM on June 26, 2018 [2 favorites]


I once urinated next to Warren Beatty, who was also urinating.

Might be more important to clarify whether this was in a toilet than whether he was getting in on it?
posted by Segundus at 11:08 AM on June 26, 2018 [3 favorites]


Ah, sock puppet time, because I have the 1) too many and 2) the most implausible dating stories ever.

This probably isn't the world's most implausible thing but in college I was sleeping with two men who turned out to be husbands who were both cheating on each other with me.

Once, when I was in Korea, a totally random person struck up a conversation with me, and asked if I knew the one American person they knew, and it turned out to be someone I had dated for a couple of months six years before. That person dated me for two months despite the fact that I had a ... catastrophic diarrhea event ... in front of him on the ground outside a house party.

I once ran into someone that I hooked up with in college while I was on vacation in Tehran (a city 7000 miles away with ten million people in it).

Sadly, I dated only one of the identical triplets who apparently had a habit of stealing each other's boyfriends.

Whoops, one dude turned out to be my professor the next semester.

In conclusion, I am somehow currently happily and monogamously married, which is probably the most implausible part of my story.
posted by tumbleweedjack at 11:08 AM on June 26, 2018 [15 favorites]


I one waited on Catherine Keener and told her she looked like Catherine Keener, but not as old.
posted by BuddhaInABucket at 11:09 AM on June 26, 2018 [43 favorites]


"I once won 126 animals from the same crane game in one afternoon. Later, some friends and I would perform stuffed-animal drive-bys in which we would roll up on people and then pelt them with said toys from the side door of a vintage VW bus."

We cleared out a crane game once at a local establishment out in bumfuck Texas where some family lived. The owners or whoever didn't set up the machine right because it would do a real grip on every play, if you didn't get something, it was actually your fault. The whole evening the cousins and I just begged random bar patrons and family for quarters until we ended up with a big trash bag full of them. A great regret of mine in life is that the bag was left at my cousins house and basically never saw any of that loot ever again, I think they ended up giving most of them away for obvious reasons.
posted by GoblinHoney at 11:12 AM on June 26, 2018 [1 favorite]


A few years ago a friend and I were on a road trip from New England to California; during the first day's driving, while passing through a part of New Hampshire unfamiliar to both of us, the conversation turned to childhood memories of Walt Disney World, and we briefly toyed with the possibility of changing our travel plans and heading there instead. We were both intrigued by the idea, but hesitant to change our plans on the spur of the moment. After some back-and-forth we agreed to put the conversation on hold for the time being, deciding that we would "wait for a sign" to nudge us towards one option or the other.

Literally minutes later, we drove past a sign painter's shop. Called "Walt's Signs".

We did not go to California.
posted by DiscountDeity at 11:13 AM on June 26, 2018 [37 favorites]


At 17, and on my second ever day in the U.S., I got on the wrong flight and went to San Francisco by mistake. However, those who know me will not regard this as implausible since I'm incredibly disorganised.
posted by YoungStencil at 11:13 AM on June 26, 2018 [2 favorites]


and when I took her over to meet my parents, she said "hmmmm, I've been in this house before.”

I was invited over to a friend’s family house at Christmas 1989 for a dinner party. As I sat in the house, I had the oddest sense of – not déjà vu exactly, but the sense that things were slightly out of place. The tree was in the wrong corner. The stairs to the second floor were hardwood when they should have been carpeted. The kitchen was painted the wrong colour. Much later I learned that her parents had bought the house from my aunt and uncle and I had been there once before as a youngling, at Christmas 1972. Her parents ultimately sold the place in 2007 and moved into the country, and the last time I was there was Christmas 2006. I am like the Christmas Cicada, visiting every 17 years, and although I do not know who lives there now, I am working on a way to visit for Christmas 2023.

Incidentally, when this friend moved out of her parents’ place, the apartment she and her boyfriend lived in was one that had been occupied by some other friends of mine a year or two earlier. Ultimately she had to take a job in Japan to finally live somewhere that I had not visited years before her.
posted by ricochet biscuit at 11:16 AM on June 26, 2018 [9 favorites]


I lost Stephen Jay Gould's rock hammer somewhere in the London Underground.

I was in a really terrible accident when I got hit by a truck while I was riding on my bicycle. I started the bike ride with my helmet in my bag. A few blocks before the accident, I stopped to put on my helmet. If I hadn't put on my helmet, I would have died. But if I hadn't stopped to put on my helmet, I wouldn't have been in the right place at the right moment to be hit.

Not going into the details about this, but I have an FBI record because of a dead rattlesnake.

I once threw my underwear at a Mars Rover scientist while he was giving a talk because I thought, to quote myself, "he deserves to be treated like a rock star."
posted by barchan at 11:17 AM on June 26, 2018 [56 favorites]


Of all the stories I am allowed to tell, the one that most people disbelieve is that I once took a massive shit less than 40 ft from the very spot where Rasputin was finally killed for the last time. Which is funny because anyone could do it if they went on the same tour I did. You just have to ask to use the bathroom at the right time during the tour.
posted by some loser at 11:18 AM on June 26, 2018 [1 favorite]


Also, once Stephen Fry asked me if I wrote poetry. I say “once” but it was last Saturday.
posted by ricochet biscuit at 11:19 AM on June 26, 2018 [8 favorites]


I'm sure I've mentioned these in previous threads and on Twitter, but:

My wife and I were brought together after we were both in separate car/moose collisions in 1994. We knew each other but it was only after the accidents that she called me to talk about our experience and we started dating. Here's my car and our wedding cake.

The guy who wrote the original Colossal Cave adventure taught me how to rock climb and rappel. I only figured this out a few years after the fact.
posted by bondcliff at 11:19 AM on June 26, 2018 [8 favorites]


My dad was once vice president of a cargo airline that appears to have been involved with Iran-Contra in the 80s and possibly other CIA activity.
posted by dnash at 11:21 AM on June 26, 2018 [4 favorites]


I, the least stylish of the woo family, was interviewed by New York Times Style magazine recently.
posted by Helga-woo at 11:24 AM on June 26, 2018 [2 favorites]


I once took a massive shit less than 40 ft from the very spot where Rasputin was finally killed for the last time.

I took a shit at Johnny Cash's boyhood home, not because I needed to, but just so I could say I did.
posted by Capt. Renault at 11:27 AM on June 26, 2018 [5 favorites]


Oh yeah, I also once crashed a Gladys Knight concert that was attended by the Mayor of Boston. I was part of a fake Michael Jackson entourage. We got seated on one of the side balconies and when the show ended "Michael Jackson" stood up and got the whole place to notice and applaud him. We made the TV news and newspapers the next day, all of them wondering what the hell happened.
posted by bondcliff at 11:27 AM on June 26, 2018 [1 favorite]


After college, on my road trip out west with my college buddies, we were hiking down to the bottom of the Grand Canyon. There, hiking back up to the rim, we ran into my ex-girlfriend, on her road trip out west, with her college buddies.

We decided to get back together soon after that, and get married a bit later. I felt like it was "meant to be", that the meeting was some kind of sign. We are now divorced, and I don't believe in things like that anymore.
posted by Kwine at 11:31 AM on June 26, 2018 [8 favorites]


I once ran into Bono in the lobby of a hotel in Edmonton, we started talking about soccer (which I know zero about to this day) and he invited me up to his room to watch Ireland playing... someone... in... some big tournament.... was there a World Cup in 1997/8?

I went up to the room and watched part of the game with Bono and crew and Adam Clayton, I have one photo of it... and Bono is in the photo but almost unrecognizable... no one believes me....
posted by Twinge at 11:33 AM on June 26, 2018 [3 favorites]


Bondcliff, I knew WC from the rock gym, and we had friends in common (back when the community was small). Probably even shared a rope, who remembers now? Later I became friends with a guy who was just amazed that I knew him.
posted by Dashy at 11:35 AM on June 26, 2018 [1 favorite]


Two news articles I wrote were cited in a Federal Election Commission complaint filed against the Trump campaign for funding violations.
posted by Aya Hirano on the Astral Plane at 11:38 AM on June 26, 2018 [19 favorites]


I was the witness to the last wedding in Manhattan's City Hall before marriage equality. And I had to sneak in the back door to do it, because my friends hadn't given me much notice. (It's worth mentioning here that I was also heavily involved in a lot of marriage equality activism in the years before.) I believe these friends are also the ones who introduced me to Metafilter.

The story about being taken in by drag queens in New Orleans when I was stranded after 9/11 seemed implausible to me at the time, but the full telling takes a while.
posted by grae at 11:39 AM on June 26, 2018 [4 favorites]


I feel like if I've done it then it's plausible by definition. I drove across country in 50 hours for an intense but short relationship. When I was diagnosed with T1 diabetes about 26 years ago I had what my endocrinologist called "the highest A1C I've seen in 23 years of practice". I once accidentally tricked a police officer into thinking there was the charred electrocuted body of a child near a shorted out electrical line. I mentioned the concept of running a maglev through an evacuated tube on Metafilter four years before Elon Musk ever talked about it in public.
posted by BrotherCaine at 11:39 AM on June 26, 2018 [3 favorites]


I once ran out of gas in Manhattan in the middle of an intersection while turning onto 5th avenue. The first parking spot on the corner was empty. I coasted smoothly in and parked perfectly.
posted by cron at 11:39 AM on June 26, 2018 [50 favorites]


Another one that is well-known around these parts because it seems I tell you people everything:

At my first ever Metafilter meetup I sat down next to a guy I'd never met before, we started talking about birthdays, and we discovered we were born on the exact same day (same year) and had the same first and middle names. We've been friends ever since.
posted by bondcliff at 11:40 AM on June 26, 2018 [21 favorites]


Before I found out who my biological mother was, I owned a book she authored. I also owned a book by one of her ex-husbands. I also worked at the same job as her at the Minnesota Daily as theater critic.
posted by maxsparber at 11:40 AM on June 26, 2018 [32 favorites]


I used to have Bonnie Raitt's home phone number. My idiot friend prank called her from the pay phone outside the 7-11 where he worked. She was on tour, unfortunately. It is entirely possible that he left a message with Michael O'Keefe to "tell Bonnie to call Donnie. She has my number."
posted by uncleozzy at 11:41 AM on June 26, 2018 [1 favorite]


I think I've posted this before here somewhere, but I once chased a bear because I was mad at it.
posted by sfred at 11:43 AM on June 26, 2018 [6 favorites]


Ray Kurzweil once stole a joke from my mom, used it in a talk before his employees, and didn't give her credit.
posted by bondcliff at 11:46 AM on June 26, 2018 [4 favorites]


I was in Lady Gaga's first band, when we were in high school.

I'm an ordinary amateur athlete but I once beat an Olympic athlete 3 weeks before the Olympics, in the discipline for which he was a medal favorite.
posted by entropone at 11:48 AM on June 26, 2018 [15 favorites]


Met man through online dating, ended up back at his flat, he asked where my accent was from, I said I grew up in a little town 200 miles away so he wouldn't have heard of it but described its location in vague map terms.

A little while later, he made me coffee in a mug with the name of THAT EXACT TOWN printed on the side of it.

Once I had calmed down about being stalked: turned out he worked for an foreign company which for weird reasons had based their UK office there for a while. The mug was a corporate giveaway mug with their logo on it, he hadn't even realised that was the town I was talking about.

(we're married now. still have the mug.)
posted by Catseye at 11:48 AM on June 26, 2018 [19 favorites]


"the conversation turned to childhood memories of Walt Disney World, and we briefly toyed with the possibility of changing our travel plans and heading there instead.

Literally minutes later, we drove past a sign painter's shop. Called "Walt's Signs".

We did not go to California."

Great, but you didn't finish the story, did you guys ever go to Florida or not? :P
posted by GoblinHoney at 11:50 AM on June 26, 2018 [4 favorites]


I have shaken hands with the Bush II, Clinton, and Obama. It's not anything close to 'Handshake Man', but still kind of cool and something most people don't believe. Just by sheer luck of visiting cities at random points where the motorcade happened to be stopping by. A few years ago I was thinking that it might be fun to try to shake the hands of all Presidents' going forward but you couldn't pay me enough money in the world to shake hands with the current commander in chief.
posted by Fizz at 11:51 AM on June 26, 2018 [8 favorites]


I was on Bruce Campbell's Trivial Pursuit team at a bbq at my parents' house. I was a teenager and his then-wife was very pregnant.

Oh, if I only had a photo!
posted by 41swans at 11:52 AM on June 26, 2018 [3 favorites]


I successfully used the Jedi mind trick on a cop.
posted by peeedro at 11:52 AM on June 26, 2018 [7 favorites]


Ray Kurzweil once stole a joke from my mom, used it in a talk before his employees, and didn't give her credit.
posted by bondcliff at 7:46 PM on June 26 [+] [!]


Poaching the single hilarity

Kurzweil puns are hard :(
posted by bifter at 11:52 AM on June 26, 2018 [28 favorites]


I get regularly drunk-dialed by a friend who showed with and was friends with Mark Rothko and Willem de Kooning. He can't stand Dale Chihuly, and calls him "that monster".
posted by Capt. Renault at 11:54 AM on June 26, 2018 [7 favorites]


I mentioned this previously, but I wandered around Huguette Clark's beachfront estate (Google maps) by (something like an) accident. I thought the park next to the cemetery was just an extension of that cemetery, so I hopped a low stone wall and walked around a lovely private estate that is adjacent to the cemetery where my grandparents are buried.

My favorite response to "two truths and a lie" was "I slept in an airport, I was naked in an airport, and I was arrested in an airport." I wasn't arrested, but I got to use the "elite members" shower in some international airport, after my family and I spent 48 hours in transit to get from South Africa to California (due to a series of flight delays), during which my father successfully argued that we were owed something, and because it was unlikely we'd be back to South Africa, at least we could get some perks.

If you know me or my wife, this isn't that likely, but we knew we were meant for each-other when I went into her home for the first time and saw she had glass heads, and I said "oh, I also have glass heads."

We are happily married and still have the glass heads.
posted by filthy light thief at 11:54 AM on June 26, 2018 [1 favorite]


If 'Straight Laced' was a thing when I was at university, it would have been what I called myself.

Nonetheless..

During my University days I was the only non drunk person at three separate house parties that were featured on the national news.

One of which I am legally not allowed ro talk about. Please note: nobody died.
posted by Faintdreams at 11:54 AM on June 26, 2018 [1 favorite]


At age 14, I (consensually) lost my virginity in the church basement, to the sexton.
posted by sockerpup at 11:57 AM on June 26, 2018 [1 favorite]


I was once an International Arms Smuggler in the US ITAR sense.
posted by Mitheral at 11:59 AM on June 26, 2018


Plausible but sort of surreal: I got snowed in to a small roadside hotel with the crew of 'what's the story in balamory'. The painted van for the show was in the parking lot. I still can't think of a reason why they were there!
posted by stillnocturnal at 11:59 AM on June 26, 2018


I successfully used the Jedi mind trick on a cop.

You were either my sophomore year roommate at USC or there's more than one cop out there who'll go along with a joke.
posted by Etrigan at 11:59 AM on June 26, 2018 [4 favorites]


At age 14, I (consensually) lost my virginity in the church basement, to the sexton.

Well, at least they had the right job title.
posted by maxsparber at 12:00 PM on June 26, 2018 [15 favorites]


I once idly mentioned in a forum thread that point nine recurring exactly equals one. Everybody agreed and the discussion moved on.
posted by qntm at 12:00 PM on June 26, 2018 [27 favorites]


Whe my wife and I first met and started sharing family histories with one another, we quickly discovered that her father and my mother were both from Claremont NH. We subsequently came to learn that her grandmother and my grandfather had known each other since kindergarten.

I once took a massive shit less than 40 ft from the very spot where Rasputin was finally killed for the last time.

I took a shit at Johnny Cash's boyhood home, not because I needed to, but just so I could say I did.


My daughter shat in the visiting dignitaries' loo in Buckingham Palace.
posted by briank at 12:03 PM on June 26, 2018 [2 favorites]


My favorite response to "two truths and a lie"
I was born in Haifa (Israel), I failed high school English, and I had my arm broken by a police officer during a struggle.

In the context of this discussion it's not so surprising, but when, in groups of people who know me, I say "I was born in Jerusalem", there's usually a round of stunned silence.
posted by Gorgik at 12:04 PM on June 26, 2018


Oh, also, when my mother's side of the family fled Germany because of the war, they buried all their valuables somewhere on the grounds. My Uncles have gone to search with metal detectors but never found it, but I love to tell people that my family legitimately has buried treasure somewhere.
posted by stillnocturnal at 12:04 PM on June 26, 2018 [5 favorites]


I successfully used the Jedi mind trick on a cop.

You were either my sophomore year roommate at USC or there's more than one cop out there who'll go along with a joke.


I suspect the latter, because I witnessed a friend pull it off as well, in upstate New York. "These aren't the drunks you're looking for..."
posted by Roommate at 12:04 PM on June 26, 2018 [3 favorites]


I was at a diner with a friend, friend liked a girl at next table, friend gave waiter a note with phone number to give to said girl, we left.

Hours later phone rings.

Waiter gave note to wrong table, the woman who got the note had a son with the same name as friend, a son who went missing years earlier.... yes, it was bad.
posted by Twinge at 12:06 PM on June 26, 2018 [17 favorites]


It's been mentioned here before, but my dad could easily have abducted a reality TV star and changed history considerably.
posted by ricochet biscuit at 12:09 PM on June 26, 2018 [3 favorites]


The woman who sold me (well, my mom) all my childhood sheets is now my mother-in-law. My husband's mother passed away less than two years after we got married, and his dad started dating my MIL a year later, so I've technically known my husband's stepmother for longer than he has. (I can't help thinking of Monchichis every time I see her.)
posted by Ruki at 12:17 PM on June 26, 2018


prevented the abduction of two russian women into a sex trafficking ring from a '97 ford aspire in the mountains of wyoming, using nothing but ask metafilter
posted by fake at 12:20 PM on June 26, 2018 [158 favorites]


I once ran out of gas in Manhattan in the middle of an intersection while turning onto 5th avenue. The first parking spot on the corner was empty. I coasted smoothly in and parked perfectly.

I got a ride from Cleveland to Pittsburgh once with somebody who thought he could make it on one tank. Not quite. But we ran out of gas on a hill in Pittsburgh, coasted down and rolled up to the pump at the gas station at the bottom.

Another car story: I helped a friend move from Vegas to Chicago years ago in the days before iPods. We were driving a van and had a deadline. I brought along a big bag of ripped CDRs. Nothing to identify them except scrawled magic marker. In the middle of the night somewhere in the Rockies I was driving and we had listened to whatever was in the CD player about five times so I asked my friend to grab anything else out of the bag and play it. Keep in mind this was in the dark and it was a bag of about 200 loose CDRs. "I'd really like to hear 'In the Evening'," I thought, "now that would wake me up, but no chance. I wonder what it will be?" In the Evening starts up.
posted by lagomorphius at 12:24 PM on June 26, 2018 [2 favorites]


Producer John King of the Dust Brothers (Paul's Boutique, Odelay. MMBop) liked my very sloppy, lo-fi submission to a shitty online music contest in 1999 for which he was a judge. I didn't win (thank god) but he emailed me explaining who he was (like I didn't know) and saying he had a record label etc. etc. and would that be something I'd be interested in and could I send him more stuff. In my attempt at not sounding too excited I think I was way too coy ("oh, cool") and then I sent him something truly awful; we emailed back and forth for a bit and then he had a new baby and said sorry for not responding he was so busy and then it just petered out. It was several computers and a dozen email addresses ago so I don't even have the emails to prove it happened.
posted by chococat at 12:26 PM on June 26, 2018 [5 favorites]


1) I was once misgendered (i.e., called "sir") by Lady Bird Johnson.
2) I once hid a gun under a Yosemite Sam mudflap next to a set of railroad tracks prior to crossing the border into Mexico, and I picked it up again on the way back into the States.

[*jazz hands*] TEXAS [*jazz hands*]
posted by mudpuppie at 12:29 PM on June 26, 2018 [25 favorites]


I once idly mentioned in a forum thread that point nine recurring exactly equals one. Everybody agreed and the discussion moved on.

For your encore, you told everybody that the solution to the Monty Hall Problem is to always switch doors and they all believed you immediately, right?
posted by tobascodagama at 12:31 PM on June 26, 2018 [3 favorites]


My first girlfriend grew up to be Seven of Nine. She was 4 years old; I was 6.
posted by phrits at 12:33 PM on June 26, 2018 [28 favorites]


With a friend, I accidentally invented the first easy way to do web-based geo searches based on UK postcode.

We thought it was so bloody obvious we gave the code away.

Turned out it wasn't bloody obvious.

The early days of the internet were fun!
posted by garius at 12:45 PM on June 26, 2018 [7 favorites]


I gave Daniel Ellsberg a Pepsi at at protest rally so he could take some meds.
posted by PHINC at 12:57 PM on June 26, 2018 [2 favorites]


I had two dates for prom. At the time of asking to prom, we were just friends. At some point after asking, I dated them both (at separate times). Four years later, I married one of them. We've been married for fifteen years.
posted by Margalo Epps at 1:01 PM on June 26, 2018 [2 favorites]


Mine is in the twitter thread but a buddy of mine got a moving job and was pretty astonished the first time he opened the truck and there were a bunch of slot machines which he was to wheel into a nondescript building. He said aside from the potential legal consequences, working for the Mob was great since they paid well above the usual wage and always paid cash. He finally quit and they were cool about it, gave him a wad of cash and a friendly “of course if you ever say anything to the cops...*shrug*”
posted by Ghostride The Whip at 1:04 PM on June 26, 2018 [3 favorites]


I spent a summer as a night-shift janitor at a nuclear power plant in rural Nebraska. Lots of things about that job were implausible but true; the craziest of them was the guy, with maybe three teeth in his head, who crowed about how he stuck it to the man to the tune of $90 an hour by volunteering to put on a wetsuit and clean some pool of contaminated water where he used up a year's worth of radiation exposure in a few hours.
posted by the phlegmatic king at 1:10 PM on June 26, 2018 [1 favorite]


I am unsually tall. Not that improbable, but you'd never know it from the way people fuckin' lose their shit about it.
posted by Mr.Encyclopedia at 1:22 PM on June 26, 2018 [8 favorites]


Temping in NYC in the 80s...

For a couple weeks I was the only person monitoring the back-end mainframe for a very large Wall Street trading firm because all the regular staff wanted to be on vacation or not working nights. Nothing bad happened, until somebody upstairs found out about it. Of all the weird things I went out to get something to eat late at night and couldn't get across the street because George H.W. Bush was in town and he happened to be sitting in his armored limo on the corner waiting for something. The limo was all lit up inside and the armored windows made him look like some kind of fortune teller machine. He showed up once where I work now, too. Never actually met him.
posted by lagomorphius at 1:23 PM on June 26, 2018 [2 favorites]


I once saw a girl kneel before a children's television show host and rub her head against his hand, purring.
posted by WCityMike at 1:55 PM on June 26, 2018 [1 favorite]


I've had friends call me "Kevin Bacon" due to the weird way I have connections between friends.

Last year, I was asked to do the AV stuff at a friend's wedding. The wife was a coworker at my fairly-new-then job, the husband .. was the ex-boyfriend of a friend I had here in Houston.

They invited a bunch of people to the wedding, including a friend of theirs.. whose date to the wedding was a lady I'd met online and dated back in 2011 or so. We had a laugh, caught up, and so forth. The "who knows who and how" was so involved that I made a GraphViz diagram at one point because it was easier than explaining.

Fast forward a year.. the couple has a friend who is going to move in with them.. I met her a couple of weeks ago.. then she went back to somewhere up north so she could drive her motorcycle back here. She stops at a number of places on the return trip to meet online friends.

A picture gets posted to FB.. "Finally got to meet XYZ after about 20 years of online friendship!"

XYZ... is a girl that I crushed on in college and have known since at least 1994....

Mind blown.
posted by mrbill at 1:58 PM on June 26, 2018 [3 favorites]


Once I ran up to the Prime Minister of Australia's car, yanked open the door, and grabbed something off him. He thanked me for it.
posted by the duck by the oboe at 2:03 PM on June 26, 2018 [3 favorites]


There is a section of the Statutes and Regulations of the University of Oxford which is only there because of something I got up to with a couple of friends when I was an undergrad.
posted by doop at 2:10 PM on June 26, 2018 [14 favorites]


I don't speak Nepali, and my (then new) husband did. We were staying in his Nepali friend's apartment in Kathmandu doing business for a few months and I was feeling very much like an outsider. I was lonely for company I could talk to while husband conducted business with Nepali suppliers. Sitting at a cafe table in Freak St, it all came to a head. "I want a friend! I want a friend! I want a friend!" I said as I banged my fist on the table trice. Then I looked up. Sauntering down the street toward me, looking like a sadhu, was an ex-boyfriend who'd been travelling for a couple of years. He took a chair at my table, looked at me with a cheeky grin and, without knowing my lament said, "You called?"
posted by Thella at 2:13 PM on June 26, 2018 [29 favorites]


I was on a sailboat and the jib (the triangular sail at the very front) got stuck halfway on a turn when one of the sheets (the rope to pull the sail to port and to starboard) got snagged somewhere. The captain told me to go forward and free the sheet. As I got to the front, the sheet pulled free by itself with a snap and I watched as it loosed over me then twisted on itself to form a loop, which landed precisely on my shoulders to form a noose.

Then the jib caught the wind and the sheet went taut, and I had just gotten my right hand in the noose such that when it did, my hand was in just right to prevent my neck from snapping.

The captain turned the boat back into the wind and I slammed down onto the deck, head purple, throat sore from the knuckles of my hand having slammed into it.





I lived.
posted by linux at 2:20 PM on June 26, 2018 [13 favorites]


my biological father was a one-armed pool hustler

as an infant i was once dandled upon the knee of Buckminster Fuller

once i went out for noodles with a few people including the son of a Beatle, who said during dinner conversation, apropos of not much, "my father is a very dark figure in my life"

once a single tree in the middle of a prairie near Badlands National Park tried to give me a mission, but i refused it

for many years i produced and hosted a radio show, and the raunchiest guest i ever had on the program by far was a double amputee in a wheelchair who was formerly Queen of the Sixth Dimension
posted by slappy_pinchbottom at 2:22 PM on June 26, 2018 [9 favorites]


Shortly before I became a philosopher, the Air Force prevented me from travelling to the North Pole to build a planetary defence radar.
posted by justsomebodythatyouusedtoknow at 2:26 PM on June 26, 2018 [3 favorites]


Met my (now) wife in a youth hostel in Cape Town. Years later worked out that we had seen each other on a mountain-side in a different country a year earlier.
posted by mdoar at 2:39 PM on June 26, 2018 [1 favorite]


One time when I lived in Los Angeles in my 20s, I went to a "fashion party" with a coworker that turned out to be some kind of bikini show for soft-core porn actresses. (I was wearing khakis and a long-sleeved shirt from Banana Republic, fit right in.) We picked up her friend on the way, a tiny person with enormous breasts and a bikini top who seemed to be covered in some kind of oil? Then we had to pick up her friend's date, who turned out to be a friend from my Missouri hometown that I'd known since I was ten years old.
posted by something something at 2:51 PM on June 26, 2018 [2 favorites]


There's about a billion dollars of assets being managed on the back of some code I wrote over a long weekend, some of it a single 30-hour session, some of it tripping heavily on acid.
posted by puppet of infinitely spiralling socks at 2:52 PM on June 26, 2018 [26 favorites]


There's several hundred dollars that was mine in a broken antique builtin safe, but the guy drilled into the safe and still couldn't get it open.
posted by theora55 at 3:04 PM on June 26, 2018


Have shared it here before, but my Dad was Luke Skywalker and also Bilbo Baggins.

He was friends with the bros Hildebrandt in central Jersey in the late 60s and early 70s and posed for several pieces for them, including their first Tolkien calendar and the original Star Wars poster, which he posed for while wearing Greg Hildebrandt's ratty bathrobe.
posted by PhoBWanKenobi at 3:04 PM on June 26, 2018 [16 favorites]


I financed part of my current house by selling a domain name my employer gave me.
posted by theora55 at 3:05 PM on June 26, 2018 [4 favorites]


Oh, also I'm pretty sure I was online buds with Paul McCartney when I was twelve but I've been unable to confirm if it was really him.
posted by PhoBWanKenobi at 3:06 PM on June 26, 2018 [3 favorites]


Oh! Also I had dinner with the inventor of the digital camera once (he's my husband's stepuncle) and he told me to take Chinese and not German in college.
posted by PhoBWanKenobi at 3:10 PM on June 26, 2018


A Secret Service agent brought me a Coke while I was waiting to shake Gerald Ford's hand. (my mom got him to do it)

I was at a convention and went to a happy hour for one of the regional groups. I was chatting with someone about high schools in the Bay Area and mentioned my high school. Someone from my high school graduating class was there and we are now in the same line of work.
posted by mogget at 3:11 PM on June 26, 2018


I got lost in the woods for several hours at age 4, during which time I was stalked by a black bear. Until I was 16 I was convinced I had imagined the bear following me, but my mom confirmed it was real.

They only found me because I turned right at every intersection in the road. To this day, my rule for surviving a maze in a FPS is "when in doubt, turn right"
posted by caution live frogs at 3:17 PM on June 26, 2018 [4 favorites]


I don't have any stories that I can think of off the top of my head, but one of my friends when they were a toddler were at a restaurant with their family. George W. Bush walked in and had lunch there at the restaurant and when he was leaving he walked over to my friend's family and said "you have a very well-behaved child", and immediately afterward she threw an epic temper tantrum in the restaurant.
posted by gucci mane at 3:19 PM on June 26, 2018 [2 favorites]


I once had a Nobel Laureate bleed on me
posted by Otherwise at 3:19 PM on June 26, 2018 [3 favorites]


When I was a little kid I went to a Saint Patrick's day parade that David Duke was riding in. According to my parents I ran up to him, he smiled at me, and I gave him two big thumbs down. Stuck my tongue out. I am very proud of this.

Also, on two separate occasions I inadvertently made celebrities uncomfortable while eating a meal with a parent.
posted by brundlefly at 3:38 PM on June 26, 2018 [4 favorites]


I jammed with Paul Simon.
posted by dfan at 3:47 PM on June 26, 2018 [1 favorite]


I once pissed at a urinal next to a guy who is apparently one of the best known/widely respected scientists in the field of fluid dynamics.
posted by brundlefly at 4:07 PM on June 26, 2018 [8 favorites]


As a teenager, I dropped out of highschool, grew dreadlocks, and attended multiple Rainbow Gatherings. Now I run the data engineering organization at a company whose products you have definitely used today.

But the least plausible part? The dreads actually looked good on me.

True story.
posted by panama joe at 4:10 PM on June 26, 2018 [3 favorites]


I got pulled over for doing exactly the speed limit in Kansas.

It's suspicious - who the hell does the speed limit, in a plain white SUV with two weeks' beard and two weeks' worth of being outside tan?

Unfortunately, my license had been suspended back home, for sending in proof of insurance *early*.
posted by notsnot at 4:17 PM on June 26, 2018 [3 favorites]


I once unknowingly went on a double date with my half sister after she walked up to me and said, "Destiny wants to dance with you."
posted by vibrotronica at 4:18 PM on June 26, 2018 [4 favorites]


I’ve had not one, but two internal organs test normally - until they were ripped out of my body and thrown under a microscope for further inspection. The second one was removed per my request -thinking it was functional - in addition to other surgery and when they told me it was failing too I just laughed.
posted by Crystalinne at 4:22 PM on June 26, 2018 [1 favorite]


And, related to the above : during the aforementioned hippie days, I worked on an organic farm on the Big Island for about 5 weeks back in 1998. Fast-forward 7 years, and I'm chatting up a girl in a bar on the lower east side of Manhattan. Turns out she worked on the same organic farm, 3 months after I left. This was a farm that never had more than 10 people at a time. The closest town had a population of 1,000 or so.

This wasn't the first (and wouldn't be the last) time I'd randomly run into someone with a connection to that place. In fact, it's happened so regularly throughout the years that I've stopped being surprised at all.

Of course that farm is now completely covered in lava, along with the entire neighborhood, as well as a nearby lake that apparently evaporated in less than 5 hours time. Yowch.
posted by panama joe at 4:25 PM on June 26, 2018 [5 favorites]


re my prior in-thread contrib: I attended two MLB perfect games in one year.

I brought the same guest, not my wife, who was and remains totally disinterested in baseball. So he attended two perfect MLB games in the same year for free, and retains his disinterest. Now that's improbable.
posted by mwhybark at 4:44 PM on June 26, 2018 [5 favorites]


ha ha this didn't really happen to me per se, more to us, but George Clooney (or a delightfully convincing imposter) was, or is, a MeFite. Sometimes I still go through those posts in order to savor the perfection of voice, and think, wait, is it really him?
posted by mwhybark at 4:51 PM on June 26, 2018 [3 favorites]


One more from my hippie days :

I was at the very first Bonnaroo in Manchester, Tennessee. First thing I did after setting up camp was buy some weed, hash, and a pipe. My friend and I wanted to get high, but it was super hot out and we wanted to get out of the sun. So we found a random campsite that had a little shelter set up, and asked its owners if they wanted to smoke with us. They welcomed us in, and we set down and toked up with them. Turns out, one of the people lived in St. Louis. In the apartment right beneath the one I was staying in. An apartment that I was only staying in for two months, while I was doing my internship.
posted by panama joe at 4:54 PM on June 26, 2018


In high school I conspired with an online friend to convince an IRL friend over AIM of the fact that I was friends with a man named Dave who lived nearby and had been driven to recluse status by virtue of the fact that he looked exactly like Tom Cruise. My online friend was Photoshopping photos on his end to keep it from seeming like I had just pulled actual photos of Tom Cruise off the Internet, which of course I did. This worked, somehow, and I’m not actually sure I ever got around to letting the target in on the joke.
posted by invitapriore at 4:56 PM on June 26, 2018


fake.... I think I remember that and am glad for reminder because it was back when I was first starting to understand what online community meant.
posted by sio42 at 5:06 PM on June 26, 2018 [2 favorites]


oh i totally forgot this one. My wife and I have been together for more then twenty-five years. We got married on the anniversary of our first date which sounded like a good idea at the time but in practice has meant I never know what the actual duration of our relationship has been. Long.

Anyway, during the first year, one time we were playing Mastermind, and after she had been regaling me with her familial and cultural inclination to be open to nonrational phenomena, a tendency I pooh-poohed. She set up her code, and I confirmed she was settled, and I very intensely looked into her eyes and said "Whatever you do, don't think about the color-code you just set up", and closed my eyes.

Four colors flashed against my retinas. I opened my eyes and inserted the pegs in the holes in the order I'd seen them. She literally gasped and then swore, pulling the hood off to show I'd gotten it in one. I fell apart with laughter, and ahe was mad at me for three days. There is no moment that told us that we should give things a try more compelling than this, as absurd and chance-based as it is.
posted by mwhybark at 5:13 PM on June 26, 2018 [3 favorites]


Here's one I haven't thought about for a while. When I was 20, the then-Attorney General of Ohio bought me several drinks. I had underage drinking charges pending at the time.
posted by kevinbelt at 5:20 PM on June 26, 2018 [5 favorites]


My grandparents, who lived in Tennessee when they retired, went to a regional production of Hair, which somehow they did not know was going to be naked. They sat next to Garth Brooks and Trisha Yearwood, whom they'd at least heard of but they weren't country music fans so only kind-of vaguely (my grandma told Garth Brooks that some of her friends "really loved his album." Singular.). Anyway, they were both apparently lovely and they all had a nice long chat about Brooks's daughters, who were college-age, and my grandparents' grandkids, who were all college-age. And then there were surprise naked people.

Anyway they told me Garth Brooks hoped I did well in law school.

(This is not my most unbelievable story but I'm afraid nobody would believe my most unbelievable one!)
posted by Eyebrows McGee at 5:24 PM on June 26, 2018 [7 favorites]


So he attended two perfect MLB games in the same year for free, and retains his disinterest. Now that's improbable.

Seriously, no disrespect, no snark, bit *IF* you're someone who's not already into baseball, wouldn't a perfect game just be a baseball game where even less than usual happens?
posted by GCU Sweet and Full of Grace at 5:34 PM on June 26, 2018 [30 favorites]


Note re: The World Famous refusing to loan Prince a guitar: I've seen anecdotes about Prince forgetting/overlooking the returning of borrowed guitars.

Nothing really weird has happened with me with regards to meeting celebrities, except for the fact that several people that I know have worked with Donny Osmond and they all said that he was really cool. There have been various generic uncanny incidents in my life, but you had to be there. Mostly running into people in unexpected situations.
posted by ovvl at 5:51 PM on June 26, 2018 [1 favorite]


wouldn't a perfect game just be a baseball game where even less than usual happens?

yes. TWICE IN THE SAME YEAR.
posted by mwhybark at 6:03 PM on June 26, 2018 [3 favorites]


Oh wait I forgot: I’m technically speaking a grandfather
posted by The Whelk at 6:32 PM on June 26, 2018 [7 favorites]


(Marry guys who got previously married when they were 17 and this will happen)
posted by The Whelk at 6:35 PM on June 26, 2018 [4 favorites]


I told a joke in private to the Prime Minister of Aruba and he didn't laugh.
posted by 256 at 6:36 PM on June 26, 2018 [2 favorites]


Also, to the Canadian Ambassador to Japan. Different joke. I have a bad track record with dignitaries.
posted by 256 at 6:38 PM on June 26, 2018


I rode in a taxi in a small town in Mexico with another passenger who had a goat carcass in a plastic trash bag along for the ride.
posted by medusa at 6:51 PM on June 26, 2018


I know I told this one years back on metafilter but it's such a great story I'll just repeat it:

When they were filming X-Men 2 in Vancouver Hugh Jackman became a regular at the cafe I managed. So there was one night I was there hours after closing, I think I was having trouble balancing out the till receipts or something. Really gross, rainy night. I kept thinking I was hearing a tapping noise. Eventually I looked up and there was a burst of lightning and he was standing at the window next to me in his full Wolverine costume. pointing hopefully at the espresso machine.
posted by mannequito at 6:57 PM on June 26, 2018 [87 favorites]


I once declined a game of pool from Jean Luc Godard.

Although I am an indifferent pool player, I once got roped into a game of solids-and-stripes; on my first turn, sank my seven balls in five shots and then sank the eight. Pure luck.

While many of the above stories are hilarious and intriguing, I submit that for sheer unlikelihood, this has to be up there.
posted by ricochet biscuit at 7:01 PM on June 26, 2018 [3 favorites]


I believe Felicia Day thought I was hitting on her when I was getting her autograph at DragonCon, which I didn't realize until after I'd left. I was not, but I would if I were capable of flirting.

When I was interviewing for a scholarship for college, I saw a guy with long hair and no shoes walking around in the building. I thought, "Man, I hope I never end up like that." The beginning of the next year, on a mandatory hike, some guy asked me how I was. I said, "I hate walking." That man is biogeo, and we've been together for almost 15 years, despite the fact that he likes walking. Only years later did I remember seeing him on my first trip.
posted by cui bono at 7:01 PM on June 26, 2018 [7 favorites]


Wouldn't a perfect game just be a baseball game where even less than usual happens?

No disrespect taken because yeah, that's a fair description—the action is in what one knows about what's going on. I think this video clip sums up the situation.
posted by traveler_ at 7:25 PM on June 26, 2018 [1 favorite]


My life has been pedestrian. My wife, however, has got a few, of which I can mention:
1) getting accidentally locked in the Villa Giulia while the custodial staff went out for am extended lunch. The special exposition included quite a large amount of gold.
2) Getting caught in the crossfire of Brigate Rosse terrorists and Roman carabinieri in part two of a jewelry store robbery. Automatic guns, much scurrying of passersby, diving for cover and no casualties, I am happy to report.

(I suppose you could add that the day we began our honeymoon in Venice was 1987's Black Monday. The city, which had had its share of American tourists, seemed to have emptied of all but us and some Japanese group tours.)
posted by BWA at 7:33 PM on June 26, 2018 [2 favorites]


I have two of these, both involving the year I was an exchange student to (then West) Germany back in 1986.

The first involves going on a high school class trip for a week in (then West) Berlin. One day we went to East Berlin and visited the Reichstag, which at the time was used as a museum. The class was on an organized tour but there was a basement exhibit that I wanted to take a quick glance at and I promised would rejoin the tour in 10-15 minutes. I went down the basement steps and was looking at the exhibit when I heard someone say "hippybear?". And I looked up and there was L.E., a woman I had graduated high school with, from my hometown. She was in Germany visiting her father who was working there and she had taken a day to go out and about and we were both in the same basement exhibit in the Reichtag Museum in East Berlin during the same 10 minute period.

I also sort of randomly had afternoon coffee with the lead singer and the bassist of The Scorpions because their kids were playing in the garden next door to where I was visiting a friend and they invited us over for tea. They were so out of context, it took me a while to realize who they were. Very normal dads, really.
posted by hippybear at 7:39 PM on June 26, 2018 [4 favorites]


I couldn’t hear much of anything at all until my ear surgery at 4 years old, so I didn’t really learn to talk until I was 4 because I didn’t realize the muffled noises coming from people were actual words and communication.

Because of that I had to go to hearing and speech therapy at Scottish rite hospital until I was 9 or 10.

I ended up being a musician. Go figure.

When I was 23 years old I went to jail for 16 days (sentenced to 90, let out way early)

I learned how to play a mean ass game of spades in jail.

One of the last games I played before getting out, on the next to last hand to be won, my spades partner stopped the game and told me how I was too good to be in jail, and everyone around the table agreed, and he told me that if I ever ended up in prison, that if he, or anyone else at the table met me, that they would murder me because I wasted a good life and that would piss them off so bad to see such a good life wasted that they’d have no choice but to kill me out of anger and envy for not having gotten my chance, and for me squandering it. Everyone at the table gave me a “it’d be a shame to kill you, but we would” kind of look. I sat there looking at my two remainin cards, a king and a jack. In order to win the game of spades we had to win the last two hands. So he looks me deep in the eye and says “son, what’s it gonna be, you gonna take the high road or the low road?”

I threw my king down and we won the game of spades. While I’m pretty sure that whole spiel about killing me was just a ruse to make sure I played the king at the right time, I wasn’t SO certain. As such I never went back to jail to find out.

I got out jail the next day. On the way home, about 10 minutes out from jail, my friend saw me, he asked me if I wanted to go to SXSW, so I hopped into his car and we drove from Denton to Austin. We hung out with The Brian Jonestown Massacre all weekend. That night after getting out of jail I ended up being interviewed with my friends band and the Brian Jonestown Massacre.

The radio DJ asked me on air who I was and I said “oh I’m no one, I just got out of jail this morning”

Anton looked at me with a sign of alarmed respect and everyone else, including the DJ looked at me like I was trash. My friend just laughed his off and I soaked the moment in while the DJ, clearly afraid of me, stammered to regain composure.
posted by nikaspark at 7:43 PM on June 26, 2018 [29 favorites]


My life has been a series of improbability, but the most improbable is, when I ran away from convent school, to Amsterdam, with my Saudi princess bestie, and we bought a cube of hash, but we didn't know what to do with it, and Keith Richards got annoyed watching us, apparently, and came over and rolled us a tobacco hash joint while muttering the something about kids today and his lawn. (Who know what Keith is saying? We guessed.) And gave us tickets and passes to a stone's show in...Utrecht? Somewhere, assuming it wasn't destroyed in one of the storms, I have a coffee house menu signed by the Stones.
posted by SecretAgentSockpuppet at 7:58 PM on June 26, 2018 [8 favorites]


My life has been incredibly mundane in terms of weird coincidences, but the story people are most skeptical of is that I once folded 750 paper cranes in 7 days. One of those days was Christmas. I also cut all of the paper for the cranes by hand, from printer paper, because the craft store only sold sheets of 10 for $3 and 16 year old me was not going to spend $300 on this project. I was shooting for 1000 (said to bring 1000 years of good luck), you see. I had the idea 10 days before my (now) partner's birthday, and I would have absolutely finished it in time, except they invited me over for New Year's and then just had me sleep over until their birthday on January 2nd. I figured 750 years of good luck was probably good enough.
posted by brook horse at 8:04 PM on June 26, 2018 [3 favorites]


I shook the hand of a man who’d shaken the hands of both Wright Brothers.
posted by kinnakeet at 8:51 PM on June 26, 2018 [3 favorites]


I slept in Philip K. Dick's bed.
posted by biogeo at 9:09 PM on June 26, 2018 [2 favorites]


On my first train trip to Montana, our train hit at least one bear* in Glacier National Park, necessitating a 6 hour delay while they scraped frozen bear off and reattached a bunch of brake lines.

My now-wife assures me that this is unusual

* They were estimating by volume.
posted by ivan ivanych samovar at 9:42 PM on June 26, 2018 [1 favorite]


My dad was the "board operator" on Family Feud for a time back in the early 80s (he was a general stagehand at the studio, so this of course wasn't his only job there). What this meant in practice is that when Richard Dawson called out "Survey Says...", and either the answer flipped over or the buzzer sounded, those reactions were because of my dad sitting at a control panel hitting buttons.
posted by wanderingmind at 9:48 PM on June 26, 2018 [5 favorites]


In the early 1980s, mine was the first case of "PAC-MAN hand," an affliction that dogs the addicted, presented in a major medical journal. At my favorite machine I often had to wait for the same two guys to finish playing. I was attracted to one, but the other was a much better player so I talked to him instead and we taught each other our patterns. We went for a beer and he mentioned the small oddly named town he grew up in some 2000 miles away.
Me: Oh! I always wondered what that town was like.
Him: Huh. You're the first person I've met out east that's heard of it. But you've never been there?
Me: Nope. But in 1969, my little brother was a Cub Scout and I used to read his copies of Boy's Life. Somebody wrote in to Pedro, who was a donkey that supposedly edited the magazine and was the target of reader jokes at his expense, to dispute the veracity of an article about the invention of the ice cream cone. I liked the letter a lot and I noticed the town's name and thought about the kid who wrote it and what life might be like there and about how maybe I really could live somewhere rural after all if there were people like that who shared my sensibilities. Anyway, for whatever reason, I remember this really clearly.
Him: That was me. I wrote that letter.
Me: No way!
Him: [other details about the letter]
We were together for about fifteen years. And he remained interested in intellectual property, ultimately becoming a patent lawyer.
posted by carmicha at 10:08 PM on June 26, 2018 [20 favorites]


I've read Douglas Hofstadter's unpublished novel.

Well, for all I know he's written more than one, but I've read one of them.
posted by potrzebie at 10:30 PM on June 26, 2018 [2 favorites]


a) I unexpectedly found myself naked in a bedroom with Jane Fonda.
b) I was having an argument with Dan Rather, who was called away in the middle of it because Julie Andrews, on the other side of the room, wanted to meet him.
posted by LeLiLo at 10:34 PM on June 26, 2018 [4 favorites]


I once found myself naked with Jane Fonda and then was called away by Dan Rather because Jane wanted to meet Julie Andrews.

No, that is not true. BUT JEEBUS HOW DOES EITHER OF THOSE THINGS HAPPEN.

I've maintained my "yeah, unlikely but possible" cool up until now, but naked with Jane Fonda is a level of improbable I need more details on.
posted by hippybear at 10:39 PM on June 26, 2018 [3 favorites]


I once insisted that Mean Joe Green take my bottle of Coke.

I still have the jersey.
posted by bendy at 10:46 PM on June 26, 2018 [2 favorites]


Wait, wait, what?

Have I been suckered by this thread?
posted by hippybear at 10:48 PM on June 26, 2018 [2 favorites]


As a young man in my mid-20s, I once stepped outside of my apartment door onto the streets of Chicago just in time to step into a robbery: someone waiting in the corridor beside my building had just jumped out to grab a bag from a passing woman on her way to the train, and I startled them both (the poor woman was double-startled at this point.)

He recovered first and took flight, and without thinking I took off running after him. As we ran toward the back alley, I did a full-extension mid-air jump and caught the laptop bag on my way down to a face-first landing, ripping the bag out of his hands (and the knee of my jeans.)

Bag somewhat in hand, I looked up from the ground into the face of a very large (at least from my perspective) and very angry looking man, who had adopted a fighting stance but was hesitating a few feet away, shifting his weight and looking uncertain.

So from the ground, in no position to get up much less keep my hold on the bag, and for no thoughtful reason whatsoever, I kept looking him in the eye and said "just go."

And he did.

The woman was very nice, as what I thought was a purse turned out to be her laptop bag, and bought me a gift certificate so I could replace the jeans that I ripped.
posted by davejay at 10:50 PM on June 26, 2018 [8 favorites]


I lost my virginity during a Chaucer seminar at Oxford while I was in high school. My room was gigantic with a big bed and a private bathroom and a lovely desk and a fireplace. In town I had wandered away from my friends and started chatting with the cute English guy who was selling sweatshirts from some flimsy folding table. He was 23 and had such a sexy accent.
posted by bendy at 11:00 PM on June 26, 2018 [4 favorites]


"during a Chaucer seminar" brought to me images of you in the back row of a lecture hall.

I was cheering you on while I thought this.
posted by hippybear at 11:03 PM on June 26, 2018 [9 favorites]


Oh, and in 1999 I was at the Chicago Cultural Center, home base for the 10th anniversary Radio Hall of Fame radio gala, coordinating production of the on-site events and outbound broadcasts that were scheduled for that evening.

Lots of mid-level celebrities joined us as the event approached; a personal highlight was being the only other person in Preston Bradley Hall as Casey Kasem ran through his lines for the evening, sans microphone, with his voice booming out under the Tiffany dome.

Among those celebrities were Yvonne Craig and Julie Newmar, who (as you likely already know) played Batgirl and Catwoman in the old Batman TV show. Shortly before the broadcast, someone working for the Radio Hall of Fame decided I was high up enough to introduce, and told Yvonne Craig who I was.

She looked at me, looked at my tie -- a terrible escher-like greyscale print over shiny white, I'd picked it up a few days before at JC Penney so I'd have something to wear -- reached out, slid it through her fingers, then looked me in the eye and said (in a voice that was much younger and much more seductive than I expected) "this is a wonderful tie...who made it for you?"
posted by davejay at 11:04 PM on June 26, 2018 [3 favorites]


A(n) (ask) Metafiler one.

I was bored at work two years ago (well, in this instance), so was googling for some cool stuff about my grandfather. He played a minor but crucial-ish role in WWII history (someone sold buy a model of his specific tank to build) in Manila, and then eventually retired as a Colonel in the US Army after some other cool army roles.
Anyway-that's why i was a-googlin'. My google results popped up an ask.metafilter link.
Esther and Albert are my grandmother and grandfather! [Um, its a bit more complicated. much more complicated-Albert is technically my step grandfather in that he married my mom's mom many years after Esther died. BUT Esther was related to me-she was my mom's dad's first cousin. I'm guessing I missed this bc I probably didn't think I could add to a question about Baptist Chaplains at Fort Knox.
So, that was weird.
posted by atomicstone at 11:27 PM on June 26, 2018 [2 favorites]


My NY Jewish father fought against my Nazi grandfather in WWII

My Uncle took some of the last photos of Marilyn Monroe.

I self righteously turned down The Two Coreys haughty demands for Red Vines after I'd closed out the register at the Cinerama Dome.
"Don't you know who we are?"
"Yes, late for buying Red Vines."

I was employed as an undercover operative for years until I caught the person the company was sure needed catching

I debated skedaddling to to Mexico as I drove my crooked boss' BMW back from the check-caching place where I'd exchanged a 'funding check' for 50k in cash (a lot of money in the 90s) that was to keep his sleazy telemarketing staff from walking out.

As the only unattached employee I was left in my same boss' office with a gun (I've never fired one) overnight after the Northridge quake so I could fend off any looters.

For no reason I can discern to this very day I was offered an opportunity to attended a Scotch tasting at the Playboy Mansion.

Was in the USC Marching Band and performed at the Electric Daisy Carnival but am not particularly talented and can't read music.

At a party with my PANArt Hang I somehow clumsily managed to coax a Singing Soulgasm (a pre-creation video that I had in my 'not-porn-porn' folder for years before I managed to humbly recreate it) from a stunning and talented young lady, thereafter turning her repeated offers down, confirming my love and faithfulness to my partner under extreme duress.

I am considered by more than a few to be a budding Tai Chi master.
posted by CheapB at 11:43 PM on June 26, 2018 [5 favorites]


I think I was intended to be the first victim of someone who went on to be a notorious serial killer. It’s hard to prove without a doubt, but there’s a lot that points to it being the same guy.
posted by Jubey at 11:47 PM on June 26, 2018 [6 favorites]


When I was about 16 or 17 I was part of a small community orchestra that toured various parts of Europe a couple times. During the second trip myself and a few of the similarly aged members of our group took up Euchre as a means of whiling away the time. I took a shine to a cute girl who played piano. After we got back I was working up the courage to call her and ask her out. I finally did, and as I was reaching for the phone (literally) it rang. It was her, calling to ask me about Euchre rules, as a thin pretext to talk to me. I was incredibly spooked but managed to seem composed. We dated for about a year then I graduated and went away to college. Haven't talked to her since but we ended on good terms.

When I was maybe 13 or 14 I went fishing off the end of a dock on Lake Huron one evening with a friend. I stuck my retainer (ugh, orthodontics) in the pocket of my shirt at some point, then later took the shirt off and my retainer fell in the lake, which I didn't realize until after dark and we'd gone home. My parents were understandably pissed because the thing cost approximately the GDP of Luxembourg. Two days later we're pulling out in the car to leave when my friend comes running up, dripping wet, having found my retainer in a sand bar 40 feet out while swimming by accidentally stepping on it. I couldn't begin to calculate the odds of this but "implausible" is certainly fair.
posted by axiom at 12:19 AM on June 27, 2018 [6 favorites]


I once found myself naked with Jane Fonda and then was called away by Dan Rather because Jane wanted to meet Julie Andrews.
No, that is not true. BUT JEEBUS HOW DOES EITHER OF THOSE THINGS HAPPEN.


a) No, no, Jane didn't want to meet Julie, Julie wanted to meet Dan.
b) Both of those things happened in the same year (1973, as best I can remember, or maybe 1974), not at the same time; sorry if that was confusing.
c) I never said that Jane was naked, just me. We both were in the same bed, but I was under the covers, and she was sitting on top of them.

I thought these comments were supposed to be not at all plausible, but still true. Both of mine are both.
posted by LeLiLo at 1:29 AM on June 27, 2018 [2 favorites]


At the Aspen Comedy festival, I ended up in a room with Rob Lowe, Chris Farley, and Mickey Dolenz. I thought Mickey Dolenz was Oliver Stone but fortunately I never told him how much I liked Wall Street.

On another occasion, I was spat on by one of People Magazine's Most Beautiful People. (It was an accident, and when I got to know him later, he turned out to be an extremely nice guy.)
posted by yankeefog at 2:44 AM on June 27, 2018 [3 favorites]


When I was at university, my lecturer told me that some of our phone conversations had been recorded by the Feds. Apparently this was because they tapped his phone. Why? Because they were trying to use phone records to prove that one of our mutual friends was a terrorist who bombed the French Embassy. Spoiler; he did it.
posted by Jubey at 3:21 AM on June 27, 2018 [1 favorite]


Late to the conversation, but I believe I have form in this area.
posted by adamgreenfield at 3:34 AM on June 27, 2018 [3 favorites]


Another good one: Mikhail Gorbachev once laid an impressively heavy forearm across my shoulders and asked me (through a translator) if there were any ideological significance to the fact that my wife and I both had nostril hoops.
posted by adamgreenfield at 3:37 AM on June 27, 2018 [13 favorites]


There are other good ones, too, involving climbing hand-over-hand on rusty rungs welded to the outside of a train speeding through the Vietnamese jungle at sixty miles an hour, urged on by the train's thoroughly piratical engineer; huddling with a freaked-out Jimmy Pursey in an Econoline double-parked in front of CBGB, in the minutes before he took the stage for the first of a series of gigs at which Sham 69 purists had threatened violence because the new lineup involved a saxophone, for all the world like it was the sealed train to Petrograd; strobing the tumbling fat snowflakes of a Fort Lewis blizzard with the muzzle flash of an M-60 machine gun, all the while screaming I AM THOTH! I AM PROMETHEUS! I AM REALITY! at the top of my lungs, and a couple-few I'm too shy to share here. But the Trump and Gorbachev ones are probably the least believable true stories of my life.
posted by adamgreenfield at 3:47 AM on June 27, 2018 [4 favorites]


1. Maybe it wasn't that implausible for 1992, but I imagine it would certainly be implausible now. I attended the 1992 Presidential Debate at the University of Richmond. With a press pass. As a high schooler. Thanks to a Clinton campaign staffer who had been my mom's roommate in boarding school. My student newspaper friend and I watched the debate from the basement of the arena, huddled in a room with Clinton's campaign team. Met Clinton afterward when he came to greet his staff and shake everyone's hands.

But that's not the implausible part.

After the debate, walking out to meet my dad, who had come to pick me up that night, I soon realized that I had left my backpack in that room in the basement. Now, in order to get into the arena earlier that morning, everyone needed to go through metal detectors and get patted down, etc. Of course. So here I come, running through the parking lot, back up the stairs, past security, right through a stream of people coming out, racing downstairs again to the empty room where I had left my bag, back upstairs and out the front door again. Even back then as a teenager, it dawned on me that I probably shouldn't have been able to leave a secure building, walk to a vehicle, then run back into the secure building where the President of the United States, the future President of the United States and both of their families were.

2. I don't have many musical credits, but an album I played piano and organ on, recorded here in Virginia, was mixed at Abbey Road, run through some of the same analog gear that made the Beatles and Pink Floyd sound good. Better.

3. While interning at a recording studio, I had to audition kids to find a child singer for the music for a TV ad for locally-based charity ChildFund International (then known as the Christian Children's Fund.) So I auditioned about 20 kids over the phone, picked 10 to come into audition in front of the agency producing the ad, and ended up picking the same girl that the agency settled on for the ad. The original plan was to have just the girl's solo voice, singing "Amazing Grace." We recorded her singing along to my piano accompaniment to help her with tempo and staying in key.

My internship ended before the ad ever aired. But one night, watching The Daily Show, Jon Stewart cut to a commercial and there it was. Including my piano. I don't know what the distribution was for that ad—maybe it just aired locally—but every time it aired, I loved pointing out to friends and family that that was me on the piano.
posted by emelenjr at 3:59 AM on June 27, 2018 [4 favorites]


In the mid 90's I invited Neil Gaiman and J Michael Straczynski into the same group chat on CompuServe, they hit it off and JMS asked Neil to write a Babylon 5 episode for him. I have never actually watched it.
posted by Molesome at 4:03 AM on June 27, 2018 [16 favorites]


Until 2011, I lived in a street very close to the Lisbon City Hall. Very frequently, whenever there was a state visit, the visiting heads of state would drive through this street to get to an official meeting with either the Portuguese President or the Mayor of Lisbon.

In the same month in 2008, I saw the King and Queen of Norway and the King and Queen of Sweden drive through, I also saw other heads of state such as Pope Benedict and President Obama.

The most implausible story is that I was walking down the street and stopped to gawk at the motorcade of King Carl Gustaf and Queen Silvia of Sweden when it passed by very slowly. I distinctly saw Queen Silvia look at me, smile and wave at me. I was flabbergasted and waved back.

After a few seconds I turned around and realized that I was standing below a Swedish flag that was hanging decoratively from a souvenir shop, among other flags. She must have gathered that I am a Swede (I am not).

My other implausible story is that I escaped a terrorist attack when I was 10 because my father forgot to make reservations on a train.
posted by fullfrontal at 4:11 AM on June 27, 2018 [1 favorite]


OMG. I'm like one digital degree from a horde of famous people, unavoidable romance, and inexplicably avoided tragedy! Thanks, Metafilter!
posted by Thella at 4:17 AM on June 27, 2018 [7 favorites]


I once found myself explaining a Buffy, The Vampire Slayer reference to former UK Secretary of State David Miliband.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 4:20 AM on June 27, 2018 [7 favorites]


I went to an MI5 recruitment session by mistake.
posted by Slogby at 4:27 AM on June 27, 2018 [5 favorites]


My wife and I have been interviewed by a Cuban tv station while in Spain.

I have caught 2 fish in my life. Both with my bare hands.
posted by grimjeer at 4:38 AM on June 27, 2018 [3 favorites]


My mother was instrumental in the capture of a Nazi spy in Louisiana during WW2.
posted by jeporter99 at 4:41 AM on June 27, 2018 [8 favorites]


This one time at summer camp... It was at Caltech... The year after Real Genius came out (which I hadn't even seen)...

Our little clique went spelunking in the steam tunnels and found an unfound clue from the previous year(s)? scavenger hunt. We followed that clue over days, going so far as to acquire master keys... until we landed at the top of the gigantic campus library. There we found a skanky-who-knows-how-old bottle of St. Paulie's Girl (Dark I believe) which we dutifully drank.... It was nasty.

Many hijinks ensued that summer. I was 16 and it was the summer before my senior year of high school.
posted by zengargoyle at 6:09 AM on June 27, 2018 [2 favorites]


Oh hey I just remembered the absolute most implausible story in this thread is that it's 2018 and I still carry an alphanumeric pager for work.
posted by bondcliff at 6:13 AM on June 27, 2018 [12 favorites]


Despite being a mediocre singer at absolute best, I somehow was part of the choir that sang the national anthem at the Grey Cup last year.
posted by dry white toast at 6:35 AM on June 27, 2018


Oh shit: Just remembered another one!

If you currently work in the British Civil Service and dye your hair a crazy colour then you owe me a beer. They had to add that to the "acceptable modes of dress" code because of me.

Actually I hope - and suspect - that whole code has been rightly consigned to the bin of history now. Thank God.
posted by garius at 7:28 AM on June 27, 2018 [12 favorites]


Working a side gig in Portland’s oldest craft brewery, I met a lady who was a military brat like me. Not too many military connections out here so this was unusual. Turns out her father was Air Force. Also unusual. Seem far more likely to meet Army kids out here if at all. They had been stationed in England and we discovered that we were both stationed at the same base. Then I mentioned where I lived when we were there, as the address had a lyrical quality to it, her mouth dropped open and she said, “Me, too!” Turns our we even had the same bedroom. She was maybe the family there right before us or there was a gap. This was off-base but leased housing for military families. And the chances of meeting someone like this are a little greater just for how many families move through there. There’s easily a dozen people I could meet who have lived in that bedroom in England but it just came up so casually as we were washing dishes, making salads and so far away.
posted by amanda at 7:39 AM on June 27, 2018 [5 favorites]


There’s easily a dozen people I could meet who have lived in that bedroom in England but it just came up so casually as we were washing dishes, making salads and so far away.

Military brats are starting to leave email addresses and social media handles on cards for the next kids in their quarters. My daughter has a whole network of friends she's never actually lived near, but they can all talk about the same neighborhoods.
posted by Etrigan at 7:56 AM on June 27, 2018 [31 favorites]


Ok, I resisted posting this because it’s such a part of my life it’s mundane at this point.

1991. I’m a junior at U.C. Berkeley, living in the co-ops. One day, a lanky long haired Australian moves in, he’s doing a year abroad on his way to his English lit Ph.D. He and I have an instant connection, we have all the same interests and when we discover we share the same birthday people joke that we are twins separated at birth because we do everything together. I’ve never felt such a strong connection to anyone in my life before, so strong that for a brief time, I question whether I am gay. Later I discover he had the same fleeting thoughts.

He returns to Australia to finish school and he comes back to the U.S. for my graduation the next year for a planned 6 month road trip across the U.S. visiting mutual friends along the way, consuming inordinate amounts of weed and alcohol and having a blast showing him my country.

He returns home and international phone calls are extraordinarily expensive in this period of history but email is a thing and we send each other care packages in the mail regularly and I just know our paths will intersect again. He moves to a mountain village in Lebanon then studies at a monastery in France. I move to San Francisco and eventually go to Med school in DC. Eventually I land my internship and residency in Seattle.

While in France, he meets a young American woman from Seattle and they fall in love. They decide to move to Seattle and get married and we are reunited. Because his wife is from here and went to high school and college here, her friends become our friends and to this day make up 90% of my social circle.

I got married to my Med school sweetheart and my wife becomes best friends with my Australian twin’s wife. I buy my first house in 2003, they buy their first house 1 mile away in 2005. My first son was born in April 2009 and my twin’s first son was born in July 2009. They are now each other’s best friends in the world. My second son was born in November 2011 and my twin’s second son was born in February 2012. Now they are each other’s best friends in the world.

At this point we all just accept it. We are all closer to each other than we are to anyone in our families of origin (and our respective families of origin have accepted us as additional family members) and I imagine it will go on like this forever. But sometimes I reflect back and somehow I knew, back in 1991, things would turn out this way.

And that’s how this skeptical, scientific, agnostic person has reserved a space in my mind that allows for the existence of something mystical that is beyond reason and comprehension.
posted by Slarty Bartfast at 8:19 AM on June 27, 2018 [25 favorites]


This is more my half sister's implausible small world story, but since i'm part of the implausibility, I'm including it.

My dad and his girlfriend at the time had a daughter and gave her up for adoption when they were teenagers in Quebec. My dad then finished university in New Brunswick and moved to Toronto, Ontario. At some point he registered himself in the adoption agency's database so if my half sister ever wanted to find him she could.

Around 20 years later, my Dad decided to move us to a smaller University town in Ontario and buy a business. Another 7 years later, my now almost 30 year old half sister decided she was ready to contact the adoption agency and find her birth parents. My dad was the only one registered and when she reached out we were all surprised to find out she had lived in our town/attended the University, had been to our business and was now living one town over.

A few years later my half sister moved to Vancouver. Around the same time the internet was getting better and my dad had tracked down old girlfriend. He told her he was in touch with my half sister and asked if she wanted to meet her. She agreed, and when he got her contact information, we discovered she had also moved to Vancouver and was living 30 minutes away from where my half sister moved to.

For the last 20 odd years we have had an active relationship with my half-sister (who I've known most of my life as I was very young when we met her) and her children (I've even met old girlfriend and her children on a trip to Vancouver).
posted by devonia at 8:32 AM on June 27, 2018 [2 favorites]


And further to my comment above, when he busted his tank through the gates of the POW camp at Santo Tomas University, my grandfather freed the parents of the woman who would become my uncle's 2nd wife.
posted by atomicstone at 8:36 AM on June 27, 2018 [4 favorites]


My dad was a substitute blind date for my mom - she was visiting a friend at Wellesley who was dating a guy from MIT. Pete was supposed to find a date for my mom for a party that night, so he asked my dad's roommate. Fred had too much work that night, and my dad's intramural soccer game was rained out, so he went instead.

My mom's best friend is 5'11", my mom is 5'4" (and was wearing 3" heels), and my dad is 5'8". Apparently, the first thing he said to her was "You were supposed to be short," and she almost told him to go away, but she rolled her eyes and went to the party anyway. 15 months later, they were married.
posted by ChuraChura at 9:17 AM on June 27, 2018 [1 favorite]


Not me but I thought of adamgreenfield eating vending-machine lunch with Donald Trump. (Warning: link is to a comment in a megathread here)
posted by nicodine at 12:36 PM on June 27, 2018 [1 favorite]


I was admitted to law school on a full scholarship a matter of weeks before classes started. I graduated with honors.

I make web applications for a living and have never been (and will never be) an attorney.

This is a way, way better story to tell anybody who doesn't really know how law schools work. To anybody who knows how law schools work, the explanation is that it was a third-tier school and there are in fact basically no deadlines that are insurmountable with a high enough LSAT score. It was still a very expensive mistake, because I remained largely unemployable and the student loans for living expenses and books alone added up fast.
posted by Sequence at 1:17 PM on June 27, 2018 [3 favorites]


I've been called unprofesional in a very unprofessional tone by a former first gentleman of Canada.
posted by Uncle at 1:18 PM on June 27, 2018


A network television camera crew once filmed 6 takes of me removing my underwear in a busy shopping mall while a crowd of onlookers cheered me on. A few years later, and that mall closed, becoming one of the more notorious dead malls among those who follow such things.
posted by radwolf76 at 2:07 PM on June 27, 2018 [5 favorites]


I've got two.

1. I was in the backseat of a car as we were driving to see the movie "After Hours." About half way there, for no reason I could give, I said "And Suddenly—" and a tire on the car blew out.

2. I was unemployed one summer when my brother-out-law (like a brother-in-law, but without a marriage) asked me if I'd be interested in a job where he worked. I said sure, and he wrote an introductory email to both me and his boss. His boss turned out to be a friend I hadn't spoken to in a couple of years. After we arranged for me to come in for an interview, I was thinking about the job when it suddenly dawned on me. The place they worked fit the description of the workplace a woman I'd dated the previous summer worked. Sure enough, she was there. We ended up married. At the same job, the IT guy was an old acquaintance from a previous job of mine. Considering that the whole staff was about twenty people, it was pretty surprising.
posted by Tabitha Someday at 2:39 PM on June 27, 2018 [2 favorites]


Tell us more about your ynderwear removal. Why? Love the story!
posted by Bella Donna at 2:42 PM on June 27, 2018


I once had a very pleasant conversation with Ralph Fiennes without having the slightest idea who he was.
posted by jesourie at 3:15 PM on June 27, 2018 [1 favorite]


My life has been completely plausable.
posted by evilDoug at 5:07 PM on June 27, 2018


My dad passed away in 1995 after 26 years in the Air Force. I found a Facebook page for current and past folks associated with the base he was stationed at in England, where he became a squadron commander.

I posted a comment on the page asking if anyone had been stationed at RAF Molesworth in the late eighties who knew my dad. Most of the responses were from people who had been there at the time but didn't know my dad. One person who responded had actually worked for my dad and told me how great of a person he had been to work for and with. My dad had assigned him to a Russian inspection team (INF treaty, Russians had to come to US facilities to ensure that intermediate-range nukes were gone and vice-versa). This man, Steve, was so excited about being assigned to the inspection team that he kept a diary and sent me a copy.

He also sent me a couple of DVDs of life at Molesworth including one of my dad's change-of-command ceremony when he became squadron commander. I sobbed watching it. I wasn't at the ceremony and I haven't seen his face or heard his voice in 23 years. It was such an amazing connection to find a perfect stranger who had known my father and could share those few minutes with me and confirm that I'm not the only one who thinks my dad was a great guy.
posted by bendy at 8:44 PM on June 27, 2018 [20 favorites]


This is strictly in the world of the mundane... but I one managed to simultaneously close the car door on my own arm, hit my head, and spill coffee in my eye at the same time. Someone had said hello to me while I was exiting the car, and I got flustered....

Also, as a pedestrian, I've avoided no less than three close calls with cars running red lights, one of which wrecked literally inches in front of me, all because I stopped to sneeze while crossing the road.
posted by MysticMCJ at 7:00 AM on June 28, 2018 [3 favorites]


In terms of lifetime gambling winnings and losses at casinos, I'm ahead of the house and standing pat. There are only a few of us in this position in the entire world.

I don't usually like to mention this part, but it's only by 5 cents. Back in the day when I was a math major, we were doing various analyses of gambling and probability problems and realized that if you play the casino's game you were bound to lose over the long term (law of large numbers). In the long term the results are very predictable, but if you take just a few samples, the results are quite unpredictable. Long and short of it is, your best shot of coming out ahead in the type of rigged games the casinos allow you to play, is if by good fortune you come out ahead in your first few plays. If that happens, you just stand pat at that point.

So the first time I played the slots back in 1986, after a few plays I had put in 95 cents and won $1. I realized this was my big chance to win one over on the casinos--and if I put in even one more quarter or dime I would almost certainly ruin it. So here I've been standing for 32 years . . .

posted by flug at 7:17 AM on June 28, 2018 [6 favorites]


My father often complained that, like his father, he never won anything in his life. Once, while visiting Santa Claus Land, in Indiana, he won a portable grill. It was the very same model he had just purchased a few months before. he cursed his rotten luck and we drove over to my grandfather's to surprise him with it. He had just won the same grill, in his case from a raffle at work.

A few years ago, my terrible luck at contests seemed to change, as our neighborhood block party was giving out door prizes and my name was called. It turned out, I had won a portable grill. I had just purchased a similar one a few weeks before.
posted by DirtyOldTown at 7:46 AM on June 28, 2018 [19 favorites]


My mom was once on the same flight at Billy Squire (how she recognized him I will never know). She asked the flight attendant for his empty beer can, which was later thrown away by a cleaning lady.

I once struck up a random conversation with a stranger in a bar. We ended up having a long and detailed conversation about obscure classic rock bands. Later a friend informed me I was talking to Matt Pinfield.

On the morning of 9/11, I was having a biopsy performed when I should've been at work on the 89th floor of Tower 1 at the World Trade Center.
posted by slogger at 7:49 AM on June 28, 2018 [8 favorites]


So the first time I played the slots back in 1986, after a few plays I had put in 95 cents and won $1. I realized this was my big chance to win one over on the casinos--and if I put in even one more quarter or dime I would almost certainly ruin it. So here I've been standing for 32 years . . .

The last time I went to Vegas, I saved up all my pocket change for a month beforehand and had something like $7 worth of nickles, dimes, and quarters. That was my "gambling money" - as I wandered around people-watching and sight-seeing, occasionally I would drop some money in a slot machine just to see what would happen. When I got down to my last quarter - I got lucky, and ended up winning about $15.

I realized that I had just doubled my money in Vegas, cashed everything out and walked away. I think I blew my winnings on brunch the following day.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 7:57 AM on June 28, 2018 [4 favorites]


My first (unpaid) editing job in college was proofing the English translation of the Veritatis Splendor text from Pope John Paul II, after I'd just spent a semester abroad studying in Rome and had a private audience with Il Papa and my fellow classmates at the Vatican in 1992 (I attended a private Catholic college then, but am not now and never have been Catholic myself).

I worked directly under a team of priests and Catholic professors on this project for its American print edition, and at the time I was an anarchist with hot pink hair. (I also won an AP Award for excellence in Journalism that same year and got a fellowship at the Poynter Institute, so I was qualified... just not really the target audience for this piece.)
posted by Unicorn on the cob at 8:42 AM on June 28, 2018 [1 favorite]


I think I blew my winnings on brunch the following day.

Truly, the House always wins in the end.
posted by tobascodagama at 8:49 AM on June 28, 2018


Also the first time I saw the movie Se7en in the theater, right when Brad Pitt is staring at the Sloth guy in the bed and he gasps (which is how they realize he's still alive!), there was a MASSIVE crash of thunder outside and the power shut off in the theater.

I screamed so hard I lost my voice and it took me a good 2 years to ever try watching the film to completion.
posted by Unicorn on the cob at 8:49 AM on June 28, 2018 [5 favorites]


In terms of uncanny timing in movie theaters, the first time I saw Kill Bill, Volume 2 the projector conked out at precisely the moment when the casket gets shut on The Bride. The movie itself has a cut to black at that precise moment, as it switches to The Bride's perspective from inside the casket. However, in the showing I saw, the picture never game back afterward, even though the audio track continued. Everybody in the theater, I think, just assumed this was some avant garde choice on Tarantino's part to do The Bride's entire escape in darkness, but as the scene dragged on longer and it got to the part where she had obviously dug her way out -- at which point it became really, really clear that something was wrong --, the theater staff finally came out and explained the malfunction and gave us all ticket vouchers as a refund.
posted by tobascodagama at 9:20 AM on June 28, 2018 [6 favorites]


Reading about things like coincidentally timed thunder and the like did bring back one memory.

I had gone to see some movie (of no consequence) with a bunch of friends in high school, and we were all standing around talking in the parking lot when someone pointed out that none of the lights in the parking lot were on. I have ABSOLUTELY NO IDEA what prompted me to do this, but I - as a normally shy and quiet kid who never raised his voice - shouted as loud as I could "LET THERE BE LIGHT!" with my best attempt at sounding like a god. The light directly over us immediately came on. I didn't live this down for a long time, to the point that I was casually nicknamed "Lucifer" by a small group of friends (since I was the "light bringer").

I had largely forgotten about this after high school until a couple of years later, when I was at college, someone from this period of time saw me across campus, casually shouted "Hey, Lucifer!" and waved at me. While it seemed funny to me at the time, that a lot of people who I had never talked to or met on campus (and whom I thought I would never meet) would only know me as "Lucifer," this had a larger ripple effect than I could imagine. Without fail, I would encounter someone every couple of years - on a date, at a new job, getting coffee - who would ask "Hey, are you Lucifer?" or similar, cuing an entire new generation of people who would only know me as Lucifer.

This kept going on until I moved out of state, but that was only three years ago so I'm probably about due to run into someone on the other side of the country who will just know me as Lucifer.
posted by MysticMCJ at 9:27 AM on June 28, 2018 [12 favorites]


To continue the movie theme: I went to see a showing of an old vampire movie (Nosferatu?) outdoors in the park with live accompaniment by the Philip Glass Ensemble. Early in the movie, just when lightning struck on screen, a huge lightning bolt blasted nearby and it started to rain.
posted by moonmilk at 9:33 AM on June 28, 2018 [1 favorite]


I think my implausible stories are only implausible if you don't know me, and if you do - well.

When I was 25, I was shot with rubber bullets and arrested for watching a demonstration. I was charged with several misdemeanors and went to trial. My prosecutor tried to make it about terrorism. Here is the implausible part: a bit after that I was talking to a friend who I hadn't seen in some time. He asked me how many times I'd been tried for terrorism. I had to say two (the jury hung the first time), and he said "you know I asked that as a joke, right?"

Yeah. I know.

I'm not sure which is less plausible, that someone attempted to try me for terrorism or that it's the only demo I've ever been to that I was just watching and not participating in, but both are true.

I also used to get mistaken for a european rock star fairly regularly, though no one specific. Everyone is just really bad at guessing whether I am gay or european.
posted by bile and syntax at 10:27 AM on June 28, 2018 [6 favorites]


Oh, perhaps to ice the cake - I used the incident around my arrest and trials as my law school entrance essay, and it worked.
posted by bile and syntax at 10:35 AM on June 28, 2018 [7 favorites]


I grew up in Washington DC in the 1970s and '80s. My father worked in the Capitol. I would sometimes take the Metro downtown after school and meet him. I went to whatever door was convenient, went through a metal detector, told the security guards where I was going and who I was meeting, and was released to walk through the building alone, passing tour groups and congresspeople. This seemed ordinary at the time and is implausible now given the current security in DC.
posted by swerve at 10:38 AM on June 28, 2018


I get regularly drunk-dialed by a friend who showed with and was friends with Mark Rothko and Willem de Kooning

I wonder if I know your friend as I've met them both.

Implausibly, I once had a long conversation at an art opening with two people on the topic of what it's like to be famous. I thought they were speaking theoretically until I found out they were Graham Norton and Carrie Fisher.

I once met Louise Bourgeois at a party. Since my father said he knew her, I mentioned him. She said she didn't know him but she knew my brother (who was later played by Jeff Daniels in a movie.)

Most implausibly, I lived upstairs from Allen Ginsberg and Peter Orlovsky.
posted by Obscure Reference at 11:17 AM on June 28, 2018 [6 favorites]


I was working as a bouncer at a rock and roll venue. In walks Debbie Harry. I'm smitten. I said that I loved her in Videodrome. She smiled and said thanks.

Then I said, "You've lost a lot of weight." Smooth, right? She walked right out of the place.

OTOH Eric Roberts came into the same club. I said, "You're fucking great! Can I have an autograph?"

He signed the paper, "FUCKIN A! Eric Roberts."
posted by Splunge at 4:47 PM on June 28, 2018 [4 favorites]


I was once at a conference after-party held by some high-rolling corporation, free booze and food, and a big fishbowl you biff your business card in for a prize draw.

Later in the evening they have the prize draw, and the first prize was something I really wanted. So they start pulling cards out & calling names [you have to be there to get the prize], and they do this about 8 times, without finding a winner who's there. I mutter to the guy next to me, "I should just say 'thats me' for the next no-show, who's gonna know?". The next card pulled was mine.
posted by HiroProtagonist at 8:14 PM on June 28, 2018 [4 favorites]


My family's had a few supernatural experiences, which remain with me, even though I'm an agnostic/atheist.

My maternal grandma passed when I was in my teens, the day after my birthday. A couple months later one of my aunts took Grandpa to Florida for awhile.

This was the early days of cable TV, and my parents didn't have it, grandparents did. So my dad tagged along with me to gramps' empty house late one night so I could watch an arty film.

Now gramps and auntie had morbidly stopped a cuckoo clock in the tv den to the time grandma died, which had been around 1:11 p.m.

So I'm watching the movie, dad's there, dark house, no light but the TV. And I hear this sound in the hallway. I'm thinking, man, that sounds like grandma did when she walked, you know, shuffling. I don't say anything to dad, he's just sitting there, I keep watching TV.

Then the TV went out - snowy-like. Dad says, "Come on, we should leave."

I looked at my watch.
Yes. It was 1:11 a.m.

So we go home. And THEN I overhear my dad in my parents' bedroom quietly say to mom, "I heard something over there that sounded just like your mother walking."

PostScript: 35 years later I would be visiting my parents when my dad collapsed and passed away in the middle of the night.
*He* died two days after my mother's birthday. On Easter.

If there is any kind of supernatural level, maybe he was a conduit, in touch with it. His mother passed when he was little, and at the moment of her death he saw a mist rise from her body. His aunt, also in the room, said to him, "Don't ever tell anyone, they won't believe you."

His mother died on March 22.
35 years later his first grandkid was born on March 22.

All coincidence. Right?
posted by NorthernLite at 11:35 PM on June 28, 2018 [6 favorites]


My brother's wife and I have known each other for longer than either of us have known our spouses, and we briefly dated.

One of my best friends in high school and I tentatively decided to try dating in our Senior year after a few years of knowing each other. It was pretty awkward and flamed out very quickly. It put some distance into our relationship, which only increased when I met someone a few months later and we started dating pretty intensively (we ended up getting married and, 24 years later, are still together). In the pre-social media era it was easy to lose touch with friends, and we did so. Almost 10 years later, she is riding the subway in Boston when she recognizes someone. "Are you Rock's little brother?" she asks my brother, and yes, he is. They hit it off, and my brother is forced to call me and awkwardly ask if it is OK if he goes on a date with my ex. I say sure, and today they are happily married with a couple of kiddos. We get along great, though I see know that we never could have worked as a couple.

The crazy thing is my mother really liked her when I was friends with her, and she always assumed that she and I would end up together, and that my friend would one day become her daughter-in-law. She ended up being right about that, but wrong about which son she would marry.
posted by Rock Steady at 7:35 AM on June 29, 2018 [7 favorites]


Probably the fact that I exist. My parents very much wanted children and nothing worked. They resigned themselves to this fact. Fifteen years into their marriage, I showed up. I am the oldest of three!
posted by capricorn at 10:43 AM on June 29, 2018 [1 favorite]


In terms of uncanny timing in movie theaters, the first time I saw Kill Bill, Volume 2 the projector conked out at precisely the moment when the casket gets shut on The Bride. The movie itself has a cut to black at that precise moment, as it switches to The Bride's perspective from inside the casket. However, in the showing I saw, the picture never game back afterward, even though the audio track continued. Everybody in the theater, I think, just assumed this was some avant garde choice on Tarantino's part to do The Bride's entire escape in darkness, but as the scene dragged on longer and it got to the part where she had obviously dug her way out -- at which point it became really, really clear that something was wrong --, the theater staff finally came out and explained the malfunction and gave us all ticket vouchers as a refund.

Not exactly uncanny timing but I can't resist telling this story. Went to a showing of Map of the Human Heart at the local university's film series. The movie opens with shots of expanses of ice. No sound, no music. People in the theater start yelling, "Sound?" "Check the sound!" The projectionist starting shouting back that we're all a bunch of unsophisticated rubes because there is no sound - the movie starts like that. This goes back and forth until two people appear on the screen and start silently mouthing words at each other. Then the film stops. And restarts a few minutes later with the sound.
posted by lagomorphius at 10:51 AM on June 29, 2018 [8 favorites]


Not mine, but our late comrade Lemurrhea once flashed the Governor General of Canada as part of his role with Queen's University.
posted by LegallyBread at 10:56 AM on June 29, 2018 [2 favorites]


My dad was a substitute blind date for my mom - she was visiting a friend at Wellesley who was dating a guy from MIT. Pete was supposed to find a date for my mom for a party that night, so he asked my dad's roommate. Fred had too much work that night, and my dad's intramural soccer game was rained out, so he went instead..

Ok, this is a weird coincidence. To elaborate on my comment here, my father, an MIT undergraduate, was a substitute blind date for my mother, then a Wellesley student. She was supposed to go out with one of my father's roommates who was dating her roommate... but he got sick and asked my father to take my mother out in his stead. Being MIT students, they felt that blind dates among roommates were functionally equivalent. The roommates also married each other.
posted by carmicha at 6:43 PM on June 29, 2018 [5 favorites]


A couple guys from the NSA once asked my girlfriend (at the time) & I to hack the CIA for them. One of them was also a Satanist & the other said he could travel through time.

We said no. Somewhere in DC there's an FBI file substantiating all this.
posted by scalefree at 6:39 AM on June 30, 2018 [8 favorites]


I know Rosemary's baby.
posted by ivan ivanych samovar at 1:30 PM on July 1, 2018


I was thinking about this and, if I'm being honest, here's the actual most implausible thing about me: I grew up poor in the rural midwest in the 1980s and somehow have never owned a pair of jorts. That's so unlikely to almost qualify as a thermodynamic miracle.
posted by the phlegmatic king at 4:01 PM on July 1, 2018


I contributed a bit of scratching/DJ'ing on a hip hop album, and have a shout out.
posted by ethical_caligula at 4:11 AM on July 2, 2018 [3 favorites]


I dated, totally fell for, and was eventually dumped by, a woman whose parents were rockstar psychiatrists. They had a bunch of stories about working with Robin Williams but I can't remember if this was Awakenings Robin Willams or Patch Adams Robin Willams. I was young and dumb and just focused on their hot daughter and yada-yadda, just rolled with it because it sounded good enough to teenager me. Either way, assuming their stories were true, I have a low (provisional) Kevin Bacon number for pretty much anyone famous.
posted by peeedro at 3:03 PM on July 2, 2018 [1 favorite]


A native Texan, I struck up a conversation with the lady next to me in the standing room section of the Vienna Opera House. Turns out she was an opera singer who had grown up in the same Texas town as my parents.

Some time later, my aunt told me to keep an eye out for a friend of hers with whom she'd gone to high school and who was an opera singer living in Vienna - it was the lady I'd previously met in the standing room section.

A couple of years after that, an Austrian friend informed me that he'd moved into an apartment in Vienna that was owned by an opera singer from Texas. Same lady.

---

I was waiting at the gate for a flight I'd booked from Houston to Atlanta when the gate personnel announced a one-hour delay. An hour passed, and the gate personnel announced another delay. This continued several times until, finally, the pilot and co-pilot left the plane and entered the gate area. The pilot announced that the airline (Presidential Air) was broke, they couldn't find anyone willing to sell them fuel, the airline management had asked the pilot to pay for the fuel with his personal credit card (a request he refused), and both he and the co-pilot had just quit. He then suggested the passengers find a different way to get to Atlanta.

Fortunately, Continental put us all on a flight to Atlanta later that day, at no additional charge.
posted by syzygy at 4:15 AM on July 4, 2018 [5 favorites]


When I was about 4 or 5 I ran over myself with a car.
posted by rhizome at 12:05 PM on July 4, 2018 [2 favorites]


I am 90% certain that I played Dungeons & Dragons with David Cameron. It was a long time ago.

A few years ago I had a conversation with my mother about her early life, which ended in her finally remembering the name of the American actor whose personal assistant she had been while he was doing something with the BBC in the late 50s. It was Orson Welles.

I have seen the Loch Ness Monsters, but admittedly only on an echo-sounder display. On the other hand, if you know me at all then this is not so much plausible as inevitable.
posted by Hogshead at 2:45 PM on July 4, 2018 [2 favorites]


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