I've been doing this thing lately where I've been thinking of myself as the main character in a movie or book that I'm creating. It helps me make more conscious choices about what I'm doing with my day - does this activity advance my character? Are there skills I want my character to have that I don't? Guess I should go learn them. It's been a fun motivational technique - but it also got me thinking... there are all these other characters in my life. What roles do they play? Does "Grocery store dude with one short pinkie who used to follow me around all through tenth grade" get a spot in the book? Apparently, one reddit user kind of got stuck on the same thought train because they asked:
You die. Credits start rolling past you. What are some of the strangest roles other people have played in your life?
People's responses were honestly pretty interesting and funny. Here are some of the ones we liked most, edited for content and clarity ... 'cause Reddit goes WAY OFF TOPIC sometimes, let's be honest. Enjoy! Oh, also ... a lot of these involve old men. Apparently if you want an interesting story, spend time with an old dude.
My best friend when I was twelve had ginger hair. For some reason I've never understood, this is a notable thing in the UK. We went to different high schools, but when I did my A-Levels I moved to the same school as him. I quickly discovered that there were two ginger guys at my new school, because I kept mistaking another boy for my friend. Every time I bumped into him, I'd do a double take, and then realise it was That Other Ginger Guy. The role TOGG played in my life was infinitesimally small, but I still consider his cameo noteworthy, because i now know that his name was Edward Sheeran.
It depends if the movie of my life is only from my POV, because if so, a very important character is an off-screen role:
Liver Donor— played by Bobby
(My daughter received a new liver when she was fourteen. We only know her donor's first name, and that he was nineteen when he died. His organs saved several lives.)
Old Man At The LibraryGiphy
"Old man who uses library computers to watch porn"
I guess this happens a lot. That explains the librarian's reaction when I told him what was going on. "Oh, thanks for letting us know" and proceeded to continue whatever action he was performing before I interrupted. It was almost as though this was the norm and I was the one acting inappropriately.
"I shook his fist"Giphy
Stranger at gas station who went in for fist bump as I went in for handshake. I shook his fist...
Another Legendary Old ManGiphy
Old man peeing at urinal with pants pulled all the way down.
This was at a truck stop with numerous people in the bathroom. Old guy was just pissing with his wrinkly a** hanging out and his pants around his ankles. Everyone was already snickering, and then the dude farts out loud. I was 16 at the time and could not stop laughing.
A Shoulder To Cry OnGiphy
Dude whose shoulder I cried on after crawling out from under my upside down car which had rolled across the motorway three times.
That man doesn't know how much he helped my mental state just by allowing me to cry on his shoulder while he hugged me. ❤
"Man in the wrong truck".
My family never owned a truck, but my grandfather did, and my dad would borrow it sometimes when he needed a truck bed for whatever reason. One day in middle school I knew my dad would be picking me up in my grandfather's truck. Without looking, I open the passenger door to the closest truck of the same color, and lock eyes for a good five seconds with a man that was not my father. After muttering a quick apology, I close the door, walk a few more cars down the line, and find my dad.
Klaus The MouseGiphy
Klaus the Mouse.
Pet white mouse I adopted during a tough time in my life. I was not looking for a pet - I was renting (no pets policies are the norm), working full time and moving frequently for work - but took him on reluctantly as a favour to a friend who'd broken up with her ex and needed to rehome some pets. Was expecting a small furry who'd be indifferent to me/ didn't like to be handled but might be fun to watch, got a tiny sidekick full of character and charm. He'd come to the front of the cage and wait for me to take him out - would literally step onto my hand so I could bring him out, which is kind of amazing considering how tiny meeces are in proportion to us. He loved to explore and would do tiny jumps of joy when he was out and about, would come running when you called him. He was also a really good traveller - I've had other pets who've hated it, spent the whole journey cowering at the back of their cage on short but necessary trips. Klaus loved it. He'd literally be gripping onto the bars of his travel cage poking his nose through, wanting to see and smell everything that was going on. As a result he tended to come with me whenever I had to travel (which was a lot) so we were never really separated. It made long nights on work projects a lot more bearable as he was nocturnal and there to keep me company - I used to chat to him and he really seemed to respond to my voice. It would also put a smile on other people's faces meeting this weird extrovert mouse - they'd be amazed at how friendly he was. He lived a very long and happy life (got to over 90 in mouse years), he was cherished every day till he passed away last year, and I felt he left my life a better place.
Edinburgh is home to a lot of colourful people, but Mandy is a lady in her ?40s who seems to have a fairly severe learning disability. She is most easily spotted on busses or at bus stops where she will choose a person and then shout a set of three or four questions at them over and over, no matter what they do.
She's not being aggressive. It's just that Mandy only seems to have one volume for communication and it's loud enough that she can be clearly heard from the other end of a moving bus.
Last time I saw her she'd cornered a dad who was out to do some shopping with his baby daughter in a sling on his chest. Mandy shout-asked him, over and over for 20 minutes or so:
"What's her [the baby's] name?" (it was Angela)
"Where's Angela's mummy?" (she's at work today)
"Has Angela not got a mummy?" (Yes, but her mummy is at work)
The questions were posed in a random order, sometimes with minute-log gaps in between, sometimes rapid-fire, sometimes the same question five or six times in a row.
I think anyone who lives in Edinburgh and uses public transport will have encountered Shouting Mandy at least once. She's unmissable.
Old Thai dude that I ended up befriending and hanging out with for 2 weeks in Thailand. He wore a do-rag and would randomly shout "Hammer time!" Then down a beer. Good times. Simpler times. I miss that old crazy bastard. Probably in rapper heaven now with old dirty bastard. Pour out some liquor.