Stranger than fiction: Is ‘The Pirates of Maryland Point’ a true story?

It is a often said that truth is stranger than fiction. Which is bloody obvious really, as life doesn’t need to adhere to a nice overarching story arc, so it can twist and turn like a pit of snakes. Anyway, I digress…

It turns out that even the madness of far-fetched fiction may in fact be less far-fetched than life itself.

Recently, some eagle-eyed readers of my Cockney/Pirate East End comedy The Pirates of Maryland Point emailed me some snaps,

showing goings on in the real world that could’ve come straight out of the book. Feast thine eyes. (Contains Spoilers).


Exhibit A – Pirate Night

This sign was spotted outside a pub in Canterbury a month ago or so. I’m not exactly sure what a ‘Pirate Night’ would involve, but I like the landlord’s enterprise wanting to tap into a lucrative emerging market. In these tough economic times it makes sense to pursue those customers with high disposable income, and pirates are always loaded with treasure, right?

Stranger than fiction? Not quite. Although the fictional Blue Eel pub never held a ‘Pirate Night’ it did hold ‘Cockney-oke’. Oh, and it got round the smoking ban by converting itself into a diplomatic embassy – that’s kind of hard to top trump in real life.


Exhibit B – Tallulah’s Lingerie Shop

‘Oh my God! I’ve just found out what Tallulah’s up to!’ said a friend when sending me this shot of a lingerie shop in Islington. At first I thought it was photoshopped, but having googled it, the place does exist. Amazing.

Stranger than fiction? Yup. Of all the names and professions it’s quite incredible that there’s a bra shop called Tallulah’s in London. I love the colours and fonts of this place and think it looks like something straight out of a novel. I’d like to think the Tallulah of the novel opened up a shop similar to this with Duncan back in New Zealand.

Summary. I don’t know if on this evidence the book is actually breaking free of it’s pages and coming to life in the real world, but if my fiction is starting to come true, I’m going to begin writing books about a bloke called Gumbi who wins the lottery and marries Kelly Brook.