East of Constantinople, West of Shanghai

Fifteen impossible things before lunch


impossible… well, maybe not fifteen.
The idea is doing the rounds, here in the Old C Block of the Italian Blogsphere – list fifteen (or twenty) things that happened to you, and that would never work in a story because they are too implausible.
Aw, c’mon, they would say – that’s just too much!

My friends are doing it in Italian, I’ll do it in English, just because.
As I said, I can’t assure you I’ll make it to fifteen.

  1. I was actually paid to work as a scarecrow.
  2. I was once attacked by a hysterical woman throwing billiard balls at me for no apparent reason. I’m happy to report her aim was not that much – she smashed a Coke vending machine.
  3. One evening coming home from the pub with three friends we heard some disquieting noise coming from an alley, and contrary to common sense, we went and found a guy holding a young girl firmly against the wall, and slapping her face. We shouted something and he ran away. At that point, the girl pulled off her shoes and threw them at us, shouting insults – she was completely drunk, and furious because we had scared her boyfriend off.
  4. On the train carrying me home from Bonn, where I had been studying, this being 2003, I fell asleep and woke up to find myself face to face with an honest-to-goodness ’70s style pimp, straight out of, say, Kojak – a thin black man in white suit with leopard skin collar, large hat with a long feather, two large chested ladies hanging by his side. He offered me their services. We were somewhere between Venice and Milan and I think I started laughing so loud, I just scared them off.
  5. During my medical visit for the compulsory military service I was given a questionnaire asking – among other things – to list the three corps in which I would like to serve my country. Being almost certain I’d fail the physical and be dismissed, and taking my cue from the autobiography of David Niven, I wrote “Anything but the Air Force”. I passed the tests and was promptly assigned in the Air Force.
  6. In the seventies I was raised on a steady diet of fantasy movies, Japanese monster movies and other weirdness, thanks to the local parish cinema. In the spirit of full disclosure I must add that our parson was later reprimanded and removed for his tastes in movies and his passion for disco-dancing with the parish ladies.
  7. My school was banned from the national television. We were invited to a school vs school sort of game show, and as soon as the cameras were pointed at us, we displayed a Reign of Italy flag we had found in the school’s attic, a Jolly Roger and a Confederate flag. The cameras avoided us for the rest of the show, and afterwards a flustered TV exec told our teachers that we were a bunch of hooligans, and we would be never be invited again.
  8. I once wrote a story about a Colt-packing, mean-talking dinosaur desperado being killed in a western shootout in a weird alternate world in which the Civil War was fought with airships. It was rejected by the editor of a Chinese SF magazine because “it’s a simple mystery story without any fantasy element.”
  9. I once took part in a stagecraft workshop passing myself off as a stage magician (I was actually there just as company for a friend).
  10. I once climbed bare-handed a sheer cliff face simply because we were in a cul-de-sac and my fieldwork companions decided going all the way back along the path would take too long. It was a 35-meters climb. I had a twisted ankle. When I arrived on top, and I looked down the drop, I realized how stupid and lucky we had all been. My companions decided I was “one that takes himself too seriously.”

… and I guess there’s not much else.

Author: Davide Mana

Paleontologist. By day, researcher, teacher and ecological statistics guru. By night, pulp fantasy author-publisher, translator and blogger. In the spare time, Orientalist Anonymous, guerilla cook.

2 thoughts on “Fifteen impossible things before lunch

  1. By reading this, I realized I have lived a very boring life so far 🙂


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