A couple of months ago Toney started working part-time for the company that employs me. I almost never see her there, it’s a sizable operation, but I’m always thrown for a loop whenever I run into her in the hall, or the break room. It all just feels… weird and wrong.
I know my wife in certain settings, you see, and work isn’t one of them. Of course I don’t mind seeing there, it just doesn’t compute; my brain has trouble processing it. She’s an unlikely presence… like if I saw Condoleezza Rice at a GWAR concert, or footage of Dick Van Dyke on the International Space Station. It’s bizarre.
Yesterday’s lunch with Chuck, an old classmate from Dunbar High, felt a little like that. I hadn’t seen him in 30 years, which adds to the weirdness, but also the non-Dunbar setting felt strange. It was fine, but caused my equilibrium to go slightly out of kilter.
When we were in England a few years ago, our younger son was wearing a sweatshirt with the name of our local high school on the front. We were at the Tower of London, looking forward to seeing the torture chambers, when some woman walked up and said, “Excuse me, are you folks from Pennsylvania?” Turned out, her daughter was a teacher at the elementary school, which is located a rock’s throw from our house. We were in England! What are the odds?
I remember when I was a kid we’d routinely run into people we knew, while on vacation. This wasn’t the most amazing thing in the world, since everybody went to Myrtle Beach during the summer, but it always caused my brain to meltdown a little, anyway. It was unlikely people, in an unlikely setting. Know what I mean?
And this is a quickie, but it was almost a no update day. I’ve got challenges here, my friends… But, I’m hoping you guys will be able to take up my slack.
In the comments section below, please tell us about your mind-blowing encounters featuring unlikely people in unlikely places. Did you see Willie Mays skiing? An old co-worker while on safari in Africa? Or even something a little less exotic? If so, we’ll need to know about it.
And I’ll try to do better tomorrow.
Have a great day, my friends!
Now playing in the bunker
Treat yourself at Amazon: US and Canada
Swami Bologna says
I pity the fool.
Tipsey McChugney says
I think I saw Elvis having his prescription explained to him by a pharmacist at a Rite Aid a couple of weeks ago. I might have dreamed that, though….
Bill in WV says
I once saw Rosemary Clooney, partying down at a Foghat concert.
I once saw Ted Kennedy getting shit faced in a bar on capitol hill,, oh wait you said UN-expected places…
My ex-husband was a magnet for out of place encounters. In 1986 we were in Disneyland and a guy walks over and say “hey we were in the Navy together (1973)”; we ran into a guy he used to work with in Philly on the London Tube.
I have a different problem people swear they see me places where I am not. Friends, colleagues and relatives will say “weren’t you at drag races, the mall, a bar etc.” I must have a dozen doppelgangers that I never encounter
Root 66 says
I once saw Nancy Reagan on Mr. T’s lap…
When John McCain was running for president, his big bus pulled up to the restaurant where my dad, brother and I were eating and he ate lunch there. If he would’ve paid everyone’s bill, he might have gotten more votes!
I saw Fred Gwyne (Herman Munster/Judge chamberlain Haller) with his grandkids at the McDonalds I worked at.
I also saw Jack Nicholson at a Broadway show (Gypsy – with Bernadette Peters) whick surprised me a little. He just didn’t strike me as a Musical kinda guy. I was only there because we took my mom for a birthday gift. I think she fell asleep.
And I think Phillip Seymour Hoffman was behind me at a traffic light a few weeks ago – in a Ford Explorer. His hair was exceptionally blonde and there was a little girl in the passenger seat.
And YEARS ago(35?) we saw an English teacher at a public pool and he was wearing a Speedo. The disgusting image is charred into my brain matter.
Did you say… “yutes”?
Jeff – VERY COOL (Further Evidence!) – is that the radio station you were a guest on?
Dammit – not Further Evidence – WVSR Classic).
I went into an LA Fitness as a guest earlier this year and a local news sportscaster (Fedko, for the Yinzers out there) was in the meat market section doing insanely rapid abdominal curls on a weight machine like his life depended on it. His face was all red and his forehead veins were a-poppin’. And he was loudly breathing out his teeth. He sounded like a lawn sprinkler. I laughed right in his face and he got all mad, lurched out of the machine and shot me a long glare before stomping away. Hilarious and weird at the same time.
He is a stange little man. Was he wearing that enormous moustashe or did he leave it in his locker?!
It must have blown off during his hyperventilation routine.
This didn’t happen to me, but my former boss, and it was just weird enough that I thought I’d share.
I work for a City (one that recently announced bankruptcy…ahem) and my former boss went on a cruise with another coworker who she is best friends with to Alaska (we are in So. Cal). They had this trip booked for months, but only told those of us working closest to them. When they came back they said that while on their cruise ship they saw an employee from the City Attorney’s office lounging by the pool…on the same boat! They never approached him and spent the rest of the trip trying to ensure he didn’t see them (not that they didn’t like him, but he was a coworker and it was just…weird). On their final couple days on ship they were at a bar when someone yelled out my bosses name. She turned and saw not the first employee, but ANOTHER employee and his wife who were sitting in the same bar. She said it was the weirdest thing to have not just one, but two other employees on her vacation, especially since she went off-season and they were just hoping for some time to get away. She said to be polite they went and sat at his table where he proceeded to talk about work for an hour with his wife looking bored and both of them trying to get away.
Other than that she said she had a good time, but she was wary of ever taking vacation again as she would never be able to get away completely.
I apologize for the mass amounts of the word “weird” in my post. I’d like to blame it on the fact that I have an awful summer cold, but we can just stick to the fact that I’m crazy. Thank you for your attention to this matter.
I saw Mr. T at the Midnight Mission in Downtown LA when I was volunteering as part of a class project last year.
I have a story, but first, a question.
Didn’t you meet Toney at work? I’m just saying…
Anyway, I don’t pay enough attention to people to recognize them anywhere outside of the place I’m used to seeing them.
My brother, however…
My brothers best friend has family in Autralia. About 20 years ago, a cousin came to visit and he and my brother hit it off and hung out together for the better part of a summer. The cousin returned to Australia after a few months here.
Fifteen years later my brother and his new wife bump into the cousin while on their honeymoon in Athens, Greece.
That one still surprises me.
I once discovered Joe Rogan on the mouth side of a glory hole in Wichita.
THAT’S why his vocal cords sound like they’ve been tuned with the jaws of life.
Went to my local watering-hole in Burnsville, Mn, a suburb of Minneapolis. It’s the kind of place that knows me by name and doesn’t need to ask my drink order. Not a dive but kind of dive looking. My friends and I have a usual table.
When we arrived this faitful night, the manager just gave me a sad head-shake and showed us to a different table.
When I checked it out, there were about fifteen Minnesota Vikings sitting in our spot. On a Friday night, two days before a game. Guess wings and beers are perfect for that 36 hour pregame meal.
Thought about giving them the old “DO YOU KNOW WHO I AM!” line, but thought better of it.
I’m originally from NJ, but lived in Maine for 9 months. I met a youg lady there and went to a party at her college at some student’s apartment. I was sure I knew no one there.
Well, one of the guys there starts looking at me, and finally asks me where I was from. On top of that, he had a British accent. I told him South Jersey expecting that to be the end of it. No, he says that he’s sure he’s met me. I don’t know any Brits! Finally he asks me if I know a place called the Brass Rail… which was the bar that I lived at in college.
OK, so he was there, once… He was a friend of someone who graduated a year after me in high school, and remembered seeing me at the bar. That was a copuple of years before. I guess I made an impression (I wonder how drunk and obnoxious I was, lol). The guy had a great memory anyway, to pick me out of a party with about 60 people.
That’s my freak me out meet someone out of place small world story.
Patty (In Cleveland) says
When I lived in Chicago in the early 90’s I went really early one morning to do my laundry. I was waiting for my clothes to dry and I went out the back door to see Harrison Ford and Tommy Lee Jones filming part of the movie the Fugative.
Cool! I love Tommy Lee Jones.
Uncle Buzz in Wheeling says
“It’s a small world…but I wouldn’t want to paint it.”
“On the other hand, you have different fingers.” Steven Wright
I have a map of the United States. It’s at 1:1 scale. Last summer I folded it.
Bill in WV says
“You can’t have everything. Where would you put it?”
Not Willie Mays, but I did see Gen. Julius Becton skiing one time. He was in charge of DC Public Schools at the time.
I saw Lon Chaney walking with the Queen.
MC Perfunctory says
Doin the werewolves of London!
I’ll sleep when I’m dead.
That’s a good plan. ‘Cause Life’ll kill ya.
Didn’t he run amok in Kent?
MC Pefrunctory says
He was up all night listening to Mohammed’s Radio.
I saw Lon Chaney Jr. walking with the Queen.
Lee Harvey Ramone says
You better stay away from him
He’ll rip your lungs out Jim
I’d like to meet his tailor
I saw Mitt Romney walking with the Queen
Saying the Games would come un-done
He said they needed lawyers guns and dough
‘Cause Salt Lake City’s just like London
Aaahoo! Werewolves of London
So my dad is from Wetzel County, WV, a little town called Hundred. I mean teeny tiny. It never failed–everywhere we went, from Myrtle Beach, to Nashville, to Florida, even our trip out west through Texas, up Big Sur, Yosemite, even British Columbia, he always met somebody that he either knew from Hundred or that knew somebody from there. It was uncanny. Probably contributed to what I call my healthy paranoia. The only thing like it I can lay claim to is that now that we have been pilgrims in the strange land of small town Central (that’s how they spell it–with a capital ‘C’–whatever) Ohio for the last 15 years or so, I have always been able to locate a kid or grandkid with just a little thought. Our youngest hated it. In the days before we had cell phones, I could hop in the car and within 20 minutes have a face to face with David. He would always sputter, “How did you find me?” I would always laugh and say, “It’s a small town, you just gotta know where to look,” as I muttered a prayer of thanks that there was never a need to go looking for him in various bars around town. I have also been known to locate more errant of the progeny amongst our family in a way that even spooks me out sometime. I would tell my husband, “You better go look for so-and-so over at such and such a place ‘long about midnight, ” or whatever, and there they’d be, caught red-handed and dead meat. It runs in the family, though. My aunt called all her kids one rainy Monday back in the 80s up in Pendleton County and told them to gather up their families and come to her place now. She even called her my uncle and told him to get home from work now. Everybody in our family knows when Aunt Gloria tells you something like that, you just do it, no questions asked. That was the night of the flood, Killing Waters they called it. The rest of the world ho-hummed because they thought it was another backwater flood, but 3 storm systems did the big nasty over the entire portion of the state of West Virginia there and they had 13 inches of rain in about as many hours. Gloria’s family were scared out of their minds, but spent the night safe and sound in her house up the side of a (West Virginia size) hill, listening to the cattle screaming in the river as they stood on top of each other to keep from drowning, and watching the power stations go up in sparks on the horizon. They literally thought it was the end of the world. That’s all I got to help ya with tonight, Jeff. I fubard my hip trying to do the same thing harder with at home medical transcription for 10 years, and now my hip cramps up every time I sit at my computer for longer than 20 minutes. Bone and joint PTSD I guess.
My grandfather was a big shot in a Lake Tahoe casino decades ago and saw Andy Griffith in there more than once drinking and gambling.
When I was in the air force on guam I ran into my junior high best friend at the movies. Very disturbing, we both recognized each other but it took a bit before we figured out where from.
The Qweezy Mark says
Never saw anyone famous anywhere, but, did get “stinky finger” from Condi Rice on a puddle jumper red-eye from Dulles to Scranton in ’04 !!!
Good job. I also missed the fine print credit at the bottom. Have no mercy on these swine. We must keep Jeff’s head alive or the body will die.
WB in OH says
Service guarantees citizenship.
Does anyone else here think Bob Costas is the new Dick Clark?
Went to Disneyworld once when I was young (1972) and ate lunch at one of the nice restaurants (don’t remember the name.) The waiter brought out some food but got the our table and the one behind us mixed up so he tried to correct the mistake and suddenly there was a big commotion. Turns out West German Chancellor Willy Brandt was at the other table and at the time there had been some attempts at assasination and his security detail was a little jumpy. As he left, he apologized to us. A little surreal, especially given the politics of the time.
The other one that really threw me at the time it happened was back in the early 80s. I flew out east for a college visit to Yale. When we sat down for lunch at a table outside a little food joint, I looked up and there was Jodie Foster eating her lunch. She knew the guys I was with so we talked for a few minutes. Later that day, we went to meet one of the guy’s girlfriend. As we were standing outside her dorm room, Jennifer Beals walked by. For a goofy high school guy from a small town in the midwest, it was more than a little overwhelming.
One more and then I’m done. This wasn’t me but my oldest daughter. A couple of weeks ago, she was out with a few friends at a local bar. There’s a band playing that she’s never heard of. Someone tells them that the drummer is also an actor. Later during a break, they meet him and it’s Frankie Muniz (“Malcolm In The Middle”) So she shows me a picture of them on her phone and yep, that’s him. What’s really funny is that she always gets kidded about being short – except in that picture she was the tall one.
I ran into my best friend’s mom at a drive thru in Marietta Ohio yesterday. Not that strange but she didn’t know I was in town it was weird for her. The night before I ran into his dad at the boathouse.
I was working as a hotel maintenance person for awhile in the local college town. Got a call about a toilet on fifteenth floor. Short guy opens door and I see instruments all over the place. I do the deed and the guy says “thanks mate” as I leave.
When I get back to the shop downstairs the boss ask if I saw John Paul Jones from Led Zeppelin. I think about turds when I hear Zeppelin music now.
Ans I changed a lightbulb for “hotlips Hulihan” She looked almost the same from the shows 20 years before. That was pretty weird being alone in the room with her for a few minutes.
Average Jane says
I was at Starbucks in a hotel in Salt Lake City when in walked a former co-worker of mine who was in town for something completely unrelated to the conference I was attending. It seemed to me that the odds of running into someone I knew at that exact place and time in a town where neither of us lived was pretty unlikely.
Big Bear In OH says
Constantly run into people that I went to High School or College with in strange places. Was on vacation a few years back, driving home from Florida and stopped for fuel at some back country truck stop somewhere in WV and ran into a car full of guys I had gone to high school with, who were headed south for a vacation. Ran into an Uncle in the Memphis airport one time, and constantly run into an ex girlfriend in the strangest places–like she’s following me or something.
I once saw Hulk Hogan and his sidekick (the one with he same haircut, I don’t remember his name – he was on the TV show though) eating lunch at a Mexican restaurant. My sister was visiting me from out of town and she kept trying to sneak her cell phone up over the barrier to snap a photo, but I guess she was afraid she was going to get body slammed and kept moving it at the last second, so all the pictures were blurry.
As it turns out, it’s hard to remain composed when sitting across from Hulk Hogan.
Bill in WV says
I took a piss next to Ron Wood (who was also pissing) in a pub in London.
While in England, I decided to visit Stonehenge at midnight. As I walked towards the mysterious ancient monument, I noticed that it was strangely deserted. I had figured there would be at least some oddballs hanging around even in the middle of the night. As I got closer, I noticed a curious heap next to one of the big stone thingies. Further investigation revealed it to be, incredibly, the corpse of the late Forrest Tucker.
Forrest Tucker died? Why wasn’t I informed? …jtb
I worked in my college cafeteria during the summer Hippie Festivals back in the 90’s [in WV]. A man came through the chow line, stopped in front of me and stared.
He blurted out, “You’re going to think I’m crazy, but have you ever been to [my hometown in Maine]?” I blinked rapidly and asked why. He grinned and said, “You look exactly like a woman there named [MY MOTHER]!” He owned the little bar on Main Street in my hometown, four doors down from the store my parents owned.
It took a while to recover from the weirdness.
Almost forgot. One time I was heading north on 15 through Pennsylvania. I stopped for gas at Tom’s in Marysville or Duncannon or wherever it is. Somebody called my name, and there was a co-worker with his kid. We both lived several hours’ drive from there.
Not really such a weird place, but I once saw Michael Jackson’s weird little ass walking around the airport in Vegas. There were lots of people surrounding him, everyone had umbrellas open, fucking indoors. Just strange. I wasn’t shocked when he died. I could never picture him old. Fragile little fuck.
There it is, the missing piece. Don’t these entourage people know that umbrellas indoors is bad luck? And look what happened. Jeez.
Indeed. Every last one of them needs to be brought up on murder charges.
I ran into a girl from my SF neighborhood while I was riding a donkey up a mountain in Santorini, Greece.
Bill in WV says
The next time you run into her she’ll say “I haven’t seen you since you were ridin’ ass”.
Not Oprah says
A friend had an uncomfortable ‘what are the odds’ experience. Was on her honeymoon somewhere in Europe and decided to go with the flow on a topless beach. The parents of one of her good friends also happened to be vacationing there and walking down the beach – she said that was the most awkward conversation of her life….
cross lanes curmudgeon says
Ran into a guy who lived in my dorm in college (small liberal arts, Ohio) on a NYC subway platform 10 years after we graduated. He was on an uptown train, I on a downtown, both of us looking out windows across platform and spotted each other. We traded smiles of recognition, waves and then shrugs as the trains went their opposite ways.