Tag Archives: my life is somebody’s story

Addendum to that last post about my improbable life

I kinda glossed over it but I was involved in a conflict before I enlisted.

Back in 1971 the country I was living in had an attempted coup and the rebels attacked the base I was living on, NCS Sidi Yahia, named after the closest town. The base was turned over to the Moroccan government after technology made it redundant but they still have it active for whatever reason.

Anywho, that summer one part of the country decided their king was too friendly with the infidels and tried to kick us out like they did back in the 50s when they kicked the French out, sorta. The base was already there and already doing what it was doing when we lived there, same people, different war. It was doing SigInt on the conflicts in Vietnam, because that was a pretty good place to eavesdrop on the radio chatter there because of the physics of the communications systems they used at the time, bouncing off the ionosphere. The same thing was going on during the 50s because while the Moroccans were kicking the French out of their country the Vietnamese were doing the same for their country, and because Cold War and everything we had bases in Morocco to cover different parts of Vietnam, Laos, and Cambodia. Sidi was just one of three bases we had active in the 60s and 70s that I was aware of. And it had been active during the 50s too. None of us were alive when the first thing happened back in the 50s but the procedures had been kept on file in case we had to do it again, and parts we did. The Boy Scouts were told to make ourselves ready to work as message runners to some of the more distant parts of the base, I think just to keep us busy because we never actually did, and otherwise we were all supposed to stay inside and away from windows, and we had to take in people who had been living off base, or “on the economy” just in case the rebels tried to kidnap them and use them as hostages like they did with the base commander, who had been doing some kind of diplomatic thing with the mayor of Sidi Yahia when the rebels captured the whole city government and a good chunk of the base command structure.

Anywho they grabbed a bunch of their people and our people, took their pants and shoes away, and put them in a kind of local corral that used hedges of thorn bushes to keep sheep or camels or something like that. Now being that I was like 12 YO and technically a civilian I was only told about the things I needed to know, which was that this had happened before and there was a grass airstrip outside the base where they had landed the military versions of the DC3 back in the 50s, and where they would land C-130s in 1971 if they needed to evacuate us this time. I had been there a couple of times during Boy Scout hikes around the base so I was familiar with that part of the plan already.

A part of the plan was we had scheduled a Little League baseball picnic before the coup, so to show how unconcerned we were with their little hissy fit we held our picnic and game of the kids against the parents, but there was a machine gun nest outside the centerfield wall with Marines manning it. They were manning it with all the ammunition safely locked in the ammo bunkers on the other side of the base, but there was a machine gun nest with sandbags and M-60s with empty ammo cans outside center field.

Again, this was just one small incident in my life, that when you look at it objectively sounds like it would never happen in real life, but did happen in my life. And this is why when I tried do calculate the odds against my life actually happening I got greater than google to one against before I even graduated from High School. Because nobody in a real life has this much stuff happen to them.

My life is a bad novel

I was just having a discussion on a Discord about what can be believed in a story, and what just doesn’t happen in real life. Then this person proceeds to pretty much describe my life experience in a different order and leave it as an example of a story that can’t be believed.

Now I sometimes think I need to get a better script writer for my life, or stop doing my own stunts. I saw a T-shirt a while back that said “I do all my own stunts”. I need one that says “I’m improvising an action adventure movie, stand back unless you want to be in the stunt”. I mean like seriously who else does this happen to?

My childhood was chaotic because I was a Cold War Military Brat. OK one of several thousand there. Got caught in a short armed conflict as a child, that happens. Accidentally set myself on fire while trying to do something nice for my parents, that happened to a lot of people. Been shot at several times, all missed, happens to a lot of people. Been hit by a truck and walked away, again, happened to a few hundred people. But I’m sure you can see these are very small sets and the overlaps are getting smaller and smaller. Add in the fact that I’m in some of these sets multiple times and the statistics and probabilities start getting ungood. I mean, the probability of getting hit by a truck such that the truck had to be scrapped is not high, the odds against surviving that are even smaller, the odds of it happening more than once are astronomical, the odds of walking away from it twice are just beyond calculation, and surviving it 3 times? My calculator blew up (not literally, but I did get an overflow error, just from surviving the first two). My calculator can’t go higher than 9.999999X10^99, and I got that for surviving the first two wrecks and walking away. After that, well things get really improbable. Anyone remember the starship Heart of Gold? My life is a byproduct of someone taking it for a joyride through our universe. I mean seriously some of this stuff is just completely unbelievable, leaving out the trucks I killed. Just counting the number of times I was accidentally downrange when someone started shooting and you start getting crazy odds against before I even get into the Army where people are supposed to get shot at.

Now you wanna get into really high adverse odds, look at my sex life. Or don’t, because it’s not believable either. Or delivering my daughter at home compound breech, nobody even scratched. Or a bunch of other things I still can’t talk about that officially Never Happened, And There Were No Survivors since it Never Happened…

The Venn Diagram that tracks my life looks like a spirograph with thousands of ellipses that have only a single point of commonality, and that’s just What Happened. When you add in Location and the odds against my being there Where It Happened, When It Happened… Some of these things could happen anywhere, some were very time and place specific. And the odds against being There and Then…

I’m going to stop this because I’m getting a little squicked at this.

Expanding on part of yesterday’s post- Media Aware

In my last post I postulated that I have become aware that I’m a character in a series of stories after reviewing my life and realizing that shit like that doesn’t all happen to the same person outside of fiction. And that my writer(s) are apparently a bit on the hack side as writers go.

As a f’rinstance my wallet showed up in the mail today with my ID and everything still inside it. The only thing missing was the $10 bill, because I need the ID to sell my plasma and start making a steady income of sorts. It showed up in a padded mailing envelope with my full deadname and no return address. What makes this suspect was the timing, yesterday I posted that I needed a source of income but I couldn’t do it without my ID and today there’s my ID again, in a padded mailing envelope with no return address. Now most people would just thank their luck and continue on with their lives, but them most people haven’t been hit by trucks and survived 3 times when the trucks didn’t, haven’t gotten caught in a shooting revolution that one side wanted to kick you out of the country if you survived, haven’t learned to fly, haven’t built race cars and bicycles… See what I mean? One or two of those things is an interesting life, this is a character in a story.

And part of the reason I know I’m a character in a story is I’m a writer so I’m more aware of things like that. I read fiction, I try to write fiction, so I recognize the things that happen in fiction that don’t happen in real life. Like someone getting killed and “waking up” when they are scraping the body off the pavement. Like money just dropping into my life at particularly opportune moments and running out at precisely the time when it would make a plot point. And a whole bunch of other things I don’t want to relate because I have a hard time believing it myself.

So, our “real life” is someone else’s “storyland”, and I suspect the reverse is true hence the entry in TVTropes. And as soon as I finish this post I’m going to ride my bike. I have been stretching my hip, the tires are pumped, the weather is nice, so Ima go for a bike ride.

Billed @€0.02, Opus the Unkillable