Fact or fiction?

A few years ago I made a habit of noting the random things I overheard (purely by chance, this was not intentional eavesdropping) and chronicling them on this blog in a cunningly named ‘overheard’ series. One of my favourites (aside from a locker room marriage chat) was one about a dead dog in a suitcase that got stolen

[You’ll have to follow that link, I’m not re-telling it here!]

I remember it vividly. I’d been having coffee with my friend Katie outside Cafe Nero by London Bridge’s pirate ship. It was a sunny day and while Katie went inside to use the facilities, I soaked up some rays. As I did so, I couldn’t help but overhear what the two ladies at the table next to us were talking about. It was utterly bizarre and enthralling, so I sat there with my eyes closed, trying to remember the details so I could write about it later.

It’s the kind of story that sticks in one’s head, so it’s not surprising that when I spotted the following exchange on Facebook last week, my attention was well and truly caught:

Spot that last comment? Dead dog in stolen suitcase reference. I couldn’t believe my eyes and spent some time wondering if I’d ever told Sophie the story (she was in my small group last year, so it was more than possible). At the same time as I was writing a comment to that effect, someone else joined in and things got even more curious: 

Have you heard the story? (Other than by reading this blog – and if you’ve been reading since May 2009 you deserve some kind of long-service award!) Is it a sophisticated urban myth? Was the old lady I heard telling the tale simply repeating something she’d heard elsewhere for comic effect? Or, was someone with a much, much more popular blog than mine in Cafe Nero that day and caused the story to go viral?

Who knows. Still, it makes for an excellent dinner party conversation.


  1. I’ve heard it, from two (and now three!) completely different sources… and one of those stories also mentioned it as ‘a friend of a friend’… v sophisticated urban myth I reckon!

  2. mind boggling! this gave me something to ponder. sadly though, this is the first i’ve heard.

    my dad tells the story of some boys who trapped a viscous bob-cat in a suitcase and put it on the side of the road. a man stopped his car, put the suitcase inside and drove away.

    anyone out there open a bobcatted suitcase?

    haha. i loved this post. so glad you shared.

  3. Can’t say that I’ve come across a bobcatted suitcase!
    (More to the point, I’m not sure that I’ve ever come across a bob-cat!)

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