Saturday, November 16, 2013

Ten things you probably don't know about me

Ten things you probably don’t know about me:

1.  My most traumatic birthday was when I turned 41.  I had steeled myself and was fully prepared to accept 40.  But the following year I was floored by the realization that ‘the numbers just keep going relentlessly up.’

2.  The last time I used a vacuum cleaner was in 2007.

3.  My grandfather was a minor league baseball player.  I didn’t inherit those genes.  At age ten I was a pitcher for a ‘bad news bears’ minor league little league team.  We won only one game all season, and typically lost by scores like 105-3 with me pitching the whole game.  The only other pitcher in our rotation that year was my friend Larry Blackburn.  Remember, Larry?

4.  During the Viet-Nam war, with my hair grown down to my shoulders, and despite my anti-war rhetoric, I took a summer job working the midnight shift at Lasko Metal Products making bomb casings under a govt. contract.  Yep: “Hippie makes bombs for Viet-Nam.” But that’s not the end of the irony: It was the summer of 1970. I had just been spared in the 1969 draft lottery and was thus freed of further worry about being drafted.  Others I worked with weren’t.  I worked a million-pound, twenty foot high metal press that shaped the bomb casings.  My job was to put the flat sheet of metal in and push the buttons (both hands) that operated the press.  My partner on the other side took it out after it was pressed into the shape of a quarter of the bomb housing.  One day I pushed the buttons that cleanly severed the two middle fingers of his hand.  As he left for the hospital his last words to me were: “Now they can’t draft me!”

5.  The most famous person I personally know launched a spatula into orbit around the earth.

6.  My very first childhood memory is of sitting beside my Mom in the back seat of a ’35 Chevy with towels covering the windows as we drove through some town along the Ohio River and she breast-fed my 3-month old brother.

7.  I have never had a cup of coffee.

8.  My favorite piece of clothing is a pair of black Ralph Lauren polo sweat pants that I bought at the Goodwill store for $3.

9.  I can make the ‘Vulcan salute’ (live long and prosper) with my left hand but not with my right.

10.  (thanks to Stella G. Maddox for this) I’m far more socially awkward than I look.  I hate crowds, parties and meetings.  If I come across as aloof, standoffish, or even intimidating, it’s because I can’t think of anything coherent to say.

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