Real-life events that seem fictional

A Doper commented that Donald Trump’s candidacy in this presidential election was “Tom Clancey-esque” - that a laughable, outrageous, wealthy buffoon could be one of the two main candidates in a presidential election, and actually be taking a lot of vote by storm and running reasonably close behind Hillary, seemed like something out of fiction.
The 9/11 attacks definitely had something Hollywood-ish or movie-like to them, and a friend commented a few days after the attacks that it felt like watching a Hollywood-type action/conspiracy movie.
In sports, I think Super Bowl XLII (Giants 17, Patriots 14) definitely felt like something out of a sports-movie script. An underdog Giants team, going up against the 16-0 undefeated New England Patriots juggernaut, and then the ridiculous ‘Helmet Catch’ by David Tyree in the waning minutes of regulation? That would be considered too cheesy and obvious a plot if it were Hollywood scripting, yet that’s what happened in real life.
Anything in real life that seems fictional, or like something a writer or movie director would have cooked up?

That makes me wonder if the Doper in question had actually read any of Tom Clancy’s books, or remembers Ross Perot’s candidacy.

The 9/11 attacks were deliberately outlandish.

Nixon’s resignation.

The 9/11 attacks were foreshadowed in Tom Clancy’s Debt of Honor book which was released in 1994. I wouldn’t be surprised if that’s where the idea came from.

The landing of the Curiosity Rover.

The way they took out Bin Laden was pretty cool too.

The Running Man1982

I was working night-shifts in 2001 and I had just gotten up, brushed my teeth etc, went into the living room and turned on the television to BBC News just in time to see footage of the second plane impacting the Twin Towers, my first thought was, “What movie is that?” I thought they were advertising an upcoming disaster film.

Oh and as for foreshadowing the 1999 computer game ‘Deus Ex’ set in a future time period has a New York skyline missing the twin towers which were destroyed in an earlier terrorist attack.

This seriously happened to me last April:

I had a great-uncle I used to write to and stay in touch with going back to when I was in high school. He didn’t have any children of his own, but had a lot of great-nieces and nephews, and remembered all of our birthdays, and the holidays with cards and small checks.

I went and visited him a few times when I was in my 20s and 30s, and to be fair, I was one of the closest to him geographically, and it was easy to stop by if drove out to visit my mother.

Anyway, he died last January, and left most of his money and stocks to my mother and me. My mother had been the one who took care of him and helped him get his affairs in order during his last illness. He left everyone something, but he left most of it to my mother and me, and it was more than anyone other than my mother realized.

No one is seething with jealously, since everyone made choices, and my cousins who live in Oregon and California couldn’t exactly pop down to Cleveland to see him, like I could; a little jealously would make it really Hollywood, but I can truthfully say I didn’t keep in touch with him or visit him with any expectation of anything. It came as a total surprise when I found out I had money coming. That’s the Hollywood part.

So I made a special effort to attend his funeral, and of course, no one else did, but again, it was a half-day’s drive for me, and would have been much more difficult for my cousins who lived much farther away. It just happens that the closest one besides me is in Chicago (and he’s the one who’s kind of a jerk), but everyone else is in Texas, or one of the coasts. Plus, they all were sort of on notice that my grandmother’s funeral would be coming up (she was 98 and not doing well), and they’d have that to pay for and take off work for.

Not as exciting as a terrorist attack, but it happened to me, personally, so I thought I’d note it.

Saddam Hussein, who was the unquestioned leader of Iraq for decades ended up hiding in a hole in the ground. There were also reports of him driving around Baghdad wearing a fake beard and driving a taxi after the invasion.

Col Qaddafi dying like a rat, in a sewer.

I’m watching the current (American) election as if it’s an absurdist comedy. If it’s a drama, they’re writing it way too cheesy.

The whole Anthony Weiner fiasco. He could have been a prominent politician, but he just couldn’t resist the temptation to send women pictures of his genitalia.

The second most ridiculous aspect of the whole thing is that he was recently trying to stage a comeback. He might have succeeded had he not sabotaged himself by repeating the behavior that got him into so much trouble to begin with.

How about Luis Suarez, one of the three greatest soccer players in the entire world, who can’t stop biting people?

Alcibiades.His story sounds literally incredible. If George RR Martin wrote it, you’d be rolling your eyes at how contrived it all was.

Almost two decades ago a bunch of friends of mine met for a road trip to visit another friend of mine. The latter has a very interesting life story.

He’s the son of a European engineer who went with his company to work in a third world country building bridges. There he met a local girl and they had a son. All of a sudden a violent comunist revolution erupted – as was fashionable back then. They couldn’t make it out on time and got caught in the violence. I don’t know the exact circumstances – he doesn’t talk about it – but they manage to sneak the little kid out of the country. Before he was 20 he was living in the US, and he was able to get his mom to come and never returned to either of his parent’s countries, his father had died during the troubles.

That’s not the movie-like part.

On that trip was a FOF who was visiting from Europe. I mentioned to my friend that she had his same mix of nationalities. She told him her father was an engineer working in that same third world nation where he met her mother. Both managed to flee, she was born in Europe. My friend looked very shocked. He told her his story, she asked her the name of his father. She looked like somebody punched her in the face…

Her father’s best friend didn’t make it out, and he had been tormented by not knowing what happened to his friend’s family. And here their children meet, at a farm, in the middle of nowhere, on a country completely unrelated to any of this.

It was the weirdest thing I have ever witnessed.

The moon landing.

My great-grandparents’ love story sounds like something out of a 19th-century novel, but it comes out of 19th-century reality. I’ll call them Amelia and José, which aren’t really their names anyway.

They were from Bilbao. Well, she was from Bilbao… he was from “the wrong side of the river” (Barakaldo). They met aged 17, at a party at the house of some of her cousins; Amelia was there because, having reached “eligible age”, she was supposed to start meeting some eligible guys, José attended Jesuit school with her cousins, having a 100% scholarship, and at the end of the school year was going to move away for medical school, again with a 100% scholarship from the Jesuits.

They met, they started talking, and by the time they got pried apart (mind you, they had kept a perfectly decent distance all through the conversation), people were joking about wedding bells.

Upon hearing that José was from the wrong side of the river, Amelia’s mother had kittens, baby gorillas and a slew of orcas. “You are NOT seeing him again!” “Am too!” “Are not!” “I will!” “You are a minor, you live in my house, and you will follow my rules! You’re grounded!”

She was grounded until Christmas, by which time he was away at college. They didn’t meet again until a fateful day ten years later where each went to turn a corner (I even know which corner! The chocolatier across the boulevard is still in the same place) and “oh, I’m sorr… OH!”

After spending several hours making sure the corner wouldn’t fall down, each went home with heart-shaped eyes. Life was beautiful, lalala, (s)he still likes me, lalala… Again, her mother had kittens, gorillas and baby orcas, but alas! She was a legal adult now! “You will NOT marry him!” “I SO will!” “I do not give my permission and neither will your father!” “I am 27! STUFF IT!” “We will disown you!” “Disown THIS!”

So yeah, they did disown her. But hey, she was a legal adult, nyah nyah. They got married, lived at first in Madrid, then he got a job as a rural doctor in Arán Valley; my grandmother was born in Madrid but her dad was already in Arán, her brother was already born in Arán. And then when they were still very little, there was an epidemic of tiphus (might be called something else nowadays) and as it often happened, one of its first victims was the young doctor :frowning:

Amelia and her children were “received” by the family of one of the same cousins who’d been José’s college-mates, again something which seems out of a 19th century novel. My grandmother never got to meet her maternal grandmother, and the grandfather barely.

Both those cousins and my grandfather have peculiar lastnames; several years ago I had a job in Bilbao and happened to meet one of those distant relatives. The conversation where we verified that indeed, he was the grandson of my grandmother’s same-age second-cousin from the same household was incomprehensible to anybody who didn’t know the story.

Bill Clinton and Monica Lewinski.

I can easily believe that a president would get a BJ from an intern. I can easily believe that his political opponents would use it against him. But the political, legal, and media frenzy was astonishing.

If you had written a book with that plot, the publisher would have said, “Not interested. It’s not funny enough to be good satire, and it’s too melodramatic to be good allegory.”

I thought that was fictional.

The story of Vasili Arkhipov, who may have single-handedly prevented World War III during the Cuban Missile Crisis.

Operation Mincemeant, an elaborate ruse during WWII intended to convince the Axis that the Allies were not about to invade Sicily. It involved planting fake documents on a dead body with a fake identity and allowing it to be discovered.