Minor Strangeness

PeteS

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One strolled into our kitchen a few years ago. The several cats present were not impressed. I printed out some 'FERRET FOUND' leaflets to put through local doors and it was quickly reclaimed. Techy took it round the corner to where it came from and it was joyfully reunited with its owner, a little Eastern European girl.
I can still picture, 40 years ago and more, a large mature ferret running down my mum and dads very long drive, headed straight for me and bit my finger! We kept it for a few days and it then went to someone who kept ferrets. It was a little beggar for biting and I probably still have the scars. I suspect it had lived in the wild for some time before deciding I looked like a total sucker for a cute face.
 

EnolaGaia

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Marwood

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has The Big Lebowski been named yet?
Good call! Isn't that the scene with RHCP bassist Flea?

My dad's ferrets were used in a photo shoot for Shooting Times a few years ago. He also had a problem with his ferrets being stolen a few times (they're working ferrets so kept in runs outside). The last time, he called the police and they actually found them about half a mile away and brought them back!
 

PeteS

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Maybe it was hungry?
Possibly but it was by no means skin and bone, and where mum and dad lived there would have been an endless supply of food. I think it was just an attention seeker! Strange that the picture of it running down the drive is so etched in my memory.
 

hunck

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While we're here, let's not forget the noble sport of 'ferret-legging'.

Two ferrets are placed in trousers tied at the ankles & a tight belt to stop them escaping. The ferrets must have a full set of teeth & claws that must not have been filed or otherwise blunted. Underwear is not allowed.

The sport is said to involve very little "native skill", simply an ability to "have your tool bitten and not care". Competitors can attempt, from outside their trousers, to dislodge the ferrets, but as the animals can maintain a strong hold for long periods, their removal can be difficult.

World record holder for a while was retired miner Reg Mellor from Barnsley with the slightly unbelievable time of 5hours 26mins, set at the Annual Pennine Show in Holmforth, Yorks in 1981.

Mellor, who had hunted with ferrets in the dales outside Barnsley for many years, had grown accustomed to keeping them in his trousers to keep them warm and dry when out working in the rain. His "trick" was to ensure that the ferrets were well-fed before they were inserted into his trousers.

In 1986, Mellor attempted to break his own record before a crowd of 2,500 spectators, intending to beat the "magic six-hour mark—the four-minute mile of ferret legging". After five hours, most of the attendees had become bored and left; workmen arrived to dismantle the stage, despite Mellor's protests that he was on his way to a new record. According to Adrian Tame of the Sunday Herald Sun, Mellor retired after that experience, "disillusioned and broken-hearted," but with his dignity and manhood intact.

Frank Bartlett, a retired headmaster, and Christine Farnsworth, subsequently broke Mellor's record in 2010. The pair managed five hours and thirty minutes, raising £1,000 for the Whittington Community First Responders.
I'm not clear whether they were in separate trousers or both in one massive pair.

Marlene Blackburn, who works with the Ferret Rescue League to ensure that no ferrets are harmed in the sport, claims that during the years the competitions have been held in Richmond no contestant has ever been bitten, although some may get a few scratches. According to Kelly Yager of the Manitoba Ferret Association, the animals actually like small, confined spaces. Jay Lugar, spokesman for the Richmond Highland Games & Celtic Festival, said ferrets are "generally very harmless, fun-loving creatures." Reg Mellor, however, commented that at their very worst, they can be "cannibals, things that live only to kill, that'll eat your eyes out to get at your brain".
 

IbisNibs

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"who works with the Ferret Rescue League to ensure that no ferrets are harmed in the sport,"
Well, thank goodness for that.

I think "sport" is very liberally defined here, though. At first glance I thought the aim was to see which ferret would chew itself out of the pants first, but you have to wear the pants? At times like these I can't comprehend how I could be descended from the British, since your past times seem so weird to me . . . o_O
 

hunck

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"who works with the Ferret Rescue League to ensure that no ferrets are harmed in the sport,"
Well, thank goodness for that.

I think "sport" is very liberally defined here, though. At first glance I thought the aim was to see which ferret would chew itself out of the pants first, but you have to wear the pants? At times like these I can't comprehend how I could be descended from the British, since your past times seem so weird to me . . . o_O
Nothing weird about shoving a couple of ferrets down your trousers, let me tell you. You'll also be interested to hear there's a ladies version with the ferrets being placed in your blouse. Equal opportunity & all that..
 

plastic wiganer

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i adopted a ferret (pole cat actually) in my early teens - i was out early one morning hunting for rabbits and or ducks, when i caught a glimpse of something moving by the edge of a large pond. instinctively i raised my gun ready for the shot when the head of a small animal appeared from behind some rocks- there it was a very young ferret. I carefully rescued it and took it home in a large empty paint tub i found, believing it would rip me apart if i touched it! Anyway she (it was a jill) lived with us and the dogs for a couple of years or so and was a lovely little thing very friendly and playful. Incidentally i NEVER took her hunting she was too valued as a pet
 

Mr_Hermolle

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A very minor piece of strangeness, which isn't really that strange at all, but it popped into my head today and made me smile. I used to live in Brighton - for nearly 20 years - ans I would regularly (but not frequently) pop into a fish'n'chips shop by the station. It was always the same in there - handwritten menu, very cheap and lovely fish'n'chips (though probably not very healthy either...), copies of The Watchtower mixing with free papers on the windowsill / seating area. Behind the counter, it was always the same - the proprietor would always be rushing about serving and cooking food - his wife would be in the background watching some kind of loud soap opera - and their daughter would be sat at the table doing homework. Exactly the same. Every time I went in. For 15 years or so, the same domestic tableaux was being carried out, and then it struck me - the daughter didn't seem to age - stuck permanently at 6 years old or so, always doing her homework, the mother always watching the same Chinese soap opera... I imagine it was a different child, or I hadn't been paying attention (who pays attention to what goes on in the background of fish'n'chips shops after all?). I still remember that moment of oddness though, when it felt like the back of the fish'n'chip shop was frozen in time, the same scene carried out again and again, like something from old television programme Sapphire and Steel... I no longer live in Brighton, and I've heard its closed down now sadly enough. No idea why it popped into my head today, but there you go.
 

Ermintruder

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At times like these I can't comprehend how I could be descended from the British, since your past times seem so weird to me . . . o_O
You're welcome!

The whole of the British Isles is still a seething pile of disparate tribal groups, divided and unified across all sorts of cultural, class & creed groupings, engaged in a perperpetual Tolkeinesque musical theatre street-show of mind-bending glitter and spectacle.

All of the above applies irregardless of whether you really meant 'pastimes' (our strange avocations/hobbies/games) or literally our 'past times' (as in our viscious cheerful capacity, historically, to have done horrible and strange things to each-other in the name of whatever)

And since We in the Untied Kindom all constantly play games & live in the past, both options are covered.

It's all down to the unbroken continuity of traditions. The maintenance of regional social substrates within a geographic isolate. Clubs (joined, eaten or carried)...or, by substitution, class.

We are becoming more homogenised, more internationalised, more transatlantified & australasiated. Except we're not really (ha! had you going there!)
 

EnolaGaia

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... You'll also be interested to hear there's a ladies version with the ferrets being placed in your blouse. Equal opportunity & all that..
I was going to ask if there were a label for the ladies version, but Wikipedia had the answer:

An attempt to introduce a female version of the sport—ferret busting, in which female contestants introduced ferrets down their blouses—proved unsuccessful
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ferret-legging
 

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We found a few maggots crawling upwards on our home's backdoor yesterday .. horror film memories came flooding back but the internet reckons we've just got a dead bird or something in our guttering.
 

Mythopoeika

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My minor strangeness happened today at work. Very minor, yes.
I was in the lab doing some assembly work (putting some aluminium fascias on some cards (printed circuit boards).
Assembly used various components including 2 really small washers.
I counted out all the bits onto a clear bench with good lighting and noted that all parts were there when I began. When I got round to fitting the 2 washers, I couldn't find them anywhere. Looked on the floor, all over the bench. Nope. Not to be seen.

I now suspect that they have made the dimensional leap to the place where all socks and spoons end up.
 

mikfez

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We found a few maggots crawling upwards on our home's backdoor yesterday .. horror film memories came flooding back but the internet reckons we've just got a dead bird or something in our guttering.
While walking the dogs on Monday morning following the downpour - there were a large number of maggots crawling across the pavement and onto the road. I couldn't see any dead animal so I assumed they came up from the drain cover, fell from a tree or were the result of a rain of maggots!
 

INT21

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Something that happened back in the early seventies. And it was major strange, and very unnerving.

At the time I was going through a bad patch in my life. And was essentially homeless for a while. I had broken up with my first wife and had no place to go.

But I was driving a taxi at the time, so after work, usually about three AM, I would drive out to this little quarry place near the edge of the moors, park up and get a few hours sleep.

I'd done this a few times, and occasionally the police would ask what was going on. When I explained the situation they were happy to leave me alone.

But one night I reversed into the quarry as usual, opened the door, then quickly shut it and drove away as quickly as I safely could.
I was sure there was 'something' there. Something nasty. I could feel it.

I never went back there at night. And in the daytime it always felt normal.

Scared the hell out of me.

INT21.
 

Ringo

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My minor strangeness happened today at work. Very minor, yes.
I was in the lab doing some assembly work (putting some aluminium fascias on some cards (printed circuit boards).
Assembly used various components including 2 really small washers.
I counted out all the bits onto a clear bench with good lighting and noted that all parts were there when I began. When I got round to fitting the 2 washers, I couldn't find them anywhere. Looked on the floor, all over the bench. Nope. Not to be seen.

I now suspect that they have made the dimensional leap to the place where all socks and spoons end up.
I was tinkering with electronics yesterday and had all sorts of screws and small bits and bobs all over my work table. It's not unusual for me to lean on something and have it stick to the skin on my arm. Were you working with rolled up sleeves? Could the washers have stuck to your skin and then been dropped on the floor?
 

GNC

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Something that happened back in the early seventies. And it was major strange, and very unnerving.

At the time I was going through a bad patch in my life. And was essentially homeless for a while. I had broken up with my first wife and had no place to go.

But I was driving a taxi at the time, so after work, usually about three AM, I would drive out to this little quarry place near the edge of the moors, park up and get a few hours sleep.

I'd done this a few times, and occasionally the police would ask what was going on. When I explained the situation they were happy to leave me alone.

But one night I reversed into the quarry as usual, opened the door, then quickly shut it and drove away as quickly as I safely could.
I was sure there was 'something' there. Something nasty. I could feel it.

I never went back there at night. And in the daytime it always felt normal.

Scared the hell out of me.

INT21.
Could it have been a manifestation of your depressed mental state? Maybe your imagination forcing you to flee, or maybe something more "physical" that came from the same place, and had the same effect?
 

Mythopoeika

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I was tinkering with electronics yesterday and had all sorts of screws and small bits and bobs all over my work table. It's not unusual for me to lean on something and have it stick to the skin on my arm. Were you working with rolled up sleeves? Could the washers have stuck to your skin and then been dropped on the floor?
I checked that. Washers still missing.
 

INT21

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Could it have been a manifestation of your depressed mental state? Maybe your imagination forcing you to flee, or maybe something more "physical" that came from the same place, and had the same effect?
I don't think so.
Although it was a rough time, it was not particularly depressing. Also I had been there a few times, and nothing felt unusual until I opened the door.
 
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