Tuesday 21 August 2018

Tall, dark, handsome ... and dead

Aye, Aye, captain: Amanda Teague (left), a Jack Sparrow impersonator, had almost given up the ghost when she met her love interest, a 300-year-old Haitian pirate ghost
Aye, Aye, captain: Amanda Teague (left), a Jack Sparrow impersonator, had almost given up the ghost when she met her love interest, a 300-year-old Haitian pirate ghost
Kirsty Blake Knox

Kirsty Blake Knox

Just when we needed it most, it arrived. A love story that will warm the cockles of your heart.

It might also restore your faith in the modern dating scene, the sustainability of the gender-blind movie-impersonation industry, and seaborne wedding ceremonies - all in one swoop.

This week, it emerged that Amanda Teague, a 45-year-old Drogheda woman and Captain Jack Sparrow impersonator, had married her long-term love interest: a pirate ghost.

Mother-of-five Amanda first became aware of her soon-to-be husband's spirit when she was lying in bed.

She soon learned his name was Jack, which was slightly confusing given Amanda's line of work, but we'll carry on.

Jack was everything Amanda had been looking for - tall, dark, handsome, and dead.

To be precise, he was a 300-year-old Haitian pirate ghost who had been killed on the open seas during the 18th Century.

At first, Amanda was apprehensive about getting involved with the spirit because she didn't know if the living and the dead could become compatible life partners.

Plus, as far as I'm aware, 'In Committed Relationship With Pirate Ghost' is not an option on any CSO forms.

But it comes as no surprise that Jack wasn't giving up without a fight. He began accompanying Andrea on long drives. After her day of being a part-time Jack Sparrow impersonator, Andrea would return home and tell Jack all about the daily grind.

She also learned about his life. It seems he had once been engaged but was jilted at the altar. And so a heart-broken Jack began traversing the high seas, until he was eventually caught and executed for marauding and pillaging.

As Amanda and Jack's relationship evolved, they started doing all the normal things that couples do.

Presumably, that means having arguments, watching Netflix marathons, and taking trips to Ikea.

Amanda told the Irish Sun: "I told him I wasn't really cool with having casual sex with a spirit, and I wanted us to make a proper commitment to each other." Eventually, Jack did the honourable thing and proposed, and a delighted Amanda said yes.

The couple got married on a boat on international waters so the marriage would be considered legal. A medium was on hand to interpret Jack's vows.

The couple are now writing a book about their relationship to help others in similar situations. Amanda is confident there is a market out there, as it seems she isn't the first or the last woman to fall for a ghost.

While that statement might not be scientifically certifiable, it is certainly true, if renowned real-life stories magazines like Chat!, Take A Break! and That's Life! are anything to go by. I'm not having a go at these magazines, by the way.

In fact, I read all of the following articles in the latest edition of Chat!: "The Day it Rained Snot"; "Nazi Super Cows Attempt to Kill Farmer"; "Pee at your Peril! Here's the 5 Most Haunted Toilets in the Country" and (my personal favourite) "Unlock the Psychic Power of …Your Keys".

Amanda's story - and my follow-up research (reading Chat! back issues) did result in me having a eureka moment.

There is a gap in the market for the world's first ghost-dating show. Think about it. It could combine Blind Date with Most Haunted, and would match singles with century-old ghosts.

Working titles include A Ghost of a Chance… of Love?/Spirited Away/ I Love Boo!

We could get Mystic Meg, Derek Acorah, and Linda Martin to help connect women/ men with their spiritual other-half.

Okay, I haven't figured out the exact format, but it would definitely fill the horrific TV void that is left every time a series of First Dates draws to a close. TLC producers, hit me up.

The power and peril of the work-place nap

Falling asleep on the job is generally considered to be a bad thing.

Dozing off in a meeting probably won't encourage your boss to give you that pay rise. In fact, it may even result in you getting the boot.

But, if deployed correctly, the work-place nap can be very powerful.

This week, Tory MP Sir Desmond Swayne appeared to dose off in the House of Commons while his colleague Ken Clarke droned on about the intricacies of EU legislation.

The MP's shut-eye caused a bit of a furore. He apologised afterwards, saying the momentary lapse was a result of him being tuckered out after an early-morning swimming class.

"I dozed off for 30 seconds," he told the BBC. "That is the extent of it... It won't happen again."

There has been speculation that the MP's nap attack was not accidental. While Swayne flatly denies this, I have my doubts. I think he knew it was the pitch-perfect moment to enjoy what the Japanese have dubbed "inemuri".

The word roughly translates as "being present while sleeping", and is apparently a work-place custom in the land of the Rising Sun.

In Japan, getting 40 winks instead of answering your emails is not considered to be rude. It's viewed as a sign of diligence: a minor act that showcases how busy you are. It's on a par with eating Al Desko (you don't have the time to nip out to Centra), or loudly apologising for never getting back to people.

It is also a great disabler. I was once in an editorial meeting, pitching story ideas with fellow reporters, when we became aware of a light snoring in the corner of the room.

We turned around to see a teenager on work experience had fallen asleep in a swivel chair. Ironically, it was a wake-up call for the rest of us, and we started revising those story lists.

Of course, the work-place nap is a high-risk gamble.

Let's not forget the fate of Korea's vice-premier-for-education Kim Yong-jin, who was publicly executed by dictator Kim Jong-un for snoozing during one of his speeches. Best to proceed with caution.

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