Prove Douglas Adams wrong

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MJ Simpson

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Mar 6, 2002, 7:19:56 AM3/6/02
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I am writing a book about Douglas Adams and will be including mention
of the notorious 'packet of biscuits' story which is generally
regarded as an urban legend but which Adams claimed actually happened
to him (and which he subsequently incorporated into So Long And Thanks
For All The Fish, by which time it was certainly a well-established
UL).

His assertion was that it happened to him in Summer 1976 on Cambridge
Railway Station. Now, I know that he was staying in Cambridge in
summer 1976 and I know that his circumstances were such that he could
have been easily distrated (even more so than normal).

Here's my question: can anyone provide, or point me towards, any
DOCUMENTED example of this story PRIOR to summer 1976.

I found a site which claims "Ann Landers (who she?) published a letter
containing a Canadian version of this story in her November 11, 1977,
column." but this is more than a year later. Although Douglas said
that he first told the story on the radio in 1978, he was working at
the BBC as a radio producer in 1977 so the facility for the story to
spread abroad very easily from a private chat was certainly there.

If you can demonstrate that this story (or one analogous to it)
existed in any print or broadcast medium before 1976, please let me
know. Please e-mail me (bisc...@mjsimpson.co.uk) as I don't check
this newsgroup.

I already have a copy of Peter Van der Linden's e-mail correspondence
with Adams. I am aware of the various film versions. What I am looking
for is some evidence that the story definitely existed before it
(possibly) happened to Douglas Adams in summer 1976.

Anybody who can come up with such evidence will of course be fully
credited in the book (which is called Hitchhiker: A Biography of
Douglas Adams and will be published by Hodder and Stoughton in March
2003).

Thanks,

MJ (Mike) Simpson
www.mjsimpson.co.uk

Donna Richoux

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Mar 6, 2002, 8:51:32 AM3/6/02
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MJ Simpson <mjsi...@btinternet.com> wrote:

> I am writing a book about Douglas Adams and will be including mention
> of the notorious 'packet of biscuits' story which is generally
> regarded as an urban legend but which Adams claimed actually happened
> to him (and which he subsequently incorporated into So Long And Thanks
> For All The Fish, by which time it was certainly a well-established
> UL).
>
> His assertion was that it happened to him in Summer 1976 on Cambridge
> Railway Station. Now, I know that he was staying in Cambridge in
> summer 1976 and I know that his circumstances were such that he could
> have been easily distrated (even more so than normal).
>
> Here's my question: can anyone provide, or point me towards, any
> DOCUMENTED example of this story PRIOR to summer 1976.

(snip)

Would you mind giving a URL to some version of the story so we make sure
we're all on the same page of the hymnbook? Also, it probably doesn't
matter, but would you mind saying which Cambridge that is, some of us
don't know what nationality Douglas Adams is and where he might have
been passing the time.

--
Donna "but if you don't want any help, well, then..." Richoux

Phil Edwards

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Mar 6, 2002, 11:07:47 AM3/6/02
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[Posted and mailed]

On 6 Mar 2002 04:19:56 -0800 in message
<6fe2632a.02030...@posting.google.com>,


mjsi...@btinternet.com (MJ Simpson) wrote:

>I am writing a book about Douglas Adams and will be including mention
>of the notorious 'packet of biscuits' story which is generally
>regarded as an urban legend but which Adams claimed actually happened
>to him (and which he subsequently incorporated into So Long And Thanks
>For All The Fish, by which time it was certainly a well-established
>UL).
>
>His assertion was that it happened to him in Summer 1976 on Cambridge
>Railway Station. Now, I know that he was staying in Cambridge in
>summer 1976 and I know that his circumstances were such that he could
>have been easily distrated (even more so than normal).
>
>Here's my question: can anyone provide, or point me towards, any
>DOCUMENTED example of this story PRIOR to summer 1976.

Jan Harold Brunvand's _The Choking Doberman_ (Penguin, 1987;
US edition 1984) includes this legend, on which he comments:

"I have not yet encountered this one in the States, so I quote a
summary of three printed versions from British mass media sources of
1972-74 as given by A.W. Smith in _Folklore_ (Summer, 1975)"

He mentions an additional Northern Irish sighting (undated), then adds

"English folklorist Venetia Newall mentioned the story in a 1980
article as one she had heard for several years about different races
and localised in Wolverhampton"

The articles referenced are

Venetia Newall, "The Black Outsider: Racist images in Britain", in
Venetia Newall (ed.) _Folklore Studies in the 20th Century:
Proceedings of the Centenary Conference of the Folklore Society_,
London, 1980

and

Alan Smith, "The 'Double Theft': a variant form", in _Folklore_ 84
(1973) [presumably a misprint for 1975]

As the Newall title suggests, all the variants Brunvand reports have a
"Sit, Lady" feel to them, with a white protagonist wrongly accusing a
black or Asian man of biscuit theft. Douglas Adams seems to have given
this story legs while removing it from its original frame.

>Anybody who can come up with such evidence will of course be fully
>credited in the book

Credit Smith and Newall, don't credit me. Credit Smith and Newall and
Brunvand. And Ian York, who actually supplied the Brunvand reference
(I just got the book off the shelf). On second thoughts do credit me,
why not. Credit Smith and Newall and Brunvand and York and Edwards.
And AFU. And anyone else who knows me.

Phil "a billion people are reading this" Edwards
--
Phil Edwards http://www.users.zetnet.co.uk/amroth/
"It's really sad that some folks think their opinion matters."
- K.D.

Lee Ayrton

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Mar 6, 2002, 11:34:18 AM3/6/02
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The tale is in the FAQ and all the usual sites. Vis:

Snopes says that the story had been circulating the UKoGBaNI for a couple
of years prior to Adams' experience, but don't show it on the page (there
is a bibliography).

2. Urban Legends Reference Pages: Wooden Spoons (The Stolen Biscuits)
http://www.snopes2.com/spoons/legends/stolen.htm


Urbanlegends.com reproduces an e-mail from someone signing himself as
Douglas Adams, saying that it did too happen to him in a railway station
in 1976, even if there are parallel ULs about it:

7 3. Misc/stolen cookie douglas adams
http://www.urbanlegends.com/misc/stolen_cookie_douglas_adams.html


And here's an approximation of Adams' verbal version of the stolen
biscuit story:

2. www.flick.com/~liralen/journal/adams
http://www.flick.com/~liralen/journal/adams

Lee "See Biscuit" Ayrton

John Francis

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Mar 6, 2002, 1:00:44 PM3/6/02
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In article <nsec8uggnmcp83qn3...@4ax.com>,

Phil Edwards <amr...@zetnet.co.uk> wrote:
>
>Credit Smith and Newall, don't credit me. Credit Smith and Newall and
>Brunvand. And Ian York, who actually supplied the Brunvand reference
>(I just got the book off the shelf). On second thoughts do credit me,
>why not. Credit Smith and Newall and Brunvand and York and Edwards.
>And AFU. And anyone else who knows me.

Or they could just Credit Lon Stowell, I guess.

--
John "you know what goes here. Or Lon does, anyway" Francis

Lee Ayrton

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Mar 6, 2002, 1:02:03 PM3/6/02
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On or about Wed, 6 Mar 2002, Scratchie of Agitat...@yahoo.com wrote:

> :> > Here's my question: can anyone provide, or point me towards, any


> :> > DOCUMENTED example of this story PRIOR to summer 1976.
>

> How would that prove that it didn't happen to Adams?

It wouldn't. It would prove that there was an origin independent of
Adams, though. If so, it still wouldn't prove that he cribbed it, either.

Ame

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Mar 6, 2002, 1:26:40 PM3/6/02
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"Lee Ayrton" <lay...@ntplx.net> wrote in message
news:Pine.GSO.4.43.02030...@sea.ntplx.net...

>
>
> On or about Wed, 6 Mar 2002, Donna Richoux of tr...@euronet.nl wrote:
>
> > MJ Simpson <mjsi...@btinternet.com> wrote:
> >
> > > I am writing a book about Douglas Adams and will be including mention
> > > of the notorious 'packet of biscuits' story which is generally
> > > regarded as an urban legend but which Adams claimed actually happened
> > > to him (and which he subsequently incorporated into So Long And Thanks
> > > For All The Fish, by which time it was certainly a well-established
> > > UL).
> > >
> > > His assertion was that it happened to him in Summer 1976 on Cambridge
> > > Railway Station. Now, I know that he was staying in Cambridge in
> > > summer 1976 and I know that his circumstances were such that he could
> > > have been easily distrated (even more so than normal).
> > >
> > > Here's my question: can anyone provide, or point me towards, any
> > > DOCUMENTED example of this story PRIOR to summer 1976.
> >
> > (snip)

> 2. Urban Legends Reference Pages: Wooden Spoons (The Stolen Biscuits)
> http://www.snopes2.com/spoons/legends/stolen.htm
>
<snip snip>

> Lee "See Biscuit" Ayrton
>

Well there's a similar one that I *think* has German or German Russian
origins where there's a story about a scuffle between strangers over a bag
or a shopping bag ... the teller ends up with the bag, opens it, looks in,
and to his surprise it isn't his afterall, then the listener is supposed to
ask "what was in the bag????"

The answer is 'bullshit,' like the rest of the story. har har. The reason I
say it may be German or German Russian is that my grandfather used to tell
it in German. He spoke English fluently but used German when in the company
of other German speaking adults. Especially when cussing.

Anyone know that one's origins? It could be descended from the same original
as this Douglas Adams story... it has a few similar features but ends up as
a joke instead of a UL.

Ame


Richard O'Marro

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Mar 6, 2002, 9:48:43 PM3/6/02
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"Donna Richoux" <tr...@euronet.nl> wrote in message
news:1f8mot0.9q6sjm16mpcblN%tr...@euronet.nl...
> MJ Simpson <mjsi...@btinternet.com> wrote:

> (snip)
>
> Would you mind giving a URL to some version of the story so we make sure
> we're all on the same page of the hymnbook? Also, it probably doesn't
> matter, but would you mind saying which Cambridge that is, some of us
> don't know what nationality Douglas Adams is and where he might have
> been passing the time.

Well in a nutshell the biscuts on the table UL goes as follows:

A man buys himself a newspaper and a package of biscuts (cookies) and looks
around for a place to sit down and enjoy them. The place is rather full so
the only open seat he sees is at a table with a woman. He asks if he may sit
and is allowed to so he starts reading his paper and sees the woman open the
package of biscuts and take one to eat. Unsure of wanting to make a scene in
such a crowded place but wanting to show that he saw the woman steal a
biscut, he looks over at her with a piercing stare and takes one himself. At
which point the woman reaches over to eat another. This goes back and forth
until there' sonly one biscut left. the Woman picks it up and breaks it in
two handing the other hald to the man, then gets up and leaves.
By this point the man is furious at her gall at trying to seem generous by
offering him half of his OWN last biscut and get gets up to pull her aside
nad lecture her on manners... At whihc point he sees his own package of
biscuts, still unopened, sitting on the table where it had been covered by
his newspaper.


Phil Edwards

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Mar 7, 2002, 5:03:25 AM3/7/02
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On Wed, 6 Mar 2002 19:48:43 -0700 in message
<3c86d...@newsa.ev1.net>, "Richard O'Marro" <Sq...@ev1.net> wrote:

> Well in a nutshell the biscuts on the table UL goes as follows:
>
> A man buys himself a newspaper and a package of biscuts (cookies) and looks
>around for a place to sit down and enjoy them. The place is rather full so
>the only open seat he sees is at a table with a woman. He asks if he may sit
>and is allowed to so he starts reading his paper and sees the woman open the
>package of biscuts and take one to eat. Unsure of wanting to make a scene in
>such a crowded place but wanting to show that he saw the woman steal a
>biscut, he looks over at her with a piercing stare and takes one himself. At
>which point the woman reaches over to eat another. This goes back and forth
>until there' sonly one biscut left. the Woman picks it up and breaks it in
>two handing the other hald to the man, then gets up and leaves.
> By this point the man is furious at her gall at trying to seem generous by
>offering him half of his OWN last biscut and get gets up to pull her aside
>nad lecture her on manners... At whihc point he sees his own package of
>biscuts, still unopened, sitting on the table where it had been covered by
>his newspaper.

Nice summary. It's 'biscuit', of course, and you forgot the tea
(without which nobody would bother with those packets of biscuits).

Interesting that the biscuit-theft suspect is a woman and the
protagonist a man - as I posted earlier, when this was first doing the
rounds (a couple of years before Douglas Adams started claiming
parentage) the two were black and white respectively. Perhaps there's
still a faint echo of the original "Sit, Lady"-esque theme of
misjudging someone viewed as a social inferior. On the other hand,
I've also been reminded of a USAn variant set in a military canteen,
with the suspect greatly superior in rank to the protagonist; not sure
what messages that one would be carrying. (Maybe someone just rewrote
the story to get it into "Humour in Uniform".)

Phil "and *you're* equipped to eat them, soldier!" Edwards

R H Draney

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Mar 7, 2002, 10:13:54 AM3/7/02
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On Thu, 07 Mar 2002 10:03:25 +0000, Phil Edwards <amr...@zetnet.co.uk>
wrote:

>Interesting that the biscuit-theft suspect is a woman and the
>protagonist a man - as I posted earlier, when this was first doing the
>rounds (a couple of years before Douglas Adams started claiming
>parentage) the two were black and white respectively. Perhaps there's
>still a faint echo of the original "Sit, Lady"-esque theme of
>misjudging someone viewed as a social inferior. On the other hand,
>I've also been reminded of a USAn variant set in a military canteen,
>with the suspect greatly superior in rank to the protagonist; not sure
>what messages that one would be carrying. (Maybe someone just rewrote
>the story to get it into "Humour in Uniform".)

The first version I heard (reported, as usual, in the first person)
was from Peter Ustinov on the Carson-era "Tonight Show"...in his story
it was a packet of *crisps*, not biscuits...and the social gap between
him and his inadvertent victim was one of age ("the snot-faced twerp
across from me just *took* one of my crisps without asking!")....

Question: is this or is it not a stationary variant of the man who
demands the wallet back from what he thinks is a pickpocket only to
find he left his own wallet at home?...r

John Schmitt

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Mar 7, 2002, 10:46:10 AM3/7/02
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In article <3c8782ea....@news.earthlink.net>,
dado...@earthlink.net (R H Draney) writes:

[Douglas Adams biscuit story]

>The first version I heard (reported, as usual, in the first person)
>was from Peter Ustinov on the Carson-era "Tonight Show"...in his story
>it was a packet of *crisps*, not biscuits...and the social gap between
>him and his inadvertent victim was one of age

I believe it was a Roal Dahl short story which contained yet
another variant on this theme. I'll try to find the name. The
packet is one of cigarettes, the event takes place on a train and
the social gap is suited city gent versus scruffy youth. Once
again the newspaper hides the second packet up to the punchline.
Perhaps the writing of this story will predate Douglas Adams.

John "to be honest, I rather hope not" Schmitt

--
Most of what you read in the papers is lies. And I should know,
because a lot of the lies you see in the papers are mine.
- Max Clifford, publicist
Disclaimers apply

Randy Poe

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Mar 7, 2002, 11:34:47 AM3/7/02
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On Thu, 07 Mar 2002 15:13:54 GMT, dado...@earthlink.net (R
H Draney) wrote:
>Question: is this or is it not a stationary variant of the man who
>demands the wallet back from what he thinks is a pickpocket only to
>find he left his own wallet at home?...r

This features in Neil Simon's film "The Prisoner of Second
Avenue" (1974), where Jack Lemmon chases down a very young
Sylvester Stallone and "recovers" his wallet, then discovers
his own on the dresser at home.

- Randy

Drew Lawson

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Mar 7, 2002, 12:16:28 PM3/7/02
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In article <3c8782ea....@news.earthlink.net>

dado...@earthlink.net (R H Draney) writes:

[shared biscuits/cookies/crisps story]

>Question: is this or is it not a stationary variant of the man who
>demands the wallet back from what he thinks is a pickpocket only to
>find he left his own wallet at home?...r

I'd always considered them to be closely related.
I forget what JHB say (if anything).


Drew "waiting for a cellphone version" Lawson
--
Drew Lawson | It's not enough to be alive
dr...@furrfu.com | when your future's been deferred

H Duffy

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Mar 7, 2002, 1:10:01 PM3/7/02
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"John Schmitt" <joh...@alpha2.mdx.ac.uk> wrote in message
news:a68202$bsb$1...@aquila.mdx.ac.uk...

> In article <3c8782ea....@news.earthlink.net>,
> dado...@earthlink.net (R H Draney) writes:
>
> [Douglas Adams biscuit story]
>
> >The first version I heard (reported, as usual, in the first person)
> >was from Peter Ustinov on the Carson-era "Tonight Show"...in his story
> >it was a packet of *crisps*, not biscuits...and the social gap between
> >him and his inadvertent victim was one of age
>
> I believe it was a Roal Dahl short story which contained yet
> another variant on this theme. I'll try to find the name. The
> packet is one of cigarettes, the event takes place on a train and
> the social gap is suited city gent versus scruffy youth. Once
> again the newspaper hides the second packet up to the punchline.
> Perhaps the writing of this story will predate Douglas Adams.

I believe Jeffrey Archer has also written a variant.

H


Viv

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Mar 7, 2002, 3:55:17 PM3/7/02
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On Wed, 6 Mar 2002 19:48:43 -0700, "Richard O'Marro" <Sq...@ev1.net>
uttered:

>"Donna Richoux" <tr...@euronet.nl> wrote in message
>news:1f8mot0.9q6sjm16mpcblN%tr...@euronet.nl...
>> MJ Simpson <mjsi...@btinternet.com> wrote:
>
>> (snip)
>>
>> Would you mind giving a URL to some version of the story so we make sure
>> we're all on the same page of the hymnbook? Also, it probably doesn't
>> matter, but would you mind saying which Cambridge that is, some of us
>> don't know what nationality Douglas Adams is and where he might have
>> been passing the time.
>
> Well in a nutshell the biscuts on the table UL goes as follows:
>

[snip bog standard biscuits story as per Saint Brunvand and afu's very own
website plus snopes etc]

You still haven't told us whether it's Cambridge, England or Cambridge,
Massachusetts or Cambridge, New Zealand. I'd plump for England as most
likely, but would you mind confirming?

Ta ever so much.

--
"Words were indeed insubstantial. They were as soft as water, but they were
also as powerful as water and now they were rushing over the audience,
eroding the levees of veracity and carrying away the past."
Terry Pratchett's Granny Weatherwax sees the need for www.urbanlegends.com

John Francis

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Mar 7, 2002, 5:16:14 PM3/7/02
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In article <5qvd8u4rnq3qa5674...@4ax.com>,

Viv <wy...@optusnet.com.au> wrote:
>On Wed, 6 Mar 2002 19:48:43 -0700, "Richard O'Marro" <Sq...@ev1.net>
>uttered:
>
>>"Donna Richoux" <tr...@euronet.nl> wrote in message
>>news:1f8mot0.9q6sjm16mpcblN%tr...@euronet.nl...
>>> MJ Simpson <mjsi...@btinternet.com> wrote:
>>
>>> (snip)
>>>
>>> Would you mind giving a URL to some version of the story so we make sure
>>> we're all on the same page of the hymnbook? Also, it probably doesn't
>>> matter, but would you mind saying which Cambridge that is, some of us
>>> don't know what nationality Douglas Adams is and where he might have
>>> been passing the time.
>>
>> Well in a nutshell the biscuts on the table UL goes as follows:
>>
>[snip bog standard biscuits story as per Saint Brunvand and afu's very own
>website plus snopes etc]
>
>You still haven't told us whether it's Cambridge, England or Cambridge,
>Massachusetts or Cambridge, New Zealand. I'd plump for England as most
>likely, but would you mind confirming?
>
>Ta ever so much.

I believe the canonical version is set in the waiting room at Cambridge
railway station - that should help you narrow it down somewhat. The
fact that it talks about 'biscuits' (in a packet, not on a plate)
is probably significant, too.

--
John "as would any biographical data on fan websites" Francis

Nathan Tenny

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Mar 7, 2002, 5:32:25 PM3/7/02
to
In article <3c8782ea....@news.earthlink.net>,

R H Draney <dado...@earthlink.net> wrote:
>On Thu, 07 Mar 2002 10:03:25 +0000, Phil Edwards <amr...@zetnet.co.uk>
>wrote:
>>Interesting that the biscuit-theft suspect is a woman and the
>>protagonist a man - as I posted earlier, when this was first doing the
>>rounds (a couple of years before Douglas Adams started claiming
>>parentage) the two were black and white respectively. Perhaps there's
>>still a faint echo of the original "Sit, Lady"-esque theme of
>>misjudging someone viewed as a social inferior.
[...]

>The first version I heard (reported, as usual, in the first person)
>was from Peter Ustinov on the Carson-era "Tonight Show"...in his story
>it was a packet of *crisps*, not biscuits...and the social gap between
>him and his inadvertent victim was one of age ("the snot-faced twerp
>across from me just *took* one of my crisps without asking!")....

That's interesting. I encountered it through Adams first, and if I
remember aright, in his version the "suspect" is just, you know, some
other guy in the train station. (If I'm wrong, it matters not a whit
to my point, because that's the way I *remembered* it.)

Anyway, the interesting thing is this: Here's a case where a story gets
some traction from *discarding* the old familiar social gaps and dualities
and what-have-you. I think it's a stronger story if the two participants
are interchangeable, because it makes the shift of perspective more
complete; the antagonist really *is* who we thought the protagonist was.

>Question: is this or is it not a stationary variant of the man who
>demands the wallet back from what he thinks is a pickpocket only to
>find he left his own wallet at home?...r

Oh, I think it clearly is. Somehow it strikes me as very like the hunter
shooting the second cow, too.

NT
--
Nathan Tenny | A foolish consistency
Qualcomm, Inc., San Diego, CA | recapitulates phylogeny.
<nten...@qualcomm.com> |

John Schmitt

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Mar 8, 2002, 5:52:55 AM3/8/02
to
In article <a68ak5$cds0m$1...@ID-124468.news.dfncis.de>,
"H Duffy" <hester...@psy.ox.ac.uk> writes:

>> I believe it was a Roal Dahl short story which contained yet
>> another variant on this theme.

>I believe Jeffrey Archer has also written a variant.

This is *so* embarassing. I can deal with mispelling Ronald. I
can deal with remembering the wrong author, but admitting to
reading Jeffrey Archer, oh, the shame of it. I expect the
collection was "A quiverful of arrows", and as it was before the
days of seat-back video screens, something besides alcohol was
necessary to combat the boredom of a transatlantic flight.

Still Jeffrey Archer does have some AFU points, mostly irony. I
^W A friend of mine read "First Among Equals" which detailed an
MP having an encounter with a prostitute, and some years later,
Archer, an MP himself, was in court over an (then alleged)
encounter with a prostitute. In the first round he came up
smelling of roses, but then he was found guilty of perjury and
jailed. There was one large injustice from fate, however.
Monica[1] Coghlan died in a car crash shortly before her version
of events was vindicated, leaving a teenage son.

John "so much for an evening of Dahl - DOH!" Schmitt


[1] Should politicians avoid women named Monica as a matter of
course?

Deborah Stevenson,,,

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Mar 8, 2002, 9:01:15 AM3/8/02
to
joh...@alpha2.mdx.ac.uk (John Schmitt) writes:

>In article <a68ak5$cds0m$1...@ID-124468.news.dfncis.de>,
>"H Duffy" <hester...@psy.ox.ac.uk> writes:

>>> I believe it was a Roal Dahl short story which contained yet
>>> another variant on this theme.

>>I believe Jeffrey Archer has also written a variant.

>This is *so* embarassing. I can deal with mispelling Ronald.

Can you deal with the fact that you misspelled his name twice? (Try
"Roald.")

Deborah Stevenson
(stev...@alexia.lis.uiuc.edu)

Narelle

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Mar 9, 2002, 4:41:10 PM3/9/02
to


>
>
> Drew "waiting for a cellphone version" Lawson
>

Funny you should mention that: just yesterday I rang a friend on his
mobile phone. A woman answered and said I had the wrong number. A few
minutes later I pressed redial and my friend answered. Seems he left
his phone at the bar while he went to the loo. The other person
answered thinking it was her phone, as it looked the same and had the
same ringtone as hers.

Narelle "and what other explaination could there be" Stacey

JoAnne Schmitz

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Mar 10, 2002, 3:10:40 AM3/10/02
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On Wed, 6 Mar 2002 12:26:40 -0600, "Ame" <yah...@likerightsure.com> wrote:

>Well there's a similar one that I *think* has German or German Russian
>origins where there's a story about a scuffle between strangers over a bag
>or a shopping bag ... the teller ends up with the bag, opens it, looks in,
>and to his surprise it isn't his afterall, then the listener is supposed to
>ask "what was in the bag????"
>
>The answer is 'bullshit,' like the rest of the story. har har. The reason I
>say it may be German or German Russian is that my grandfather used to tell
>it in German. He spoke English fluently but used German when in the company
>of other German speaking adults. Especially when cussing.
>
>Anyone know that one's origins? It could be descended from the same original
>as this Douglas Adams story... it has a few similar features but ends up as
>a joke instead of a UL.

There was one which started with a first-person telling of the story of a person
going to the grocery store and noticing an older woman staring at him. He
notices her two or three times throughout the store. Eventually she approaches
him and mentions that her son died just recently and the teller is his spitting
image. She reminisces about how nice the son was and how much she misses him
and then apologizes for being a silly old woman, and the teller reassures her
that he's not bothered by it at all.

When he gets to the checkout line he sees she is several places ahead of him.
She abandons her place for a moment and says to him, "would you mind doing one
last thing for me? When I leave, can I say, "see you later, son?" Would you
wave to me and say "see you later, Mom"? It would mean so much." He agrees.

She gets to the head of the line, and waves to him. He waves back. She takes
her bags of stuff and leaves.

When he gets to the head of the line the clerk tells him his total is some large
sum. "I'm only buying this beer and shaving cream!" "No, your mother said
you'd pay for her groceries."

Spying her in the parking lot with her basket full of groceries that she meant
to make him pay for, he runs out of the store and heads after her, yelling
"stop, thief!" She turns around and sees him, and starts to run away,
surprisingly fast for such a little old lady.

She makes it to her car and is tossing the groceries into the trunk furiously
fast. He's still yelling, everyone is staring but no one is willing to stop
this nice little old lady. He catches up to her just as she is getting into her
car. She has already gotten partway in but he grabs her by the leg and she
yells but he pulls and pulls on her leg...

just like I'm pulling your leg now.

JoAnne "arf arf" Schmitz

Alan Barclay

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Mar 11, 2002, 6:05:04 PM3/11/02
to
In article <Pine.GSO.4.43.02030...@sea.ntplx.net>,

Adams also vectors the 'toilets flush in the opposite direction' UL in
'Last Chance to See'.

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