Okay, I’ve gotten tagged by enough people on Facebook that I’m caving in and doing this one. But I’m not tagging anyone else; it feels too much like a chain letter to me. And I’m using 100% recycled material. On the bright side, though, while making my list I left off several items that I apparently haven’t written about, though I thought I had. So, I’m saving those for the future, when you can look forward to reading about the times I ate an onion for Easter dinner, got permanently facially scarred with a cigarette, wet my pants at winter camp, and christened my friend Jay’s new toilet.
And now the list:
- I was born on April 8, 1974, the same day that Hank Aaron broke Babe Ruth’s all-time home runs record by hitting #715. So, I took Barry Bonds surpassing Aaron’s mark a little personally.
- Like the minor character Bob Rooney from Married with Children, a significant number of people naturally refer to me by first and last name together — i.e., “Peter Lynn” or even “Peterlynn”. I think this is a result of phonetics; if I remember my linguistics right, my first name ends in a liquid consonant and my last one starts with one.
- While researching my family tree, I learned I’m descended from the only colonist in North America to be caught and executed for incest. Fortunately, I’m a product of his first marriage, the one with the wife who wasn’t also his daughter.
- When I was a kid, having only seen it mentioned in book and never heard it spoken aloud, I referred to the British flag as the “Onion Jack”.
- I once called the wrestling hotline, and got so nervous when I heard the voices of the Killer Bees that I hung up. Only when I called back did I realize that it was just a recording and B. Brian Blair and “Jumping” Jim Brunzell weren’t personally manning the phones.
- The first person ever to beat me up had Down Syndrome. He was several years older than me, though.
- I don’t recall ever getting sat down and told about the birds and bees. I’m pretty sure that my mom’s strategy for teaching me about the fact of life was to leave a copy of Harold Robbins’ The Carpetbaggers around and explicitly forbid me from reading it. Even if she didn’t do this on purpose, I’m stealing it for when I have kids. It’s a good way of teaching kids about sex, not to mention revenge.
- Around the same age, I memorized the tirade at the beginning of Twisted Sister’s “We’re Not Gonna Take It” video, the one delivered by the guy who played Neidermeyer in Animal House, and if I had to, I could probably still pull it out right now. That one’s getting used on the kids too.
- I also listened to a lot of ZZ Top around that time, and although you’d think I’d have been aware of its true meaning of that age, I didn’t interpret the song “Woke Up with Wood” in anything but a literal sense until many, many years later. I simply thought it was a song about awaking to find actual lumber mysteriously in your bed.
- I touch-type with my entire left hand, but only with the first three fingers on my right hand. This is because I learned to type in a Saturday morning typing class when I was in grade eight, which I dropped out of a few weeks early when the lure of watching Superstars of Wrestling instead grew too great. So I never got around to learning what to do with those last two fingers.
- In high school, I dressed according to a strict 14-day rotational schedule in order to avoid wearing the same thing two days in a row.
- By constrast, I’m now so lax in matters relating to my personal appearance that I once walked around for a week with a pushpin lodged in the sole of my shoe — not a tack, but a large white pushpin. It’s only because it was perfectly embedded in the arch that I didn’t get stabbed in the bottom of my foot.
- However, for a very long time, I had most of my co-workers convinced that I was so obsessed with my oral hygiene that I visited the dentist for a cleaning every single Saturday.
- I also told one particularly gullible co-worker that Scientific American had published an study claiming that he was gay, citing him personally by name. Interestingly, he demanded to see the article in question, rather than dismissing my claim wholesale.
- My friend Janet once sprayed me with holy water because she was convinced I was the Devil.
- On the other hand, I once poured vinegar in my own eyes to make my housemate Jon laugh. It was worth it.
- As much as that burned, it wasn’t as bad as the time a seagull shat in my eye — which I completely deserved.
- No doubt to the surprise of the estate of Bob Kane, a literacy group run by the BBC once credited me as the co-creator of Batman.
- Unlike most, I’ve always tied a necktie in a Windsor knot, which, according to Ian Fleming, is “the mark of a cad.”
- I’m the world’s worst human beatbox, and I have the T-shirt to prove it.
- Once, as the only white customer in an all-black barbershop, I got mocked instrumentally when a guy started playing Procol Harum’s “Whiter Shade of Pale” on a keyboard.
- I was glad when Pluto lost its status as a planet, and I want to see indigo kicked out of the rainbow and Lake Huron and Lake Michigan combined into a single super-lake.
- At the provincial Reach for the Top championships when I was in high school, I once walked straight into a door and was nearly knocked unconscious. While strangers rushed to my aid, my teammates were too incapacitated by laughter to help me. Then I had to go on TV with an enormous goose egg on my forehead.
- Much more recently, I once cracked my head open so badly at a company party that it looked like the Kennedy assassination.
- I’ve previously included all of the following in my list of the top five worst things ever to happen to me: the time I jumped into a freezing-cold Lake Ontario in mid-April to retrieve a frisbee; the fourth and penultimate time I got dumped by my college sweetheart; the night I found out my dad had cancer and paid full price to see Under Siege in the theatre; FOX’s premature cancellations of Arrested Development, Undeclared, and Andy Richter Controls the Universe; grades five through nine inclusive; my philosophy of feminism class in university; listening to Captain Beefheart’s Trout Mask Replica for the first time; dropping a brick of ice on an already-bruised toe; and sampling a can of Hey-Song Honey White Gourd Drink. It’s time I think about compiling a top ten, and considering I just listed only nine things, I’m starting to worry about what else is going to happen to round out the list.
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