Stranger than Fiction?

Is there anything that is too far-fetched to write in a book?

So far this week I have observed:

  • Our octogenarian neighbor, wearing a viking helmet, wheeled his rubbish bin to the curb.

  • A woman wearing a muʻumuʻu (colorful Hawaii dress) zipped by on a moped. She was hunched over going flat out, towing a trailer containing a dog wearing goggles. (The dog was wearing goggles, not the woman.)

  • A dread-locked fourteen-year-old, sitting on the beach in the morning with a cup of coffee, writing his memoirs.

As I often tell my wife: "I can't make this stuff up. I just take notes on what is going on around me."


The epigraph of Strange Weather in Chinatown is a quote from Mark Twain’s book, Following the Equator:

Truth is stranger than fiction,

but it is because fiction is obliged to stick to possibilities;

Truth isn’t.

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