So, can I use 'Companion' as a verb?

Here’s a truly bizarre news item. Jane Espenson is a very highly-regarded Hollywood producer and screenwriter who has worked on shows including Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Firefly and Battlestar Galactica. She has a blog called Jane in Progress which aims to give writing and career advice to people wanting to follow the same career path.

In her latest post she tells the following extraordinary story – because it’s irresistible – in the hope that it will resolve itself into a writing lesson. I think the only possible lesson to draw from this is not ever to base your fictional creations on real-life weirdness – because truth is always far, far stranger than fiction can ever aspire to be. Forsake verisimilitude and prepare to marvel:


Well, instead of checking luggage, I had a box of clothes FedExed up there and then back down here when I left. It avoids the hassles of baggage claim and I totally recommend this plan. When you’re ready to head home, you just scoop your unlaundered clothes into a box and ship it off, neat as you please.

Except that they do some sort of operation at the border in which the shipping labels are removed and sometimes switched. Fun!

This means that when a box arrived at my home yesterday, it didn’t contain my clothes. It contained someone else’s clothes. Luckily, this person was savvier than I about the hazards of international shipping labels, and had included a piece of paper with his name and (business) address. I have the property of a “Mr. R. Starkey.” Those of you who know stuff about stuff are now freaking out. A little checking re: the address and the business name has verified: I have Ringo Starr’s clothes. Okay, now everyone can freak out. Please notice that according to any system of logic, this makes me the fifth Beatle. Read full post here…