b3ta.com qotw
You are not logged in. Login or Signup
Home » Question of the Week » Rogues, Villains and Eccentrics » Page 1 | Search
This is a question Rogues, Villains and Eccentrics

My current toilet book is Brewer's classic encyclopedia of the same name, listing some of the great British nutters down the ages. Let's create a B3TA version based on the dodgy people you've met

(, Thu 27 Sep 2012, 13:43)
Pages: Popular, 5, 4, 3, 2, 1

This question is now closed.

My grandfather
Villan? No. Rogue? Depends on who you ask. Eccentric? Probably.

Married to my grandmother, he begat my mother (yes, begat) 10 years before deciding to add more to the clan. Three more. Being the Swinging Sixties, he then decided it would be proper to have another family, begetting another three offspring by another lady. Which means that I have uncles and an aunt my age (or younger). Then let's add another (allegedly) by the au-pair. Off we go.

I got to know about this all around my grandmother died. After this (married to his second wife), he would then make various visits, normally by boat as he had lost his driving licence due to inebriation, and had worked out that most of his family lived near the river. The phone would ring, and a gruff but friendly voice would say "Friend" (all grandchildren were addressed as friend, either as a friendly term or because he had lost count) "I am here, will you come aboard?" A trip down to the river would then be organised, probably involving wine, more wine, and possibly something French cooked on the boat's single gas ring.

Trips to the boat resulted in cracked ribs (pissed, failing to negotiate turn on bike on way back), river police charging up on a RIB (after an occupant of the boat had mooned at the riverside crowd laughing at attempts to get the boat going after running aground after a trip for beer) or a fine for being over the limit in charge of the boat (the fine was 70p; he asked for time to pay, and was granted it).

I have two lasting memories of him, one of helming a sailing boat he had somehow got his hands on over to the Isle of Wight and being passed endless glasses of wine and lit fags, the other of a little voice which asked "Friend, will you help me?" only to see my seventy-year-old grandfather in his kecks, up to his waist in the Thames, trying to shove the boat off another low-lying pile of gravel, broken pint glasses and shopping trolleys. What do you do? Jump in- there was always a glass of wine to reward you afterwards.

At his funeral wake, not a dry affair, I was invited upstairs by my uncles and aunts for a smoke. The joint was smooth and strong. In my innocence, I asked where it had come from. "Oh, this is the last of your grandfather's stuff" was the answer.

A, you were a legend. The best grandfather out.
(, Thu 27 Sep 2012, 22:24, 4 replies)
Once upon a time in the past- Electronics shop, rhymes with 'Craplin'
I worked - as I have oft mentioned - behind the counter of an electronics shop. For anyone who thesedays wonders into a branch of Maplin and views the gaudy displays of RC helicopters, garden LED lamps CCTV cameras, car subwoofer kits and shoddy Disco DJ Dave gear, I should point out that (in diminishing order these days) they also sell electronic components and circuit board prototyping kit for the hobbyist who likes to make their own projects, electricians and sound engineers after urgent connectors or tinkerers who repair old electrical consumer goods (including some classic analogue synths which are very much back en vogue these days).

Therefore back in the early 90s this was not a store where the clientèle were the kind of young attractive happening sexy young things, but often as not more your trainspotting anoracky socially inept batchelor who may also have been in CAMRA.

But even though they weren't hot sexy page 3 models and may have had an annoying snorting nasal laugh, with a tweed-style fashion sense and a slight air of snotty condescension, they were at least intelligent and probably not one to offer to stab you in the face if you questioned their choice of NPN transistor.

But we had eccentrics and then there were ECCENTRICS. Top of the league for me was (he called himself) "Mr Tandy".

A stringy, gangly gentleman of (my guess) colonial African extraction, he spoke perfect English with that sing-song cadence (and occasional High C note when he wanted to emphasise a particular word) of Bishop Desmond Tutu.

But also he mixed this soundtrack with the impression of a distant haughtiness and an aloof gaze, as though he were a Field Marshall inspecting the privates at Trooping The Colour. He would walk, pause, spin around and ask a testing question about the stuff on sale, consider the answer as you could almost hear the wheels turning as his gaze turned inwards and he mulled it over, then would sniff with a 'HMMMmmmmm' and walk on around the shop in a slightly off-kilter gait as though a prototypical gangsta rapper.

This is not the sum total of his oddness. He always wore the same outfit when he visited. Old-style Adidas navy blue tracksuit (2 stripes in case you were wondering), trainers, woolly hat, black nylon gloves. So, you may think he was perhaps a keen jogger, maybe a Rocky-style boxer in training?

Well, that's not it really. He had plastic bags wrapped around his feet and hands and head, that peeked out from the edge of his sleeves and trouser legs and behatted brow. Ghod knows what was going on inside the tracksuit but the combined effect was...

Well, you may have heard of the Phil Spector concept called the 'Wall Of Sound'? Mr Tandy was the living embodiment of the Skipload of Stink. He REEKED of ammonia and effluent and dark notes that I don't want to think about. You could come into the shop floor from the backroom and after 2 seconds, ask 'So, Tandy been in just?' because the of stationary fug he left behind on his wanders about the aisles. It was so epic that even non-bloodhounds could detect what path he'd taken about the shop by the foul stench lingering in the air.

The incredible thing was, one day he turned up WITH ANOTHER WEIRD GUY IN TOW (maybe they met at a day centre or something) and it was jaw-dropping to see this social maladjusted stink bomb address another human being in such condescending tones, because 'I know all about science and you don't'.
(, Thu 27 Sep 2012, 22:21, 1 reply)
I saw Mark Astronaut just yesterday
hadn't seen him around for ages. He was, as ever, equipped with his carrier bag of vinyl discs and hair that doesn't belong.

(, Thu 27 Sep 2012, 21:47, Reply)
In my home town
there was (until recently) a guy in his forties named Jeff. He had wild curly red hair, a Grizzly Adams red beard and a very strange affect about him.

I first met Jeff while visiting my parents. I was clearing up some branches that had fallen from a tree between their house and the neighbor when I saw this odd looking guy and introduced myself. He acted somewhat spacey, but seemed friendly enough. I finished cleaning up the branches and went on to another task.

A little bit later he wandered over with an mp3 player and began telling me all about what he was listening to, basically a diatribe by some spiritual whacko going on about UFOs or some such. I was polite and feigned interest until his father called him and he went back to his house. Odd but harmless, I decided.

The next day he appeared again as I was doing more yardwork and chatted with me. I told him that I'm an engineer and described some of the things I've done professionally. After a few minutes of this I asked him what he did. "I'm an artist," he replied.

"Really? Cool! What's your medium?"

He considered for a moment. "Urine."

(ummm... what the FUCK?!?) "Urine?"

"Yeah. Drinking urine can cure cancer. The shamans used to drink the urine of male babies because it's the most powerful..." He continued on like this for some time. "My dad doesn't like it, though. He gets mad at me a lot. I did a lot of acid in the early 80s, and he hasn't liked me much ever since."

I wound the conversation down somehow, and made my way back indoors. Dad had been watching me talking to this guy and said, "So what did you learn?"

Yes, I told him. He looked like I had just shown him footage of Rodney Dangerfield having a wank onto Ann Widdecombe.

Thereafter he was known as Jeff the Piss Artist.

(Eventually he talked a bit too much about his interests around town and was basically invited to leave and not return. No idea where he is now.)
(, Thu 27 Sep 2012, 21:31, 2 replies)
Santa Cruz
I used to live in Santa Cruz, California, which is essentially the American mecca for strange people when Burning Man isn't on.

For many years a regular feature was Pink Umbrella Man, who would dress up in a an outlandish array of pink clothing and makeup, including the eponymous pink umbrella, and walk up and down downtown verrrrrrrrrry slooooooooooowly with a vague smile on his face. He doesn't do it anymore, but for many years he was basically a mobile landmark. Google for images and/or video.

Another is The Great Morgani, who dresses up in a wide variety of brightly colored morph suits and stands on a pedestal playing the accordion. Although he's more in the vein of a street artist than an eccentric.
(, Thu 27 Sep 2012, 21:23, 1 reply)
Partially charred horse
I had a mate who was into caving, and went with him once
The cave was on this old blokes property deep in the high country in victoria, australia. My mate knew him and we were to stay the night there. He was a toothless redfaced whitebearded drunk who had covered every inch of his house, walls, ceiling and floorboards, with fullfrontal gash shots he'd cut out of porn mags. We sank beers with him all night and it quickly became apparent that he was bitter, paranoid and off his fucking rocker. He told us some story about him growing cannabis for money. Not knowing what to do he'd taken all the plants down to the town pub to try and sell it, where he'd got ripped off by a some young blokes from the city. "Young blokes like fuckin you" he said, glaring at me. We shared a joint and he started talking some nonsense about spaceships and his various fallings out with the other locals. I wasn't really following what he said when he stood up and started yelling "Cunts! Cunts! Cunts!" and kicking over all the furniture in the room. It was his own furniture so I didn't try to stop him, but it was all a bit disconcerting. It was a freezing night, and a horse I'd seen tethered up outside was dead the next morning. He decided to burn it where it lay. I was skeptical but we helped drag some wood around it and get the fire going. The smell of burning hair was quite strong, but the fire wasn't nearly big enough. When we left to go caving the horse was more or less fully intact, and only partially charred on on its midsection.
(, Thu 27 Sep 2012, 21:14, Reply)
Single bloke near retirement at my work
Asked what he was up to this weekend? "oh you know bit of shopping, few beers, get raped the usual" he replied...he went up in my estimation that day, top bloke
(, Thu 27 Sep 2012, 21:10, Reply)
Tenuous, but I had to share.
Tonight I met a young woman from Wales who is teaching young children here in UAE. These kids are around the age of nine or ten, but have less education than a western five year old if what she tells me is accurate. She stated that she often has kids chewing on her rug- apparently the red carpet is just too much for them to resist, and she will often find one of the kids with a string dangling from between his teeth. (Yeah, go on, spin that statement into the usual lechery and obscenity, you sick fucks.)

One day she had to teach them how to tie their shoelaces. She went around the room, demonstrating the intricacies of the bow knot until they all had at least one shoe on correctly. After that she announced that it was time to go out to the playground and got all of the kids headed out the door, or so she thought. There was a crash and cries of "Meess! Meess! Help me!"

She turned to find that one of her students had tied his shoelace to the table leg and was now lying on the floor squalling, unable to figure out how to remove his foot from the shoe. After she had liberated her charge she took a picture of the shoe, still attached to the table, which she showed me this evening.

I'm not sure what category this fits into, but there ya go.
(, Thu 27 Sep 2012, 21:03, 4 replies)
Captain Bird's Eye
So called because he looked like the eponymous fish finger pimp, down to the hat, not because of any real nautical connection.

The good Captain lived opposite Queen Mary's College in Basingstoke during the 1980s. He would lean on his front gate and mumble at the students as they came and went at the beginning and end of the day.

He also used to go into the electrical shop at the top of town every Saturday and ask if they had any thermionic valves. The answer was always "no, not for the last 20 years" but he kept trying.
(, Thu 27 Sep 2012, 20:39, 2 replies)
I met baldmonkey before he sadly passed on.
RIP alwez in R hartz
(, Thu 27 Sep 2012, 20:17, 2 replies)
I have attended bashes. I feel this is all I need to say in response to this question.

(, Thu 27 Sep 2012, 20:03, 6 replies)
I am currently working on a contract in a prison/mental hospital. It's an assessment centre for people who plead insanity.
Some wards are quite heart wrenching as there are some genuinely mentally ill people who have committed crimes without realizing it. But most wards are full of dick head wanna be gangsters and are trying to 'crack the system' or some other cracked up plan. Twats.

And for the LAST time.. I am NOT 'prison gay.'
(, Thu 27 Sep 2012, 19:24, 11 replies)
An acquaintance of mine was at a party and became convinced people were planning to throw him out of the window.
So he decided to autodefenestrate, to spoil their fun.
Broke both his legs.
(, Thu 27 Sep 2012, 19:23, 4 replies)
There was a patient who thought he could communicate with people by urinating.
He once asked if I wanted to see his magical super power, which was his ability to punch through windows.
(, Thu 27 Sep 2012, 19:15, Reply)

My mum is a paranoid schizophrenic, which is a miserable disease, but not without its lighter moments.

Phone rings at 2am

Mum: “You’re at home!?”
Me: “Yes, it’s 2am, I was in bed asleep”
Mum: “And this is your landline isn’t it”
Me: “Yes…why are you phoning me at 2am to confirm I own a landline phone?”

After a bit of questioning I got to the bottom of it. She thought I was hiding in the tree spraying stuff (poison) into her bedroom, and phoned to check where I was. After about an hour I managed to convince her that the idea of me trying to poison her was delusional and she shouldn’t worry about it. The success of my impromptu therapy session was confirmed with her saying “Yes dear, I know you would never do anything to hurt me” somewhat ruined with “it must have been your brother.”

Or the time she was convinced Al Qaeda had flown over some top operatives from Iraq to rub her out.

Not to mention the private detectives from John Lewis following her due to her returning a faulty cooker.

It’s not all fun and games though. Answering the door to the police and social services because she’d reported that we were allowing our 8 year old to be abused by strangers wasn’t my favourite day.

Everyone I’ve ever met in my life has seemed pretty sane by comparison.
(, Thu 27 Sep 2012, 17:42, 7 replies)
Royal Flush
When my dad was a student at some Midlands polytechnic many many years ago he used to frequent a pub with a rather eccentric ancient regular.

He claimed to have been part of the crew on the royal yacht when Queen Victoria was on the throne. He had a pretty unique souvenir he kept with him always in a wooden cigar box to remind him of one particular royal visit. He had been first into the cabin after her majesty departed and had kept the now dessicated floater she had left bobbing about in the bowl which he was very happy to show all who showed interest.

Probably worth a fortune these days. Probably.
(, Thu 27 Sep 2012, 17:16, 5 replies)
I'm told regularly that I have a cast of characters in my life. I imagine I'll have a few tales to tell this week.

There's the Mad Artist, for instance. A high functioning schizophrenic, he's much like Will Hunting in that old Matt Damon movie- brilliant, well read, able to tell you about obscure mythology or recent scientific discoveries or where to get good weed, all in the same conversation. He talks at machine gun speed and looks like Jim Morrisson crossed with Kokopelli, and is nuttier than squirrel poo.

He makes his living laying brickwork, cutting down dead trees and other unskilled general labor. He very seldom bathes, and his stench is memorable enough that people can detect him from a block away if the wind is right. I swear that Pratchett modeled Foul Ole Ron after this guy. He lives on a diet of frozen pizza, Camel Light cigarettes and Diet Coke, and his apartments invariably become hovels lined with cigarette ashes and butts, wrappers from junk food and strange broken things.

One day he was sitting in his apartment and realized that his shoes had a lot of gunk on the insides of them because he never wears socks and the dirt gets down there and gets mashed with a combination of sweat, dead skin cells and god knows what else into a pungent brown layer. He took a table knife and scraped the worst of it out of his shoes and left it sitting on a table. He went off to do some work and was gone for the day.

That evening one of his roommates wandered into the room and said, "You've been holding out on me, man! You had hash and never told me!"

"What hash? I don't have any hash."

"You left it there on the table, so I smoked it!"

"Wait, did it look like this?" He took off a shoe and scraped more gunk out on the table.

I don't know what happened after that, but I bet it wasn't pretty.
(, Thu 27 Sep 2012, 16:17, 9 replies)
A friend of mine is a bit of an eccentric
He takes his Geiger counter to his local Tesco once in a while just to check all is in order, and the food he's buying isn't highly radioactive. A friend of his is even more of an eccentric and owns a tank, and once drove them both to a supermarket where apparently he complained about the width of the parking spaces.
(, Thu 27 Sep 2012, 16:14, 5 replies)
Public service announcement
Randomly inserting an animal name into a conversation ('what the badgering fuck'), pointing out how charmingly off-beat you are ('I get turned on by spines') and talking at length about a dull hobby or pastime ('I like real-life roleplaying') doesn't make you eccentric. It makes you a proper cock.

(, Thu 27 Sep 2012, 16:03, 13 replies)
Glen the Chemist is a local legend
The story is that in the late 1970s / early 1980s, he was a rising star in the Chemistry department of Sussex University. However, he was also a fan of teh recreational pharmaceuticals, and decided to cook up his own LSD.

Unfortunately, he got something wrong, with the result that the effect was essentially permanent. For many years he could be found stumbling about local pubs, friendly and harmless but also on a completely different plane of reality. You could have a conversation with him, but you'd soon realise that communication was not occurring in the usual manner.

In recent years he seems to have returned somewhat closer to Planet Earth, thankfully. Anyone else up for a 30-year trip?
(, Thu 27 Sep 2012, 15:33, 5 replies)
There was this show I went to last week where there were two acts.
The first was a story about some jewel thieves who were trying to conceal their loot inside chickens, and the second was some kind of bizarre magic show performed by talking cattle.

Yes, that day I watched a few rogues fill hens, and oxen tricks.
(, Thu 27 Sep 2012, 15:05, 3 replies)
Northern Scrawny Cheapskate Nasty People
A few years ago, the company I was working for went into administration, they seemed to think it was ok for us to work for free, (we hadn't been paid properly for 18 months) so I found myself walking out one Monday morning.

The sector I specialise in doesn't have much presence where I geographically live. I had a few choices. Move back to London, move up north, Europe or the far east etc. I did have some savings I had been putting towards a flat deposit, but it was only a few grand. And I had become settled where I was living. I didn't want to move again (I've moved a lot over the last 10 years) so realistic options were move sector, or set up on my own.

This was just prior to the recession, things were tough but quite rapidly was turning a small profit, with a handful of customers, even recieved a bit of press attention etc. Then things started to go wrong. Suppliers (very specialised) started to ask for more and more money, they started lying to me. I had to supply all of the component parts for the things I was having made, some of them making up the majority of the cost of the unit. These component parts I had to order in bulk, I knew exactly what I had, and they were very expensive, and I had to buy proforma, so at anyone time my cash flow was really bad as it was tied up in stock.

This lying and cheating went on for a while, but the biscuit hit the flan when I placed a production order with the factory for a new customer of mine, for me the order was worth about 1500 quid, but it was worth more than that as the shop was a new shop they would place repeat orders every 6 to 8 weeks. I wanted to impress them and build a regular trade with them.

The order was placed and instructions sent to the factory. A delivery date was agreed and signed off. The delivery date loomed. I was on the phone to the owner of the factory every few hours, him giving me false promises. 10 days later I agree to a part shipment of the goods. I received the delivery, and all I can say is my heart nearly stopped there and then.

When I placed the orders for these particular goods I also provided a production plan, or production run order. Some items were loss leaders, they were to be the last items to be produced as, although my customers liked them and they were happy to make a profit from them I would only be cutting even. So my more expensive items were the first to be produced, the items that made me the profit.

That delivery comprised boxes and boxes of the easy to make, simple loss leader items. I felt sick to the stomach, for some reason I knew something like this would happen. Straight away I compose myself call up the factory. 'Oh yes the girls wanted to get the easy items out the way first as they earn money per piece and they can make these faster, and you know, what with it being nearly christmas and all they wanted to make as much as possible' I was blinking furious, he was allowing his staff to make money out of me so they could shovel over cooked turkey down their fat gobs and swig lambrini.

He carries on, 'Mr Feedingtime, we've run out of (major component) so we can't complete the rest of the order we have only x amount of component to complete 3 units (order was for 150 units) can you send me more component.

I had no cash, (proforma payment) to buy more, the shops wouldn't take and pay (they were all on proforma payments too) for part orders of the cheapy items. I was fecked.

To put the last nail in the coffin of this northern spacktard egg beating gimp, he said, I've just emailed you the part invoice for that shipment.

Needless to say, him allowing his 'girls' to earn a bit of easy extra money for the run up to Christmas practically killed my business. I never was able to supply the shops again that a failed to deliver to. To this day sat next to me, reminding me of his evil stupid scrawny face, are 10 or so of these shitty poorly made loss leader units. bollocking bollocks!

I never did pay him, so his 'girls' never got that extra large turkey. But I lost alot of confidence in people, but did learn a very big lesson in how to be shrewd and defensive in business.
(, Thu 27 Sep 2012, 15:03, 14 replies)
Bruce Gardener
Lives in the garden at the back of the office.

When he isn't sleeping/shitting/singing in the bushes he is knocking back the Special Brew like it is dole day.

He gets a regular morning visit from the Coucil's Rough Sleeping Unit to check he hasn't died and an equally regular visit from the bizzies to tell him that threatening to knock people's lights out isn't a good idea ...

... he's back inside now as the weather has turned. We expect to see him again next April with his regular chant of

"Oi!! Oiii!! What you looking at? I'll stab ya cant!"

Obviously short a marble or two as he chooses to do all this within spitting distance of the central nick.
(, Thu 27 Sep 2012, 15:00, 1 reply)
People have met me.
I've dodged traffic.
(, Thu 27 Sep 2012, 14:38, 1 reply)
I met Justin Lee Colins' mrs once
Look, i wrote it down in my notebook and everything.
(, Thu 27 Sep 2012, 14:35, 1 reply)

Eat my toast.
(, Thu 27 Sep 2012, 14:22, Reply)
(, Thu 27 Sep 2012, 14:19, Reply)
Never tried being first.
But I suppose second by accident is, erm, well. nothing special.
(, Thu 27 Sep 2012, 14:05, Reply)
Trying to be first is pretty eccentric*
(, Thu 27 Sep 2012, 14:02, Reply)

This question is now closed.

Pages: Popular, 5, 4, 3, 2, 1