So I’m having something of a strange week.
I’ve always been a weirdness magnet. Strange things just keep happening to me wherever I am, and I don’t really get much of a say in the matter.
Still, this week’s been one of those weeks.
It started off rather normally; being paid to dance around a tent wearing a giant puppet. What, that’s not normal for you?
Hello there, that’ll be my head sticking out from the giant woman’s crotch there. And before you ask; of course it’s heavy, the bloody thing’s made of wood.
A bit of backstory, then: a friend of mine runs a samba school, and from time to time requires puppeteers for some of their performances. That’s usually me.
In fact, I’ll be at it again this evening, pushing a glowing phoenix float through the night-time streets of Liverpool. How do you spend your summers? Because this is reasonably normal for me.
The odd thing is this happened completely by accident. Someone I know from a pub quiz asked to give him a hand moving something one time, and seven years later we’re still at it. Shows you how odd life can be sometimes, right?
The other unusual thing that happened this week was, in the course of attending Bethany Black’s Edinburgh Festival preview show for reviewing purposes, I ran into former Doctor Who showrunner Russell T Davies.
Now, I’ve been a Doctor Who fan for a long time – my first memory of Doctor Who is watching the repeat of The Dalek Invasion of Earth as part of the 30th anniversary celebration in 1993, and, at the age of 5, being very confused, as I remembered seeing it before in colour.
Now, I can’t say that I liked much of RTD’s vision of the show, but generally running into Doctor Who luminaries at unexpected times is always good. As is getting the opportunity to take ridiculous photos.
As for the pose in the photo? That’s something of an running joke. Who doesn’t love photographs of celebrities posing for photos as if they’re members of extreme metal bands? I have a similar photo with Phill Jupitus over on my twitter feed.
But without doubt the strangest thing that happened this week is the five-star lunatic I was stuck at a bus stop with in the early hours of Friday morning.
It started like any other night; drinking until 5am to celebrate a friends’ passing his PhD (that’s how normal nights start, right?). As we got to the bus stop, a teenage girl arrived and asked if she could talk to us, because there was a strange man following her.
Now, this is a well-rehearsed routine, and everyone knows the beats; the girl talks to some people, the creeper assumes she’s met some friends and quietly slinks off to find someone else to murder.
Not this bloke.
This bloke announces that Madonna’s dead.
Now, this is 2016, and everyone else famous seems to have dropped dead. Let’s be fair, Madonna wouldn’t exactly be the most unexpected person to go next, either. So I checked.
She wasn’t dead. And I told him as much.
But that wasn’t enough for our nutter here. He tells me that she’s definitely dead, but that it’s being covered up. Where did he hear this? From David Cameron, of course, who slipped a secret message into his resignation speech – directly to our lunatic, which he indicated by using his alias “the Cat“.
Oh, he had evidence, he assured us. Reaching in his bag for a folder, he proceeded to show us piece of evidence after piece of evidence. I say evidence, because that’s what he called it. In reality, it was childish drawings that he’d done of Madonna. Dozens of them.
At this point, we realised that we absolutely couldn’t leave this poor lass with this guy. Even though there were four busses that we could get before hers arrived, it had become fairly clear that if we left her alone at the bus stop with The Cat, we’d next see her face on the news, when someone found her corpse in a bin. Probably dressed as Madonna.
We finally got home at 7am. I’m not entirely sure where the plastic flower came from.
Is it any wonder I write fiction, really?