Monday, February 11, 2008

My "New Weird" Moment

There’s been one story I’ve peddling for the past few years about the perils of wishing for something you don’t really want. This story takes place back in 2003 or 2004, when I was still in college (Ateneo de Manila University) and the comic/manga shop CCHQ was still in existence.

At the time, I was spending most of my free time at CCHQ, watching comic and manga fans enter the shop (and occasionally helping out when the need arises). Now there’s this clique of girls from the school nearby, Miriam University, and long story short, I ended up befriending some of them.

Now one of the girls in that clique—who I barely knew but I did catch the name—started stalking me via my cellphone. She made around a dozen 2-second missed calls and when I did hit the “answer” button on my phone, she’d drop the call. There were a couple of text messages though, wanting to talk to me about manga and life in general, but honestly, I don’t want to hold an entire conversation via my phone’s small computer screen and keyboard.

I didn’t succeed in getting her to stop pestering me that day and so I told the entire incident to my pal Elbert. Now Elbert was busy with his comics work back then and when he heard that I had acquired a stalker, he foolishly said he wished he had one because that was an affirmation of fame (or at the very least some attention).

Now Elbert had another good friend—I currently forgot the person’s real name so let’s make up a new one such as Louie—who recently changed numbers. Now in the Philippines, we had two Telecom providers back then, Globe and Smart. Now the two companies distinguished themselves apart by the first four digits of their cell numbers: Globe began with 0917 while Smart began with 0918 and 0919. Elbert managed to acquire Louie’s phone number but he forgot which provider he belonged to and so he sent a message to all three possible numbers, identifying himself and apologizing if the recipient wasn’t Louie.

Well, suffice to say, one of the numbers was indeed Louie. However, one of the other people he contacted was my stalker. Now Elbert hangs out at CCHQ more than I do and was also exposed to that particular clique of girls. Since I was less than enthusiastic to be pestered by my stalker, she instead started calling and texting Elbert. That was one stalker off my back and well, I always did say Elbert was a people person.

Here's the contest details courtesy of Jeff Vandermeer:

In honor of the publication of The New Weird anthology, which we hope you’ll consider buying, Ann and I have decided to have a little contest. Tell us your “new, weird” story–something strange (but entertaining and either PG-rated or with the naughty bits blocked out) that happened to you or you witnessed in the last couple of years. Hopefully some of these will be bizarre but also uplifting, although that’s not a requirement. It’s more about…hey, this world we live in is an odder place than we might think. All of those stories in The New Weird from China Mieville, Clive Barker, K.J. Bishop, Steph Swainston, Jeffrey Ford, Jay Lake, Pual Di Filippo, Michael Moorcock, M. John Harrison, and others–they’re not strange; the world is strange!

What do you win? The three winners, chosen by Ann and me, will win ONE COPY OF EACH ANTHOLOGY WE EDIT BETWEEN NOW AND 2010, PERSONALIZED. Yes, that’s correct. You will get a copy of The New Weird, Steampunk, The Leonardo Variations (Clarion charity anthology), Fast Ships/Black Sails (pirates), Best American Fantasy 2, Best Horror 2009, Last Drink Bird Head, Mapping the Beast: The Best of Leviathan, and various other anthologies currently in the planning stages. Heck, we’ll even throw in the first couple issue of Weird Tales with Ann as fiction editor. We also reserve the right to give out honorable mentions, said HMs to receive a copy of the NW antho.

Contest Rules:
- Must post the incident in the comments field on this blog entry (with your full name, if possible) and also, if you have a blog, we strongly suggest you post it there and link back to us (gives us all more traffic and content!)
- Try not to go over 300-500 words in relating your true story or everyone’s eyes will glaze over.
- Contest ends February 17th, Sunday, at midnight EST.
- You can be located anywhere in the world and still enter the contest, but we reserve the right to ship books to overseas contest winners using an method other than first class airmail.

Also, check out The New Weird’s connection to Mike Libby’s awesome Insect Lab.

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