Mystery Factory


Category: Anecdotes

Cool as a Cucumber

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What the heck is person or persons unknown going to do with $10,000 worth of cucumbers? That’s one question the Adelaide police are probably asking themselves after eleven robberies of the cylindrical gourd as reported by The Sydney Morning Herald on August 12, 2009. Then there’s the question of identifying the stolen goods. How do you tell one cucumber from another. Can you pick it out of a line-up of other cucumbers?

$10,000 of cucumbers is an awful lot of salad and facials, that’s for sure – or a cucumber cleanse. Or maybe there’s something more sinister afoot  … maybe it’s a new unusual, untraceable murder weapon.

In the 1600s, raw vegetables were seen as poisonous or fit only for feeding livestock. Cucumbers were called cowcumbers because they were feed to the cows. Samuel Pepys, famous for his diary written at that time, had an entry in September of 1663, “this day Sir W. Batten tells me that Mr. Newhouse is dead of eating cowcumbers, of which the other day I heard of another, I think.” What a pickle.

Parachute Panties

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parachute panties2My husband recently asked a new friend, aged seventy something, what her most thrilling adventure had been in life, so far. This darling woman related the following:

She was seven years old and living in England during World War II. Occasionally German pilots got shot down and parachuted from their planes to the relative safety below. One day this happened near the small village she was living in. As the unsuspecting soldier was billowing to earth, all the woman in town, along with our young friend,  rushed madly out and attacked the dangerously armed enemy.

They stripped the confused pilot of his parachute and, leaving him to his own devices, went gaily back to their houses to divvy up the spoils. Luxuries were rare in those days and the fabric was used to make underwear. Parachute panties were something of a status symbol and well worth the hazard involved in getting the raw material. It had been quite the thrill for a seven year old in those dark times.

Negotiating Reality

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In his book ‘The Biology of Transcendence’, Joseph Chilton Pearce relates how reality is negotiable when one is in an unconflicted state. Easier said than done as most of us are always conflicted about something or other.

Occasionally, some lucky soul stumbles through and alters reality, often unaware of their part in the miracle. An excellent example of this was reported by CBC news on June 23, 2009, Saint John, NB, when Jim Blagden saw a toddler fall from a third story window and rushed to save him. No conflict there. Save the baby was the total focus of his intention. He raced forward and later told his experience to others.

“He came down head first and I had my arm out and he hit my forearm and after he hit my body, he kind of bounced in the air and still went down,” Blagden said.

“And the last second I grabbed his ankles. It was odd cause it’s like he fell and then all of a sudden I was holding his ankles and it was like, how did this happen?”

Probably True

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A policeman was being cross-examined by a defense attorney during a felony trial. The lawyer was trying to undermine the policeman’s credibility…

Q: ‘Officer — did you see my client fleeing the scene?’
A: ‘No sir. But I subsequently observed a person matching the description of the offender, running several blocks away.’

Q: ‘Officer — who provided this description?’
A: ‘The officer who responded to the scene.’

Q: ‘A fellow officer provided the description of this so-called offender. Do you trust your fellow officers?’
A: ‘Yes, sir. With my life.’

Q: ‘With your life? Let me ask you this then officer. Do you have a room where you change your clothes in preparation for your daily duties?’
A: ‘Yes sir, we do!’

Q: ‘And do you have a locker in the room?’
A: ‘Yes

sir, I do.’

Q: ‘And do you have a lock on your locker?’
A: ‘Yes sir.’
Q: ‘Now why is it, officer, if you trust your fellow officers with your life, you find it necessary to lock your locker in a

room you share with these same officers?’
A: ‘You see, sir — we share the building with the court complex, and sometimes lawyers have been known to walk through that room.’


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Apparently in the summer of 1958, a group of overworked, exhausted CIA spies were relaxing during the wedding of a comrade, between crisis situations in Berlin. They ate, drank and posed for pictures. Later, when one of the fellows asked the groom for copies of the wedding pictures, the groom replied, ‘We didn’t hire a photographer.”