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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)
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Crazy Charlie
is a friend of mine in Richmond. I met him through the Mad Artist/Foul Ole Ron.

Charlie is in his fifties now, a slightly built guy with a short grizzled pelt on his head and rectangular black framed glasses, numerous tattoos and missing most of his right index finger. He's a talented artist with metal, when he works in it.

He's also a convicted felon who spent eight years in prison for burglary when the house he entered wasn't as empty as he thought and the Army soldier there took exception to his presence and things got violent. Between having spent his childhood as the son of a highly decorated colonel who whipped his ass for any infraction, teenage and twenties years getting munted on a variety of illicit substances and spending a chunk of time behind bars, his world view is seriously out of kilter.

And yet he's not mean, he's a loyal friend who will help out in any way he can, and is pretty trustworthy overall. He has a large dog he adopted who has a sweet temperament, which says volumes about him as a person as mean people have mean dogs.

Still, he's about 37 degrees from sane.

One of his obsessive habits is to go bin diving, especially for brass or old tools. Over the years he has carted home enough stuff to completely fill a lorry, much of it actually of some value. He sorted through his tools one day and found that he had about 2000 metal files, a couple hundred pairs of pliers, an equal number of hammers, screwdrivers and other assorted tools, a couple of acetylene torches and various large power tools.

He told me that one night as he was walking home from somewhere down a back alley in Richmond he spotted an axe that someone had thrown out, so he picked it up to take home. He was dressed in his usual battered leather jacket, old black jeans with a couple of bandannas tied to the belt loops, a studded leather belt and heavy work boots as he slouched along with his iPod on.

He was walking along the street when a guy suddenly pointed behind him with an expression of dread. Charlie pulled out his earphones just in time to hear a cop screaming at him to drop the axe. He did so and turned to find two cops with guns drawn aiming at his chest.

They let him go with a warning, and as he told me this story he sounded hurt and bewildered that the cops harassed him. He genuinely didn't understand why they would have reacted this way.

I didn't have the heart to point him toward a mirror.
(, Sat 29 Sep 2012, 7:24, Reply)

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