I take an enormous amount of pride in my imagination. It is simply rampant. The slightest little input can trigger an image, the image becomes a story. I mean, not everyone could have driven past some roadkill in a dense fog and turned it into a voodoo necromancer and his zombie alligator.
But let me tell you, there are some things that even my fertile imagination couldn't dream up. Most of these have been told to me by my mother, who seems to have had some rather extraordinary experiences in her life.
I was watching a show about dogs the other day when a segment came on about the Borzoi, or Russian Wolfhound, and I suddenly remembered a story she had told me about an encounter she had had with the lovely breed of dog, and I'd like to share that with you, because I couldn't make this up if my life depended on it.
It was a hot summer's day when my mother was a teenager, a mere slip of a girl with long, wavy red hair. She was in attendance at a swanky city hotel to meet the eccentric Anna Anderson, the woman who claimed to be the Grand Duchess Anastasia.
The doors suddenly flew open to reveal Dr. Manahan, Anderson's husband and cheerleader, who made quite a fuss over introducing the strange woman, bowing and genuflecting. Anna Anderson herself shuffled in quietly, wearing an over sized rain coat and clutching a large red purse held together by wires, and disappeared into a private dining room.
Now, it transpired that Dr. Manahan had about a dozen golden Russian Wolfhounds in his old station wagon and as it was a very hot day he enlisted my mother's help in taking glasses of water out to them. Dr. Manahan, who was at best eccentric, but probably crazy, "accidentally on purpose" let all the dogs out and they promptly ran amok in the hotel.
Have you ever seen a Russian Wolfhound? Here, let me show you.
They are the second largest sight hound after the Irish Wolfhound. Now imagine a dozen of those pouring out of an old station wagon and into an upscale hotel dining room.
While the hotel manager screamed at Dr. Manahan to collect his dogs, there was my mom, in a white silk dress and high heels, running after twelve large, fast Wolfhounds with scraps of chicken and glasses of cold water. She and Dr. Manahan both were in their glory.
Not even Woody Allen could make something like this up, and he fought a giant souffle with a broom. I spent a good ten minutes rolling on the sofa laughing at the thought of my dolled up mother chasing a bunch of dogs through a hotel. It is one of those experiences that seem almost divine, and I am certain that no one else can claim to have done this.
I will struggle all my life to think of a story as funny and serendipitous as that hot summer afternoon. Fiction can't compare to real life.