Real Life Stories – 22nd July

Sometimes, we just need to step out of our own, ordinary world and into the extraordinary. It’s great when that comes from fiction, but it’s even better when it actually happened, like these amazing real life stories.

Seattle man sets his home on fire – to get rid of a spider

Scary spider


Few of us are happy to discover a spider in our house, but we know how to handle it. You get your boyfriend to kill it, you throw a shoe at it, or you use a fancy spider snatcher to catch and release the creepy crawly.

When an unnamed Seattle man came across a spider, he decided to try something no sane person would even think of. He grabbed a spray paint can and a lighter and tried to make an improvised flame thrower. Well, in one sense, he was successful. He did make a flame thrower. But in another sense, he burned down a large part of the house he and his mother rented, causing $60,000 (about £35,000) worth of damages before fire fighters could put out the blaze.

We think we’d stick to the old whack-’em-with-a-newspaper routine, thanks.

Dutch man is probably the luckiest man on the planet

Maarten de Jonge


We all know some people who are just so lucky, they seem to win all the time. Those people, we like to joke, should play the lotto and give us some of the winnings. This guy, however, has probably had enough lucky breaks to last a lifetime.

Dutch cyclist Maarten de Jonge flies all over the world, competing in cycling events with his team, Malaysia’s Terengganu cycling team. So you might already know where this is going. Back in March, he had booked a flight with Malaysian Airlines from Kuala Lumpur to Beijing but decided to catch an earlier flight, so he transferred his tickets. The plane he didn’t take – MH370 – was the one that gripped headlines when it disappeared without a trace.

You’d think that close shave would be enough for Maarten, but he did have races to attend, and coincidences like that don’t get in the way of an athlete’s commitment. So he carried on flying around the world. Then one day he bought a ticket for Flight MH17, but found a cheaper flight elsewhere. Once again, he transferred his ticket, and once again, he avoided death. Flight MH17 is the airplane that was shot down over Ukraine last week.

11-year-old girl is Britain’s youngest shopkeeper

Angel Thomson


When we were little, we chased bugs, climbed trees and played games with our friends when we weren’t busy at school. There’s not much time for all of that for Angel Thomas, the 11-year-old who is the youngest shopkeeper in Britain.

The precocious preteen got her start when she convinced her mother to spend the money they were saving for music lessons on the lease to a shop. Once she got the lease (in her mother’s name, naturally), Angel opened her boutique, Pawabella, in the centre of Liverpool. There, she sells pet accessories and clothes, and she even learned how to sew and knit so she could make her own line for pets!

Of course, she only runs the business (both online and in the shop) on nights and weekends, as otherwise she’s in school. But when she has a spare moment, she’s managing the shop, balancing the accounts, tracking orders and shipments from the website – basically just running her business like a little boss.

She told the Daily Mail that she wants to use the profits from the business to save for university, so she can become a vet, but we reckon she’ll have enough real-world experience by the time she’s ready for uni that she might have plenty of other offers to consider!


So what do you think of these real life stories? Would you let your child open a shop? Would you ever fly again if you were Maarten? And how do you go about getting rid of spiders? Let us know in the comments!

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