Two splendid tales this week, both featuring women facing misfortune.

The first featured a perennial favourite topic of mine, the uncanny transatlantean ability to come up with strange stories involving humans interacting with animals. I’m sure you remember the breathalyser-cheating raccoon in San Diego. The man caught on camera getting jiggy with his nagging wife’s dog. The guy (drunk, obviously) sexually assaulting an alligator that had ‘annoyed’ him. The bar in Brookville PA that came under attack from a disgruntled refused customer wielding a dead groundhog.

We return now to Pennsylvania, this time to the City of Brotherly Love. I have to say I’m not sure of the accuracy of this story, but there are multiple sources, and I want it to be true. Here’s the essence of the tale, or maybe tail. Call Lisa Lobree to the stand.

Ms Lobree was on the way to a fitness class on September 5th when she was poleaxed by a whiskered catfish falling on her head.


This particular specimen was no tiddler either, coming in at 16” in length. That has to hurt, and indeed it did. The redoubtable Ms Lobree sustained a cut that later required antibiotics, so it’s probably not superficial.

A friend who was with her ran to the studio where the class was about to begin, and yelled at the instructor, ‘I need your phone! Lisa has been hit by a fish!’ That’s the sort of thing that might unsettle even the most experienced trainer, don’t you think? It would unsettle me. I might just have collapsed laughing and been unable to assist.

We now travel across the Pond, where things are a bit more pastoral. I refer you to the bucolic setting of Stokeinteignhead* in Devon, and to one of the residents, Rosamund Perrin. A pair of her frillies that had been on her washing line was pushed through her letterbox, along with a complaining note.

‘It is totally innapopiate (sic) for this type of garment to be displayed opposite the village primary school.’ There was more blather about the community.

It gets better, if possible. A couple of years ago, Ms Perrin’s smalls were the subject of a complaint to the parish council, but nobody can recollect what the complaint was. You have to love British country living.

After the story appeared on her daughter’s Facebook page, Ms Perrin was sent dozens of pairs of scanties to turn into bunting.

*I imagine some non-Brits will struggle with the pronunciation. I had to look it up, and I’m still not sure, so don’t feel too bad.