Chunks of Childhood

I wrote this on Facebook today, and thought it was worth sharing:

Once you’ve been tagged you have to write a [note] with 15 weird/random facts about you. I was tagged by Jill, so I’m doing my duty. This one seems to have a childhood theme to it.

1. I don’t think I ever learned how to properly untie my shoes until college. I used to always pull the loops rather than the ends. I have no idea why.

2. When I was 4, I knew every make and model of every car on the road in the US. Or so my mom tells me. I have no recollection of this whatsoever.

3. When I was 2 or 3, I left the house in my pajamas at 8am and went across the street to our neighbor’s house for cookies. I think Mrs. France called my mom to let her know. Mom was looking everywhere for me. So yeah, I’ve had this cookie thing for a long time. It may be congenital, because….

4. …My dad always had a stash of Butterfingers. He called them his “medicine” and kept them on a high shelf away from our stuff.

5. In 1982 or so I burned my Star Wars AT-AT into plastic glop on a snowy day. I was burning a hole in the underbelly (like Luke!) when it caught fire. I learned that when plastic catches fire, there’s no stopping it. I threw snow at it, but eventually gave up and threw it in the fireplace.

6. Elizabeth Evans and I would constantly re-enact the scene in E.T. where Eliot’s mom hits E.T. in the face with the refrigerator. Guess who played E.T.? I wonder if chronic mild head trauma has cumulative effects over time…

7. In the days before video rentals, and yes I’m old enough to remember them, my dad had a friend dub Star Wars and Empire Strikes Back onto VHS tape, which I watched with a regularity that approached monomania. By 1985, you could see through the tape.

8. My dad owned an old and busted Austin Healey. It lived in the garage and made scary noises and I used to have nightmares about it because the grill looked like the teeth of a monster. Cut me some slack, I was 5. In 1986 my stepmom’s cat had kittens in it, and the car was sold not long after.

9. In kindergarten, my sister and Amy Crosland locked me and Robert Whisenant out of my house. We panicked and then totally went on the offensive by trashing Amy’s mo-ped. I poked holes in the seat and Robert put rocks in the engine. We had to pay for that.

10. In the summer of 1990, I would walk to Quail Tree swimming pool listening to nothing but Steve Vai’s Passion and Warfare on cassette. That fall, I started guitar lessons.

11. The only time I ever went to drama competition, I got first place in solo acting, thanks to a great piece my dad gave me, written by Peter Cook. I’ll post a link to it on my page in a few minutes.

12. In 3rd grade Chad Causey and I used to have competitions to see who could put more pepper in their chili. Mountains we’d put in there. I don’t recall who won. But I know that I’m addicted to Vietnamese hot sauce today.

13. In addition to the many ashtrays stolen from Burger King, I participated in the heisting of a newspaper rack, along with Odie and I think Dave Deere? Maybe Lance. I forget. I know it was in Odie’s truck. Probably listening to BloodSugarSexMagik. Because music makes kids commit crime.

14. I was only paddled once. Summer Rec, by Coach Hudson. My crime: going into the stands of the junior high gym to retrieve a frisbee, after we were specifically forbidden from doing so. I was clearly a juvenile delinquent and had to be punished.

15. My grandfather was a minister who wrote and self-published a book on ghosts and their relationship to divine spirit. He did this on a Mac Plus in the mid-80’s, hampered by his slow-moving fingers, which gave him limited movement following a stroke in the late 60’s. I only ever knew him as a man with slurred speech, with a walker or a wheelchair, but his mind was as sharp as a tack.