Posts Tagged: true stories

If I Had A Dollar For Every Time I Was Asked To Cover A Teenage Boy In Fake Placenta…

…I would have exactly one dollar, because I've only been asked once. But that seems like more than enough, right? This was back during my makeup artist days and it was for some terrible independent short film, a kind of "safe sex" mockumentary informercial, and a character was supposed to hallucinate a pregnancy that ended in a teenage boy being born. "I want him to be, like, covered in placenta," the director told me in our initial meeting. "Like his hair should be dripping wet from placenta."

Listen, the best thing about working as a makeup artist is you learn to never tell your boss "no," you say, [...]


Bill Murray and Me

The first time I met Bill Murray, I was 18 years old and wearing a miserable brown ensemble.

The garments belonged to my mother, and for unknown reasons I had filched them to add to my own wardrobe in New York: a chocolate, polyester blouse, light-washed jeans, and mahogany, backless loafers in the style of re-imagined Mary Janes. I had just moved to the city for college and the independent film I interned for consisted of a tidy editorial crew (Editor, Assistant Editor, and me.) Rather than cool clothes, I outfitted myself with that spirited, blind alacrity only youth affords. I was thrilled to work on a real film—in the [...]


Bonded and Bound by Flesh: The Story of Daisy and Violet Hilton

We all long for a kind of bond that can’t be broken by time or distance. You hear stories about twins who share a natural closeness and an almost telepathic communication when separated from the other. Who wouldn’t want a special connection with a sibling who was the mirror of our thoughts and feelings? Or would the attachment be so constricting it strangled? What if your special someone was inches from you 24/7, for life?

Daisy and Violet Hilton were sisters cemented together by a band of flesh. It was a curse and a blessing: without it, they would have been freed from their trouble; with it, they were the [...]


A Brief Addendum to Our Craigslist Wedding Story

Lindsey Grad and Nick Hassell published their story about a blind Craigslist wedding date on The Hairpin earlier today. It's a lovely account, but there was one moment that rightfully left people wondering: Nick had been in a sling that day because, he wrote rather casually, "I had recently been shot. With a shotgun. At close range. But that is a story for another day." I asked him to send along the background at his convenience, and he did:

I was shot on December 29, 2007. Football fans might recall that date as the same evening the Patriots finished their perfect regular season with a win over the [...]


The Girl Who Shot The Natural

From The Stacks, the true story of Ruth Steinhagen, the young woman who shot Philadelphia Phillies player Eddie Waitkus in the stomach in June 1949. The crime later became a plot point in Bernard Malamud's The Natural:

It was getting late, and Ruth had all but given up hope that she would hear from Eddie, when the telephone rang. The abruptness of it startled her. Even more, she was surprised to hear his voice—friendly yet prodding, in a hurry to get to the bottom of why she had contacted him. Ruth composed herself, reiterated the urgency of the matter, and invited him up. As soon as [...]


The Mandoline: A Culinary History

The mandoline was invented in the late 18th century by Doctor Joseph-Ignace Guillotin (better known for his eponymous creation) and named after his ex-girlfriend, Mandy. Marie Antoinette, struck by their cunning charms and miniature stature, ordered that one be placed in every room of the Petit Trianon, for doll executions. Following her death in 1793, her nephew, Francis II, asked for and received his aunt's remaining mandolines (four having been irreparably damaged during their attempted escape from Paris.)

"This morning, it slid sideways and took my hand with it–avulsing the top digit of my pinky finger." —Savvy Skeptic

Francis's father (Leopold II) having abolished capital punishment in the Holy [...]