Friday, June 13, 2008

Friday the 13th Survey

Happy Friday The 13th!


What's the weirdest experience you have ever had?

It doesn't have to be on Friday the 13th, but just in your life in general.

I'll start.

As some of you might remember in "Goodbye To Comics," there was an incident where I was asked by a supervisor to yell at a freelancer until he cried.

Well, I did that -- and I cried, too! The whole incident must have taken like 15 minutes of yelling and carrying on. It was just awful. Some of the worst advice I've ever received on how to edit, complete and total bullsh*t.

And almost to the minute after it was all over, my computer started to whine, and the lights started blinking, and then we had a major blackout all across New York City.

And that freelancer had all the time he needed to finish that comic book story.

Of course, I realize that the incident with the freelancer had nothing to do with the actual blackout. But it was funny.* Until the water dried up in the apartment in the City I was staying at, and the toilet couldn't be flushed, and then Gristedes started rationing food. That's when I walked straight from 33rd and 3rd in Manhattan to Brooklyn.

*Of course, the power outage itself wasn't funny; that was apocalyptic-feeling and horrible (though they were giving out free ice-cream). But there was a considerable amount of irony wrapped up in the situation. It was like the universe was telling me: "take it f**king easy, will you?"


  1. I watched my close friend Cathleen fall 40 feet (or 3 stories or so) off/through a Chicago wooden porch on Dec 13, 1996 (a Friday)...she thankfully survived....her accident was actually mentioned in a letters page of The Invisibles (which I got her hooked on) and years later, she got to meet Grant!

    The weird thing? While she was on the ground and I was trying my best not to have a heart attack, she said to me in a raspy voice "I guess I won't make a good superhero."

    At the time, I didn't laugh, but now it's so bizarre that she kept her sense of humor with a broken femur. I think she's pretty superheroic.

  2. & I moved to Gotham the very next day! So you yelling at that person did two awesome things.

  3. I find fast acting karma to be a weird experience. One night in college I was headed to a convenience store to pick up some smokes. This was during homecoming weekend, so there were lots of alumni in town. At the convenience store was a homeless man who hung out there all the time. As I was pulling up, I see him kick over his cup of coffee. I went in, bught my cigarettes and a cup of coffee, gave him the cup and some cigs and drove off to get some pizza. While standing in line, the guy in front of me turns around and asks, "Do you go to Towson?" I respond yes, and he turns to the guy behind the counter and says, "Whatever he wants, it's on me." I don't think he saw me do the coffee thing, I think he was just doing it. Fast acting karma. Weird, but in a good way.

  4. Anonymous2:10 PM

    When I was a kid this creepy old Italian man tried to lure me into his car. But that wasn't even the weird part. The weird part was his sales pitch. He assured me (in broken English) that there would be "no strings." So basically when this guy sat down to hatch out his pedophile strategy he came to the brilliant conclusion that the main thing keeping kids out of his car was fear of long term relationship.

  5. Anonymous4:17 PM

    Im a social worker/investigator for an agency that deals with the elderly. I had to have a client taken to the hospital against her will by the police. i was going to her home every day and feeding her cats while she was in the hospital. we she died in the hospital. that afternoon when i went to feed the cats they SCREAMED at me for hours. SCREAMED like a human.
    I called my spervisor from the house . She heard the cat screams over the cell phone and said that it was soul chilling. She was right.

  6. I was working nightshift at a 7-11, and someone pulled a gun on me because I wasn't laughing at their jokes.

  7. Anonymous5:20 PM

    At the time, my boyfriend in america was working in a casino. Every day he walked back from work, there was this alley that spooked him so. It was a normal alley, but in the middle of it there was this white door that always stayed open. It was never closed, and the white door led to a white tiny room with a likewise white stair. He never dared to go in and check further because this was so bloody eerie. Why would a door stand open every night in the middle of the night? Every day? And how did it stay that white?

    Now he blogged about this a lot, he even took a picture of the door and we all agreed it was spooky. He then moved to another town and another job, and we forgot about it... until he went here to visit.

    We went through the old nostalgic photos that I had taken when I visited him a few years earlier, about a year before he started working at the casino. When he was at work during the day, I had taken to wander the city taking pictures of what I thought was weird things. Odd doors, murals, weird cards and so on. At one of the pictures he paled, pointed and said WTF!

    Years before he even knew about it, I had taken a photo of the white door. I had thought the alley looked utterly creepy, so I snapped a shot, and there it was. All white. All pristine. And very very open.

    I always wonder that if we went back to his hometown it would still be there, the white door leading to the white room and the white stairs... still open. Always.

  8. Anonymous11:04 PM

    Weird? Hmmm.

    Well, lessee. Shortly after a friend killed himself, the woman I thought I was going to marry decided she was a pagan witch and took the opportunity to ask several people she knew to sleep with of which got her pregnant. Some months after the breakup, I wound up seeing a young woman who sported a heavy Scottish brogue. After a few weeks, I got the feeling there were things she was hiding from me and called it off. Several years later, I found out that she was faking her accent and everything about her life to everyone she knew. She wasn't from Scotland, wasn't the daughter of a Duchess, and didn't have sword of Robert the Bruce in her basement (all of which she claimed). Instead, she was just a girl from Upstate New York.

    Don't know if this qualifies, since it isn't a single experience, but it's all I can think of right now.

  9. Once when I was a kid, a friend and I decided to walk across the nearby cemetery (I lived right next to one... sweet!) to see what was on the other side. We were approaching a line of trees...

    A scream! From out of a drainage ditch rose a maniac dressed like a Native America. He swung a long-handled ax in a wide arc around his head then charged right at us, screaming the entire time.

    When I next looked back, we'd left him far behind, a tiny buckskin-clad figure among the marble and granite headstones.

    To this day, I have no idea who he was or why he was waiting in ambush. Was he just some bigger kid who liked "playing indian?" Maybe the date being late October and just a few days before Halloween had something to do with it.

    Whoever he was, or why he did it, I have to love it even after all these years. He gave us the best fright and a story I tell to my students even now, all these years later.

    Any of the Melt-Banana shows I've been to have been weird, too. Weird in an awesomely fun, energetic way. The best was the one in Shibuya a few years ago when they played with Red Krayola. Just before their set, I found myself on a balcony overlooking the Tokyo skyline at night... endless blinking lights stretching forever. I'm not a big city person by any means, but this vista was so movie-like, so Lost in Translation, it made me high.

    Liz Phair has that line about your circumstances becoming movie-size and that definitely was one of those times. The show itself rocked, too and I even got to talk to the band a little.

  10. Anonymous10:28 PM

    A few years back I was hanging out at the bar a few blocks away from my apartment, and a woman tried to talk me into driving her home. When I told her that I wasn't interested, she punched me in the ear.

    That's not my weirdest experience.

    It was when I was telling a couple of friends who hung out at the same bar about it a week or so later, and I saw her walk in through the door. I was so brave - I immediately went into full panic mode, whispering "It's her! It's her" in a panicky, squeaky little whisper.

    To this day I still look over my shoulder whenever I tell anybody that story.

  11. Anonymous7:39 AM

    It was the summer after my Freshman year of college, and I was signed up to have the room 1414 for the next year. About two thirds of the way through the summer, I had a dream where I moved back into the dorms, was happy to see my friends, and spent the afternoon relaxing after putting all my stuff up. But then I get freaked out and race to the door to see the number. It was 1313! This was not my room; I had all my stuff in someone else's room.

    A week later I got a letter in the mail from the school telling me that I had been switched to room 1313.

    To make it even stranger, I'm currently living in an apartment complex, and the apartment number is 313. This is the most straightforward strange thing that has happened to me, but similar things occur often between my room mates and I, and we just refer to it as "being in tune with the universe."