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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.

There's a guy works down the chip shop swears he's Elvis.

(, Tue 2 Oct 2012, 22:02, 2 replies)
Ooo, double post. Sorry about this.
There's an old bloke in Sutton (Surrey) who walks up and down the road towards Belmont dressed as a wizard. He's got long claw-like nails, carries one of those staffs and ever keeps a cat in the hood of his cloak.
Local ladies are more concerned about the health of the cat.
(, Tue 2 Oct 2012, 22:00, 1 reply)
Mad woman at the bottom of the road
As the title suggests, we had a nutter living at the end of the road. This was the mid-80s so perhaps nutters were allowed to live alone, starting bonfires on the grass outside their houses and shouting/singing at the top of their voices, much to the amusement/bewilderment/fear of the locals and their kids. She was proper barking. Of course, there were all sorts of rumours about her:
- she attacked a paper boy with a knife
- her husband died in the last week of the war
I can't remember any others but they were the regular fare.
As me and my brother were about 7 or 8 at the time we had a fucking cracking nickname for her too. The Silly Lady. Oh, hang on...
(, Tue 2 Oct 2012, 21:54, Reply)
I think I may have just met a new eccentric.
One of my neighbors in our apartment building is a woman from Kazakhstan who grew up under Soviet rule. She tells me that her father was an opera singer, so at the age of six he had her start learning piano. Being in the USSR this meant that her life was thereafter dedicated to music.

I met her at a housewarming party one of the other tenants was giving. She has classic Mongolian features and a default expression that is rather forbidding, but as soon as I began chatting at this party she tuned directly in on me and informed me that I have an unusual voice. Puzzled, I politely asked her what she meant.

"You have great resonance and timbre," she replied in a very Russian sounding accent. "You should be a singer and perform opera."

It took a while to convince me that she wasn't joking. I knew that she was a serious musician as I had seen the workmen carrying a baby grand up the stairs, but this? Really?

I have an appointment tomorrow to come to her flat so she can really get a feel for my voice. I'm actually a little nervous.

On the other hand, I have got to figure out a way to get her to say "moose and squirrel" at least once...

UPDATE: on having spent three hours with her, I conclude that she's not actually an eccentric, just a woman whose main passion in life seems to be music. But after three hours of voice training I do need a day or two to recover.
(, Tue 2 Oct 2012, 18:34, 7 replies)
Hanging with retired gangsters
I guess I can’t let this week go by without telling you about Dave Courtney.

Now let me just say, Mr Courtney is a lovely chap. I spent three months in his house in the East End helping to get his film off the ground and it was, to say the least, one hell of an adventure. I could tell you a number of stories from that time but I think I shall stick with the one that finally made me realise just how dangerous the people I was associating with were and how close I came to killing someone.

I did a lot of things on set: lighting, electrics, make up and general gophering. As part of my duties, I was the on-set ‘quartermaster’, which meant that I had the job of keeping tabs on the bag of prop guns, knives and other ‘deadly’ weapons that were part of the scenery in this ‘East End Gangster Caper’. Now, I really should have asked where all the guns came from but in my naivety, I just figured that Dave knew a few prop and special effects houses (yes, I was that stupid). It was only later in the shoot did someone tell me that they had been ‘rescued’ from being destroyed by the Old Bill and were actually real working guns. However, as there was no ammunition for them on set other than a few blanks (also under my care) I wasn’t too concerned.

And then one day after filming, I am putting the guns back into the bag and ‘unloading’ their magazines safe for use the next day. There’s been no blanks needed for today’s shoot so I know that all of the magazines are empty. As I am holding a particularly nice semi-automatic, I am approached by the director, also my best mate at the time, who jokes around with me a little about some of the tension we’d had on set that day. Relieved that all is well, I point the gun at him from my hip and joke that the next time he shouts at me, I will shoot him. Funny, it’s about this point I realise that the gun is a tad heavier in my hand than it should be... that’s odd.

We both laugh, director returns to the rest of the crew and I eject the magazine to put the gun away. Except this time, I notice that the magazine is not empty. It was loaded, and not with blanks.

I can still recall the cold shiver that ran down my spine and how close I had come to jokingly pulling the trigger, safe in the false knowledge that there was no way any of these guns could have been loaded. It turned out that one of the ‘actors’ handling the gun had decided that he wanted to be truly ‘authentic’ and had brought a few clips along with him just so the weight of the gun felt right in his hands, a fact that he masterfully neglected to tell me about.

So there we go. I almost shot my best mate while filming with Dave Courtney. Length? Long enough to leave a sizeable skidmark in my pants thank you.
(, Tue 2 Oct 2012, 17:52, 5 replies)
wasn't this QOTW
the follow up single to Cher's "Gypsies, tramps and thieves"?
(, Tue 2 Oct 2012, 15:12, 4 replies)
Wavy Jesus guy
Every Friday would stand on the junction of Mumbles Road in Swansea with a massive smile on his face and a sandwich board proclaiming "Don't forget about Jesus" and wave at every car that went passed.

Ironically he now has alzheimers*.

* Anecdote for punchline purposes only. May contain lies. Your home is at risk if you don't lock the doors at night.
(, Tue 2 Oct 2012, 14:41, Reply)
Leather Pants Man
In Bristol city center there used to be a guy who from May to September could be found striding purposefully around wearing a pair of leather pants (not in the American sense ...briefs), a stonking pair or 20+ eye biker boots, and an epic bushy beard.

My group of friends all took seeing him as the official arrival of summer like the first cuckoo of spring. One summer we hadn't seen him and where drunkenly discussing his absence whist at the fantastic Ashton Court Festival.

People near us over heard us and joined in agreeing that the Leather Pants Man had indeed been absent this summer. Then as if summoned, the Leather Pants Man came striding over the hill into view. We went wild cheering and clapping drunkenly shouting LEATHER PANTS MAAAAN!!!! Our numbers had swelled somewhat and it was a fair sized group. LPM stopped, smiled, bowed theatrically, and stomped off.

(, Tue 2 Oct 2012, 13:28, 7 replies)
Antilles, Horn, Porkins, Darklighter and Skywalker
They were all Rogues.
(, Tue 2 Oct 2012, 12:52, 6 replies)
Ooh, just remembered this one.
When I was eighteen I worked in my dad's pub. There was a chap who used to come in every Saturday afternoon and stay for about an hour, during which he'd consume three pints of bitter, two bags of cheese & onion crisps... and the packets that the crisps had come in.

After a few weeks we all recognised him; one Saturday I greeted him with a cheery "Good afternoon, how are you? Pint of bitter is it?"; he looked terrified and just about managed to mumble "Yes please" before paying and scurrying off to a distant table.

As an addendum to this story, a year or so later I was having driving lessons; it turned out that this chap was my driving instructor's lodger. He died while I was still having driving lessons; fell over in the bathroom, hit his head on the toilet and was found a week later by my instructor who was (predictably) pretty traumatised by the whole thing
(, Tue 2 Oct 2012, 11:19, 3 replies)
Absolute zero
Have a pea...

I used to work as a Saturday boy in a fruit and veg shop.

The local population were an eclectic mix of the well off, alcoholics, the old and infirm and the inhabitants of a local nut house.

We had many regulars all with their own particular quirks. Such as the crazy cat lady who would smoke a whole cigarette in about 10 seconds and who once dropped her knickers and did a massive crap in the middle of the shopping arcade.

There was also the old couple who reeked of piss and who both had beards and the man who put every individual item in separate bags – pretty time consuming when these are sprouts or grapes.

There are too many to recall, but there’s one often springs to memory.

It was Halloween and the shop had pumpkins on display around the till area. I was standing there serving with my boss’s daughter when one of the regulars turned up. He was about six foot eight, always wore shades and was never seen in anything but shorts and sandals.

He came up to the till with his goods and was about to pay when he went quiet for about ten seconds and then said this to the both of us:

“You see that (pointing at a pumpkin).

“I’ll freeze that to near absolute zero and then batter the bitch with it.”

He then left without saying a word and we never saw him again.
(, Tue 2 Oct 2012, 10:02, 3 replies)
My next door neighbour had very dubious taste in videos.
Snuff Ed.
(, Tue 2 Oct 2012, 9:54, Reply)
I was walking to portobello market one sunny saturday to buy some veg, when a nice grey haired old lady standing in front of a driveway waved my attention
she was very polite, calling me "young man", and launched into a very convincing story about her daughter needing an operation and would I be ever so kind as to donate some money.
At least, it was convincing until I was close enough to notice her breath stunk of stale alcohol and she had the unmistakeable odour of someone who'd shit their pants
(, Tue 2 Oct 2012, 1:46, Reply)
'Long In The Tooth'
At least that's how my worried housemmate referred to her. She lived next door, and she seemed to fancy me a bit. She had either abandoned, or been abandoned by, her family. She had no 'barriers'. She'd sometimes walk into the house to use the telephone without knocking or asking. Half expected that no 'barriers' meant freedom from conventions, but it actually meant flakiness was the default setting.

She slipped on a stairs next-door, and after threatening to sue her landlord she ended up getting evicted instead. But even after moving out, she lurked around the neighborhood.

At 4 a.m. one morning, I heard an enormous crash just outside my bedroom window. Apropos of nothing, on the way from a doughnut shop to a clinic, she had been driving through the alley behind my house, when she drove into a post. The car was incapacitated. She was agitated. She had to get to the clinic - now! So, I offered to drive her there in my car.

On the way to the clinic, her head would fall backwards, her eyes would roll back in her head, and she'd speak in tongues. Now I understood why the accident occurred!

We arrived at the clinic at 5 a.m. To my great surprise, despite the early hour, there were people everywhere. It was a methadone clinic: she was a heroin addict! This explained much! Eccentricity = drugs for too many!
(, Tue 2 Oct 2012, 1:33, 1 reply)
My mate's Dad was a villain, a rogue and a character who was partial to the odd drink or nine
His eldest son was a bit of a villain too, and used to stash his ill-gotten gains with the old man to fence or keep safe pending disposal. So one afternoon after a morning on the lash, my mate's Dad awoke on the settee to discover a monstrously large, obviously brand new and illicitly obtained colour TV (from the days when they were furniture) sitting across the room from him. My mate's Dad had the right arsehole about this, having previously told his oldest and boldest to stop dumping his loot back at the old homestead because plod had been taking a bit of an interest in my mate's Dad's various illicit activities.

So in walks son & heir to catch tongue lashing of epic proportions. All pleas of innocence brushed (or rather shouted) aside while he's berated at length for his lack of consideration for his Dad's desire to enjoy continued liberty free from interference from the local Constabulary.

This continued for some time until eventually my mate's Mum arrived home from the shops and enquired as to the reason for her dearest's displeasure. Being apprised of the facts she faced her beloved and explained to those present that in fact my mate's Dad had himself staggered across the threshold earlier that very morning, pissed as a fart, straining and swaying beneath the not inconsiderable weight of one of Curry's finest televisual receivers with no sign of a receipt for its' purchase about his person.

Turns out my mate's Dad had wandered into the shop on a whim on his way home from the pub and upon finding the showroom temporarily deserted had opportunistically selected the biggest fuck-off telly in the place and staggered off home with it in his arms. Then, no doubt exhausted from his endeavours and congratulating himself on this coup had proceeded to crash out on the sofa to wake several hours later completely oblivious to this heist.

Apologies for length of sentences, he was an habitual criminal who no doubt considered prison to be an ocupational hazard.
(, Mon 1 Oct 2012, 23:36, 3 replies)
So, this one time, about ten minutes ago, I was getting into some jolly online banter.
Then, out of the blue, a total rogue, villain, or eccentric put me on ignore, thus seriously impacting on my ability to engage in some mildly tedious online distraction. If he or she is reading this then- oh yeah, that's not how it works.
(, Mon 1 Oct 2012, 22:59, 1 reply)
I recall the 'jogger'.
Anyone who knows the Old Court House in St Aubin knows 'The jogger'. You could hear him approaching from some distance, sometimes the staccato thumpity-thumpity of some German hardcore techno, other times the gentle melodies of 1970s folk music even the occasional synth based Eurovision masterpiece gently wafting across the bay demonstrating at first hand the Doppler effect to the gathered drinkers out on the decking as he came closer and closer before trotting at pace down the breakwater and then completing the return journey for his second pass as the mass of socialising Friday night workers cheered whilst the speakers he held in EACH HAND IN LIEU OF HEADPHONES glinted in the moonlight their distorted full volume vibrations ringing out whilst the bells and painters clanked in the harbour. Like a Halleys comet but with its own soundtrack.
(, Mon 1 Oct 2012, 22:52, Reply)
The Doug
(pronounced 'The Doog', his name was actually John Douglas)

He was essentially a tramp. Quite a sad story behind this man, as a child I would be scared of him. Often drunk, always homeless, always getting up to mischief in and around the church. Including in Masses.

I remember one day in church with my mum, when there was a loud bang at the back of the church. Shouting, then in the middle of one of the readings, the doug appeared in the main ailse. This was a packed Sunday morning mass. Everyone cranked their heads to see who it was, and quickly realising.

He then proceeded to run down the aisle, culminating in a 10 pin bowling ball action in front of the ailse down onto one knee. Then swivveled stood up , raised his hands in the air and shouted, howzat!

The old men who run the church quickly lept out of their seats and ushered him outside with hands under his armpits.

He wasnt allowed back.

On a slightly nicer note though, the church goers would always keep an eye out to help John. and would often get a notice read out if he was in bad health... until one day. He died.

There was even a mass in his name.

Then... 2 years later...

he was alive again. he then lived for a further 2 years, before again, word got around that he had died.

And another notice was read out in mass, they all prayed.

Until 18 months later. He was spotted in town drunk, and with a hunch on his back.

Im not sure where he is now, I remember seeing him in the pub a few years back someone had bought him a half.
(, Mon 1 Oct 2012, 22:23, 2 replies)
Wolverhampton Cowboy
Anyone mentioned him yet?
(, Mon 1 Oct 2012, 21:27, 3 replies)
Horace White...
...aka "The BEST OF LUCK" guy, known to frequent North Finchley, Barnet and the surrounding area - alumni of many similar QOTW's as this, sadly passed away last week:

Link to a petition to Barnet Council to have a bench erected in his memory:
(, Mon 1 Oct 2012, 20:47, 4 replies)
Now then nonce now
I once saw Jimmy Saville walking on the other side of the street. I suppose he's just posthumously gone from being eccentric to villain.

Edit: I dug out this link to a Have I Got News for You transcript which I dimly recall being outed as a hoax. Now I'm not so sure.

(, Mon 1 Oct 2012, 19:07, 25 replies)
Your mum.
A hero to members of the armed forces, maritime professions and gentlemen of the road.
Less well-regarded at the GUM clinic.
(, Mon 1 Oct 2012, 17:45, Reply)
A solution
We could easily reduce the problem of random street weirdos: just give all the shuffling mutterers a dummy bluetooth headset each - they'd blend right in.
(, Mon 1 Oct 2012, 17:20, 5 replies)
Bladder infections
They tend to make people a bit Rogue and Eccentric.

I remember the guy next to me getting one after heart surgery. I noticed he wasn’t himself when I saw him try to walk to the toilet for a wiz. Only problem was he was still connected to the bed by a catheter, with which he had managed to drag the bed around and say 3ft into the direction of the toilet. Upon hearing the noise of what was similar to a table being dragged across the floor the nurses soon arrived on the scene and proceeded to explain to the man he wasn’t 4 yrs old and he didn’t need the toilet at all.

The next day after some antibiotics I had to retell the story to him, to much laughter... mostly due to the Morphine he was receiving for the 'severe abdominal pain' he was feeling.

Strangely enough the guy on the other side of me also suffered a similar reaction. But due to the Confused thrashing about, and the fact he had had open heart surgery not 36 hrs previous meant he ended up with a collapsed lung... which isnt as funny.
(, Mon 1 Oct 2012, 17:12, 1 reply)
Back when I was a magician
I had a great routine where I would meditate, channelling Buddha and the Dalai Lama, and read people's minds.

I don't do it any more.

It's an ex zen trick.
(, Mon 1 Oct 2012, 16:52, Reply)
Mrs Bainbridge
I guess she'd fall into the "eccentric" category...

When I were but a young slip of a lad, Mrs Bainbridge used to buy all her fruit & veg from my mum's greengrocers shop. She'd enlist me to help her carry her bags home as she was about 80 and they were too heavy for her.

While she was in the shop she'd regale everyone with stories about her exploits, which as far as I can remember included:

-winning the Paris-Dakar rally
-writing the (then) current number 1 single (she did this one often - either the current number 1 or a well-known chart song)
-writing several books which were now out of print, one of which was a best-seller in the '30s and made her several million pounds (even though she lived in a council flat in Braintree)
Despite claims 2& 3, her English was of the "this is one what I writ" variety...

Also, every week without fail we'd get about 100 yards up the road, she'd remember she'd forgotten something and send me back for it - then put all the heavy stuff in my bags so that I could barely lift them when I got back.

When I got to her flat I'd put the bags down, make my excuses and leave before she made me a cup of tea and told me lies all afternoon - she'd normally give me about 20p for my efforts... after a few weeks I started making sure I was out on a Saturday afternoon so that I didn't get roped into helping.
(, Mon 1 Oct 2012, 16:51, 4 replies)
I am always annoyed
by people who claim/try to be eccentric but are really just twats of the highest order of motherfuckeringness.

There is a guy who works in the building opposite me who wears a blazer and monocle to work.

It's an insurance call centre.

In Swansea.

Fucking minge.
(, Mon 1 Oct 2012, 16:34, 7 replies)
Mad Mary
Chiswick has a few odd chaps and chapesses about, but Mary is possibly the most famous.

A classically trained concert pianist, the possibility of mental frailty may never have been that far below the surface. She had a difference of opinion with her landlord, who subsequently evicted her.

Mary took this badly and started living in her car outside her old address, seemingly escalating the mental breakdown that was taking hold of her.

The local community was very tolerant of this, knowing her background They kept frequent tabs on her, talking to her and making sure she was a safe as she could be. This state of affairs endured for the best part of a decade, mary getting steadily more 'eccentric', pushing cyclists off thier bikes if they rode on the pavement, and generally wandering around chiswick high road with plastic bags on her feet.
Eventually however, deciding that they knew her best interests and using the dubious excuse of 'duty of care' Hounslow council decided the best course of action was to force her hand in order for her to receive the help they decided she needed and effectivly evicted her a second time by having her car removed. After, i might add, a fair amount of local protest.

This obviously didnt make her seek the care that Houslow thought she would - she just moved into a bush underneath the tube line. That two weeks ago in much the same vein of 'care' as Housnlow, TFL had cut down.
Im sure mary will stay in the area - she has nowhere else to go, no family to help her and no desire to seek help. but she does have the indirect care of many people around turnham green and this warms my cold dark heart a bit. It certainly challanges the assumptions most people have of chiswick residents at the very least.
(, Mon 1 Oct 2012, 15:55, 5 replies)
isle of wight
On a post gcse/ pre a'level holiday with three of my bestest friends, bored of drinking cider and building sandcastles, we decided to go for a stroll out of freshwater and over the nearby cliffs.

Stopping for a breather and a ciggie by a bench, we notcied a local ambling up to us. a large ginger chap wearing a dirty barbour jacket - from the pocket of which he produced a dead mouse.
which, while smiling and grunting faintly, he placed on the top of the bench.

he smiled briefly and ambled off.

odd place, freshwater.
(, Mon 1 Oct 2012, 15:36, Reply)

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