Having been befriended mostly by girls as I was growing up, I would sometimes have to acquiesce to such foolish things as three-way phone calls, organized alliances and those stupid-ass quizzes found in the pages of teenaged girls’ magazines. The party-line phone conversations and forbidden friendships led me to better understand the intricate workings of the female mind and the endless joys of catty gossip. The allure of the quiz on the other hand I never could grasp. For the most part they were very girl centered and didn’t translate well for a reluctant male audience. Now I’m 33 years old and although it’s been a while since I was asked to take a quiz, I was recently asked to join in something equally as chickish. I was tagged with a meme, namely the Six-Weird-Slash-Interesting-Things-about-You meme. Fine. Girly though this may be, I’ll play. Aside from the multitudinal quirks and shortcomings mentioned elsewhere in my blog, here are six weird slash interesting things about me.
1. I have a long-standing fondness for Smurfs.
Before the days of the TeenBeat surveys, I declared myself Papa Smurf and dubbed several girls in my fifth-grade class with Smurf names. I don’t remember who all was what Smurf, but we had a Brainy, a Handy, a Jokey and a few others. Rachael was the only Smurfette though perhaps because I had a crush on her. By the time Smurfette made it to our fifth-year high school reunion, she was on an all women’s bowling league and she only dated other Smurfettes. Clearly gaydar wasn’t something I had developed by age ten.
High up in the attic is a box that contains my Smurf figures collection, what’s left of the Smurf board game, and a few mushroom houses. As I write this, I’m drinking orange juice from a Smurf glass, one of several I own in fact. If memory serves me correctly, the glasses were orginally offered as a promotional gimmick from Hardees, although most of my current collection of smurfy glassware came either from Ebay or . . . sigh . . . an antique store. While I did not see a single Smurf when I went to Belgium, their originator’s birthplace, I did buy some Smurf comics at a market in St-Remy, France. More lately, I won $50 at a Halloween costume contest at work for coming as Papa Smurf.
This was not the first time I had worn said costume.
2. I have an artificial testicle.
Now really, does this one require further explanation? Click here to see a picture. Not of me, Perv! I mean the gadget itself. My wife calls it Eggy. We sometimes joke that it was actually Eggy that got her pregnant.
3. I can turn my tongue 360 degrees.
OK, this one is a half-truth. I actually can turn my tongue 180 degrees in either direction, so although I tell people I can turn my tongue all the way around, I really turn it over in one direction, then right-side up and then turn it over the other way. This is a genetic thing. Some people can do it; others can’t. Whenever I demonstrate this capability as I am often want to do, people are either disturbed or intrigued by it. Those who fall into the latter category will sometimes make a lascivious comment about my sex life. I suppose this skill and the ability to speak French do make for a cunning linguist.
4. I have stepped foot in eleven different countries.
Including the United States that is. I’ve also visited France, Germany, Chile, Belgium, Holland, Luxemburg, Switzerland, the Czech Republic, Hungary and Mexico roughly in that order. My wife trumps me by one as she took some family vacations to Canada as a kid. I’ve also had a layover in England and once had to touch down in Peru to refuel, but I generally don’t include those in the count. Sometimes when I can’t sleep, I try and rattle off all the airlines I’ve flown in alphabetical order. They are: Air France, Air Litoral, AirTran, American Airlines, Avant, British Airways, Continental, Czech Air, Delta, KLM, Lan Chile, Malev, SouthWest, Swiss Air, and US Air. I may be leaving out a few. Some borders I’ve flown over and others I’ve driven over. To get to Mexico, I walked across the border. I love to travel. For five steps to alleviate crabby traveling, check out my VirtualTourist page.
5. I have a recurring dream of breaking into someone’s home.
Who’s home I have no idea. It’s usually a different house each time. This may be a byproduct of working in real estate. Realtors are sometimes asked if it’s weird being able to just walk into someone else’s home. On a conscious level it’s not, but it must bother me on some level because I keep having this dream. I’m either alone or with other people and I just want to go in and walk around without being caught. I’m not there to steal anything — just look around. Often the house is large and labyrinthine, and I can’t figure out how to get out. Many times I’ll be upstairs and hear the owners coming home. Occasionally I get caught trying to sneak out a window. Weird.
6. If I’m chewing on a fingernail and have to eat, I will retrieve the fingernail from my mouth, set it aside and save it for later.
Originally for Number Six I was going to reveal that I couldn’t swim, but my wife (always the shoulder surfer) suggested that this particular quirk was even weirder slash more interesting. I know some people find any degree of nail biting odd. I’ve done it ever since I was a kid, and yes, I’ve been known to put it either on the corner of my placemat, rest it on my knee, set it on my desk at work or even slip it into my shirt or pant pocket. Once you’ve bitten off a nail, it’s not suitable for biting again until it grows back in another week or so, so you may as well get as much nervous tension relief out of it as you can, right? It frustrates me when I’ve rested it on my knee (this is preferable to the placemat when dining out) and then later I realize I’ve stood up forgetting it was there at which point if I remember promptly enough the five-second rule comes into play. Occasionally I’ll reach into my jeans pocket and find the nail I put there earlier in the day along with another one dating back to a previous wear. I’m a little bit happier when that happens. It’s not as gross as it sounds. It’s been through the wash after all.
I should have stuck with not being able to swim. After all, is this really so weird slash interesting?
So there you have it, six weird slash interesting things about me plus a bonus. Cheesy as that was, I did it. Now in the tradition of trendy memes I’ll credit the blogger that “tagged” me and pass it on to a couple of unsuspecting people who likely have better things to do but might actually enjoy doing this if they played along. Go check out Kyle and the Quiet Mumbler.