...better publish and be spammed.
Bookwormom hath spoken and thus for Monday's post, there is a meme... This is a) a relief because it gets me off the hook thinking up ideas on a busy Monday, and b) rather terrifying since I have absolutely no idea what to say. It's supposed to be ten weird things about me. This is hard, because anything about me that causes other people to give me that squinty-eyed, funny look with a puzzled shake of the head (like that multiple-book a week habit which leaves the newer, book-every-few-months, flatmate astounded) seem pretty normal from this end of things. Even the monkey.
Luckily, for those fearful of angering the gods of meme, the February edition of the Fortean Times has hovered to the rescue like a UFO filled with silver-clad inspirational aliens on white horse-like creatures. It specialises in the weird. So I am in a position to present 10 weird things very tenuously related to me.
1. One of the most destructive tornadoes to ever hit the UK was recorded in Birmingham two years ago in July. I used to live in Birmingham nowhere near the place it happened, but had moved by then.
2. There was also a tornado last December in London. Eerily, I also used to live in London several miles from where this tornado touched down, but had also moved months before it happened.
3. Erich von Däniken, the Swiss writer most well-known for his "ancient astronaut" theory of alien intervention in the prehistoric development of humans opened "Mystery Park" in Interlaken, Switzerland, in May 2003 to showcase his theories. It closed last year. I have been to Switzerland and admired the punctuality of their trains and dust-free plants, but have never been to Interlaken, nor visited "Mystery Park".
4.In November, 2005, China's first restaurant to specialise in dishes featuring the, uh, male organ, (gulp) opened in Beijing. I have never been to China, and since reading about this restaurant, am more herbivorous than before so unlikely to sample food in this restaurant.
5. When a Swiss driver was caught by Canadian police driving 100 mph (160 kph) in a 62 mph (100 kph) zone on the highway between Montreal and Toronto, his excuse was that he was caught up in the delight of being able to drive quickly without the risk of hitting goats. I hate goats.
6. On Bonfire Night last year in Monkwearmouth, Sunderland, a 22-year old soldier inserted a Black Cat Thunderbolt Rocket into his, uh, hindquarters, and then proceeded to ignite it. I have attended several Bonfire Night parties and once drove through Sunderland in a car. Not a rocket.
7. A woman in Croatia was struck by lightning when brushing her teeth last year, after putting her mouth under the tap to rinse. The lightning travelled through her body and exited out of her, uh, rear exit. Doctors say her life was saved by her rubber-soled bathroom shoes. I also brush my teeth, although I have not yet had the opportunity to do so in Croatia. I do not own rubber-soled bathroom shoes, but am considering the investment.
8. A palæontologist has concluded that the osteology of the plesiosaur, Murænosaurus would make it unable to lift its head and neck above water swan-style. Instead would have acted like a feeding-tube, used to pull up soft-bodied prey from the seabed. This makes a living fossil of this species to be an unlikely candidate for Nessie's secret identity. I have been to Loch Ness and really liked typing the "æ" in those words.
9. A Romanian man who was jilted by his finacée just a few days before the wedding offered to marry the first woman who could fit into her erstwhile wedding dress. Dozens of candidates applied with the (presumably lovely) Ana Maria out-Cinderella-ing the lot, leading to accusations of "love at first sight".
It took three fittings and the most wire-pokingly, chicken-filleted, strapless doohicky for my last bridesmaid dress to behave as it ought. I spent most of the wedding and reception absolutely paranoid that any stray breeze or overly enthusiastic handshake would upset the whole arrangement and lead to one of those "wardrobe malfunctions" without the Timberlake to hide my shame. Luckily, my 'do, which contained 2 cans of "product", 43 bobby pins and 3 elastics would have maintained its rock-like solidity even in the face of one of the aforementioned tornadoes, although crashing into the main marquee pole may have shattered it.
10. Rohan Kriwaczek wrote The Incomplete History of the Art of Funerary Violin (Duckworth), which describes the history of this musical style from its emergence in the Reformation to its wholesale destruction under the aegis of Pope Gregory XVI in the first half of the 19th century. In October, after a New York Times article suggesting it was a hoax, Mr. Kriwaczek admitted that the whole thing was a carefully-researched fake.
When I was younger I played the violin at a funeral or two, sometimes in ensembles, sometimes not. I also used to write book reviews for school assignments about books that hadn't actually been written by authors who didn't exist. If my teachers ever suspected this, they never said a word.
I am now too exhausted to nominate candidates, so if you like it, you can have it. If you don't, no worries.