Constructive Creativity

Thursday, January 11, 2007

Pentagonal Asymmetry

Well, my friends Khodadad and Dr. O2 have both targeted me as the next subject of the currently popular "five things" tagging game. I previously commented to Khodadad a drastically reduced version of what lies below. I hadn't really intended to post these five things, but then Dr. O2 ganged up on me too. I was tag teamed, and they broke my will to resist! ;) So, here's to you guys, and to you I dedicate the following five fascinating tales from my lost and misspent youth:

1.) I was once addicted to the soap opera "Days of Our Lives". If any of you know that Marlena was possessed by the Devil, then you know exactly what I am talking about! ;) In general I like soap opera type shows with evolving characters and stories. "Dallas" was one of my all time favorite shows, and boy do I have a story to tell about that! I was watching the season ending episode, and half way through the show, CBS pre-empted Dallas with the face of Dan Rather, roving reporter extraordinare. He was in a hotel room and he kept going on and on about how the Chinese government was about to cut off his satellite transmission. He had no news at all to report, he just kept talking about the eminent shut down of his broadcast. I was so mad that I was missing Dallas that I called my local CBS TV station. I recognized the voice that answered the phone. His name was Dave, and he was the head reporter/anchor for the local station's news show. I demanded to know why Dallas had been pre-empted and if it would be shown again and when. Poor Dave could only tell me that the local station had no control over the network feed and that he didn't know anything about whether Dallas would be rebroadcast. Well, after that short and frustrating conversation, I went back to watching Dan Rather talking about essentially nothing, hoping against hope that he would go away and that I could watch the last few minutes of Dallas. Well, not long after Dallas would have ended, Dan was finally cut off as he kept saying he would be. Well, at that moment I just didn't give a damn! I had missed half of the most important TV show of the entire year! I went to bed bitterly disappointed! The next day, I heard the news that the Chinese military had invaded Tiananmen Square and brutally crushed the student freedom and democracy movement. Over the next several days, the full story of the carnage and death that ensued began to come out. I felt completely and totally ashamed! I never did get to see that whole episode of Dallas, but after what happened, it didn't really matter to me any more.

2.) When I was a kid, I used to style the hair of my sister's Barbie dolls. I was a better stylist than she was! I would create various pony tails, buns, and braids. I had very nimble little fingers! :) Well, that was a phase that didn't last very long. I think I did it more to compete with my sister than because I loved the idea of becoming a hair stylist. ;) I spent a lot more time with my tough-man G.I. Joe dolls. I had the Joes with Life-Like Hair and pistil grip hands. My best friend had G.I. Joe with Life-Like Hair and Kung-Fu Grip, definitely a much cooler version (I was quite jealous!). :) I had all sorts of gear for my Joes. I had little plastic guns, little plastic bomb detonators, and little plastic grenades. I had a little aluminized astronaut suit and an everglades style plastic swamp boat with a big plastic propeller. But the best Joe accessory that I ever had was a three foot diameter nylon parachute that was intended for use with a large model rocket. I fashioned a harness to unite my Joe with the chute. I would roll up the chute and throw Joe as high into the air as I could. I guess that I could toss him up 30 or 40 feet. The chute would open and Joe would slowly descend to the ground while swinging back and forth. The most fun, though, was when the chute failed to open and Joe would come crashing back to Earth and splat into the ground looking all twisted and contorted! I had to reattach his head a few times! ;)

3.) All through my childhood, I had a very strong fear of long legged spiders, even of daddy longlegs, which are closely related to spiders, but totally harmless to humans. I am not afraid of short legged spiders at all, though. In fact, I loved to play with jumping spiders, and I didn't mind letting them walk and hop around on my hands. I once even held a tarantula without any discomfort at all! I guess it was the leg length to body size ratio that made me uncomfortable. One Summer, while I was at boy scout camp, it seemed that almost everywhere I looked there were long legged spiders. When I would swim in the lake, there were long legged fishing spiders with three inch leg spans swimming around near the shore. My friends and I would splash them until they hid in the reeds before we would dare get in the water. One day, I was walking on a trail through the woods at the camp and I came upon a small stream. There, next to the stream bank, crouched the biggest fishing spider that I had ever seen. It must have had a leg span of nearly four inches! For some bizarre reason, in spite of my morbid fear, I decided that I wanted to capture it and show it to my friends. I looked around quickly for something that I could trap the spider in. Not far away, I spyed a large rusty coffee can that had been discarded near the trail. I ran over, grabbed the can, and ran back to the stream. The spider hadn't moved. I held the can in my left hand and picked up a stick in my right hand. Then I eased the can down next to the spider. Still, it hadn't moved. I touched its leg with the stick and it ran into the can, momentarily disappearing. I slowly tilted the can up to have a look, and suddenly the spider appeared! It had climbed upside down and was running full speed in the direction of my face! All this happened in a split second. I let go of the can, and by shear reflex, jumped backward about five feet. My heart was racing! The spider scuttled over the top of the can, jumped into the stream, and disappeared from my view. After a few seconds to catch my breath, I went over to the stream and looked for the spider, but it had completely disappeared. I went back to camp and regaled my friends with my tall tale of the giant spider that nearly ate me for dinner! :)

4.) Have you ever yearned to have a window into the pre-adolescent male mind? If so, then read on brave reader, read on! If not, it is strongly suggested that the reader advance to #5! When I was about 12 years old, I was the best teller of dirty joke stories in my whole school (or so I thought, at least! :P ). I would learn a dirty story and then add my own embellishments. My theatrical delivery was also very good, in my opinion! ;) My best story was about three intrepid ants. Their tale is one of adventure, of days and nights spent exploring rumbling twin mountain peaks, thick, dark, and dank rain forests, and deep caverns. Oh, lets not forget the huge cave bears! Yeah, you must be thinking, pretty stupid eh? Well, I have just given you a few essentials of the story. Trust me, there was a lot more tantalizing detail and dramatic buildup! That story never failed to have my young friends rolling with laughter! Hey, we were all just dumb kids afterall! :D

5.) I was once a bit of a juvenile delinquent. When I was 15, I and two other school friends got it into our heads to throw a lot of eggs at the cars of certain school acquaintances late at night. Problem was, we did it over and over again to the same people's cars. Eventually we got caught and had to pay restitution. Honestly, I really didn't have anything against those people. The behavior was just stupid and senseless, but that is what young men of that age are! On the final night of our delinquency, we went to the house of a boy with a really rich daddy. The boy drove a Porsche 924 to school every day. It was the bottom of the line Porsche, but damn, it was a Porsche, and we were jealous! We had arrived in two cars. My friend was sixteen, and he had a license to drive, but I only had a learner's permit. Still, for some reason, I was driving my parent's old Ford that night. We had great fun talking to each other on our CB radios (this was long before cell phones folks!) while we drove to our quarry's house. We parked a block or two away and walked to the house, full egg cartons in hand. We dumped a dozen on top of the Porsche and a second dozen on top of rich daddy's big Mercedes. Then, all of a sudden, the lights came on and there were people yelling and running toward us! The three of us took off running in the direction of our cars. My two friends jumped in their car and took off at high speed. I was a bit slower to get to my car, and the boy who drove the egg laden Porsche caught up to me and grabbed my arm. I was really scared, but I didn't try to struggle. He was older and bigger than I was. He walked me back to his house. Rich daddy had taken off in his car in hot pursuit of my friends. Rich boy and his momma kept an eye on me after momma called the police. The policeman got there and asked me my name. I told him. He wanted to see my license, but all I had was my learner's permit. He wrote down my name, address, etc. He asked for the names of my accomplices, but I initially said nothing. I was feeling a combination of extreme embarrassment, shame, fear, and loyalty to my friends. After a while rich daddy came back and said that my friends had gotten away, but that he had the license number of the car. He gave it to the policeman. Finally, I confessed the names of my friends. Rich momma and daddy were rather surprised at one of the names. I found out later that they were good friends with his parents. Rich daddy, I found out later also knew my father. Anyway, the cop turned out to be pretty cool. Although I didn't have a driver's license, he let me drive my car home. I was sure that I was going to be hauled off to jail, but he released me (To this day, I suspect that the cop had been even more of a delinquent than I ever was in his own youth!). Still, I knew that my troubles were just beginning. I drove home slowly and stayed up all night worrying about what my parents would think of me. In the morning, I confessed to my parents what I had done. They were really upset and disappointed in me! Our three father's ended up having a big meeting with rich daddy, and another daddy, as well. Some expensive cars needed expensive cleaning and repainting. One of my friends apparently confessed to a few of our other capers, so that added to the total bill. We all ended up working for months to pay off the damages that our parents had covered for us. The story of our misadventures was spread far and wide at school. We were either heroes or pariahs, depending on the social status of our fellow students. All in all, it was a very tough lesson that I and my friends had to learn!

Ok, now that I have fulfilled the tag challenge of revealing five extraordinary things about myself, if I am to adhere to the rules of the game, I must now name five new recipients to carry the torch exponentially further into the murky ethers of the blogosphere. :) Now lets see, who among my friends is deserving of such honor and distinction? Hmmm, dramatic pause, drum roll..., ok I name as the next victims, er honorees, Anarki-13, Lavinia, Madas, Melantrys, and Tamara. Now everybody, how about a big round of applause for the distinguished top five!! :D