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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, ... 7, 6, 5, 4, 3, 2, 1

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Crazy Leaf Guy
I don't know if this mad old bastard is still there, but I used to see him every day that I lived in Cardiff, either in the Flora (pub) or nearby on Cathays Terrace.

This chap could either be found collecting glasses (unpaid and unstoppable) in the Flora, or armed with his broom, a dustpan and a bin on the street ridding his section of the world of those most pesky of critters, the fallen leaf!

He would be there literally every day, sweeping and scooping the leaves that had fallen or blown onto the road and pavement outside his house, always with a 3 litre bottle of cider perched on the wall nearby.

I'd heard tales of him having a go at some passers by, and even had to protect a young lady of my acquaintance from his advances on one occasion.

I remember reading an article in FHM some time ago describing a man on the same street sticking his head and torso through the window of some students' house and loudly berating them for the mess it was in.

I'm certain it was the same guy.

Crazy Leaf Guy - you always made that section of the walk to uni more interesting. I salute you.

Any Cardiff-based b3tans know if he is still there?
(, Fri 31 Oct 2008, 14:47, 9 replies)
Tea cosy man
Theres an old man in Canterbury that has been around for as long as I can rememeber. Wears a tea cosy on his head, slippers, and plays the keyboard (I say play, more...presses keys)

Now im not sure if he is actually eccentric, but if not he must be making a killing!

Ooo, video! www.youtube.com/watch?v=B_Y9xQi1C6k
(, Fri 31 Oct 2008, 14:46, 5 replies)
There's a guy who stands out the front of Reading train station every morning who wears a variety of Elvis Presley themed t-shirts whilst holding an Elvis book aloft (the hardback "annual" variety like what the Beano & Dandy used to release around Xmas time).

Apparently if you speak to him he will even do an Elvis impression.

Unsurprisingly he's been nicknamed "Reading Elvis" - I believe he's even got his own Facebook group.
(, Fri 31 Oct 2008, 14:41, 2 replies)
The old Rosies Guy
Anyone who has been out in Chester and been to Rosies know of the Rosies guy.

This bloke is in his 60's always goes to Rosies in Chester (it's a bit of a dive) done up to the 9's and dances with all the pretty girls who go there...

Now I've got no problem with old people in clubs but he's there all the time...
(, Fri 31 Oct 2008, 14:36, 5 replies)
"Isn't it"
A while ago, before the wife and I were married, we decided to take some dance classes - nothing amazing, just so we could do a little waltz, as opposed the usual, grab-arse-and-rotate shamble - especially as we were at a posh venue and had made the effort to look nice.

With this in mind, we found a local class, run by an old biddy who certainly knew her stuff, and went to a few sessions.

The clientele were mainly middle-aged couples looking for a hobby, but there were another few couples of nearly-weds trying desperately to learn their left foot from their right before they got hitched and it was a very friendly atmosphere.

Each evening was broken into two halves, with a traditional (waltz/foxtrot, etc) half then a latin half (which we tended to duck out of), separated by a break for tea, biscuits and a brief chat.

There was one fellow, who must have been in his forties, who cycled to each session, wearing an anorak and the sort of shoes you see advertised at 2 for the price of 1 on the back of magazines - grey, leatherette lace-up things. Kiddy-fiddler shoes, as I think of them. The sort of footwear worn solely by the clergy and the mentally deficient. It was into this category that "Isn't it" fell, I think.

He was pleasant enough, in a desperate needy sort of way, usually dancing with whichever old dear was free while their husband took a break, but it was during the tea break that he came into his own. He'd prowl around the various groups of people, trying to get into conversations, but it was obvious that he had no social skills at all. Instead of conversing normally, he'd no vigorously at everything anyone said, whilst making loud affirmative noises, then when they'd finished, merely repeat their last sentence, adding the phrase "isn't it?" to the end. When people stopped to hear what he as going o say next, he'd simply turn on his heel and wander off to the next group.

Odd, but harmless. Well, that's unless they find a dozen schoolgirls bricked into his bedroom walls...
(, Fri 31 Oct 2008, 14:29, 1 reply)
Mr Orchard
When I was at secondary school back in the eighties we had a supply teacher who was a bit odd. Firstly he was a follower of the Bhagwan and a sannyasin so wore nothing but orange clothing, and was otherwise a bit of a hippy. He was also obsessed with the 'powers of crystals.'

I can't remember a single lesson I ever had with him where we actually did any work, without fail all his lessons were involved around crystals, whether it was him telling us in great detail about the giant crystals the US government were finding in the mid-Atlantic from Atlantis, stories actually about the downfall of Atlantis, or the men from the Ministry of Defense who would come up to his stall in a craft market (selling crystals) and inform him they were currently conducting research into using crystals as weapons. He would also get entire classes to meditate with a crystal in are hands, which quite frankly mate was never going to work with a room fall of urban fourteen year olds. But he never gave up trying. There were times when I genuinely believe he had no idea everybody viewed him as a complete nutter.
(, Fri 31 Oct 2008, 14:25, Reply)
Never Mind ... Soon be Christmas!
Anyone who spent much time in or around Winchester prior to December '06 would probably be aware of Ron Purse, Winchester's famous burping tramp.

Looking akin to Only Fools And Horses' Uncle Albert and smelling like evil on toast, Ron would while away his days pushing his push-chair filled with gnarly old cuddly toys and other filthy goodies from one end of the town to the other.

If you happened to catch his attention you would either be treated to an immense (and pungent) belch to the face or some form of platitude - usually "nevermind, soon be Christmas". If you were truly blessed you would receive both!

During the annual Hat Fair (festival of street theatre etc) he would decorate his push-chair beautifully, although admittedly with shit he had found in the gutter, and go around giving out syphilitic looking cuddly toys to the children.

Rumour has it that Terry Pratchett's character "Foul Ole Ron" was based on him, which seems plausible given the size of Ron's local celebrity and the fact that Mr Pratchett is from round these parts ... I've just been told they used to drink in the same pub (The Mash Tun if any of you know it, now another bloody tapas bar).

Ron died in December 2006 and Winchester is just not the same without him. Think about it, it takes quite a man to arouse affection by belching in your face.

Apologies for lack of punchline ... RIP Ron.
(, Fri 31 Oct 2008, 14:24, 9 replies)
Frank Nicholson
Are there any B3tans who went to John Moores University and did physical Geography?

He was quite an eccentric lecturer and also a hero to us undergrads...

Field trip to Tunisia:
Managed to get him up singing some Karaoke, he then proceeded to sing a totally random song in a very high pitched voice

Wandering through the hotel and waking up the students he walked past one room as a lad poked his head out of the door and Frank proclaimed 'Nope, still ugly' and carried on his merry way!

other (unverified stories):
Was caught having a wank on a field, and carried on
Was known for shagging at least 2 undergrads

Plenty more stories as well which I can't remember off the top of my head...

If anyone has any others then please feel free to add though!
(, Fri 31 Oct 2008, 14:23, Reply)
One more, this time with hobos!
Jesus man! (So called as he has a beard. We were imaginitive little blighters.)

A perplexing, mistifying and perculiar man who floats around the town I used to go to high school in. Floating being an accurate term, as he somehow in a David Blane-esq feat of gravity defiance walks around every where on his tip toes. He manages to turn walking into practically dancing, as while walking down a busy street, he performs twirls, dodges, Turbo Boost(tm)'s and many more interesting manouvers. A pequliar man indeed.

The second is a man who must quite easily be in his late 50's / early 60's who is still a paper boy. Again, unshaven, and some have reported having the odour of weed about him in his rather fetching dirty polyester coat and grey trousers. He practically charges through groups of students walking home with his hands behind his back, all the while muttering to himself. Such a strange man... Green and grey together? HELLO! The 1970's called, they want their fashion sense back...
(, Fri 31 Oct 2008, 14:19, Reply)
not me but
My friends dad has built a nuclear bunker for when the inevitable war comes driven possibly by the illuminanti with the UN troops as their storm troopers.
He also said recently there had been an atomic missile attack in the US recently but we didn’t know because there was a media blackout and the government “covered it up pretty well” but im saving the best till last………………………… he honestly believes that George Bush and Tony Blair are part of a high level international paedophile ring that abducted Madaline Mc Cann. I wish I had his imagination!
(, Fri 31 Oct 2008, 14:18, 4 replies)
Yet more teachers. Sorry
No Chemistry ones for me, sadly - my Chemistry teacher was just an arse. I blame him for me being a geeky computer person instead of a vet. Sniff. I could be looking at a poorly kitteh now instead of a flatscreen monitor. Anyway...

Mr R - Latin. Proper old-skool Life of Brian-style Latin Master. AMBULO, AMBULAS, AMBULAT... etc. Barking orders at people and calling all the boys by their surnames. Spent every break-time striding up and down the quad smoking his pipe. Dead now. RIP.

Mr N - Latin. Completely different from Mr R - a wishy-washy sort. Easily distracted, much to our delight - simply mention a topic of interest and he'd be off rambling about it for the entire 80 minute lesson and we wouldn't have to do any actual work. Latin mottos was always a good one.

Mr P - French. Would write in ransom-note style on the board, mixing up upper and lower case and going off at funny angles. Regularly pretended to play golf with the whiteboard pen. For our weekly 10-question vocab test, there would always be a completely random question 11 like "nuclear power station" or "baby wild boar".

Miss W - English. Always going off on a tangent about something and then exclaiming "Oh, you must all think I'm potty!" We nicknamed her Potty Dotty Big Botty. Once described how she was driving past a field and saw some lambs jumping about and had to pull her car over because she was wetting herself so much watching them. Riiiight. I loved her though, in a slightly teenage-lesbian-crush way, she was ace.

Mr C - English. Screaming homosexual. Once turned up to a lesson with his usually-greying-black hair dyed bright blond, and announced "That's the last time I take something from a strange man on the beach"
(, Fri 31 Oct 2008, 14:17, 3 replies)
I don't know if he was eccentric, but he was unique.
Let me tell you about Harry.

He was an old backwoods man, a native of the Adirondacks who had made good in the world and retired fairly wealthy. He was about six feet tall with a strong square jaw and broad shoulders, and looked like the stereotype of a lumberjack. He didn't speak much, but when he did it was direct and to the point. He was what Clint Eastwood and Steve McQueen tried to portray.

At some point he was told that he had to give up smoking cigars, but that it was okay to smoke a pipe. His solution? He kept a cigar in his pocket and a small knife, and would cut segments of it for his pipe tobacco. To this day I can't smell a cigar without feeling him nearby.

He owned a large chunk of land that he subdivided, and sold two lots to my parents. The one they left empty was the lot between them and Harry, to give a buffer. To this day it stands empty, and that's where I spent a lot of my time as a small child. And the person who was usually there with me was Harry's granddaughter, who I'll refer to here as Lyssa.

Harry kept something of an eye on us both, as did his wife Ginny. Where he was rather hands-off and watchful, she was quite busy with us if we were in their house- she was a very driven Type A personality who had retired from a position well up the food chain in Avon Cosmetics. Where she would fuss over us until we felt the need to escape, he would generally keep back and let us do as we wished. He was the one who taught me how to properly split firewood with a splitting maul, and taught me a lot of strange bits of woodcraft and how to sail a single person boat without jibing the sail. He was the one who taught me how to read the winds by the ripples in the water and to read the clouds to see what the weather would bring.

Ginny died before Harry by a couple of years, so I never got to say goodbye to either of them- she went fast from cancer, he went more slowly from diabetes after losing both legs and wouldn't let anyone see him like that. Lyssa had moved to California by then- where she still is today- and also never got to say goodbye.

About ten years ago I tracked Lyssa down, and eventually went to visit her for Thanksgiving. One evening we discussed Harry and Ginny, and she mentioned that Harry had worked for Revlon in sales.

My jaw dropped. "Harry? Selling cosmetics?"

"Yup. He and Gran were in competition, but they made it work."

I was shaken to my core. Imagine Lee Marvin selling mascara- no fucking way. "Revlon? You're shitting me."

"No, I'm serious. He retired from Revlon. And he made more money for a while driving Cadillacs from Florida to New York."

I thought about this. "Okay, maybe I can see that, but still..."

"And the trunks of those Cadillacs were full of bootleg whiskey. He was a bootlegger."

That's the Harry I knew.

He may not have been an eccentric per se, but he was certainly one of a kind.
(, Fri 31 Oct 2008, 14:16, 2 replies)
The Reverend
We have a local guy we call "The Reverend." He drives a little PT Cruiser around town covered with Mississippi State University Bulldogs stickers and those little American flags on the little plastic poles (We're in Mississippi, this would be even more unusual in London...)

Anyway, he goes to Wal-Mart, the post office, McDonald's EVERYWHERE listening to preacher tapes on his Walkman. That's not so strange, except that he'll randomly blurt out "Amen!" to any and all within sight. In "normal" conversation, each sentence contains at least two "amens." His southern accent and the way he says it, it sounds like "hey, man," so it is hard not to reflexively "hey" back to him when he sees you in the store, locking you into offering up praise and glory to Him who blesses us all.

I was in Hardee's (a McDonald's-like fast food place, for those not in the know) and the Reverend was there too, at another table, waiting for his food.

"Are you doing all right, amen?" the young lady asked when she brought him his food.

"Amen! God is good! Amen!" The Reverend answered with a nod.

"Amen," the young lady said. "You enjoy your meal, amen."

"Amen! Thank you, amen!"

The same young lady brought me my food a few minutes later.

"There you go, sir, enjoy," she said.

"Amen!" I nodded in return.

The poor young lady nearly jumped out of her skin, as if I were the continuation a strange dream.
(, Fri 31 Oct 2008, 14:14, Reply)
Mad Uncle
One of my uncles has an invisible friend, and although he never really brings it up when he's at our house, I understand that he goes on about it constantly at work.

Mind you, he is a vicar.

(Shameless repost from the Crazy Relatives qotw)
(, Fri 31 Oct 2008, 14:11, 1 reply)
Let's see...
Being from a big family, we have a couple of relatives that may fit the description.
Lets start with my Uncle.

Any of you bold enough to remember Peter Kay's description of "Uncle Nobhead" would have a good idea of the man.

Now in his 50's, he still finds it acceptable to wear denim shorts that would put hot pants to shame. All year round. He boasts gleefully about how he is fluent in French ("But with a Normandy accent"). Also, a number of times he has brought complete strangers to our house and said heartily things like "Oh, this is Brian, he's excellent at piano" while we stood staring in disbelief at this man who wouldn't appear out of place on the shortlist for the sex offender of the year award, wanting to come in and probably steal some underwear.

My nan.
She is a lovely woman, having taken care of me for years after school while my parents were at work. I was a little bastard and she still thinks the sun shines out (Visible even more after my underwear had been pillaged). Firstly, she insists she doesn't drink. If thats true, she must be donating all those bottles of gin we bring back from holiday to the cats home. Also, she has a very short temper for store clerks. Last christmas, while shopping for my dad a present with my mum, she was waiting for a cashier to fold a shirt up and bag it. But no, this wasn't satisfactory, something was amiss.
"You're doing it wrong! Give it 'ere!" She cried, before snatching it from the womans hands and proceeding to fold the shirt properly as defined by the constitution of old people Sect. 3 Sub Sect. 6.

Finally, an auntie of mine.

Sadly passed not too long ago, she was an intriguing woman to say the least. There is one notable experience I should like to submit for your amusements. Once, my dad phoned her house to get in touch with my uncle, who was out. So, my dad being a king of jokers, decided to extract the urine somewhat. He proceeded to tell her she was breaking up and he couldn't here her. She replied with an "Oh no, what do I do?!". My dad, being the helpful sort, told her exactly what to do. He had her climbing on sofas and tables trying to get a better reception to find a better signal to see what my dad wanted. Not a wholly ridiculous notion if you're using a mobile. She was using a landline. Not only that, but it was a corded phone. Not wireless in the slightest. She probably had to untangle the wire while doing it.
Oh yeah, and before I forget, she was also on the radio once as part of "Simon Logans Breakfast show" (For all you fellow northern monkeys) wind ups. She thought the council was ringing to complain about her precious dog, and was heard to remark about "Doggie Do-dos!" many a time. I think I may even have that recorded somewhere. If people like the post enough, i'll see if I can upload it.

Appologies for length, I think it's about 2 generations.
(, Fri 31 Oct 2008, 14:09, Reply)
ooh just remembered another,,,
my mad music teachers we'll call Mrs J and Mr S. When you are in year 9 you are asked to write a piece of music on War of all things, cue lots of kids banging drums etc, the future ex of mine, beaver and his best mate decided to rap, and used the lyrics bombs are flying, jews are dying in Mr S's lesson. Bad Idea. Mrs J was a jew. I have never heard a teacher scream so much about the Holocaust, if you ask a bunch of kids who are learning about the holocaust in history, to write a song about war, surely the 2 shall intercross at somepoint? Mrs J was also very blunt, a new yr7 pupil was crying coz her rat had just died, Mrs J suggested ripping up the floorboards and get one of the ones that lived under the music block...cue screaming parent coming into school hte next day!

The other music teacher Mr H, he had had throat cancer and couldnt speak properly, so he thought it was a good idea to bring in his 'boombox' as he liked to call it, and attaching a microphone, silly man...
(, Fri 31 Oct 2008, 14:00, Reply)
Those Gouranga guys
I'm sure you've all met them. These guys have are prevalent in most of the large cities (not seen one for a while though). They're totally harmless and very nice when they ask for your money but appear to all have the same uniform, cagoule, glasses and some type of furry hat.

I thought they were a UK phenomenon until I went to Budapest with a couple of mates last year and there was a guy in exactly the same uniform!

Now they are eccentrics...

Best bit was when he told my (very) conservative mate (looks a bit like tory boy even) that he looked the most German out of all of us with his glasses and ginger hair...
(, Fri 31 Oct 2008, 13:53, 6 replies)
I spent a few of my formative years
growing up safe and cosy behind the large fences of a British airbase in Germany. All was well in our little contained community, we had our own outdoor swimming pool, there were shops, a supermarket, a few churches and schools and all the associated periphery of normal life. We also had a little mirror on a stick with a torch on the other end, to check under the car for IRA bombs, but at the time that seemed perfectly normal.
Whilst living there, I picked up the rudiments of the German language, I could go into shops and ask, 'Was costet das?', and introduce myself with a hearty, 'Ich bin elf jahre alt.'

During my stay in Germany I met lots of lovely, if slightly eccentric characters, and you really should believe everything that you saw in Eurotrash, because those crazy Germans sure do love to get naked.
The one who stands out the most though, was Bob. Bob worked with my step-Dad in the base's own little detention centre, and seemed to exist entirely on a diet of seeds and small nuts. He would dart about purposefully (all eccentric people seem to be in a hurry, I'm sure they know something we don't), occasionally barking to himself and muttering obscenities at the sky.
There was one occasion, when he'd been left to guard the detention centre on his own as they only had one inmate who was there for a minor assault charge, when Bob received a shovel to the face, allowing the prisoner to escape. There followed a three-day man hunt, and poor Bob was left with a very sore head.

The main thing that worried me about Bob though, was the eating his little nuts and kibbles, because he didn't buy the stuff from the shops, he'd get those little boxes of Parrot food from the pet store, and munch his way through them.

The first time I caught him digging into his seedy brunch, he turned to me, and, 'Yes, that's right Robert. Ich Essen Trix.'
(, Fri 31 Oct 2008, 13:48, 3 replies)
More Teachers
I wonder whether teachers enter education because they're mad, or whether the kids rot your brain after a while:

Mr. C - French Teacher. Would spend an entire 2-hour lesson ranting about how much he hated golf. Once set off the fire alarm after he lobbed a pen across the classroom to demonstrate some point or other.

Mr. P - English Teacher. Totally unemotional android of a man, with an OCD-like obsession with picking up litter. This being a raucous all-boys school, there was a lot of litter to pick up. Eventually had a nervous breakdown.

Mr. L - Another English Teacher. Used to get the class to behave by saying that his father had just died. Was surprised to learn, after his fifth identical bereavement, that nobody believed him anymore.

Mrs. D - English again (what is it with English Teachers?). Patronising old hag who taught the bottom set, and treated them like 3-year-olds. She put once incident, when one boy beat another unconscious, down to "high spirits" and literally made the perpetrator stand in the corner. Didn't last much longer.

Mr. H - Music and Science teacher who made a big deal of "looking after" the kids and making sure they were happy emotionally as well as getting good grades. Turned out to be a paedophile, now in prison.

Mr. B - Stuttering alcoholic old Etonian maths teacher from a bygone age, with spats and a twirly moustache. Was so far gone that he would occasionally lapse into Latin in the middle of a lesson and not notice until it was pointed out to him.

Mr. H - Adenoidal voiced, pervy maths teacher, who owned exactly one set of clothes (suit, shirt, tie) in three colours - Brown, pink and orange. Would mix them up at random. Once turned up in Brown shoes, brown socks, brown trousers, brown shirt, brown tie and a brown jacket. Looked like he had been gripped by the head and dipped in some chocolate.

Mr W. - Chemistry Teacher. Loved chemistry a bit too much, and was in the habit of wearing his motorcycle helmet in class. Managed to accidentally set off explosions that blew out the windows of the chemistry lab three times in the time I was there.

And worst of all:

Mr. B. Rugby-obsessed History teacher and deputy head. This man *loved* rugby, and made sure we all got three hours a week, winter, spring, autumn and summer. Other sports were "for girls" and when the school thugs used it as an opportunity to stamp on the less athletic pupils in the school (such as yours truly), he said they were "soft". During his tenure, five different pupils were hospitalised with rugby-related injuries including a punctured lung. However, that was nothing compared to the injuries sustained by Mr. B himself. During the four years I was at his school, he broke both arms, one leg, two ribs, detatched both his retinas (in separate incidents) and suffered concussion twice.

He's the headmaster now. May God have mercy on his pupils' souls...
(, Fri 31 Oct 2008, 13:48, 2 replies)
Kitten Cowboy
This just occurred to me as ever so slightly eccentric: Where I live (East Finchley) there's a bloke who goes around wearing a broad rimmed cowboy hat. Slightly odd, but fair enough.

I while ago I happened to get off the same tube train as him and was walking behind him, where I noticed he had a picture of a kitten stuck to the back of this cowboy hat. I thought this so strikingly strange I actually piped up the courage to ask him why he had a picture of a kitten on the back of his cowboy hat.

"To ward off muggers," was his reply.

I think I was so startled by the sincerity of his tone I actually nodded and said something stupid like "Why of course."

Must be a b3tard I reckon
(, Fri 31 Oct 2008, 13:46, 1 reply)
Duck's foot Dave
A friend of a friend...

He's known for his habit of keeping stuffed bits of birds in his room. Not the whole bird mind you - A pair of wing here, a foot there, a head there...

We avoid him now.
(, Fri 31 Oct 2008, 13:32, Reply)
ah teachers...
now first off, me and my father are both classed by people as eccentrics, all because i love conspiricy theories, believe in ufos and have an interest in cryptozoology. so yeah, i digress.
I had many a mad teacher at high school:
Mrs Jones the art teacher, a 50yr old hippie, who would randomly scream in the middle of a sentence, had an unfortunate accident involving 2 flights of stairs and her stupidly long dresses.
Mrs Beasley the art teacher, would regularly run off to cry during the lesson, hiding in the cupboard untill we superglued her in...
Mr Johnson the chainsmoking science teacher, really nice guy, visited me in hospital once coz his mum was on the same ward, he used to smoke behind the pub with all the kids on break, untill he got lung cancer, for one week he ave up then he was back on the fags, luckily he went into remission, but he was mad as a hatter.
neverknewhernamegothartteacher. was a goth, white face, black clothes everything used to wear shoes, which had BALLS inthe soles.

i think i went to a mad school...there was no hope for me was there?
(, Fri 31 Oct 2008, 13:27, 4 replies)
Risk Management
Ah, yes, local government. The last resort before the loony bin for the otherwise unemployable. Whilst the vast majority of Council employees, are generally just boring, a bit dim, or both, there are a few who stand out as genuine, grade-A nutters. Weirdly, there seem to be more than a few in senior management positions, suggesting that long-term exposure to the lunacy rots your brain after a while.

Exhibit A: A "Risk Management" expert who I shall call Mike (for that was his name). Mike showed a little bit too much dedication to his job:

* His pride and joy was his 10-year old Jag. This man was quite seriously in love with his car. Every morning he would park it in the same space in the (public) car park next to the office, a spot that he had carefully calculated to have the maximum CCTV coverage. If anyone were to park next to him he'd get quite agitated ("You'll scratch it!"), and if anyone were to park in "his" spot, he'd go ballistic, even leaving notes on windscreens. Before entering his car, he would check all the way round, inspecting the paintwork, and even look under the car (maybe he was checking for bombs).

* Not since David Brent has there ever been so great a disconnection between a man's self-perception and what everybody thought of him. In a world of smart-casual wear (even amongst the directors, one of whom tended to dress like one of the binmen he was in charge of in some kind of subconscious act of solidarity), Mike would turn up to every meeting (an hour early, to get the best parking spot, preferably by a window so he could keep an eye on his Jag during the proceedings) in an impeccable (but stupid) pinstripe suit, red bow tie and neatly-coiffed hair - imagine David Dickinson with Stephen Fry's hairstyle circa Jeeves and Wooster and you get an idea of how laughable he looked.

* "Risk Management. It's not just an idea, it's a philosophy and a way of life." No shitting. This man was obsessed with it. Usually risk managers just do stuff with insurance and assessments for big projects, but not Mike, oh no. He spent his time wandering the corridors, haranguing people about risk management, trying to put it on every agenda, of every meeting, including the focus group for the staff magazine (wtf?). His greatest achievement was succeeding in getting every member of staff forced onto a mandatory whole-day Risk Management course, whether you were the head of IT or a dinnerlady.

When the Chief Executive didn't turn up (on the grounds that Mike was a nutter and the whole exercise was a blatant waste of time) he stormed into a private meeting between the CE and the Leader of the Council to berate them both for not taking Risk Management seriously. He was fired within 5 minutes.

Guess that's one risk he didn't manage very well.
(, Fri 31 Oct 2008, 13:23, 2 replies)
Trilobite Man
There's a lecturer from the Earth Sciences department in Bristol who goes to the local open mic nights and sings self-penned Led Zeppelin-esque odes to trilobites. It's interesting listening and I wish I had as much passion for my research, though at a recent gig when he approached our table my boyfriend muttered: "for god's sake don't make eye contact; I can't bear any more fucking fossils", which makes me think it isn't for everyone.
(, Fri 31 Oct 2008, 13:11, 18 replies)
Looney Tunes...
I'm one of four kids and each of us seem to have inherited a touch of madness from our daft bat of a mother.

She truly is a character. Early childhood memories include her asking me and my twin brother in an unsuitably loud voice, if we "need to go poo" on a tube train. The looks of pity from the other passengers were even more embarrassing. I believe we were about 5 going on 10. She has an obsession with talking loudly in front of anyone, no matter what is being discussed and yet, also harbours a raging paranoia about the goverment listening in on her conversations (this especially applies on the phone, so when we ring her, it's rather like taking part in a French resistance play).

She won't leave anything of "value" at home when she goes out, so everything (and I mean at least 6 carrier bags of "my papers") have to be hauled into and out of the car everyday.

Her sense of timing is appalling and she is constantly late for everything - the record as it stands is 3 hours for dinner at my house ("I'm coming darling, I just had to do security checks in the house" - wtf?)

It doesn't help that her father was always a bit mental too(apparently his sister went to the loony bin). She slags off the royal family, the upper classes and the Tories something rotten, but speaks with the most delightfully posh English accent, perfect pronunciation, diction and all.

She mostly accepts my job at the morgue as a "passing fancy", even after my 8-year post there, and still insists that my classical education is really what I should be honouring. "You'll make a beautiful singer and pianist one day. Why don't you leave your job darling?" Yeah alright ma, I'll leave my job that gave me a house with it, just so I can sing bloody arias in some stuffy old theatre and plonk on the ivories reading Chopin badly.

My older brother and older sister have an arabic father and I swear they inherited new barmy attributes from him when they were born. They both call me and my twin Yon-Hair Yaney Ganey (me) and Yon Duma (my twin) and occasionally whilst having a regular conversation with us, break off into unfathomable Arabic nonsense as if telling us off, and then proceed to violently but comically whack us round the heads. I don't understand any of it but it makes me laugh.

My dad is the only one who seems to be slightly normal, despite having a horrific motorbike accident when he was 19, suffering severe brain damage, being in a coma for 6 weeks and having to relearn emotions and speech.

Mr Tubs is my daily laughter tap. He thinks he's a terminator. I thought he was joking when he told me this quite proudly, but he really wasn't. Even when he was a small person, he thought he was a robot. It cracks me up laughing when I talk to him. He never gets emotional or anything. It's like having my own Arnie. He thinks my lot are all barking. But I think he's jealous...

I'm so lucky to have all these lunatics in my life. Eccentricity should always be celebrated. It's a wonderful trait to posess, or even better, to observe.

Hooray for the crazies!!
(, Fri 31 Oct 2008, 13:05, Reply)
My Friend's Dad
Is a professor, I can't remember what of, I just know he is.
Anyway, he used to work in a university in Scotland where he could walk to work in minutes.

He and his family moved to Wales and since the distance he needs to travel to work has increased, so did the time it would take to walk.

Upon realising this, within the month, this fifty-something year old man learned to skateboard.

'Fair enough' I hear you say. It happened to be a miniature skateboatrd that he used.

Doesn't sound that weird but picture a man with little or no hair, in a suit, skating down the pavement to University 5 days a week, armed with a briefcase.

(, Fri 31 Oct 2008, 12:53, 1 reply)
“’Scuse me, while I kiss this guy”…

Years ago, I knew a chap from school called Gareth. Because we were both interested in music and wotnot we became good mates. Pasty faced, lower-middle class but with rebellion burbling underneath, I liked him because he seemed quite cool, albeit in a slightly eccentric way.

His problem was…he just seemed to take things that little step too far…

We used to swap records of our favourite groups and he would immerse himself in the personalities of whichever artists he was listening to. He wore a tight suit and cut his hair into a mop top after listening to the Beatles for the first time, and he wore a dress and lost 7 stone after listening to the Carpenters.

But nothing ‘struck a chord’ (pardon the pun*) with him more than when I first let him listen to the Jimi Hendrix album ‘Are You Experienced?’. His head nodded, his eyes glazed over and I could almost feel the metamorphosis begin deep inside his twisted psyche.

Consequently, it came as no surprise to me when he arrived at school the next day, with the long hair he had grown from his ‘Bon Jovi’ period styled into an intense afro, and atop it was situated a gargantuan wide brimmed hat complete with accompanying silver rings and suede-like scarf accents.

Where he got the Royal Hussars military jacket from at such short notice was a mystery but it set off his purple tie-dyed flares magnificently. Dripping with psychedelia, His pale white face was garnished with a pained, angst-ridden expression, partly for effect but mostly because he was just off the puberty scale to grow a proper, ‘Jimi style’ moustache, yet he quickly solved this problem by drawing one on using permanent marker pen.

To begin with, nobody gave a hovering fuck. But he didn’t stop there. Adopting an American accent, being outspoken on war issues and strutting round the schools with a whopping great spliff hanging from his lips, it wasn’t long before he was expelled from the sixth form and he decided he was going to sign on the dole so he could learn the guitar and fully emulate his hero.

By Holly Willoughby’s sainted dirtbox, he was fucking shite on a guitar. The problem was that he didn't actually play one for very long. It cost him a small fortune because every fortnight when he received his dole cheque he would leg it down to the local music shop, buy a clapped out old Stratocaster, play it for half an hour and then set it on fire, worshipping the flames as they lapped at the air before lighting up another massive doobie and lamenting the fact that his best album only made number two in the charts because it was released at the same time as Sergeant Pepper.

Soon afterwards he was disowned by his parents, and descended deeper into drugs, mimickery and pure cock-twatiness.

Gareth finally decided that he should end his life in the same way as his hero, and one night he downed shitloads of vodka, took a whopping great wadge of barbiturates and went to bed...before successfully choking on his own vomit in his sleep.

To me, the story is a tragedy. Sure, he might have been barking as a box of biscuits, and people still to this day call him the ‘Mad, doped-up Jimi impersonator’, but I’d much rather just fondly remember him…

...simply as one of life’s lovable ‘Ex-Hendrix’…

*when I said ‘pardon the pun’ I obviously meant for the whole post.
(, Fri 31 Oct 2008, 12:52, 3 replies)
After some careful consideration
I have come to the conclusion that my family are actually the eccentric ones. this was brought home to me after an ex boyfriend was telling some mutual acquaintances about the time he came round for dinner at my family home.

My description of the event in question was 'he came round for dinner, mum had done a nice roast, and the whole family was there'

His description was slightly longer:
'I went round to vitamin c's house for dinner, and her mum had cooked a nice meal. The whole family (all 6 of them) sat down, I was made welcome, and we started eating. Then some flying ants started to enter the room by way of a crack in the floor by the stove. Mummy vitamin c started coaxing the dogs into chasing and eating the ants (at one point, by pretending to eat one herself), but the dogs were rapidly overwhelmed. Ants kept on flooding into the room, a bit like the waves of envelopes in the first Harry Potter film. youngest sister and brother vitamin cs started to try and catch ants in the wooly hats they were for some reason wearing to the dinner table, younger sister ran around screaming, whilst daddy vitamin C got out a book on insect identification, and started trying to work out what genus the ants were. vitamin c was sent upstairs to get the family microscope and a couple of glass slides, so that she and her father could study the ants more closely, whereupon mummy vitamin c got out the hoover and started vacuuming up the ants. so imagine, if you will, 3 people running around, 1 of them screaming, the other two flailing around with bobble hats as though they were butterfly nets, 1 person hoovering anything that moved, 3 dogs yapping and jumping up and down trying to catch their dinner, and 2 scientists in the corner of the room, taking turns to describe the marauding ants to each other.'

I still am not sure what's so odd about this, but needless to say, that relationship didn't last much longer.
(, Fri 31 Oct 2008, 12:48, Reply)
Beans beans, the musical fruit
My former music teacher was a psychotic, God-fearing nutter. All those characteristics could be summed up in the fact that she denounced all music produced by anyone other than Cliff Richard as 'evil' and banned any reference to an artist who may have used the word 'sex' or 'baby' in any of their songs. Even the Beatles were on her blacklist.

One day in a naive attempt to promote creativity and overlook the pointlessness of forcing poxy mandatory artistic bollocks out of a bunch of 12 year olds twice a week we were entrusted to write a song about, of all things under God's green Earth, baked beans.

After half an hour of typing 5318008 into our calculator, we eventually threw together the immortal lines:

Beans, beans, they're crap in a tart
The more you eat, the more you fart

Hell, or at the very minimum the dodgy bits of Glasgow, erupted from her mouth as the entire class was scolded and we were threatened with all manner of punishments for our blasphemous lyrics.

"The good lord does not approve of such foul, degenerate language! You should ask for his repetance right this very second and hope for forgiveness for your corrupted tongues, and consider yourselves blessed if he does."

With a sigh of relief I muttered (without thinking of course)

"Jesus Christ, it's a good thing we changed it from shit to fart then!"

The head of year nearly broke a rib laughing when the eccentric 90 year old demanded I be expelled instantly for 'gross perversion'.
(, Fri 31 Oct 2008, 12:43, Reply)

This question is now closed.

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