This actually did happen to a real person, and the real person was me. I had gone to catch a train. This was April 1976, in Cambridge, U.K. I was a bit early for the train. I’d gotten the time of the train wrong. I went to get myself a newspaper to do the crossword, and a cup of coffee and a packet of cookies. I went and sat at a table.
I want you to picture the scene. It’s very important that you get this very clear in your mind. Here’s the table, newspaper, cup of coffee, packet of cookies. There’s a guy sitting opposite me, perfectly ordinary-looking guy wearing a business suit, carrying a briefcase. It didn’t look like he was going to do anything weird. What he did was this: he suddenly leaned across, picked up the packet of cookies, tore it open, took one out, and ate it.
Now this, I have to say, is the sort of thing the British are very bad at dealing with. There’s nothing in our background, upbringing, or education that teaches you how to deal with someone who in broad daylight has just stolen your cookies.
You know what would happen if this had been South Central Los Angeles. There would have very quickly been gunfire, helicopters coming in, CNN, you know… But in the end, I did what any red-blooded Englishman would do: I ignored it. And I stared at the newspaper, took a sip of coffee, tried to do a clue in the newspaper, couldn’t do anything, and thought, what am I going to do?
In the end I thought, Nothing for it, I’ll just have to go for it, and I tried very hard not to notice the fact that the packet was already mysteriously opened. I took out a cookie for myself. I thought, That settled him. But it hadn’t because a moment or two later he did it again. He took another cookie. Having not mentioned it the first time, it was somehow even harder to raise the subject the second time around. “Excuse me, I couldn’t help but notice …” I mean, it doesn’t really work.
We went through the whole packet like this. When I say the whole packet, I mean there were only about eight cookies, but it felt like a lifetime. He took one, I took one, he took one, I took one. Finally, when we got to the end, he stood up and walked away. Well, we exchanged meaningful looks, then he walked away, and I breathed a sigh of relief and sat back.
A moment or two later the train was coming in, so I tossed back the rest of my coffee, stood up, picked up the newspaper, and underneath the newspaper were my cookies.
The thing I like particularly about this story is the sensation that somewhere in England there has been wandering around for the last quarter-century a perfectly ordinary guy who’s had the same exact story, only he doesn’t have the punch line.
Douglas Adams, well known for writing The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy shares a very British story
They’re calling it H-day. The H might stand for ‘hockey’ or ‘hell,’ you don’t really remember. You only remember the day you turned on your local sports network to hear that every player in the NHL has been transformed based on the names of their teams. The ramifications of this range from merely nominal to, frankly, off the walls ridiculous.
Montreal and Vancouver, out of all the NHL cities, have seen the least effects. Their team names mean ‘Canadians, except in French’ and ‘Canadians, except in slang,’ respectively, so aside from a few sudden citizenship acquisitions, their players have experienced no changes. Likewise, the Islanders are essentially the same. Some extent of memory alteration is speculated, but that’s all Deadspin anyway, so who really knows?
The other New York team, on the other hand, has developed a strange predilection for reckless behaviour in the name of ‘adventure.’ They’ve also taken to rolling twenty sided dice before taking action, which tends to really slow down a hockey game.
Los Angeles and Las Vegas have come to an unlikely alliance. The LA team had devolved into power struggles and succession crises, so Vegas offered proxy fighters to joust on each LA player’s behalf. However, with many Kings and only one Knight, the teams have been forced to wait until the expansion draft to actually settle the disputes. Until then, the main concern is keeping the Kings away from the armoury that has sprung up in Buffalo, as most hockey fans agree that beheadings would be taking hockey fights too far.
When the Detroit players sprouted wings — literal red wings — many expected the same from Philadelphia. However, the Flyers have become a different type of flyer, and their management is currently scrambling to find all their players, floating around the city on the wind (Toronto, too, is having similar issues; they simply didn’t have enough rakes in the equipment room when the whole debacle began). Of particular importance is one flyer advertising grilled cheese sandwiches, which must never, under any circumstances, be allowed to find its way to Pittsburgh. It might cross the path of a passing flightless bird, who could mistake it for food, or worse, recognize it as who it actually is.
Speaking of Pittsburgh, they, along with Anaheim, are reaping the benefits of being one of the few animal-named teams whose mascot is relatively docile and non-threatening. Arizona, Florida, Boston, San Jose, and Nashville have all had to call in experts in the zoology business to deal with the sudden influx of apex predators.
Speaking of predators, Chicago is gone. Just gone. They had the misfortune to have a home stretch lined up where they played Carolina, Colorado, and Tampa in succession, and now they’re gone. Instead, the city has been replaced by a replica of Washington DC that inexplicably speaks Russian instead of English, but is otherwise indistinguishable. Twenty other versions of Washington have cropped up over the country, most of which are Russian-speaking.
The St. Louis music scene and the Columbus fashion industry have each had a sudden boom, revitalized by new trends. They don’t have much to do with each other, but the two cities agree: blue sure is a cool colour.
The province of Alberta, on other hand, is not in such agreement. For their own safety, Edmonton and Calgary are attempting to keep as separate as possible for the time being. What is left of their players cannot be allowed to interact, lest they ignite the entire country.
New Jersey is also having some problems. Then again, when are they not?
The Minnesota practice rink is no longer fit for use; it has become, essentially, a very cold forest. It now attracts hockey fans and tourists, many of whom claim to be able to hear the voices of the players among the trees. Others merely say it seems like a nice way to get back to nature.
But when it comes to getting back to nature, Dallas has us all beat. They have returned to a state of matter pre-dating our own planet and ascended into the night sky. Attempts are being made to bring them back to Earth, as it is not possible to play hockey games against them if they are in outer space — only Winnipeg might have even a chance. Unfortunately, the mission to bring the Stars back has hit a snag lately; Jamie Benn just won’t go down.
What she means: In The Phantom of the Opera, before everything goes down, how did the phantom “teaching” Christine actually go??? Cause what I’m picturing is Christine sitting in some room practicing away and then the phantom awkwardly shouting something like “less vibrato” from a closet or some crap. Then stupid little Christine going “ *gasp* My angel! My angel of music! Have you come to teach me just as dear father promised?” Then the phantom just being like “uh………….. …yes? *Ahem* Yes! Start again at measure 32!”
Jeff Atkins is a fucking angel. Clay should have taken his advice because she wanted him to come back. she wanted him to say “no, I’m not gonna leave because i love you”. Hannah wanted to hear Clay say those words, and Clay wanted nothing more than to have the courage to say those words because he knew it would change everything between them. And maybe if Clay went back to Hannah, Sheri wouldn’t have knocked the stop sign and my poor baby Jeff would never have died that night.
One of my favorite things about Sam Wilson as a character is how empathetic he is and how he always seems to figure out the right thing to say to Steve to let him help. Steve Rogers is a character that is terrible at accepting offers for help and even worse at asking for it, but Sam seems to be able to have no difficulty figuring out the right way to word his offers of help to Steve, in a way that Steve doesn’t refuse them.
A scene I haven’t heard talked about in meta, but was a great example of Sam’s character for me, was talking to Steve on the bridge before they bring down the helicarriers. (Okay, I think I have heard some “How dare he tell Steve to kill Bucky?” but I’ve very pointedly ignored that) Because that’s not what the conversation is about. At all.
Sam approaches Steve on the bridge, knowing that Steve is most likely going to have to make a very tough call. The man who used to be his best friend is now a threat to them and a threat to what they’re trying to accomplish, and Steve might have to take him out to take down Hydra.
“I’m thinking he’s not be the kind you save, he’s the kind you stop.” This is not Sam telling Steve that THEY will stop Bucky, that if Steve doesn’t stop Bucky, he will; he uses the word “you”. This is for Steve and up to Steve. Sam makes no ultimatums, nor threats of what will happen if Steve doesn’t follow through.
He’s telling Steve that it’s okay. That he might have to make that hard call, might have to take out the person who used to be his best friend, and that it might be the right call to make. He’s leaving it as a choice, and entirely up to Steve, but letting Steve know before he has to make the choice, that Steve shouldn’t feel guilty if that’s what he ends up having to do. And he’s saying it in an incredibly sensitive and delicate way. Because that’s how great Sam Wilson is.
Summary: Inspired by this post (x) Being born and raised in a HYDRA family means you must be a devoted member to the organisation, carrying out orders with blind obedience. But after being assigned the suicide mission of being the Winter Soldier’s handler, you slowly start to question where your loyalties truly lie.
Warnings: Blood, violence, swearing
Word count: 4286 It’s so LONG!
A.N: I am so exited for this!! I know it took me FOREVER to write and post this chapter but I really like the way the series is turning out and I hope you really enjoy this part. I also want to thank @wordsturnintostories for helping me with writers block and a THOUSAND than you’s to @vashanatasha for her help with the Russian translations. This entire chapter is dedicated to her because she’s a literal angel and this wouldn’t have come to life without her. <3
March 2009 Ukraine - 1307 Hours
“The target is a highly valued scientist
of S.H.I.E.L.D that’s about to be smuggled out of Iran by one of their
operatives, but we’re intercepting them with an operative of our own.” The
voice belonging to one of the commanders had long ago become white noise to you
as you walked ahead of him, clad in tactical gear full with a thick belt and
combat boots, with a knife strapped to one of your thighs. “Your
punishment is to go.”
“What do you mean this is punishment? It’s
murder! I’ve never had any proper agent training and now you’re sending me out
there to die.”