The Day I Met Bill Murray

If you aren’t familiar with the website http://www.billmurraystory.com/ you should be, and fortunately now are.

Anyway, we thought it seemed like fun, so we decided to do our own. Here it is. Enjoy it in all it’s Bill Murray inspired glory.

It was last orders at the bar, as I solemnly drained the bubble fuzz from the bottom of my pint glass I was thinking about how the only human interaction I had had all day was the mumbling requests for booze I directed at the barmaid. I spend the majority of my days staring into various screens, seeing my own slowly ageing face reflected in their semi reflective surfaces. I come to the bar with some half arsed expectation of falling into conversation with some interesting or colourful character, but too often I consider most of the other lost souls I encounter unworthy of my time. So smugly I sit on my own, feeling superior and lonely. The world is full of idiots and I count myself above but among them.

As the barmaid called out that it was time for us to start making our ways elsewhere I heard someone new come through the doors and take a place in the seat next to me, I didn’t bother to look up and instead continued staring intently at the empty glass I was now pointlessly rotating in the hopes it might magically refill. I heard the man next to me cough for attention and ask the barmaid for a coffee, I glanced at her to see that she didn’t even look up or stop what she was doing before calmly telling him that he was in a bar, not a coffee shop, so he then asked for a beer which is when she told him they were closed anyway. All this information seemed to be news to him and he replied with an informed “oh!”, I felt his eyes on me and reluctantly resigned myself to the fact that he was going to now turn to me for information. “Do you know a decent place a fella can get a cup of coffee around here?” the voice sounded familiar, like a childhood friend you hadn’t seen in years, I turned to greet an already smiling face, it was skeletal and wrinkled, but there was a regal nature to his bone structure. His skin was imperfect and pockmarked, he had likely had severe acne as a young man, but there was a twinkle in his eyes that lit his whole face up with charm and playful beauty. He broke his boyish grin when he saw the recognition in my eyes to ask me “Hey, don’t I know you from somewhere?” at this point he put his arm around me and started leading me out of the bar before I inevitably shouted out his presence to the whole bar. As I left the bar, guided firmly but assuringly by Bill Murray’s guiding arm, I looked at the other lonely men, sat head down staring into empty pint glasses and I felt privileged that he had chosen me.

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Once outside he stopped and turned to me, I stared at him unsure of what was coming next, after an uncomfortable moment he blinked slowly, turning his head and gaze to the left exasperated, before fixing it back on me and saying “So? Do you know a good coffee place or not?”

“Oh, uhm. Sure. Mr Bill Murray. I think think there’s an IHOP a couple blocks over”

“Look, if we’re going to do this, there’s a couple things you’ve gotta do for me kid. First, stop with the Mr, in fact stop with the Bill Murray altogether. Call me Phil. Second. Loosen up for gods sake would ya, you look like you’re receiving a rectal exam from a doctor with parkinsons.”, he stared at me for a second, “unclench and breathe!” he said slapping me on the back and walking off in the direction I had gestured.

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He assumed I’d follow, which obviously I did. As I walked swiftly to catch up with his spritely gait I considered to myself what an odd turn of events this was, I made a conscious decision not to think about it too much and just go with it. I caught up with “Phil” and tried to make polite conversation.

“So Phil, what brings you to this neck of the woods?”

“Would you believe that I just like it here?”

“No.”

“Smart kid, well I guess you could call me somewhat of an urban explorer. All the big stuff’s already been found sure, Cook, Migellin, that Columbo guy, they saw to that, glory hounds. But you can still be the first man to find that pile of puke, by that trash can” he points to an orange spray of half digested food over to our left “and that’s something right?” turning to me he smiles, maniacally but as far as I can tell completely sincerely.

“I guess”

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When we arrive at IHOP he tells the waitress to bring us a pot of whatever “steaming filth” they are selling off as coffee this evening. He does so cheekily and manages to get away with it, as only those with that exact roguish charm can. I’d like to tell you more about my night with Bill Murray but honestly after that it all just sort of melts into a strange lucid dreamscape and picking out details becomes a lot harder from that point on, when the coffee arrived Bill insisted on using his own “sugar replacement pills” which I now understand may have been something a little stronger than sweetener. I know there was a putt putt golf course involved at some point, unless Bill Murray’s presence coupled with neon lights brought on some Caddyshack inspired hallucination. I also know we got kicked out of IHOP because we started dancing on the tables and singing loudly, I know this as Bill had apparently given the waitress my number and she had passed it on to the manager who left me a stern voice mail. In the morning I could taste tequila in the backwash from my vomit so that got involved at some point, I also have not been able to find my shoes from that night at all, I do have a pair of socks with Bill Murray’s name stitched into them though, so there’s that.

How much do you think they’d sell for on eBay?

Words by Matt Miles

Pictures by Jason Bowles

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