Dumpster Utopia & Time Travel

You should know that I had a great childhood.  Even though one of my most happy and fond memories is the week that my family rented a dumpster while we remodeled our kitchen and my sister and I spent all of our time playing in the dumpster.

Now, we didn’t just climb into a pile of junk and start rolling around in it.  Oh no, we were classier than that.  Chelsey and I were expert fort builders.  We didn’t realize that all those years of building forts out of our couches, pillows, and blankets were mere preparation for our Dumpster Fort of 2003.

I should also mention that this dumpster is much bigger than what you’re probably imagining.  It wasn’t the standard dumpster that opened from the top that you typically see in the back of various businesses, this was a jumbo dumpster.  It was 2-3 times the size of a regular dumpster and opened from the front like a barn door.  Though we truly believed it was much nicer than a barn.

40-yard-dumpster-dimensions

We combined old pieces of wood to weigh down cardboard and make a roof, covering half of the dumpster from the harmful and gross outside world.  This way, we could stay in the dumpster even if it rained.  Thankfully for us, my family had thrown away our futon and various pieces of furniture, which allowed for us to have a comfy little mattress and other things to sit on.

I remember getting off the school bus and running as fast as I could straight into the dumpster.  Diving in happily and feeling at home.  Probably still with my backpack.  I’m sure my mother would have been thrilled to know that the bus driver was well aware of how much time my sister and I spent in a dumpster once we got home.  We probably even did our homework in there.

We almost instantly developed a very strange connection to the dumpster and immediately began trying to convince our mom that we needed to keep it forever.  That way we could just throw our trash away in it all the time and never have to worry about trash day.  It made complete sense, but for some reason our mom just couldn’t seem to get on the same page as us.  It was very frustrating for us.

Meanwhile, while our kitchen was being redone, there was exposed foundation in part of our house.  We knew what we had to do.  Time capsules.  We needed to leave a message to the future world.  We had to let them know about what our lives were like.  Because, almost definitely, one day, someone was going to demolish our house, look specifically under the kitchen foundation, and find 3 soda bottles stuffed full of letters and be absolutely fascinated and learn so much about what life was like for children “back then.”

Among other things, we included money, to show the future people what kind of currency we used.  Unfortunately, the construction crew finished the kitchen and covered the exposed area beneath our house before we threw in our soda bottles.  We very easily could have put them in ourselves days earlier, but we imagined a much more dramatic version of placing the time capsules.

In our heads, the construction crew would be laying the hard wood and we would race in, yelling, “Wait!” We would look at each other dramatically, nod solemnly, and drop our time capsules into the one unlaid piece of wood.  Because in our minds, if you expose one piece of wood flooring, there is an open cavern beneath, perfect for time capsule distribution.

However, this little bit of fantasy did not get to happen for us.  Instead, we missed dropping them in at all.  Years later, we did open them.  Amazingly, our currency was still the same!  I’m sure if we had had access to pictures like we do now, there would’ve been a rolled up picture of our dumpster.

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My Dad

For those of you who don’t know my dad, this post should tell you 90% of everything you need to know.  My dad is one of the nicest and caring people will you ever meet.  He also has a personality unlike anyone else I’ve ever met.  He is forgetful, hilarious, and unusually socially awkward.  He didn’t even know that being socially awkward is “in” right now, he’s just been doing it his whole life, all on his own.

My dad tends to have very strong reactions to very normal situations.  Ordering food causes him great anxiety.  In turn this causes my sister and mom and I great anxiety as well when it comes time to order.  He usually scans the menu without any planned method, finding words that he likes from various entrees and creating an imaginary meal that he truly believes exists.

When he orders this imaginary entree and is told it’s not on the menu, his anxiety increases.  He is on the spot, and being on the spot stresses him greatly.  Usually, the server then asks what sides he’d like with his meal.  A look of complete panic sets in.  It’s like server said “By the way, this building will explode in 3 seconds.”  He looks at us, frantic, confused, alarmed.  Sides?  Since when do sides come with a meal.  He has to find sides on the menu?

As he begins flipping through the menu but really seeing nothing but a blur of letters, the server tends to begin listing off the sides.  His head starts moving back and forth, like a dog reacting to a strange sound.  He still hears nothing.  My mom usually jumps in at this point.  He did his best.  She knows how to handle this.  As my sister and I look at each other with a knowing and sad look, my mom orders for my dad.

Similar situations that my dad has been in that have resulted in the same panic and confusion have been caused by questions such as:

“Would you like more Pepsi?”

“Hot sauce or ketchup?”

“Do you want that on the side or on the meal?”

Sometimes instead of hysteria, my dad will fully understand the question and ponder an answer for a full 25 seconds before everyone gets too uncomfortable and someone makes a decision for him, sometimes even the server.  The hot sauce or ketchup question caused him to say “hmm” at least 6 times out loud, and put his fist on his chin, deeply considering his choices.

I could tell you some drive-thru stories, but I don’t think I have enough time in my life to write them all down.

As much anxiety as my dad faces from ordering meals, it must exhaust him quite a bit.  Anytime he is sitting down, he is almost instantly sleeping.  I am being 100% honest when I say that he once fell asleep cutting the grass on a riding lawn mower.

My sister and I would force our dad to record our many productions as kids.  Let’s just say sitting down and holding an old fashioned VHS camcorder didn’t stop my dad from falling asleep.  At the end of our talent show where my sister and I had played many different characters, we revealed proudly to our dad that HE got to choose the winner.  We asked him several times on film who he thought should win before we realized he was asleep.  After yelling loudly at him, he snorted himself awake and loudly proclaimed “You’re all winners!” which was difficult for us to accept as my sister and I were secretly fiercely competing in our imaginary talent show.

It wasn’t until we watched the talent show later that we realized he had fallen asleep much earlier than we were aware, and that the second half of our talent show was mostly just a video of the living room floor and soft snores.

Because of all his random sleeps, my dad often finds himself being startled awake, not aware that he was sleeping but being jarred back to reality.  Because of this, he is very easily startled even when fully conscious.

For example, while driving home from Florida one year, my sister and I were watching a TV show on the van’s TV and sound system.  A character in the show very calmly said “Dad.”  My dad apparently thought it was my sister or I.

“What?!  WHAT?!  What’s going on?!” he basically yelled this.

Another very strange but defining characteristic of my dad is his love for Shop-Vacs.  Currently, he owns a rough estimate of five.  He buys at least one every Black Friday.  It’s a very exciting time for him.  When I lived at home, I was woken up roughly 6 days a week to the sound of a Shop-Vac blaring loudly for a good 30 minutes.

It got to the point where there was a Shop-Vac on standby in our hallway, kitchen, and 3 out of 4 bedrooms.  I believe there were some in the garage as well.  Sometimes we would discover old Shop-Vacs we had forgotten about, and remember them fondly.  “Remember this one?  He used to used it all the time.”

If my dad goes anywhere even remotely dark, he brings a flashlight.  And I don’t mean if he goes outside or alone in the woods.  I mean if he opens a cabinet to get a certain bowl he’s looking for and can’t find it.  He’s also been known to bring flashlights in order to turn other lights on, such as a lamp.  Finding that switch can be tricky if there’s not a flashlight on hand.

Along with a flashlight, my dad can always be found with shoes on his feet.  The only time his feet are exposed are the brief seconds when he pulls them out of his shoes before they are under the covers before bed.  Otherwise, his feet are fully protected at all times.  I once caught a glimpse of his feet, and they were the most beautiful, soft, and preserved looking feet I have ever seen in my life.

Now, that I’ve written this, I realize this is only a fraction of my dad’s characteristics, but I think it gives you a pretty good idea of how many laughs he has provided us over the years.  My dad is very comfortable with making other people enjoy themselves at his own expense, sometimes intentionally, sometimes not.  I once heard him say, “Sometimes I act stupid around people who I can tell want to be smart,” which is a pretty selfless thing to do if you ask me.  Regardless, if you’re around him, he’s sure to make you smile.

How I Asked my 7th Grade Crush to the Spring Fling

If you are a current high schooler or even junior higher like I was in this story, you may find the ridiculous way that I asked my crush to the dance appalling, especially in comparison to the way that people ask each other to dances now with “promposals.”  Regardless, this is one that I think the general public needs to know about.  It is almost definitely the only recorded case of asking someone to a dance in this manner.

In 7th grade Yearbook class, anything can happen.  Especially when your teacher just let you plays computer games the entire hour.  My crush (who, btw, was a girl, which makes this even funnier looking back) and I had discovered a wonderful program on our Microsoft 2005 computers called Microsoft Sam.

Microsoft Sam will read anything you type out for him.  We loved it so much.  You could adjust the speed and make him talk so fast you couldn’t understand stand him, or so slow that it took an hour for him to say “hi.”  Our favorite method was to type things like “jajajajlalalalayiyiyiyiyimumumumu” and hear him fail miserably.  We would ridicule him, laughing at how stupid he sounded for saying what no one on earth could possibly say.

Another method we would take with this was to put headphones in the opposite person’s computer, then type back and forth listening to each other’s responses, even though we were sitting inches away from each other and were 100% allowed to talk the entire hour.

Days before the Spring Fling, my crush and I were doing this exact thing, when the conversation drifted towards the upcoming dance.

“There’s someone in this room that I want to ask to the dance,” I typed for Microsoft Sam to robotically say in my crush’s ear.

She frantically asked who, but I refused to tell.  I did, however, give hints, describing exactly her.

“She’s blonde,” Microsoft Sam said in about the same voice that Family Guy uses to make fun of Stephen Hawking’s talking computer program.

“She’s in the same row of computers we’re sitting in,” Microsoft Sam blurted out, emotionlessly.

“It’s you,” he finally revealed, with absolutely no excitement or care in his tone.  Meanwhile, I was most likely sweating profusely and unable to breathe properly.

She ripped her headphones off, embarrassed as 13 year-olds get when confronted with liking someone. She actually started laughing pretty hard and I was hurt at first, and then she finally blurted out “You asked me out via Microsoft Sam,” and then I started laughing, too.  We used this way to communicate so often, I had forgotten we weren’t speaking out loud.

She needed to think about it for a few days, as this was a very big decision.  I waited anxiously.  She said yes.  Then, she said no.  It was all very typical junior high dance drama.  I ended going to the dance with other friends and I remember jumping as hard as I could when “All the Small Things” came on.  My crush and I never got together, most likely because we were best friends for years, and I also definitely didn’t like girls.

Things That Happen When I’m Drunk

I hope the title of this post doesn’t make me sound like an alcoholic.  After all, I am a 21-year old college student.  So, this kind of thing does happen.  Anyway, I’ve noticed a series of tendencies that occur when I become intoxicated.

1.  Everyone becomes “dude”

First, it’s important for you to know that I rarely utter that word, “dude.”  It does happen, but it tends to sort of just slip out unplanned.  But, when I’m drunk, it happens every other word.  Everyone is dude, and everything is dude, and every situation deserves a dude or ten incorporated.

Example:

Non-drunk me:  I want some pizza.

Drunk me:  Dude, I really want some pizza, dude.  Dude, someone order a pizza right now!!!!

2.  I begin to cuss like a mother fucker

Sorry if that is too much for you, but if it is, please don’t read this whole next section.  I use cuss words pretty regularly while sober.  But when I’m drunk, I take it to an astronomical level.

Non-drunk me:  I want some pizza.

Drunk me:  I really fucking want some mother fucking pizza right fucking now!!!!

3.  I make everything up that I say

You know the saying, “the truth comes out” when you drink?  The exact opposite applies to me.  I become quite the storyteller.  I am not conscious of this when it’s happening.  I feel very confident in what I am saying.  However, it’s rarely true.

For example, I once vowed to transfer schools at the start of the new semester so I could go to a school with two people I had met that night.  We had similar musical interests, and that was enough for me.  I was ready to change schools.

Another good example is when I was kind of rude to a taxi driver.  We had taken a taxi to the bar, and become great friends with the driver, Marvin (it was our first time in a cab).  On the way home, we got a different driver, and this upset me quite a lot.  I was expecting Marvin.  This new driver couldn’t possibly fulfill all the wonderful things that Marvin had done.  I loudly proclaimed, “I want Marvin!  Where’s Marvin?!”  After a few minutes of this, the new driver sadly reminded me, “I can’t be Marvin.”  To that new taxi driver, I am sorry.  Maybe one day you will read this.  You can’t be Marvin and I didn’t really need you to be.  I was just making things up.

4.  I make infinite plans that I can’t always commit to

Much like the above scenario, I tend to make plans that aren’t realistic or are things that I don’t even want to do.  Specifically, when I’m drinking, I want to be drinking forever.  So, I will text all kinds of people and demand that we make plans to go out immediately.  I will make plans for every day of the week.  Usually by the next morning, I am ready to not go out ever again.

If you are ever around me while drinking, you will probably encounter all of these qualities and more in a matter of minutes.  Maybe sometimes all in one sentence.

Further Adventures/Mishaps in Bike Riding

After taking a couple weeks off of bike riding after my bike wreck (in anger at the bike, of course, for betraying me), I decided it was time to hop back on to ol’ Rusty (or Mt. Storm as it is officially called, according to the neon green name painted on the base).

I had decided to try to take different routes on my bike rides as the endless loop I had been taking at the park was becoming a tad monotonous.  One very hot morning, I had a couple of bright ideas:

  1. I’m going to ride my bike
  2. I’m not going to eat breakfast first
  3. I’m not going to drink any fluids before this bike ride
  4. I’m going to take a route that includes the biggest hill in town

You can probably tell that this combination of intelligent ideas resulted in a very simple, breezy bike ride.  As I neared The Hill, I realized what I had done to myself.  But I refused to change course.  I adjusted my gears to the lowest possible setting, confident that that was all I needed to do to tackle a 90 degree angle hill.

About halfway up the hill I realized that I was no longer moving.  I was standing on my bike and pushing down but the bike was not propelling forward.  I am weak, I thought, this has nothing to do with the ridiculousness of the hill.  I continued to pedal/not move.

When I finally gave in and had to push my bike to the top of the hill, I was so unhappy with how I had to walk that I jumped right back on my bike the exact second I reached the flat top of the hill and continued pedaling as hard as I could, even though at this point my eyesight was beginning to get…. patchy.

Unbeknownst to me, The Hill had sneaky, smaller Hills that were added on to the top, resulting in a never-ending climb.  After climbing the 47th Hill, I found myself getting off my bike.  Suddenly I was sitting on a ledge outside of someone’s house.  Suddenly my vision was so blurry I could barely see anything.  Suddenly I was calling my mom.

*GASP* *GASP*  “Mom…”  *GASP* *GASP* “I’m….. about…..”  *GASP* *GASP* “Pass out.”

As my mom began freaking out on the other end, I blurted out directions with a final plead, “Bring….. water….”  I ripped my shirt off dramatically and laid down on the ground.

I have a feeling that I looked relatively similar to SpongeBob in the episode where he travels into Sandy’s tank and insists on not needing water.

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When my mom showed up with water, I claimed I was fine. “Yeah, I think I’m just gonna ride back by myself.”  Of course I wasn’t allowed, which was realistically probably the best option to take.

A couple observations about my character: I’m either heroically stubborn in my refusal to give in to The Hill or stupidly stubborn in my refusal to give in to The Hill.  Personally, I would have to go with the former.  Regardless, the only way I’ve driven up it since then has been in my car.

My Brief Brushes with Fame

I have encountered fame twice in my life, and let me tell you, I now understand what all those celebrities are talking about when they say they just want to live a regular life.  I get it.  And we mean it when we say it.  We’re just like you.

Allow me to elaborate.   My first brush with fame was at a concert.  No, not my own concert.  I was simply attending.  There was a big screen off the side telling us to post our pictures from the night using a certain hashtag.  Not even knowing about this screen or hashtag, my cousin posted a picture of us using the exact hashtag necessary.  Within moments, we were on the screen for everyone to see.

We got excited, pointing, taking pictures of our own picture posted on the screen.  It was exhilarating, and suddenly… We were famous.  Just like that.  Being one of the only people at the concert who had responded to the hashtag, our photo kept reappearing every couple of seconds.  The excitement quickly wore off, and the fame we were experiencing quickly got old.

“Look!  It’s you two!” people standing next to us would excitedly exclaim, pointing at the screen, happy for us and trying to make us happier.

“We know,” we would tell them, straight-faced.

This happened many times.  We couldn’t handle the constant attention.  We just wanted to enjoy the concert like anyone else.  But suddenly it was all about us.  We had to wear disguises just to get through the night and enjoy ourselves.

My other experience with fame happened when I was just trying to see a movie, like any other person.  I was meeting my cousin (same cousin from Fame Story #1, actually).  I approached the ticket stand, and the clerk handed me my ticket, saying that the man ahead of me had bought an extra on accident and said to give the next person a ticket for free.  Happy with my good luck, I strolled inside and got in the line for popcorn.

Once inside, the clerk pointed me out in front of the crowd.  “He’s the one!  He got the free ticket!”

“You’re welcome!” cried someone across the room.  “I bought that!”

“Oh, thank you very much,” I said, happy to be able to thank the man who paid for my movie.  “That was very nice.”

“Yep, you’re welcome.”

As I waited in line, he continued to watch me, smiling and pointing and telling everyone around him how lucky I was.  Once I got to the stand to pay for my popcorn, another worker had been informed of my good luck and look at me in wonder, smiling and shaking his head in disbelief.  “You’re the one who got the ticket… Wow.”

“Yep, that’s me.”

“This is the guy!  The one who got the free ticket,” she told the worker next to her, as I walked towards my theater.  Another person pointed at me as I walked through the doors.  “Is that him?” I heard them whisper.

When I got in the theater, everyone turned around.  The cameras began flashing.  I could see the headlines now.  “Guy receives free movie ticket.”

“That’s him!” everyone began yelling.  Fingers pointing, cameras flashing.

“Please, I’m just looking for my cousin,” I begged as I attempted to navigate the crowd, eyes scrunched and searching.  “I’m just like you!  I’m a regular person just like you and I just want to see a movie, please.”

“I wish I was his cousin!”  “I just can’t believe it.”  “Celebrities, coming in to ruin my movie experience.”  “Always making everything about themselves.”  I heard countless things shouted as I fought through the crowd and cameras.

When I finally found my seat, all eyes were still on me.  My fame had made it impossible to do something as simple as see a movie.   One pair of eyes felt particularly strong, and I found the face they belonged to across the crowd.  Ticket-buyer-guy looked proudly on at me, smiling, pointing, and giving me the thumbs-up.

The Candy Shop Production

This is another regretful story that I feel the need to tell.  I don’t know if it’s cathartic to get it out there, or if I just enjoy embarrassment.  Probably neither of those.  Regardless, I felt that it was appropriate to tell this story in wake of 50 Cent’s recent declaration of bankruptcy.  Maybe, in some small way, this post will raise sales of his single.  Maybe, just maybe, I can save 50 Cent from bankruptcy.

My sister and I put on many productions during our youthful years, one of them being the Ruffles Have Ridges Production, which you may have already read about, in which we wrote, directed, produced, and starred in our very own oven mitt puppet musical.  For our next production, we decided it was time to come out from behind the couch.

We wanted our faces in the spotlight.  Or, more specifically, the dance floor.

You may be able to tell where this is going.  Let me warn you, yes, it’s as bad as you’re thinking.

My sister and I had recently discovered the song “Candy Shop” by 50 Cent.  We were thrilled with it.  What a catchy song, with such a danceable beat.  We couldn’t resist.

We choreographed it.

That’s right, at the ripe ages of (probably around) 9-10, 10-11, we made up a dance to the song Candy Shop, a song about a man telling a woman that he’s going the “candy shop” and is going to let her “lick the lollipop,” all the while telling her, “Go ‘head girl, don’t ya stop.” My sister and I.  Brothers and sisters.  Siblings.  We danced to this song.  Together.  Believe me, we had no idea.

Not only that, but we didn’t actually have the song (this was before the days of electronic downloads, we would’ve had to buy the actual CD in order to have the song).  There was no way for us to dance to it while it was being played, so we decided we would have to provide the music ourselves, with our voices.

However, we didn’t feel confident that we would be capable of remembering the words while doing our strenuous performance, so we opted for an a cappella instrumental version.  We beatboxed our way through that entire song.

Before I wrap this up, I should probably mention the style of dance we approached this with.  Not being professional dancers (only choreographers), we went for a new-age approach, creating a new style of dance involving only moving our shoulders.  We would carefully lift or drop certain shoulders, depending where we were at in our routine.  Occasionally, we’d lift and drop both shoulders at the same time.

When we felt like showing off, we’d go for a ripple affect.  We would try to move our shoulders in a wave motion, going for a smooth sliding up and down of each shoulder so that it looked like a wave.  We got pretty tricky at times.

Unfortunately, this is not the last of our productions.  You’d think two children couldn’t come up with too much more than this, but I’m assuming we were some form of genius children, capable of producing one masterpiece after another.  I’ll dutifully keep posting them.

“I’m Baaaaaaaaaaaaaaack,” or “23 Year-Olds Can Wreck Their Bikes, Too”

I decided that it’s time to start fully embracing my 2015 New Year’s Resolutions.  Mid-July is a better time to start than never.  My resolutions were very complex and original this year.  I wanted to make them meaningful and actually life-changing.  I decided to include things like “exercise more,” or “start blogging again.”  Well, after not being able to fully commit to the exercising resolution, I decided it was time to try to not fully commit to the blogging resolution.  So here I am.

My rabid followers, I have returned to you.  The humorous hole in your heart is about to be filled.  As I type this, I feel my feet resting in a small puddle of water that I can only assume is the conflux of tears of happiness from all my followers rejoicing that I am back.  All 12 of them.

To make it official, I will also include a short story to help you all remember my comedic genius and re-hook you into my world.  This story is just a refresher into what my life is like and what kind of situations I constantly get myself into.  More than a year has passed since my last blog post, so I have had plenty of more experiences to write about.  The one I’m going to tell you is from only a couple weeks ago.

Recently, I’ve been riding my bike daily for exercise.  I’ve gotten very into it.  I despise running, so I have forced myself to do this for exercise instead.  Once I got past the excruciatingly painful thigh/butt soreness phase that only us true bikers have experienced (fellow bikers, am I right? *stares into empty crowd), I really liked riding my bike.  So much, in fact, that I decided to start riding in places that have no sidewalks or bike paths (this is possible in a small town).

It’s also possible in a small town for a biker to be sharing a road with a tractor, which is the situation I found myself in.  The tractor was behind me, and though they don’t travel at top speed, neither do I on my bike (even though I am a professional).  I decided to kick it into high gear so I could stay ahead of the tractor.  In my crazed pedaling to reach my fastest speed ever, my bike began rocking back and forth (much like the bikers do in professional races on TV).  Lost in my pride of true biking, I briefly went off the road for a moment.

Before I continue, I should also add that the bike I am riding is from an unknown time period.  It could either be a couple years old, or 20+ years old.  It’s either so old that it’s back in style, or so new that it looks old.  I’m betting on the “actually old” side of things, though, if you’re wondering.  My dad wheeled it out of our basement so proudly when I mentioned that I wanted a bike, I couldn’t turn him down.  It’s black, with neon green accessories and white speckled paint all over.  It also comes with a “cool” neon green water bottle attached to the frame of the bike.

Anyway, back to the story.  I had driven off the road for a moment.  No worries, I thought, I’ll just hop right back onto the road and continue blasting away from this tractor.  If only it were that simple.  There was about a four inch difference between the road and where I had driven off at this point.  I did not realize this.  I tried to slide back into the road.  I flipped off my bike.

As I catapulted through the air, I had many thoughts.

  1. I am not going to fall.  I am going to step off my bike mid-fall and land on my feet and walk off the fall as if I was just hopping off my bike.
  2. If I somehow end up falling, I’m going to make it a one-roll fall and be back on my feet in seconds.
  3. This is why people wear helmets.
  4. I am falling directly in front of the tractor.
  5. Tractor guy is seeing all of this.

After the tractor ran me over and permanently mangled my body, I stood up and brushed myself off.  My chain had fallen off and I was too embarrassed to try to fix it in front of everyone around who had seen me fall (which was a surprisingly large amount of people for such an un-crowded area of town), so I walked my bike back the mile to my car.  I was barely injured.  The only thing that would stay with me forever was the shame of the moment and the echoing laughter of the teenagers across the street.

***Also, I realized that I called myself a biker for this entire post, when I suppose that that word applies more to actual bikers who ride motorcycles and not cyclists, which is that word I should be using.  Personally, I prefer biker, and that is what I will continue calling myself.

Things I Have Realized About Myself, Part 3

That’s right, folks.  Part. 3.  A third segment highlighting all the wonderful things about yours truly.  Back to the beginning, when I said “folks.”  That was strange.  I don’t use that word.  I don’t know if I ever have.  You may have just witnessed something very rare.  Anyway, let’s get down to business.

1.  I always have hiccups

On average, I’d say I have hiccups roughly 40-800 times a day.  Realistically, I honestly get them probably more than 5 times a day on most days.  It happens so often that I’ve begun to know when it’s about to happen, and even have pinpointed things that make it happen.  If I eat something, and didn’t drink enough with it, I will immediately have hiccups.  If I’m laying down for a long time, and jump up quickly, I will be hiccuping in seconds.  As with a lot of these things I have realized about myself, if you ran into me and talked to me for a few minutes, I’d probably develop hiccups somewhere in that time frame.

2.  I will interrupt the hell out of you

This is probably my least favorite thing I’ve realized about myself, and the most frequently occurring.  I can’t stop it, though.  I don’t even realize it’s happening until later.  Let me explain.  When people talk to me, I can’t not interrupt them.  It’s so rude, but it is unstoppable.  Here are some examples:

Example #1:

Friend:  Anyway, I really need to tell you about my mom.  She called me and told me something really import—

Me:  Hold on.  Did your mom ever read that book I gave her?

Friend:  She’s still in the middle of it.

Me:  Oh, good!  Is she liking it?

Friend:  I don’t know.

Me:  Okay.  Sorry, keep going.

Friend:  Anyway, she called and told me that my sister—

Me:  Is your phone working now?  You got the screen fixed?

Friend:  Yes.

Me:  Oh that’s good.  How much did it cost?

Friend:  Like $60.

Me:  That’s not too bad.  Better than paying for a whole phone.  Speaking of, I may be getting a new phone in a few months when I have my upgrade.

Friend (now lost and beyond trying to recover the conversation):  Oh yeah?  What kind?

I do this all the time.  I interrupt with new questions that I find pertain-able at the time, until I get us so off track that neither of us have any hope of getting back to where we started.  Another way that I interrupt is in my least favorite way possible.  The sentence-finisher.

Example #2:

Friend:  … And she was like, ‘Yeah I just don’t know if I see you liking that…’ and it just makes me feel like —

Me:  She was trying to make you feel stupid?

Friend:  No —

Me:  Like you just have horrible taste?

Friend:  No —

Me:  Like you just don’t —

Friend:  Like I can’t appreciate things that she does.

I will try to finish their thought until they are forced to override me and finish it themselves.  I hate that I do this, but it is a force that can’t be stopped.  I feel that I read people pretty well, and I guess it makes me want to understand their thought process and try to beat them to the punchline.  Please forgive me for this. I have nothing to say to try to justify it.

3.  I’m extremely ticklish

When I say that I am extremely ticklish, I mean that I am 6000 times more ticklish than whatever you’re imagining.  Multiplied by 7,000,000.  I do not have to know you are trying to tickle me in order for it to happen.  A slight unexpected brush against my skin can cause me to jump 6 feet in the air, ready to avoid any further tickling.

I always have to warn my nieces and nephews to please not tickle me, because I may end up accidentally hurting them.  A swift arm slash to defend myself can result in an injured 6 year old very easily.  I would never want to do this on purpose, obviously.  I have no control over my body, and maybe not even my mind (maybe not even my soul) when I’ve been tickled.

If I am actually tickled, you might as well evacuate the building.  The thrashing and defending will begin.  I am definitely someone who is easily startled and will defend myself if attacked.  I am not a force to be reckoned with if I am on tickle alert.  If I have been tickled within the last 3 hours, I will be on tickle alert, and probably attack you if you accidentally touch me.  Just don’t do it.

How I (Almost) Got Arrested

It was summer.  Boredom was abound.  Two friends and I decided we needed to continue a tradition we had started the summer before.  It was called 48.  The summer before, we had chosen to T.P. one of our friends.  However, we weren’t content with just that.  We needed to leave a mark.  We chose the number 48 to be our signature emblem.  After successfully T.P.ing the yard (and carefully leaving the 48 behind in many different ways, like weaving it into a net or spelling it out on the ground), we smoothly escaped.

We were so hyped up and excited from our adventure, we got a little carried away. We made many plans for the future of 48.  We made lists of people’s houses we were going to get.  “We’ve been 48’d!” people would claim.  We planned to make t-shirts, official 48ing wear.  We became famous in our minds after doing merely one job.

We never did it again. Well, except one time.  After our excitement wore off from the night, our excitement about doing it again also wore off.  We were quite happy with the results though, as our target began talking at school about the number 48.  A year later he mentioned it again.  Apparently we had inflicted lasting psychological damage on him.  However, we weren’t satisfied.  We had to go further.

We evidently weren’t content with the amount of psychological damage we had hurled upon him.  We needed to up the dose.  So the next summer, we chose to do it again.  After careful preparation, we snuck once again into his backyard.  However, after filling his yard and trees with T.P., we decided it wasn’t enough. We went and bought more, came back, and added to it.  We still weren’t content.  We got more toilet paper, we came back, and finally, during the third round, we decided it was enough.

We wanted a way to remember this.  We had purposely brought my digital camera to document the damage.  So, in the pitch black, we took dozens of pictures, flash on, of course.  The pictures all turned out horribly.  A $60 digital camera is not prepared to capture an entire backyard in the pitch dark, but we were determined.  We flashed and flashed and flashed away, illuminating ourselves and the backyard as much as possible.

At one point, one of my friends dropped her debit card.  Why she brought her debit card, I do not know.  It wasn’t like it fell out of her wallet.  Her sole, single, loose debit card had fallen out of her pocket.  The ultimate revealing clue as to who had done the job.  After looking for the debit card for a good 15 minutes (using the digital camera’s flash [lots of pictures of the grass] as a light source) we finally found it.

While adding the finishing touches, we saw through the woods in his backyard two cars coming up the back road.  No one should be on that road.  We knew we were in trouble.

We ran the opposite direction, heading for the front yard.  We ran quicker than we ever did at our Cross Country meets, breaking all of our previous records.  If only there had been someone there to officially time us.  However, after making it several houses away and hiding under a tree and discussing what to do, I realized that my truck was parked on the back road, so, no matter what, the cops had my information.

I convinced my friends to go back to the house.  I knocked on the front door and my friend’s mom answered it.  I explained what happened, and she told us that the person we were trying to T.P. wasn’t even home that weekend.  Of course.  Anyway, I convinced her to walk down through the backyard to the cop cars and to make them go away.  She obliged, but asked me to hold her hand because she couldn’t see the uneven ground below her feet.

So that’s how the cops saw us approaching.  Appearing out of the woods, holding our friend’s mom’s hand.  She told them it was all a misunderstanding.  Apparently a neighbor had seen us creeping through their woods and called the cops.  They took it very seriously.  If our friend’s mom hadn’t been with us, they would’ve taken us in.

After they realized we were T.P.ing, one of them began giving us tips on how to do it better next time.  “You should just park in the driveway.”  After I called my mom back (the police department had contacted her to tell her the police were looking for me), and assured her everything was all right, our friend’s mom told us to finish the job.  “I promise I won’t tell him who did it,” she said.

We couldn’t have been happier.  We used the rest of the toilet paper with as much freedom and loudness as we wanted.  We surely used up the rest of the memory card in my camera trying to take the perfect picture of our toilet paper fiesta.  We 48’d that yard like it was nobody’s business.  Swimming in toilet paper, we managed to extricate ourselves from our brilliant creation.

The next day, our friend texted us and told us he knew it was us who did it.  Apparently, his mom just couldn’t not tell him.   We were cleaning it up within hours.  I guess we got what we deserved.  The saddest part of all this to us was that we wouldn’t be able to continue the tradition each year.  The famous 48ers (who had successfully T.P.’d one yard) had been revealed.