1.13.2005

12457

I am a lucky bastard, to know me is to know this is true. Here are some events, trivial to the outsider, but burned forever into my recollection. Their veracity even I sometimes question:



R) Reflexes: In college, while working as an Ass. Super. for the cafeteria, I, like all the student middle-management, was assigned at least one closing shift. I actually think I did my job fairly well, taking care of the frighteningly overfilled grease traps on the grill and polishing the Mongolian barbeque until it gleamed. I was also one of the few employees who did not steal 20 lbs. of hamburger or a five-gallon bag of cereal.

One night, while I was doing my last go through to make sure all the napkins were picked up and the mats replaced, I saw a spoon on the ground approximately five yards ahead of me. I had just finished watching some of my friend’s Bruce Lee collection, so, without breaking my stride, I drove my foot down hard on the spoon and did a grasping punch in the air, much like The Dragon used to do when stomping on skulls.

However, my foot caught the spoon just right, flipping it into the air. My grasping punch was so timed that I caught the spoon just in time for my version of a Bruce Lee Squeal. I was so surprised I dropped the spoon.

Fifteen attempts later I was unable to repeat the act.

Also, in an 8 a.m. psychology lab, on two hours sleep, I once caught a coffee cup in midair as it was knocked off a table by a girl. She was also sitting almost directly behind me--I saw the reflection in the corner of my glasses.



O) Skills: Once, at a neighbor’s barbeque, I channeled the multi-sport talent of Bo Jackson.

I, then a 110 lb. weakling who had only ever played a sport for witch Klutz Press had an activity book, sat out while the others started a game of touch football. Of course, in this instance there is always a wayward ball/Frisbee/baseball bat that lands near, requiring you to toss it back. The inevitable happened, as the football slid through the open hands of a player to make its bouncing dance to my feet. Nervous and angry at my awkward, skinny frame, I threw it to the guy farthest from me, about 30 yards away. Perfect spiral, right to him.

Twenty minutes later, after lunch, I threw a rock absently at one of those little yellow reflective sticks people put at the end of the driveway, so they don’t back into a ditch. I hit it, only three inches wide, from maybe 20 feet away. Three times. I was afraid to keep trying.

I have also accidentally fixed multiple items, from an electric pencil sharpener (third grade) to a radio station server (college).

By mixing things at a whim, I can make a damn fine pasta salad.

While filming a ridiculously bad homemade movie with some friends, without any training in fencing, I neatly lopped off both ears of a life-size foam deer, while in midair from jumping off a picnic table. I then gracefully kicked its head off and slashed it before it hit the ground. Had I not been using a golf club shaft, I would have cleaved it in two.



Y) Timing: I have left approximately seven different parties twenty minutes or less before the cops showed up. I have doubly showed up at a party just as a friend was going into the back room to “smoke,” handing out free beers, or needed someone to use a free ticket to a concert/movie/whatever the next week.



G) Money: While in college, there was always that inevitable dip into abject poverty experienced immediately after purchasing books for the semester. On four different occasions I have come into money when I was at my poorest.

The first was in the shape of a $500 sweepstakes check I received for filling out an online survey. It actually cleared.

The second involved me angrily saying yes to a series of questions a telemarketer asked me. I then received YM, Vibe, Rolling Stone, Mountain Biking Monthly, Discovery, Harpers, PC Magazine and People for two years, without paying. When I tried to cancel the ones neither I nor my friends enjoyed (YM and Vibe, though both were hilarious), I received a little over $100 in a refund check. Both magazines continued to arrive.

The third involved a computer error and the annoying requirements of being a BMG member, namely I HAD to purchase so many CD’s in a year. I did, got duplicates of all of them, many I had never ordered and only received bills for two (not just lost in the mail, I wasn’t charged). I sold or gave away the duplicates.

And the fourth was the most frightening. While interning in D.C. I only had $112 for the last two months, as the internships through my college program could not be paid. I went to the ATM next to my apartment and decided to withdraw all $100 and take the Metro to the city to buy bulk, cheap soups and cereals. An ATM error multiplied the amount of money dispensed by four, but only took the amount originally requested out of your account. $300 free, cash. I spent the rest of the day waiting for a phone call from the bank and watching other people walk either confusedly or quickly away from the ATM. It was “Out of Service” for a month after that. Also, right when that money ran out, the place I was interning at liked my work so much they offered me $2,000, the difference of my plane ticket transfer and lodging to stay two weeks after my summer program ended.



B) Crime: I have, as yet never gotten arrested for any of the various crimes I have committed.

These include theft (highlight: I stole an ATM receipt wheel out of a hospital ATM), forgery (highlight: selling fake IDs), fraud (highlight: credit cards, though the law was actually still kind of fuzzy when I did it), drug use (highlight: shrooms), conspiracy to commit burglary (can’t say, implicates others), malicious destruction of property (multiple) and trafficking stolen goods (see “conspiracy to commit burglary”).



I) Strength: I have, sporadically, been stricken with “crazy strength” when threatened or angry throughout my life. This includes snapping a fiberglass tray with my bare hands when a bully called me stick-boy in middle school, breaking multiple doorknobs by twisting them until they snapped (admittedly, this normally happens while I fidget drunk at parties while listening to annoying people), exploding an unopened soda can at a party by squeezing it too hard while harassed by frat boys and tearing a metal coat hook out of a locker because it was in my way.

On the other hand, it has also has caused a bit of harm, such as snapping the tempered steel rod of my friends pellet gun and being the mitigating factor in tearing my improperly formed lung when I lifted my car up six inches off the ground trying to rip a broken muffler off.



V) Durability: Despite a life almost purposely filled with hazard, I have never gotten a serious injury (the lung thing isn’t as bad as it sounds, not too painful, mostly annoying), broken a bone or gotten stitches. I have been on fire several times, fallen out of many things (buildings and moving vehicles), played with numerous explosives, corrosives and other dangerous chemicals, enjoyed cliff jumping and rock climbing with out safety equipment, and have been electrically shocked, once unconscious.

Still, none of these was particularly painful or scarring. The largest scars I have are from things like fixing computers (the insides are damn sharp) and clumsiness (got a relatively minor scratch from a cardboard cutting machine that could have taken my hand off).



Yep, I'm like a really lame superhero. Or a canceled FOX series.





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