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Author Topic: ULs, anecdotes and "this happened to me"
It Came Upon a Midnight Clearance

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I didn't want to jack this thread but it did stir something in me.

Several years ago, in a meeting of AA, I heard someone tell a story while chairing the meeting. This story was being told as an absolutely true, "this happened to me" story.

Unfortunately, it was the exact same story related in the movie Good Will Hunting (the one about the guy being so drunk he accidentally drove the state trooper's car home, instead of his own.)

Now usually the first thought in a case like this is that it's your basic FOAF story, but being told in first-person to make it more interesting. Just sort of awkward when it's told to an audience that happens to have heard them before.

However, I've had the disorienting experience of something actually happening to me, then later hearing someone else tell the exact same story.

Many years ago, when my daughter was about 5, she asked me to play a game with her; I said "I'm sorry honey, I can't right now, I have to make dinner." She responded with "Can I help you push the buttons?" Not a month later, I was watching TV, and Jane Pauley told this exact same story. Now, obviously, Jane Pauley didn't eavesdrop on my conversation with my daughter and then choose to steal it, and pass it off as her own; and it's entirely possible, in this rush-around, working-mother world we live in, that two of us could have this exact same conversation. But of course, now I can't tell that story anymore, for fear that someone might think I'm passing off Pauley's anecdote as my own. (My only defense to this is that people did hear me tell this story prior the show on which Pauley related it. But really, what am I going to do, subpoena them to back me up?) But anyway...

Here's my question, and finally (whew!) my point; have any of you actually, truly had an experience, and then later heard someone tell the exact story?

Is it possible that sometimes when we hear a celeb or someone passing off a UL that maybe it really did happen to them, too?

And I'm not talking about some physically impossilbe UL, like the SCUBA-diver in the tree one. More like the one I link to above, or my own story, - where more than one person has the exact same funny conversation or something.

What do you think? Anyone have something like this happen, where you tell a true story, that actually really did happen to you, only to have your friends hoot and point and call you a liar, or say it's only a UL?

(And I'll go back in and edit this for brevity later....too much coffee in me at the moment.)

Ali "caffeine-induced posting frenzy" Baba

Posts: 3068 | From: Kensington, MD | Registered: Feb 2000  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a moderator
Dog Friendly
Carol of the Bills

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I had a real-life experience that I fully expect will turn into an UL at some point. I sat at a dining room table and listened in amazed horror while two fifty-year-old twin sisters argued about which of their boyfriends had knocked out which of their teeth.

No really! I swear!

Dog Friendly

"Nobody ever got stoned and beat up his old lady" -- Spence, snapdragonfly's friend

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Nick Theodorakis
We Three Blings

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What do you think? Anyone have something like this happen, where you tell a true story, that actually really did happen to you, only to have your friends hoot and point and call you a liar, or say it's only a UL?

Ca. 1983 I was interviewing for a job. As I sat in the office of my future boss talking about potential projects, he methodically opened his desk drawer and took out a plate, knife, and fork, which he placed on his desk. The he opened another drawer and removed a Snickers bar. He unwrapped half of the candy, cut it in half with the knife, placed the unwrapped half on the plate and put the rest away in his drawer. He then proceeded to eat the Snickers bar half with his knife and fork.

It made great story until Elaine's boss in the sitcom Seinfeld did a similar thing; now I can't tell it anymore lest somebody think I was plagiarizing the story.


Don't forget to register for the New ULMB.

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Posts: 1089 | From: Indianapolis, IN | Registered: Nov 2005  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a moderator
Purple Iguana
Markdown, the Herald Angels Sing

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I've never had anyone do the point and call "liar" thing with me... but that UL about the guy overhearing half of a cell phone conversation in the next stall mistaking it for the guy talking to HIM is something that happened to me. It wasn't in the bathroom. My brother-in-law was visiting and had his cell pinched in between his head and a pillow so that his arms were folded in front of his chest. I had no way to know that he was talking on his cell. He said a few things, to which I offered brief responses, and then he said "Ewwww!" I jumped a little and said, "What?" to which he responded by sighing heavily and saying, "Nothing!!" in that teenage "I'm busy here..." tone of voice. It was then that I realized he was on his phone.

Someone actually started a thread about this particular UL somewhere.


My dad teaches English as his local community college, but before that, he taught at a 4 year university. He told me a funny plagiarism story that smacks of a UL, only he showed me the paper, so I know he wasn't lying.

One of his students turned in "The Cremation of Sam McGee," knowing that it was plagiarized, but not that it was the famous poem that it is... he thought his roommate had written it! [Wink]

They just don't make crazed, beserk robots like they used to. --Sheen Estevez, Jimmy Neutron, Boy Genius

If I manage to post something swipe-worthy that you would like to make your sig, you may do so with my blessing.

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Happy Holly Days

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Not to me but as long as I can remember my mother has been incorporating things that happened to my sister as events that happened to her. (She doesn't do this with my brother or me.) Most of the time the shared events are at least somewhat plausible so it doesn't bother me. There are other ones that are not so and I always have to bite my tongue.
For example, my sister had the album My Son, The Folk Singer by Allan Sherman as a child. For years my mother has claimed that she had this album as a child. (The album came out when my sister was 8 and my mother was 32.) She has said this so many times and it still drives me nuts when she says it.
ETA: Added a link

"Dear Big Foot Smellers: Please don't quote me on some of this information." John F. Winston

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Happy Holly Days

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My mom had a story hijacked...

When my mom was eight and a half months pregnant with me, she got up in the middle of the night to go to the bathroom. The last person to have used the toilet was my dad, and being tired and sleepy, my mom didn't really look....well, my dad had left the seat up, so when my mom sat down, she fell all the way in. Problem is, with a big huge belly, her legs got wedged in, and given that my mother is five-foot-two, they got wedged in at the mid-calf point, so she couldn't bend her knees to get leverage to push herself out. She's screaming bloody murder, my dad's jerked awake and running around the house in confusion trying to find her....he eventually did.

We'll just say that now my dad is adamant about leaving both the seat AND the lid down now. *grin*

My mom told this story to a group of friends at a neighborhood block party. The next week she went to a Tupperware party and one of the women who had been at the block party was also there--and told that story as having happened to *her*.


"Don't mess with me. I dance with swords."

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We Three Blings

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My dad told a story that happened to him at a job interview which reminds me of this UL. His interview was at a restaurant and the guy that was interviewing him said he could have a drink if wanted to relax a bit. My father thought nothing of it because the interviewer had one too. Anyway, whenever the waiter asked if the two wanted more drinks, the interview pretty much forced my father to have another. As you can probably tell, by the end of the interview my dad was plastered, and of course, didn't get the job. Turns out, it was a little test the interviewer had to weed out candidates.
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NocturnalGoddess- naughty or nice?
Carol of the Dells

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That cellphone story.... it's happened so many times to me (on both sides of the story) that I still can't believe it now has it's own page here!

ETA and I don't just mean bathrooms... it's everywhere. Anywhere that I can get service, really.

"I saw weird stuff in that place last night. Weird, strange, sick, twisted, eerie, godless, EVIL stuff... and I want in."- Homer Simpson

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Jingle Bell Hock

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I once had a story, which I believe to be true, because I trust the tellers on this, told to me two times. Basically the same story, but on different places, happened within less than a month. I myself have only experienced that some particular good arguments and metaphors I myself invented under a lot of sweat had been pre-stolen by some Diogenes guy. Only his versions were clearly better.

Movie characters never make typing mistakes.

Posts: 586 | From: Hamburg, Germany | Registered: Sep 2005  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a moderator
Victoria J
Jingle Bell Hock

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A friend of my mothers (someone who I actually knew not just a foaf) had a supposedly true version of the peeing in the sink story.

I do believe that it was true. It was a less satisfying story than the UL, not a first chance to impress someone, and she was not caught in the act.

She had been staying at a friends house, and needed to go to the toilet in the night. For some unknown reason she became convinced that if she flushed the toilet she would wake them, and that this would be the most awful, bad-guest, thing she could possibly do. Instead she peed in the sink, figuring the taps would not wake them. Wrenching the sink from the wall however did. they never knew how she did it though.

It is always amazing the completely crazy things that people will do, following calm and logical steps. [Roll Eyes]

However I cheifly remember this woman for another story - about the dog eating her diaphram. [Eek!] Strange life.

Victoria J.

Post accompanied by maniacal laughter.

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I'm Dreaming of a White Sale

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I have a family of schoolteachers, and they're fond of claiming that they actually KNEW IN PERSON kids named Lemonjello/Orangejello, Female, Nosmo King, and so on. At different schools, in different parts of the state, at different times. It's like the legends are so compelling that these people have wholly incorporated them as false memories.

One uncle in particular is always claiming ULs as having happened, not to the ubiquitous FOAF, but to HIM (or else, saying that he was an on-the-spot witness). You know, the dog "killing" the neighbor's rabbit, the shoplifter who ends up with a dead cat in her bag, the exploding can of biscuits... all that stuff. He's got issues, though. As you can tell...

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Little Sales Drummer Boy

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A friend of mine had probably her best story hijacked by a girl with serious attention issues (as in, she craves constant attention from others).

My friend was for various reasons entertaining a few members of a very famous rock band. She took them to a bar, and then called Attention Craver for directions to a bowling alley because Attention Craver knew the area better.

Next thing we all knew, Attention Craver was telling everyone that SHE had hung out with the rock stars, SHE had taken them bowling, etc. My friend could hardly mention the band's name without someone going "Oh, Attention Craver hung out with them last week!"

My friend just let it slide. Sometimes people's issues are just not worth dealing with.

Officially Heartless

Posts: 3065 | From: The Montgomery County of the West Coast- Berkeley, CA | Registered: Nov 2005  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a moderator
Bad Actor
I Saw Three Shipments

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This is odd but 28 years later it still freaks me out. I was a sophmore in high school. One night I had a really strange dream. I shared it with my family in the morning (4 brothers). In the dream I am sitting under a pavillion next to a lake. A guy around my age is holding a baby on his lap. I don't know any of the people that are at the picinic table. I say "George, what is the baby's name?" He replies, "Erin, you know like Erin go Braugh." Then I woke up.

10 months later I am in summer school. A class mate invites me to a picinic with his family. We are sitting under a pavillion and George, my classmate, has his baby sister on his lap. I say, George, what is the baby's name?" He says, "Erin, you know, like Erin go Braugh."

I almost fainted. When I went home I asked my brothers if they remembered me telling them about the wierd dream. They did. None of them believed me about what happened at the lake that day even though the met George and found out he had a sister named Erin.

I still weirds me out.

Bad Actor
_ _ _ _ __________________ _ _ _ _
Shhh! Vast Right-wing conspiracy at work...

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We Three Blings

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Well, I have a long-distance friend who used to tell me stories about things that happened in his life periodically. We used to laugh about a lot of the stuff.

I started telling some of the stories to another friend, and some of the stories sounded familiar to her. Now I hardly watch TV anymore. But after a while, she started pointing out how many of the stories sounded exactly like certain commercials, Oprah topic-of-the-day, and even other message boards.

I just take it all with a grain of salt now.

Bender: Oh cruel fate, to be thusly boned. Ask not for whom the bone bones, it bones for thee.

Posts: 1170 | From: Iowa | Registered: Aug 2004  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a moderator

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