oddballs, crazies and contrarians

You touched on something that could be a fun topic haggis. What oddball, crazies and contrarians stands out in your mind.

Years ago I lived in a very small place, where everyone knew everybody in town and what their business was One women in particular I found very interesting. She was much older than myself at the time she was in her late 50's. She had this flaming long red hair and was well known in town for having looked out her kitchen window one day and seeing a cougar following her childern has they went to school, stepped outside and pumped the kitty full of bullets. She was an urban legend in a country village.

Everything about her was different, and you could see she did not give two hoots what anybody else thought. One day she invited me to her house, which I shall coin the house of fur. There was fake fur everywhere, fake fur clued around pictures, fake fur around lamp shades any spot you could glue fake fur to it was covered. The house was like some strange museum. She was making sandwiches and talking to me and than suddenly disappeared into the bedroom and than reappeared with a head of lettuce, to which she told me that she kept her fridge in her bedroom, so that at night if she got thirsty or hungry she just had to reach over and open the fridge. "where is it written that a fridge has to be in the kitchen she exclaimed." She got a little distracted by the goldfish tank sitting on her counter at which time she took each goldfish out and gave them a good washing

I ate my sandwich in her living room surrounded by all her stuffed pets that had come and gone over the years, little mementos of happier times. The turtle bothered me tho, sitting there on the coffee table looking at me covered in his little fake fur jacket. I never forgot her and even now all these later she still brings me a chuckle. I am just glad that no Jehovah wittnesses appeared on her doorstep while I was there. She was well known for answering the door in the nude when they came knocking to save her.
Haggis McBagpipe
Oh my good god, you have given me the Laugh O'the Morning! Thank you, what a great way to start a week.

The woman sounds mad, in a most delightful way.

Hmm, so many in my life. One of my favourites was in San Diego. My husband and I lived there for a short while 'way back in the early 70s. We lived in an interesting part of town, what one might call the 'bad' part of town and not be lying, lots of oddballs, all great people. It was a perfect introduction to a new life for me, having grown up in sheltered little West Van.

We lived in a charming little run-down Spanish-style 'villa', with itty bitty apartments all up one side of a courtyard, and all down the other. There was a big brutal looking burly truckdriver who lived right across from us. At night he liked to keep his door open (we all did, it was hot and air-conditioning was a breeze that might come through, if you were lucky). Anyway, our lovely truckdriver was a cross-dresser, living in a time and working in a place where such things were more than just a no-no. He would spend his evenings, though, dressed to the nines and made-up to the hilt, and he'd parade around that room, delighting in his audience.

He, though, wasn't my oddball d'poste.

Tilly was. There was a little hole-in-the-wall bar, the Bumblebee Bar, just 1/2 block from where we lived. It was truly one of those bars where the loveable losers hung out every day, every night. We were dirt poor, and could only afford the occasional drop-by. Once a month, though, the owner had free beer night... yes, free beer for all. It didn't matter that we barely spent more than two dollars there in a month, we were more than welcome during the once a month party.

And it was at those parties that we got to know Tilly who must have been, judging by your post, peapod, the sister of the woman you describe. Tilly was about 75 or 80, I think, scrawny and gawky looking. She wore a very short mini-skirt and wore go-go boots, and she had a lovely raucous laugh. She could suck down those beers like there was no tomorrow, but she was never drunk. Really, I don't have a lot to say about her except that she was a fun old broad, and that, politically correct or not, is the perfect description for her.

Bobby, the woman owner of the Bumblebee Bar, kept the place going for years. We stopped by years later, mid-80s, to see if she was still there, and she was. The bar was the same as ever. We missed her that day, and made one of the bigger mistakes we've made, we left town without waiting for her.

We went back one more time, this time, mid-90's, and I wish we had not. The bar was gone, and the area had become the kind of place where you drive through with your windows rolled up and your doors locked. Our apartment was still there, though. Difference, though, there were bars on all the windows.

I prefer to remember the place as it was 30 years ago, a Cannery Row kind of place full of crazies and generosity unmatched anywhere.
Those stories were awesome haggis. A few more characters come to mind, but darn I have to go to a meeting. I will be back later to see if anyone else has posted any of their tales. Where is everybody? are they actually working

catch you later hag,
you old bag,
with all your sags
and loveable gags
Haggis McBagpipe
an old hag you say?
it's true that I'm too
old to die young
and too ornery, true

a ratty old thing
a retro of sorts
mean, old and rare
all but rigor morts

still, in this old crate
are words still to make
lousy-assed poems
nerves on which to grate
Diamond Sun
NOt so much an oddball, but just a lady that I adored. She's got to be in her mid 90's now, and still kicking strong.

She taught me piano when I was about 13, until I quit at 15, and I remember she had this amazing house. I mean, she was lik 78 when she was teaching me piano, so I've never seen so many antiques and knick knacks, and she knew the story behind every one.

She was very active in my church (back when I actually went to church) and played the organ, taugh bell choir, and volunteered like no one I've ever seen.

So, she's nearing 100 and you'd never know it. She's one of the most amazing people I have ever met. AND she remembers my birthday and my wedding anniversary every year!

I think I need to write her a letter....
Diamond Sun
Oh, I just thought of another lady I met. A friend of mines grandmother. She lives in Goodsoil, Saskatchewan and she has her very own doll house. I think she told me she has over 10,000 dolls in there from all over the world. People send them to her from all over the place and this little tiny house/shed is filled with these dolls. She knows the story about every one, where it came from, who sent it, what year she got it, if it has any special significance etc. She was unbelievable, and would talk about her dolls for hours...
Haggis McBagpipe
I like your oddballs, Diamond Sun.

We knew an old couple in Vancouver, they lived in a little old house with a big back yard that was overgrown and quite splendid. They had veggies growing as well as flowers, and boy, did they ever grow garden gnomes. So many! And they cherished each one, brought them inside each winter to paint fresh new outfits on the lot of them. Funny, when you went into their garden, you were hit with the most remarkably peaceful feeling. You were home.
I do have another one, maybe not so oddball as just very bad taste in my opinion of course, I only speak for myself.

The place no longer exists, the house does, but the garden art has disappeared. The owners sold and took their collection with them I assume.

Whenever I would go to visit my sibling I always had to pass this house. Everytime I drove by I had to slow down to see what new additions had been added and just how far these people were willing to go

The front yard was a sight to behold. On one side was a cement patio painted turf green, it contained a childs assortment of playground items, a swing, a slide, a titter totter. What made this playground different was that instead of childern playing, gnomes were playing. There was a gnome sitting in the swing, a couple of gnomes on the titter, one high, one low. There were 4 gnomes at the slide. One coming down, one ready to come down, one at the bottom to catch the sliding gnome and the last one was climbing up the slide. They appeared to be happy well adjusted gnomes. A small sign was painted on the entrance to the playground " please don't kidnap my gnomes"

On the other side of the house was a large group of what else pink flamingos. They were gathered around a whirlygig, next to the gig there was a pig wearing sunglasses with a daisy in his mouth. But they were nicely contained in plastic lattice surrounded by hundreds of plastic flowers. Other barnyard animals seemed to be rushing toward the gathering, but they were frozen in motion. It was like Noah ark, there were flocks of chickens, a gaggle of geese, a litter of cats, a lab and her puppies, and lots of mutton. And yes there was a donkey pulling a wagon of something, probally the food for all the critters. I know there was more but this is all that I can recall, it was to much information for me to process.

Each time I would pass this house something was always added, even if there was no room. The last time I saw it, they had added black silhouette people around the yard. A farmer and his wife, a boy dozing by a tree, the usual silhouette gang. When I drove by it last year everything was gone. A nice rancher with a well manicured lawn and exact placement of shrubs and flowers, was in its place.
Haggis McBagpipe
Quote: Originally Posted by peapod

A nice rancher with a well manicured lawn and exact placement of shrubs and flowers, was in its place.

Such a great story, so sad an ending, though!

Hmm, when we lived in Gibsons on the Sunshine Coast, we had a friend who was 38 years old for many, many years. Every year we'd celebrate his 38th birthday. Now, this isn't unusual, people often like to stop at a certain age, except that he really meant it, it sure was no joke. He seemed convinced that we would not remember from the previous year. We mentioned it one time - I think it was the second time we had his 38th - then realized that it meant a lot to him to be 38, so after that we never said a word. Sure was easy to remember, his age.

Funny thing about that friend. He was out of town a good deal, for he worked on an ice-breaker, but it was uncanny, I always knew when he was in town or around. We'd be sitting around, and I'd suddenly say, 'Craig is in town', and within 1/2 hour, he'd show up at our door or telephone.

We left that little village a few years later and moved to Vancouver. We somehow lost touch with Craig, but always wondered whether he still celebrated his 35th birthday each year. Several years later, we were in a large shopping mall in Vancouver, and that same feeling came over me. I turned around, and damned if he wasn't walking up to us. Too strange.
Haggis and how would your fine self be this morning. We share the same weather so I know its not a very nice day. But hey, we could jump on our bikes and go for a spin in the rain I am not allowed to ride my bike on the roadway, my papa will take it away if he finds out. Race you up the hill.... how far can you go with "no hands" I don't like your pink streamers. Before we go whizing our bikes through any puddles we first have to examine the puddle and its contents for any lifeforms.
Haggis McBagpipe
Quote: Originally Posted by peapod

Haggis :) and how would your fine self be this morning. We share the same weather so I know its not a very nice day. But hey, we could jump on our bikes and go for a spin in the rain :) I am not allowed to ride my bike on the roadway, my papa will take it away if he finds out. :cry: Race you up the hill.... how far can you go with "no hands" I don't like your pink streamers. Before we go whizing our bikes through any puddles we first have to examine the puddle and its contents for any lifeforms.


I'm about to go for a ride in the pouring rain. It is a GORGEOUS day! I love the rain best of all, especially in the summer.

Years ago, I had a Californian friend who, when I suggested we go for a walk because it was pouring rain, looked at me as though I must be nuts. She was a believer, though, by the end of the walk, she was like a kid she had so much fun walking and getting soaked through and through, There is something lovely about walking/riding/being in the rain, if you welcome it.

Yep, I'm a rat, and by god it's time to drown me.
How come the sun is shining over at your place? I can practically see your house from here. I am jealous Oh well here is something for you to check out that will make you very jealous I will be taking this foray next month where I hope to become one with the universe. But I will bring my slinky with me, that wonderful wonderful toy, just in case I get bored. The great thing about it is I won't be going the conventional tourist way...more the lumberjack way.

www.cougarannie.com/ (external - login to view)
Haggis McBagpipe
That place looks great, Pea, thanks for posting the link. And yes, as a matter of fact, I am extremely jealous.

... I like slinkys.

... and the sun sure isn't shining here today, when I say it is gorgeous out I mean it is gorgeous because it is raining. I had a lovely, albeit short, bicycle ride in the rain, came back very wet.


The Drowned Rat
You might enjoy this hag, a friend just sent me this.

We needed a word to describe what you are doing when you lie in bed, or perhaps the couch, avoiding the start of the day. You're not really napping, or dreaming, you're just mulling over your next move and putting off hitting the cold floor for as long as possible. Some people feel guilty about it, others cherish the stillness and calm of this morning ritual. Whatever you call it, everyone could relate.


morning stickness
quilty pleasure
quilt trip
lateral sinking
slouch potato
consciousness objector
magnetic pillow syndrome
horizontal hold
Haggis McBagpipe
Good list. Hmm, okay, how 'bout:


restful leg syndrome


inflamed lazyitis
Haggis you are a very clever women How about this one...won't tell you which one is mine :P

We needed a word for the phone-trap you often fall into when calling a business or government office. They often have elaborate voice mail systems featuring confusing menus of prompts and commands. And then there's the annoying muzak you get to listen to while you rot in their holding pattnern. Or how about those subhuman voices of Undead Betty and Disembodied Bob. Most frustrating of all, you can pound and pound and never get out of a blabyrinth.

Alexander Graham Hell
bell jar
lost and pound

voice mail jail
voice jail
blah-blah land
Haggis McBagpipe
More good ones! I'm particularly fond of 'lost and pound'.

Dialight Zone

A Black Hold

endless loop



Hmm, I think am hungry. Mind shut down. Must eat.
Well, after reading the above posts of weird and wonderful people, I too feel I must add my two cents worth. Having raised three children later in life, it was always birthdays that brought out the crazies in me. Always wanting the kids to have the 'best birthday party humanly possible' seemed to be my theme. (Mind you, this all disappeared within two short years! Fun while it lasted!) So, my eldest was turning three and I decided nothing would do but we have donkey rides at the party. We lived in the country, so locating the donkey wasn't the hard part. I phoned the party donkey man and arranged to meet said donkey and human before party. Arriving at his home and invited in for a coffee to discuss ETA, prices, etc., I was met with a very small kitchen, complete with donkey, goat chicken and various co-habitants. Very cozy and verryyyyy smelly. Dark, smelly house with many more animals in different rooms. After pricing arrived at, and I said I would continue home to await the arrival, he loaded the donkeys - two! into the back of his station wagon. Hitched the wagon, and away they travelled. It was probably the best part of the party, watching the donkeys unfold from the back of the car. Wonderful.
Haggis McBagpipe
I love this story! Donkeys in the kitchen, chickens couch-potato'ing, goats dining by firelight... I have this picture, I'm sure enjoying it.

Welcome, by the way. Galiano sure is a gorgeous place, as are all the Gulf Islands.
Yup, one of my faves. Lots of great people stories there too! Must have something to do with the air.
Haggis McBagpipe
Quote: Originally Posted by galianomama

Yup, one of my faves. Lots of great people stories there too! Must have something to do with the air.

Heh, considering what the gulfies used to be famous for, you could definitely say it has something to do with the air. 8-)
Diamond Sun
My high school math teacher taught the quadratic equation by equating it to giving birth. I don't remember how it all went, but he talked about throwing out the placenta was like removing some terms from the equation.

Yes, he was a strange man, and by far my favourite teacher!
Haggis McBagpipe
That's hilarious! My science teacher in Grade 10 was like that, certifiably insane. When he wanted you to leave, he would tell you to evaporate. I don't know why that one strange thing has stuck in my head all these years, but I just loved it.
Diamond Sun
My grade 8 French teacher suffered from some sugar deficiency disease, and she just told us if she ever passed out just to push her under the desk and have a party.

My high school science teacher was nearly 70 when I was in high school, and he just retired last year. Every single class turned into some discussion about farming and how all he ever wanted to be was a farmer, but somehow he got stuck teaching grade 12 physics.

My grade 8 english teacher called us all sports fans. Mr. Brooks, if you're out there..HELLLLOOOOO Sports fans!!
Haggis McBagpipe
Man, you had some funny teachers. I love the French teacher's remark. Teachers can make a kid love a class just by injecting that bit of humour into the works.
Diamond Sun
I had some great teachers. Maybe that's from growing up on an acreage and going to a country school...or maybe I just liked school so therefore I liked my teachers.

My junior high math teacher refused to give me any report card mark about 90% (even though I'd scored above 95% on every test/assignment etc) because he thought that then I wouldn't have anything to work towards. My dad gave him hell for that.

I could go on and on about all my teachers. I'm one of those rare people, I could probably list every teacher I've ever had starting in Kindergarten (her husband is my family's mechanic) and know some little anecdote about every one!
Haggis McBagpipe
Well, go for it. That way, I can watch my movie and check back to see your list.
Diamond Sun
You know, I was thinking. Maybe I am an oddball/crazy whatever. I mean seriously, how many people can name every teacher? (i could name my music teachers, badminton coaches too)....Plus, I actually calculated how many twoonies could fit into my piggy bank by determining the area of my piggy bank. And no, it's not a cube, it's an odd shape. Involved complex math. Yes, maybe I am an oddball....

And just for you Haggis..

Grade 1: Miss Rekken. She used to have hand puppets and would bring them out when we were all good. Our school only had 4 classrooms at that time, and no indoor plumbing. We had "porta potty bathroom breaks" and our gym doubled as the library.
Haggis McBagpipe
Quote: Originally Posted by Diamond Sun

Yes, maybe I am an oddball....

And just for you Haggis..

Grade 1: Miss Rekken. She used to have hand puppets and would bring them out when we were all good. Our school only had 4 classrooms at that time, and no indoor plumbing. We had "porta potty bathroom breaks" and our gym doubled as the library.

Look at that, DS, I even took a break from my movie (it's great so far), to see what you had written.

Yes, you are an oddball, that's why you're so darn likeable. Why would anybody opt for normal, I wonder?

I'm trying to think of a submission here, but will be drawn and quartered if I do not get my butt back into that living room to watch the movie, drink the coffee and eat the new strawberry flavoured Kit Kat. Shockingly good birdy num nums.
Haggis what are your eating? you better make sure you go a few extra miles on that bike tomarrow Love the donkey post galianomama, sounds just like you. For anyone interested galianomama is my edward sissorhands Well haggis I am off for a little bike ride and check out the doings in my neighbourhood. Catch you on the moro. Loved your post diamond sun. Later gater
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