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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)
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War mentals
I seem to have a knack for attracting insane people. The best are the mentalists who are determined to talk about WWII at any given opportunity. This is usually caused by the fact that I often wear a jacket from WWII (I know, I'm a twat. But I've stopped wearing the flat cap). Here are a few examples:

Have you ever been war-guilted? It's horrible. A few summers ago I was having a BBQ with some friends. The back yard was such a mess we basically used to have BBQs on the front doorstep/wall. It was social. We liked it.
On this occasion I was not wearing the military jacket, but jeans and a tshirt. It was a bright summer's day and the BBQ was in full swing. A smartly dressed old man walked by and said good morning. I love it when old people do that. I returned the greeting happily - it was sunny, everything was perfect! "It's a lovely day isn't it!" said he. "Yes is it, I can hardly believe it!" I replied.
He got about 20 yards down the path, stopped, turned around and walked back toward me a few paces. He looked coldly into my eyes and said "it took me nine years to get this. Nine years", indicating a badge on his jacket. Then he walked off down the street, leaving me and my friends quite in shock,

Roger, as I soon learned was his name, was having trouble getting served at the bar because he was wasted. He was asking everyone to buy him a drink but they wouldn't and they were wise not to. He had the face of someone you just avoid instincively, so we all went outside to smoke. Seconds later, he was on his way outside, heading straight for us. Then I remembered that I was wearing my military jacket. What followed was an excrutiating discussion about war and death and how lucky we are nowadays. I couldn't be bothered explaining how I didn't think wearing the jacket was disrespectul to WWII soldiers, so I just lied and said I was wearing it in honour of my grandad (who was actually in the airforce - Roger would never know, hee hee hee!).
He went for the buttons. They all do that. "Do you know what we used to call these in the war?" My friend blurted out "buttons", which everyone found hilarious, except for Roger and myself. I was terrified at this point.
Eventually I managed to sidle away from the old man. He found us again after a short while, but his attention was on my friend, who was having to listen to great stories about pit closures and rations. We moved in slowly to rescue him, at which point Roger stopped speaking, turned to my friend (buttons) and shouted "SIT DOWN WHEN YOU'RE SPOKEN TO!"

The reason I own a military jacket is I'm in a sort of ironic army caberet band, then I fell into wearing it casually as it's quite warm and nice. At one of the gigs for the above band I was casually stood outside smoking when a very, very fat man wearing white (of all colours) approached me, point to one of the buttons and said "may I?" What an offer! Of course you can touch my buttons, you lovely fat man. So he did, before deciding he knew exactly which regiment the jacket was from, and declaring that I'd get 10 years in prison for wearing it in the street. I explained that it was part of the act. I mean, imagine getting arrested for impersonating a WWII soldier while playing piano in a gay bar. It's just silly.
Anyway, I went straight back inside and told my mate - who happened to be dressed in exactly the same uniform - that there was a mental fat man outside and he seems like he might be about to war-guilt. He must have left, because I didn't see him for the rest of the night and you'd notice if that fucker walked in.

There was also the man who grabbed me and gave me a full tour of his bag shop when I was just innocently walking past it. It ended with "I don't want to buy a fucking bag okay?". But I'll save that one for another day.
(, Fri 31 Oct 2008, 15:56, 2 replies)
I'm pretty sure that it is not an offence to impersonate a member of the armed forces,
even if you had been wearing a modern army uniform.

It is an offence to impersonate a police officer, and it is technically an internal MOD disciplinary offence for soldiers to wear their uniform off duty (although most of them ignore that rule - it was introduced to stop IRA gunmen targetting off-duty soldiers) but I have never heard of it being an offence for a civilian to wear army uniform.
(, Sat 1 Nov 2008, 23:30, closed)
No I'm pretty sure it's not an offence... But you do have to be prepared for the occasional comment (at the very least) from ex-service people. My daughter used to look forward to it, especially when in her air cadet uniform. She looked on it as another culture that she was sort of "invited into" by wearing bits of kit, so it went along with the territory..

Btw, she was told my her CO not to wear her hat, in cars etc, as the shiny badge would mark her out as a target, oddly....
(, Sun 2 Nov 2008, 21:52, closed)

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