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Offline Ancient Gamer

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Anecdotes of the Bygone
« on: January 19, 2014, 05:28:28 PM »
I love anecdotes.

This here shall serve as a repository of Strolenite bygone experiences. A place in which we can share outrageous, and not so outrageous, stories of things that were plain out of the ordinary.

Well, at least out of the ordinary for the storyteller.

Keep 'em short and extraordinary.
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Offline Ancient Gamer

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Re: Anecdotes of Ages Bygone
« Reply #1 on: January 19, 2014, 05:42:43 PM »
The Major of Hens

There was a time when old AG was studying history. During his studies, to earn a living, he worked in a kindergarten.

There, in the kindergarten, they had hired a former Bosnian Major in Tito's Yugoslavian Red Army as the leader.

This guy was really into military discipline. He had come to Norway as a refugee from the wars raging in ex-Yugoslavia during the 90's. Now, a leader once again, he tried to impose military discipline on the women, and AG, working under him. AG was no problem, he had already served in the navy, but the women... Oh, let me tell you about the women.

One was a young gold digger, wore high heels and red lipstick and flirted with every well to do dad that stopped by to pick up his child.
A couple of the women were 40 year old and divorced. "You are not a pig yet, AG, but you will be. All men are pigs, you see!", they told me.
One of the girls was a hippy. She had worked on cirkus in Hong Kong and Goa, India. Her specialty was fire eating and sword eating. She taught the kids how to sew joint teddy-bears and spent her free time enjoying the herb.
And so the story goes. The major of the red army struggled with the women, disciplined them, but they rallied and protested, they gathered in small groups and they absolutely refused to do anything he ordered.

Without the power to discipline them, and since a job as kindergarten assistant wasn't really sought after, the major was left powerless and the women succeeded in their rebellion.

He quit within a year and was replaced by a Danish woman who collected money from the parents (for fun events for the kids), then told her staff to sneak the kids into public transportation and take them somewhere free.

Where the money she constantly got from the parents went...
Well, "no one knew".
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Re: Anecdotes of the Bygone
« Reply #2 on: January 20, 2014, 03:25:03 AM »
The Demented Collective

Turning 20, young AG started at a university. Naturally, he had to find a house. Somewhere to live. Soon enough he found an ad in a local newspaper. A respectable elderly lady rented out a mansion located in the suburbs of the capital. The rent was agreeable, and the mansion had some nice facilities like mansions are wont to do.

Arriving at the mansion, AG was stunned. It was a fashionable mansion alright. 40 years ago...

The entire estate was overgrown, the windows stained with dust and age. Inside the parents of the landlord had once lived. Her father had been a deeply religious painter; fascinated with death and religion. In the bedrooms: Austere depictions of grave moments; a funeral procession, lowering the coffin into the soil, the dying moment, the diseased screaming in their beds. The landlord, deeply attached to her parents, insisted that the paintings remain on the walls.

Soon enough the ghostlike mansion was filled with party animals; students in their late teens, early twenties, huddling together, walking the eerie halls.

The landlord (a woman in her late fifties that lived in a smaller, more modern house, next door) turned out to be completely nuts.

She absolutely hated us. She was unaccustomed to youth, so when we had parties she would come barging in, screaming for us to shut off the music. We would see one of her eyes peeking  through the lower corner of the windows, spying on us while we talked in the living room. One time I woke up while she rummaged through the drawers of the girl living next door. I did not know it was her, so I chased after her. When I finally caught up with her she aggressively told me that she had suspicions of drug use, and was searching for cannabis in the drawers.

Golden quotes of the crazy landlord:
Quote
"You are tall, AG... I sleep with a steel bar beside my bed. If anyone tries to rape me, I will kill them"
(She said that completely out of context, while we were talking about the rent (she was also a huge, huge woman in her late fifties))

Quote
"YOU MALE CHAUVINISTIC PIG! YOU THREATEN ME WITH YOUR SIZE! I WILL SUE YOU! I WILL SUE YOU! COME DOWN HERE, INSOLENT LITTLE BASTARD! I AM YOUR LANDLORD! MY COUSIN IS A LAWYER! COME DOWN HERE RIGHT NOW!"
(I sat quietly on the top of the stairs as she screamed at the bottom of them. She was furious I had changed locks, refusing her entry to rummage through my stuff)

Quote
"I have found a new tenant to move in with the rest of you. She is a proper lady, 28 years old. Finally some maturity. I hope you manage to behave"
(The new tenant was in reality 17 years old and a total raver. She did drugs, she did alcohol and she did everyone)

Quote
"I have realized I need a proper gentleman to live with you. So I have decided to let a 50 year old man move in. He is more than twice your age, so I hope you behave"
(This new tenant turned out to be newly released from a mental institution. In the middle of the night, a pretty 20 year old girl woke up to the sound of FLOP-FLOP-FLOP-FLOP-FLOP above her lips and nose. Looking up she saw the new tenant, on his very first night, with his manhood proudly in his right hand, pulling the foreskin back and forth with rapid intensity. He was determined to come on her face while she slept)

After this "Night of Terror", when all the girls hid in my room and huddled around me in my bed as the madman stalked the halls, wanking, we all decided to move.

Two years later a friend of mine talked to a colleague, newly arrived from another town.

"I have moved into a fashionable mansion", he said, and continued to tell about some of the nicer things there.

"Oh... Tell me... Is it at <this address>?", my friend said.

"How did you know?", the colleague said.

"You are @!#$ed. That place is a nightmare. HAHAHAHAHA!", my friend said, probably in more polite manner but with the same message.

The colleague was insulted and left after protesting about the quality of the place and the finer nature of his new landlord.

Six months later they met again. This time he had dark rings under his eyes, and my friend asked him how it was going. It turns out he was in the middle of a lawsuit against his landlord and was moving back to his hometown.
« Last Edit: January 20, 2014, 04:46:58 AM by Ancient Gamer »
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Offline Scrasamax

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Re: Anecdotes of the Bygone
« Reply #3 on: January 20, 2014, 08:55:24 AM »
The Steak and Shake Event

For my foreign friends, Steak n Shake is a retro style 50s diner fast food restaurant that serves hamburgers, milkshakes and baked beans in little ceramic crocks. My wife and I had just closed up our first model horse show, it was 11pm on a Saturday night, and we were famished. After working the entire day, running errands and keeping the show up and running I prepared for my final errand. I was the first to arrive at the 24 hr eatery, and I informed them that there was a group coming, and it was going to be at the minimum 12 people, but could be as large as 20, ordered a thing of french fries and a drink, and went and found a seat.

By ones and twos the members of our post show dinner party showed up, were seated and placed their orders.

I have no food at this point.

The last of the show goers arrives, and with them, my wife, as she had to lock up the show hall and turn off the lights, everyone has their order taken, and food is starting to come out of the kitchen, but the orders are messed up, and wrong.

I still have no food, people are starting to get annoyed with the wait staff which has vanished, and the complete lack of food. At this point, our party is occupying more than half of the entire dining area. Burgers are coming out mashed so thin there are holes in the patties. Toppings are wrong, and some food is coming out still half frozen. The show, for me, started at 6 AM that morning, for some it was earlier than that as they drove in that morning and they just wanted some food.

A pregnant waitress broke down and started crying.

"WHY ARE YOU CRYING! YOU'VE NOT DONE ANYTHING WRONG!" now mind you yelling at a pregnant woman isn't always the most reasonable or rational thing, but this level of irrational behavior made her stop crying and she realized that no one was mad at HER, everyone was mad at the KITCHEN for dropping the ball, even with almost 45 min warning.

The third shift manager comes out, addresses our concerns and complaints and tells us the problem is that we arrived at shift change, and that the second shift supervisor screwed 3rd shift and that he was very sorry and would see what he could do to expedite the orders.

I would like to mention that at this point I've still not gotten the french fries I ordered over an hour and half before.

The slow miserable trickle of piss poor meals continues to come out of the kitchen, and finally, finally after 90 minutes I get my french fries.

The second shift manager makes and appearance and begins to apologize for the mess, and my wife, 'You know the 3rd shift manager is pinning this all on you?' He gets the most WTF look on his face. 'Yes, he says its your fault, and that you and your guys screwed him over.' His hands go to fists and he leaves.

I wouldn't be surprised if there was a fist fight in the parking lot. I'm serious.

We finished our disaster, and filed out, I think maybe 3 people paid for their meals, everyone else got apologies from the cashier.

A few weeks later Steak n Shake closed.

It's a furniture rental store now.

Inside the hobby, it is know infamous as the Steak n Shake event.


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Offline Ancient Gamer

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Re: Anecdotes of the Bygone
« Reply #4 on: January 21, 2014, 06:41:37 PM »
The Black Night

In Norway they have this policy that to prevent people from drinking too much alcohol, they put ridiculous taxes on it. See, we learnt that prohibition did not work, so here we have insanely high alcohol prices. You will hear this from anyone who ever visited our country.

The solution was that people started making their own home brew. Highly illegal moonshine, from 40% to 96%, alcohol.

In my youth, when my wallet was empty, but my thirst for life was great, me and my friends often drank moonshine, destilled at my best friend's destillery. We would sit with our cups waiting, while the precious droplets of alcohol trickled into our cups. Or more often he had destilled all week long before we came, and we fetched the ice cold homemade booze from the fridge and drank it.

One day a lot of our friends gathered, and we drank a lot of moonshine. There were some new kids there too, including a beautiful girl and her boyfriend.

Naturally we all got uber drunk. The kind of drunk you only get on moonshine. During this bout of drinking we had several infamous episodes.

Episode #1: To Hell With Him!

My friend Tom was sick and tired of the guy with the beautiful girlfriend. Not because there was something wrong with him, but because he was the boyfriend of the beautiful girl.

"Jump into this shopping cart, I will take you for a roll!", Tom told him, and unsuspecting the boyfriend did as ordered.

No sooner had he jumped in, before Tom started running like a madman downhill.

"What the @!#$ are you doing?", the boyfriend asked, the cart rolling at super speed down the cobblestone slope.

As Tom was about to shove the cart over the edge of the docks, the boyfriend jumped out and rolled on the ground.

Episode #2: The Sinister Attack!

Later that night, the boys were utterly and irrevokably drunk. We walked in a shamble, and found a park of trees. Tom started screaming and charged the trees. "Kill them!", he screamed and everyone went amok, attacking the trees with fists and kicks. I looked on for a while, thought them demented and walked home to the after-party.

Episode #3: Driving Miss Daisy!

The after party was a blast. I had the beautiful girl on my own (nowadays she is my wife), but Tom failed to show up. So we went looking for him. After half an hour we found him. As we walked past a small house, we heard sounds coming from a car. A human voice.

"BRRRRM, BRRRRRRM, BRRRRRRRRRM!", the voice said.

Walking up the car, we found Tom inside. On the ground; a rock and pieces of glass. Tom had broken into the car using a rock, and now he sat inside, drunk like @!#$, and thought he was driving home. When we talked to him, he just screamed: "Get in, I will drive you home!" and I seem to recall we did.

After a while we walked away.

None of us dared walk past the house for several months.
« Last Edit: January 21, 2014, 06:45:44 PM by Ancient Gamer »
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Re: Anecdotes of the Bygone
« Reply #5 on: January 22, 2014, 05:32:29 AM »
To Hell With Him, Part Deux

After that party I fell in love with that girl. Problem was she was charming, fun and so very, very faithful. She was really a likeable person. Naturally, I had to do something about that boyfriend. My aching heart demanded it, and as you know: All's fair in love and war.

I soon realized that he was insanely jealous. She was as sweet as can be, but he was suspicious and distrustful. Problem was I was losing. She had realized I was in love and was withdrawing out of respect for her boyfriend. So we had this big argument, that I provoked into existence, and when she turned around to leave, I picked her pocket and stole her wallet.

Infuriated, she walked away, just as I slid the wallet down my right leg, down on the floor.

"You dropped your wallet!", I told her, and while she bowed down to pick up the wallet, I silently retrieved perfume from the shelf and silently doused her while talking loud and angrily enough to conceal the sound.

She left the room, and I ran to the door and pressed my ear to it. She lived next door you see, in an apartment next to mine.

"Did you tell him to shove off?", I heard her boyfriend say.

"Yes, but it wasn't easy", she told him.

Then I heard loud sniffing sounds, followed by a scream.

"You @!#$ing reek of him! You got his perfume all over you! You've been @!#$ing faking it and snuggling up to him!", he screamed in a heartbroken voice.

Then I heard some scuffling and the crushing of things. Soon I heard quick footsteps down the hallway. I peeked through the keyhole, and there she was, walking away in anger.

I had already put my shoes on, and quietly locked the door. I ran after her.

"What happened? What happened?", I yelled, and she broke down in tears and told me about this madman of a boyfriend.

"And he thought we had snuggled?", I said. "Clearly his hearing must be bad, because everyone must have heard that argument of ours. I think he is too mentally unstable to be with you!", I said and she cried and said she tried, but he was so jealous.

After a while she took my hand, and we skipped along the road, two youngsters happy together in a cruel and jealous world.

She told me that afternoon that she would leave him.

I told her what I had done... Two years later.
She opened her eyes in disbelief, then laughed long and hard.
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Offline Ancient Gamer

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Re: Anecdotes of the Bygone
« Reply #6 on: January 23, 2014, 07:07:55 AM »
Traveling with Scrooge, Part 1

This happened a number of years after these early stories. I was going on interrail through Europe with a lot of friends, but "Scrooge" was the one who would define our travels. At this time he was sick (but no one knew as he didn't tell anyone) and extremely preoccupied with saving money.

Meet the Italians
At this time Europe had lots and lots of border controls, and Eastern Europe had only been freed from oppression less than a decade earlier. We were on a night train that was gonna cross a lot of borders, but Scrooge had heard a terrifying story of people being robbed of their passes if they handed them to the ticket controller. Thus it came to be that as every other tourist handed the ticket controller their passports, we eyed him suspiciously and said: "NO!".

Late that night we were deep asleep. We had been quite rowdy, Norwegian style, as some Japanese tourists entered our compartment in the train. Terrified the Japanese exited and sat on top of each others laps in the neighbouring compartment. That meant we got the entire thing for ourselves and we laid there, snoring, when an Italian man burst into the room.

"Waka the @!#$a up!", he yelled. His voice was like the voice of Italian parody, and had he not startled us, we would probably burst out laughing.

"WAKA UPPA!", he screamed once again, and as I sat up he shoved the muzzle of a submachinegun against my forehead and he shoved hard, pushing me back. He had his flashlight shining into our eyes as we sat there, now terrified into absolute alertness, and he took the passports, while holding the gun ready and his flashlight under his arms.

"Don'ta turna offa tha lighta! Don'ta even mova! Don'ta even think abouta closing tha doora!", he said, then he left.

We sat there, frozen, like cattle, for fifteen minutes. By then the train had started moving and after a while it was evident he wasn't coming back. We got our passports from a smirking ticket controller at the end station, Venice, Italy.

The Blondes on the Subway
We were in Budapest, Hungary, about to travel by the subway, when all these people suddenly swarmed into the train. Noone knew where they came from, but we stood like fish in a barrel when a beautiful blonde squeeze up against me. She has a really, really low cut dress and huge boobs, and push the boobs against my chest, starting to rub them against me, while moaning. "You areh ahhhh biiiighhhh maaaaanhhhh!", she whispered to me, her eyes locked alluringly into mine.

To me the con was fairly obvious, and I clenched my hands around my wallet as I felt hands patting me down, all over me. Not just hers. Multiple.

When we exited the train, Scrooge stood there, his eyes shone, he smiled from ear to ear. "AG, you will NEVER, EVER believe what just happened to me!", he said, pride evident in his voice.

"Let me see... A beautiful blonde pushed her boobs against you and rubbed them around?", I retorted quickly.

"Ehhh... She was not blonde, she had dark hair, but how did you know?", he said.

"Well, because I still have my money", I quickly retorted.

Terrified, Scrooge patted his hands on his pockets, and began to scream. "My money! My money! d**n, she took my money!"

It turned out they only got his secondary stash. The primary he had hid away, deep, deep down in his backpack.

Catholic Hospitality
Back in Venice, we had nowhere to stay. We were piss poor students, and looked for the cheapest options. Tonight was carnival night, a big celebration, famous in Venice for cool masks and fireworks and wild festivities. So we found this Catholic Monestary that rented out rooms to travelers, and we checked in.

Thing is, this place did not tolerate members of the same sex sharing quarters, so the boys were put in one end, the girls in another. Furthermore, they did not tolerate locks on the toilets, after all drugs exist. On top of that, they had pure Italian toilets, meaning holes in the ground, so when we really had to go, we had to stand there, in hockey position, desperately holding on to the door knob as several needy people came by and grabbed the door, trying to pull it open.

Later that night it turns out that not only do they not tolerate members of the same sex sharing quarters. They closed their doors really early. So when I went down around ten o'clock, to check out the carnival, they told me the monestary had closed for the night. No one exiting, no one entering.

Infuriated I decided that this was not for me. So an hour later I snuck out. I crawled between the laser beams, I squeezed past the CCTV in the stairs and when I came to the bottom of the stairs: 2 inch thick steel bars barred my way. They had put me in Fort Knox.

There was no girlfriend for me that night. No carnival either. The next morning I left Venice. I did not get to see carnival, but I left one anecdote richer.

The Hamburg Incident
When we arrived in Hamburg, me and my girlfriend were pretty low on cash. Before we left Norway we told Scrooge about this, and he said: "Nevermind that. If you get low on cash, you can borrow from me. I have lots. Lets just leave!", so we followed him.

By the time we reached Hamburg, we had no more cash. So we borrowed some from him, because we were hungry. We went up some escalators and were greeted by the sight of a huge, huge woman. She was covered in mink fur and wore a riciculously large plumed hat. Around her neck she wore several layers of pearl necklaces, and she had five poodles on a leash. We stood there, gaping at this extravagant woman, when one of the poodles decided to take a dump. The terrified woman, realizing what it was about to do, tried to drag the poodle along, but she only succeeded in making the feces even more evident. Let us just call it a trail of evidence. Desperate, the huge woman turned around to run, and due to her size, her body fat bounced, along with her mink fur and pearl necklaces as she ran away; her hat in one hand, a gaggle of poodles in the other.

Laughing hard we entered McDonalds. We needed food quick, so we ate there, then we went back downstairs with a cheeseburger in the hand.

"@!#$ING MCDONALDS? YOU SPEND MY CASH ON @!#$ING MCDONALDS?", Scrooge screamed in fury. "You guys know what? You @!#$ing know what? You ain't gonna get a penny from me", he said. As we tried to explain him that he had promised us cash, that we were unable to pay the ticket back home, he just sneered and left. His final words: "If you are @!#$ing rich enough to spend your cash on McDonalds, you are @!#$ing rich enough to make your way back home!"

At the train station we desperately talked to a conductor. He smiled and said it was alright, and let us ride the train 292 miles / 472 kilometeres from Hamburg to Copenhagen for free. While we were sitting on the train, Scrooge came. At this point we absolutely hated him. He sat down beside us and started talking, like nothing had happened. When we arrived in Copenhagen my girlfriend and I were about to leave for my dad, who lives there, when Scrooge said: "What the @!#$ is the matter with you guys? I have to wait here for six hours! Have you guys no decency? Where is the @!#$ing love, eh? Don't leave me here alone!", then we just left, not saying a word.

Later that day we got a text message. He had been singled out at the border, and got the full anal examination routine by the doctors at the border. My girlfriend and I cheered, shared a beer and felt that Karma was on our side.

« Last Edit: January 23, 2014, 08:28:54 AM by Ancient Gamer »
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Re: Anecdotes of the Bygone
« Reply #7 on: January 26, 2014, 06:36:30 PM »
The Woman That Stalked Me
I often joke that modern European women needs two things to confirm their social standing: A gay best friend, and a creepy stalker.

The gay best friend proves that not only is she open minded and liberal, she is also up to date on fashion. It is one of those must have things that a self-conscious young woman just have to have, in order to be accepted and popular.

The stalker provides the young woman with a stage to perform on, as well as a means to tell her audience that most crucial of messages: I am so pretty, so alluring, that men lose their minds. It is a political correct way of saying "I am beautiful", while the gay best friend is the political correct way of saying "I am popular and politically correct".

So, here goes: I have had a bona fide, genu-wine stalker.
No, not your garden variety heartbroken lass. Not a cultural prop to reinforce my self-imagined beauty.
I am talking about a bats**t, crazy woman.

A long, long time ago. About the time I first traveled europe with Scrooge, as detailed above, my girlfriend studied at a school in the capital. One day I followed her to that school, and a young, weird woman noticed me for the first time. I noticed her too. She dressed strangely, you see; green rubber boots with the red, insulating material. She always wore a green hunter's jacket, worn jeans and dirty, unkempt light blonde hair. On her face; glasses as thick as the bottom of a glass bottle.

I did not know it, but she would be my friend wherever I went for the next six months.

And so I walked the streets, holding my dear girlfriends hands, and five steps behind me; the sound of rubber boots and sweaty feet.

BLOP-BLOP-BLOP-BLOP-BLOP

One time I jumped on the bus, heading home: "Is this bus heading North?", she said. "No", the driver replied. "I am heading south". "Oh... Oh... That's okay. I can handle a detour, she said, and climbed onboard"

The Incident on the Tram
One day, my girlfriend and I were heading to her school. She was having a math exam, and what do you know, suddenly stalker girl gets on it, and she heads to the back, delighted to see me sitting there. Wordlessly she sits in the seat next to me (There was room for four at the back), on the opposite side of my girlfriend, and she just sits there.

For long we rode the tram, the silence awkward, when...

BAM

There was a loud cracking sound, the sound of gunfire, and glass rained over me. Everywhere; people screaming, some laying down, some just milling around, some halfway on their knees.

I remember everything going in slow motion. The screams were muffled, and I just sat there, frozen like an idiot, and I thought: "They have blown my brains out"

Fumbling, my hands patted my head, then my body, searching for a bullet entry wound. Finding none, I remember not daring to turn my head. I was afraid I'd see my girlfriend's head blown off, so after what seemed like an eternity, I stuttered: "Are you okay?"

"Yes", she replied, then she was cut short by stalker girl.

"That was the sound of an AG-3! I know that sound anywhere! I own myself!", she sounded ecstatic.

While everyone else were laying down, she stood up. She positioned herself in front of me, and said: "Ooooh, look. Your hair is full of glass. Let me help you"

I was in complete shock. People were screaming. She stood in front of me, and lovingly removed every piece of glass, one by one by one.

There were no more bullets that day. One months later there was another shooting episode in the exact same location. Same weapon, but this time the shooter emptied a full clip on the pedestrians of the street. He missed on all 30 bullets, and made the headlines of the newspapers.

The tram moved on, and my girlfriend had her exam. She wrote her name, then stared at the paper  for six hours. She did not solve any of the math. She did not try to explain her teacher she was in shock, since she had been shot at. No one would have believed her.

From Stalker to Disgusted in 15 minutes, the AG way
After six months I was scared, tired and worried. Not a day had gone by in which she had not trailed me for half an hour or more. I had to get rid of her. So, having read some popular psychology, I decided I would make her want to leave me (instead of telling her to go).

I walked over to her table (at the school my girlfriend and the stalker attended), and sat down.

Her eyes shone like stars. They sparkled with ecstatic joy.

"Hey!", I said.

".........hey!", she whispered.

And I proceeded to talk. I talked and I talked and I talked, and she did not get to say anything. I just talked, with an eagerness, a joy, she had never, ever experienced from me before.

The topic: diaper machines.

My brother-in-law was the most boring man in the universe. He was the lead engineer of a team servicing diaper machinery at a diaper and toilet paper factory. Always he would rant on about the quality of diaper machinery, how many thousand diapers per seconds the machines could produce, and how efficient the diapers were at absorbing menstruation blood and mucus.

I mimiced his voice, his eagerness, his passion for diapers and menstruation mucus.

In 15 minutes her eyes went from the brighest sparling gleaming, to a dulled, disgusted look, coupled with a frown.

Then she took her purse, said "Excuse me, I have to attend class", and she left.

I never saw her again.
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Offline Shadoweagle

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Re: Anecdotes of the Bygone
« Reply #8 on: January 26, 2014, 07:42:34 PM »
I have nothing to share at this stage, but i just wanted to say that i am reading your anecdotes and find them interesting! Thanks for sharing and keep it up!  :wink:
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Offline Ancient Gamer

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Re: Anecdotes of the Bygone
« Reply #9 on: January 27, 2014, 02:24:32 AM »
Thanks Shadoweagle, I appreciate it.

I live in a small town, and people here have never experienced much in the way of anything out of the ordinary. Needless to say, my anecdotes were met with much sceptisiscm when I started telling my friends in this town about what had happened. Therefore I never share these stories anymore, and I have started to forget.

For instance, under the "Traveling with Scrooge, Part 1", I forgot to tell about "Party Hostel Number Four" and the events that transpired therein (Tagging on the walls, seedy locals, robbery attempt).

Which is why the web is a nice archive, for a day when my kids are a bit older and I am old and grey and sit by the fireplace, recounting tales of old.

I'll just log in here and relive the past. :)
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Offline Ancient Gamer

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Re: Anecdotes of the Bygone
« Reply #10 on: January 27, 2014, 03:25:56 AM »
Fair warning: This is an anecdote darkly. It is less preoccupied with weird happenings, and more with inner strength found in unexpected places. Feel free to skip reading this one, as the next ones after it will be in the spirit of the previous ones.

The Strongest Girl
This happened long, long before any of the other anecdotes. At the time I was twelve years old, while my sister was eight. Norway, like any country whose population have lived through the horrors of war, had several broken generations; psychological problems and alcoholism in the wake of the atrocities forty-fifty years earlier.

Our grandfather was hailed as a war hero. Grandfather himself escaped what he had done with a bottle in the hand, a woman in the other.

So it came to be, that as the war, and his exploits, faded into obscurity, the family still struggled. Mother, just like her father, dived into the bottle. She was so used to drinking, she dragged us along wherever she went, and we had lots of tricks on how to cope in the bars; duck low to avoid the cloud of nicotine. Sit in that corner to avoid the drunks. Stuff like that.

At one point mother would always become so incredibly drunk, she had to find someone to watch out for us, if she could. She would ask all her friends at the bar, @!#$tards the whole lot of them.

For instance, once we went home with a drug addict collective. We stood out in the rain, just gaping, as twelve men and women dressed nude and danced madly in the rain and thunder, praising Odin and Thor.

Then, finally, at the age of eight my sister had enough.

"No. We will not do as you told us", she said, they shared a few more words, our mothers voice rising with anger.

"Spoiled little ugly brat! @!#$ing ungrateful little pest!", my mother said, spit raining over my sisters face as she spoke her drunken words.

My little sister turned around, her back straight, and she took my hand.

"This time we will find our own babysitter, AG!", she said.

She walked the pub, looked into the eyes of each and every one in there.

"No. No. No. NO! No. Hmmm... No. No...", then she stopped. She looked at a lonely man sitting there. She just stared at him, and he just looked back.

"You!", she said. "You will be our babysitter"

"Ehm, I am just out for a beer, then I am heading home", he said.

She leant over him, whispered a few words in his ear. His eyes widened, then he spoke. "Well, I suppose, if your mother allows it"

He walked over to her. Her mouth just opened, her jaws slack and her eyes round.

We went home with the stranger. We ate real food. We had milk to drink. That night we rested in clean beds. The next morning we walked along the beach with the stranger and his dogs. He told us he was a doctor, divorced and with two kids. My sister talked with him as an adult, and I walked in their trail, marveling. In this I was just a stupid little kid.

Finally she took his hand, stopped him.

"Please", she said. "Let us come live with you. Our mother is sick. Please, let us live with you!". Then I chimed in. "Please, let us live with you!"

The stranger looked like he had been physically hit. He began to cry and told my little sister he had kids of his own.

In the end, we did not get to live with him, but that day my sister ceased being a kid. Mother never had any authority over her after that, and with the years she became harder and harder, until one day she was was a force of unyielding steel will. 

In later years I would joke that Margareth Thatcher would break under the gaze of my little sister. In retrospect that seems unlikely, but I think that the two women would find mutual respect.
« Last Edit: January 27, 2014, 03:41:44 AM by Ancient Gamer »
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Re: Anecdotes of the Bygone
« Reply #11 on: January 27, 2014, 09:43:06 AM »
Most of my bizarre stories involve private details about myself or others who would not appreciate them being shared (even anonymously) but there are a few... (although even those may be edited slightly to protect the privacy of others)

A Tent in the Woods

When I was a younger man, fresh to the world and completely unprepared for it, I experienced several complete failures. I could not keep a job for more than a few months and my living situation slowly deteriorated. We went from a house to a travel trailer in a campground to looming homelessness.

A friend of a friend came to the rescue... sort of. Apparently there was a man who lived far up in the hills outside of a tiny town who needed caretaking. He was very, very ill, but we were told that we could stay in a cabin on the property and get paid to do whatever needed doing.

The friend of a friend showed up, packed up our things, and drove us to the edge of town where we were picked up by the owner of the property (there were a few people living on it but they were somewhat spread out) and dropped off. There was no cabin for us, actually. We were basically just allowed on the land. Fortunately, we did have a tent (which we had lived in for a bit while at the campground) so we pitched it and did our best.

What followed were three weeks of absolute hell. We had no food, we were never paid for our work (which was not easy or fun), and it was during late winter / early spring when it gets coldest. Between stories of bears who had no fear of humans, nights of intense cold, and the barest of nourishment (we raided the sick guy's pantry because we had no other option; some days the two of us had nothing but a shared can of soup)... well, we were not having a good time.

I once visited the property owner and we talked about random stuff. His wife served him dinner while I was there and I got to watch him chowing down on pork chops with potatoes. I don't know if he had any idea what state I was in, but I basically stood there, watching him eat while we continued our inane conversation. I was never even offered a chair, although he was quite animated about the conversation itself. One of the things I learned at that time was that the sick guy had a habit of claiming the caretaker money for himself and that he burned through helpers like crazy, and always made up stories about how they stole from him or damaged his things.

One day, while we were wandering around, we found an abandoned house that had been used for growing marijuana before the owner decided he needed to be elsewhere (and quickly... he must not have packed more than the essentials), and came across a bowl of assorted coins. We snagged it and took it back to the tent. I don't remember the exact amount but it was such a treasure. The next day we caught a ride into town with the property owner and wandered the streets all day while he was at work. We used our stolen coins to purchase a couple of cheeseburgers and shakes (my gods how delicious those were!) I even bought a used copy of Zen and the Art of Archery for less than a buck.

Thinking back, if I had my wits about me (and I don't know if any of you have ever been starving for weeks, but one's wits do not survive that well) I would have made a deal with the property owner to go into town with him everyday so I could work a real job at one of the shops in town (assuming there were any... it is a really small place.)

The friend who dropped us off never called or checked on us for the entire three weeks.

Eventually, I decided I couldn't stand it any longer. I caught a ride from someone else who lived on the property, called for the kind of help I swore I'd never agree to, and sold my soul for a year before I could get my freedom again. I was a broken man and I was willing to do just about anything to get out of there.
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Offline valadaar

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Re: Anecdotes of the Bygone
« Reply #12 on: January 27, 2014, 10:03:57 AM »
TIL I am a coddled Manbaby...

   
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Re: Anecdotes of the Bygone
« Reply #13 on: January 27, 2014, 11:52:26 AM »
The Terrace

My grandfather is a large, barrel like man, and he has run his own business longer than I have been alive. If there is anything like a patriarch of the family, it is him.

He purchased 20 acres of land in east Texas that had formerly been a pulp wood tree plantation, and it happened that my immediate family was at that time lacking a home and we ended up moving out to the new property. My sister and I lived in the house with my grandparents and my parents made a room and lived in the barn.

So it happened that I passed my days working on the farm. Cutting trees, tending burn piles, setting and mending fences for goat pens, and attending a podunk high school in East Texas.

The property slowly transformed from almost completely wooded to a working goat farm, and then eventually something that could be mowed easily from a riding mower, but that is a different rant for a different story.

Working on the farm I started to get a feel for what I could do, what I was made of. I swung an axe, a machete, I fixed chainsaws, and learned to drive. Unfortunately I missed the value of many of these lessons as I was entirely too full of myself, and there was a large disconnect between all of us. My Dad was working, but not for his Dad, and the rest of us had to do what we had to do.

Having been a boss for decades, my grandfather was well accustomed to telling people what to do, and accustomed to said people falling over themselves to do what he said.

There was friction between us.

This friction came to a head on a hot sweaty August afternoon.

My grandfather wanted a large terrace behind the house, and to that end had purchased and had delivered a large number of railroad ties. These ties would be used to build banks, backed with plastic and 2X4s, filled with earth and covered with sod.

All of this is terribly manual and menial labor.

Why would someone PAY people to do this work, when there were family members who could do the work for free, aka, Me.

So it happened that I was employed as a dray mule, dragging these railroad ties from the trailer to the back of the house where I would place them into the terrace base. This was hard work, but there was something that made it unbearable.

My Grandfather
My Father
My Grandmother
My Mother
My Uncle
My Sister

Yes, I had no fewer than 6 people not helping me, but all of them telling me how to do what I was doing.

You're dragging it wrong
You're not holding it right
You need to hold the tie further down

Dripping with sweat and boiling up with hostility that can only come from a teenager, I stopped and looked at them, my personal peanut gallery. Rather than dragging the tie I stopped, shifted my grip and picked it up off the ground. I hefted the beam over my shoulder and carried it down to the stack.

They were displeased by this

I threw the tie onto the stack, where it made a massive booming sound. I wiped my hands on my shirt and looked back at them.

SIX CHIEFS AND ONE INDIAN AND THE INDIAN @!#$ING QUITS.

I went inside the house and didn't come back out until some time later.


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Offline Dozus

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Re: Anecdotes of the Bygone
« Reply #14 on: January 27, 2014, 02:49:07 PM »
On Patriotism

My dad's a commercial roofer and used to have to travel a lot to sell product, supervise building, etc. He had the whole Southeast, which included parts of the Caribbean and also piled up lots of frequent flier miles, so when he got to go somewhere really cool the rest of us would sometimes get to go.

Thus when I was in middle school we found ourselves in St. Thomas. Had a great week there with lots of family and even saw a school friend on the plane. At the end of our trip, we went back to the tiny airport and through customs.

Now customs in this time and place shouldn't have been a big deal. St. Thomas is a US Virgin Island, so though not a state, we weren't technically leaving American territory. It was before the Patriot Act so there wasn't even a TSA for us to deal with. My parents brought their driver's licenses and our birth certificates, "Since you don't have a photo ID," she said.

When we go up to the customs agent, he checks our birth certificates no problem. Then he looks at my parents expectantly. "Where are yours?"

"We didn't bring them."

"Why did you bring theirs and not yours?"

"Because they're too young to have photo IDs!" she explained a little incredulously.

I was old enough to know this was bad, as we were on a tiny island far from home and a uniformed man was telling us we couldn't get on the plane to take us home. Thus I began to worry.

My parents tried to persuade the customs agents they were in fact American citizens. The man didn't seem too skeptical or upset (imagine if it were today!), so he asked them a few simple questions. To Mom: "How many stripes are there on the American flag?"

A blank look. A pause. "Twenty?"

I slapped a hand to my forehead. "Mom!" I exclaimed. This was fifth-grade stuff. I knew, shouldn't they?

Then agent looked to Dad. "How many stars in the flag."

He looked a little unsure, then more confident. "Thirty-four."

My jaw dropped.

"Because they just made Puerto Rico a state," he explained.

I sighed. "We're never going to get home."

We did get home, the nice customs agent eventually letting us through (how they convinced him, I don't recall, nor do I particularly wish to).  If this happened today, I imagine we all would have wound up on a flight blacklist, else permanent citizens of the US Virgin Islands.

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Offline Ancient Gamer

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Re: Anecdotes of the Bygone
« Reply #15 on: January 27, 2014, 02:58:13 PM »
Poverty and Early Parenthood
One day my girlfriend got pregnant. She had felt nauseous for a while and so she took a pregnancy test. It was positive, but she could not believe it, so she took another one. It was positive too. She could not believe it, so she visited the doctor, and he confirmed what the tests had told her all along. Crying she took her farewells with youth and irresponsibility. It was time to enter the world of true adults.

At the time we lived in a ramshackle apartment, renting from some extremely greedy Indian immigrants, and we moved into a better part of town. I had to stop studying and started working as an assistant teacher.

Getting a child was by no means easy. I was not prepared. I was a spoiled runt of a twentysomething, and children crying sounded like the horns of doom to my unprepared eardrums. The lack of sleep was grotesque, since I was so nervous for infant death that I woke up every 30 minutes all night long. I pestered the poor kid, listening for his breath and stroking his hair while he slept.

I started walking everywhere with my kid in a stroller, as parents are wont to do.
I walked here, I walked there, I walked everywhere.

One day I was out walking with my girlfriend and our one year old, when we passed by two twelve year old kids. "Come here", an older kid, roughly sixteen year old, said, and the two approached him. Suddenly a large group of sixteen year olds, immigrants from the third world, surrounded the two twelve year olds and they started punching them violently. In a matter of three seconds, blood was pouring from the noses and mouths of the kids, and the glasses of one of them was broken.

I raged inside, but I was so protective of my kid, I fetched the guards who came running and put the sixteen year olds forcefully down on the ground.

The next day I met these miscreants again. This time I was walking with my wife, and the kid in the stroller, and they suddenly appeared. Noticing me, they started to holler, and their apparent leader hurled his beer bottle. It barely missed the one year old, and crushed into splinters as it violently hit the asphalt next to the stroller. Seeing as they were more than ten, and I was alone with an infant and a girl, we retreated into a gas station.

***

There were four apartments in the house I was living in, and next door a beautiful, beautiful redhead lived. She was a teacher, and had a really good eye towards me. After an incident, in which her toilet flooded and she was left washing poopwater off her floor for an entire day, she moved, and a new neighbour appeared. Bad news was that he was a total addict single dad.

One day another of our neighbours woke up, by the sound of meth-boy (we called him that), nearly kicking in our door. In one arm he had a spoonful of heroin, in the other a crying infant, the infant's diapers and legs caked with dried and partially dried s**t. The new neighbour, far less pleasing to me than his predecessor, just wanted some diapers and fire for his spoon. Our common neighbour, the one finding him outside our door at seven am sunday morning, called the police. The last we saw of him, the police escorted him and his baby out of the building.

After our kids (we had two by this time) proudly picked up some syringes in the playground, and a helmed junkie ran around our back yard, crashing into the walls, helmet first, my wife had enough. She quit being a home mom, applied for work and started selling insurance. At the same time I started working as a software developer.

I was the best student in the recorded history of my school in several of the subjects, and my pay was great.

But never, ever underestimate the power of a woman who is tired of poverty and crappy people.
She worked like a maniac, and ultimately became one of the best selling insurance agents in the Nordic countries. She surpassed my salary in six months, and had twice my salary in one year.

We finally had enough money to buy our own house somewhere nice.
« Last Edit: January 27, 2014, 03:34:04 PM by Ancient Gamer »
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Re: Anecdotes of the Bygone
« Reply #16 on: January 28, 2014, 03:49:41 AM »
Traveling with Scrooge, Part Two
Ten years had passed since we traveled with Scrooge, and the ordeal had started to fade from my mind. So when Scrooge, ever on the lookout for something cheap, told me he got tickets to Athens, Greece, for a steal, I accepted.

This time around we were both engineers, and we flew down. My wife, remembering the ordeal more vividly than me, said no and wished me good luck.

Everything went fine for a while, and I laid my head back and sighed with relief. We took the plane, we got on the train to the city, then we got off at the station known as Ommonia. Then it started.

"Let us get a taxi", I said.

"What? For @!#$s sake, I ain't squandering money on THAT!", he said, anger in his voice.

So we walked to the hotel, and from previous experiences I knew he was a crappy navigator, so I took the lead and led us to the hotel.

But, Scrooge being Scrooge, he had found the cheapest hotel in town. See, this hotel was located in Omonia, and according to the tourist book that was the "Thieves, beggars and homeless Quarters, with a large population of of illegal immigrants"

Now, Athens is Athens, so the buildings look classic, even in the poor district

https://maps.google.com/?ll=37.984106,23.732117&spn=0.014122,0.033023&t=m&z=16&layer=c&cbll=37.984106,23.732117&cbp=12,0,,0,0&photoid=po-67398250

Still, it is all about the population, and as we walked I noticed the seedy elements, the squalor, and having grown up in a rough neighbourhood myself the baddies were numerous and easy to spot.

Meanwhile Scrooge had fallen behind. I forgot how short he was, and his legs couldn't keep up, so when I turned around to look for him I barely saw him far, far behind me. Standing on my toes I noticed his bald head bobbing up and down, somewhat panicked, as he struggled to find me. He came ever closer, and finally I could see his eyes, wild with panic. Then I noticed several men trailing him, one even leaning against a wall and casually started following him. Then he caught up with me, and he started screaming in anger and panic.

"Don't ever do that to me again! Don't ever do that to me again! They were following me! Don't leave me alone in this place!"

His followers looked at me, then they turned around and started to casually talk with each other instead. So we entered the hotel.

***

The thing about Scrooge is that he has had several bouts with terminal illnesses, and survived. This had, during the last decade, left him semi-blind and semi-deaf, a frailty he did not possess during our earlier travels. So, in the morning, he woke up.

"I know it is a crappy hotel, AG, but we slept well, did we not?"

"Yes, yes", I said. I did not mention the vast stains of old semen that I had discovered moments earlier on the sheets.

***

That morning we decided, or Scrooge decided, that we should skip a taxi, and instead walk from Omonia to Acropolis, to see the ancient Greek temples.

So we walked through Omonia. At first we encountered more of the same seedy elements that we had run into earlier. This time I stuck by Scrooge. Then gradually we came into what seemed like a ghost section of the city, as the streets were absolutely devoid of human life. We walked those empty streets, when a murmur of human voices started to sound louder and louder and louder.

Coming around a corner, we found a vast throng of Afghans. There were hundreds, if not a thousand, and they blocked the entire street. As we approached, the murmur ceased all of a sudden, and everyone turned their heads, looking at us.

I have to admit, I was so afraid, but I kept going, and Scrooge, not wanting to be left behind started walking after me.

The Afghans just stood there, blocking the way, until I was four meters away. All of a sudden a small "canyon" opened up in the middle of the mass of refugees, and I walked through. Two meters behind me; Scrooge, pulling his designer luggage behind him. I am struggling to remember why the @!#$ he brought the luggage along, but it eludes me.

After a minute we exited on the other side, and continued down empty streets. When we were about fifty meteres away, the murmur picked up again. The refugees continued talking.

***

Athens was nice. There is no denying it. But Scrooge consistently refused to take a taxi, and even though I walk much my blisters went from bad to worse.

One evening we partied with a mildly famous rock band. It was all madness, and the vocalist went full on rock and roll and smashed the hotel room glass table. The members of the band soared on pink clouds through the corridors of the luxury hotel. The groupies did their thing. Me and Scrooge just stood there. We only drank beer and licquor, and the rock'n rollas were clearly enjoying stronger stuff than us, so we said "@!#$ this", and left. We were in Athens for ruins and ancient history, architecture and more moderate partying.

***

The next day the rock band was supposed to meet us in Omonia. They lived in a luxury hotel downtown, and wanted to see where we lived. We waited and waited, but they did not show up, then, in the end Scrooge got a phone call.

"Help us. We are stuck in a subway station. It is so frickin' scary here... Please, help us", the band member whispered into the phone. Scrooge had bad ears, so they had to repeat. In the end we figured out they were hiding in the subway station of Omonia, and we braved the beggars and the pickpockets, dodged the pimps, to get to them. Finally we found  them; five scared, long haired, rockers wearing badass black, hiding from poor Greeks.

***

It was in Greece, in the idyllic town known as Naphlio, that I finally cleared the air with Scrooge. I told him what a complete prick he was, and he started crying. He cried and he cried, and then we said "@!#$ this, let us just be friends", and we went back to Athens and sat down on a restaurant and got drunk together. We had a really good time.

Then our friends came. They had seen us collide, and left in a hurry. When they came back they expected hell, but we were just laughing and joking and hugging and having a good time. They sat down, cautious at first, but later in the evening they were just gaping. One of the girls said: "I am impressed. I expected this trip to be @!#$ed, but the way this turned out it was a good thing"

Scrooge changed after that. He told me he had never understood why people became so upset with him. I was the first one to tell him. Scrooge, a social pariah before this, changed so much he is now one of the party-makers of the Norwegian capital. Were he previously had no girls whatsoever, he now swims in them. Where everyone used to hate him, he is now loved.

He still has a few quirks. But so does everyone else.

He just needed to be told what kind of prick he was, by someone he respected.
« Last Edit: January 28, 2014, 04:00:20 AM by Ancient Gamer »
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Offline Scrasamax

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Re: Anecdotes of the Bygone
« Reply #17 on: January 28, 2014, 07:48:03 AM »
This was maybe a year or two ago, it was publicized that there was going to be a big meteor shower and that it was going to last for several hours. Rather than attempt to see one through the light pollution in the city, we had a friend who lived very much in the country and we decided that a party and bonfire were in order to observe the shower.

It was Spring, so it was brisk, and the fire was welcome, and we stargazed while drinking cheap beer.

This is possibly the most peaceful and introspective thing I've attended in Tennessee. It was fun.

So the meteors started showing up. I had never watched them before, and I was astounded to find that they made noise! I expected a wink of light, a streak, and then gone. Instead they shot through the sky, leaving trails of fire behind them, and made a sizzling sound like dropping a bit of bacon on the heating element of the range.

Now some of the other attendees to this soiree were products of the TN education system (49th in the nation!) and this produced one of the funniest things I've heard.

Redneck Girl 1 'Was that a meteor?'
Redneck Girl 2 'No, that was just a shooting star.'
Redneck Girl 1 'Oh, okay.'



Stout Lagerale of the Dwarven Guild
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Offline Ancient Gamer

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Re: Anecdotes of the Bygone
« Reply #18 on: January 28, 2014, 05:37:21 PM »
Traveling the World with Scrooge, The Golden Nuggets
I traveled quite a bit with Scrooge after we cleared the air, and mostly it worked out alright. I knew he would still be turning every penny, but for me that was alright.

Meeting the Locals
Norway is a politically correct nation. As a child I remember the horror I felt, when grandfather told me about the thieving gypsy bastards. His rude insensitivity stood in stark contrast to the koombahyah we learnt at school. Little did I know that I would leave Hungary as much a distasteful, insensitive bastard as he used to be.

I arrived in Sofia alone, and took a cab to the hotel. Scrooge and a mutual friend arrived much later. In fact they were 3 hours delayed, because Scrooge wanted to save money by using public transportation instead. Scrooge, ever the wannabe navigator, had led them astray and our common friend was fuming. They ended up spending more money on public transportation, than I did on my taxi.

Later that day we went out on town. The thing I remember the most was the friendly, non-gypsy, locals, and the "No hand grenade, no guns, no knives" stickers on all the nightclubs.

No handgrenades! Really?

After ending up at a mafioso party, where a fat 60 year old godfather in a silk suit, and covered in gold, sat with a supermodel on each of his arms, we decided to take the train to Serbia. Scrooge had researched all available transportation offers, and had deducted that the train cost only half the money.

We got on the train, after dodging two toothless gypsy women offering blowjobs, and another gypsy man offering to be our guide, for mooooooneeeeey.

The train turned out to be an ancient wreckage of an excuse for public transportation, and inside gypsies flooded the compartments. The tepid trio soon found a vacant one, and a big, big babushka entered the wagon, smiling from ear to ear, nodding in greeting towards us. She looked kind enough, but her body odour was a smell from hell. As she entered our compartment it was as if a wall of stench hit us. In roleplaying terms she had a permanent stinking cloud cast on herself.

We could not stand her smell, and our friend opened up the window, and soon enough she started complaining about her stiff neck, and tried to close it. She closed it, we opened it, she closed it, we opened it. Keeping it closed was not an option, as we were gagging and choking, nearly perishing from the stench of her unwashed body.

Shortly thereafter she showed us signs of kindness, and handed us pillows and carpets. "Sleep, sleep", she said, but there was something suspect about the whole ordeal, and we gave her items back to her.

After many hours of unpleasant body odours, we arrived at the border and soon enough a customs officer started inspecting the wagon. He put his maglite flashlight againt the plates in the roof, and contraband fell down. He cut open the pillows she had handed us, and contraband was inside. He looked under our seats, and contraband was hidden there.

Soon she was on her knees, wailing and begging, holding her hands in a prayer to the customs officer to leave her be. But to no avail, the Serb wrote a big fine and handed it to her. When he left, her friendliness dissappeared like the sun on a cloudy day, and she took her things and went to the compartment next door. The only reason she had been with us was to trick us into smuggling stuff over the border for her.

We would later be told, by Serbian friends, that the Gypsies bought merchandise cheap in Istanbul, then took the train to Serbia to sell it in Belgrade for a nice profit. The customs officer had cut their profit considerably.

***

In Serbia we met up with some nice folks. They showed us around town, and everywhere they had cardboard figures of Tito, Mao, Stalin and Lenin. The iconic communist fist was on every wall, crushing the NATO star. The communist sicle was used as a pattern on carpets and tagged on walls. We arrived at a decent restaurant, and a large group of people wanted to know where we were from. They never, ever had any tourists in town.

Scrooge said: We are from Norway, and an angry man shouted that Norwegian F16 fighters had escorted US bombers as they killed his friends during air raids in the 90's. Scrooge, educated in political sciences, saw a golden opportunity to discuss politics, and in front of an accusing mob he started defending the NATO bombings of Serbia, explaining how Serbs mistreated Croatians, Bosnians and Albanians, and that an intervention was necessary. Voices raised in anger and resent, and Scrooge was about to say more. But by that time both me and our mutual friend restrained Scrooge, distracted him with trivialities, as the nice people we had met earlier explained to the mob that we were their friends, that they were sorry, and that none of us had served in the army.

We went back to Sofia, to catch our plane. Our mutual friend was fuming even more, and shouting he said he'd rather be dead, than escort Scrooge on the train, just so Scrooge could save a few pennies. Not really wanting to smell the local population for several hours, I joined him and Scrooge, cursing and talking about senseless waste of money, followed suit.

Scrooge, Sailor of the Seven Seas
For a while, Scrooge and I traveled Scotland and the Atlantic Islands. It was excellent really, the best trip we ever had together. One late evening we left Kirkwall, the biggest village on the Orkney Islands, and took the ferry to Lerwick, the biggest village on Shetland. Scrooge, ever on the lookout for a good bargain, had secured the front cabin on the ferry for half the price. "More money for beer!", he exclaimed with a cheerful smile.

I was tired, so I went to bed, but Scrooge is a party animal you see. He had not time nonsense such as sleeping. Scrooge left to talk with strangers as I fell asleep.

Five hours later, Scrooge fell into the cabin. He was singing. "I met the most beautiful giiiiiiiirl". "Sheeee was soooo fiiiiine!", then he slammed his bald head into the steel bunk bed I slept in. I sat up with a start, and opened my eyes. Scrooge was dead drunk, he smashed his head again, this time into the steel door leading into the toilet. Scrooge was unabated, he continued singing "I heeeeld heeer clooose, fondled her breeeaaasts!"

5 minutes later he was sound asleep.

By this time I had started getting sea sick. We were in the middle of the Atlantic Ocean, and at the tip of the boat, and we would rise, rise, rise for seven seconds, then come crashing down violently. Rinse and repeat. I leapt down from my bunk bed and started heaving over the toilet. I sat in front of the toilet for an hour, but I only got sicker, so I went upstairs and exited the boat. I stood in the freezing cold of the Atlantic Ocean for a couple of hours, then a lighthouse appeared, and my mobile got some coverage from an antenna tower on the island.

Looking at the map, I looked up the islands name. "Fair Isle". I started laughing hysterically. "Fair Isle, my ass!", I shouted to no one in particular.

The next day, Scrooge woke up. He was in a wonderful mood and started looking after the beauty from the night before. Me? I was a pale shade of grey, and stumbled on shore.

Shetland turned out to be an amazing place, with no mountains to speak of, and the Atlantic weather just rolled over the island, the seasons seemingly changing by the hour. Fifteen minutes of rain was followed by two hours of sun and chirping birds, which was followed by an hour of blizzards, after which the birds chirped again. Shetland was an amazingly beautiful and cold place; a place I'd like to return to.
« Last Edit: January 29, 2014, 02:03:18 AM by Ancient Gamer »
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Re: Anecdotes of the Bygone
« Reply #19 on: January 30, 2014, 02:17:25 AM »
It's a Midlife Crisis
Let me tell you one thing; adult life in suburbia is overrated. Mow your lawn, do the dishes, shop groceries, make dinner, go to work, go home, go to bed, rinse and repeat. Meet the neighbour, listen to what he has to say, smile, smile, nod, smile. Attend celebrations and birthdays, listen to people telling you how great their life is, look in their eyes, see them dying a little more inside each and every year. People you knew as a kid, once bright with life and promise, now faded ghosts, manpuppets telling you of the joys of being able to change diapers and having left the partying life behind. Lies we tell ourselves, to convince ourselves we are happy, to convince ourselves that this is what we wanna do.

In the end, you have heard the same stories twice over.
In the end, you get tired of blending in.

You get tired of confirming to the music police, the culture police, the opinion police, the society police, the @!#$ING fashion police.
Each and everyone force feeding you a pre-processed menu of socially accepted tastes and opinions.

For what? Who decides what I want? Who decides how I best live my life?

For years these thoughts gnawed at my subconscious. Who were the @!#$ing architects of this prison of misery? Salaries barely covering the bills, and if you earn more you are supposed to spend more, to reflect your social status. @!#$! I'd like to meet them, these architects of society. I'd like to kick 'em in the balls.

Nevermind.

They are probably on a yacht in the Caribbean, laughing, joking about the genius of it all while drinking Chablis from the nipples of some supermodel.

Early Signs
For me, working in the financial sector was the final drop. There is something called ERP, Enterprise Resource Planning, and let me tell you; you don't wanna know what it is. All you need to know is that it is death in slow motion. A @!#$ing crapfest of mediocrity, with high salary and low quality of life.

So I quit.

I started working with surveillance. Life should be an adventure, I thought. I picked up my old interest for hacking. Why not? I felt like I was a @!#$ing James Bond.

Tales of adventure. South African transports equipped with our GPS transmitters. Highwaymen robbing the transports, putting slugs through the heads of the driver. Military Jeeps full of crack soldiers with red berets, chasing the robbers down; butchering them in the wilderness.

African tales; mercenaries on the ceiling of the jeeps, dark skinned beauties dancing seductively, corpses in hotel rooms.
Middle eastern tales; militant groups being stopped, technology defeating smugglers and terrorists alike.
All these tales.

Macho bulls**t.

Soon thereafter I discovered the company had been thoroughly hacked. I explained my interest in computer security. They joked about getting me out of bed at night. Of pouring gasoline over me, igniting the gasoline. They were more afraid of me, than of the hackers I had uncovered. I told them they were being idiots.

I had begun working with the freemasons. I was told as much, and the names of prominent leaders had been publicised by Norwegian media, so I found them when I looked them up on Google:

CEO Asse Hole, Grand Knight of the Order of the Illuminated Intestine, Protector of the Order of the Burning Rash
Sales Director Puke Vomit, Reverent Anus of The Lodge of St. Dickhead.

And so on.

How I @!#$ing hated the freemasons. Uptight little *******s, a brotherhood of pricks, shaking hands. They hated me right back. So, when they found me in the sofa on the first company christmas party, a girl in each arm, my wife started to sing. She performed an opera, singing and singing until both of my girls were so ashamed that they fled the scene. I was so proud. My lioness. We left hand in hand, and the freemasons stood there gaping.

A year of hell followed. It was too soon to quit the job, and the @!#$tards kept smirking. Constant jokes of how they were gonna burn me in the forest. A year of being told what a @!#$up I was. How I did not deserve my wife. How I was a gold digger, being with a woman much richer than myself.

In retrospect I realize that some of them were jealous.

After a year had gone by we merged with another company. The other company was controlled by hungry wolves, and soon enough the freemasons were squeezed out, one after another. To my utter joy and delight. I shook their hands as they left, their necks bowed down, their anger evident. My eyes must have shone with pure joy.

s**t Hits the Fan
So, one night I was partying with Scrooge in the capital. Scrooge, ever the womanizer, hit on everything that moved. This beauty walks up to me, sits down on my lap and starts kissing. Scrooge gets all riled up.

"@!#$ THAT, AG! YOU ARE MARRIED! @!#$ YOU, YOU ARE MARRIED!"

The redhead looked at Scrooge. Kissed him passionately.

Scrooge got that horny look, and for a few minutes he just sat there, like an erect penis, but she ignored him and continued making out with me.

Scrooge began to scream. "@!#$ YOU, AG! @!#$ YOU! @!#$ YOU! I WILL TELL YOUR WIFE! I WILL @!#$ING TELL YOUR WIFE!"

She led me out the door. Scrooge followed us.

She led me to a taxi. Scrooge yelled. I had quit registering what he said.

I barely remember the trip to her place. All I remember is lips and boobs and a million threats by text from Scrooge.

***

I left my wife. She cried. I was so confused. I bought an airplane ticket. Destination: Ibiza.

I traveled to Ibiza. 38 years old. Spent days there. I was constantly drunk. I looked good. When you look good, girls come over all the time. I drowned in girls. I left for Barcelona. I lied all the @!#$ing time, about my age, my nationality, my name, my job. Sometimes I was 21, from Poland, looking for a job. Sometimes I was 27, from Sweden. Sometimes I was from the US. Sometimes from Russia. I was a player. A species I myself had never liked much.

It was insane. It was life. I lived like I never lived before.

Now, I am probably supposed to tell you it was wrong, but the truth is I have never had as much fun in my entire life.

I came back home. I had compressed my crisis into one summer. I was content. 

@!#$ing it all up... Again
At work there was this Swedish girl. She was my best friend. She was actually 40, two years older than me. I don't know what happened, but she came over to me during our christmas party. We looked each other in the eyes. I fell in love. For a long time we met in secret, in the parking basement, in the closet, in the fire-stairs. We hugged and kissed, we were burning with passion, but we did not go all the way.

So we arranged to go to Oslo, the capital. When we left, we were both in love. Of course, we ran into one of the lead freemasons I had previously worked with, just before leaving. He took a look at her, stashed up, stars in her eyes. He took at look at me, equally stashed up, beaming with happiness.

He understood.

Then we left for the capital. It was passionate at first but my wife started appearing in my subconscious. So I turned the Swedish girl down. Not once, but four times.

She was insulted. She was silent for days. Meanwhile her husband got an anonymous phonecall. Someone had decided to tell him about what we were doing.

In the end it did not work out. I was heartbroken. I was confused. I met a couple of other girls. I got thrown out of nightclubs because me and my girls were being too graphic. I went to Amsterdam where I had a crush on a 19 year old bartender. Another beautiful redhead. She had a crush on me too. She ditched me after I kissed five girls one evening in Old Sailor's pub, and Kirby, a dude from LA (that secretly loved her) told her all about it.

When I came home, the Swedish girl had started talking about me. I got stares, I noticed their looks. So I asked her.

"No", she said. "I have not been talking about you. We were best friends before. Why do you think I would talk about you?"

Still I got the weird looks.

Ever the hacker, and with a broken heart, I planted a false rumor. Told it to her brother after drinking, exaggerating how drunk I was; "We would never fit together anyhow. All I do is get high and hack people. All she ever does is make cupcakes", I said.

Oh my, she got busy.

When I planted the rumor, I just wanted to see if she was the person my gut told me she was. If she was telling people the false rumor I planted. And so she did. The rumor spread like wildfire, I could see it in their eyes, the way people started dodging me, or just stared accusingly.

Unfortunately, the management believed the rumor to be true as well. I knew the Freemasons had previously influenced them with their sceptism. It was only logical. Now, here was a former lover, telling them that I had drunkenly admitted as much.

Finally my ingenuity had backfired.

So, when I deleted an embarrassing heartbroken email I sent her, she contacted the CEO of our company. She told him I had hacked her. Being the company top saleswoman, she certainly had his attention.

At the same time I had stepped down from my role as the head of security of the company. The pay was not good enough, and they expected me to deliver on development as well, as I was the single individual who knew several of the core systems. It was twice the work for a minimal raise.

As a result of my resignation as head of security the management was going ballistic.
They were fuming.

No one had ever done anything like that, ever before.

My relationship with the company soured to the level where they had people watching me, scripts logging everything I did. They restricted my access. I had to ask IT before accessing a server, which, as a server programmer, I did a lot of times each day.

It was ridiculous.

Not only because the security measures were inane, and could easily be bypassed since they lacked any skills at all. But also because it was based on a fallacy.

***

My God, how I missed my wife.

How I missed the neighbour, and his inane conversation.
How I missed the kids. Parent conversations. Bills. I @!#$ing missed bills.
How I missed shopping groceries. How I missed making dinner.

But I had gone and screwed it all up. I had put my money on beautiful, young women and exciting parties.
I had surfed on my youthful good looks.

Then, one day, my ex-wife stopped by to talk with me. She was depressed. I felt an intense aching in my heart. I had @!#$ing loved this woman all along. I put all my cards on the table. I told her more that I told in this tale. And she hugged me. She wanted me back.

It was @!#$ing unbelievable.
A miracle.

And now I love bills. I love cleaning the house. I love the kids complaining. I love waking up with my daughter in one arm, my son in another. I love my wife. I love my life.

And the freemasons? I never see them anymore. They live far, far away.
And the company? I gave them the finger. I left them. They have never found anyone to replace me. The ones that can cost too much and want to work and live in the capital.
And the Swedish Gossip? A couple of months after leaving I told my friends there what had really transpired, and the tables turned on her.  Oh, and her insanely jealous husband keeps stalking me online, so I guess she is living in hell.

And thus transpired the insanity that was my midlife crisis.

***

Faith No More - Midlife Crisis
« Last Edit: January 31, 2014, 05:52:22 AM by Ancient Gamer »
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Re: Anecdotes of the Bygone
« Reply #20 on: January 31, 2014, 04:17:29 AM »
My Friend Moon Moon
Many years ago my girlfriend and I spent all our days roleplaying. We got the boys together and we rolled them dice. We explored swamps and forgotten ruins, temples and vast caverns beneath the mountains. When we didn't roleplay, we dreamt about buying a sailboat in the Aegean Sea and live merry days as charter boat captains, sailing tourists to the various Greek Islands.

We had a partner in crime. One of the roleplayers. In the roleplaying games he always played the silent, cool types. The Katana wielding Neos, with thieving abilities and a mean slash of the sword. This guy, we called him Meatloaf, also shared in our dream. And thus we spent our days, working s**tty jobs, gaming at night, and dreaming about the Aegean. Each Sunday we even made a Greek themed dinner, and we invited Meatloaf over, supplying him with free Greek sunday food. It was nice!

One day Meatloaf called us. "Guys, I want to introduce you to my new girlfriend", he said, pride in his voice.

And so we met Moon Moon for the first time. I was walking beside my girlfriend, who was pushing the stroller with our firstborn. Meatloaf came towards us, and beside him a padded girl with plump cheeks and a huge grin. She walked strangely, like an exaggerated Captain Ahab, wobbling from side to side.

Moon Moon turned out to be quite the character. Meatloaf was not allowed to game anymore, not unless she joined, and we tried that. She would sit in the couch, fall asleep, wake up, interrupt everyone and suggest we eat cake. She was the proverbial anti-roleplayer.

Because she ate so much, she really did, we stopped inviting Meatloaf over for sunday dinner. She never got to try it even once. This turned out to be a major event, and she confronted us, blazing with anger, telling us Meatloaf had told her all about the sunday dinners. Why had we stopped inviting him? Was it because we hated her? Did we hate her?

Moon Moon did many strange things. She raided our pantry, even though we could not afford food. She treated Meatloaf like a whipped dog.

She began addressing me in a sexual way. Each time we visited, she poked Meatloaf. "Look there, Meatloaf! That is how a man is supposed to look. A true man. Mister Incredible!", and he would smile sheepishly, nodding. "Yes, dear!". I tried to confront him, telling him she behaved ridiculously, but Meatloaf told me I was being silly. She was only being friendly.

Then they were going to marry. She called my girlfriend about the big event. My girlfriend cheered, said we had planned to marry too. It turns out they were going to marry two weeks before we did. Moon Moon was furious. She felt my girlfriend had spoiled her big event. That we were trying to steal from their shine.

Three months before the wedding, they spent the weekend at our place. Moon Moon told all about her plans, and Meatloaf sat there, with his head low. He looked miserable. She was criticising everything he did. He ate wrong, he looked wrong, he walked wrong, he talked about the wrong things. The next morning my wife had to leave early. I slept in. Later, around 11 AM, I awoke. I turned around, and there was Moon Moon. Beside me in the bed.

"What the @!#$ are you doing here?", I asked. She turned around, her eyes dreamy. "Hey mister Incredible!", she said. Her eyes shone like the stars in the heavens. I jumped out of bed like I was on fire. "What the @!#$?", I said.

I walked downstairs. Meatloaf was there. He looked grim. I tried talking to him, but he only answered in singular words.

One week later he left Moon Moon.  She came crying, telling us what an ******* he was. She asked if I wanted to go to the movies with her.

We had invited both to our wedding. As a matter of fact, Meatloaf was my best man. He turned up. We had not seen him in three months. Not since the unfortunate weekend. He had begun partying extensively. He was shaking like a leaf, sweating like a pig. He had lost a lot of weight. He excused himself, had to leave our wedding early. Later that night he was tagged in Facebook, at another party. I guess it was too much for him.

I sometimes get an MMS from Moon Moon. She still has a crush on me and I keep my distance.
« Last Edit: January 31, 2014, 05:36:22 AM by Ancient Gamer »
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Re: Anecdotes of the Bygone
« Reply #21 on: February 03, 2014, 05:53:44 PM »
The Decadent Rich
... and tales of horror

On Partying with Rich Girls
Once I was partying in Marbella. Marbella is an unassuming, large Spanish town, famous for its luxury resorts and marinas for the ridiculously rich. It is a place where you stay at fancy hotels, drink champagne in pools and eat Sushi at the beach. I have been there several times, one of those was during my wild days.

So, I was out partying in Puerto Banus, a place famed for its Saudi Princes, driving their Rolls Royces from the prow of their village sized yachts, 200 meters to the local restaurants, eat lunch, then drive their Rolls Royce back to the boat.

I was out drinking with the elite. They nipped champagne and enjoyed the local big thing; inhaling helium filled balloons, which all the decent places served. I navigated around the brats of tycoons and their helium baloons, I maneuvered between the flame eaters, the exotic dancers and the jugglers.

Then I hooked up with three rich girls laughing and partying. They were in such a good mood and brought me into a taxi with them. I sat in the back seat with two of them and they started making me feel good, kissing and hugging. Kissing two girls at once is not a nightmare, not for a boy, and the one in the front was no less friendly.

It was alright.

And thus is the life of the rich and famous. Happy and carefree and frolicking in the sun.

Cockblocking, Mengele Style
Once I was partying with two lovely Dutch girls. They were more than mere girls to me, we connected on a deeper level, and I really enjoyed their company. We had spent several days together when we ran into some Whitbread sailors, what is now called the Volvo Ocean Race, and they were traveling the world in their oceangoing yachts. These guys came from Cuba, Norway and Australia and were typically monied fellows with clinics and other companies of their own, and enough free time to spend it sailing the seven seas. Well, except their pet Cuban that is. He just tagged along.

So we ended up at their penthouse luxury suite, but the prettiest girl just had eyes for me. One of the guys, a Norwegian dentist with a clinic of his own, wiggles his finger, asks me to come over. He was convinced I was swedish, as I speak that language fluently, and asked me if I would see something spectacular.

Turns out he had worked as a surgeon in the Utoya massacre in Norway where a deranged Norwegian had killed over seventy Norwegians and maimed so many more. And thus he proceeded to show me genuine footage from bullet wounds that had maimed and disfigured his patients, and the stitches made during his surgical procedures.

I left the party, and the girls, in Mengele's tender care.
Shaken to the core of my being.

It was cockblocking, Mengele style.

Walking through the Garden of Paradise
Once I was walking through the gardens of Sintra, outside Lisbon, Portugal. Those who have been to the Kitsch masterpiece castle can confirm that its gardens are vast and beautiful, and I walked there, gazing upon majestic ponds, peacocks in all their splendor, and many, many exotic animals.

As I walk, text messages begin to hail into my phone from various sources.

"War has come. I hear explosions"

"A bomb just detonated. The entire building shook"

"Someone is killing our young. Countless have died."

"We are at war"

Around me people laughed. They pointed at the trees and the birds. They studied the architecture of the grandiose castle.

I talked with my wife. We wondered what happened. How many had been killed. If our friends or family had died.
People stared strangely at us while tears ran down our cheeks.

When we came back at the hotel, we just sat there, watching the BBC World News.

It was the most outlandish feeling of emptiness and confusion and terror.

When we came back home it seemed to us that all our fellow Norwegians had entered a state of mass psychosis.
They had this fanatical gleam in their eyes. Everybody hugged. They put down roses everywhere. It was beautiful and terrifying at once.

« Last Edit: February 03, 2014, 06:00:46 PM by Ancient Gamer »
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Re: Anecdotes of the Bygone
« Reply #22 on: March 25, 2014, 10:34:49 AM »
On Birds

My grandfather raised peacocks in Ohio. No one really knew why. He seemed to think this would somehow be a profitable venture. To this very day, Central Ohio lacks any major peacock-related industry.

If you've never been around peacocks, here is what you need to know:
  • Peacocks are not all pretty. Only the males have bright colors and fan tails; the female are smaller and a drab gray-brown.
  • Peacocks stink. To high hell. It's sort of a blend between a chicken coop and the zoo.
  • Peacocks are loud. Their call is sort a repeating, rising honk that starts low in the throat and ends like a bicycle horn.
  • Peacocks are aggressive. I wasn't allowed in the peacock pen (coop?) by myself in fear that they would claw and bite me.
My grandfather loved his peacocks. My grandmother had a large vase that was filled with peacock feathers like some ornate Persian decor.

But his love did not extend to all birds equitably. The pond on my grandparents' large property had a pond, and the pond was the regular home of a flock of Canada geese.

My grandfather hated the geese. "d**n geese," he would mutter. They were loud - sometimes louder than the peacocks - their droppings were everywhere, and I have been more than once chased from the pond by an angry and aggressive goose, hissing with wings akimbo. I think at one point he threatened to shoot the geese. It was an unfulfilled threat that did not seem to affect the birds with any depth.

As they are migratory birds, the geese only plagued my grandfather for a few months at a time. In the late fall they flew south, the algae died off, and the pond peacefully froze over. One late fall my grandfather noticed one d**n goose who was still hanging around, sitting and honking by itself. He recognized it, a bullied geese whose comrades would peck and squawk at it. He tried to chase it off, but it ran instead of flying away, one of its wings held at an odd angle. This goose was apparently a crippled and flightless goose, abandoned by its flock.

After watching it a while, my grandfather went into his garage. He was there for some time. Eventually he returned, not with the promised rifle but with a large box. He had made it out of wood and leftover chicken wire from the peacock coop. He installed a lightbulb into a socket at the bottom to keep the box warm in the cold Midwestern winter. He placed the box by the pond, turned on the light, and went inside to wait.

The goose eventually found its way into the box. It nested over winter, kept warm by my grandfather's box and light, eventually rejoined to its flock in the spring. It lived two more winters in its nest. When it died, my grandfather buried the d**n goose in the yard.

Dozus the Windward
Swashbuckler
LEVEL 1
Cartography Guild Minor Minion
STR: 4 | END: 2 | CON: 4 | DEX: 3 | CHA: 3 | INT: 4