A number of readers ask in the comments box whether all the things I write about here actually happen to me or not. Well ... what can I say. Truth is stranger than fiction and a number of my stories are based on an element of fact whereas others are the product of an ever awake imagination. I won't tell you which is which though but here's a selection.
He said "Hurry up. I ain't got all day mate!"
I gave him the only two coins I had to save my life. A 50 pence piece and a 10 pence piece. He looked at them in disgust, took them and ran away.
When I went to the police they asked me for a description. I told them the 50 pence piece was dated 2002 and the other one 2004. They asked me for a description of the mugger. I told them I wanted my money back, not the mugger. They never found my coins.
Like most people, I like to save money. It takes a long time to earn it so why throw it away? I remember being asked some years back for a pet spider as a birthday present. I went to our local pet shop and they were asking for £70 for a large tame and harmless hairy spider. Can you imagine? £70? Anyway, I left the shop empty handed and got one cheaper off the web.
On the way home I passed the baker and went in. "I'd like to buy a wasp!" I said to the assistant behind the counter. He looked at me in amazement and said "We don't sell wasps!" I replied "You have one in your shop window!"
Another little known fact about me is that I am good at mathematics; especially statistics. For instance, did you know that statistically speaking , 6 out of 7 dwarfs are not Happy?
Unfortunately I have a troublesome neighbour. Always complaining about me, he is. The other night he came knocking on my door at 2:30am in the morning. Can you believe that? 2:30 in the morning! Luckily for him I was still up playing my bagpipes.
I was once lost on Mount Snowdon in Wales when mountaineering. It was getting rather dark and it started to rain. I thought at the time that this was the end of me. After hours of shivering in the cold rain and nearing death I heard voices shouting, “Victor … Victor … are you out there? It’s the Red Cross!” I had to shout back at the top of my voice so they could hear me, “I’ve already donated at the office!” Honestly, why do these people come out to collect money on mountains in such bad weather instead of rescuing lost people like myself?
On another occasion I had a similar experience with some friends on the same mountain in Wales. I was hesitant going up with them because of my last experience but they assured me it would be OK. Half way up it started to rain heavily and we all sheltered behind a big rock for about half-an-hour. I was freezing and wanted to go down again; but they wanted to continue up and were reluctant to let me go down alone.
Fortunately, minutes later it started clearing up and a German tourist couple, husband and wife, came down the mountain. It was agreed that I would follow them down to safety.
They marched ahead talking loudly to each other and I followed like a faithful dog a few paces behind. After a while they separated; the man going one way and the woman another. I had to decide quickly who to follow. The woman walked slower and would be easier for me to follow down the somewhat dangerous mountain. On the other hand, better follow the man just in case he got the wrong idea.
I followed him a while then he stopped against a tree to have a pee. When he heard me behind him he turned round and said a few things in his native language. I doubt he was complimentary judging by his tone of voice.
When I was involved in politics years ago, in an open debate with a live audience in a packed hall, the other politician accused me of lacking vision because I wore socks of different colour.
I explained that I was open-minded. He replied, “There’s no point in being so open-minded that your brains fall out!”
At a radio interview during the election campaign I was asked by a caller what I wanted for Christmas. I said “A pair of slippers”. The following day the newspapers said, “Victor wants a pair of slippers whilst his opponent wants to improve life for the community of this town”.
Needless to say I didn’t win the election. Even my Electoral Agent refused to vote for me.
The thing I hated in politics is calling on houses to deliver leaflets or to introduce myself as a candidate and ask whether they'd vote for me. One has to keep a cool head, look and be interested in the individual you're talking to, and above all, be honest - not tell fibs like some politicians do.
I knocked at a door and a young lady opened it and she was completely naked. She stood there totally nude smiling as she said, "What can I do for you?"
I was honest ... I said, "I forgot!" and ran away.
At a business lunch in a restaurant I surprised my guests by ordering the whole meal in French. It was an Italian restaurant. We had pizza. The waiter asked me whether I wanted mine cut into six or eight slices. I said, “Cut it in six … I’m not that hungry to eat eight!”
When I was young a group of us from work were at a Conference in a City up North. After the evening meal, my boss, a woman in her early thirties, went up to her room and asked me discretely to follow her a few minutes later. She gave me a duplicate plastic card to use in that contraption which opens the hotel room door. She said she wanted to discuss my annual appraisal report.
A few minutes later I entered her room and it was empty. I said loudly "Hello ... anyone here?"
Her voice replied from the bathroom, "I'm in the shower. Come in!"
I was astounded and frightened at this request which sounded more like a command. My boss had a reputation but I never quite believed it. I did not know what to do, especially since my future career at this firm depended so much on my boss and her appraisal of me. I hesitated for a while.
"Get a move on," she cried impatiently from the bathroom, "I'm not going to wait all night!" Those were her exact words; I still remember them clearly. She obviously meant business and my annual appraisal was at stake.
I was totally confused. I sought guidance from my Catechism but I could not find an answer in a hurry. They really should have a better index in those books.
I took off my jacket and put it on the back of the chair. Then I took off my shoes. I had a big hole in one of my socks!
Before I could go on any further she came out of the bathroom fully clothed and speaking on her cell-phone. Apparently you get a better reception in the shower than anywhere else in her hotel room.
"Why have you taken your shoes off?" she asked.
"I did not want to dirty the carpet!" I replied unconvincingly.
I wonder if she believed me.
Speaking of hotels ... I still travel a lot on business. The other day I stayed in a hotel and it was so noisy in the room next door I could not sleep. There was someone knocking on the wall and moaning loudly, "Is any one there? Is anyone there?"
He must have been a medium trying to contact some spirit, I guess. I knocked on his door and told him to be quiet because I needed to go to sleep.
He did not stop. He kept banging at my wall, "Is any one there? Is any one there?"
He must have eventually made contact with the spirit or ghost he was after because he stopped banging and moaning.
The next morning, for some reason, there were medical type people in his room and they took him away in an ambulance. He was very inconsiderate making that noise at night.
Some years ago I stayed at a haunted castle in Scotland as a guest of an old family friend. During the night, whilst I was in bed I heard a sound in the room. There by my bedside was a tall ghostly figure of a woman standing still. She looked a lot like Gloria Gaynor standing there silently. At first I was afraid ... then I was petrified!
And now I am imagining the look on your faces reading this!