God, where to start?
In order of silliness:
1. Making up a story based on one of Chaucer's Canterbury Tales, claiming it really happened to me and sending it in to a Real Life Stories magazine. I said that I and my boyfriend had been staying at the house of two friends who were also a couple, and that during the night I'd got up to go to the loo and accidentally got back into bed with the wrong man and we'd shagged. When a woman from the magazine rang me up, said they wanted to publish it and asked for a photo, I bluffed it out and said, 'Yes, no problem.' Then I panicked, realised I didn't have a man to take the photo with, rang her back up and admitted it was all a fabrication. She told me off like I was a naughty schoolchild. That turned me on slightly.
2. Picking up a strange woman in a bar in my second year of university. I should've known it was a bad idea when she used the pickup line, 'So, if you were any gemstone, what gemstone would you be?' I ignored my instincts, said, 'Topaz' and took her home with me. She called me 'A young colt,' criticised me for being unable to orgasm and then tried to draw a moustache on my prized poster of Captain Janeway of the Starship Enterprise.
3. Saying 'Yes' when a shady-looking man asked if I had a light outside of an Open Day talk at UEA. Immediately after I'd handed him my lighter, he said, 'Well, I've never seen Norwich before, I think I'll accompany you on your sightseeing.' An odd look came into his eye.
I said, 'Oh, well, I really need to get back home... I don't think I'll stay and sightsee.' 'Brilliant,' he said, 'I'll come with you to the station. I'll just go back in and get my coat.' When he'd gone, I ran like hell over the fields that surround the University of East Anglia, my heart pounding crazily in my chest, hoping desperately that I was heading in the direction of the bus stop.
When I got to the bus stop he was there waiting for me. He got onto the same bus as me and despite my plonking my bag down on the seat beside me, he sat in the seat in front and talked to me all the way to the train station. He got onto the same train as me and sat down beside me before I could put my bag down, at which point he told me he was an in-patient on a day out from a mental hospital.
He proceeded to show me several poems on slightly suspiciously-stained paper, all of which were about women he'd been obsessed with. 'Perhaps he's just a very loving person,'I thought, upon which he told me that he had a problem with aggression but he was trying to deal with it. 'I mean,' he said, 'I have hit people in the past. But only when they've really provoked me.'
Oh, Lord, I thought. Ah well. I've had twenty-one good years on this planet. It had to come to an end some time.
Just then, I realised he was asking me something. 'Sorry?' I asked.
'Smell my fleece,' he said. I gave it a tentative sniff. 'No,' he said, 'Really smell my fleece.' He took me by the back of the head and shoved my head into his fleece. It smelled of... perfume.
'Been in the body shop earlier today,' he said. I hoped to goodness he meant the purveyor of bath products and not some sort of cellar in which he kept the corpses of his dead wives.
Then he got off at Ipswich.
Not a very exciting end to the story, I know. But at least I'm alive.
4. Not kissing an exceptionally hot Japanese girl when she moved towards me for a kiss in a club. I still don't know WHY I turned away. WHY? Why? WHYYYYY, I ask. Why? I still think about that at nights.
4. Accidentally setting my hair on fire in front of two erudite coursemates just after I started a course in Norwich. They had massively brilliant posh Southern accents and were talking about Chekhov and Malcolm Bradbury and Beth Nugent and all sorts of things like that. Being very Northern and painfully shy, I began to chain-smoke, which made my hands shake. Unfortunately I didn't realise that I'd been absent-mindedly fiddling with my cigarette lighter and had turned the flame-setting right up to maximum. I struck the lighter, out of which whooshed a nine-inch-high flame, setting fire spectacularly to my fringe, which was engulfed in a massive flash of blue flame and sizzled away leaving only a few pathetic ashes on my forehead. The marvellous thing was, that the two coursemates were so absorbed in their Chekhov conversation that neither of them noticed.