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This is a question Eccentrics

We all know someone who's a little bit strange - Mum's UFO abduction secret, or the mad Uncle who isn't allowed within 400 yards of Noel Edmonds.

Tell us about your family eccentrics, or just those you've met but don't think you're related to.

(Suggested by sugar_tits)

(, Thu 30 Oct 2008, 19:08)
Pages: Latest, 14, 13, 12, 11, 10, ... 6, 5, 4, 3, 2, 1

This question is now closed.

I was with some students.
Talking about light theory or something like that. Photography course. I told them that basically they didn't need to know HOW it worked, but just what it did. I don't know myself tbh. I made my usual joke about a fridge; I've no idea how it works, but I know how to operate it. Ie, turn it on and put food in.
One of the fuckers pipes up , ah but I DO know how a fridge works. We then got a lecture on fridge theory.
So, I now know how a fridge keeps things cold.
(, Fri 31 Oct 2008, 12:39, 5 replies)
There is a man in Cambridge who unicycles to work and back every day.


Now I know this might sound harsh but what kind of cunt actually thinks that a unicycle is a valid form of transport?
(, Fri 31 Oct 2008, 12:37, 20 replies)
My Nan.
I was thinking I had no eccentrics in my family. Sure there are a few that are slightly unhinged in one way or another, but the same can most likely be said of any family. And then I got to thinking about my Nan.

She's calmed down somewhat since crossing the border and entering the land of 80 something, although she insisted on continuing to look after 'the old people' until a spate of recent illness reduced her mobility significantly.

However, we need only travel back 10 short years or so to unearth some of her more eccentric behaviour. My Auntie (by no means eccentric, but certainly short of some marbles) had procured tickets to watch Iron Maiden in concert somewhere, and, when her friend had to cancel, she jokingly offered my sweet, old, sub 5' tall Nan the spare ticket.

"Oooh, a pop concert, how fun." she proclaimed.

"Mum, they're not exactly pop." my Auntie retorted, but Nan was having none of it and it was decided that she would be chaperoning her daughter for the evening.

Much later she recounted her thoughts about the 'strange dance' all the youngsters were partaking in; "where they shake their heads about so their long hair flies all over the place, would have given me a headache, I'm sure." she said to no one and everyone.

More amusing still were her musings on the strangely sweet smelling cigarettes that all the young 'uns were smoking. My Auntie pointed out that it was marijuana she could smell; "ooh, I should like to try some of that" she pondered aloud.

She then shuffled off muttering to herself about footwear and we allowed our mirth to catch up with us. So caught up were we with our laughter that we didn't notice her return, until she loudly insisted that we pay attention to her shoes. And rightly so, as her tiny feet were clad in a pair of brightly coloured, flowery 10 hole Doc Martins that she'd bought especially for her first ever gig.

She's ace, my Nan.
(, Fri 31 Oct 2008, 12:34, 2 replies)
Reading Elvis
The man is a local legend (possibly a national one, he's been put on Facebook). He is totally obsessed with Elvis, is only ever seen wearing Elvis t-shirts and dirty jeans with his greying hair in a quiff, usually carrying an Elvis vinyl or two in an old carrier bag. I'm told he often stands in the station during rush hour waving the vinyl as though it was a Bible and preaching about Elvis.

5 years I lived in Reading, and didn't see him until the week before I moved out. My life is complete.
(, Fri 31 Oct 2008, 12:20, 10 replies)
The Mad Artist, Part 5.
As you would expect from the name I've given him, the Mad Artist's mind doesn't work in the same fashion as most of ours do. Sometimes the most inane thing will send him spinning along a weird path.

Apparently one day he was having an argument with his girlfriend (to the best of my knowledge he's only had one, and this was about six or seven years ago) and she was getting pissed off at him and snarled out the old Gloria Steinem line: "A woman needs a man like a fish needs a bicycle."

I ran into him a day or so later and he told me about this, his eyes aglow and his hands waving. "Fish do need bicycles! They do!"

"Ummm... not quite following here. Could you elaborate a little?"

"Take a fish. Put a little harness on him. Put him in a glass bowl with sensors around him to detect what direction he's trying to swim in. Hook those sensors up to a little RC car and put him on top of it. Now wherever he tries to swim to, he'll drive there! Do this with a dozen of 'em and I'll bet they'll swarm in a school!"

I struggled to keep back the giggles. "Ummm... well, maybe. How would you put them in a harness?"

"You make it out of neoprene! It's stretchy, it'll fit close and won't hurt him... Hey!" His eyes got a truly mad glint in them. "Even better! You know those little blimps they use in stadiums during games to drop prizes into the crowds? Use those instead so they can move around in 3D! Turn 'em loose during a concert!" And he was running for a good half hour trying to design this.

He lives in a very interesting world.
(, Fri 31 Oct 2008, 12:20, 10 replies)
Alexander Thomas Jeremiah O'Malley
It had been a long day in work, and I'd gotten to the point where laying out letterheads and reformatting copy had made me want to drown my sorrows under a vast lake of ale, so on my way home I decided to stop in at one of the nicer pubs in Liverpool (I know, I know, that's got to be a contradiction in terms, right? Well no, wrong. Anyway.) and get my drunk on.

I'd barely touched my lips to the top of the head of my first pint of Cains Victorian Beer - a seasonal brew that I was going to take full advantage of - when a cheery-faced middle aged bloke turned to me and said, in a clear and precise RP voice, "Long day at work, then, was it?"

"Like you wouldn't believe," I said, trying not to laugh at the toy frog that was poking out of this guy's breast pocket.

"My name, sah, is Alexander Thomas Jeremiah O'Malley. Would it be alright for me to talk with you for a bit?"

And so we did. Two whole hours, he regaled me with stories of how he'd travelled the globe; how he'd been in the Royal Marines and the SAS, protecting Queen and country; how he, single-handedly, had solved drought issues all over Africa, and how he had invented a car that would run on nowt but water and some booze. He was a loon, certainly, but everyone in there seemed to know him, and so the idea that he may well turn violent or angry never really crossed my mind.

"So what brings you to Liverpool," I said, four pints down and at least another two more to go. "Well, I always loved the Beatles, and I always loved... uh, rivers, and tracksuits," he replied, a bead of sweat forming on his brow.

"But surely there are nicer places than this in the world," I said, confused.

"Aah, well, quite, but there's none with a pub like this," he replied, making a broad, sweeping gesture with his arm as he did so.

And with that we continued to drink.

It was another hour and a bit later when I noticed that he was pronouncing words incorrectly. And not in a "yyyou're great you, fuckhnnn love yew yer me bezzzt mate" pissed sort of a way. No. His clear and precise received pronunciation was becoming a garbled mess. And then he turned to me, suddenly, as I was nearing the end of what was to be my final pint that evening.

"So. no_offenc. Do you mind... do you mind if I ask yew a questyern?"

"Go ahead mate," I replied, "I'm off after this'n though so you'd best make it quick."

"Where..... wheeeere would yewwww say I'm from?"

"...I honestly couldn't tell you. Oxford? Somewhere down South, at any rate... why?!"

"Aaahahahahahah, I can't believe you fell for it, you stupid bugger!" he said loudly, tearing up with laughter.

"What do you mean, 'fell for it'?" I asked, somewhat confused.

"You mean you didn't pick up on it?" he replied, his voice suddenly lower pitched and utterly, utterly Scouse. "You soft tit! You only went and fell for my accent tricks!"

Length? Far more than a yard of ale, I can tell you.
(, Fri 31 Oct 2008, 12:19, 3 replies)
And you thought they never survived the 80s...
I’ve a nodding-terms-at-mutual-friends’-parties acquaintance who does this sort of thing.

I think that 150mph in a Sinclair C5 counts as eccentric.

EDIT: Last time I saw him, he was wearing a genuine Soviet cosmonaut's suit, complete with helmet. I think that seals it.
(, Fri 31 Oct 2008, 12:16, 4 replies)
let a be the length of its semi-major axis and b be the length of its semi-minor axis

va^2-b^2/va^2+b^2 = v2sin(oe)^2

(, Fri 31 Oct 2008, 12:12, 4 replies)
Fondez vos téléphones
I once had a french teacher who used to melt telephones.
Only the old fashioned circular dialing type ones though, apparently newer ones just don't melt in the same way.
(, Fri 31 Oct 2008, 12:07, Reply)
Well, I will dust this off for another airing, for it is apt
Where I work is full of learned academics, some of whome have more letters after their name than i've got in my first and last name together. They have scientific meetings where they discuss conservation and related scientific matters. Apparently, one of the fellows is a bit worse for wear in the sanity department, but tolerated on account of being harmless and the money he gives. He once famously stood up at a scientific meeting and announced his friend was breeding a pheonix.


Update: They actually revoked his status as a fellow not so long ago, I wonder why ;)
(, Fri 31 Oct 2008, 11:50, 1 reply)
Two months from going on study leave for my GCSEs, my physics teacher retired. He was replaced by a temp who'd actually taken part in setting the exam.

In the first lesson with the new guy, we went through the syllabus to see what needed to be done. We'd covered roughly one-third of it.

We'd spent the previous 18 months arsing around with lenses and tickertape timers. But most of the time - and I do mean a HUGE proportion of two academic years - was devoted to a very long, very involved, shaggy-dog story about an octopus.

It was like being taught by Laurence Sterne.
(, Fri 31 Oct 2008, 11:48, 3 replies)
The tale of G
G is someone that I knew for a brief period.

To look at him, you'd just think he was nuts. He lives in a small basement flat not far from me. He has grey, wirey hair, and on the rare occasions that he ventures outside he stumbles around slowly, smelling vaugely of piss.

Unfortunately there is a sad tale to his misfortune. He graduated from university sometime in the early 80s with some sort of engineering degree. He ended up in with the tree-squatting, militant hippy fraternity.

His story was that he was at a protest, in a tree-house that he built, and someone set fire to the tree; he was trapped inside. Some people think that he did it himself, and it was a botched suicide attempt. No-one really knows - he had everything to live for, including a little daughter and a girlfriend.

The fire hurt him badly. His skin was so damaged that he can no longer go outside in the sun, and his eyes are hypersensitive to light. His hands are fused together, making many simple tasks difficult.

If you go into his flat you would never think he'd been anything other than what he is now. His windows are completely covered with tinfoil, to keep the heat out - his only solace is a mountain of old VCR's, TV's, computers and other various bits and pieces.

His house is absolutely squalid. The bath contains a boiler, and has done for the last 5 years. Presumably that means that he never washes or showers. You would think so, from the way he smells.

He sits on his arse, day after day, smoking resin, drinking Tesco value cola and playing Solitaire on his ancient Windows 95 PC. The lights are always off in his house (most of them don't even seem to work). His walls are plastered with glow-in-the-dark stars, which he seems to be obsessed with. Sometimes he builds pointless contraptions out of his mountain of stuff, and tries to give them to people.

He doesn't seem to have any friends to speak of - my former circle just seem to put up with him every now and again.

Once we dragged him to a rave somewhere in the Lake district. My only memory of him is that he sidled up to us with plastic bags on his feet, pissed himself, and then started crying.

Every time I see him, my thoughts are a cross between 'Poor bloke' and 'Nutter'.

The saddest thing is that he once had a life.
(, Fri 31 Oct 2008, 11:40, Reply)
-stretches fingers-

There was...the art teacher who tried to strike me with a fencing sword because i denounced realism and espoused the glory of neo-plasticism in his earshot.He's still there,i phoned him up to badger him not so long ago.

The english teacher who every day came to school with a briefcase and a thermos.Everyday,a briefcase and a thermos.A briefcase and a thermos.they were never opened,and gradually my mind began to fill with the kind of itchy curiosity that only affects the young or the drunk.Finally,after seeing him carry his briefcase and a thermos (briefcase and a thermos) into school I broke into his room and opened them.In the briefcase I found half (half?) a pair of sunglasses...and the thermos was full of moss.

A man i know who screams every time you say the word 'french'.

A gentle,timid art professor who gets through a television a month...apparently because he doesn't go very long without getting so angry he puts his foot through it.Must be ITV.

A lady who pushes a pram full of dog-biscuits around town.Possibly married to...

The man who wanders around shouting about traffic cones.Slowly,he's convinced me that they're actually aliens who feed at car accidents,and i do feel vaguely uncomfortable around them.

the man who says there's a radio in his head that transmits the speeches of Fidel Castro.he also gets the Two Ronnies,apparently.

Oh,and there's me,who according to some occasionally wakes up shouting 'the bees!the bees!'....

that's enough for now.It's just the tip of the iceberg.
(, Fri 31 Oct 2008, 11:40, 3 replies)
my estranged brother speaks on eccentrics.
"So, soon I got chatting to this quirky girl and this wacky woman who were both quirky but with slightly different styles of quirkiness. You can’t really use the word quirky because basically it means ‘not boring’ doesn’t it. So I actually hate the word quirky. Anyone with a half decent sense of humour gets that label, just like somebody with an interest or a hobby that isn’t football gets ‘eccentric’ or a girl who has a lesbian experience and gets loud and annoying when she’s drunk gets the label ‘wild’. Wild girls are the most boring of all. Outside of the time they kissed a girl or flashed their tits at a cop, what have they got to talk about? I think nearly all girls have snogged another girl at one point so that’s why that song ‘I Kissed a Girl’ shits me. It’s like me making a song called ‘I Am A Man, Yet I Have Long Hair Which Is Unusual These Days’."
(, Fri 31 Oct 2008, 11:35, 3 replies)
Chemistry Teachers
It seems that it's part of the job description to be eccentric, so here's mine.

I present... Mrs Mad.
Mrs Mad was my Chemistry/Physics teacher in high school. She always wore what looked like homemade wooly jumpers and her hair was never, and I mean NEVER combed. There were even theories that she only had 1 hair, but it was so long and tangled it looked like a full head of hair...

But I digress.

The story that comes to mind instantly was once in chemistry we were all there with our noses buried in books working away. She was sat in the middle of the class doing marking or some other teacher activity. Suddenly, she shouts "OH! Did anyone hear about the blowjob under the textile department?" I have never before then witnessed instant silence. She went on to tell how 2 students got caught by a cleaner underneath the portacabin textiles department giving head. The best part was no matter what was asked, it was always 2 students of undetermined gender. Not exactly what teachers tend to divulge in lessons...

Mrs Mad, you're a star.
(, Fri 31 Oct 2008, 11:32, Reply)
My old boss:

It started during my interview: he drew a flow chart on the whiteboard mapping out the IT system they were working on.
He: "Do you understand that?"
Me: "Oh yes"
He: "You're the only cunt that ever has"

We had a meeting in my first week of employment, him, the team leader and me. From the off, I sat and watched the boss rip into the team leader for an hour telling him "he didn't know what he was fucking talking about", "you don't fucking understand the fucking system", "no you fucking won't you'll fucking do what I fucking tell you", etc.

He didn't like his boss, was telling me about him one day, the word "cunt" came up a few times.
He: "what do you think about that?"
Me: "he sounds like a bit of a twat"
He: "You're absolutely right Stopmeandslapme"

He liked me though. After a few weeks, if anyone dared question what I said, he'd jump down their throat.

Best boss I've ever had :-)
(, Fri 31 Oct 2008, 11:32, Reply)
Ooh, I just remembered the scary Christian
I wrote this for a different audience a while ago, so this is just a cut and paste job. The original audience were American improvisors, hence some of the explanatory text:

"I just started reading The God Delusion and it reminded me of something I think I had desperately tried to suppress.

Let me take you on a trip to the past:

I’m a 16 year old virgin when a new girl joins our school. Very friendly, Swedish, attractive (to me, my friends couldn’t see it) and, sadly, ultra religious.

But did that stop me trying? Hell no. She quickly became my ‘girlfriend’. She even let me hold her hand. Once.

And what did I have to go through to get this very special privilege?

Let’s start a list, shall we?

Go to her church with her. And her family. Every Sunday.

Join the ‘Christian Society’ at school. Which run weekly. During the lunch hour. Three times a week. In a room where I could clearly see all my friends playing football. And having, you know, fun. While I nodded sagely and pretended to believe in creation.

Drive 5 hours to go to a three hour church service in rural (read: Backward) Norwich. Where I felt like such a fool being the only one who didn’t stand up and raise my hands to allow god into my life that eventually (oh the shame) I did. So I’m standing there, arms aloft singing Hallelujah with everyone else.

Go to her sisters baptism listening to a painfully trying to be trendy preacher say things like ‘I love the music in the hit parade’ (a phrase for the top 40 that hadn’t been used since my Mum was a teenager) and discuss the lyrics to ‘Size of A cow’ by The Wonderstuff:

“Don't you think it's funny that nothing's what it
seems when you're not looking forward?
Me, I'd like to think life is like a drink,
and I'm hoping that it tastes like bourbon.
You know that I've been drunk a thousand times,
and these should be the best days of my life,
Life, it's not what I thought it was.
Damn blast, look at my past,
ripping up my feet over broken glass.
Oh wow, look at me now,
I'm building up my problems to the size of a cow.”

Trendy Preacherman: ‘He should turn to God, not drink, and then his problems would be more like the size of a mouse’ (wha?)

Things went wrong when she threw out my copy of REM’s Out Of Time because she didn’t want me listening to a song called ‘Losing My Religion’.

Well, that and the fact that she said she would ‘kill her twin sister if God told her to’

So, yes, I wasted 6 months of my life trying to get laid by someone who probably still hasn’t had sex to this day because it’s so sinful.

God, I was tragic.

You know what's worse?

10 years later I met a girl through work who started to talk about The Landmark Forum. Luckily I managed to spot the signs before I got dragged through a similar thing. Mind you, I did get to sleep with this one."
(, Fri 31 Oct 2008, 11:32, 1 reply)
“I’m just a soul whose intentions are good…Oh Lord, please don’t let me be misunderstood”…

I feel that usually the term ‘eccentric’ is difficult to define. Is it ‘quirky’ or ‘maladjusted’? A harmless, playful slap to the tender cheeks of ‘accepted’ society behaviour, or a disturbed head-first dive into the paddling pool of purest mentalistness?

Whichever of the terms you think apply, then I believe my Old Uncle Cecil might just qualify.

Many’s the time my family and I would spend the weekend at his sparcely furnished gypsy caravan in Stoke On Trent. He lived there despite being worth a veritable mintage after successfully gambling all of the family fortune in 1948 on Hattie Jacques and Liberace to feature in the 1960 Royal Variety performance. His volunteered life of relative poverty was due to his stern belief that money was ‘The only reason Atlantis sank’

As my family would enter his caravan, Uncle Cecil would insist we would all have to ‘Salute the Cardinal’, which was a process that involved pulling our pants and dunghampers down to our ankles before slowly walking round the room and sucking each other’s thumbs, all to the theme tune of ‘The Magic Roundabout’. I must admit it was a bit disconcerting to see my parents take part in this ritual, but I suppose it was all good clean fun and if it prevented Uncle Cecil from wielding ‘Old Mable’ which was a collection of crowbars sellotaped together with meat cleavers and sprayed burgundy (the colour of justice apparently), then it was worth the trouble.

For every single lunch, we would dine hugely on deep fried asparagus coated in tartare sauce and wrapped in a Curly Wurly – apparently this was the only dish capable of ‘fending off the soothsaying Venezuelans’.

Every fourth plate would contain lumps of ground down barbed wire, as he said it give dinner an exciting, ‘Russian Roulette’ feel to it. Unfortunately due to the seating arrangements I was always fourth in line…It took several operations later in life to enable me to speak properly and even now I still set off the metal detectors in airports.

Since 1973 Cecil had decreed that all toilets were the work of ‘Dogmatic pragmatists working for the coconut creatures’, and that the reason there was one in every home was because they were being used for transmitting signals on our ‘movements’ to the Royalist chipmunks on Ursa Minor. Consequently, every time any of us needed to do a ‘Thora Hird’ round his place we would have to squat down and pinch out our loaf on a glass table in the living room whilst Cecil lay underneath it and watched ‘just to make sure there were no demons escaping’.

There was almost a scandal when Cecil was caught inserting his twitching phallus into a ripened, luke warm tortoise on Hearsall Common in 1982, but we all laughed when he explained that he had simply ‘lost his speedboat keys up there’, and that his Cadet training from the African Gorge of Yngwie Malmsteem showed him that this was the most sensitive procedure with which to retrieve jagged items and cause the least distress to the animal. Who were we to argue?

Always security conscious, Cecil would spend his afternoons with his binoculars, ‘keeping an eye’ on the children in the playground across the road. He always seemed to be frantically rummaging through his pockets for something… perhaps a pencil so he could note the registration plates of any suspicious vehicles?

Sadly Cecil is no longer with us. He finally came a cropper when he decided to wage war against ‘The dark spirit world that is represented on earth by Avon Saleswomen’, and insisted on only using weapons ’the good lord provides’. He was discovered three weeks later with seven holes drilled into his head and his cock firmly jammed between two industrial strength power sanders from B&Q.

So yes, he was lovably eccentric, and I do have a few more stories about Old Uncle Cecil…but come on, everybody has an uncle like that….don’t they?

(, Fri 31 Oct 2008, 11:25, 4 replies)
Another eccentric teacher
Mr Law - art teacher (what else?) who never actually managed to teach us art, his lessons being long, monotone monologues on anything that happened to be on his mind.

He had a bizarre feud going on with the bloke who ran the bike shop in the village, and would often send pupils down to the shop on a letter-running errand.

"Duck," he droned to me one afternoon", "Take this message down to the bike shop. Be sure to wait for a reply."

I waited until I got out of the school gates before unfolding the piece of paper. There, written in Law's unmistakable copper-plate handwriting were the words "You're a bastard".

I was given, in return, an oil-stained scrap of paper. On it was scrawled "Up yours".

He subsequently grew a handlebar 'tache and is now The Edge out of U2*

* Lie
(, Fri 31 Oct 2008, 11:22, 6 replies)
My auntie is married to her sisters husbands son.

They're not even from St. Helens
(, Fri 31 Oct 2008, 11:17, 6 replies)
Weird Teacher
As a few people are mentioning weird teachers I thought I'd better throw my hand in!

As a few people on here may know I'm quite into my martial arts so a couple of years back I went to a camp for some extra training and to generally improve my own mental outlook on things as I was going through a bit of a hard time.

Anyways, I get to this camp with my mate and it looks like a total dump, is deserted and is overgrown, I was wondering if I'd been ripped off and said as much to my mate.

However, the camp paled in significance to the teacher. I pitch up ready to learn and he starts off by pretending to not even be my teacher! As the weeks go on he has me doing more and more bizarre tasks like hand stands, acrobatics and sparring all while continually talking about how to I had to learn his way and his way only!

He kept using all these weird phrases in an effort to motivate me which I never got.

Turned out he was an OK guy though, he managed to get my motor started and out of the lake it had fallen into and helped me through the tough times that were coming up. Even on his death bed he managed to joke about 'when 900 years old I reach, look as good I will not'
I miss my teacher
(, Fri 31 Oct 2008, 11:12, 3 replies)
La la la la la
As with many other replies for QOTW the first eccentric guy that I thought of was my old chemistry teacher. He was a bald guy who wore a monocle and had a fondness for clothing that was purple. Sometimes he wore a cape. He was also into bodybuilding and would like to walk around bare-chested until the Headmaster threatened him with the sack.

During our lessons he would also tell us of his latest pet project that he used to work on at the weekend, usually involving trying to make a living plastic or something as farfetched.

The last time I saw him was during my last year at school, the school had just returned from summer holidays and he had decided to pop in to say goodbye to his favourite class. He then informed us that he was leaving us as a project of creating a human from the DNA of history’s most evil people (Allegedly Hitler, Genghis Kahn, etc ) had gone really well. After an awkward silence from the class (What the hell do you say to that) him and his lab assistant (some odd guy in blue with a speech impediment that always wore a bucket on his head) jumped into his car (a homemade hovercraft of his) and drove off.

The teacher and his assistant went on to become members of a terrorist organisation (I can’t say which one it is but let me just say it has something to do with snakes) and as I was part of his favourite class I was interviewed by some part of the army that dealt with terrorist threats , who in my opinion were a little eccentric themselves (one of them looked like the wrestler Sgt Slaughter and another of the guys was dressed as a ninja FFS). After they interviewed me this terrorist squad left the room shouting something that me and my classmates still disagree on to this day. I believe they said something to do with an action force while the kid who moved here from America claims they were saying yo to a bloke called Joe outside.
(, Fri 31 Oct 2008, 11:00, 1 reply)
Skunk Lady
As a teenager, I worked in a supermarket bagging groceries – it was a real spit and sawdust hometown slice of Americana where we still used paper bags, wore a uniform which included a cap and called people ‘Gosh Golly Mister’. As it was a town of just 2000 people, I got to know most of the residents quite well, and was quite happy to say hello during their weekly shop. Others, of course, not so much.

Especially ‘Skunk Lady’, a woman in her 40s who varied between eccentricity and madness.

She was in every day, buying various bits and bobs, from apples to pens to loo roll. Although this was in no way unusual, what was bizarre was that she horded all of her groceries in her Ford Escort. Years of groceries had been squashed into this vehicle, with the visible wavy lines of stench permeating the parking lot. The windows were smeared with the effluent of decomposing food.

She carried a ski pole around with her wherever she went. It wasn’t for balance, it was to collect rubber bands – thousands of them. Thievery wasn’t beyond her, and would take to stealing a rubber band like a magpie to a sparkle. She’s spend 30 minutes stealing every rubber band from a stack of rolled up newspapers. Any attempt to force her away from the rubber bands would end in altercation, so we allowed her to get on with it.

One day she took to gussying herself up for her shopping trips. Bright red lipstick was drawn to her nose, and eyeliner was shakily drawn on with a large, thick permanent marker. She earned the moniker ‘Skunk Lady’ because she began to clip in bits of discarded braid weave into her short, grey, straight hair with children’s barrettes. This highly fashionable look was topped off with a low-cut top which – and it still pains me to say this – showed off not only cleavage, but also chest hair.

One day I overheard a conversation between Skunk Lady and the butcher. “Why are you buying so much meat, Skunk Lady?” “So I can build a cow.” Apparently the fetid environment of her Ford Escort was the primordial soup necessary for this cow life, as the bags of beef lay festering there until the very last time I saw her, likely a year after the overheard conversation.

She took to using our toilets, once leaving (I am told, I didn’t witness this) a full large roll of kitchen towels, bloodied with her menstrual fluid and feces, in the hall. Nevermind the time she was caught in the isle of the supermarket openly switching her putrid green underpants for a nice fresh pair off the shelf.

The final straw was when we saw her running into the supermarket – time stood still, we waited with stars in our eyes - what ever will she do next? Shit in the sink, that’s what. And not just in the sink, around the sink, on the floor, on the walls. And what with a perfectly good toilet not six inches away. My friend Sara drew the short straw and spent the day hosing and bleaching the bathroom. Skunk Lady was, from there foreword, banned.

The story has a happy ending, though. A short while later she was arrested for prostitution.

I shit you not.

**I do, of course, understand that she was likely mentally ill. BUT STILL.
(, Fri 31 Oct 2008, 10:59, Reply)
Wife/ life confusion
I have a vague acquaintance with someone whom, for the sake of this story, I shall call Harry. That is not his name, but I do see him on occasion, and it's possible that he - or, more likely, mutual friends - may be a b3tan.

Harry was married. He was trying, as far as anyone could tell, to blend personalities with his wife - whom he would call "Wife".

In the mornings, his first question to Wife would be, "Wife, what am I wearing today?" She would lay out his clothes. And she would lay out identical clothes for herself.

Yup. They dressed identically. And not well, either. The phrase "Mickey Mouse t-shirt" should tell you all you need to know.

The pattern was repeated elsewhere. At a restaurant, he'd say, "Wife, what am I eating?", and they'd place identical orders.

The marriage didn't last. How could it? Marriage involves another person, and Harry and Wife had blended into one entity. Absent a second person, the marriage evaporates: you can't be married to yourself.

I sometimes wonder if his life was designed as an experiment in Hegelianism...
(, Fri 31 Oct 2008, 10:54, 7 replies)
Mad or eccentric?
When my grandad died my step-mum Jenny popped over to the house a month or so later to see how his wife was getting on. The old bat (as we usually refer to her) seemed ok, but Jenny was quite concerned about her eating habits as she seemed a bit gaunt. Not wanting to be too invasive she resolved to check the food situation when the old bat went to the toilet. The moment arrived and upon opening the fridge all that was seen was 4 large cheese cakes. The fridge was spotlessly clean, but these were the only things in it. Not a sauce, a drink, milk or any vegetable of any description. Just the 4 cheesecakes.

Jenny also noticed that the plug had been cut off the tv. This it turned out was because there were too many "rainbows" on tv. Rainbows being the operative word the old bat used for blacks. Rather than unplug it she had decided to just cut it. My dad later remarked that it would have been quite fortuitous if she had electrocuted herself while doing this as we could have got our inheritance sooner, "Grandad would have liked her to go out with a bang".
(, Fri 31 Oct 2008, 10:53, 2 replies)
My father is the definition of eccentric
After reading this, some of you will be forever sorry for me. Some of you will be scared. The few of you who know me will nod and think: “oh, that explains…” Ladies, gentlemen and people of unidentified gender; let me introduce you to My Father.

I’m not going to bore you with all the small eccentric details of his live. Just to start, he’s got his very personal timetable. He sleeps when he’s tired; he eats when he’s hungry. He’s always being like that and drives my mother nuts when we go visiting other people. It wouldn’t be so bad if it wasn’t because there is something he always does. Every day, it doesn’t matter if he’s tired or hungry. Every single day he has his coffee with milk and biscuits watching Dragon Ball (yes, the anime). And he’s 54 now.

Well, I hear you saying that’s not that bad. I’ll tell you something else, then. For more than a year, he got to the conclusion (who knows how) that people don’t need food to survive: just water, some vitamins and sun. So, for a long time he wouldn’t have any food (apart from the coffee and biscuits) and would spend hours having sunbathes completely naked in our terrace. He was 53 then. Not a pleasant view. He lost a lot of weight too.

Not enough? You want to know more? OK, then. Before that, he got to the conclusion that your body is regulated by the moon. Alright with women and the period, but he’s a man. Then, he would have “moonbathes” every night, naked too. He would cut his nails only when the moon was decreasing (they grow slower and stronger).

I don’t know if you’re tired by now. If you’re, go to the next post, but for those of you who still want to know more, here goes a small list of a few of his other eccentricities:

-Clothes just serve us. He wears them until they are rags (or until my mother puts them in the bin, but she knows she risks a big telling off)
-He never goes to the doctor. He cures himself, as everything in his body is controlled by the brain, and he’s got control of his brain.
-His identity card still says he lives in Barcelona, so he can’t use it for travelling even in Spain, despite the fact he’s been living 25 years in Tenerife. The reason behind is that he grow up in Barcelona and his mother’s home will always be his home, no the house he bought with my mother in Tenerife.

There are more, but this is getting too long. For those of you patient enough, just another two:

Once, when I was 14, as I walked in front of him at home, he said “Daughter, I’m going to die”.
I don’t know what he was expecting, honestly. I didn’t know what to do, and just kept walking. He’s still alive after 14 years.

And the last one. When his mum got Alzheimer, my uncle was the one who arranged everything. They were a bit upset before that (loooong story) but after that, they just didn’t talk to each other at all. When I asked my father why he hadn’t help my uncle with my grandma, he replied “Your uncle is very sick. He doesn’t know it, but he’s got the evil inside him. Helping his mother is helping him and, when in the future everybody goes against him because of the evil he’s got, he’ll say: well, at least it was me who looked after our mother”. So sweet…
(, Fri 31 Oct 2008, 10:43, 6 replies)
Miss Smith
The company I used to work for didn’t have it’s own canteen (although we did have use of the British Medical Association one next door) so we had a ‘Sandwich Lady’ who’d turn up on her bike with a trailer behind it and then come round our office selling her wares.

They were actually pretty good, so I’d eat them at least twice a week when I didn’t have time to go over to the BMA.

Then, one night, I was sat at home watching BBC2 at a time when they were running a series of short documentaries called ‘Mrs Smith’. 10 minute short films about women called, funnily enough ‘Smith’.

They had one about the dead ex-labour leaders wife, one about Dame Maggie Smith (if I recall correctly) and a few about ‘normal’ Mrs Smiths.

The one I happened to catch that night featured our Sandwich lady. Which I thought was quite exciting, so I sat down to watch it.

It showed her making Sandwiches in her kitchen and putting them in the fridge over night.

Then it started to discuss her ‘art’.

She did the sandwich thing to allow her to concentrate on her ‘real’ work. Her art.

Fine, nothing wrong with that.

Until it started discussing her latest piece.

They showed a white bath.

It had a series of three tide marks running round it. Getting progressively darker the lower down the bath they were.

She said ‘I think they are beautiful, they look like mountains on the horizon, they take me out of the city and make me feel I am in the middle of nowhere’.

‘And how do you make them?’

‘Well, basically, I went a month without washing, then took a bath, then I went two months and took another bath with less water in it, then three months and did the same. In a couple of weeks time it be four months since I last bathed and I will add another one’.

Funnily enough, she didn’t sell any sandwiches in our office the next day and we never saw her again after that.
(, Fri 31 Oct 2008, 10:40, Reply)
Eccentric at school
I was once told by my headmaster at school (about 25 years ago) that my hairstyle was 'too eccentric'....and this came from someone with a comb-over who taught Latin, and had named his dog 'Drucus' after the famous Roman general.
(, Fri 31 Oct 2008, 10:32, 1 reply)
my 'eccentric' friend was actually very troubled.
He was having trouble coping with undiagnosed dyslexia. All of his odd behaviour was just a cry for plhe.
(, Fri 31 Oct 2008, 10:17, Reply)
Dennis Greeenidge
Dennis Greenidge, the man, the legend.

Being a workshy musician, I worked for a while at a well known 2nd hand record shop in London. There I first encountered the one-man media onslaught that is Dennis Greenidge. He would shamble in to the shop, buy up the cheapest old tat from the bargain bin, take it back to his lair and...well...create.
Using only a tape-to-tape cassette deck and a microphone, he made the most lo-fi looped backing and then added his own unique vocals over the top, mainly about super heroes, space travel and food.
He would then come back in a few weeks later and sell us back his tape, sometimes making up to 1 pound profit on the whole deal.
Someone (not Dennis himself) has kindly made a myspace page for him, so enjoy.


He is also, apparently semi-legendary within the computer game business, inventing such gems as Space Strawberry's in 3D.


Dennis Greenidge. Cosmic.
(, Fri 31 Oct 2008, 10:16, 2 replies)

This question is now closed.

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