On Improbable Memories

Because this needs to be preserved forever…

Jay Smith posted on a Facebook status feed last night. “[Jay Smith] wants you to comment on this status about how you met me. But I want you to lie. That’s right. Just make stuff up. After you comment, copy to your status so I can do the same.”

I don’t know Jay very well, but I said, “Oh, why the fuck not?” But what to say…?

I really don’t know where these ideas come from, but here’s what I wrote:

It was the summer of 1967. (Note: I was born in 1973.) Jealous of Thor Heyerdahl and the stories of the Kon-Tiki expedition, we decided that we were going to show that Norwegian up at his own game — we would build a leather boat like St. Brendan, and we would sail it from Craggy Isle, off the coast of Ireland, and we would reach Newfoundland. You, me, and Phil, we spent all summer building that boat, and we launched on September 4th. We sailed, and we sailed, and Phil went batshit on us. I had to bean him, and we lashed him to the mast for seven days. God, I still hear his screams in my dreams. Phil still doesn’t speak to us, but he’d have killed us both. When we ran out of supplies, thankfully we sighted land two days later. We didn’t make it to Canada, but damn we made it to Greenland in that leather boat, lashed together with twine. Never forget it, man. Never forget it.

What’s so puzzling about this? I haven’t thought of Thor Heyerdahl and the Kon-Tiki in, oh, ever, and I’ve read up on St. Brendan’s expedition, oh, once.

Certainly nothing in last night’s episode of Downton Abbey, which was relentlessly downbeat in its final fifteen minutes, would have suggested oceanic voyages in primitive boats… :-/

For Ross Vincent, I wrote this:

I’m a production coordinator for Bridezillas; I met you and your (now-)wife when you applied to be on the show. I could see why you both enquired about being on the show; dude, if I’d married your wife, I’d have skipped drinking the vodka and gone straight to intravenous a long damn time ago. Your episode is considered one of the big highlights of the season; I don’t know where your wife got the idea for a woodland creatures wedding, but that whole thing with the chipmunks didn’t work at all like she wanted, and the less said about the unfortunate deer carcass the better. If you’re ever in Los Angeles give me a call; we’ll try that intravenous vodka.

Dayton Ward got this one:

It must have been twenty years ago now. I was a reporter for the local newspaper, the Brownton Populist. My first real writing job after J-School. I was so proud, everyone had to get their start somewhere, right? Well, six months of covering tractor pulls and livestock shows, I got my first real piece of action — I got to interview you, the local celebrity. Looking back, I wonder just why you were a celebrity; turning your Victorian-esque home into a shrine to Anne of Green Gables was more than a little creepy, especially when you insisted on doing the whole interview wearing a red yarn wig. I imagine you still take your annual pilgrimage to Prince Edward Island.

Okay, these ones are easy to explain, unlike Thor Heyerdahl and the Kon-Tiki. I saw my first-ever episode of Bridezillas yesterday, and it was fucking hilarious. And MPT showed Anne of Green Gables just before Downton Abbey.

David Mack’s improbable meeting memory went in an entirely different direction:

It was said you would be the next Baryshnikov, that you would be the ballet dancer of the generation. I do not know what happened that brought you to my door; in the monastery, we do not ask the brothers why they have come, and I shall never forget that look of anguish, as though something had rended your heart in two, that showed so clearly on your face that rainy night you arrived. I have wondered, it is true, why you walked away from a successful life and took up the cloth, but you took your vow of silence fifteen years ago so there is no point in asking. You do your duties diligently and, if I dare say so, you are an inspiration to the younger brothers for your piety and your devotion.

Since everyone else seemed to be writing improbable memories of Dave that involved guns, zombies, vampires, and booze, I thought Dave deserved something more gentle. The other option I considered was that Dave decided to become an Amish farmhand.

I think the next time I see a Facebook status like that, it’s going to start with: “Keith Richards wanted to do a couple more lines of coke, but my nose just wouldn’t take it anymore, so I stumbled through the mansion, and I tripped over you making out with Mick Jagger, and he mumbled words along the lines of ‘Fuck off, mate, can’t you see I’m fucking busy here?'”

Yes, I really do amuse myself. Thanks for noticing. 😉

Published by Allyn

A writer, editor, journalist, sometimes coder, occasional historian, and all-around scholar, Allyn Gibson is the writer for Diamond Comic Distributors' monthly PREVIEWS catalog, used by comic book shops and throughout the comics industry, and the editor for its monthly order forms. In his over ten years in the industry, Allyn has interviewed comics creators and pop culture celebrities, covered conventions, analyzed industry revenue trends, and written copy for comics, toys, and other pop culture merchandise. Allyn is also known for his short fiction (including the Star Trek story "Make-Believe,"the Doctor Who short story "The Spindle of Necessity," and the ReDeus story "The Ginger Kid"). Allyn has been blogging regularly with WordPress since 2004.

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