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View Full Version : Moments you think you're losing your mind.



Woebot
17-10-2005, 10:02 AM
An extremely bizarre thing happened to me on Friday.

I was driving up to Bradford and on the way North I stopped at a service station called Tibshelf services.

Had a sandwich. Nosed around.

Then kept on travelling.

As it happened on the way south I pulled off the motorway to get some petrol at the same service station. Just a conicidence.

Parking my car outside the lodge once again (before filling up) I noticed things were subtley different. There had been a police unit in one of those permanent caravan jobbies beside the entrance.

Entering the building and it felt like I had come to the back door. All the components of the building were the same a Costa coffee shop, newsagent, phone accessories sales shop, but somehow they were all just slightly different.

Gradually i came to the conclusion that when they built the service station they must have used *precisely* the same floor plan and built two lodges, one either side of the motorway. The bizarre thing was when I spoke to the lady who was cleaning the floor, and asked her if there was a similar station on the other side of the road, she seemed totally baffled. Maybe she only works this one?!?

I drove back towards London feeling thoroughly confused (if a little amused). This twilight situation on a motorway- worthy of an incident in a book i reckon. It was almost as though I'd died and passed into a parrallel universe!

gabriel
18-10-2005, 11:38 AM
yeah that often happens to me, (stopping at the same place when doing in different directions) and yeah the service stations always seem to be pretty much exactly the same on both sides of road.... plus they're all so similar anyway and generally quite eerie. also, there always seems to be higher percentage of tracksuited/shellsuited people at service stations than anywhere else in my life. what's that about?

HMGovt
18-10-2005, 11:59 AM
also, there always seems to be higher percentage of tracksuited/shellsuited people at service stations than anywhere else in my life. what's that about?

Could be that such clothes are comfortable to travel in? It's probably not the case that service stations are holding pens for the untermensch.

gabriel
18-10-2005, 12:15 PM
good answer. hadn't thought of that.

mms
18-10-2005, 12:34 PM
Could be that such clothes are comfortable to travel in? It's probably not the case that service stations are holding pens for the untermensch.

yeah you get the same thing at airports
snowheads with freshly styled hair in comfy travelling clothes, everything very clean as they don't wear those clothes often .it's all a bit odd.

Lichen
18-10-2005, 12:35 PM
Could be that such clothes are comfortable to travel in? It's probably not the case that service stations are holding pens for the untermensch.

Which would explain why a similarly high percentage of this kind of clothing can be found on cross-channel ferries.

…but wouldn't explain why you rarely see them at train stations and airports. Motorway travel is relatively cheap. I think there may be an untermensch angle at work here, :o

Lichen
18-10-2005, 12:53 PM
Step into lift

Hum a tune

When doors open, step out

Swim in your wonder and confusion: "This environment mirrors exactly the one on the floor below"

Quickly realise lift hasn't actually gone anywhere

Dart back in

matt b
18-10-2005, 01:30 PM
Could be that such clothes are comfortable to travel in?

a quick trip to sunderland would destroy your argument ;)

jenks
18-10-2005, 08:00 PM
once, when invigilating a particularly impish colleague came up to me a whispered:

'do you remember coming in here?'

i didn't!

and i'd only been in the room for 5 minutes, it totally screwed my mind for the whole day.

michael
19-10-2005, 12:18 AM
This probably sounds like I have lost my mind, but first time I saw a whippet I honestly thought I was going nuts. :)

I was walking down these obscenely steep steps and the dog was running up them, directly towards me. Since it was completely straight on it looked about 3mm wide and I remember seriously freaking, thinking "IT IS NOT OF THIS EARTH!" for just that first second or so until I had a bit more time to see what was coming.

Haha.

3underscore
19-10-2005, 09:20 AM
Motorway service stations - there is a really scary one around Preston with a look-out tower.

One thing that has always really unknerved me about motorway service stations. As they are designed for a break from driving, why are the arcade machines nearly always driving simulators?

PeteUM
24-10-2005, 11:21 AM
This probably sounds like I have lost my mind, but first time I saw a whippet I honestly thought I was going nuts. :)

I was walking down these obscenely steep steps and the dog was running up them, directly towards me. Since it was completely straight on it looked about 3mm wide and I remember seriously freaking, thinking "IT IS NOT OF THIS EARTH!" for just that first second or so until I had a bit more time to see what was coming.

Haha.

Almost made me cry with laughter.

labrat
24-10-2005, 01:38 PM
This probably sounds like I have lost my mind, but first time I saw a whippet I honestly thought I was going nuts. :)

being from Wigan the first time I saw a dog that WAS'NT a whippet was pretty traumatic.

fldsfslmn
07-11-2005, 05:43 AM
This happened to me a few years ago at a service station somewhere near Liverpool (I think), while travelling by coach from Glasgow to London. I was a bit drunk leaving Glasgow, and at the service station I walked up a flight of stairs and down a long hallway, not realizing I was actually crossing the motorway via an enclosed footbridge. In fact, when I sat down for a bite to eat in the identical café on the other side, the function of the hallway was completely indistinct, having produced a mśbius strip-like effect. We simply don't have service stations that complex here in Canada.

... There was even a remarkably similar coach parked out front on the other side, and when I went onboard and climbed upstairs, the person sitting next to me was different, and my coat and bag were missing (containing my passport, bank cards, cash, personal effects). I didn't quite figure it out yet, though, and I had to actually get off the coach to see that it said CARLYLE on the front before the panic actually set in. It was a good sprint back over the footbridge, though. The driver of the London bus was so close to leaving that he actually had his foot on the brakes. I half hoped I would have been given the opportunity to start life over again with a new identity in CARLYLE. I think that would have been fun.

tryptych
07-11-2005, 02:50 PM
Motorway service stations - there is a really scary one around Preston with a look-out tower.



I grew up near there... I think the tower holds some kind of truckers cafe, but I'm not sure...

martin
07-11-2005, 03:14 PM
What I've never understood - why do all motorway service stations sell jazz mags? Do drivers really think, "I don't want to fall asleep on the motorway, so I'd better toss myself off"?

Lichen
07-11-2005, 04:14 PM
They're there for lorry drivers I reckon.

Same as King Size Rizla (at least that's what the Rizla MD told HM Queen when she was touring the fag paper factory.)

martin
07-11-2005, 04:22 PM
They're there for lorry drivers I reckon.


Ah, that's why they brought out those 'AM I DRIVING CAREFULLY? GRASS ME UP ON 0800 200 600' laminated stickers

Lichen
07-11-2005, 04:53 PM
Yeah. And they do tend to drive like wankers.


(sorry, I'm a pathological tone lowerer)

Raw Patrick
09-11-2005, 12:48 AM
I used to work in a garage and sold lots of porn mags to truck drivers. They always went for Razzle and Fiesta which shows limited horizons I think.

alo
10-11-2005, 11:45 PM
surely Men Only for that lad mag crossover style?

--------

There is always something incredibly poignant about travelling in general-- like the displacement of it somehow encourages you to to dwell on life. I always find my self looking at far i am toward where i want to be, what am i gonna do next etc...
Very melancholic at times.

Has anyone ever experienced the night train? Very weird. Many times i've done a London to Cornwall express and A) Theres no way you can sleep, especially on the fl;oor B) Its like a Lord Of The Rings mission: 8 hours, Sometimes followed by work in some instances.
Its very dark and strange, and then you hit Bodmin moor as the sun rises and stick your head out the window and you get hit by the beauty of the world smack bang.

.............

tom pr
11-11-2005, 03:12 AM
Has anyone ever experienced the night train? Very weird. Many times i've done a London to Cornwall express and A) Theres no way you can sleep, especially on the fl;oor B) Its like a Lord Of The Rings mission: 8 hours, Sometimes followed by work in some instances.
Its very dark and strange, and then you hit Bodmin moor as the sun rises and stick your head out the window and you get hit by the beauty of the world smack bang.
I did that journey as a younger a couple of times - it felt like quite an adventure back then, the sleeper train!

ripley
12-11-2005, 06:47 PM
I did that journey as a younger a couple of times - it felt like quite an adventure back then, the sleeper train!

I've taken the train from Cleveland, OH to Boston, MA, it's a 16 hour ride on the Lakeshore Limited.

When I could afford the sleeper car it was great, the cheaper version has a bed fold out from the wall so that there's no floor, it's just a bed enclosed, with a four-foot-wide window running along it, looking out across the countryside.

Add to that
1) it leaves at around 2am from Ohio, and
2) I brought my boombox for music,

and I had a near-spiritual experience, cocooned in sound, in this throbbing-rumbling cell, with the sun coming up across cornfields and industrial wastelands.

I once took the train from Cleveland to Los Angeles, which takes a couple of days and goes through the San Andreas valley. It was pretty gorgeous, but the deep thoughts came after the 3-hour unexplained halt in the Valley, after which we learned that a man had killed himself by stepping in front of the train.

Paqamaq
16-11-2005, 04:59 AM
This probably sounds like I have lost my mind, but first time I saw a whippet I honestly thought I was going nuts. :)

I was walking down these obscenely steep steps and the dog was running up them, directly towards me. Since it was completely straight on it looked about 3mm wide and I remember seriously freaking, thinking "IT IS NOT OF THIS EARTH!" for just that first second or so until I had a bit more time to see what was coming.

Haha.


Remeber giggling at this the other night when I was strung out on something. Came back to check it was real. It is, and again I feel strangely elated. Answers the question: "whippets, what are they for?" They're for laughing at innit.

PeteUM
16-11-2005, 08:02 AM
On the basis of this story, I think they may be laughing at us.

Tweak Head
25-11-2005, 11:23 PM
^^^ fldsfslmn: no, it probably wouldn't. Sorry.

I frequently go into a trance when driving. Completely in control, but I realise that I haven't heard any of the music that's been playing for the last 10 mins or so.

D7_bohs
03-01-2006, 04:40 PM
I did that journey as a younger a couple of times - it felt like quite an adventure back then, the sleeper train!
once took a sleeper train from Bologna to Messina in Sicily - 17 hrs total 8pm to 1pm the following day. Fine except just south of Naples, the conductor came around and locked our cabins and then locked himself in - the explanation; 'bandits' ..... despite which, we slept soundly.

Mister Lex
12-01-2006, 11:39 AM
Way back when East Germany was a Soviet satellite, I used to stop at a service station in the GDR on the drive from Hamburg to Berlin. It was eerily reminiscent of how UK service stations looked in the sixties. Very few petrol pumps and a shop selling Karo cigarettes (wood chippings rolled in bog roll) and some stale cakes. One or two GDR citizens were milling around but rarely many other people. These stations were still spooky desolate places that gave me the creeps.

I recently read Stasiland by Anna Funder (highly recommended) and discovered the following facts about these places.

1. They all had manned Stasi offices above the shop.
2. The petrol pumps had cameras in them at head height to photograph GDR pump users.
3. They had parked cars with cameras in the headlights at each station.
4. The petrol pump attendants were Stasi personnel.

No wonder I felt uneasy! I never felt uneasy to this extent anywhere else in the GDR. The Stasi monitored these places so heavily because they were transit points for smugglers of people and all kinds of other things and so they meticulously recorded the comings and goings.