Tuesday 8 September 2009

The Penny that Gravity Forgot - a tale of low strangeness

I guess if I have one complaint, it's that my life isn't strange enough. Don't get me wrong. It's not completely mundane. But you probably couldn't turn it into a TV show. Over on their forum at the Fortean Times website there seems to be plenty of people who've seen ghosts, monsters and so forth...and so I wonder do we all (hmmm or maybe just some of us) have some overwhelming psychological urge to connect ourselves to the extraordinary - to what Fortean Times would call "High Strangeness"?

Since I can't, in all honesty, quite manage that...it set me wondering...if something weird but pretty small scale happened to me (what I shall call "Low Strangeness") would I even notice? Then I remembered what my subconscious was probably trying to tell me all along...this is the tale that I call "The Penny that Gravity Forgot."

Back in the early 1990's I was living in a small flat in Bethnal Green in the East End of London - the lounge was about the same size as the bathroom in the dilapidated mansion in which I now reside. I was working as a Law Clerk but since I'm really a writer I was sat in my lounge writing in a notebook in pencil. I made a mistake in my writing and reached for a plastic eraser (we sometimes call them 'rubbers' in England - but US readers please don't get the wrong idea). Leaning againsty the eraser at an angle of 45 degrees on the bookshelf was a penny. I removed the eraser from the shelf - rubbed out the offending error - and went to return the eraser. The penny had remained balanced at a 45 degree angle with nothing holding it up. I made a mental note to clean the shelf; there was obviously some sticky residue holding the penny in place. I carried on working for a moment but the precariously balanced penny distracted me. Finally, I pushed it down so that it was horizontal with rather more force than was probably required. I picked the penny up and also examined the shelf. Dramatic musical chord - DUN-DUN-DAAAH! There was no sticky residue nor indeed any other reason why the coin had stayed at that angle. I leaned it against the eraser several times and tried to duplicate the feat - even when doing it extremely carefully it was impossible to reproduce the effect. I had the penny that gravity forgot. I probably should've had it framed or mounted or something but I didn't. So the penny is just out there somewhere in circulation.

Tomorrow: The Mysterious Case of the Purple Bullfinch

1 comment:

  1. wow! I love it! I too would appreciate at least a little bit of 'low-strangeness' now and again.. break up the monotony a bit!