Tell Us A Fascinating Thing About Yourself March 29, 2015 10:03 PM   Subscribe

... That we don't already know from chatting with you on the site. In fact, aim for the weirdest thing you do but don't talk about, or your stupidest human trick. Go!
posted by Eyebrows McGee to MetaFilter-Related at 10:03 PM (1009 comments total) 70 users marked this as a favorite

.....Joss Whedon once laughed at a joke I made while I was getting my portrait done in an apartment on Wall Street.
posted by The Whelk at 10:23 PM on March 29, 2015 [23 favorites]


Also I literally owe my "being funny on the Internet for money" carrer to a Mefi post I made two years which now might be responsible for a feature being relaunched and I can contribute to it.
posted by The Whelk at 10:25 PM on March 29, 2015 [7 favorites]


I once had lunch with Craig Newmark (of craigslist) and spent 20 minutes telling him about all of my awesome websites without realizing who he was.

And I made an electric guitar out of yardsticks.
posted by mmoncur at 10:26 PM on March 29, 2015 [4 favorites]


I have a plaster cast of my own life mask that I made when I was eighteen and it scares the crap out of me every time I come across it in our junk room.
posted by Johnny Wallflower at 10:30 PM on March 29, 2015 [5 favorites]


Metafilter said I was too into Captain America but then I got a highlighted blonde dye job and lost 30 pounds and got an authentic 1940s field officer uniform and actual prop SSR pins from the first movie and then People at the costume contest thought I was Bucky Barnes and everyone else just thought I was literally on leave and that was a confusing Halloween thanks to merafilter
posted by The Whelk at 10:33 PM on March 29, 2015 [25 favorites]


Most of those 30 pounds lost was just waking up with a cheerleader calisthenics routine set to Star Spangled Man to be honest
posted by The Whelk at 10:38 PM on March 29, 2015 [13 favorites]


your stupidest human trick

I'm really good at hula hooping. In fact, I have often fantasized about entering a hooping competition where I show up everyone by hula hooping for hours on end.

Thinking about it now, though, do hooping competitions even exist? I feel like I saw something like this on an old TV show like Happy Days, but maybe I'm making that up.
posted by litera scripta manet at 10:45 PM on March 29, 2015 [4 favorites]


Oh, also! I'm really great at packing things into small spaces. Like, give me a box, a bunch of randomly sized objects, and you'll be shocked by how much I can fit in there. I occasionally fantasize about some competition where I can show off this skill as well.
posted by litera scripta manet at 10:47 PM on March 29, 2015 [27 favorites]


So, to summarize: I'm pretty boring, and apparently I spend all my time fantasizing about winning nonexistent competitions.
posted by litera scripta manet at 10:48 PM on March 29, 2015 [49 favorites]


I taught myself how to throw tomahawks. And to get them to stick into things.
posted by Seamus at 10:48 PM on March 29, 2015 [6 favorites]


I'm really good at sharpening tools, even shovels. A dull shovel is a travesty and a sharpened shovel is an under-appreciated joy. When you spend a lot of time digging, at least.
posted by Seamus at 10:52 PM on March 29, 2015 [21 favorites]


I used to read books while riding on my bike, a habit which I kept up for several years until I ran into a parked car.
posted by solarion at 10:59 PM on March 29, 2015 [67 favorites]


(This is stupidest in both senses of the word.)
posted by solarion at 10:59 PM on March 29, 2015 [5 favorites]


Seamus: What does one use to sharpen a shovel? Mine is certainly dull.

(Also: I am dull. Like my shovel. I interviewed for a quiz show once, and aced all the trivia stuff, but you had to do a personality interview and apparently I'm too dull for TV. The bloke who used to run my pub trivia night went on the show and became the biggest game-show winner in Australian history. He's pretty cool.)
posted by pompomtom at 11:13 PM on March 29, 2015 [2 favorites]


Today I hauled home a free pile desk on my bike using a bungee cord (punctured bike tube) and a bike rack+bucket pannier. The pannier served as a support. This was actually a pretty normal event in the life of me. But for my new housemate it seemed to be pretty perplexing. All I could do was point out that I biked slowly and the desk has casters. He offered to carry it to my room several times. For me, that was perplexing, seeing as how I had just hauled it across town. Yesterday it was a kid's trailer full of potted plants that I hauled across town. Fortunately, my bike has gears.

I can also simultaneously pat my head and rub my tummy.
posted by aniola at 11:39 PM on March 29, 2015 [9 favorites]


Now I want to know what a pile desk is. And can you switch the hands to the opposite motions at will (pat your tummy and rub your head)? I can.
posted by Johnny Wallflower at 11:48 PM on March 29, 2015


There is a role playing game supplement with my name on the cover.

I once rented a house from a woman who had her ex-husband whacked and buried in the basement...of the house...I was renting.
posted by Kid Charlemagne at 12:10 AM on March 30, 2015 [20 favorites]


free-pile desk & yes :D
posted by aniola at 12:31 AM on March 30, 2015


For my Bat Mitzvah I had a choice of Torah portion from Genesis. Normally everyone with my chunk went for the whole God made the world in 7 days shtick. Me? Cain and Able. My rabbi informed my parents that she was "not surprised." The opening of my speech was:

"My Torah portion today is the story of Cain and Able. I identify with this story because I, too, often want to kill my brother."

At the time, my dad was president of the synagogue, and my mom was president of Sisterhood. My speech was a big hit. My brother was nonplussed.
posted by Mizu at 12:36 AM on March 30, 2015 [99 favorites]


I can touch the tip of my nose with my tongue.

WHERE IS MY NOBEL?!
posted by potsmokinghippieoverlord at 12:47 AM on March 30, 2015 [1 favorite]


I have voluntary nystagmus!
posted by KathrynT at 12:50 AM on March 30, 2015 [8 favorites]


autocorrect wanted to change that to "mustangs" btw which would have been entirely different and much, much odder
posted by KathrynT at 12:50 AM on March 30, 2015 [12 favorites]


I can touch the tip of my nose with my tongue.

Pfah. I can put my tongue up my nose. This is a big hit with 7 year olds. I generally don't show grown-ups though.
posted by kjs4 at 12:59 AM on March 30, 2015 [14 favorites]


That I tend to fail at precisely this introductory icebreaker which I've done at least twice in real life. Teacher/authority says, "Share something about yourself that no one else in the classroom…". The last time I did it I distinctly remember the apprehension before getting to my turn, just drawing a total blank at coming up with something about myself that: a) was actually highly likely to be unique, b) was not pretentious / bragging / bourgeois (sadly), and c) that I was personally comfortable sharing with the group. Basically I turn into a fifth grader or worse—that time, I blurted out, "Well… I'm a big fan of Star Trek". I still remember my professor's thin smile. Cringe (and also failing all three of those conditions).

So the thing I tell myself when reminded of this trauma is that some people simply don't do well in these kinds of situations. And that's okay, and ultimately a good thing.

And then I resolved that in the future if ever I had to do this in a group again, I would simply recite the following: "So the thing that's interesting about me is that I am the nth person in turn to speak, but the first to have nothing particularly interesting thing to say about my background. But that makes me the first person in this group to attempt this logical response to the game, and I hope by doing so it suggests something interesting to know/remember me by.", with n being one plus the number of people who will have gone before me.

And of course that whole bit to be recited will be preceded by the whole story above.

Keepin' it meta.
posted by polymodus at 1:08 AM on March 30, 2015 [21 favorites]


I am freakishly good at jigsaw puzzles. And I can do a lot of pushups. Someday I shall put these two things together and I will be force to be reckoned with.
posted by iamkimiam at 1:24 AM on March 30, 2015 [13 favorites]



Pfah. I can put my tongue up my nose. This is a big hit with 7 year olds. I generally don't show grown-ups though.


I wasn't going to volunteer it, but I can do that too.

WHERE IS MY ROSE GARDEN CEREMONY?!?
posted by potsmokinghippieoverlord at 1:37 AM on March 30, 2015 [9 favorites]


My SO is always a bit surprised and confused when I explain that I have a reputation for being angry because I mostly just have relentless enthusiasm that applies to ferocity in some cases but mostly just leads to me being REALLY EXCITED about books and pizza.

Cantelopes taste like headaches to me.
posted by NoraReed at 1:38 AM on March 30, 2015 [11 favorites]


I can suppress a yawn.

Over half my life ago now, I fell off my skateboard onto my arm and bruised a rib, and couldn't take a full breath for about a week. I learned pretty quickly how to stop a yawn just as I felt it start, and I've retained the trick ever since. It's great for making people yawn by suggestion, while not succumbing to it yourself.

It has no other value.
posted by Mister Moofoo at 2:00 AM on March 30, 2015 [14 favorites]


I am a feminist who uses the word cunt derogatorily. I'll let myself out.
posted by honey-barbara at 2:15 AM on March 30, 2015 [37 favorites]


In my favour though, I am an awesome pedalling-with-my-dogs-cyclist. I rarely swear when we are dog-cycling around the city, but I may join the pooches in letting my tongue hang out.
posted by honey-barbara at 2:20 AM on March 30, 2015 [1 favorite]


I always get balls of paper into the waste paper basket when I toss them in....but I have no other transferable ability to judge distance, throw or catch.

Throwing out scrunched up paper is my only skill in the universe.

Wondering how I can monetise this...Whelk?
posted by taff at 2:23 AM on March 30, 2015 [1 favorite]


You know that trick people used to do (I haven't seen anyone do it for at least 20 years) where you balance a stack of coins on your elbow and then quickly swipe downwards and catch them in your hand?

I used to be able to catch around 40, which would beat the 1973 world record. How anyone could catch 328 is beyond my comprehension, though. I clearly need a training montage.
posted by pipeski at 2:50 AM on March 30, 2015 [12 favorites]


Up until very recently I had a collection of random stuff I found in the street (I specialize in profile photos but will pick anything up). I had a map on a corkboard and posted everything around where I found it so it looked like one of those maps from Person of Interest or something.

Sadly, my indulgent and often put-upon wife finally said enough is enough and made me get rid of it. All the profile pictures of strangers freaked her out.
posted by Literaryhero at 2:53 AM on March 30, 2015 [8 favorites]


Also, I can relax my facial muscles so much that by shaking my head quickly back and forth I look like one of those guys from an old centrifuge video. I don't know if that is special, because people generally tell me I am an idiot, but then I find them in the bathroom later trying to do the same thing in front of the mirror.
posted by Literaryhero at 2:58 AM on March 30, 2015 [53 favorites]


my biggest claim to fame among my friends is I had scurvy when I was 23.
posted by russm at 3:03 AM on March 30, 2015 [35 favorites]


No way, russm. How could that possibly have happened? As a guy with a passing interest in getting scurvy I'd like to know about your diet.
posted by Literaryhero at 3:19 AM on March 30, 2015 [5 favorites]


I have a really big tounge. But I can't stick it up my nose, so I feel kind of like I need to practise some tounge stretches now.
posted by Braeburn at 3:42 AM on March 30, 2015 [1 favorite]


There's some great stuff in here, mang.

I once had a legitimately hilarious, hours-long phone conversation with Thomas Ligotti.

Also, I can improvise my bare hands into a variety of hand puppet shapes.
posted by Sticherbeast at 3:44 AM on March 30, 2015 [3 favorites]


Literaryhero - I was living basically on cigarettes and coffee. I assume I was getting enough calories from sugar in the coffee to keep me from starving, with nicotine and caffeine keeping me feeling functional. In hindsight I really wouldn't recommend it.
posted by russm at 4:04 AM on March 30, 2015 [8 favorites]


Most of those 30 pounds lost was just waking up with a cheerleader calisthenics routine set to Star Spangled Man to be honest

And yet, no video.
posted by MartinWisse at 4:06 AM on March 30, 2015 [13 favorites]


I haven't tried in years, but as a teen, I discovered I could use the abnormally large space between my big toe and second toe to open childproof prescription pill bottles. I could also pick up and hold smaller apples with my feet.
posted by Ghidorah at 4:06 AM on March 30, 2015 [2 favorites]


I too can stick my tongue up my nose, and I would agree with kjs4 that I don't do it in front of adults, but as I read that at my desk, I found myself doing it. The only person who walked past was a MeFite anyway, so I might as well confess here.

Also, Ghidorah, I don't have much of a gap between toes, but I do find it very comforting when I'm trying to drop off to sleep to stick the back of my heel/my achilles tendon in between the big toe and next toe of the other foot.
posted by ambrosen at 4:28 AM on March 30, 2015 [9 favorites]


I never.
posted by spitbull at 4:30 AM on March 30, 2015 [2 favorites]


You know that thing where, despite having a few artistic interests and being a raging, bouncy extrovert and being a super conversationalist and kind of falling in love with little things every day, you're happiest when you can stay in bed for three days straight and breathe shallow breaths and eat popsicles and watch Tivo? I'm *aces* at that.
posted by ersatzkat at 4:36 AM on March 30, 2015 [32 favorites]


My first toe is my largest toe; but my third toe is the second-largest, followed by my second toe.
posted by duffell at 4:36 AM on March 30, 2015 [2 favorites]


I won a trip to Hawaii on a game show once. (I was going to say that I can guarantee no one's seen it, but this is MetaFilter.)
posted by Mr. Bad Example at 4:47 AM on March 30, 2015 [4 favorites]


Thanks to learning it in like 3rd grade, I still know how to sing a list of the 46 counties of South Carolina in alphabetical order to the tune of Yankee Doodle Dandy
Abbeville, Aiken, Allendale, Anderson...
posted by pointystick at 4:53 AM on March 30, 2015 [3 favorites]


Three things which are interconnected:
I make the best gin and tonics known to humankind.
I can drink a heroic amount of gin without falling down.
I can burp like Barney Gumble.
(I only do two of these things in public.)

Also despite being only (ahem) 38 my hair is nearly pure white. I've been growing it out for 4 months so I currently do a really great impression of a badger every day.
posted by billiebee at 5:11 AM on March 30, 2015 [5 favorites]


When I was in high school, I was ranked tenth in nation at Sight Latin Reading. I wasn't actually entirely sure what the meaning of all the words I read were, but apparently I pronounced them really well. I still can pull off a good Classical Latin accent, which will stand me in excellent stead if I am ever attacked by supernatural creatures that respond well to Roman spells.

In my college queer org, I once ran into another ace person who was delighted to have met another person in real life omg! and who started gushing about all the blog posts they were going to get to share with me. The first one they mentioned was something I had actually written. There's not really a non-awkward place and time to interject "...actually, hi, I'm the sciatrix who wrote that!" as it turns out...
posted by sciatrix at 5:11 AM on March 30, 2015 [22 favorites]


I know russm in real life and can verify that he is in fact famous (ish) for the scurvy thing.

I remember having synaesthesia as a child. For a long time I thought everyone did.
posted by deadwax at 5:14 AM on March 30, 2015 [5 favorites]


I can combine that raspberry like thing you do by blowing air through your lips with a whistle making for an extremely convincing bird call. I love to do it in odd places and at odd times and watch folks search in vane for this poor bird who is stuck in the library or high end restaurant or whatever completely inappropriate place I happen to be at the time. Good times, good times.
posted by pearlybob at 5:15 AM on March 30, 2015 [10 favorites]


Hardly unique, but I was once verbally abused by Lou Reed.
posted by Kinbote at 5:15 AM on March 30, 2015 [27 favorites]


I (very briefly) met Joe Biden while in the company of a group of radical disability activists.

The community garden project that I started with a pathetic collection of garden store cast-offs five years ago is still going strong today, with real raised beds and everything.
posted by ActionPopulated at 5:16 AM on March 30, 2015 [5 favorites]


I have an extra lumbar vertebrae compared to I think 95% of the rest of humans. I had back surgery last year and the MRI found 6 where most people have 5.
posted by octothorpe at 5:18 AM on March 30, 2015 [3 favorites]


Things I did last week:
* split three wheelbarrows full of firewood using the so-called Smart-splitter (practical thing).
* Regulated and repaired an 1805 grand piano action and re-leathered its hammers (they didn't use felt back then), using expertise, special fine-grain leather and hide glue, and played some music on it.
* Practiced the harpsichord for an upcoming recording.
* Played the continuo organ in Bach's B-minor mass in rehearsals and a concert.
* Got a false parking ticket although I had a valid ticket in my front window.
* Read some Terry Pratchett.
* Translated a CD booklet text into German.
* Began writing a book review for a periodical.
* Filed an online complaint about the parking ticket.
* Stuck to my no-alcohol-month agreement-with-self and lost a kilo or two just like that.
* Ended up thinking I didn't do very much.

I'm feeling especially nifty about complaining about that parking ticket.
posted by Namlit at 5:18 AM on March 30, 2015 [19 favorites]


I (very briefly) met Joe Biden while in the company of a group of radical disability activists.

This reminded me, when I was a Freshman in high school a famous, long-serving US Senator died. My mother had been on his staff years before and was, at the time, a priest at the church in which the service was held, so she ended up coordinating the whole thing. Because I had a lot of experience, especially in this church, and my mom knew she could trust me, I was an acolyte in the service. Bill and Hillary Clinton were there and I glanced around and saw them in the front row. The service was televised and parts of it were watched by the man who is now my husband, so he saw me on national television four years before we actually met and were, eventually, married in that same church.
posted by Mrs. Pterodactyl at 5:29 AM on March 30, 2015 [53 favorites]


By the way, this thread is AWESOME -- thank you for posting it! I always enjoy learning more about MeFites, especially in fun ways.
posted by Mrs. Pterodactyl at 5:34 AM on March 30, 2015 [4 favorites]


I can't think of any abilities I have that I haven't mentioned before somewhere on this site. Perhaps I need to stop keeping all my goods in the store window.
posted by orange swan at 5:37 AM on March 30, 2015 [4 favorites]


I was ranked tenth in nation at Sight Latin Reading

I got summa cum laude 4 years in a row on the National Latin Exam, and I competed in the the State Latin competition all 4 years while I was in high school. My school came in 2nd every year to the same team, which was so annoying, especially since the first place team came from the same town as us AND their teacher was the wife of our teacher.

We never actually learned how to speak with a classical latin accent, though, but I guess sciatrix and I would make a good team in a fight against supernatural creatures that respond to spells in Latin.

Unrelated to the latin thing, in 8th grade, I won second place in the regional science fair, and I was selected to compete in the state science fair. At the state fair, I won some "Woman in Engineering" award for my experiment which tested out the response of different types of (model) bridges to simulated earthquakes.

Okay, now I'm desperately trying to think of something not remotely related to competitions.
posted by litera scripta manet at 5:37 AM on March 30, 2015 [3 favorites]


Here's one thing about me: I'd pay to watch litera scripta manera hula hoop in a tiny box and win.
posted by notyou at 5:41 AM on March 30, 2015 [4 favorites]


I've met Bill Clinton several times, but the last time he shook my hands three times in the course of 15 minutes, and each time he looked and acted like it was the first.

Other than that, dullsville all the way.
posted by nevercalm at 5:42 AM on March 30, 2015 [10 favorites]


Although I don't do it professionally, I have weird sway over taxing bodies and always win tax appeals. I appear pro se each time my property is reassessed, after the initial appeal is rejected and you have the option of personally appearing at the county building.Last year's appeal I won everything, they took my lowest number which I had for argument's sake expecting to give a bit in compromise. I counted up recently and I've probably saved my self close to $50K over the years.

I also did an offer in compromise with the IRS last year as a side job for an attorney friend of mine. I initially just did the paperwork, but with his client's approval I met with the IRS and convinced them that the number I came up with was a good one. The taxpayer knew he had screwed up, but had lost much of his records. I talked the IRS into taking about 40% of what they initially assessed. Afterwards the agent said I had laid everything out so well it made it easy for them which I think is half the battle.
posted by readery at 5:44 AM on March 30, 2015 [8 favorites]


I wrote this terrible, terrible porn film.
posted by maxsparber at 5:45 AM on March 30, 2015 [29 favorites]


My uncle co-created MUD, I played Doom, Civilization and Railroad Tycoon for the first time on his computer.
posted by Cannon Fodder at 5:55 AM on March 30, 2015 [8 favorites]


I can hook my fingers together in front of me and step over them, then bring my hands around in a complete circle to the front again without unhooking them—I can basically play jump-rope without the rope, just my arms. It knocks out any tension I have in my shoulders, which is pretty cool.

Also, I was the neutral verifier for the NFL's free-agent signing period for three years in the 00s. Weird job; I got it because I have no interest whatsoever in football. I keep it on my resume for those times when I know I'll be interviewed by an American male. Yes, it sometimes works.
posted by heyho at 5:56 AM on March 30, 2015 [13 favorites]


I had the worst case of bronchitis my doctor had ever seen when I was ten. Same summer The Phantom Menace came out. It wasn't a good summer.

The myth that all British people know all other British people isn't exactly true, but nonetheless I've had dinner with Quentin Blake and Trevor Nunn (there were other guests, it wasn't just me). Quentin was noted for assessing the cleavage of the female undergraduate, whilst Trevor kind of grabbed my hand at the after party and held on to it for a bit. I saw Brian May at the seaside once.

The best story of all didn't even happen to me. A friend's parents have a big townhouse in north London - they live in the top bit and rent out the lower floors. Their downstairs tenants were having a new year's eve party a few years ago when they heard a big smash. Sean Bean - who had found out his ex wife was at their downstairs tenants' party and was apparently mad about this - had thrown a trash can through the front window. Apparently he came round the next day, offered to pay for the damage and was very apologetic about the whole thing.
posted by terretu at 6:01 AM on March 30, 2015 [2 favorites]


I am disturbed that I haven't met any of the people who favourited russm's scurvy admission.

Meetup? With coffee and cigarettes?
posted by pompomtom at 6:06 AM on March 30, 2015 [1 favorite]


Bob Woodward once apologized to me. I told him "No, Bob, it's completely fine, I understand."

In 2nd grade I came in second in a spelling bee, but I was actually in third. After I got eliminated, however, the two other contestants failed to correctly spell any more words for several rounds, and so the teachers decided it was easier to give them both first place. I sat there and seethed in my tiny heart because neither of them could spell cylinder. CYLINDER! I coulda been a contender!!
posted by a fiendish thingy at 6:10 AM on March 30, 2015 [8 favorites]


Once, with a friend, a bad Michael Jackson impersonator, and a little person wrapped in a blanket, I crashed a Gladys Knight concert that was attended by the mayor of Boston. It made the news the next day.

The gave us a bowl of nuts.
posted by bondcliff at 6:13 AM on March 30, 2015 [9 favorites]


I have some weird double jointed/flexible thing I can do with my shoulder blades and can pop them sorta out of socket. it is gross and wonderful and a great party trick.
posted by Twain Device at 6:20 AM on March 30, 2015 [1 favorite]


Last Halloween, I totally fanboy'd out and met Dave Grohl at little Irish bar down a side street in Downtown New Orleans. I, much like a middle schooler, approached him and his wife, said "Mr. Grohl, I'm a huge fan of your work" and shook his hand. I'm sure he just wanted me to gtfo, but he was polite and awesome and put his hand out for a second hand shake as I left.

I pride myself on not being easily flappable, but he is, as his song goes, one of my heroes and I have never been so nervous in my life.
posted by Twain Device at 6:23 AM on March 30, 2015 [3 favorites]


Every time this comes up as an icebreaker it makes me realize how nsfw most of my stories are.
posted by Dip Flash at 6:25 AM on March 30, 2015 [16 favorites]


I once wrote a nationally-aired television ad to pitch this guy's memoirs, and I sometimes did some ghost writing for this show (which was in support of this guy).

And this guy once read a short story I wrote and spent a good 20 minutes talking shop with me. He said that one really good thing was that I "wasn't afraid to really look at dark scary stuff", which I've come to realize is not just true about my writing, but is an overall observation.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 6:39 AM on March 30, 2015 [1 favorite]


My family tree includes a famous human calculator (I'm not very good at math) and an even more famous locksmith (I'm no good at installing locks, myself).

Despite being non-handy, I've developed a hobby of building dollhouses.
posted by thomas j wise at 6:39 AM on March 30, 2015 [2 favorites]


I was once told by an asthma researcher that I have very interesting lungs.
posted by Gygesringtone at 6:41 AM on March 30, 2015 [15 favorites]


I have no spleen.
I don't think I am particularly nicer because of its absence.
posted by SLC Mom at 6:41 AM on March 30, 2015 [7 favorites]


I was an all-state mime in high school.

I once made cupcakes that Kelly Ripe ate on Regis and Kelly and they showed a picture of me looking sad with Ryan Seacrest and made fun of me for not knowing who Ryan Seacrest was.

The only really successful piece of music I ever wrote was a string quartet that became mildly popular in Ukraine.
posted by Lutoslawski at 6:42 AM on March 30, 2015 [17 favorites]


Robert Shaw, conductor of the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra and famous choral conductor, once chewed me out in front of the entire ASO chorus for having my eyes closed while he was lecturing the chorus on the importance of practicing at home. It was my senior year at Georgia Tech and someone had talked me into auditioning for the chorus the same year. I honestly listened better with my eyes closed, but soprano #237 didn't get a chance to explain that at the time.
posted by amtho at 6:46 AM on March 30, 2015 [3 favorites]


I have voluntary nystagmus!

I have that, too! I can make my eyes vibrate back and forth really fast.
posted by zarq at 6:54 AM on March 30, 2015 [8 favorites]


I am a baby whisperer. Also a dog whisperer but that's not really as difficult. When you've tried everything else to soothe a wailing infant, hand it to me and I'll get it to sleep in less than two minutes. I used to work at a daycare and the infant teachers would regularly bring inconsolable infants to my desk and ask me to perform my party trick.

Every single dog I've ever met loved me. Even dogs who, I was told by their owners, didn't really like or tolerate anyone but them.

So yeah. Not sure how either of those things is monetizable, but I'm willing to try.
posted by cooker girl at 6:55 AM on March 30, 2015 [7 favorites]


Basically I turn into a fifth grader or worse—that time, I blurted out, "Well… I'm a big fan of Star Trek". I still remember my professor's thin smile. Cringe

Confronted with a particularly unimpressive performance, one of my Acting profs would enunciate very slowly, "Nice ... that was ... nice ..."

Also, in the 8th grade I excitedly announced to our class that Salvador Dalí wanted to eat his wife.
posted by octobersurprise at 6:56 AM on March 30, 2015 [3 favorites]


When I choose to I can bend only the last joint on my left index finger. (Go ahead, try it. See? Weird, I know.)

And I have sat in a Sherman tank, and been to Bavaria, yet I didn't help to liberate Germany from the Nazis.
posted by wenestvedt at 6:58 AM on March 30, 2015 [1 favorite]


Mefi Wrestling Fans: I'm the guy doing the play by play announcing in this match.
posted by The Gooch at 6:58 AM on March 30, 2015 [2 favorites]


So yeah. Not sure how either of those things is monetizable, but I'm willing to try.

In 2008, I would have paid good money for your services. Most nights around 4am. :)

Twins used to wake each other up. Arrrgh.
posted by zarq at 7:00 AM on March 30, 2015 [1 favorite]


For over ten years now, I have had in my possession, at all times, secure in my purse, a miniature gold penis-monkey. This is particularly noteworthy because, in person, people are almost certain to label me as a prude rather than as the sort of person who has within her possession, at all times, a miniature gold penis-monkey.
posted by meese at 7:02 AM on March 30, 2015 [25 favorites]


Less impressive human trick: I taught myself at a young age to spell antidisestablishmentarianism out loud very quickly. It impressed my school friends barely, adults not at all when I grew up, and now my kids just a little bit. It started one day with my mom telling me the longest word she knew, and also my school allowing us to add some of our own words to vocabulary quizzes. So a friend of mine and I decided to try to come up with some crazy one, just for fun. We actually did pneumonoultramicroscopicsilicovolcanoconiosis at one point, but I never got that one down quite as well. In the spirit of this, I just taught my daughter to spell Mississippi backwards, and I think she's getting the word bug.
posted by SpacemanStix at 7:03 AM on March 30, 2015 [2 favorites]


I can clap one handedly. What's more, I can clap with just one finger. It isn't very loud.
posted by zinon at 7:03 AM on March 30, 2015


I once won a shitload of money playing video poker at a riverboat casino.
posted by BibiRose at 7:07 AM on March 30, 2015 [2 favorites]


I can make convincing pig noises that make crying babies laugh. Didn't figure it out until actual crying baby was placed next to me. That first laugh is kinda weird. Staccato and hesitant.
posted by Mr. Yuck at 7:08 AM on March 30, 2015 [3 favorites]


My team won the 1995 International Future Problem Solving Skit Competition. INTERNATIONAL CHAMPION.
posted by something something at 7:08 AM on March 30, 2015 [5 favorites]


My parents used to watch Wheel of Fortune while preparing dinner. I was prohibited from watching after the third time I solved a puzzle with no letters yet revealed.
posted by DirtyOldTown at 7:16 AM on March 30, 2015 [38 favorites]


I was a listener-contestant on Wait Wait, Don't Tell Me! And I won!

I elbowed Henry Rollins in the back accidentally once, in line at a convenience store in Boston. He was nice about it. I had no idea who he was at the time, but the friend I was with was a huge fan, and nearly passed out.
posted by sarcasticah at 7:22 AM on March 30, 2015 [12 favorites]


pompomtom, as with most tools, the best thing to sharpen a shovel with is a mill bastard file. You put a bevel across the entire front edge and the bottom of the shovel by filing towards the handle. You do not want too shallow of a bevel as shovel blades are already thin and prone to dings and dents. You want to work out as many of those dings as possible. If you live in a rocky place like I do, you want one shovel that is sharp for cutting roots and sod and another dulled blade for digging through the rocky soil. When your sharp shovels gets too dull to cut, you sharpen your dull shovel and use your previously sharp shovel as your dull shovel. I am a tool geek.

Oh, yeah. I once threatened to spank a future Texas Gubernatorial candidate (and author, and musician, and Jewish cowboy, and the owner of name that would suggest he might like a spanking) in the kitchen of the political commentator and essayist who coined the name Shrub for George W. Bush. I didn't know what I was doing at the time. Well, I knew I was threatening to spank someone, I just didn't know who they were. I had been drinking. He was wearing velcro sneakers.
posted by Seamus at 7:22 AM on March 30, 2015 [24 favorites]


I held the hot wing eating record (speed, not volume) at a restaurant from about a month after they opened until they closed down 7 years later. Photo on the wall and everything. My parents are very proud.
posted by everybody had matching towels at 7:24 AM on March 30, 2015 [2 favorites]


I'm struggling to come up with something about myself I haven't already shared on metafilter. Usually when called upon in person to share something for an icebreaker I tell people about the time I was accosted on the street by a film crew for a show called Sex Kittens.

Willard Scott spoke at my high school graduation and kissed my grandmother. Pretty sure it was the highlight moment of her elderly years. She has a picture of Willard hugging her sitting on a shelf in front of pictures of us grandkids.
posted by phunniemee at 7:31 AM on March 30, 2015 [1 favorite]


You threatened to spank Kinky Friedman?!
posted by Mizu at 7:32 AM on March 30, 2015 [6 favorites]


In college, I "solved" a flight simulator and used that to win an event at a flying competition. I was the only competitor to lose zero points on the event.
posted by backseatpilot at 7:34 AM on March 30, 2015 [6 favorites]


I drank an octuple espresso over ice one time. What can I say, it was the nineties?
posted by marimeko at 7:36 AM on March 30, 2015 [5 favorites]


I have a terrible time thinking of these too. I usually go with, I can move each eye independently in and out of being crossed, which I call "iguana eyes" and used to use to entertain children when I worked as a camp counselor. (I have a creepy voice to go with it, which small children love but it makes my husband get up and leave the room.)

My house was built with a coal chute door but by the time they finished the house the gas lines had come, so it has a gas furnace and the coal chute was never used. Now my dryer vents through part of it. I'm secretly convinced if not for that, I could come up with a use for it, although probably my kids would just throw things down it. My neighbor's house has a milk safe, though, which I am DEAD JEALOUS of. I'd use it for storing garden tools.

I want to live in a house with a tower. I have looked at some falling-down houses in pretty terrible neighborhoods, just because they have towers. SOME DAY.
posted by Eyebrows McGee at 7:38 AM on March 30, 2015 [7 favorites]


It's hardly unique, but I have had my life threatened by Harlan Ellison.

I was worshiped once, by an extremely enthusiastic devotee, but when I said "what are you doing?" he replied "Aren't you Mr. ____?" When I said "No...?" he apologized, got up off his knees, and walked away.
posted by GenjiandProust at 7:45 AM on March 30, 2015 [10 favorites]


People who have met me IRL may have noticed this, but most people don't seem to: my incisors do not touch (I have a mild underbite), which means I cannot shear things with my front teeth; this is fine overall, as I can put things whole in my mouth and chew, or just shear things with a crushing/tearing motion using my side teeth, like a T-Rex. (it also means that it's much easier to make "S" sounds by blowing air through my canines rather than incisors, or else it comes out like a lateral lisp)

The main food for which this is a problem is large pieces of sushi, which invariably falls apart when I try the side-teeth thing. As a result, I usually eat sushi by popping it into my mouth whole, which means the wasabi hits all at once, which means that my sushi-eating technique is often:

1. Place large piece of sushi in mouth
2. close lips around it like a Xenomorph egg top in reverse
3. as wasabi hits, stare straight ahead with vacant expression, eyes watering, wheezing through nose
4. chew, swallow, smile and chat with dinner-companions like I didn't just turn into a robot in the uncanny valley of human chewing simulation.

WOULD YOU LIKE TO HEAR ANOTHER STORY ABOUT MY UNDERBITE? READ ON:

My current underbite dates to age 16-ish or so, when I experienced what my dentist called "male late-stage jaw growth", which happened surprisingly quickly for a teen in the full flower of his youthful depression; my face has now settled into it and it looks like a regular (dare I say HANDSOME? shit yeah i dare) feature on an adult man, but as a scruffy 16-year-old it looked so weirdly out-of-place and pointy and mildly grotesque that my friends took to calling me Mac Tonight.

HOWEVER:
As a child, I'd also had a problem with my lower incisors moving in front of my upper ones. The dentist told my parents I would likely need a retainer or braces, to correct this problem. Otherwise, my teeth would be like THIS (and here he pulled out a grotesque diorama of orc teeth pointing every which way)

My parents were not very wealthy, and my mom was dismayed at the possible cost. "But it's just the front teeth," she said. "Isn't there anything we could do just to fix those?"

"Well," said the dentist, getting quietly conspiratorial, "there is... ONE thing. I've HEARD of kids slowly pushing their teeth back into place... with popsicle sticks. He MIGHT be able to push the lower incisors behind the upper ones by sort of using a popsicle stick as a lever, with gentle but constant pressure. But he would need to do this every day, for hours each day, and most kids just don't have the patience to keep that up."

My mother knew that I was likely similar to those kids, as my attention span was somewhere between a small bug and a cat at a ping pong tournament. But this was around the time that I had been BEGGING my parents for an Atari 2600.

On the car ride home, she said, "I don't know if we could afford braces." I kind of nodded; what did I know about the family finances?

"Do you think you could do that popsicle stick thing every day?" she asked. "Could you REALLY keep that up?" I kind of nodded; what did I know about the vagaries of my soul in the far-off distant lands of The Future?

"You know, an Atari would be a lot cheaper than dental work..." she said.

"IT'S UNDER FIFTY BUCKS!" I said, which was what the commercial had taught me.

"If you push your top incisors forward with a popsicle stick every day," she continued, "we will get you an Atari."

Which FUCK YES OKAY i could deform my teeth with wood SURE in order to get THE GREATEST VIDEO GAME SYSTEM THAT WOULD EVER BE CREATED BY HUMANS.

So for months, I always had a popsicle stick on me. You might have stories about That Weird Kid In Grade School Who Was Always Biting A Popsicle Stick. That was me, the whole time, bro. And finally, after months of daily popsicle-stick biting - in class, watching TV, reading, pretty much any time I wasn't actively moving around - it WORKED.

The morning I realized that my lower incisors were finally behind my upper incisors, I ran into my parents room, shrieking "IT WORKED IT WORKED I DID IT LET'S GET ME THAT ATARI AS PER YOUR PROMISE"

My parents sighed and agreed that they had indeed made that deal, and found $50 in the household budget to fulfill their end of the bargain.

And that is how this ONE MANCHESTER CHILD fixed his teeth and GOT VIDEO GAMES using this ONE WEIRD TRICK taught to him BY A MOM

Dentists HATE him
posted by Greg Nog at 7:53 AM on March 30, 2015 [245 favorites]


In college, I met Douglas Adams and he called me a "clever Dick" when I told him that I figured out how to make invisibility work1 and asked him to sign my copy of Le Guide du Routard Galactique. He and I and a dozen other people ended up having pizza and beer with him afterwards, where he revealed that he was in fact 2 inches funnier than Graham Chapman.

In high school, I remotely logged out Dennis Ritchie2.

When I was a kid, I independently broke the 1976 world record for consecutive pogo stick jumps for no other reason than it was summer and I was bored. It took several hours to get to 25,000 (you end up doing about 8K/hr) and as part of the prep I verified that I could drink from a cup with a lid and a straw. I'm pretty sure I could've taken a leak if I had to, although it would not have been pretty.

1 invisibility is hyperimpossible, therefore it's an infinite improbability. Hook up an IID to the object and send it nowhere. It travels through all points in the universe but since it spends most of the time elsewhere, it's invisibil, but since it's going nowhere, it's still there.
2 stty 0 > /dev/tty01 (or whatever his tty was)
posted by plinth at 7:54 AM on March 30, 2015 [20 favorites]


My great-aunt is a very famous children's book author. Her side of the family is estranged from my side of the family, though.
posted by xingcat at 7:56 AM on March 30, 2015 [18 favorites]


I've ridden an ostrich.
posted by Mchelly at 7:57 AM on March 30, 2015 [17 favorites]


In my bunhead days, my back was flexible enough that I could lay on
my stomach and pull my feet up and over my head contortion human O style, almost touching the floor on either side of my head. I subsequently kicked myself in the face getting overly enthusiastic in a jump one day. With point shoes. It hurt.

My current party trick is that I can squirt breastmilk the length of my shower.
posted by romakimmy at 7:59 AM on March 30, 2015 [21 favorites]


Back in 2004, I used to listen on and off to World Have Your Say. I phoned in once and was actually put on air to say-have, which was a little thrill. The whole process is pretty civilized: you call in, get screened, and if they want to include you, they tell you to hang up so they can call you back on their 10p and put you on air.

But a few months later, they called me back and asked for me by name. They wanted me to be part of a panel on the American election that would air that day. I am not an American. I am not a political expert. I have NO idea why they contacted me because whatever I called in about originally (topic escapes me now) had nothing to do with American politics.

So because I was obviously wildly unqualified to take part in the panel, of course I said yes. I made sure to jump in at every pause in the talk to share my completely uninformed views, had a blast, was politely thanked by the producer at the end, and was never called back.
posted by maudlin at 8:00 AM on March 30, 2015 [17 favorites]


Also for a very brief, shining moment, my job was to be the Twitter voice of Mr. Mucus, the talking snot from the Mucinex commercials. Careerwise, I may never top this.
posted by Mchelly at 8:04 AM on March 30, 2015 [44 favorites]


I can wiggle my ears.
posted by Quilford at 8:06 AM on March 30, 2015 [2 favorites]


When I was around eleven, I almost cut the leftmost two toes off my left foot. I was out on the back patio with my brothers, goofing around with a hose, and I stepped on an empty can whose top had been removed, leaving a sharp edge which cut deeply into my foot. From the shape of the scar (with which I have horrified a number of people in intimate moments), I seem to have twisted a certain way, and if I hadn't, the whole left chunk of the foot probably would have come off. The funny thing (funny if you were me and not my mother, who ran out when she heard my brothers shrieking and pulled the hose out of my hand—sorry, Mom!) was that I felt no pain, only excited curiosity, and directed the hose at my foot so I could wash away the blood that was welling out and see what was inside my foot.

> Willard Scott spoke at my high school graduation

Jorge Luis Borges spoke at mine.
posted by languagehat at 8:10 AM on March 30, 2015 [17 favorites]


I once did 4000 pushups in one day.
We used pushups as a way to earn intoxicants.
I was young. I liked intoxicants.
That summer, I had some characteristics that made the familial resemblance between me and the other great apes a little more noticeable.
posted by Seamus at 8:10 AM on March 30, 2015 [1 favorite]


There's this game where you take a paper shopping bag, place it on the ground with the open end up, and the goal is to stand on one leg, bend over, pick up the bag with your teeth, and stand up again without falling over or touching the ground with an other part of your body. You then cut about an inch off the bag and do it again. And again until only one person succeeds. At one point in my life I could pick up a 1.5 inch ring of bag, which my (mostly drunk) friends found very impressive but I stopped playing because I felt a little like a circus freak.

Also, I used to hang out at a rather famous documentary film maker's house and would occasionally watch movie screeners from the Academy of Motion Picture Whatnots. Also I got very drunk at a party at Doug Liman's apartment in the West Village, I think? John Leguizamo was getting out of the elevator with his bike when I arrived. The living room had rock climbing holds on the wall.
posted by that's candlepin at 8:10 AM on March 30, 2015 [3 favorites]


Due to childhood surgeries I have no belly button, at all. It made for impressive fun at childhood parties, and prevented the wearing of bikinis.
I also have freakishly evolved pinky toes that are barely separate from my feet.
Mr. gudrun's college roommate was a cousin of Madge's.
(I also once seriously pissed off one half of a 1970's musical duo - his initials are W. B. - as part of my job ... but it was not my decision, I swear, I was only the messenger! .... still peeved to be blamed after all these years.)
posted by gudrun at 8:11 AM on March 30, 2015 [3 favorites]


Years after it happened, I rented the room Andrew Cunanan, serial killer of Gianni Versacce-murdering fame, lived in when he went on his killing spree.

Also, during his mountain man days, Jared Leto literally emerged from the woods to rescue me from being stuck on a really tricky traverse on an icy rock wall over water.

I think that's it. Oh, I used to work in a circus. Weird stuff happens at circuses.
posted by BuddhaInABucket at 8:12 AM on March 30, 2015 [9 favorites]


I sing, all the time, which is okay, but I've never outgrown singing in the bathroom. . . including while peeing, which is super weird. Usually I sing parodies of popular songs like "Some Potty That I Used to Know" or "Urine For What" but I have a made-up song about going to the bathroom that I've sung since I was five that everyone else calls "The Potty Song." I've done it my entire life and do it pretty absent-mindedly, although it's super super embarrassing when I forget and do it in the wrong places.

When I was a kid I knocked Kenny Rogers on his ass because I ran into his crotch with my head while running full speed. I got fired from a job when I was around 14 for picking up cold and sluggish rattlesnakes and playing "crack the whip" with them to break their backs.

I'm on a life-long quest to swim in every single sea in the world. I have no reason why.

Not once but twice while really drunk I bought life size cardboard cut-outs of the Mythbusters. A border agent once berated me very loudly that "the Titanic is not funny" and an entire plane gave me the silent treatment because while one day drunk in Halifax I found a t-shirt store that let you custom make one on the spot. So I created a t-shirt for my husband with a graphic of the Titanic on front and TAKE OFF YOUR PANTS - HALIFAX! on the back.
posted by barchan at 8:12 AM on March 30, 2015 [25 favorites]


I am a dog.
posted by vanar sena at 8:15 AM on March 30, 2015 [15 favorites]


I am a dog.

On the Internet? I never knew!
posted by wenestvedt at 8:28 AM on March 30, 2015 [15 favorites]


Once, just once, I split a stick match in two with an ax. Lighting both sides. Just once and went through several boxes trying. Lost all ability to hit anything at all with an ax by now; I expect.

(anyone else here disturbed by the rather significant percentage of long tongued lizard people on this site?)
posted by sammyo at 8:28 AM on March 30, 2015 [4 favorites]


I seem to have an unusual number of dopplegangers in the world – including the guy who my ex-girlfriend dated after me, who looked just like me. But male.

I never thought I’d looked particularly masculine before that, so it was an eye-opening experience.
posted by dinty_moore at 8:29 AM on March 30, 2015 [4 favorites]


I can climb a cliff and bake a pie and pill a dog and write a novel. And I'm really really good at proof-reading.

::triple-checks to make sure there are no typos in this comment::
posted by suelac at 8:30 AM on March 30, 2015 [10 favorites]


I got interested in beekeeping a few years ago and subsequently discovered that a distant relative of mine invented the hand-held bellows smoker. He's also credited as the father of commercial beekeeping in the US.
posted by jquinby at 8:33 AM on March 30, 2015 [4 favorites]


I can only digest manatee. I have a doctor's prescription and US Fish & Wildlife permits to own the meat.
posted by Abon Sapi at 8:33 AM on March 30, 2015 [3 favorites]


One of my ancestors was nicknamed the "The Disappearer" (loose translation) because he would cause the livestock of invading Afghani armies to disappear.
posted by vanar sena at 8:34 AM on March 30, 2015 [2 favorites]


I have three nipples.
posted by dirtdirt at 8:36 AM on March 30, 2015 [4 favorites]


I have one less bone in each foot than many other people do, and I'm also an insanely slow walker. Are these connected in a causality kind of way? Science is still looking for an answer.
posted by internet fraud detective squad, station number 9 at 8:36 AM on March 30, 2015


I live in a very hip, Whole-Foods-happy city in the US. My diet is so "awful" that my best friends and family would be shocked if they knew what I ate all the time. While I don't have to worry about cheeto dust, I eat white bread almost every day and canned soup and few green vegetables and had a candy bar for breakfast today. And my health is fine, always has been. Nyaahhh. It does get tiring always hiding that part of myself, though.
posted by sockerpup at 8:38 AM on March 30, 2015 [6 favorites]


Apparently I punch doctors in the face when I am coming out of general anesthetic

Or so my dismayed grandparents have informed me.
posted by likeatoaster at 8:38 AM on March 30, 2015 [26 favorites]


I once pretended to be a representative from Habitat for Humanity in order to get into a local government meeting after hurricane Katrina.

I've also had photos on the back of 2600 before, which is neat.
posted by odinsdream at 8:39 AM on March 30, 2015 [2 favorites]


I won $10K on a game show answering questions about Elvis.
posted by Ideefixe at 8:42 AM on March 30, 2015 [3 favorites]


Apparently I punch doctors in the face when I am coming out of general anesthetic

I would love a thread of just how people react when coming out general anesthetic. It's always great. I thought they'd accidentally removed my legs and shrieked my boyfriend's name over and over before briefly passing out, then waking up and starting in with the legs thing again.
posted by everybody had matching towels at 8:42 AM on March 30, 2015 [21 favorites]


(anyone else here disturbed by the rather significant percentage of long tongued lizard people on this site?)

Shhhh! Don't let them hear you!
posted by zarq at 8:45 AM on March 30, 2015 [1 favorite]


Quentin Tarantino walked in on me in a Starbucks bathroom. Kevin Kline cursed at me in a parking garage. These incidents were unrelated but happened within 1 hour of each other.
posted by Pineapplicious at 8:46 AM on March 30, 2015 [9 favorites]


Jumping on the "long tongued lizard people" bandwagon, I can lick my left elbow (but not my right elbow for some reason).
posted by saturngirl at 8:47 AM on March 30, 2015


I've publicly performed music on cello, bass guitar, bass and kontrabass balalaika, and as a tenor in a cathedral choir and symphonic choir, despite having a permanent and significant hearing loss since the age of three.
posted by Halloween Jack at 8:48 AM on March 30, 2015 [14 favorites]


Oh, also: I once called the baseball player Vince Coleman in the middle of a Cardinals game at Busch Stadium in St. Louis to let him know that the burglar alarm at his house was going off. (I had just recently moved to St. Louis and had no idea who Vince Coleman was.)
posted by Halloween Jack at 8:52 AM on March 30, 2015 [5 favorites]


Ghidorah: Are we related? All of my cousins (myself included) also have a giant space between big toe and second toe. I could fit an extra toe in there (with room to spare). I've never tried pill bottles, although I did discover my footwriting is almost as legible as my handwriting (which is to say, not at all).

internet fraud detective squad, station number 9: I have your extra bone. Well, one in each foot. No, I don't walk abnormally fast, and yes, you can come and get the damn things, they're annoying me and make my ski boots fit funny.
posted by nat at 8:54 AM on March 30, 2015 [4 favorites]


I own a piano, violin, viola, oboe, fife, and recorder, and can't play them for shit. I don't mean non-professional level, I mean I have to practice for hours and hours just to almost play a one-page sonatina that Mozart wrote when he was 9. And I just saw a flute in a store the other day that I want.
posted by Melismata at 8:57 AM on March 30, 2015 [13 favorites]


Oh and I may have told this one on the site before, but I don't think so.

In high school I spent my evenings doing some casual phone hacking on the school voicemail system. You could call in and check your voicemails from any phone, provided you knew the mailbox number and the passcode.

Of course mailbox codes were public info, and as far as the passcode, well, there was a silly bug in the PBX. It would prompt you for the code, then wait for you to enter between 4 and 8 digits. However, as soon as your digit was wrong, it would immediately respond with "Invalid passcode" without waiting for more digits. So, you could simply push 1, hear it say Invalid, then move on to 2, and if it didn't say anything, you could move on with 21, 22, 23, etc. until you had all the digits. Within literally seconds you could crack any mailbox password.

I shared this info with one other person, and we each spent nights just listening to everyone's voicemails and saving them as unread.
posted by odinsdream at 8:58 AM on March 30, 2015 [17 favorites]


I once took a group of Mormon Missionaries to the bar.

It was 1999 and I happened to be in New York state on the night in which the Yankees (boo) wound up winning the World Series. My friend was Mormon and over the summer she had made friends with some of the local missionaries. We stopped by to say hi, and they mentioned that they were bummed that they could not watch the game (no TV for them). I said, "Well, can you watch it in a restaurant that happens to have the game on?" and they said that they could only eat in restaurants if they are having a faith discussion with a possible convert. So I said that they could try to convert me, and that we could do it at the neighborhood bar and grill. So we went and sat at the bar and they all drank pop while I drank a beer, we watched the game, and every once in a while one of them would say something like, "So...Jesus...".
posted by Elly Vortex at 8:59 AM on March 30, 2015 [111 favorites]


I was once paper carrier of the month and then one of the paper carriers of the year in my town of about 50,000 people. What is probably most amazing about this is that I wasn't exactly good with money when I was 12-16 years old, and there was a point that I owed money to the office rather than getting paid.

In my defense, though, it was pretty nuts back in the day how you were supposed to make money as a paper carrier. You had to go door-to-door to 50+ people to collect money every other week (even in the dead of a Wisconsin winter), and you collected exactly enough to send money into the office, plus 50 buck left over, which you were then able to keep as your salary. The problem was there were always people who were behind on their bills, or you couldn't get at home, etc., and it was tricky to collect from everyone in order to get paid properly at the end of the month. And somehow you had to do all of this, trusting that you'd get your due, while holding onto a big bag of money that was supposed to get sent to the main office. The temptation to dip into that for an advance on near-future collections was pretty palpable, and I'm surprised this was ever a sustainable business model. Perhaps it wasn't, though, as towards the end of my paper route career, they required every customer to send their payments into the main office, instead of paying the paper carrier. It's surprising to me that a newspaper in my home town was built in large part on the backs of teenagers who were trusted to have enough initiative to collect all that money. I guess that salary at the end of the collection process was supposed to be the carrot on a stick to keep all of it going.
posted by SpacemanStix at 8:59 AM on March 30, 2015 [8 favorites]


I can cross my ankles and interlace my toes, and I usually do it absent-mindedly. Freaked out my book club once.
posted by sapere aude at 9:02 AM on March 30, 2015 [6 favorites]


I played golf once with Spiro Agnew. He was damn good.
posted by beagle at 9:04 AM on March 30, 2015 [7 favorites]


I own a piano, violin, viola, oboe, fife, and recorder, and can't play them for shit.

Oooh this makes me happy! I happily applaud all people who play instruments no matter their talent because I suck so bad myself. I play the cello but I'm terrible. Just. . . cat screeching awful. But I love to play so fuck it. I named my cello Han Solo because that's the only way I can have a decent solo.

I want to throw a giant party for all the people who can do interesting things with their bodies. And then have The Whelk show up for the finale dressed like Captain America to show off his calisthenics routine.
posted by barchan at 9:08 AM on March 30, 2015 [4 favorites]


In summer 2009, I worked at an animal shelter that, through a police investigation, came into possession of a 4-foot-long alligator a man had been keeping in a bathtub, against local ordinances (I believe a malnourished pit bull and some sort of large snake were also seized from this guy's house). I would guess we had him in the shelter for about 3 months. He was referred to as Master Gator by the staff. We kept him in a big metal livestock trough with a heat lamp in an evaluation room most of the time. He ate chicken breasts from the grocery store. While his owner's trial progressed, it was decided that we would build him a little gator habitat outside, so he could enjoy the summer sun on the weekends, when we were staffed for about 15 hours a day. He had a baby pool, a dirt ramp to get into and out of the pool, a couple of big logs, and a shaded area, all in a chain-link kennel. He was a pretty docile little dude.

Getting Master Gator from his metal trough to his outdoor gatortat was easy. We'd put a hard sided pet carrier with some food at the far end of his trough and he'd wander inside eventually. Then, we would close the door with a (gloved) hand, tote him into his kennel, unlatch the door, and walk out. He would nudge the door open after a few minutes and enjoy his little space. It was far away from the main building, which was obviously full of dogs and noise and smells. He liked climbing on the logs and laying in the sun.

Getting him back in was the sole responsibility of the weekend manager, Julie. She had a system for alerting him that it was time to go back inside his carrier that, stupidly, none of us paid attention to. I'm not sure if it was more chicken or shaking his cage or what, but she could always get him to go back inside his carrier and be brought back in without a fuss. One Saturday, near the end of our shift, it dawned on us that Julie was not there. She was sick or out of town for some reason. The morning crew had let Master Gator out expecting she would be in later to corral him back. After a few tense discussions among the staff, I offered to cage him. The other staff members shook the kennel walls on the pool side while I stood right outside the door on the other end. And, like magic, he went right back into the carrier that had been left out that morning. So I walk into the kennel, up behind the pet carrier and, with a hawk glove on my right hand, attempted to close the cage.

Well, I fucked up. I must have pinched the very end of his tail, because he spun around immediately and pressed his open mouth against the door. So, here I am, clumsily trying to manipulate the door of a consumer-grade animal carrier shut with a hawk glove on my hand and an angry alligator trying to push it open. I could see teeth. I was going to die like this, mauled by an adorable tiny alligator. I struggled for what seemed like 10 minutes but was probably more like 20 seconds, and eventually it clicked shut. Everyone outside the kennel exhaled at once. One person offered to carry him in, but I was so cranked up on adrenaline that I did it myself.

Master Gator's tail was fine. He got extra chicken that night. He was eventually released to an animal sanctuary after his owner's trial was over and he was no longer needed as evidence.

I like telling this story at job interviews.
posted by almostmanda at 9:09 AM on March 30, 2015 [94 favorites]


I've sacked GG Allin's groceries, no euphemism, just put his groceries in a sack and said 'have a nice day'.
posted by Confess, Fletch at 9:13 AM on March 30, 2015 [19 favorites]


I think everyone has probably heard my most exciting bits: conga line with Tilda Swinton, went to shoemaking camp, got a papercut on my toe, yada yada.

I have performed as an orchestral soloist in a formalized, public setting on cello, voice and kazoo.

My mother and I sang the same role in Turandot 25 years apart. When she sang it, I was in utero.

Speaking of my mom AND Joe Biden, she was very briefly Mrs. Biden's piano teacher in the early '80s. Which is probably how we ended up in his office, where I commandeered his desk chair so he couldn't sit down.
posted by St. Hubbins at 9:18 AM on March 30, 2015 [8 favorites]


My husband and I have been running a PBEM for almost fourteen years. That's about what I got for unusual.
posted by immlass at 9:18 AM on March 30, 2015 [2 favorites]


I have been told by several medical specialists in my life that I am medically unique and shouldn't be alive.
Or at least not alive and sane.
Or at least not alive and constantly convulsing.

I am always mildly bemused by this.

I cannot possibly be the medical marvel they claim me to be.
posted by Faintdreams at 9:19 AM on March 30, 2015 [3 favorites]


Hhmmm...

I've had Typhoid

I've been on a plane where we thought it might do a crash landing and so had to practice emergency crash procedures ahead of the landing

I've been attacked by a monkey

Very regretfully, I inadvertently made a sexist comment to Gloria Steinem :(

I am renowned by my husband for being able to identify a great number of songs (usually 70s 80s 90s) within the first few notes of it being played

I have cuddled a sloth (which made me SO happy!)
posted by Halo in reverse at 9:21 AM on March 30, 2015 [5 favorites]


You know when you're fixing something and you drop a tiny little machine screw? Or worse, one of those horrible e-clips goes *ping* and flies across the room? My superhero power is that I seem to be able to hear exactly where it landed, even on carpet. This was a lot more useful when my job involved fixing HP LaserJet printers, which seemed to be about 50% machine screws and e-clips by weight.
posted by FishBike at 9:28 AM on March 30, 2015 [10 favorites]


I can count the letters in words pretty quickly. This tends not to be that useful a skill, though it does allow me to patronise people when doing crosswords in groups. Possibly connected to this I also tend to remember names and other words by shape. This tends to manifest as quite useful for remembering names though can sometimes lead to me getting confused over whether someone is a Naylor or a Taylor, for example. It also means if I have a word on the tip of my tongue I usually have a good idea of what letter it starts with and how long it is.

I am pretty certain Christopher Biggins tried to chat me up when I was a fair bit younger than I am now.
posted by biffa at 9:34 AM on March 30, 2015 [2 favorites]


I was a runway model in a children's fashion show. And probably before that incident, though maybe after, Candace Bergen shot me an annoyed look over her shoulder after I wouldn't stop kicking the back of her chair at a Broadway show.
posted by emelenjr at 9:35 AM on March 30, 2015 [1 favorite]


I had front row seats for a concert in 1991 and I touched Will Smith's shoe. (When he was still the Fresh Prince, of course.)
posted by desjardins at 9:44 AM on March 30, 2015 [2 favorites]


sarcasticah, which game was it? And what did Carl Kasell record on your voicemail?
posted by radioamy at 9:45 AM on March 30, 2015 [1 favorite]


(anyone else here disturbed by the rather significant percentage of long tongued lizard people on this site?)

I am rather comforted by it.
posted by GenjiandProust at 9:53 AM on March 30, 2015 [2 favorites]


I have had the Legendary Pink Dots and Iain Banks sleep in my apartment (not at the same time or even the same city). I have also had Samuel Delany to dinner.
posted by GenjiandProust at 9:55 AM on March 30, 2015 [11 favorites]


I almost ran over Ira Glass.
posted by hellojed at 9:58 AM on March 30, 2015 [12 favorites]


Oh - and I'm related by marriage to one of Barnum's acts (her niece was my great-grandmother's stepmother) and I'm the fifth great-granddaughter of a 19th-Century end-times prophet and ancestor of the Seventh-Day Adventists.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 9:59 AM on March 30, 2015 [4 favorites]


Other true stuff about me that you may find fascinating, or not:

Two dead moose are responsible for my wife and I getting together.

I once saw a monkey in Zion National Park.

One of Mitt Romney's sons gave me some sort of Mormon Death Stare after he heard me make fun of his dad on an airplane. I still have nightmares.

One time a naked guy warned me about a bear. That night a bear visited my camp and took all my food.

The bass player from Body Count almost kicked my ass once at the Paradise Rock Club in Boston. I was a drunken idiot out of my league. I apologized and we high fived. We're cool now.

I can ride a unicycle but not a skateboard.

The guy who wrote the original text adventure game taught me how to rappel.
posted by bondcliff at 9:59 AM on March 30, 2015 [15 favorites]


Part of my family is related to a bunch of Quakers that came to the US in pre-Revolutionary times. According to the records, one of our ancestors was such a jerk that the townsfolk grabbed their torches and pitchforks and tossed him onto a boat that was going back to England. We are strangely proud of this story.

On three separate occasions I have, without really trying, caught and rescued birds that were trapped in buildings. (Two robins and a sparrow.) On three other separate occasions I have been pooped on by birds. (Species unknown. One berry eater, two bug eaters.) (I am not a cat.)
posted by Orange Dinosaur Slide at 10:00 AM on March 30, 2015 [6 favorites]


Rather than relate any of my astounding adventures and darn near supernatural abilities, I would like to take this opportunity to confess to a heinous crime.

This one time, I totally cheated at Pin the Tail on the Donkey in 1st Grade.

Whoever had put the blindfold on me didn't do a good job, and I could see pretty well through a small gap on one eye. I am simultaneously aghast at how well young Celsius1414 acted as if he were blindfolded, and relieved to have this off my conscience.

Plus, after four decades, I'm pretty sure the statute of limitations has expired. /fingers crossed
posted by Celsius1414 at 10:01 AM on March 30, 2015 [10 favorites]


The first famous person I ever met was Bobby "The Brain" Heenan of WWF fame.

My backyard once had a "water blister" after a heavy rain.

I went to school and got into a fight with Superman. (Tom Welling of Smallville fame.)

My grade school played the Hail to the Chief upon the arrival of Marilyn Quayle when she was Second Lady of the USA.
posted by lstanley at 10:03 AM on March 30, 2015 [3 favorites]


I'm studying Finnish. My group of students include an Argentine conceptual artist and industrial glass maker, a capoeira-teaching hip hop beatmaker who's a former player on a low-ranked national soccer team, and an ex-prima ballerina at a fairly renowned troupe. I didn't expect studying Finnish would make me feel distinctly average and normal.
posted by Kattullus at 10:05 AM on March 30, 2015 [8 favorites]


Part of my family is related to a bunch of Quakers that came to the US in pre-Revolutionary times. According to the records, one of our ancestors was such a jerk that the townsfolk grabbed their torches and pitchforks and tossed him onto a boat that was going back to England. We are strangely proud of this story.

As you should be. :-) That's right up there with my uncle owning a copy of an arrest warrant he found charging our family's Irish ancestor with "Dancing and fiddling on a Sunday" in Plymouth, MA.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 10:05 AM on March 30, 2015 [13 favorites]


When I was 14 and the sideline official for a soccer game involving younger boys, I was personally berated by then-Ohio State Mens Basketball coach and future Philadelphia 76ers basketball coach Randy Ayers, whose son was playing in the game.

He was correct; I had, in fact, blown the offsides call. And I should say that I saw him regularly and he was usually incredibly nice.
posted by Kwine at 10:06 AM on March 30, 2015 [1 favorite]


I was once declared the Goat Drenching Queen of Missouri.
posted by WidgetAlley at 10:15 AM on March 30, 2015 [13 favorites]


I am partly responsible for the resurgence of Darude's Sandstorm. I'm not especially proud of this.

For anyone who doesn't know, Darude Sandstorm became a meme, largely among fans of esports and of video game streams. If someone asks what song is playing on a stream, the chat invariably answers that it's Darude Sandstorm. It spread to the point where Darude has been asked to play the after party at large scale esports events like The International and Dreamhack specifically in deference to the meme. Last week, at the Ultra festival in Miami, Dash Berlin (streaming on gaming site Twitch (disclaimer: I work there)) covered Sandstorm. There are little sandstorm emoticons you can use in Twitch chat in reference to the meme.

Back in the day, when I worked as the director of the live stream for this company called MLG, we used to have music from various royalty free music services playing during commercial breaks. Services like this tend to have a lot of sound-alike songs. An instrumental hip hop track that sounds a lot like Baby's Got Back but shies just far enough away to avoid copyright infringement. A song that sounds just like the marching band style trumpets of a college football broadcast, etc... The service we settled on using most had a large library of dub-step sounding tracks. In what I prefer to see as hilarious unintentional commentary on dub step, a lot of our audience chatting during the show would constantly mention how awesome the music was and ask what song was playing. It was distracting, frankly, how often people wanted to know what song was playing. Most frequently the answer would be useless to people, because it was some knock-off from a site that didn't sell its music publicly. You couldn't go to piratebay and download track 16 from "DubStep Jams Volume 12," and you sure as hell couldn't buy it on itunes.

It was at this time that my audio engineer (who curated the song list from the service and also monitored the chat to make sure no one was complaining about audio issues) began to respond to every request for track info with "Darude - Sanstorm." To this day I'm not sure why he picked that one. Maybe he had seen the video of the guy playing it on the tiny trumpet and thought it was hilarious. But it became an in-joke for us, where we thought we were just fucking with the audience in chat, and would crack up about it every time. Then the chat started doing it for us. After that it wasn't ours any more, the internet had a hold of it.

Eventually, actual music labels (starting with EDM label MonsterCat) would start providing their music to companies like MLG, Twitch, ESL, Dreamhack and others to use free of charge, so the answer to the question of what track was playing finally had a useful answer. You could go and buy the track you were hearing, so we all started putting track info on screen in real-time, so that people no longer had to wonder and ask. That's been going on for years already. But still, people will always start the old call and repeat: what track is this?
posted by shmegegge at 10:15 AM on March 30, 2015 [35 favorites]


hellojed: I almost ran over Ira Glass.

Don't give up yet!
posted by wenestvedt at 10:16 AM on March 30, 2015 [27 favorites]


A couple more:

I met Joe McNeil at a conference, had breakfast and a lovely conversation with him, and didn't find out who he was until hours later. He was disarming and humble, just a complete gem of a human being.

My last night living in Edinburgh as an exchange student, I spent a few hours walking through the city listening to my iPod. Almost home, about 2 blocks from my flat, a couple of guys emerged suddenly from an alley and said something about me giving them my money. I mumbled "sorry" and kept walking. It wasn't until I got home that I realized they were trying to mug me, and suddenly it made sense why one of them was holding a knife. If I'd realized what was going on and broken my stride for even a moment, the mugging would certainly have been successful. Instead, oblivious to what was happening, I was just like NAW I'M GOOD and kept walking. I'm well 'ard.

Bit of a theme of obliviousness developing here...
posted by duffell at 10:18 AM on March 30, 2015 [30 favorites]


When I choose to I can bend only the last joint on my left index finger.

oooh now I want to learn that. I can sort of do it....

I am always trying to train myself to do stupid human body tricks. A few things I can do, perhaps I have mentioned before but I bet not

- learned to wiggle my ears
- can flip my tongue upside down both left to right and right to left
- I can clean out my tonsils (on both sides) with my tongue

My favorite fact that is maybe too new to be on MeFi: you can mail me an international postcard using just my first name and my five digit zip code and I will get it.
posted by jessamyn (retired) at 10:19 AM on March 30, 2015 [28 favorites]


I once stood next to Sinbad at the LAX baggage claim.
posted by SpacemanStix at 10:19 AM on March 30, 2015 [1 favorite]


Oh and my grandfather was responsible for bringing the 1974 World's Fair to the city of Spokane through sheer force of will and determination.
posted by duffell at 10:20 AM on March 30, 2015


I have a fairly deep voice, such that my friends have frequently requested that I do various commercial voiceovers or sound effects over the years. In high school, I was repeatedly called on to "sing" like a death metal guy (gutteral cookie monster stuff), then in college it moved on to Twiki from Buck Rogers' "deegy deegy" noise, then afterwards to doing the "Barbecue Sauce" line from the Chili's baby back ribs commercial and the polar bears from winter Coke ads. One of my roommates in college interviewed Mark Sandman of Morphine, who apparently complained that most people couldn't understand him because of the timbre of his voice, but my roommate had no problem. Lately I just do ironic movie trailer voiceovers describing mundane situations which amuses my wife.

Another minor talent is that I worked in college as a bicycle pizza delivery guy for a semester, and sometimes had to carry fountain drinks in paper cups in addition to the pizza/pasta/sandwiches. Never spilled a drop.
posted by LionIndex at 10:24 AM on March 30, 2015 [2 favorites]


I died once. Bright white light and everything.
posted by Thorzdad at 10:24 AM on March 30, 2015 [15 favorites]


I had tea with Leonard Cohen at his home in Los Angeles. He also saved my sister's cat.
posted by cairnoflore at 10:25 AM on March 30, 2015 [22 favorites]


Thorzdad !!!!
posted by shmegegge at 10:26 AM on March 30, 2015 [2 favorites]


The only time I have ever flown first class, I was seated across the aisle from Suge Knight, who threw such a fit when another passenger touched his carry on bag that the pilot had to come out from the cockpit and threaten to land the plane and kick him off in Oklahoma City if he didn't sit down and shut up. This was 15 years ago; apparently ol' Suge has not made much progress on controlling his temper.
posted by something something at 10:26 AM on March 30, 2015 [4 favorites]


Apparently I took cello lessons from xingcat's cousin back in 1981.
posted by Lexica at 10:29 AM on March 30, 2015 [2 favorites]


Oh, wait, I also dated William Stephenson's great-nephew for a while. Stellar guy, and (as you might imagine) quite a brilliant mathematician.
posted by WidgetAlley at 10:31 AM on March 30, 2015


I compete in a team-based karaoke league!
posted by capricorn at 10:32 AM on March 30, 2015 [6 favorites]


Almost 30 years ago a guy I knew asked me for the phone number of my neighbor. I gave it to him, and he called her. Then I got a call from her.

"He is not an axe murder, is he? Ha, ha, ha."

"No, of course not. Ha, ha, ha."

He is coming up for parole pretty soon, after serving 30 years for murder. He did not murder my neighbor, and he did not use an axe. Still, she was petty pissed off at me.
posted by Midnight Skulker at 10:35 AM on March 30, 2015 [26 favorites]


Oh wait I thought of two more! I sang on an album that was nominated for a Grammy this year, and I am a distant descendant of Sir George Cayley.
posted by KathrynT at 10:36 AM on March 30, 2015 [1 favorite]


I was bitten by a cottonmouth.

My father stole a police car once.

I have been paid for services with custom brewery equipment.
posted by RolandOfEld at 10:39 AM on March 30, 2015 [3 favorites]


Horrifyingly, I'm not sure I can think of anything I haven't already talked about on here.
posted by showbiz_liz at 10:41 AM on March 30, 2015 [7 favorites]


I can do this.
posted by 256 at 10:41 AM on March 30, 2015 [1 favorite]


Also: I dated the son of John Bellairs; he was the inspiration for Lewis Barnavelt. He died at age 29 of a drug overdose; his father died a few years before him of alcoholism. I am still very close to his mother, John's ex.
posted by Melismata at 10:43 AM on March 30, 2015 [5 favorites]


When I was a twelve, I saw the ghost of a relative who had recently died, and it was one of the most peaceful and lovely things that has ever happened to me.

A little over a decade ago I had an ill-advised goatee that made me look like Tom Green. (Remember him?) So much so, in fact, that when I was driving through New Jersey in my grandfather's Subaru wagon and the gas station attendant swore up and down that I was Tom Green, despite all probability. He refused to let me drive off without giving him an autograph. So there exists, somewhere out there, a forged autograph of what I hastily imagined Tom Green's signature looked like.
posted by gauche at 10:43 AM on March 30, 2015 [6 favorites]


I am strangely good at throwing small food items (grapes, M&Ms, etc) very high in the air and catching them in my mouth.
posted by Rock Steady at 10:44 AM on March 30, 2015 [2 favorites]


I was once stranded on a desert isle.
It was just 12 hours and the greatest danger I was in was from sunburn. I'm always in danger from sunburn.
posted by julen at 10:45 AM on March 30, 2015 [4 favorites]


(anyone else here disturbed by the rather significant percentage of long tongued lizard people on this site?)

Not really. Btw, I'm single.
posted by desjardins at 10:47 AM on March 30, 2015 [18 favorites]


I'm a descendent of Benedict Arnold. I'm obsessed with a particular type of Canadian spinning wheel, about 150-200 years old. I can guess who made a wheel of this type with reasonable certainty even in the absence of a maker's mark; I have one from my almost-favorite maker, a son of my favorite maker, that I have half-assedly restored; and I spotted one in a screencap from Gilmore Girls recently. I'm partly responsible for one of the panels in Alison Bechdel's book Are You My Mother. (I read her blog at the right time to help her source a newspaper page that she reproduced for it, and for our trouble she sent us fifty bucks and a nice note on her own letterhead.)
posted by clavicle at 10:47 AM on March 30, 2015 [7 favorites]


Also I've memorized 62 digits of pi and I have a little plastic walrus given to me by Neil Gaiman.
posted by capricorn at 10:47 AM on March 30, 2015 [4 favorites]


I have mid-digit hair on all my fingers except my pointer fingers, which I thought was interesting in high school science class when we were covering genetics and this was supposed to be an all-or-none trait. Now I know this was a lie.

In elementary school, I was in a cotillion class, which I think was my parents' way of getting me to meet other young people. I failed at making new friends, but apparently my partner and I were really good at dancing with paper plates on our heads, as we were the last couple standing in that competition. That was the only skill-based trophy or award I have won to date.

For a brief while in the early 2000s, every "electronic dance music show" I went to, someone would ask me for drugs. First, it was at the first Coachella, where my friend and I were just sitting around on the lawn, some older guy turned to us and looked directly at me and asked me if I had any E. Then I saw Moby and Hybrid in a proper theater with seats, and I was one of the few people who were dancing, so another dancing person asked me if I had X. Another Coachella, someone asked if I had acid. I think there was another time, and then that was it. I didn't go to that many shows, so this was a strange pattern for me, especially as I was usually with other people, and the person in search of drugs always singled me out. And always, I had to tell them no, I didn't have anything.

I also really, really like repetitive electronic music (currently enjoying this mix from Acid Pauli) without any stimulants or intoxicants, which baffles some people. (I also really like baroque viol music, among other styles and sounds.)

With decent frequency, people think I have an accent. I then ask what they think my accent might be, and I've heard English, Irish, Canadian (to which I replied "I don't know what you're talking aboot," just to mess with that person), German and a few others. Except I haven't really lived beyond California for any significant point of my life.

My combination of vocal pitch and speaking quickly and mumbling is the exact wrong sound for telephones. People who can understand me in person often have trouble understanding me on the phone.
posted by filthy light thief at 10:49 AM on March 30, 2015 [2 favorites]


I don't know if it is "fascinating" but there are around 190 comments so far in the thread and I have about 500 follow up questions.
posted by MCMikeNamara at 10:49 AM on March 30, 2015 [33 favorites]


MCMikeNamara: I don't know if it is "fascinating" but there are around 190 comments so far in the thread and I have about 500 follow up questions.

Reboot the MetaFilter magazine, if only for the chance to create a Better Know a Mefite series of articles.
posted by filthy light thief at 10:50 AM on March 30, 2015 [4 favorites]


I found the oldest piece of string in Canada.
posted by Rumple at 10:51 AM on March 30, 2015 [9 favorites]


I am dermatographic.
posted by ROU_Xenophobe at 10:52 AM on March 30, 2015 [5 favorites]




I have a terrible time thinking of these too. I usually go with, I can move each eye independently in and out of being crossed, which I call "iguana eyes" and used to use to entertain children when I worked as a camp counselor.

It is shocking how closely this resembles my experience! I never though to say "iguana eyes", just "want to see something creepy?"

My time as a counselor at a sleep-away camp is also responsible for the related stories of me getting lice in my twenties AND getting to check the heads of about eighty girls between seven and twelve. I have had better days.
posted by Mrs. Pterodactyl at 10:53 AM on March 30, 2015 [1 favorite]


I once spent a summer in Seattle doing science while living in a garage.

I own a murderer's sewing machine.
posted by oceanjesse at 10:53 AM on March 30, 2015 [3 favorites]


A college friend of mine sold Amy Fisher the gun she used to shoot Mary Buttafuoco.
posted by jonmc at 10:54 AM on March 30, 2015 [3 favorites]


Are all of these really true, or are some of you having us on? Because this is an amaaaazing series of feats/assertions/experiences.
posted by wenestvedt at 10:58 AM on March 30, 2015


The last game I released got written up on Rock Paper Shotgun. It was pretty wild.
posted by hellojed at 10:59 AM on March 30, 2015 [9 favorites]


I don't know if it is "fascinating" but there are around 190 comments so far in the thread and I have about 500 follow up questions.

Every time I think I see the thing I just have to ask about another one pops up.
posted by barchan at 10:59 AM on March 30, 2015 [1 favorite]


Here's one that's not so much a bragging rights thing...

You know how terrible talk shows will devote episodes to people with weird-ass phobias? I'm scared of airports. Not of flying. I am not the slightest bit afraid of flying. But ten minutes in an airport and I'm an anxiety-ridden, flop sweat-soaked basket case.

(It's pretty simple, really. I don't worry about flying because I know how low the odds are I'd ever be in a commercial plane crash. But walk 15 minutes past my gate and miss my plane? I could totally do that. Say something dumb and get a full cavity search? Completely plausible. Have a few too many in the airport lounge and miss my flight? That is a real risk. My luggage gets lost and I'm far from home completely screwed? That happens. Some Homeland Security person deciding to detain my foreign national spouse? That shit has happened before. Have my luggage stolen? I'm surprised it hasn't happened already, as bad as my attention span is. I end up going to the airport 2-3 hours early to give myself more time to make extra fucking sure of every little thing. And I'm a miserable, brittle mess the entire time.)
posted by DirtyOldTown at 11:01 AM on March 30, 2015 [16 favorites]


DirtyOldTown, you are not alone!
posted by desjardins at 11:03 AM on March 30, 2015 [5 favorites]


I crashed Hillary Clinton's party while Bill Clinton was attending, despite the presence of Secret Service and suits checking guestlists.

Other than the presence of drunk Bill Clinton, it was pretty boring.
posted by corb at 11:07 AM on March 30, 2015 [1 favorite]


Most of my cool stories are from working at my local airport when I was in high school and college, and I think I've told the best of them many times over already.

Odd physical traits... I can crack all of my joints. Like, all of them. All my fingers, toes, knees, elbows, wrists, neck, jaw, hips, everything. On command. I asked a doctor about it once and he gave me Celebrex - I was about 15 and taking old people arthritis meds. It doesn't hurt, though, so I dunno.

I also am incapable of talking to people with accents without slipping in to their accent myself. I am terrified that people think I'm taking the piss but I really just cannot help myself.
posted by backseatpilot at 11:07 AM on March 30, 2015 [6 favorites]


barchan: I sing, all the time, which is okay, but I've never outgrown singing in the bathroom. . . including while peeing, which is super weird. Usually I sing parodies of popular songs

This makes me feel more normal for singing in falsetto when I think no one else is around. Usually I'm right in thinking I'm alone, but one time I freaked out a housemate when he heard someone singing "Loving you is easy 'cause you're beautiful" in an usually high-pitched voice.

I also make sound effects for various activities, which seems more normal when you do it with kids but can put adults off if you're literally zooming around the office. Luckily, I don't do this too often, and my co-workers are understanding.
posted by filthy light thief at 11:08 AM on March 30, 2015 [5 favorites]


I wrote the drinking game referenced at the end of this article.
posted by Lucinda at 11:08 AM on March 30, 2015 [1 favorite]


DirtyOldTown and desjardins, this article is about me: Dad Suggests Arriving At Airport 14 Hours Early.
posted by Johnny Wallflower at 11:10 AM on March 30, 2015 [8 favorites]


Once when I was seven, I filled out an entry form while my Mom was at the cash register at a grocery store. I dropped it in the box without saying anything about it. One week later, my family won a bbq pit, and some charcoal.

Hank Hyena published a poem of mine in his small SF journal.

My ancestor Mary Dyer was the first woman hanged in the colonies. Later when looking at the proceedings, a guy I had dated had ancestors who condemned her.
posted by Oyéah at 11:11 AM on March 30, 2015 [14 favorites]


Literaryhero: " I had a map on a corkboard and posted everything around where I found it so it looked like one of those maps from Person of Interest or something."

In college, I kept a campus map, and highlighted each building when I had gone to the bathroom in it (different colors for #1 and #2). My goal was to hit every building, but I didn't make it. In fairness, it was a very large campus, and some of the buildings are not publicly accessible.

I once sat about 10 feet from David Byrne at San Francisco airport for about two hours, and had to physically stop myself from going over and gushing about how much I loved his music.
posted by Chrysostom at 11:13 AM on March 30, 2015 [3 favorites]


Once when I was seven, I filled out an entry form while my Mom was at the cash register at a grocery store. I dropped it in the box without saying anything about it. One week later, my family won a bbq pit, and some charcoal.

OMG I totally did this when I was fourteen and I won a microwave! Mom hadn't known I'd done this, and I'd almost forgotten, so it was really confusing when they called us and said "congratulations, when do you want to pick it up?" This was the '80's, so Mom was still a little nervous about letting anyone stand in front of it while it was running at first; but we kept it, and it lasted forever (my parents actually only just finally got rid of it two years ago during a kitchen remodel).
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 11:14 AM on March 30, 2015 [5 favorites]


True fact: I almost drowned in an irrigation ditch that I was trying to ford with my tricycle at age 3. Sad part two to this fact: the person who rescued me lost his son, who drowned in the same irrigation ditch a few years later. Wonder if they ever filled that thing in.
posted by Lynsey at 11:16 AM on March 30, 2015 [3 favorites]


When I'm home alone and have to use the bathroom, I sing "Gotta Pee! Gotta Pee!" a la Gene Kelly's "Gotta Dance! Gotta Dance!" and I skip the jazz hands to go straight for musical arms.
posted by julen at 11:16 AM on March 30, 2015 [19 favorites]


I hinted at this before but will now fully reveal that my stupidest human trick is making eensy little handmade bows for tiny boxes (e.g. jewelry boxes.) They look just like regular gift bows, but in teeny tiny form.
posted by bearwife at 11:17 AM on March 30, 2015 [7 favorites]


I can tie shoelaces with my toes.
posted by jamaro at 11:18 AM on March 30, 2015 [5 favorites]


And probably tie gift bows too. Pretty much anything that requires your basic bunny ears.
posted by jamaro at 11:19 AM on March 30, 2015


I once was drawn into a webcomic (AY2K) because I wrote amusing stories about an operating system. I then gave a real presentation at a virtual conference based on the world of said strip. Previous to that, the same stories got me a job at the operating system company.

I'm considered a pioneer in the history of what was then known as moblogging and is now known as something everyone does all the time so there's no longer a special term for it. I parlayed this socio-technical achievement into zero million dollars before becoming a footnote in several academic papers (however it did get me a free trip to Japan and on a panel at SXSW in 2004 (where I explained that soon "moblogging" would soon just be something everyone did all the time so there would be no special term for it) ).
posted by mikepop at 11:19 AM on March 30, 2015 [5 favorites]


when i was 5 i ate a tiny ant on the playground just to make my friend peter cry, and i proceeded to live the rest of my life from that day forward on those same principles.
posted by poffin boffin at 11:26 AM on March 30, 2015 [30 favorites]


I have a phobia of carbonated beverages. I don't just dislike them. I don't want them NEAR me. It's on a continuum, though - the sugarier the beverage, the more upset it makes me. Tonic water is just kind of icky and doesn't scare me; Coke actually makes me sweat. I've gotten better about it in that I can now sit at a table and eat with other people who are drinking soda, but I am definitely aware of the presence of the soda the entire time. Related: I have never tried soda, and may be the only American who can "boast" this. Unless others share my phobia. There may be dozens of us!
posted by sockermom at 11:27 AM on March 30, 2015 [9 favorites]


Oh: When I was four years old, I went to play outside (it was the 70s). It was raining, and they were building houses at the end of the street, so I went to look at the construction equipment. I then got my boots stuck in the mud, and couldn't move. I called and called, but obviously no one else was out in the rain, so I eventually fell asleep standing there.

My mom found me maybe two hours later, still standing there in the mud, asleep.
posted by Chrysostom at 11:28 AM on March 30, 2015 [44 favorites]


When I choose to I can bend only the last joint on my left index finger.

I can do this will all fingers on all hands, individually or all at once. People find it very upsetting.
posted by poffin boffin at 11:30 AM on March 30, 2015 [3 favorites]


In no particular order...
  • In college, I ran sound for a mime company.
  • I love crafts of all kinds, and am very much a jack of all (well, most) trades, master of none. My current obsession is papercraft, especially mixed media, monoprinting, and card making. I'm a lapsed jewelry maker and knitter. I want to learn to use a sewing machine and a lampworking torch. My current favorite tools are my Gelli Plates and my Cricut Explore.
  • Related to the above, I've come to realize that there are no bitchier and drama-filled places on Facebook than Cricut groups.
  • I'm realizing that I have phone anxiety, and have come to the conclusion that a lot of it has to do with being firmly Guess Culture, combined with self esteem issues.
  • I do shortform and longform improv comedy, and started my own all-female longform troupe. Which reminds me, after I post, I need to submit to DCM.
  • I'm Unitarian Universalist and really active in my congregation. I don't evangelize the unwilling, but am always happy to answer questions.
  • Related, over the past couple of years I've realized that I really enjoy spiritual writing - opening and closing words, sermons, reflections. I don't think I'm cut out to be a minister, though.
  • I might be a little bit of a hoarder, although without the 30 year old newspapers and pest infestations
  • I really really LOVE to sing. I suck at singing and possess no rhythm. I don't clap on 1 and 3, I clap on 2/3 and pi.
  • My original MeFi account has a 3 digit sub-200 user number.
  • I currently have a migrating bruise. It started below my knee and has spread down my shin, skipped a bit, and banded around my ankle. Doesn't hurt, though.
  • I have a giant list of characters and relationships and societal structure that I wrote 20+ years ago for a book that has not gotten written because I have no idea what I want to do with the plot.
  • I have never smoked a cigarette of any sort, not even once.
  • I drank almost nothing before age 21. I didn't get invited to those kinds of parties. These days, my favorite thing to drink is craft beer. If there's a big list, I order "something not hoppy that I can't see through". Last summer, though, I fell in love with a grapefruit wheat with a ridiculously small ABV.
  • I write and rewrite everything. Even text messages.
  • I probably spend more time in MetaTalk than in MeFi or AskMe.
posted by booksherpa at 11:32 AM on March 30, 2015 [10 favorites]


I walked all over Brooklyn and Manhattan overnight during the winter solstice, sundown (around 4:45pm) to sunup (around 7:15am). I injured my left iliotibial band in the process.
posted by kenko at 11:33 AM on March 30, 2015 [1 favorite]


I shook hands with Dizzy Gillespie, chatted with Allen Toussaint, and had a "howdy-neighbor" waving and smiling relationship with Paul Newman for a few weeks. (quite a few other celebrity interactions too, but those stand out particularly for me.) I also worked for a while in a space that was formerly the recording studio where Fats Domino recorded "Blueberry Hill."

I lived next to (and saw nearly every day for several years) a guy who ended up murdering his girlfriend in one of those especially lurid dismembers-and-keeps-in-a-chest stories that the media love so much. What would I say about this guy? "He seemed so nice and ordinary!" (Also, he looked just a little like cortex, so. I'm not saying anything, I'm just sayin'.)

As an toddler I lived in a completely isolated fire lookout tower like this with my parents for a summer. AMAZING photos.

I was in this earthquake as a kid, and I'm *still* freaked out. Also, in the same location, we had bears and sometimes moose or elk in our backyard on a not-so infrequent basis. Also AMAZING photos, on both counts.

In my long and storied career of award-winning (both the "long" and "storied" parts of this might be an itty bit exaggerated), as a teen I somehow managed to win both a DAR Good Citizenship award and a Betty Crocker... something – "Homemakers of America"? award. The first is still mysterious and hilarious. The second was surreal to me, but came about because my teacher begged, bullied and bribed me into participating by saying I could skip classes if I took the opt-in exam it was based on, and it's nuts because that was the only class I really struggled with. Also nuts because at that time I used to spend recess smoking and drinking with at least a third of the other kids in a very, very Breakfast Club combo pack, but voluntary. Different days, you guys.

I've had both archery and riflery classes. and was pretty good at both. I also played tournament pool on a low level, and was pretty good at that.
posted by taz (staff) at 11:33 AM on March 30, 2015 [8 favorites]


sockermom, my mother says that when I was two my favorite beverage was Coke, and it still is today. I drink at least one can a day (reluctantly switching to diet a few years ago due to weight issues). If there's no Coke around, then I absolutely must have something carbonated. If there's nothing carbonated at a party, I feel very unsettled. I had a nice babysitting client once who kept Cokes in the fridge for me.

Despite that, you are a very nice person, go figure. :)
posted by Melismata at 11:35 AM on March 30, 2015 [2 favorites]


I was crucified 21 years ago. It was educational, but would hesitate to recommend it to others.
posted by talking leaf at 11:51 AM on March 30, 2015 [7 favorites]


I was Love@AOL's first chat host. You know, back when people dialed into AOL and used it to A/S/L other people. They launched personals and a chat room called The Hot Bed, where I had to host conversations and events and also enforce the terms of service. In a room called The Hot Bed. Oy.
posted by houseofdanie at 11:52 AM on March 30, 2015 [10 favorites]


I'm thisclose to being a life master at bridge.
posted by gaspode at 11:55 AM on March 30, 2015 [5 favorites]


I once called out Instapundit in a NYT article back when Instapundit still mattered.
posted by MartinWisse at 11:55 AM on March 30, 2015 [3 favorites]


probably tie gift bows too. Pretty much anything that requires your basic bunny ears

Awed by your toe agility, but no, you can't make true gift bows via bunny ears.
posted by bearwife at 11:56 AM on March 30, 2015


I used to be able to tie a cherry stem in a knot with my tongue, getting it about half the time. One time, over lobster, this came up and, lacking a cherry stem, I tried it with a lobster antenna instead. I tried it for about ten minutes before I realized I was basically chewing on a lobster antenna and then I gave up and changed the subject.

One time my wife hung four spoons from her face and I got an entire restaurant to applaud her.
posted by bondcliff at 11:56 AM on March 30, 2015 [19 favorites]


were they all on her nose, or on 3 other places plus nose, or on 4 non nose locations?
posted by poffin boffin at 11:59 AM on March 30, 2015 [2 favorites]


I did all the programming for a geophysics experiment that was designed by the son of the guy that invented GPS.
The hardware was designed and built by the Nobel Prize winner, John Hall.

I also freaked out John Hall when I disassembled and fixed his o'scope without telling him what I was doing.

John Hall gave me a personal 1+ hour tour of his lab, I lost the thread of his explanation about ten minutes in, way, way, way above my head.
posted by Confess, Fletch at 12:05 PM on March 30, 2015 [2 favorites]


When I choose to I can bend only the last joint on my left index finger.

Me and both my brothers can do this and we practiced enough to pick up writing implements. I still can.

Forgot to mention, not about me, my mom dated Warren Beatty once in college. She told me that he was really boring. She also dated a guy who invited her to a party and there was dancing. My mom was disappointed that he wouldn't dance with her so she said, "what's the matter? Do you have a wooden leg?" Turned out...
posted by plinth at 12:06 PM on March 30, 2015 [2 favorites]


Oh wait one time I was briefly on Icelandic public radio.
posted by The Whelk at 12:06 PM on March 30, 2015 [1 favorite]


Awed by your toe agility, but no, you can't make true gift bows via bunny ears.

No, you're absolutely right, and I'm sorry, I totally didn't mean to step* on your comment. I have tied boxes up with my toes but not for gift giving (because, toes).

I naturally use my toes to pick up a lot of things off the floor or off low surfaces. As I really dislike wearing laced shoes (or socks), I have to remind myself not to casually use my feet this way at work.

*pun unintended and unavoidable
posted by jamaro at 12:07 PM on March 30, 2015 [2 favorites]


My great-grandfather shot a sheriff's deputy to death in a shoot-out. He was acquitted on grounds of self defense. Later he put his wild times behind him and found religion. There was a nice girl in the Sunday School class that he taught, so he adopted her. When she turned 18 he married her. That was my great-grandmother.

Because he lost an arm as a result of the gunfight, he had to find a career other than lumberjacking. In his quest to find a better fuel to bake his bricks, he established a rather important industry in Texas - oil drilling. He made and lost three fortunes in the oil business in the early 20th century. Some of his wells still produce a few barrels of oil a day.
posted by Midnight Skulker at 12:07 PM on March 30, 2015 [10 favorites]


I have a very small mouth (I can only fit two fingers stacked into my widest-stretched open mouth). I am sometimes contradicted about this by dental professionals when I tell them, and then yelled at for making their work difficult by not opening my mouth wider.

I was conceived during a solar eclipse.

I took Neil Gaiman to work on 'Take an author to work day' one year.

On the first day of 7th grade I realised that most likely no one in my first period class could remember the first and last names of everyone in every class they'd ever been in and where they'd sat every time the seating arrangement changed, even though they had been in probably one single elementary school before that point - and I could, even though I'd been in seven.

(um also I guess I have moved more than is common? Approximately annually? The longest I've ever lived anywhere as an adult is 3 and a bit years.)

I learned that it is appropriate for humans to make eye contact with each other a) ever and b) during conversations - from a book, when I was about 10. I could mostly pull this off by my mid-twenties, and after about ten more years of practice it stopped feeling uncomfortable and awkward and requiring a conscious effort.

I taught myself to do the bending-of-last-joint-only thing in all my fingers as a teenager (it seemed like everyone but me could do it then), but sadly can only manage it now in my left ring finger.

Hm. Nope, a few more are remembering it now. Weird.
posted by you must supply a verb at 12:09 PM on March 30, 2015 [3 favorites]


were they all on her nose, or on 3 other places plus nose, or on 4 non nose locations?

One on her nose, one on each cheek, one cup-out on her chin.

It was still worthy of applause, I can assure you.
posted by bondcliff at 12:14 PM on March 30, 2015 [4 favorites]


multiple locations is definitely way cooler than 4 on the nose
posted by poffin boffin at 12:18 PM on March 30, 2015 [1 favorite]


I have several webbed toes and an accessory spleen. I also have a damaged painting by a minor pre-Raphaelite painter which I inherited from a relative, although here "have" is used in a different context and this does not reflect any other kind of personal wealth.

I am adequate at embroidery and enjoy it a good deal in a quiet sort of way.

I taught myself to raise one and only one eyebrow in my teens and have as a result had forehead wrinkles since I was 17; at that age I also so badly wanted to have an intriguing one-sided smile that I now smile that way as my default and am always corrected whenever I need to have a professional photo taken.

Most other things about me are pretty much what you'd expect for the general type of person that I am.
posted by Frowner at 12:18 PM on March 30, 2015 [4 favorites]


One of my ancestors was killed by the Mohawk Indians and then later declared a martyr of the Catholic Church.
I failed Latin in 9th grade, and am no real catholic.
posted by From Bklyn at 12:20 PM on March 30, 2015 [1 favorite]


To tell a family secret: my grandmother was Dutch.
posted by bondcliff at 12:21 PM on March 30, 2015 [7 favorites]


When I was probably about three or four years old, my mom taught me that when she asked what the square root of 9 was that I should respond with "3". Also that the square root of 25 is 5 and that the molecular composition of water is H2O. I had no idea what most of those words meant, but I remembered my lines when she'd quiz me in front of strangers.

Also, I can pick things up with my toes.
posted by Weeping_angel at 12:23 PM on March 30, 2015 [3 favorites]


I was once bitten by a snake and didn't realize it until hours later when I took off my shoe to find it full of blood.
posted by OmieWise at 12:24 PM on March 30, 2015 [2 favorites]


Oyeah: One week later, my family won a bbq pit, and some charcoal.

My mom and dad took me to a Dixieland jazz concert at the University of Minnesota one night. (Hey, all the other kids had jobs or had moved out already. We three did lot of cool stuff together!)

I won a drawing Southern Comfort-themed gift pack: BBQ apron, BBQ tongs, giant bar mirror, etc. When everyone on the place saw tiny 10-year old me zooming excitedly down the aisle, eager to find out what a "prize pack" was, the laughter hurt my feelings.

(My parents politely declined the mirror, which TBH would have gone perfectly in our 1968-style basement rec room with vile, striped carpet and one wall covered in floor-to-ceiling wallpaper of trees.)
posted by wenestvedt at 12:27 PM on March 30, 2015 [1 favorite]


You know how when you go to the store to replenish your stock of bulk food items (rice, beans, flour, etc.) and you have to scoop them into bags and then bring them home to put into an assortment of jars and canisters of widely varying sizes? I don't measure while I'm scooping, but about 95% of the time, I get just the right amount of each item to fill each varying jar/canister to within an inch of the top.

This is, admittedly, a very boring talent, but moderately useful.
posted by Kat Allison at 12:28 PM on March 30, 2015 [12 favorites]


If you want, I can tell you about monkeys and other exciting stories from the wilds of Peru, Kenya, and Cote d'Ivoire ... but I talk about them a lot because there is nothing else particularly interesting about me. I did graduate from the same high school as Greg Nog, though, and in certain circles that is pretty prestigious.
posted by ChuraChura at 12:29 PM on March 30, 2015 [10 favorites]


I can tie a cherry stem in a knot with my mouth, and it has never been difficult. I am sort of astonished that other people can't do this.

I used to work part time at a historic woodworking shop. Part of my job was giving tours on woodworking machines that were pre-Civil-War. The Velocipede was a jigsaw that you pedal like a bicycle, and visitors loved it. At the same place, I had to shoo oxen out of the parking lot-- they are basically two-ton toddlers and get very naughty and didn't listen to anyone but the owner, who they recognized as their authority. They didn't give a shit about me, so to keep them from scratching their backs on people's minivans and wandering off to the parking lot of the Target down the road, I had to lure them with carrots. Other than that they were sweet animals, who liked sweet-talking, attention, and ear-scritches. It was a pretty good job, too-- bunch of barn cats to play with, a wood stove to feed all day, a lot of sweeping, and people coming to see Eureka's only tourist attractions. I was laid off right at the beginning of the crash in construction in the mid-2000s.

The most interesting things I have ever worked on as a custom framer were kimono-pattern silkscreen screens which were as big as me, a plaster cast of a pregnant belly, and a bas-relief of a pig sculpted out of solid chocolate.
posted by blnkfrnk at 12:30 PM on March 30, 2015 [6 favorites]


Things have gotten progressively worse the last three times I flew out of Albuquerque. The first time, my flight was one of only six to leave that day. The second time, I had to wait something like twelve hours before my flight was cancelled. The third time, my flight made it out, but was redirected to Chicago, as opposed to Minneapolis. As I had spent the night in a hotel on the second occasion (and because Midway struck me as both spacious and relatively old school) I passed the night in the airport the third time, and enjoyed it.

I could have gone to Albuquerque around Christmas this year, but did not as I had an appointment that I didn't want to miss.
posted by mr. digits at 12:32 PM on March 30, 2015 [1 favorite]


I was reminded today by a twitter discussion with someone that I got in trouble when I was living in England for swearing at a teacher, resulting in my mother being called to the headmistress' office. The naughty word that condemned me, one which was so terrible-sounding, and which the teachers had never heard before: "crud".
posted by immlass at 12:35 PM on March 30, 2015 [4 favorites]


Oh, and a sew-mounted shadowbox of a Qing-dynasty robe with gold thread throughout. The whole thing was the size of a cubicle wall and I spent an entire day sewing it to the backing. It was older than I ever will be. And yet I made $2 over minimum wage at this job? Huh.
posted by blnkfrnk at 12:37 PM on March 30, 2015 [1 favorite]


David Sedaris gave me a present on my 30th birthday.
posted by radioamy at 12:44 PM on March 30, 2015 [4 favorites]


Joshua Malina was the valedictorian of my high school class.
posted by holborne at 12:44 PM on March 30, 2015 [2 favorites]


I met Greg Nog and likeatoaster and my life has never been the same.
posted by desjardins at 12:45 PM on March 30, 2015 [6 favorites]


I can't believe I forgot this one...We had a ghost in the house I grew-up in.
posted by Thorzdad at 12:48 PM on March 30, 2015 [3 favorites]


I had five wisdom teeth. They're all removed now, because the bottom two faced forwards instead of up and the top three were at crazy angles.

Sometimes (not every time), I get exceedingly long warnings that I am going to have to sneeze. Like up to 1 minute in advance, where I can pause a conversation, walk to a tissue box, take out a tissue, and wait several seconds before sneezing.

Back in the 1990s I wrote and maintained the FAQ for a Usenet group in the comp.* hierarchy. Around 1992 I had lunch at a restaurant with about a dozen people including Linus Torvalds. I asked him something about an alternate kernel scheduler and he told that it was a terrible idea.
posted by fings at 12:49 PM on March 30, 2015 [1 favorite]


i heard likeatoaster makes car commercials in japan
posted by poffin boffin at 12:49 PM on March 30, 2015 [1 favorite]


That's all the detail we get about the ghost?!
posted by blnkfrnk at 12:50 PM on March 30, 2015


I met Greg Nog and likeatoaster and my life has never been the same.

Did you notice his freaky incisors? They don't touch!
posted by bondcliff at 12:51 PM on March 30, 2015 [3 favorites]


shakespeherian's dad invented toaster strudels
posted by poffin boffin at 12:52 PM on March 30, 2015 [5 favorites]


I am very good at marathon-watching tv shows and movies. Among the media I've done this with are Neon Genesis Evangelion (more than once!), every Star Trek film (except Nemesis, because I refuse to watch it again), and every Land Before Time film. Yes, I have seen every Land Before Time movie.

Also, I have seen every episode of every Star Trek series at least four times; this includes The Animated Series. I've probably seen every episode of TNG at least 15 to 20 times.

I suppose these boil down to being good at sitting and watching a thing.

As a child, I was obsessed with Beethoven and used to celebrate his birthday every year. His 7th Symphony was my favorite. This is probably among the many reasons I later so greatly enjoyed Zardoz.

I was once a shopping mall Easter Bunny. Children sat on my lap and told me what they wanted for Easter, which I found puzzling. One child saw through the eyeholes of the ill-fitting mask, and I saw his face contort from joy to disappointment to fear. Then he started crying. I felt awful.
posted by The Great Big Mulp at 12:53 PM on March 30, 2015 [6 favorites]


Once, likeatoaster and I had lunch at the SECRET SANDWICH SHOP and it was great!

also I met ColdChef and A Man Of Twists And Turns at a FANCY HOTEL BAR and a MAYOR showed up
posted by The Whelk at 12:54 PM on March 30, 2015 [1 favorite]


Mayor Curley?
posted by kenko at 12:56 PM on March 30, 2015 [1 favorite]


For about two years I was in a regular Sunday afternoon roleplaying group with likeatoaster, The Great Big Mulp and GenjiandProust which got started because of the Gary Gygax obit thread on MetaFilter.
posted by Kattullus at 12:58 PM on March 30, 2015 [3 favorites]


Once Gillian Anderson called my cell phone on accident and we had a lovely conv... oh, I imagined that, didn't I.
posted by desjardins at 12:58 PM on March 30, 2015 [7 favorites]


This is my favorite thread of all time.

Also my mom has four kidneys.
posted by something something at 1:01 PM on March 30, 2015 [4 favorites]


When I was 13 I was the youngest certified scuba diver in Ontario. The funny thing is that when you get the certification that young, you are given a junior openwater diver card, which you then trade in for a regular one when you turn 16 and show dive logs for 6 openwater dives. Since I always went diving from my dad's boat, and he was generally the one to get the tanks filled and maintained, I never really needed to show my card for anything, and never got around to actually trading in my junior card for a regular one. Now that I'm 45 that probably makes me some sort of world class procrastinator.

I also can't sneeze through my nose. I am allergic to just about everything, and had to sneeze a lot in class as a kid. The one other kid with allergies did carry tissues to help with this, and this earned her the nickname "snot rag" In an attempt to avoid this I stifled my sneezes so much that I actually don't know how to sneeze normally anymore.
posted by 5_13_23_42_69_666 at 1:01 PM on March 30, 2015 [3 favorites]


You all are so interesting! What a great idea for a thread.
posted by internet fraud detective squad, station number 9 at 1:03 PM on March 30, 2015 [4 favorites]


One of my mom's friend's rescued a lion from her idiot boyfriend's suburban home here in Cleveland when I was growing up. She didn't intend to do it, it just HAPPENED. She eventually had to move to her own nature preserve where she could legally keep all the lions and tigers she'd rescued from idiots. The nearby park rangers would bring her deer and other large roadkill to feed them. That first lion REALLY liked batting around gallon milk jugs as cat toys.
posted by bitter-girl.com at 1:06 PM on March 30, 2015 [5 favorites]


Once, with a friend, a bad Michael Jackson impersonator, and a little person wrapped in a blanket, I crashed a Gladys Knight concert that was attended by the mayor of Boston. It made the news the next day.

Zug?
posted by Tanizaki at 1:10 PM on March 30, 2015 [1 favorite]


I am very good at marathon-watching tv shows and movies. Among the media I've done this with are Neon Genesis Evangelion (more than once!), every Star Trek film (except Nemesis, because I refuse to watch it again), and every Land Before Time film. Yes, I have seen every Land Before Time movie.

Did you know there's a FOURTEENTH film coming out this year? I ask because my son is obsessed with dinosaurs, so I have to know about dinosaur things, at least that they exist (he's uncertain about sharp teeth).
posted by filthy light thief at 1:13 PM on March 30, 2015 [3 favorites]


Two claims to un-fame: I was high school friends with an infamous MeFite, who in turn has the home phone number for Michael Jordan, who would receive a phone call every New Year from my high school friend. Mr. Jordan was very polite, despite such calls, possibly because they only came once a year.
posted by filthy light thief at 1:15 PM on March 30, 2015 [1 favorite]


I can cut (with scissors) the decorations out of an Argiope web without alerting the spider.
posted by dhruva at 1:23 PM on March 30, 2015 [3 favorites]


> who in turn has the home phone number for Michael Jordan

That reminds me! Sometime around the early to mid-'70s, I was told by someone in the know that George Lucas's unlisted phone number was actually listed as "Luke Skywalker" (this was, of course, before Star Wars came out). I had no interest in using it myself, but one of my brothers was a huge movie fan and at that point wanted to become a director, so I gave it to him, and he called the number, discovered it worked, and was so verklempt he immediately hung up.
posted by languagehat at 1:24 PM on March 30, 2015 [6 favorites]


I can generally pour glasses of wine to all have the same amount on the first pour (from a single bottle of wine).
posted by k5.user at 1:24 PM on March 30, 2015 [1 favorite]


One of the guys from TV on the Radio was a year or two ahead of me in high school.

===

My wife is a couple of years younger than me. She went to med school after some detours in life, so that most of her her med school classmates were several years younger than her. Her younger med school classmate was dating a girl several years younger than me. I befriended this woman on facebook. This resulted in the following conversation with a facebook friend who was in my high school class:

Amy: How the heck do you know Tiffany?
Me: Well, [the above chain of people]. Why, how do you know her?
Amy: I was her English teacher in high school about four years ago.
posted by Chrysostom at 1:33 PM on March 30, 2015 [4 favorites]


My Torah portion today is the story of Cain and Able...

Abel was I ere I saw Leba.
posted by y2karl at 1:34 PM on March 30, 2015 [6 favorites]


Did you know there's a FOURTEENTH film coming out this year? I ask because my son is obsessed with dinosaurs, so I have to know about dinosaur things, at least that they exist (he's uncertain about sharp teeth).

And a tv show with 26 episodes. The "characters" chart on the LBT wikipedia page has a horizontal scroll bar.
posted by zarq at 1:35 PM on March 30, 2015 [2 favorites]


Last summer I said to heck with it and made myself a birthday cake, the first I've ever had. I turned 46. Yay me!

Otherwise I got nothin'. Does this count: I am the least psychic person ever. I don't know who's calling, I don't know what the next song is going to be, I've never had that creepy feeling or seen a dear departed. Despite growing up in a religion that insisted on answers to prayers and a personal relationship with a diety, I never felt its presence or sensed that it was guiding me or events. so *shrug* no supernatural stuff for me, apparently.
posted by Occula at 1:36 PM on March 30, 2015 [10 favorites]


I once drank with a guy who claimed his cousin was the drummer in the Soul Survivors.
posted by jonmc at 1:39 PM on March 30, 2015 [1 favorite]


I was stung by a wasp inside my mouth (on the upper part) . In third grade I sharpened my pencil to a find point, sat down, and clumsily speared my thigh and lived in fear of lead poisoning for years.

I used to be double jointed and could stand in a doorway, face the jamb and do a splits while holding onto the jamb. Like others upthread, being able to bend only the end finger joint is endlessly amusing.

I have raised two orphan foals and spent many nights waiting for a mare to foal. I taught myself and my horse how to drive/pull a cart from reading a book.
posted by mightshould at 1:40 PM on March 30, 2015 [2 favorites]


my best friend and I crashed the debutante ball when we were about 17. we both wore black velvet. Yes, we stood out. We made friends with a couple of the 'escorts' (or whatever they call the guys on the arms of the debs), and staved off security for the better part of an hour.
posted by dbmcd at 1:40 PM on March 30, 2015 [2 favorites]


It's threads like this that remind me of the weird shit I have done. Thank you.

I once had a job where one of my tasks was to chase bears. Black bears. The smaller less aggressive bears. In order to make them more scared of people. These bears had already proved that they didn't have enough fear of people. I thought it was a fun diversion from the manual labor aspect of my job.

In high school I played sousaphone and we played Hail to the Chief for George HW Bush. We had to send our instruments ahead to have them checked out. When we got there we found out that they had taken all of the ziplock baggies of baking soda that we used to polish our instruments. They has also unwrapped every piece of aluminum foil on the soccer ball sized ball of foil that we had collected and compacted that year.

In 9th grade I ate a grub in my language arts class. The teacher has approved but on the appointed day he was out and we had a sub. The sub was the wife of my scoutmaster so she let it happen. Some girls dug a grub from the ground outside the classroom door. Then the class followed me as I walked through another classroom to wash it off in the water fountain. Then I ate it with Arby's sauce. I do not think I have eaten Arby's since then. I made $20.

When I worked on campus at UT, I tracked down all of the remaining bullet holes from the Whitman shooting. I would show them to people. One of the campus cops let us go up in the tower during the time when people were forbidden to go up there.

In college I used to walk on not-infrequent weekends. I would pack a bag with some water and snacks on Friday afternoon, pick a direction and walk. On Saturday evening I would turn around and walk the way I came. I was sort of a hermit.

I'm proud of this one but it bothers some people. I hunted as a kid and stopped around college (Texas, a horrible place to be an un-landed hunter). But I hunted only small mammals. In my mid-'30s I shot my first ungulate in the desert, field dressed it and carried it about three and a half miles to the car only to find it locked, so I guarded my game bag in the shade for another hour or so before I could get the meat on ice. The meat was amazing despite the warm weather. It was a freeing experience knowing that I could acquire protein to go along with my gardening and foraging skills.
posted by Seamus at 1:40 PM on March 30, 2015 [6 favorites]


Also I once managed to punch myself in the eye hard enough to get a black eye from it.
posted by solarion at 1:40 PM on March 30, 2015 [3 favorites]


I have a strange interest in the minutia of American Mormon history and bore my friends with it.

I once at lunch with this dude names Scott without knowing that he was Scott Biram. His tattoo of a chicken leg over a horrible bruise brought about a story of a car accident that seemed strangely familiar.
posted by Seamus at 1:48 PM on March 30, 2015


I have taken a punch on five continents. Oddly, Australia is not one of them.
posted by Etrigan at 1:55 PM on March 30, 2015 [20 favorites]


I went to a small, rural Ga, private school and Kyle Chandler was a senior when I was a 5th grader. He was so dreamy..... His "hair was emoting" even then....(I can't claim that....read that from a Bloodline post on Fanfare)
posted by pearlybob at 1:55 PM on March 30, 2015 [1 favorite]


After a couple decades of playing cello and upright bass, the fingers on my left hand spread a good inch and a half wider than the fingers on my right hand. Perhaps unrelated, I noticed a year or two ago that my left thumb was and is distinctly shorter than my right one.

Look away, I am hideous.
posted by ricochet biscuit at 1:56 PM on March 30, 2015 [4 favorites]


I won a poetry contest in high school. Thanks to a classroom bet with our poetry teacher, this meant I got to slack the rest of the year and still get an A.

For some reason, my voice dramatically drops in pitch whenever I'm on the phone.

I can do a pretty good impression of two angry Donald Ducks arguing with each other.
posted by mikurski at 1:57 PM on March 30, 2015 [1 favorite]


I once turned up in Ankara in the middle of the night without any accommodation booked and was taken in by a bunch of Turkish security guards. They spoke no English and I spoke no Turkish, so we went down into the basement where they fed me watermelon salad and let me hold their (loaded) guns. Pic.

Also, I have convinced people to eat live ants on three non-consecutive occasions.
posted by Paragon at 1:57 PM on March 30, 2015 [20 favorites]


I have a lot of fun and interesting stories that I don't really have the right to share in public because they are highly incriminating to the other parties involved, but I will say that when I was a doe-eyed young thing, I had a genuine knack for bedding marginally to moderately well-known touring musicians, at least two of whom are Academy Award winners. Now that I am old and tired, I can let you all in on my carefully-collected sekrits.

how to be a groupie in five easy steps
by dbr
(h/t to the divine and peerless Miss Pamela, to whom all due credit is ultimately owed.)

1. Be a living, breathing female human aged 18-24, at a rock show, at a venue that's a few times bigger than your average corner dive bar but way smaller than a stadium. It really helps if you have a burgeoning alcohol problem and no concept of personal boundaries. It doesn't matter what you look like as long as you sell it. You are your own best sales associate.
2. Walk backstage with your chin held high and a very strong drink in your hand and act like you deserve to be there. Act like there is nowhere else you could possibly be, like everyone back there is all but certain to be impatiently awaiting your arrival. SELL IT.
3. Set your sights on the foxy person of your choosing and unload your wiles upon them: ALL of the wiles. Remember those times your 20/20 hindsight gave you something adorable and charming to say, much too late? Now's your chance to cash that shit all in, bruh.
4. When you're done wil[d]ing out, finish your cocktail with a flourish. Then ask the foxy person of your choosing to buy or bring you another, or ask their gofer to go get a bottle from the bus or the bar. Do I even need to say it? ABC.
5. Everything that happens from this point forward is something you should have learned about in high school health class. When it's all said and done, transcribe every last detail in your journal so when you're old and tired, you can look back at what you wrote and say, "What the fuck?"
posted by divined by radio at 1:58 PM on March 30, 2015 [67 favorites]


I once sold light-up novelty souvenirs out of a satchel at a "midget wrestling" (their words, not mine) show at a local amusement park. I was in my 30s, marginally employed, and things were weird.
posted by Strange Interlude at 1:59 PM on March 30, 2015 [4 favorites]


Once had an interview to be a riverboat captain.
posted by clavdivs at 2:00 PM on March 30, 2015 [9 favorites]


I was petted by a lion once.

(Truth be told, it was a very small lion. But it still was one.)
posted by Too-Ticky at 2:03 PM on March 30, 2015 [7 favorites]


plz more stories about lions
posted by NoraReed at 2:07 PM on March 30, 2015 [6 favorites]


My mother and I, despite not having particularly similar features, both have the kind of face that convinces total strangers that they know us from somewhere. This impression is intense enough that people call out to us, stop us on the street, spend long minutes at parties trying to figure out where they know us from, etc. It's more an odd thing than a bad thing, but it has made me kind of wary of greeting people I think I know on the street.
posted by EvaDestruction at 2:09 PM on March 30, 2015 [2 favorites]


I was bitten by a lion.

Truthfully, it was only a large cub at a "come pet these baby lions" place in a South African lion sanctuary. But a large lion cub is the size of a great dane, so basically what happened was: I was petting the babies. Wow so cute. Then I pet the big one, and like a massive fucking idiot moron I unthinkingly did what I always do when petting cats: I LET it bite my hand.

It didn't really hurt and barely broke the skin. But for a split second, with the suddenly obviously bone-crushing jaws of an actual fucking lion engulfing my hand, the headline flashed through my brain. Stupid American Hideously Mauled by Baby Lion; Locals Unsurprised.
posted by showbiz_liz at 2:10 PM on March 30, 2015 [39 favorites]


I waited on Michael Jordan once... or so I am told. I grew up in the Communist bloc and still don't have the vaguest idea what Jordan looks like.
posted by Comrade Doll at 2:10 PM on March 30, 2015 [4 favorites]


Like a 6'6" bald black man.
posted by Chrysostom at 2:16 PM on March 30, 2015 [3 favorites]


EvaDestruction, I get that a lot too. I'm white with dirty blonde hair and I wear glasses, my mom's the same; people always think we're somebody's sister but they don't know whose. It's happened less since I stopped going out so much and also started keeping my hair purple.

showbiz_liz' lion story reminds me of the time I was bitten by an ostrich in a petting zoo at the State Fair and it was TERRIBLE. What kind of jackass puts an ostrich in a petting zoo? Ostriches are ASSHOLES. Anyway, I've hated ostriches ever since, and I really like to eat them.
posted by NoraReed at 2:17 PM on March 30, 2015 [9 favorites]


Wait, I have a better one than the childhood-proximity-to-lions-story! I got a fellowship to study Czech for a year in Prague, government-funded. One of the restrictions was that you had to be attached to an American program for the purposes of accreditation, etc. (In practice, this just meant two back to back semesters of being surrounded by monolingual American students with no actual interest in the Czech language who were constantly drunk).

One night after we'd gotten out of our initial orientation program, and moved from Poděbrady to Prague, we decided to climb the hill to the castle and take a look at the city by night. We can MAYBE count to ten in Czech at this point. If that.

All of a sudden I hear one of the more boisterous frat boy assholes say "umm, guys?" in this really weak voice, and we unthinkingly bound over towards him, only to find ourselves in front of the barrel of a gun.

One of the castle guards is holding a rather large gun to our heads.

We start trying to talk our way out of it. Several of us, self included, speak German, so we try that. Fortunately, the guy calls his supervisor, who huffs on over from who knows where, sees we are not a threat to Czech national security, and lets us go.

Later, I would fluff a chance to work in Havel's office. I am STILL angry with myself over that one.
posted by bitter-girl.com at 2:18 PM on March 30, 2015 [10 favorites]


The lion petted me with its paw as I was playing with it (the guard at the Cairo Zoo let me do that, probably hoping for bakshish). It was a small cub. The cushions of its paw felt smooth and leathery. That's all.
posted by Too-Ticky at 2:20 PM on March 30, 2015 [2 favorites]


The fiend in question.

The biting, which one of my asshole friends apparently photographed.

The incredibly ungory and anticlimactic bite itself.

If I am ever called upon to play Two Truths and a Lie again I can say I was bitten by a lion and survived, so, worth it
posted by showbiz_liz at 2:21 PM on March 30, 2015 [22 favorites]


At the Ardastra Gardens in Nassau, I once spent 3/4 of an hour sitting on the ground leaning against a bobcat's cage, petting it nonstop, while it purred, headbutted my hand and very gently nipped at my fingers.

I hate seeing animals locked in cages.
posted by zarq at 2:24 PM on March 30, 2015 [5 favorites]


I have told my story of being menaced by furious peacocks at the kunming zoo many times here before so instead i will reminisce about the time i was aggressively pranced upon by a baby goat at what i believe may have been the queens county farm

this was concurrent with my ant eating phase of life

anyway my mom got really upset because of the MENACING TINY GOAT so i picked it up to run laboriously away with it into the wilds but i tripped over something (possibly my own foot) and the goat and i fell into an undignified heap while my mother wept and rent her garments over this DANGEROUS MURDER GOAT's unacceptable behavior

then the goat ate one of my hair ribbons and it was time to go home
posted by poffin boffin at 2:24 PM on March 30, 2015 [36 favorites]


The fiend in question.

SCREAM
posted by poffin boffin at 2:25 PM on March 30, 2015 [4 favorites]


The biting, which one of my asshole friends apparently photographed.

My cat gets that same look on his face when he's chomping on my hand.
posted by jaguar at 2:26 PM on March 30, 2015 [7 favorites]


I have an incredibly vivid memory of being surrounded by goats at the Greensboro Natural Science Center. I was 5 or 6, and they thought I had treats. I fled to the safety of a large rock in the middle of the petting zoo.

That's how I learned goats can climb.

Picture a screaming child in a blue dress which is currently having a hole chewed in its hem by a goat, surrounded by other goats who are all trying to Get At Her for reasons which are totally unclear to her.
posted by showbiz_liz at 2:27 PM on March 30, 2015 [5 favorites]


Well, uh, I sucked a guy's dick when I was around 14, liked it, and then turned into the most boringly standard heterosexual male, so I guess I have no Upworthy-like gotchas here.

I was also a rock star, playing the drums for the most successful metal band ever from Estonia (yeah, I know, it's not much of a thing)... but the only people who still talk about this are not me.
posted by Pyrogenesis at 2:27 PM on March 30, 2015 [10 favorites]


I was a listener-contestant on Wait Wait, Don't Tell Me! And I won!

Same here - which resulted in being asked for my new phone number as "I tried calling you, but the voicemail was some old guy"
posted by RootlessMaple at 2:29 PM on March 30, 2015 [18 favorites]


Merafilter: aggressively pranced upon

(I once had an immature deer follow me around the woods. I wasn't feeding it or anything it just ....kept like ten paces past.)
posted by The Whelk at 2:34 PM on March 30, 2015 [1 favorite]


Body Horror: I have double-jointed fingers that I passed along to my kid. We gross each other out with them.

Celebrities: I once gave John Michael Murphy a ride in my battered Honda from my bookstore job (he'd been there for a CD release I think?) to a bar in the Stockyards. I had no idea where I was going but he knew exactly where it was.

Kinky Friedman once called me "Danielle." (that is not my name. he was extremely drunk though).

Other: One of the first times I ever Googled someone, I found out my hateful boss had served time for manslaughter.
posted by emjaybee at 2:34 PM on March 30, 2015 [2 favorites]


My cat gets that same look on his face when he's chomping on my hand.

"This would taste better with gravy," thought the cat.
posted by jamaro at 2:34 PM on March 30, 2015 [7 favorites]


anyway my mom got really upset because of the MENACING TINY GOAT

In your mom's defense, the goats at the queens county farm are pretty dangerous.

They're actually pretty adorable.
posted by zarq at 2:36 PM on March 30, 2015 [1 favorite]


it was the tinyest of babies! i was only 4 or 5 and was nevertheless able to pick it up and attempt a daring escape to a life of thrilling caprine adventures
posted by poffin boffin at 2:39 PM on March 30, 2015 [4 favorites]


If we are doing weird but cool celebrity sighting stories, here is a true one from last week. Last Thursday (and Friday) was when the Seattle Symphony played the final three of Sibelius' symphonies. There has been a truly wonderful exploration of Sibelius' works, including all his symphonies, over the past month. (It was called "Luminous Landscapes" and commemorated the 150th anniversary of Sibelius' life. ) The concerts were led by a marvelous guest conductor, Thomas Dausgaard, and a major highlight of one of them was the Violin Concerto performance by guest violinist Pekka Kuusisto, but us Seattle symphony groupies gave a good deal of the credit for this whole three week musical experience to Seattle's amazing Music Director, Ludovic Morlot, who has breathed huge excitement into the symphony's repertoire and performances, and brought remarkable guest talents to Seattle as well. FYI, all, an important funder for the Symphony is Paul Allen's Family foundation.

So, last Thursday my husband and I were in his truck, in traffic just to the north of Benaroya Hall, waiting to turn left to get into the parking garage beneath the hall. And I made eye contact with a man on the sidewalk who smiled and waved at me, just as my husband said, "Isn't that Morlot?" Indeed it was! My husband whipped out our tickets to that night's performance and held them up to the window, and Morlot smiled even more broadly and gave us both a big double thumbs up. We did the same in response, and then traffic started moving again. Later that evening, at intermission, I glanced over to my right for my second sighting of the evening -- Paul Allen!

For reals. It was all rather fabulous.
posted by bearwife at 2:42 PM on March 30, 2015 [3 favorites]


The adventures of poffin and kid
...or....
boffin and billy
posted by zarq at 2:43 PM on March 30, 2015 [2 favorites]


My most recent celebrity story was accidentally wandering onto the exterior shoot for Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt on my way to fancy pizza.

I didn't see anyone but Strangely Hot Grips.
posted by The Whelk at 2:46 PM on March 30, 2015 [4 favorites]


showbiz_liz your pics freaked me out as our hands are pretty identical and it really threw me for a second, like WTF is my hand doing there

maybe we are hand twins
posted by barchan at 2:48 PM on March 30, 2015 [3 favorites]


I have been chased by bison as Venus rose over the South Dakota Bad Lands.
posted by shakespeherian at 2:49 PM on March 30, 2015 [10 favorites]


One night Joe Torre stuck his hands in his jacket pockets, leaned in real close and asked me, "Do you want some balls?"

One other night Weird Al offered to buy me fudge, and I was obligated to decline. I did tell him that his song Smells Like Teen Spirit was my first favorite pop song.
posted by carsonb at 2:53 PM on March 30, 2015 [2 favorites]


I have one of those faces where people think they know me, too. I once had a stranger talk to me about a bar we used to hang out at in Oklahoma City so fervently I began to think that perhaps I had had a blackout year.

Also Bill Daley once greeted me warmly on Dearborn and I thought I knew him from somewhere, too. As I walked away I realized that he was the mayor's brother and also in the cabinet. I threw an email out to my siblings when I got back to the office and the same thing had just happened with one of my brothers, where John Daley the mayor's other brother walked up to him on the street and acted as if they were old friends.
posted by readery at 2:53 PM on March 30, 2015 [2 favorites]


I worked in an office supply store as a teenager when Carol O'Connor came in to buy a dictaphone machine. Of course I "knew" who Carol O'Connor was, I had watched Archie Bunker for years and it was well known that "In the Heat of the Night" filmed one town over, but I made no connection to the celebrity and this lovely, sweet older man who I just assumed was a previous customer that I recognized from helping him before. We spent about 45 minutes looking at different dictaphone machines and the accessories that came with them. He finally purchased a mid-range one and some ball point pens. He gave me a kiss on the cheek and walked out the door. At that point all my co-workers came running out of the back (why the hell they were hiding from Archie, I still don't know) freaking out because Carol O'Connor had been in the store!! That's when I realized my brush with stardom. I'm glad I didn't recognize him as a star while helping him.....as a teenager, I would have been all nervous and totally flubbed my dictaphone selling spiel...
posted by pearlybob at 2:54 PM on March 30, 2015 [4 favorites]


I grew up on a farm, and we raised goats and sheep. Every winter, without fail, we would get a ewe who rejected her newborn lambs, and because it was winter in upstate NY and generally like 20 below at all times, we'd have to bring the tiny lambsicles down to the house and try to revive them/keep them alive as best we could. This would often involve heating pads, and sometimes we'd even end up dunking them into 5 gallon buckets full of warm water (holding their heads clear) to try and get their body temperatures up and regulated. In retrospect it all sounds super primitive, but I think we only lost one lamb, out of maybe 10 or so. If we were lucky, once the lamb was on the mend, we'd be able to get it adopted by another ewe, but sometimes they'd become bottle babies. Sheep are incredibly stupid, and it was really hard work raising them, but still rewarding as heck when you could keep them going through a tough winter.
posted by catch as catch can at 2:55 PM on March 30, 2015 [9 favorites]


We'd bring in sickly orphaned kids and lambs, too! They'd live in playpens in a warm part of the house until they seemed hardy, and we'd re-introduce them to the pack.

Also, you haven't lived until you've shared back seat of a 1970s audi with two goats, one of whom has just been mated and the other who doesn't go anywhere without his mother.
posted by julen at 3:01 PM on March 30, 2015 [7 favorites]


Oh, I finally came up with some personal anecdotes!

As a baby, I was visiting family in the northeast, and while we were there, one of my uncle's friends decided that he wanted to cast me in a diaper commercial he was directing. (I think it was for Pamper's or something like that). My mother agreed to it, and then on the day we were supposed to shoot, the adult actor was sick, so we had to postpone shooting... And then we had to fly back before they were able to re-schedule shooting, and apparently my budding film career was not enough of an incentive for my mother to change our travel plans.

Another me-as-a-baby story: I was a very colicky infant, but my pediatrician convinced my mother to try out that whole "cry it out" thing. On the first night, apparently I cried so loudly and for such a long time that eventually a police officer showed up at our door, and insisted on coming in to make sure I wasn't being, like, horribly abused. Suffice to say, my mother gave up on the whole crying it out experiment after that.
posted by litera scripta manet at 3:08 PM on March 30, 2015 [2 favorites]


I also have what is known as the Dawin's tubercule. Only about 10% of people have this. It is an atavism which is a remnant of the pointy ears of our ancestors. I is in fact a hidden pointy on one ear. Not Spock-like though, unfortunately. But still!
posted by Pyrogenesis at 3:13 PM on March 30, 2015 [5 favorites]


A coworker of mine was trying to open a tube of super glue to no avail. When I saw him grab a pair of pliers and begin to squeeze the tube I said "that is not a good idea" and decided to leave the room quickly. I was about 15 feet away from him when I turned to look and the super glue hit me right in one of my eyes and glued it shut. The ER had no workman's comp code for that one.
posted by futz at 3:15 PM on March 30, 2015 [34 favorites]


omg julen, the goat mating... that was definitely something... We used to take our does to this totally crackpot lady down the road who had bucks. I'm sure I remember my dad saying that she made bank with her bucks, but who cares about money if you have to live with that smell?
posted by catch as catch can at 3:15 PM on March 30, 2015 [2 favorites]


Dogs like me. Dogs that are timid will almost always talk to me. Dogs that are friendly will flip right the fuck out. I've had a golden retriever, who was otherwise quite well behaved, jump into my arms. I went from "Whooozagoodog" to staggering around, holding a dog, in about half a second. It's a good thing I like dogs.

During a game of drinking Jeopardy (quick note: This is a cooperative game. You can guess as many times as you like. You all win if anyone beats the contestant. If you lose, one sip per $100. Commercials are for catching up) I saved everyone's asses by storming Double Jeopardy which consisted entirely of "Weird Shit No One Actually Knows".

I can wiggle my ears.
posted by It's Never Lurgi at 3:17 PM on March 30, 2015 [2 favorites]


My superpowers: I can wiggle-flare my nostrils. I can open that jar. I am a cat whisperer. I've lost and regrown 2 fingernails and 1 toenail, so I guess I'm the Mrs. Potato Head of nails.

I know what your insides look like. I know what pancreatic cancer smells like. I've seen all the ways diabetes ruins a body. I assisted a pretty extreme penis reconstruction, the removal of a 20 pound ovary, and removals of a few dermoid cysts (you probably don't want to click that link), among many others.

When I was a toddler, my dad taught me that Coke was called "booze." Whenever my mom took me shopping, I would happily call out "BOOZE!" whenever we passed the soda aisle, and she would get all sorts of dirty looks. This was in Utah.
posted by moira at 3:22 PM on March 30, 2015 [19 favorites]


When I was about 12 I handcuffed myself to the bottom of a swimming pool ladder with trick handcuffs to do a magic trick, but I couldn't get the handcuffs undone and a relative had to save me. Somewhere in the back of my mind I wonder if my whole life since then hasn't been an Owl Creek Bridge sort of thing.
posted by Elementary Penguin at 3:24 PM on March 30, 2015 [26 favorites]


a whole lot of bad decisions have led us to this point in our lives apparently
posted by poffin boffin at 3:33 PM on March 30, 2015 [15 favorites]


So a story about me:

After I got engaged to ms. nubs, she got me scuba diving lessons as a gift. We planned to go to the Cook Islands for our honeymoon, and she already knew how to dive, and we thought it would be a fun activity to do together. So, I took the lessons, and I planned to do the final check-out dives once we arrived in the Cooks (since the only option where we live was mountain lakes in the springtime).

So we arrive in the Cooks, make the arrangements with the local dive shop, and soon discover that the couple staying in the little bungalow adjoining ours are also scuba divers. So they and my wife make plans to go on a dive tour with the same dive shop, while I'm out with the other beginners to do my check-out dives. And then they proceed to regale each other with tales of all the awesome dive experiences they have had, periodically reminding me that the check-out dives are boring and that it won't really be fun until I've passed and can dive with them.

The day comes, and they head off in one boat, and I head off in another. As promised, the dive instructor is taking our group to a fairly docile spot on the reef for our first dive. But on the way, something really interesting happens - we come across a manta ray, lying at the surface. Our instructor is startled, circles it, and then cuts the engine, telling us all to grab our masks and get in the water. So we have a brief moment of swimming near the manta ray as it largely ignores us, occasionally flapping its wings. And then we proceed to our dive site and get on with the tasks at hand, eventually coming back much later than the other dive boat because the checkout process involves multiple dives over multiple days, so we had gone on to do two dives in two different spots after our encounter.

Now, manta rays are relatively rare creatures in that part of the world. The dive instructor had never seen one there. The guy who ran the dive shop had been there for over twenty years, and had never seen one. And to be sure, my wife and the other people she was with had never seen one. So we get back in, clean up and store our gear, and then I wander over to where my wife and our new friends are enjoying a beer and talking about the great dive they had. "We saw lionfish! And an octopus. How was your checkout dive?"

"It was fine," I said. "Got to swim with a manta ray." It was a great mic drop moment. One of the few in my life.
posted by nubs at 3:39 PM on March 30, 2015 [21 favorites]


I can whistle and hum at the same time.
posted by mono blanco at 3:42 PM on March 30, 2015 [5 favorites]


So, I tell the story like this: I knew almost everything about my husband before I ever met him.

Back when I was a single woman, after many failed attempts, I made a detailed plan to find my perfect-for-me mate. The plan was this: Know everything about him, except what he physically looked like (which would be impossible to know, although this could be narrowed down somewhat to my particular tastes).

I knew where I'd meet him. I knew what he'd be dressed like. I knew what his professional background would be. I knew what his philosophies on life would be. I knew little things, I knew big things.

I was fully armed with what I was looking for, right down to the way he drove. (Calmly, not like a lunatic, with respect for his passengers)...Basically, unless you were Him with a capital H, you weren't him, and it would only take me one date to suss you out. I plan on jumping in to more dating questions with the answer: Know what you want.

Also, when I get drunk I sometimes channel the spirit of Patsy Cline and sing Walking After Midnight and think about my Dad.
posted by Grlnxtdr at 3:43 PM on March 30, 2015 [5 favorites]


I walked and talked at six months, and wore out my first pair of baby shoes before that by kicking at the crib -- but then got very sick and 'forgot' how to do those things and had to relearn them quite a bit later, speaking at first only in oddly formal complete sentences. I laughed at these stories when I was a kid because everyone outside our family thought I was "mentally retarded" (I still feel that those people were not entirely wrong), but when my father died a couple of years after my mother and I was clearing out their house, I found a corroborating dated diary in my mother's hand, and a tiny pair of blue felted baby shoes with a tongue of frayed gray fiberboard sticking out at each worn-through heel. And so I occasionally like to say that English is my second language -- but also my first!

And then there are the formative events of the summer when I was five, which written up and looked at for a few minutes, seem not quite to be in the light-hearted spirit of this thread.
posted by jamjam at 3:44 PM on March 30, 2015 [2 favorites]


Well, uh, I sucked a guy's dick when I was around 14, liked it, and then turned into the most boringly standard heterosexual male

The lesser known Katy Perry B-side.
posted by en forme de poire at 3:48 PM on March 30, 2015 [57 favorites]


1. I am in the alt.folklore.urban FAQ.

2. Kevin Smith called my house once, returning a message my roommate had left at his comic book store with a question that anybody at the store could have answered. I had run out to the grocery store, so I did not get to see my roommate's side of that phone call.

3. While I was an exchange student in Sweden 1988-89, our exchange program took us on a trip to Moscow and Leningrad in November. In Leningrad, my friend and I snuck out after curfew and were in a dark courtyard trading Levis for bits of military uniforms when the police showed up.

I was a horribly naive, pretty teenager who got away with stuff and never really got into trouble or understood just how much potential trouble there was to get into, but my companion for the evening was a Strasse-smart State Department/Foreign Service brat and he just walked past me, hooked me by the arm, muttered "keep walking no matter what, even if they grab me*" and hustled me out to the street and to the metro station, stuffing all our contraband into his pants and under his shirt.

To get back to the hotel, we had to rely on other tram passengers to tell us where to get off, and the soldier who helped us gestured for us to get off at the next station and cross the park to the hotel. We're walking along through the snow, all adrenaline-flushy from our adventures, and suddenly we hear crrr-rrrrk!

My friend, whose US-based home was in North Dakota, stopped moving and grabbed me to stop moving. "Where's a bench? Where's a tree or a light?" I saw a bench and pointed. "Okay, walk toward that bench, don't run, don't stomp, stay about 10 feet in front of me."

Remember, I'm dumb as a stump, and I'm from Texas, and it snowed once all that winter - and rarely got as low as the 20s - in Gothenburg. "Why?"

"Well, that bench probably isn't in the lake we're walking on."

(I realize, as I tell this story for the zillionth time, it was probably an asshole move that I didn't sleep with him. I knew he considered himself nowhere near my league, so he never would have tried, but dude had one hell of a Baby James Bond night, saved the girl twice, and just...nothin'. I'm so dumb.)

*He probably thought he'd be sent to Siberia and that I would have my virtue disturbed, because he was kind of a paranoid type, but I suspect we would have just lost all the hard currency on us (our passports were in a firesafe the tour guide carried with her) and maybe gotten a nasty scare. Still.
posted by Lyn Never at 3:58 PM on March 30, 2015 [30 favorites]


removals of a few dermoid cysts (you probably don't want to click that link)

Oh my god, cool. I had one of those removed from right under my left eyebrow a few years ago, but had never put it together with the whole "tumors full of hair and stuff" thing until now. For travel reasons--I was in college at the time--my surgery was done on Christmas Eve as an outpatient procedure, and so I woke up on Christmas Day after I'd slept off the anesthesia with the most fantastic swelling holding my left eye completely shut. I had a grand time stomping around and declaring myself Christmas Igor.
posted by sciatrix at 4:08 PM on March 30, 2015 [2 favorites]


...well crivens I can whistle and hum at the same time too. Very nice in polyphonic music, but embarrassing to do in front of people.
posted by Namlit at 4:10 PM on March 30, 2015 [1 favorite]


Sometimes difficult to do when ordered to prove it because no one can whistle, hum and laugh at the same time.
posted by mono blanco at 4:19 PM on March 30, 2015 [4 favorites]


I may have but the one spleen, but like Frowner, I'm syndactyl. I also cultured the raise-one-eyebrow thing so much that I can carry small change between my eyebrows.

I once almost sold a sweater to Lloyd Cole.

Due to a deformation in my fingers, I can't clap very well. Seems that the spare tendon was installed in my thumbs, though, so I can make them loll about in a woozy manner.

Robyn Hitchcock once thought I was trying to steal his guitar as I helped him into a venue in Edinburgh.

My feet are so flat I make smock smock smock noises barefoot on smooth floors.

My heart rhythm is very unusual. So much so that a senior cardiologist looked at my chart, got out a ruler, and was like "Whoah!". I gave him permission to send off a scan of my chart to his friends. I am, apparently, healthy.

Harry S Truman fell asleep in the armchair that's now in our front room.

Even when I lived in the town of my birth, no-one believed that my accent was from there. Now, half a world away, most people get the city right first try.

Dogs love me, and will usually make a beeline for me. Cats love me too, but I am hideously allergic.

The only other thing I'm allergic to is the red dye they used to put in plaque disclosing tablets (remember them?). My mother may have forgiven me for that time in the 1970s when I sneezed a red mist all over the new bathroom.

For years, my hands were the top hit for the image search "tiny bunny". Well, more like the kit I was holding was the top hit, but anyway.
posted by scruss at 4:25 PM on March 30, 2015 [3 favorites]


Sometimes difficult to do when ordered to prove it because no one can whistle, hum and laugh at the same time.

I wish I'd laugh.
Background story, I was asked to do it in front of my class when I was seven, to prove a point. That kind of spoiled the fun for me ever since...
posted by Namlit at 4:26 PM on March 30, 2015 [1 favorite]


I once had takeaway Indian food on (formerly) Golda Meir's embossed copper tea table (true story).
posted by Namlit at 4:29 PM on March 30, 2015 [3 favorites]


I can put my toes in my mouth.

I have met two former governors of Virginia.

I attended the funeral of a Hall of Fame baseball player and met a bunch of former baseball players.

Mike Kryzwzewski once looked at me and said "I need to go have a picture taken."

I can do the best Strong Bad impression you will ever hear.
posted by 4ster at 4:50 PM on March 30, 2015 [1 favorite]


When I was a child, I kicked all of Nickelback's asses. Okay, not QUITE, but I set events into motion that caused Nickelback to eventually get their asses kicked. It's a long story, so hang in there.

I grew up in the Canadian Folk Music industry. I literally grew up hanging out with the kids of some of Canadian music's heroes. One of them was the son of a certain deceased east coast legend whose work is so classic and pervasive that people actually think the songs he wrote are traditional. We'll call his son Nick, to respect his privacy. Nick was about six or eight years older than me and learned to drive when I was just a kid. We'd hang out every summer building a major festival and when he learned to drive, he got permission to take me out on the Gators.

Now, Nick was under a heckuva lot of pressure. His mother was a busy lady, managing several folk festivals, doing staging for others and managing his father's estate--which had a LOT of copyrights. Everyone wanted to know when he'd grow up to fill his father's shoes. He didn't want to be folk, he wanted to rock out, but people expected certain things from him. He started to buckle under the pressure, young. He did a lot of drugs and drank a shittonne.

No one realized he was having alcohol and drug problems when he took me out in the Gator the first time. Anyone who's ever ridden in one knows they're a major flip hazard and he started tearing around, taking sharp turns. I was having the time of my life--and then a whole side of it lifted off the ground and it damned near flipped. It would have killed us both. His mother came running up, flipping out, and realized he was high or drunk and had nearly killed me.

Now, his mother had connections all over the world and rather than sending him to rehab in Canada, she figured she'd take away the risk of any tabloid finding out about him needing help and she sent him off to some honest-to-god fighting monks in Tibet or some shit. To teach him self-discipline. They taught him throat singing and martial arts. He got his life turned around and became a genuine badass.

Now, being whose son he is, Nick came back to Canada after his rehabilitation and got an invite to the Junos, the Canadian version of the Grammies. He went, though he didn't feel like doing the red carpet. He instead decided to head back to his car through a tunnel to an underground parking garage.

Who does he pass in the tunnel but Chad Kroeger, his arm drunkenly slung around a teenaged girl's shoulders, the rest of Nickelback stumbling along behind him like drunken ducklings. Kroeger is all over this girl and Nick is totally disgusted. As he passes Kroeger, he cough-speaks into his arm 'Talentless hack!'

Kroeger freezes and looks at him. "What did you just say?"

"I said you're a talentless hack and you're everything wrong with Canadian music today," responded Nick.

Kroeger then let go of the girl and took a swing at Nick. Nick took him down with a single punch. The rest of Nickelback jumped into the fray to grab Nick and pull him off. Nick, in a matter of seconds, had them all on the ground and was punching the drummer in the face. There was blood flying everywhere from Nick splitting his knuckles on the drummer's face. The girl is screaming that he's going to kill Nickelback. Then he hears the roadies and security coming down the hall and he books it the fuck out of there.

And that's the story of how I almost got killed and that meant Nickelback got their asses kicked.
posted by NotATailor at 4:54 PM on March 30, 2015 [58 favorites]


Coming back to add ... I was once "bitten" by a (dead) tiger. Back in the 1960's, my mother's Aunt Alma had a tiger skin rug on the floor in her front room (the kind with the mounted open mouthed tiger head attached to the flat skin). Us kids were running around her house one day on a visit and I slipped and fell and cut my ankle on the incisor of the tiger head.
posted by gudrun at 4:54 PM on March 30, 2015 [9 favorites]


You know how ballet dancers can turn out their feet so they are 180 degrees apart? I can turn my feet out past that, to about 220 degrees, so that my heels are in front of me and my toes are pointed back and to the sides.

And I can walk around like that.
posted by Mars Saxman at 4:59 PM on March 30, 2015 [3 favorites]


I can wiggle my ears.

I can do this, but I can also wiggle each one by itself.
posted by carsonb at 5:01 PM on March 30, 2015 [1 favorite]


My left elbow hyperextends, so I can freak people out by holding my arm so it looks straight and then dropping it so it hyperextends.

I played cello in Carnegie Hall with my high school orchestra.

Nick Lachey of 98˚ fame went to my high school and checked 16-year-old me out during Alumni Day and I rolled my eyes at him and stalked off.

I gave a guy a handjob in Kurt Vonnegut's old college dorm room.

I used to be able to do this.
posted by coppermoss at 5:15 PM on March 30, 2015 [4 favorites]


I took care of 3 baby tigers at my house for a weekend.
posted by futz at 5:16 PM on March 30, 2015 [3 favorites]


I made a cappuccino for Arnold Schwarzenegger. He likes them wet.

My super power is finding things. If something is lost, I can sense if it's in the building and tell you where it is. (My most famous moment is when I walked into a friend's house, she said "where are my keys?" and I correctly told her they were under a magazine on the kitchen counter.) This super power totally vanishes when I am pregnant.

When I was about 9, I was showing some friends on the playground how a magnifying glass could be used to make marks on a piece of bark. The substitute teacher on recess duty turned me in for attempting to burn down the (concrete-block surrounded by sand) school.

This week we adopted 4 goats and a puppy.
posted by belladonna at 5:25 PM on March 30, 2015 [7 favorites]


So I would have used this thread to confess to being an avid writer of fanfiction, but thanks to my most recent (and currently only) fpp, the cat's out of the bag on that one. Instead, I'll share that I recently had several of my stories translated into Spanish by another member of fandom. It's pretty cool to know someone liked your writing enough to translate it. Plus it gave me the impression that I remember way more Spanish than I actually do.

And on a completely unrelated note, my closest brush with celebrity is that the home that my parents owned while I was in high school was previously occupied by the band Creed.*

(I can't tell you how much I wish this could have been someone other than a flash in the pan nineties Christian rock band. Oh well.)
posted by litera scripta manet at 5:28 PM on March 30, 2015 [4 favorites]


I can do the can-can with my fingers. Both hands, every other finger up and kick and up and kick and...

It's not easy! Try it!

Anybody want to sew me little Rockette outfits for my hands?
posted by rekrap at 5:29 PM on March 30, 2015 [5 favorites]


I'm radioactive.
posted by Rob Rockets at 5:30 PM on March 30, 2015 [2 favorites]


Oh wait! My living room has watercolors done by the wife of a very popular and prolific mid century crime author.
posted by The Whelk at 5:33 PM on March 30, 2015 [2 favorites]


In 2001, I was finishing my film degree. For Documentary Filmmaking class, we had to write a treatment and shoot some test footage for a proposed feature doc. (We didn't have to make the thing, just plan it.) My proposal was for a comedic documentary chronicling my marriage into a loony Greek family. It was to be called My Greek Wedding. I turned in my test footage and treatment, got my A, then abandoned the project.

My Big Fat Greek Wedding came out a year later and made crazy bank. I shudder to think how easily I could have probably sold that doc of mine, had I actually shot it.

Not that it would have made that first marriage any less of a disaster...
posted by DirtyOldTown at 5:43 PM on March 30, 2015 [3 favorites]


I can put my ankles behind my neck. Not for hours, but for a good few minutes, anyhow, which I think is longer than most people can put their ankles behind their neck.

Despite being in my mid-thirties, I'm often mistaken for a teenager. This is especially weird when I'm out with my twelve-year-old daughter, who, despite being twelve, is often mistaken for about sixteen. No, I swear, she's not my sister.

When I was a kid, I moved cities, going from very working class to solidly middle class. After a year of mockery for my "weird accent", I set about losing it, which I did. But now my accent is weirdly mutable and changes depending on how the people around me are talking, which makes me self conscious. And, like, Filthy Light Thief, people always think that I sound like I'm from ...somewhere. No one's sure where, but it's definitely not here, regardless of where the "here" of the moment is.
posted by MeghanC at 5:47 PM on March 30, 2015 [3 favorites]


I'm homeless. Again.

This is likely not the surprising part.

What is surprising is that this time I'm basically more content and healthier (mentally, emotionally and physically) than I've ever been in my life, even though I ended up having to abandon about 99.9% of my worldly possessions to the point that they now all fit on a bicycle.

I kind of accidentally relocated to a small hippy Victorian port town somewhere in the Puget Sound, stumbled into a job, just booked my second musical performance and I now likely have two if not three jobs lined up.

I became a barista. I make really good lattes and cappuccinos and I love making good coffee. I'm now also a legally certified bartender and permitted food service worker. I even designed the logo for the cafe I now work at, while I was still camping in a hammock, and working as a barista at said cafe.

I've not only put my known outdoorsmanship skills to good use, I've expanded on them. Among other things I can now make alcohol-burning "penny stoves" out of trash and little more than scissors and a push pin that will not only boil 2-3 quarts of water in less than 3 minutes, but they'll burn for 20-30 minutes on an ounce or two of fuel.

I survived 20 below freezing, 70+ MPH winds, extremely heavy rain and even snow very easily, not to mention a lot of encounters with coyotes, raccoons and more. Deer scare me more than bears because deer are apparently really dumb and twitchy, and falling limbs and trees in high winds scare me more than either of those.

I'm still kind of bewildered by it all. It doesn't suck. The scenery and people are nice. I only vaguely miss Seattle, mainly a small handful of good friends.

Otherwise I'm surrounded by art, music, nature and water and it's fucking rad, and I should have taken my own wandering and adventuring advice to heart much more emphatically a long time ago.
posted by loquacious at 5:57 PM on March 30, 2015 [53 favorites]


Oh, and one of the weirder things I do is practice holding my breath. I can still easily manage about 2 minutes just about anywhere. More if I can lie down or float in water and minimize exertion.

(The weirdest things about me would break the internet, sorry.)
posted by loquacious at 5:59 PM on March 30, 2015 [6 favorites]


(in best Bill Clinton voice): I. LOVE. THIS. THREAD.
posted by DirtyOldTown at 6:02 PM on March 30, 2015 [3 favorites]


Despite a 30-year age gap, my mother and I look so similar that until she stopped dyeing the grey out of her hair, we were frequently mistaken for for each other. I had to get my first government-issued ID card at the age of eleven because an airline employee nearly refused to give me a boarding pass because they couldn't believe I was her minor child and not her slightly-younger sister. (Her actual younger sister is 8+" taller than we are and they look almost nothing alike.)
posted by dorque at 6:04 PM on March 30, 2015 [2 favorites]


My earliest memory is of riding in a tank on my mother’s lap. My sister tells me I must have been under 18 months of age. That tank sure impressed me. I don’t remember anything else again until age four or so.

I am right-handed but I deal cards left-handed because daddy was a card shark who used to make money playing cards like it was a part-time extra job, so you couldn’t have a relationship to him if you didn’t play cards. Thus, I learned to deal at age four and I just mirrored what he did and I had no idea it was “backwards” because I was too young to understand such things.

I count in binary on my fingers, a trick I learned at age 14 from some computer geek. It comes in handy as I can count quite high and keep track of things that way. In fact, I taught that trick at a conference once. It was my conference presentation so I could be a presenter and thus get a discount to make it more affordable for me to attend the conference.

I was very limber as a child. I used to chew my toenails.
posted by Michele in California at 6:08 PM on March 30, 2015 [3 favorites]


That reminds me of how I discovered what appeared to be a synovial cyst on the ball of my foot, which I discovered while showing my trainer how I could step on my own face without holding my foot up with my hands.
posted by poffin boffin at 6:11 PM on March 30, 2015 [5 favorites]


Yeah, I used to cover my face with both feet in an "o" shape while laying on my tummy. And could do the "Chinese" (or "Russian") splits (the sideways ones). I didn't mention that because I was trying to find pics and ...it was turning into a hassle. So I settled on the chew my toenails comment to give an idea.
posted by Michele in California at 6:13 PM on March 30, 2015


I wrote a Federal Reserve-themed valentine that was later listed in a Best Of in the NYT economics blog.

A comment I posted once on a NYT article got picked as the number one Reader's Pick for that article. I don't remember which article or what my comment was about but I was super proud at the time.

I used to be able to fit my whole fist in my mouth. Now I have some version of TMJ so can't really open my mouth as wide as I could when I was younger.

One of the proudest moments of my life was when my dorm-mates took me snipe hunting in college and a once in a lifetime opportunity presented itself to me, which I was able to pounce on and turn the tables on them in the best way ever.
posted by triggerfinger at 6:27 PM on March 30, 2015 [1 favorite]


Two More:

My grandfather was one marines stationed on the USS Missouri during the ceremony when Japan surrendered to the US, ending World War II. He was chosen for this because he was very tall.

I've slept in the same bed as T.S. Eliot. (Not at the same time).

So, my grandmother decided to buy this wonderful heirloom bed of an heiress who had been attending the University of Chicago. It was this ridiculous giant wood sleigh bed - made from solid wood and wonderfully carved. I've been told that it had been shipped from around Cape Horn to make it to Chicago, which doesn't make much sense to me, but whatever. It's great to look at, but while the bedframe is huge, the actual bed isn't very large at all. Again - it's an antique sleigh bed - the general idea was that people would be able to sleep somewhat upright, and also that folks would be shorter than they are today. It didn't bother my grandmother much - she was around 5'4"

She was married to the guy who was on the USS Missouri because of his height. And no, she didn't ask him first. He just came home one day and found this gigantic bed with a tiny mattress in his bedroom. So he slept diagonally for years.

After my grandmother died, the bed passed to my parents - my father was 6'2", so it went into a guest bedroom. Around that time, we found photographic evidence of TS Eliot standing next to the very bed in question, so my father insisted on framing the photograph in the room with an antique typewriter, and calling my brother's old room the Eliot room. Only I'm the only one of my siblings who can fit in it, so now it's automatically my bed when I visit my mother.

It's a nice bed. Comfortable if you're 5'6" or shorter (as I am). Can't imagine that Eliot enjoyed it as much.
posted by dinty_moore at 6:31 PM on March 30, 2015 [6 favorites]


Oh, I got one more: I once saw several members of the fabled Big Red Machine (the 70s-era Cincinnati Reds) in the nude. My great grandfather did various odd jobs for the team when they had their winter training camp in Tampa. As such, we grandkids always had access to piles of Reds paraphernalia, including boxes of the bubble gum the team chewed while playing. I went with him one time to pick some stuff up from the clubhouse and had to dodge a fair number of nude guys on their way to/from the showers. No, I don't remember who I saw.

I have a signed team ball from that period and it's got the likes of Sparky Anderson, Fernando Valenzuela, Pete Rose, Ken Griffey, David Concepcion, and Johnny Bench on it. One year the Reds played the Cubs in Chicago. My mom walked me down to the Reds dugout and talked to someone down there in Spanish, trading names and whatnot. A few minutes later, one of the guys reached up and handed me a white tube sock. In the sock was the signed ball, which I still have.
posted by jquinby at 6:32 PM on March 30, 2015 [3 favorites]


12 years ago, almost to the month, I was flown out of Toronto to visit Hamburg and Berlin, where I recorded with two very successful songwriter/producers, and met with the German division of BMG Music.

I VERY narrowly missed getting a recording contract as:

a) a PG-rated version of Eminem,
b) rapping in English,
c) for the German public.
posted by tantrumthecat at 6:34 PM on March 30, 2015 [13 favorites]


Since the age of 18, in every city I have ever visited, I have been asked for directions.
posted by ardgedee at 6:35 PM on March 30, 2015 [5 favorites]


It's a nice bed. Comfortable if you're 5'6" or shorter (as I am). Can't imagine that Eliot enjoyed it as much.

I went to college with an Eliot descendant (direct great-however-many-times grandson or nephew, I can't remember); he dated a friend of mine. He was extremely short, like 5'4", I'd guess.
posted by jaguar at 6:35 PM on March 30, 2015


That is, my classmate was extremely short. I don't know about T.S.
posted by jaguar at 6:36 PM on March 30, 2015


An article that I wrote used to be cited in an entry on the Croatian-language Wikipedia. It might still be: I haven't checked recently.
posted by ArbitraryAndCapricious at 6:45 PM on March 30, 2015


My New Year's resolution for 2011 was to floss my teeth every night; I haven't missed a night yet.
I once watched Ice T and Joey Ramone play frisbee.
Since I (gladly) pay the bills to keep the lights on at the online diary history project site, I get to answer the occasional email from grad students writing about online personal narrative. It makes me feel really old!
posted by atropos at 6:49 PM on March 30, 2015 [3 favorites]


My grandmother opened the first tourist/postcard shop in Guam.

I share a high school and slightly weird thumbs with Megan Fox.

There's a picture of young me with a now-disgraced Senator (one of the ones with inappropriate page issues) from winning a state arts scholarship. I always find it vaguely disquieting when I visit my parents.

do hooping competitions even exist?
There are definitely fire dancing/spinning competitions, of which hooping is a part.
posted by tautological at 6:52 PM on March 30, 2015 [1 favorite]


In all my years as a software developer, I've contributed exactly three lines of code to any open source project and that was by accident as I'd put the lines in a comment on a forum for a different project.
posted by octothorpe at 6:53 PM on March 30, 2015


On the hooping front, when I was six I discovered I could hula hoop and read at the same time.
posted by coppermoss at 7:00 PM on March 30, 2015 [2 favorites]


I have brains in my basement. I'm fairly certain I've mentioned this on Metafilter before. It is one of my favorite things about this apartment, on par with the fact that we have a dishwasher. I suppose this would be a good moment to show you the brains. I went down to take a look at the buckets (and also do a load of laundry) and found them stacked and pushed away (so we can better get at the laundry) so you can't see where one of them is marked "parts" BUT I also found a tiny (roughly fist sized) skull sitting on top of the stack so my basement is full of surprises (and conference name tags).
posted by maryr at 7:01 PM on March 30, 2015 [5 favorites]


I'm really good at metaphors for complicated emotional and psychological states. I've made people gasp when I say them. It... really isn't useful for much outside of Jungian therapy, though, and the odd poem.
posted by Deoridhe at 7:07 PM on March 30, 2015 [6 favorites]


Couple more:

My good friend went to high school with Matt Damon and Ben Affleck. She did theater with them, and still has a couple of low-quality VHS tapes of some of the shows they were in. (I would have gone to that school too, since it was the local public high school, but went to a private high school instead, oh well.)

Y'know how in all the biographies of Weird Al, how they say that "Yankovic changed his diet to become a vegan in 1992, after a former girlfriend gave him a book ..."? That former girlfriend was my buddy in college, and I talked to Al on the phone for about two seconds once.
posted by Melismata at 7:09 PM on March 30, 2015 [3 favorites]


Just this month, I went from determining on a Monday at 11:00am that I needed a full-time job for the next few months until I start med school, to finding a job listing that matched my talents at 11:15, to speaking with the employer in question by 11:30, to having interviewed for and accepted the job by Wednesday afternoon at 5.

And so far I really like the job.
posted by ocherdraco at 7:12 PM on March 30, 2015 [13 favorites]


I am obsessed with VORTACs.

I found a four-leaf clover. I had it for years, then it was accidentally thrown away. The day after that, I found another four-leaf clover without even trying.

My big toenails were permanently surgically removed on New Year's Eve, 1999. I don't miss them.

Two of my boys have the same birthday, exactly 4 years apart. Mine is two days later.

I can do a perfect imitation of Kermit the Frog.

I can wiggle my ears. My grandpa could too. My dad can't. When I was little, before he passed away, Grandpa and I used to sit and wiggle our ears in front of my dad, who would get very annoyed. Then we'd laugh and laugh.
posted by double block and bleed at 7:16 PM on March 30, 2015 [4 favorites]


loq, I'm glad you're doing okay. Hope you continue to thrive, man.
posted by zarq at 7:18 PM on March 30, 2015 [9 favorites]


it was the tinyest of babies! i was only 4 or 5 and was nevertheless able to pick it up and attempt a daring escape to a life of thrilling caprine adventures

i would like an AU about this alternate universe in which you were raised by and/or raised goats as Goat Simulator DLC
posted by NoraReed at 7:23 PM on March 30, 2015 [3 favorites]


(Oh, and now Al's "Lame Claim to Fame" is totally running through my head.)
posted by Melismata at 7:35 PM on March 30, 2015 [1 favorite]


it will definitely have better eyebrow selections in the character creator than the original version does that is for damn sure
posted by poffin boffin at 7:40 PM on March 30, 2015


I've flown on private jets many times, including with at least one major celebrity you all have heard of. It's simultaneously awesome and disappointing. I will say, it's pretty easy to get used to it and jaded, but the next Southwest flight I take afterward always snaps me right out of it.
posted by primethyme at 7:42 PM on March 30, 2015


I sold Gianni Versace a camera once. It was him and some taller thin guy in a suit and I was working in a camera store in Dadeland mall. When the time came to complete the sale the suit took two steps backward and pivoted 180 degrees to watch the entrance to the store. Versace pulled out a wad of cash that could choke a horse and peeled off the thousand or so to pay, leaving the wad no smaller.

It was a memorable event but not too much so, given how many rich South Americans came through there. I only realized who he was six or seven years later when I saw his face in news coverage of his murder.
posted by phearlez at 7:44 PM on March 30, 2015 [1 favorite]


guys i swear to god i am absolutely 100000% sure that you are all notably interesting in ways that have nothing to do with brief encounters with random celebrities

really what i am trying to say is that i want more stories about tiny adorable goats if at all possible
posted by poffin boffin at 7:47 PM on March 30, 2015 [18 favorites]


> I am obsessed with VORTACs.

We hiked right by one on Sunday. It's in the Marin Headlands, and I'm used to looking at it from a couple miles away*, since we use it as a landmark during hawkwatch season ("I've got a big kettle out by Vortac and rising up above the Golf Ball, can I get a scope on it, please?").

* It's the little white mark on top of the last ridge before Mt Tam. You can see it if you know where to look, or if telling you that it's above Elvis's head means something to you.
posted by rtha at 7:50 PM on March 30, 2015 [1 favorite]


I would be really delighted to hear more about gruesome injuries or salacious sexual proclivities or foods you cook really well.
posted by Greg Nog at 7:50 PM on March 30, 2015 [6 favorites]


Once I stepped on a sewing needle in my carpet and, finding only a small pinprick of blood on my foot, assumed it had been flung across the room when I jerked my foot away. Days later, we realized that half the needle had broken off and was still in my foot. (It was surgically removed.)

I have a freakishly large uvula. (I always said this would go in an author bio someday.)

I wrote a god-awful David Eddings/Anne McCaffrey pastiche novel when I was 11 or so, which was more unusual back when everyone wasn't writing epic fanfic online.

My first three jobs were as an unlicensed chauffeur, a (completely untrained) luxury travel agent, and a museum employee.

I have 3.3% Neanderthal DNA, if you believe 23andme.

I hung out in a snooker bar in Tibet once.

I'm an honorary citizen of St. Lucia.

I was 23 the first time I brewed coffee. (And I've still never finished a serving of beer in one sitting. These things are related...)

I've met Boutros Boutros Ghali and all three Clintons.

I didn't go to high school, and I dropped out of Stanford (if you can drop out of grad school).
posted by wintersweet at 7:53 PM on March 30, 2015 [1 favorite]


I broke my arm on the second day of fourth grade. Other kids were playing tag and I was worried someone was going to get hurt, so I decided to get off the play structure and I fell and broke both bones in my forearm and they ended recess early.

So yeah, I'm usually that kid.
posted by maryr at 7:57 PM on March 30, 2015 [3 favorites]


Greg Nog, my Polish Catholic friend told me my homemade pierogi are "as good as the little old ladies' at church." Haven't made them from scratch in years, though.
posted by bitter-girl.com at 8:01 PM on March 30, 2015 [2 favorites]


Days later, we realized that half the needle had broken off and was still in my foot.

Oh, shit, that reminds me -- when I was just out of college, I got a splinter of chicken bone lodged sideways in my throat, and it took like three weeks for my saliva to dissolve it because the goddamn Army doctor said it would go away on its own, but if I started coughing a lot, come back and see him. It didn't hurt, it just felt weird, and I made sure that I chewed more thoroughly for a little while.
posted by Etrigan at 8:03 PM on March 30, 2015 [3 favorites]


I would be really delighted to hear more about gruesome injuries or salacious sexual proclivities or foods you cook really well.

When I was a kid I broke my arm in a tae kwon do class; I was sparring a black belt and froze up, so when he kicked at me I attempted to block it, instead of just moving, and messed the block up. My forearm hit his shin and his shin won. I guess that isn't terribly gruesome—once I sliced the tip of my finger off with a bread knife and, having no band-aids at all in the house, wrapped a paper towel around it and walked several blocks to the nearest drugstore, my finger pointing up the whole time, rapidly suffusing the towel with blood.

I recently shocked myself by [redacted], and with [redacted], even!

My jams are renowned throughout the land. I am particularly fond of my apricot jam, but I made some rhubarb and cherry jam, and some strawberry jam, last year that were pretty damn amazing too.
posted by kenko at 8:03 PM on March 30, 2015 [1 favorite]


I've had 23 broken bones.
posted by The Underpants Monster at 8:04 PM on March 30, 2015


My uncle, aunt n I did some family tree research and found out that my great, great, grandfather was once a 14 year old convict sent out to Australia for BUGGERING A MARE.

I always wanted to have a convict ancestor so I could brag about my loud political views being a product of convict rebelliousness. This mare thing doesn't work with that, but perhaps explains why, as a child, I could do unfeasible gymnastic feats on horseback at a gallop.
posted by honey-barbara at 8:06 PM on March 30, 2015 [14 favorites]


Greg Nog, my Polish Catholic friend told me my homemade pierogi are "as good as the little old ladies' at church."

Didn't someone notice the old ladies disappearing one by one?
posted by Dip Flash at 8:07 PM on March 30, 2015 [12 favorites]


Well I aim to please.

I was on a 4 person team that won a greased pig wrestling contest. The kind where you try to catch a greased pig in a mud pit and put it in a barrel. That's not an adorable goat story but it's the closest I've got.

Gruesome injury: I used to have 2 check dimples (on my face) but now only have 1 due to hitting a rock with my face. The wounds on my face healed but I have a long scar on the inside of my mouth that ruined whatever makes a dimple.

I once broke both arms at the same time while rafting. The amount of of whiskey drank beforehand by all hands had something to do with wrapping the raft around a rock and I got thrown out and hit a rock just right, breaking some ribs and both arms, including an elbow. I got hauled back in the raft and we proceeded the short distance to the take-out. I'd swallowed a lot of water and blood and that with the whiskey. . . well, since then I've gauged my misery level to throwing up over the side of a white water raft with 2 broken arms and it never comes even close.

Salacious sexual proclivities: I once bought a thousand popsicle sticks, scattered them over the bed in a square, and invited my husband to enter the Fortress of Sexitude.

Food: I make the best goddamn backpacking food you've ever had. I can make cookies with a campfire. I grow my own tea.
posted by barchan at 8:09 PM on March 30, 2015 [5 favorites]


I have a weirdly high tolerance to pain, or maybe just a stoic reaction to it, and have had since early childhood. My older brother would wail his head off at any trivial hurt, whereas I would not vocally acknowledge major injuries, or sit somewhere quietly until the pain faded.

The most dramatic example of this was the time I broke the radius bone in my left arm. I was seven or eight, and we were at a bluegrass festival (if I tell other stories in here, they will all be at bluegrass festivals; I'm NotATailor's American twin in that my family is deeply connected to the American bluegrass and folk music scene).

I was rather mature for my age and was always given a lot of freedom at festivals. In this instance, I was riding my bike all over. And trying out a makeshift bike ramp some older boys had set up. I was jumping it slowly for a while, then worked up my courage to really take it at speed. This worked better than expected, and I stuck the landing very nicely... only to realize there was now a van parked directly after the ramp. I only had time to raise my left arm and lock my elbow.

That hurt quite a bit with a wrongness I could feel deep in my stomach. As usual for me, I didn't make any noise at all, and anyway there wasn't anyone around. I tried to pick up my bike, but that didn't work for some reason. I walked back to our little camper, where mom was reading a book, and laid down on the bed in the back.

Mom apparently asked me what was wrong, and I said "I'm just going to lie down for a few minutes." This was enough indication to her that I was probably about to die, so she actually walked to the stage and made the MC ask for any doctor's in the audience. I was diagnosed with a broken arm and driven an hour to the nearest hospital.

Incidentally, that break was also the reason for my only surgery to date. It was setting incorrectly and they caught it too late to fix without re-breaking it under general anesthesia.
posted by gilrain at 8:11 PM on March 30, 2015 [6 favorites]


I invented Post-Its.
posted by third rail at 8:11 PM on March 30, 2015 [4 favorites]


Oh a fascinating thing about myself? Well, heh, believe it or not, I once saw a very famous person at a store like he was a regular person! He was looking at teeshirts and I
posted by shakespeherian at 8:12 PM on March 30, 2015 [1 favorite]


Once, while completely sober, I was cutting the rund off some cheese. The rind was tough, the knife a cheap serrated thing that suddenly found a softer part and dashed through the cheese and the tendon in my thumb, stopping, finally, at bone.
The repair was crap and the thumb on that hand only bends half-way.
Pretty cool scar though, a zig-zag into my palm from the tip of my thumb.
posted by From Bklyn at 8:13 PM on March 30, 2015 [1 favorite]


OH MAN the playground thing reminded me. I forget if I have told this here before BUT

when i was in kindygarden (much of my best work was done in kindygarden) i was on top of the rocket ship jungle gym at recess and a very mean second grader named natalie yanked off my red snoopy glasses and threw them cruelly to the ground and laughed at me when i told her, as i'd been instructed by all adults ever, that i found her actions hurtful and unnecessary and unkind. in response to my milquetoast attempt at conflict resolution she called me a dumb crybaby (which was technically incorrect as i was not yet crying) and shoved me off the top of the rocket ship.

as i fell i distinctly remember with exceptional clarity that i knew i had a moment in which i could have grabbed on to the bars and saved myself but instead i chose to grab a handful of her long glorious black hair and drag her down with me to our deaths

i lost a couple of baby teeth and broke my arm, but she broke her jaw and had to have it wired shut for weeks and missed out on halloween candy

the moral of this story is that i may be smaller than you and wear dorky fucking glasses but i will kill us both to prove a point even when i am 5
posted by poffin boffin at 8:14 PM on March 30, 2015 [147 favorites]


Every thing I've though of to post in this thread, I've revealed here at one point or another. I really should rethink oversharing on the Internet.
posted by ob1quixote at 8:14 PM on March 30, 2015 [3 favorites]


A bunch of posts have reminded me of a bunch of things, but here's one: I like giving stuff to people*. I have given
  • Macarons to Kate Beaton
  • A tiny metal acorn to Charles de Lint
  • A tiny Japanese 3-D plastic figure based on an Alphonse Mucha drawing to Terry Moore
  • Homemade valentines with my own fanart of their characters to a variety of Doctor Who actors
Yyyyyyeah, I'm a nerd.

Fanghorn Dungeon LLC could tell some weird ancestor stories (and some backup organ stories) if he ever came in here, but alas, he probably won't.

*It's a crutch for my anxiety/a substitute for actually interacting with people. Much like cosplay. Which is why you can find a photo of me (and, now that I think of it, another Mefite!) in an ancient issue of Animerica, but that's another story.
posted by wintersweet at 8:19 PM on March 30, 2015 [3 favorites]


I discussed sour cherries with Mallory Ortberg. She told me where I could probably get some, and that weekend, I did get some there!

!!!!1!
posted by kenko at 8:24 PM on March 30, 2015 [1 favorite]


Okay, but really dull rock and roll anecdotes was one of my favorite threads ever.
posted by dinty_moore at 8:40 PM on March 30, 2015 [2 favorites]


This site got me through a year of breastfeeding and being at home with a kid without feeling like I'd lost touch with the world. It is distraction, hilarity, and a community I cherish. Even though I am most often a dedicated lurker. I'm quite sure you'd all like me better in person--that is my (somewhat) fascinating gift, to be much more charming in person than on line--but you have often, and especially now, given me something to to belong to that is more than my everyday life. Thank you.
posted by Go Banana at 8:47 PM on March 30, 2015 [19 favorites]


That's all the detail we get about the ghost?!

Assuming this is directed at my ghost...
Our house was a small one. There was a living room, and a hallway off of it. You could sit in the living room and see all he way down the hall. Off the hallway was short hall to the bathroom.

All through my childhood and through my teens, there were times when I would be sitting in the living room (usually watching tv) and occasionally glance down the hallway only to see a naked foot disappear around the corner of the hall to the bathroom. It was as if someone had walked around the corner and I look up just in time to see their back foot.

I saw this constantly. And, yes, every once in awhile, I would go look around that corner, and nothing would be there. I never told anyone.

Here's where it gets really weird...
Flash forward a decade or so. My lovely wife and I are just married, and are visiting my folks for dinner. Of course, mom is trying to embarrass me with stories of dumb things I did as a kid, etc. etc. In the spirit of reminiscing, I pipe-up and mention that all my life I had seen this foot in the hallway. Things suddenly got very silent. My mom exclaims that she always saw it too, and was relived that someone else had seen it.

Then, my wife, who had been to the house maybe only a dozen times over the year before that night, gets this wide-eyed look on her face. She had seen it a couple of times, too.

As far as I know, no one ever saw the ghost foot again after that night.
posted by Thorzdad at 8:51 PM on March 30, 2015 [22 favorites]


Ghostbusted by triangulation!
posted by cgc373 at 8:53 PM on March 30, 2015 [6 favorites]


Wow, I am way to late to respond to this comment, but

I'm really good at hula hooping. In fact, I have often fantasized about entering a hooping competition where I show up everyone by hula hooping for hours on end.

I have a friend who is really good at hula hooping. Recently some guy she was crushing on invited her to be his date to a wedding. At the reception, the MC divided the crowd into two teams and asked each one to put forward someone to compete against the other on stage in a mystery competition. She volunteered, it turned out to be a hula hooping competition, and she nailed it. Hooping up and down her body, spinning the hoop out along her arms, jumping in and out of it, and ending by tossing it in the air and catching it on her body. Her side of the crowd loved her for winning, the whole crowd was completely awed, and her date was so impressed.

This too could happen to you :)
posted by lollusc at 8:54 PM on March 30, 2015 [12 favorites]


Great Injuries: I once had a job where I spent half a day doing manual labor and half a day sitting in a wheelbarrow reading Hesse novels, all in the middle of the woods. I was going a little stir-crazy. I decided to hollow out a section of a tree I had to cut down. I used a pocket knife because the rest of my tools were a little large. Not a good idea. At some point, I folded up the knife on my finger, snapped shut. I keep my knives sharp. The blade went through the flesh on my right hand index finger at the first joint and lodged in the bone. I pulled out the blade, splashed some alcohol on the wound and duct taped some gauze over the wound and put a splint on it to keep from opening the wound. Two weeks later a doctor drove by, asked if I needed any help and I asked him to look at it. He said that I needed some stitches, if I had gotten them right after the cut. For the next 8 years, the first knuckle and fingertip on my writing hand had no feeling in it. For years I couldn't bend my finger; five years before I could bend the tip to touch the rest of the finger or my palm.

Food I Make Well: After reading about the history of savory waffles, I decided that corn waffles and green chile would be great (like a Navajo taco or a stuffed sopapilla. Lettuce, tomato, beans, chile, cheese. People ask for that shit after they've had it. Before, I usually get weird looks. Try it. Waffles take to chile like chocolate to peanut butter. Those little holes (or big holes) hold the chile and soak up the juices. Add corn, chiles or cheese to the waffle batter if you want. Really, try it.
posted by Seamus at 9:00 PM on March 30, 2015 [9 favorites]


I think I may have posted the chile'n'waffles recipe on MetaFilter somewhere, somewhen.
posted by Seamus at 9:00 PM on March 30, 2015


I was given the key to the City of Oklahoma City by the mayor. Not because I can whistle and hum at the same time but because I knew her daughter.
Which just goes to prove: It's not what you know, it's who you know.
posted by mono blanco at 9:04 PM on March 30, 2015 [1 favorite]


I rode horses in middle school and competed in hunter-jumper competitions. In one jumping competition, in a ring with a lot of gravel, my horse lost his footing on the curve, tumbled over sideways, dropped me on the ground, and rolled over -- without rolling over me. I curled up and protected my head and otherwise avoided getting rolled over by a thousand-pound freaked-out animal or getting trampled by any of the legs of the four-legged thousand-pound freaked-out animal, gathered my courage, got up, and got back on. And then the exact same thing happened again at the next curve.

As a kid, it seemed like something that just happened. As an adult, I have no idea how my parents let me continue riding after that.
posted by jaguar at 9:05 PM on March 30, 2015 [4 favorites]


I said it at the start but I owe my entire "being funny on the internet" job to Metafilter and pretty exactly to one post and ...that's weird I guess, I thought it would be something else considering I once threw up into an actual British Royal Toilet* But maybe it doesn't count if they're not there. It was a very nice and historic toilet to throw up in regardless.

*My Queen Elizabeth Number is two, but my Kevin Bacon number is Three ...but my Helen Mirren number is 2 if you squint a bit
posted by The Whelk at 9:11 PM on March 30, 2015 [1 favorite]


Oh yeah:
BibiRose's comment above reminded me:
I once won a few hundred bucks on a slot machine, twice in one night, on money a friend had loaned me just so I'd go to the casino with him.
I was out of work at the time, and unemployment had run out, so it was pretty nice to have.
After I gave my friend his forty bucks back, I used it to pay two months' rent, so now I can tell people that for two months in 2012, I was a professional gambler.
posted by Mister Moofoo at 9:11 PM on March 30, 2015 [6 favorites]


Injuries:

I have ridden horses, gone white-water rafting, gone skiing down very steep slopes with very little experience, used all manner of knives, shot guns as a youth supervised by drunk men out in the country also shooting guns, gone back-country backpacking and caving and bouldering, handled fireworks, been in a serious accident where my car was totaled by somebody running a red, been hit by a car twice while riding a bike, ridden around on a motorcycle amongst drivers not paying attention, and various other rough and dangerous activities.

I managed to get both of my semi-significant injuries (broken arm the one time, stitches for deep lacerations on my face the other time) simply by falling over.
posted by moira at 9:22 PM on March 30, 2015 [4 favorites]


I was given the key to the City of Oklahoma City by the mayor.

OK that is weird because I also have the key to OK City. It was given to my grandfather because he built a factory there.
posted by jessamyn (retired) at 9:24 PM on March 30, 2015 [5 favorites]


My Kibo number is one.
posted by kenko at 9:25 PM on March 30, 2015 [3 favorites]


I have never broken even a single bone in my body*.


*Having stated this, I fully expect to end today in a full-body cast
posted by coriolisdave at 9:26 PM on March 30, 2015 [9 favorites]


I acquired conservation of volume by the young age of four. One of my earliest memories is of an education student who visited our preschool with the assignment of documenting that children that age fail the water-in-different-size-containers test. I kept getting it right and she was completely frustrated. But I knew I was right! Why was she trying to get me to change my answer? How could she not understand that it was the same water?

In sixth grade, Burger King gave out yo-yos. We had a yo-yo contest during class and I won! Not only did I win, but I completely buried the competition. I could have gone on for the entire class period but the teacher made me stop. I was particularly proud of myself because I'd been put ahead two grades. Just thinking about it now, the secret to my success was almost certainly that I'd gone to the library to look for books about yo-yos.

They used to film movies and TV shows in my neighborhood pretty often. The house I grew up in has been on a couple of TV shows, most notably as the exterior shot of Larry and Balki's house in the last two seasons of Perfect Strangers. It was a pretty neat house, even if the stress of remodeling it broke up my parents. That was my room behind the balcony. It did have a tower.

I have been mistaken for Ted Allen by someone who knows him well. I went to a New Years Eve party and the hostess opened the door and exclaimed "Ted! You showed up!"

I've also been in Ted Allen's former home, and in John Waters' former condo in Provincetown.
posted by hydrophonic at 9:32 PM on March 30, 2015 [6 favorites]


In 2012 while subbing in a class for severely disabled kids, instead of eating the different lunch I brought I went to the cafeteria to get the spaghetti, and spend lunch with everyone there on the same terms. Instead, I slipped on a large grape, flew backwards and tore three out of four rotator cuff tendons in my right shoulder, right off the bone, and the bicep off the head, with no head to grow back to the bicep attached to my humerus and had to be cut back off at the time of the repair. It took seven months of rehab(torture) to get my arm back, but I did. I had to make the football team not pick me up off the floor, and then the vice principal. I pointed out to him I was protecting his liability, two months later I moved down to Monument Valley to teach art, driving myself in a VW van with a manual transmission.
posted by Oyéah at 9:35 PM on March 30, 2015 [2 favorites]


So apparently the location of the 7th season Perfect Strangers house is an unsolved puzzle to fans of the show. I kind of like being one of the few people who know the answer, so I'm not going to tell them, even though it goes against my natural inclination to be a know-it-all.
posted by hydrophonic at 9:50 PM on March 30, 2015 [1 favorite]


Some people have supernumerary nipples.

I have a transnumerary nipple.
posted by GuyZero at 9:55 PM on March 30, 2015


I am a dilettante musician: I have twiddled my thumbs in a dozen-odd bands. These days I play the occasional jam night and have subbed for absentee musicians in local bands and recorded several albums as a sideman. I have tried my hand at twenty or so instruments and I think I am not that great at any of them, but I can acquit myself okay.

I once got a call from a friend of mine, a much more accomplished musician than I: "Hey, do you know anyone who plays a ______?" (Insert fairly uncommon instrument here). I said half-jokingly that yeah, I had just bought one about three weeks earlier. He asked if I wanted a gig. I tried to beg off, saying I could barely play the thing, but he said it was desperate. I reluctantly said I would give it a shot. The gig was about three weeks long, playing very complex music on an instrument on which I was an absolute beginner. I persevered and practiced relentlessly and managed to do an eminently passable job of it.

Afterwards I was feeling pretty confident. I knew that the Toronto production of a certain Big Broadway Musical was about to go on tour and they were holding auditions. I briefly considered auditioning -- I knew the music backwards and forwards -- and thought I could hold my own as a bassist playing this stuff (I am more comfortable on bass than anything else). I ultimately got talked out of it by wiser heads: other experienced musicians who reminded me that a lot of top-notch session guys would be aiming for that job, so I blew off the audition.

Maybe three years later I met the road manager for that touring company. Making conversation, I mentioned I had almost auditioned for the touring band for that show. "Oh, yeah? Playing what?" Bass, I allowed. "Really? We had a hell of a time finding a bass player. We looked for ages." Argh.
posted by ricochet biscuit at 9:57 PM on March 30, 2015 [1 favorite]


I have been contacted by multiple journalists based on things I've posted on Metafilter. I even wound up in a news article due to something I posted.

Needless to say, I'm pretty careful as to what I say on Metafilter nowadays!
posted by rednikki at 10:04 PM on March 30, 2015 [2 favorites]


Another personal fun fact since we're on a roll with this injury thing: I started riding horses at the age of 8, mostly hunter/jumpers like jaguar, and I was a crazy kid with no sense of self preservation so I was all "I want to only ride the crazy ones." And yet, I've never broken a bone despite getting thrown into wooden fences more times than I could even begin to count. I may have had a few concussions, but I never went to the doctor to get them diagnosed, including when I was in a horrific car accident as an 8 year old, but it doesn't count if it doesn't show up in your medical records. Or at least, that's the rule I'm going with.

Of course, if I had askmefi when I was 12, I could totally see myself writing this question:

I know YANAD, but I was thrown head first into a wooden jump by my horse. I cracked my helmet, and I lost consciousness briefly, and I've had the most excruciating headache for the last 48 hours. Do you think I got a concussion? Should I tell my parents to take me to the doctor? And is it okay for me to go riding today?

My entire adolescence probably would have gone a lot smoother if I had you guys around back then, because no, I didn't tell my parents, and yes, I did go riding that day. And I continued to use that stupid cracked helmet for like the next five years.
posted by litera scripta manet at 10:05 PM on March 30, 2015 [3 favorites]


I saw Henry Hill at the movies when he was in the witness protection program in Kentucky. And of course, the movie was Goodfellas.

It was several years later, after Hill was no longer in the witness protection program and had gone public, that I realized it was him. He really stood out. The way he was dressed. His body language. And he was surrounded by dorky looking guys in their 30's wearing cheap ill-fitting suits. I got a really good look at them after the movie. I ran into them just outside the theater exit. I stopped and stared for about 5 seconds. Incongruous was the word that came to mind. The dorky guys just kept staring back at me. I shrugged it off and walked away.
posted by cwest at 10:07 PM on March 30, 2015 [1 favorite]


I have dreadlocks that are almost as tall as me: 5'5". The picture on my profile page is several years old when they were "only" calf length.When I've googled "long hair", people with hair about my length are described as having "freakishly" long hair. I'm the only person I know who regularly steps on her own hair. (Mostly I'm in a wheelchair so I have to be careful not to do an Isadora Dunca,)
posted by a humble nudibranch at 10:08 PM on March 30, 2015 [4 favorites]


For the first time in my life, I've come across someone else who stepped on a needle and had to have part of it surgically removed -- days after people figured out it was in there. Thanks to Sick Kids in Toronto.

And I made Nancy Reagan cry.
posted by ambient2 at 10:15 PM on March 30, 2015 [2 favorites]


Oh, and I've also never been stung by any bee/wasp/hornet/other insect, and despite being terrified about the fact that there were pretty regular rattle snake sightings at the barn, I never did get bitten by a snake.

Or eaten by an alligator, even though it was considered totally cool to let kids go swim in lakes where you could literally see alligators sunning themselves on the other side of the shore. They would always tell us, "Don't worry, they're more afraid of you than you are of them." Um, I very sincerely doubt that, but alls well that ends well, I guess.

And out of curiosity, I decided to google alligator fatalities, and based on this (incomplete) wikipedia article, it looks my concerns about swimming in lakes filled with alligators were not totally irrational.

Oh, Florida.
posted by litera scripta manet at 10:16 PM on March 30, 2015 [1 favorite]


Random weird sort-of-coincidence thing: a g-g-g-g-uncle by marriage (on my father's side of the family) was this guy, who is possibly best-known, today, for his photos of Abraham Lincoln*. A g-g-g-g-grandfather on my mother's side of the family owned a mill in Kentucky that was built around the turn of the 19th century; one of the stonemasons was Thomas Lincoln.

*My "Lincoln number" is 3, apparently
posted by Pseudonymous Cognomen at 10:18 PM on March 30, 2015


Also: the summer of 1998 I was at an event which was covered in the media -- not front-page New York Times or anything, but people were aware of it. There is a shot which appeared in a magazine or two (statistically, I am sure at least some mefites will have seen the photo) where I am just barely visible. It was a high-angle shot and all that appeared of me in the published shot was me from the ankles down.

That same summer a friend of mine was going across the country to work at a theatre festival. He got the call on short notice and had to prep in a hurry. At the last minute he realized he did not have the proper footwear and had neither the time nor the cash to pick up a pair of proper shoes before he left. He was and is about my size, so as a stopgap I sent him off with a pair of my shoes (the same ones visible in the photo).

During his stint at the festival, he ended up working as an extra in an indie film. At one point -- a banquet scene -- he is prominently visible on screen when a drunk character interrupts the proceedings to deliver a slurred monologue full of shocking revelations about the guest of honour. The drunk guy then collapses right at my friend's feet and the camera lingers on him while he delivers more dialogue. Again with my shoes prominent in the shot.

tl;dr -- in 1988 my shoes were the centre of a media blitz.
posted by ricochet biscuit at 10:19 PM on March 30, 2015 [2 favorites]


I acquired conservation of volume by the young age of four. One of my earliest memories is of an education student who visited our preschool with the assignment of documenting that children that age fail the water-in-different-size-containers test. I kept getting it right and she was completely frustrated. But I knew I was right! Why was she trying to get me to change my answer? How could she not understand that it was the same water?

Heh, me too. My mother, a primary school teacher, actually took me to the freaking doctor at age four, when I "passed" this test. (She had been going to teach her class about conservation of volume and was setting up the containers and the dry rice she was going to use to pour into them. She decided to show my father why kids needed to be taught this stuff by using me as a guinea pig. My response was pretty much the same as yours, and she actually took me to the GP because I was "not developing normally".)
posted by lollusc at 10:48 PM on March 30, 2015 [4 favorites]


I can stand on one leg, stick the other out in front of me and squat all the way down (bum hovering just above ankle) and without touching anything or toppling over or putting the other foot down, stand back up. It looks simple and is (I can do it with either leg) but many people can't so ... my party trick.

When I did my basic training in the military, everyone improved their physical fitness except me. I still came in first in every final challenge (except sprinting) but did worse than my initial benchmarks across the board. It drove my PT instructors nuts.

In 4-H we had cattle judging competitions and I always did well. I won the provincial event one year and placed in the regionals and could have gone to compete to be the best 4-H cow judge in Canada at the CNE (Canadian Nation Exhibition), but it is in Toronto.

I can't donate blood very well, every time I've gone (6x), I heal or clot up the needle before the machine or my heart (not sure how it all works) can pump out the wanted quantity. I've been told the dribblings they do manage to squeeze out of me can still be used for plasma, so it isn't a total lost cause. It also takes like a half hour to 40 minutes for me to not complete the task when other people fill their bags in 5 or 10 minutes and are on to cookies.

I shook Lady Diana's hand (when she was alive).

I never raised my hand in school ever.

I have never had a headache or nosebleed yet.

I've eaten iguana (in a stew, they don't have a lot of meat) and iguana eggs (some dug up, others acquired during dressing (taste like regular eggs but are small so you need many)).
posted by phoque at 10:50 PM on March 30, 2015 [3 favorites]


"I shook Lady Diana's hand (when she was alive)."

I love the fact you felt you needed to clarify this.
posted by lollusc at 10:51 PM on March 30, 2015 [20 favorites]


I wrote an entire book about my adventures in dating (SEX) over the last 4 years, and illustrated it visual journal style,but I'm reluctant to send it to a publisher because it makes 50 shades look tame, and because some of the less x rated (but as funny) stories would be recognised by family and friends, whereupon they would realise that my "number" is larger than all of theirs put together, despite having survived a sexless marriage with a now convicted (I didn't know!) pedophile, and not knowing some basic biology when I started (like this guy told me vaginal lips swell and open on arousal - really?)
Also I once met Joh Bjelke Petersen, and he gave me $50 for shaking his hand (but actually for being the only kid who bothered to enter the state essay competition in my town - again.).
posted by b33j at 11:18 PM on March 30, 2015 [7 favorites]


During sixth grade, all the boys were trying to learn how to make that sound from the The Good The Bad and the Ugly with their hands (It's apparently called Manualism) . I decided to give it a try and found out I was good at it.

In fact I was so good I could do musical tunes. I think I got up to an octave and a half. After that the boys were pretty much disgusted with it all and stopped trying. I went on to annoy everyone until 8th grade graduation with my musical renditions.

Years later I called in to a stupid morning radio show to show off that ability and won tickets to see "A Few Good Men".
posted by lysdexic at 11:30 PM on March 30, 2015 [2 favorites]


Man, reading about regrets - I almost joined a mariachi band in my teens. I was a pretty damned good guitar player. My life wouldn't have been appreciably different, but I think I'd have some fun memories.

I'm slowly getting my music back. If I ever get asked to join a band again, I'm in.
posted by lysdexic at 11:34 PM on March 30, 2015 [2 favorites]


I have gotten so tired of near daily Charley Horses that I only stand on them 5% of the time.

Instead, I have taught myself to meditate through them and breathe, streching carefully and mindfully while laying down until they have subsided.

Not nearly daily anymore but it has been a bad week and they started showing up again.
posted by tilde at 11:56 PM on March 30, 2015


I trained on a Marimba.
posted by clavdivs at 12:29 AM on March 31, 2015


I won a roundtrip flight for two to a Caribbean island two months before the airline closed, bankrupt. Probably payback for working in a "you've won a vacation!" boiler room operation in college.
posted by tilde at 12:46 AM on March 31, 2015 [1 favorite]


I was at the center of TWO minor scandals connected with a seventh-grade poetry contest. First my entry itself was censored - I used a slightly controversial word ( my poem was in the voice of an immigrant kid complaining about the names other kids called him) and the teacher who ran the contest had a special meeting with me to explain why they had to change that word "so we don't hurt anyone's feelings", and I accepted that because I felt like I had to but I was thinking "that's the whole point, dude."

Then they announced I'd come in second to someone else, and when that issue of the school magazine came out I saw the first-place winner had plagiarized something by Robert Louis Stevenson, and immediately stormed into that same teacher's office to Demand Justice, and a couple hours later the teacher formally announced my deposition of the original winner. My own poem kind of sucked now that it was censored, but I knew plagiarism was something that was Just Not Done. And I'm still surprised that a junior high English teacher didn't spot one of Robert Louis Stevenson's most popular kids' poems in the first place.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 12:46 AM on March 31, 2015 [4 favorites]


My hair is so thick that I get regularly told by barbers that I have the thickest hair they have ever cut. I am 47 and this still happens.
posted by vacapinta at 2:11 AM on March 31, 2015 [3 favorites]


One more (these things come to mind so grudgingly):
My uncle was school friends with Willard Carroll, the executive producer of, among other things, The Brave Little Toaster.

abusing the edit window, because my memory of what he actually did on that movie is poop.
posted by Mister Moofoo at 2:16 AM on March 31, 2015 [1 favorite]


Great thread.

I couldn't talk about much of this for a long time. I was in Afghanistan when the Soviets were there. Trying to train what became Al Qaeda on Stingers. They were all older than me and not paying much attention until a Soviet attack helicopter popped over the mountain and strafed us, killing half. I dropped the trainer and took it down with a real one. I sure had their full attention when the lesson resumed with a smaller class. I had 14 holes in my clothes and nary a scratch.

William Colby and I had dinner frequently and picked each others brains.

Got blown clear through a house by a bomb I was trying to defuse in El Salvador and walked away without injuries.

Jogging down a jungle trail in Panama a panther decided the trail was his. I kicked him in the nose and he went wailing back into the jungle.

I was hit by lightning in exactly the same spot my dad was hit 40 years before Not letting my son anywhere near that place.

Been deputized 3 times to help with bizarre situations. Helped find Eric Rudolph by ruling out a large swath of territory that I am very familiar with.

I never told my son anything about that stuff His mom did and I am pissed off because she glorified it and prompted him to go through my stuff, read it all and now thinks he wants to be a soldier. He'd be a good one.

We were trying to stop the Coyotes coming up the pasture towards the barn and the fog came down fast and we suddenly couldn't see far enough to shoot. They really couldn't see either. Took them out with machetes as they came up the chases towards the barn, back to back, swinging. Kid said his allowance needed to go up when we got back in the house and really wanted hot chocolate. He got it.

"Be a cop Iggy. You could make a real fucking difference kiddo. Join the military and you will have no choices." I have nine years left to discourage m'boy from involvement in foreign wars where the outcome will not be clear for many years.

It was a slow night at the taxi co. The other drivers are joining Metafilter because of this wonderful thread. They are smart. You'll like them.
posted by Mr. Yuck at 3:53 AM on March 31, 2015 [54 favorites]


gruesome injuries

We used to keep our animals penned in using electrified fencing (not remotely as terrible as it sounds, since the sheep always had enough wool that if they were so inclined, they would just jump through/over it without any problem), and because it was frequently being broken through and mended, there were always stray bits of wire laying about. One of my paid chores once I was old enough to control it was mow our grass using an old push lawnmower, and one summer I happened to mow over a piece of fence wire. It shot back (through the guard which is explicitly meant to prevent shit like this) and embedded itself in my shin. We spent awhile at the emergency room, and the worst part wasn't when they removed the wire, but when they injected a local anaesthetic right in the fucking wound site before they stitched me up. The next day, I had to go on a choral competition field trip, and I spent the whole day deeply ashamed that my injured leg was all hairy bc I couldn't shave it properly (our chorus uniform involved a pair of white shorts [don't even get me started on the year that I got my period while we were on the field trip and nobody had a pad I could borrow]).
posted by catch as catch can at 4:04 AM on March 31, 2015 [1 favorite]


We had a history of our house researched because we live in a historic district and found that we are only the fourth owners of the house in the almost 150 years of its existence.

The first owner was a locally prominent lawyer who was a delegate to the republican convention that nominated Lincoln for president. He lived here with his wife and a live-in Irish maid named Mary. In the mid 19th century, the only Catholics who were allowed to live here were servants. The Irish slum was about five block south of here on the floodplain that now holds Heinz Field and assorted attractions. There's an entertaining but somewhat soapy novel written about the class tensions in this neighborhood during that time called Valley of Decision which was turned into a decent movie starring Gregory Peck, Greer Garson and an eight year old Dean Stockwell.

The second owner was a bank founder and president who ran a prominent bank on Fourth Avenue in downtown Pittsburgh.

The third owner started and ran a very early bus company from 1912 until 1925 when he was bought out by the Pittsburgh Railways Company that eventually became Port Authority Transit. This explains why our relatively small inner-city rowhouse has a nine car garage with an 18 foot ceiling held up by steel i-beams. Our official name in the neighborhood is "the couple that bought that house with the giant garage".
posted by octothorpe at 4:29 AM on March 31, 2015 [3 favorites]


During my first live-in relationship which lasted for about 4 years, every single time after my boyfriend and I had had sex and he was withdrawing his penis I said, in an uncannily good imitation of Patrick Stewart as Jean Luc Picard, "disengage".
posted by h00py at 4:39 AM on March 31, 2015 [31 favorites]


I would be really delighted to hear more about gruesome injuries

Well Greg, as you ask:

A couple of years ago I was walking (staggering) home from a nightclub, with two pretty girls in tow. I wasn't sure how the situation had come about, but I decided I should capitalise on it nonetheless. So there I am, walking down the road, trying to think of a way to impress the girls, when in a moment of divine inspiration, the answer comes to me - PARKOUR.

Now, I can't do parkour, and I am fairly malcoordinated at the best of times, but I wasn't going to let that stop me. Without warning, I set off a sprint, bounded effortlessly onto a bench, attempted a particularly impressive jump from the bench onto a litter bin (screaming “PARKOUR!” as I flew through the air, and... landed, perched on top of the bin.

The bin slowly begins to topple over, and I prepare for a graceful dismount. My feet touch the floor, but I realise that one of my outstretched arms is still, irrevocably outstretched. I look up, and notice the pointed railings, and then my hand. I turn to my companions "Ah, I think that's gone all the way through" I stammer. They don't believe me and turn and begin to walk away.

"WAIT" I scream in panic, they turn back towards me, a hint of concern crossing their faces. I pull my hand up off the railing, and hold it between us. We make eye contact, with my hand still between us. In the centre of its palm was a gaping hole, a little larger than a ten pence piece.
posted by Ned G at 5:47 AM on March 31, 2015 [8 favorites]


I sat across the aisle from Ed Begley, Jr., on an airplane once, a celebrity encounter so minor that I forgot it at the time of the dull celebrity encounters thread.

When I got hit by a car, I broke my arm right below the humeral head, and didn't need surgery because the shaft shoved itself right back into the ball of the humerus when I bounced off the pavement. Also, SPD mailed me a ticket except they got my address wrong, and I only learned about it a year later when the skip tracers found me. Never run for the bus, kids, life will punish you.

I can crack my lumbar vertebrae the same way I crack my knuckles.

I am really not very fascinating.
posted by gingerest at 5:48 AM on March 31, 2015 [1 favorite]


I thought I had nothing to say, but after reading about the lion petting (great story!), here's a story from the other end of the size scale.

My husband and I once had an adorable little hedgehog named Jill. We let her roam free in our (suitably hedgehog-proofed) upper floor. When she got older, she developed a tumour on her lip that the vets could do nothing about (surgery was out for some reason I can't recall now). However, it meant that she could no longer eat her expensive dry food and now had to eat expensive wet food. No problem, right? Except that the first time we offered it to her she sat and stared at the food and then stared at me, waiting for something.

I was baffled. I couldn't think what she was wanting. I tried offering it to her on my finger, prepared to help her eat it bit by bit if necessary. That didn't work. I tried rearranging the clumps of wet food on the plate. That didn't work. I tried talking to her. That didn't work. I tried singing to her (no surprise that this didn't work). Finally, in desperation, I grabbed the closest book (a book of poetry by Canadian poet Miranda Pearson) and started reading a poem. Jill immediately started eating.

Every meal after that she would wait until I started to read to her before she would eat (a hedgehog meal is about 2 poems long). We worked our way through all of Miranda Pearson's book and started in on one by Tom Wayman, also a Canadian poet. We got about halfway through that book when Jill's life came to an end.

I couldn't finish Tom Wayman's book for almost 6 months. It just wasn't the same, reading it without her.
posted by Amy NM at 6:08 AM on March 31, 2015 [127 favorites]


Oh! OK. I thought of a good story. When I was a kid, I was really interested in WWII in all facets, but had only really read about the civilian experience of the war (Holocaust narratives, home front, Japanese internment camps, the Blitz, etc.). In sixth grade, my dad gave me a giant book of Ernie Pyle columns, which I thought were amazing. The coolest part was that, one evening in North Africa, Ernie Pyle was driven around by a man named John Coughlin who was from Manchester, NH (just like me!). So this launched me on a quest to find John Coughlin and figure out what happened to him. I looked in old yearbooks in the library, I looked in the phone book and cold-called random John Coughlins, all to no avail.

Manchester has a really great local news columnist who I e-mailed to ask if he had any ideas about how to find this guy. He tried a few different avenues, but had no success. However, he had his own Ernie Pyle column book he liked, and again, there were a few guys from Manchester in that book - Jim Bresnahan and Armand Provencher. He'd never tried to find them - though always been curious - but after I got in touch with him, he called the first James Bresnahan and Armand Provencher in the Manchester phone book and they happened to be the right guys.

So he organized a meeting between the three of us - we talked and I asked a bunch of questions and they were pretty taken with an eleven-year-old girl asking about D-Day and the Battle of the Bulge and quite friendly. They'd been in the second wave of D-Day, and done a bunch of really amazing things. That ended up being in the paper, and then some folks in Manchester who knew John Coughlin read it and put us in touch. I got to meet him and his wife the year after. Unfortunately, he passed away a few years ago, but they actually wrote about it in his obituary, which made me very happy. They were a very nice group of men who were very patient with an enthusiastic kid asking all sorts of questions, and it is still among the coolest things that I've done.
posted by ChuraChura at 6:14 AM on March 31, 2015 [21 favorites]


I speak German well when drunk.

I started learning German in fourth grade, and when I took it in high school, I managed to slide through with little real mastery. This caused me some regret, but at age 18, it was crowded out by other things (music, girls, &c.). In college I somehow tested out of the language requirement, so my German was at its lowest ebb as I headed off to England -- no foreign language to learn: score! -- for a semester abroad. I was told by a native speaker there that I spoke pretty good German, for no actual reason and at no one request, when I was drunk.

--

I am surprised to read things in this list that I can do but which I hadn't thought to mention: moving my nostrils; moving my ears independently; fitting my whole fist in my mouth; etc. Dang, I am a pretty complex guy!
posted by wenestvedt at 6:20 AM on March 31, 2015


I would be really delighted to hear more about gruesome injuries or salacious sexual proclivities or foods you cook really well.

The only injury I have ever received that has left a permanent mark happened about seven years ago. I was coming home late from a party - it was about 4 in the morning, snowy, and I was walking back to my apartment. I swear I was sober, but I really, really had to pee. So, across the street from my apartment, I decided to duck behind a dry cleaners and relieve myself.

As I said, it was snowy, so I slid down the muddy slope behind the shop and did my thing. After I was done, I started to climb back up to the sidewalk when I slipped and instinctively jammed my hand out to stop my fall. I dragged my hand down the rough brick facade as I fell on my face, and then staggered the rest of the way back to the sidewalk, walked across the street, and entered my apartment building.

That's when I noticed the blood pouring out of my hand.

Since the elevator was busted again, I walked up six flights of stairs to my apartment, leaving a trail of blood behind me. Got in my unit, cleaned out my hand, and stood in the bathroom with my hand in the sink wondering if I should go to the hospital. Nah, I thought, it's four in the morning. Who knows who's working the graveyard shift? Plus, it's so far away... The hospital was two blocks from my apartment.

I decided I would wrap up my hand and go to bed, and if I woke up in the morning I would deal with the injury then. Wrapped up my hand with toilet paper(!), taped it, and then fell asleep. When I woke up, I went to CVS and got some butterfly closures and bandages and called it good.

I have never been to the hospital for myself, ever. Even if I should have.
posted by backseatpilot at 6:23 AM on March 31, 2015


I went to a Rush concert but only saw the tops of their heads.

Once upon a time in the 1990s I accompanied a person to a Rush concert in Worcester, Mass. On the way to the show, we stopped so he could buy a bottle of Jagermeister. He stuffed it down his pants to evade the security, and drank most of it in the men's room. On the way to our terrible, last-minute seats, he muttered "Follow me" and suddenly turned up one of the stairways. As an usher walked down past us, we kept climbing until we got to the top row. He walked right to this door and shot through, and we hustled up a steel stairway into the (completely dark) lighting catwalks, where we then roamed freely.

He was completely drunk and irrational. I chased him around the catwalks for about a hour, and only stopped a couple of times to look down at the music onstage. At one point he wanted to pee, and couldn't find a bathroom up there. (You think?) So he walks over to a giant room-sized dark shape that I still think was an air-handler, and peed into it. The expected disasters -- falling, knocking loose a light, etc. -- never materialized.

Even as it was happening I couldn't believe it, and tucked a small piece of rope into my pocket. When I found it there the next morning it was like waking up with Cinderella's slipper in hand -- except that it was evidence of something that I really didn't want to find again.
posted by wenestvedt at 6:38 AM on March 31, 2015 [5 favorites]


Back in the 2000s, I was briefly internet-famous.

Firstly, I posted this picture to Flickr (made in MS Paint) because I couldn't get a phone signal during the 7/7 attacks. It's still my most-viewed picture. Clay Shirky wrote about it in his book, Wolf Blitzer said my name on the air and a friend of mine teaching English in Japan saw it in the Japan Times. That was weird.

Secondly, the bombings catalysed a change in a relationship I was having with a girl in Colorado (who I met through Flickr) into something more. Basically, when she thought I might be dead, she realised how much she cared for me. Reader, I married her. This is also why I always answer UK immigration questions on Ask Me.

And it's also why I'm still bitter about how badly Yahoo fucked up the only website more important to me than Mefi.
posted by Happy Dave at 6:50 AM on March 31, 2015 [27 favorites]


Stupid human tricks:

I played the piano for a Christian Children's Fund TV ad that may have only run regionally (not sure how widely it was distributed.) But I used to point it out during commercial breaks on Comedy Central years ago and impress very few people.

The lineup of my current band includes someone who was in a Huggies diapers TV ad when he was a baby, and someone else who was a featured extra in the Spielberg film Lincoln who got bonus pay because his facial hair was real.
posted by emelenjr at 6:54 AM on March 31, 2015


In Bali I bought two Indonesian hand puppets of people farting. I had great plans for these hilarious puppets, but they were stolen an hour later by monkeys. Despite having many loose items on my person, the monkeys absconded only with the puppets.

For a few months I helped a guy train his lion cub. This guy also kept horses, and from the day I started until the day I left, the lion cub would obsessively watch the horses when we weren't working with him and he wasn't eating. (The cub was very cute. I'll have to hunt down photos.)

My friend and I used to go to Sea World often, and one of the younger orcas started to recognize us and apparently took a liking to us. Once, on her birthday, we were splashed some water over a barrier to massage her back. In turn, she spat a whole squid back.

Once, I met Marilyn Manson. After we briefly chatted and as I was leaving, he (very awkwardly I might add) wordlessly held his arms towards me, palms up. I was pretty sure he didn't want a hug or a double high-five so I opted to just stick my hands forward and follow his lead. He thanked me for our conversation and very gently but sincerely squeezed my hands. His hands were extraordinarily soft. I must find out what his moisturizer is.
posted by nicodine at 6:57 AM on March 31, 2015 [7 favorites]


I once had a job typing the number 5. I lost it when it was outsourced to a company in India.
posted by kyrademon at 6:59 AM on March 31, 2015 [10 favorites]


I would be really delighted to hear more about gruesome injuries or salacious sexual proclivities or foods you cook really well.

A friend has told me that my jambalaya is better than the stuff you can get in one of New York's noted Cajun places. I have absolutely no Louisiana ancestry whatsoever and didn't even visit the place until I was 27, so I've been amused by that. (My secret: I'm very particular about the sausage.)

While on a school band trip to Puerto Rico when I was sixteen, I was picking my way along a sand dune at a San Juan beach, and slipped and fell on my back smack into a huge bed of sea urchins. I completely flipped my shit and thrashed around for a few seconds, making sure that all of my extremities were nice and stuck by them; I think I also got a jellyfish sting while I was at it. A friend helped me get a grip and retrieved me, and got me back to shore - where we discovered my shoes had been stolen. The school nurse sighed heavily, gave me a big Benadryl and spent the hourlong bus ride back to our hotel trying to brainstorm a treatment (giving my hands and feet a long super-hot soak in the hotel sink, then going to bed with clean socks on all extremities). Seemed to work.

When I was fourteen I was a random extra in the school production of Guys and Dolls; the director decided all of us would be present during the scene in the Save-a-Soul mission. He charged us with making random crowd noise when I walked in, but I decided I was going to come up with something funny to say "in case the people in the front row overhear me". I came up with, "this is stupid - what am I doing here, I'm Jewish!" I liked it so much that I decided I'd make sure the people in the front row heard me. And on opening night, they did. ....and so did the people in the back row and so did everyone else in the damn theater. Fortunately, they all laughed, so when I meekly went to the director to apologize he just said, "....it's funny. Keep it in. Congratulations, you have a line." ...but for the rest of the run I periodically had cast members coming up and asking me whether I really was Jewish, despite my having one of the world's WASPiest names and my regular attendance at the local Catholic church.

It's probably not hard to get laid on Mardi Gras. But if you and your swain are both staying at a youth hostel, it's hard to find an opportune place to do that. We ended up behind a tool shed.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 7:01 AM on March 31, 2015 [1 favorite]


I sat across the aisle from Ed Begley, Jr., on an airplane once, a celebrity encounter so minor that I forgot it at the time of the dull celebrity encounters thread.

I shared an elevator in an airport- just me and him - with Rick Steves. Thing is, I didn't know who he was. I only paid attention to him at all because he looked at me and smiled in a way that I now realized was "Yep. I'm Rick Steves!"

So, later I learned who he was and was like "That's the dude I was in the elevator with who gave me that weird smile!"
posted by vacapinta at 7:03 AM on March 31, 2015 [4 favorites]


Twenty five years after the fact, I was able to resolve a matter of longstanding suspicion and resentment between my parents by informing them that the mystery panties that were discovered in the basement back in 1988 had been mine.
posted by nom de poop at 7:06 AM on March 31, 2015 [18 favorites]


My only detention was on the last day of high school, for skipping latin class. I told my mom I skipped just so I could have the full high school experience, but it was really because I wanted to get a single timbit.
posted by everybody had matching towels at 7:16 AM on March 31, 2015 [2 favorites]


I shared an elevator in an airport- just me and him - with Rick Steves.

I shared an elevator, just me and them, with Steven Tyler and his wife (girlfriend? groupie?) a few years back at a hospital. I knew what departments were on the floor he got off on so I was always curious what he was there for. Neither one was good.

His wife (girlfriend? groupie?) looked about 30 years younger than him. At one point he said something about being excited and she said "Well, you excite ME!"

It was actually kind of touching.

He looked exactly like you would picture Steven Tyler trying to look incognito, and failing.
posted by bondcliff at 7:32 AM on March 31, 2015 [3 favorites]


I would be really delighted to hear more about gruesome injuries...

You know that thing where you're on a swing and you wonder if you can swing all the way around?

I wasn't trying to do that, but I was trying to beat my cousin for distance in a jumping-off-the-swing contest at the end of summer just before I started second grade. So even after a couple of "Um, that's probably high enough" type nervous comments I kept pushing to go higher because my cousin's last jump was quite impressive. This was on standard-issue Sears backyard swingset with the rigid plastic swings in a backyard in a tiny village in a mostly forested area near the CT/MA border.

So I don't know what happens if you go all the way around but what happens if you don't have quite enough speed and you reach the apex of the arc is that instead of swinging backwards or continuing forwards you fall directly down in a straight line. In the process I fell mostly off the swing, but my right knee stayed hooked around the swing. This held my leg firmly in place so that when the rest of my body twisted during the fall my femur shattered into pieces from the stress placed on it.

Of course we didn't know that exact diagnosis at the time, but the entirety of the thirty or so people there who had been previously enjoying a party immediately knew it was Not Good. A nurse was in the crowd and I ended up being put onto some kind of flat board and into the back of a station wagon. We drove about a half hour and then I got x-rayed, then x-rayed again when the first x-ray only showed the (plastic) turtle that was in my pocket. Then I was wrapped up from toe to head in a giant ace bandage and transported by ambulance back to the hospital in NY near my home, about a two hour ride. I kept imploring them to run the sirens but it being the middle of the night they opted not to.

I was in the hospital for some time with my leg immobilized/in traction. I was instructed to do exercises where I grabbed a bar and sat up but apparently I exercised too much and they told me to cut it out. Eventually I had surgery, was put in a cast that ran from my toes, up my right leg and to the middle of my chest. I was in this cast until about February (requiring me to be tutored at home since I couldn't go to school) and then on crutches for some time after.

Previous to this I had been one of the fastest runners on the playground but I never regained that level of physical ability through most of grade school.
posted by mikepop at 7:35 AM on March 31, 2015 [2 favorites]


I would be really delighted to hear more about gruesome injuries

I alluded briefly to this before on the blue but that was most of a decade ago, so now It Can Be Told:

Age 22, and I was on my way into work at the only job I ever had in my life where I had to punch a clock. I was on a bicycle travelling the ten-minute route down the side streets to get to work, and was cutting my time very close. It was 6:52 PM and I was perhaps seven minutes away at full speed, and anxious not to miss my 7:00 PM start time. (Incidentally, in a few hundred shifts there I never was late, before or after this.)

Making a corner at high speed on a bike, you of course lean into the turn. As I zoomed around a corner I recall noting peripherally, "Hey, there sure is a lot of gravel on the str---" before suddenly an entire planet hit me just above the corner of my right eye.

I had fallen, cracked my head, and skidded across much of the gravel-filled street on my right side. Luckily there were no cars near to me or I might not be here to tell the tale.

I stood up painfully and surveyed the carnage: bent handlebars, twisted front wheel, broken glasses. My biggest concern was being late for work, and it was gradually I realized that I was injured too, but that was minor (in retrospect, I was in shock).

With my specs broken, I squinted around for a pay phone to call work. None to be found. I was still a decade away from having a cell phone, so I reckoned that my best bet was to knock on the front doors on this residential street to see if I could beg the use of someone's phone. I hoisted my wrecked bike onto my shoulder and climb onto the nearest porch and knock on the door.

Through the blur of uncorrected vision, it seemed I could see people moving around inside at the back of the house, but no one answered. I moved on to the next house and repeated this, and the next and the next; all with no answer. At the fifth house, an ashed-faced man a bit older than me answered the door. I spoke: "Hi, sorry to bother you -- I wonder if I could use your phone for a sec."

"To call an ambulance? Hey, we can drive you to the hospital."

"Oh no, no. Nothing like that. I had a little bike accident and banged the bike up, but I just want to call work and say I am going to be a few minutes late."

"Mister, I can see your skull through your forehead right now."

I had gradually realized that yes, I did have a bit of blood on my shirt and my arm was beginning to sting. At his insistence, I set my bike down on his porch and stepped inside to look in the bathroom mirror.

He was speaking the truth: a flap of skin the size of a mailing label was hanging down next to my right eye. Where it had been attached, there was a mess of hamburger and the the glitter of glass slivers and indeed, a little bit of bloody bone visible. Most of the right side of my face and my right ear were heavily scraped from the gravel, and there was a chunk of my T-shirt gone at the right shoulder with a silver-dollar-sized chunk of flesh gone beneath it. Most of the blood I was dripping through the neighbourhood and on this nice fellow's bathroom floor came from my right forearm, which is where all my weight had gone as a slid though the gravel: I had abraded way a lot of skin on the outside from elbow to wrist and it was a mess of meat and clotting blood. Along the rib cage was some tearing of my shirt but I had not really broken the skin, so it was just bruising. I had been wearing jeans and not shorts, so save for a bruise I found later on my knee, I was okay below the mid-section.

I took the guy up on his offer to drive me to emergency, leaving the wreckage of my bike on his porch (and apologizing in Canadian fashion for all the blood I was leaving everywhere, although he put some towels down in his car to keep it from looking like a gangland hit scene). At the ER, it was a minor comedy of errors, as the doctor was on her first day at that hospital and the nurse was on her first day ever as a nurse, so there was lot of exploration of the treatment room as they looked for gauze and sutures and such.

I broke no bones but the serious swelling in the arm meant that they weren't sure it still went in a straight line, so X-rays were the order of the day.

As the shock gradually receded, I became aware of a single puncture I had not noticed before. As I mentioned, I landed on my right side and all the major wounds were on the right. However, at the ER I noticed that on the inner left forearm, maybe four inches back from the wrist, there was a single small wound. I initially thought I must have hit my arm on the bike as I fell, but a bit more exploration revealed I had dislocated my left thumb and it had bent far enough back that the thumbnail had punctured my forearm. However, true to the somewhat confused treatment that I received that evening, I somehow wound up with a tensor bandage on my right wrist over the gauze wrapped around my forearm while my left thumb was unconfined.

I was off work for a couple of weeks, and through copious amounts of Polysporin the arm healed nicely. Save for a little scarring at the elbow, that is, but no one has attractive elbow skin. It took nineteen stitches to close up my forehead and while much of the scar is hidden by my eyebrow, anyone who has seen my raise my eyebrows can confirm that a deep wrinkle appears on the right side to this day where the scar was. Fortuitously, the scar was in the same place where I already had a scar from a few months earlier when I had tripped on a curb, fallen and broken my glasses and injured the same spot. If you are going to have facial scars, may as well have them all in the same place, I say.

Not long after this, I bought my first bike helmet.
posted by ricochet biscuit at 7:36 AM on March 31, 2015 [15 favorites]


In a much shorter (but still gruesome) story that took place in my own backyard, I slid into home during a game of whiffle ball and continued sliding until I hit the chain-link fence behind home plate. The ground was fairly eroded under the fence and my leg slid under and the lower barb of where the fences ends braided together stabbed directly into my thigh, giving me a puncture wound that in retrospect definitely called for stitches. I still have a weird scar from that one.
posted by mikepop at 7:42 AM on March 31, 2015


I once gave Brad Dourif directions to the DragonCon room they were doing Lord of the Rings stuff.

I had to learn how to make my own tortillas when I moved to the UK, because none of the local shops had any. Thankfully, I can get them by the kilo now.

My next tattoo is going to be Avatar: The Last Airbender-themed. But I might also get a Babylon 5 one too. Because this September will be my 15th wedding anniversary, and I need to mark the occasion.
posted by Katemonkey at 7:47 AM on March 31, 2015 [2 favorites]


I actually have a Most Cartoonish Injury anecdote - you know that cliche from cartoons where someone steps on a rake that's lying on the ground and the handle flies up and whangs them in the face?

I've actually done that. I was walking into a prop closet and preparing to clean it up so it could be used as a spare dressing room for a play I was working on, and there was a rake lying just so in the middle of the floor.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 8:03 AM on March 31, 2015 [2 favorites]


> I'm still surprised that a junior high English teacher didn't spot one of Robert Louis Stevenson's most popular kids' poems in the first place.

My brother's high school English teacher thought George Eliot was a man.
posted by languagehat at 8:05 AM on March 31, 2015 [3 favorites]


> Kevin Kline cursed at me in a parking garage

Did it sound like Mr. Fischoeder demanding your past due rent? Because in my mind, it does.
posted by I am the Walrus at 8:32 AM on March 31, 2015 [2 favorites]


I have a pet axolotl named wani-chan. His name is Japanese for alligator, because he has big dreams.

Soccer is the sport of choice for all athletically-inclined relatives on both sides of my family. Except for me. I'm a basketball player. I'm also the shortest out of all of us. Even my two elementary school aged cousins are taller than I am.

I have never had a black eye. Or a broken bone. This is due to sheer luck rather than any particular care for personal safety, though.

When I was young, my dad's side of the family would all get together for camping trips. I have a lot of great memories of running around in the woods with my cousins.... and then there are the ones which end with me getting thrown in the river we always camped by. When I was three, my cousins were ahead of me on the trail back to camp and disturbed a nest of yellow jackets. Which then all attacked me (and my dad, who had been watching us). Apparently I was stung something like 20 times and Dad only a couple before he tossed me into the river and jumped in after to get the bees off us. I only remember the buzzing and then water. A few years later my cousins and I were roasting marshmallows, and my cousin's caught on fire. He pulled it out of the flames too quickly and the entire burning sticky sugary mess flew through the air and affixed itself to my cheek. Once again, the river was the quickest way to handle the problem.

Remarkably, I still like camping. And my cousins.
posted by emmling at 8:35 AM on March 31, 2015 [3 favorites]


My only detention was on the last day of high school, for skipping latin class.

I got a detention (I think my only one) in middle school for going to the library during lunch period, after I had finished my lunch, in order to check out books.
posted by jaguar at 8:44 AM on March 31, 2015 [4 favorites]


I once called my BFF from Vice President Al Gore's secure phone. Allegedly.



I can put my tongue up my nose. This is a big hit with 7 year olds. I generally don't show grown-ups though.

Back when I frequented those types of places, this was my go-to bar trick.
posted by Room 641-A at 8:45 AM on March 31, 2015


I don't speak Romanian beyond a hundred or so words, but when Comrade Doll and I decided to get married, she wanted me to ask her dad's blessing. He was very sick and didn't have long and she knew it would mean a lot to him. So I memorized an entire speech about how I would treat her with respect and kindness, I would treat her as a partner in all things, and I would love her for all my days. I practiced this speech in Romanian the entire flight until my pronunciation was very solid and I had the entire thing down.

When we visited her dad in the hospital, I asked for some time alone with him and made my speech. He listened, smiling, tears welling up. Then, when I had finished, he grasped my hand and began to speak. From his cadence and fluidity and emotion, I can only assume it was a lovely speech. But since I do not actually speak Romanian, but had simply learned to recite a single speech, I hadn't the foggiest idea what he was saying.

So when he was done, there was a brief pause.

"Uh, OK?" I asked.

"Foarte okay," he said.

I miss her dad. He was great.
posted by DirtyOldTown at 8:48 AM on March 31, 2015 [26 favorites]


I have never had a black eye.

I have, but only very, very rarely. I have never broken a bone. I do not bruise visibly. I mean, it'll still be tender, but there won't be any discoloration. Playing basketball (a lot of my various disfigurements come from pick up basketball, like the pinkie finger that cannot straighten), I came down on a friend's foot, so that my entire foot turned inside, and I felt the bottom of my leg bone touch the court. I evidently tore then tendon that goes across the top of my foot clean through. I had a slight purple line at the bottom of my foot. Another time, I was on defense and dove for the ball right as the ball handler tried to go around me. At full speed, each going the other way, we smashed our faces together. I saw stars, and then, lying on my back, I saw my glasses flying through the air. Two days later, there was slight yellowness around my eye. Five minutes after the collision, the other guy's eye was nearly shut.

Meanwhile, if you grip my sister's arm with even a slight amount of pressure, she'll bruise in the shape of your fingers. She's essentially Mr. Glass from Unbreakable, and aside from my tendons, spinal discs, and assorted ligaments, I am Bruce Willis' character.
posted by Ghidorah at 8:55 AM on March 31, 2015


I designed an official Lego model which you can buy (I don't work for Lego, and I don't mean one of the Lego Ideas models either).

Lego have flown me around the world to build and demo cool models at science shows. I get paid in Lego parts (there is no pleasure greater than a surprise Lego K8 packing box showing up at your door).

I have the very mild superpower of knowing exactly how long it will take to get between two places, and that my wife will always underestimate that time...
posted by Not on your nellie at 9:06 AM on March 31, 2015 [4 favorites]


I have never had a black eye. Or a broken bone. This is due to sheer luck rather than any particular care for personal safety, though.

This was me until a few years ago, when I broke a couple of toes.

I have (apparently) an epic tolerance for drink and I never ever ever get hangovers. I have been out at epic bacchanals, downed twenty or thirty drinks in an evening, and get up five hours later feeling like I want to play Frisbee golf or something. Once I woke up after an evening of revelry feeling poorly and thought, "aha, maybe my streak is broken." It turned out I had the flu. Either that, or my lifelong allotment of hangovers was compressed into a single four-day period of misery, because that has never happened again.
posted by ricochet biscuit at 9:14 AM on March 31, 2015 [1 favorite]


I actually have a Most Cartoonish Injury anecdote

I will see you one rake and raise you a piano falling on me. Even my doctor didn't believe me when I went in for treatment, because who does that happen to? No one.
posted by corb at 9:18 AM on March 31, 2015 [11 favorites]


rb, if you're older than 35, your powers to drink without suffering after astound and impress me. If you're younger than that, wait.
posted by DirtyOldTown at 9:20 AM on March 31, 2015 [10 favorites]


I got hit in the chin with a slap shot on, like, Day 3 of managing my high school's hockey team. I am pretty sure my braces allowed me to keep my teeth, but they imprinted themselves on my inner lip. My mother was horrified, HORRIFIED that her poor little freshman daughter showed up at home with a giant ice pack, and my chin was purple for like two months.

It was the coolest thing that had ever happened to me. I got SO much cred with the senior guys.

And corb, sorry to break it to you, but it happened to my friend in middle school. It was not pretty.
posted by St. Hubbins at 9:21 AM on March 31, 2015 [1 favorite]


I have voluntary nystagmus!

Holy crap, there's a name for the weird eye-vibratey thing I can do!
posted by Akhu at 9:22 AM on March 31, 2015 [4 favorites]


I have a small scar on my upper lip from a duck bite when I was three or four years old. (I'm 42.) I was at Grant's Farm in St. Louis, I walked up to a duck, and it bit me. It's slightly unfortunate that my parents are not the litigious type, because they could have sued the Busch beer family for the lifelong scar inflicted upon their little one.
posted by dlugoczaj at 9:25 AM on March 31, 2015 [4 favorites]


I have a weirdly high tolerance to pain, or maybe just a stoic reaction to it, and have had since early childhood. My older brother would wail his head off at any trivial hurt, whereas I would not vocally acknowledge major injuries, or sit somewhere quietly until the pain faded.

That was me, too. (Still is, really.) If I had a dollar for every time the pediatrician yelled at my mother for not bringing me in sooner, I'd be a happy woman.


One of my earliest memories is of an education student who visited our preschool with the assignment of documenting that children that age fail the water-in-different-size-containers test. yt I kept getting it right and she was completely frustrated. But I knew I was right! Why was she trying to get me to change my answer?

Man, that reminds me of the second-grade music teacher who yelled and screamed at me that I couldn't possibly already know the words to "The Star-Spangled Banner" or the second, third, and fourth verses to "America the Beautiful," and wouldn't let me prove I did. Would it have killed her to just say, "Hey, that's great; why don't you just sit quietly while I teach them to the rest of the class?"
posted by The Underpants Monster at 9:52 AM on March 31, 2015 [4 favorites]


Interesting fact about me: I once owned a dog whose mother was the sister of a dog owned by Mac Davis. I am not making this up.
posted by Daddy-O at 10:03 AM on March 31, 2015 [3 favorites]


The first three times I went outside of North America, I interacted with the police of that country. I ended up causing a bribe to be given in Russia, yelled at by an Italian cop for buying something from an unlicensed vendor and being interviewed as a witness in an assault case in China.

The last two are boring the first one, well, the chain around Lenin's tomb will not support weight. The handyman for Red Square in the 00's is a saint and in 2000 you could bribe a Russian cop (or maybe he was military, not quite sure) for $20, hard US currency. I ended up not needing to talk to the US Embassy to get my but out of hot water for utter stupidity.

Multiple family members have had FBI files.

I have a picture of me being held as a baby by William Kunstler.

I had my very first celebrity sighting ever last month. I don't know how you people manage to run into them so regularly. Bill Nighy is really tall.

I have slept through two earthquakes and not noticed the third one I was in.

I have had a hand in constructing multiple trebuchets.
posted by Hactar at 10:03 AM on March 31, 2015 [1 favorite]


I photobombed Elon Musk recently.

It made my year.
posted by Thistledown at 10:05 AM on March 31, 2015 [2 favorites]


I have a small scar on my upper lip from a duck bite when I was three or four years old.

Geese and chickens hate me! I got attacked by a rooster when I was maybe three years old. There was so much blood that my mom was sure it had blinded me. It was just a scary wound that should have gotten stitches but (thanks hippie parents) did not. I still have a scar up in my hairline.
posted by jessamyn (retired) at 10:19 AM on March 31, 2015 [3 favorites]


That was me, too. (Still is, really.) If I had a dollar for every time the pediatrician yelled at my mother for not bringing me in sooner, I'd be a happy woman.

Every single woman I know has an almost comically high pain tolerance, whether or not they have experienced childbirth. I credit this to years of negative socialization towards women "acting girly/like crybabies/etc" plus the sad fact that our legitimate existing medical/pain conditions are more often than not treated with suspicion and derision by the medical community regardless of the practitioner's gender.

See also: the hilarious (largely historical at this point i hope) supposition that women would faint at the sight of blood.
posted by poffin boffin at 10:21 AM on March 31, 2015 [8 favorites]


I once mailed 3 unsolicited pairs of basketballs to Hillary Clinton. She wrote me back!
posted by We put our faith in Blast Hardcheese at 10:25 AM on March 31, 2015 [1 favorite]


Here's another one: a livejournal entry of mine was the subject of an FPP on the blue, years before I joined metafilter.
posted by KathrynT at 10:39 AM on March 31, 2015


Geese and chickens hate me!

I remember when playing Zelda: Ocarina of Time how I thought it was funny that if you kicked enough chickens, they would attack and actually hurt you. Then I learned from you people about the dangers of geese and chickens. Now I will give them all a respectful fear wherever I go.

In case they KNOW.
posted by corb at 10:40 AM on March 31, 2015 [1 favorite]


Robyn Hitchcock once thought I was trying to steal his guitar as I helped him into a venue in Edinburgh.

Robyn Hitchcock once drew a small picture for me for no real reason. Being socially inept at the best of times, I think I responded by making a very quiet, very high-pitched squeaking noise?
posted by We put our faith in Blast Hardcheese at 10:44 AM on March 31, 2015 [3 favorites]


I can flip sixteen quarters off my elbow and catch them with one hand.

I use this fun fact in interviews, and was only once called upon to perform it. I got the job.
posted by kidsleepy at 10:46 AM on March 31, 2015 [1 favorite]


Geese and chickens hate me!

This implies your one weird trick really must be pretty damn weird.
posted by Jpfed at 10:46 AM on March 31, 2015 [6 favorites]


This is going to sound way more debbie downer than it's meant...
but my maternal grandfather committed suicide with a shotgun (we were not close, and he was NOT a good man), and I found a piece of his skull in the bathroom long after the body had been removed.

That's by far the weirdest thing that's ever happened to me.
posted by DigDoug at 10:48 AM on March 31, 2015 [6 favorites]


I've received a written warning for "Excessive acceleration onto a highway".
posted by Mitheral at 10:53 AM on March 31, 2015


Gruesome injury:

I had to go to the ER for a paper cut on my cornea. I was too hasty in grabbing an invoice coming out of the printer. It was so miserable!

Sexual proclivity:

Not mine, but in the past few months, I've made a lot of money teaching crossdressers how to do their own hair and makeup. I'm patient and discreet.
posted by houseofdanie at 10:54 AM on March 31, 2015 [3 favorites]


Here's another one: a livejournal entry of mine was the subject of an FPP on the blue, years before I joined metafilter.

Show and tell!
posted by houseofdanie at 10:56 AM on March 31, 2015 [1 favorite]


Here's another one: a livejournal entry of mine was the subject of an FPP on the blue, years before I joined metafilter.

A long, long time ago, before Music, before AskMe, a semi-musical thing I did on my blog made the front page. I was all excited but then the site crashed, which it seemed to do every ten minutes or so back in the day, and so I never became Metafilter famous.

I'm not even sure I still have the musical thing anywhere, and if I did it would probably seem very, very lame.

and I found a piece of his skull in the bathroom long after the body had been removed.

I would give anything to have a piece of my grandfather's skull.
posted by bondcliff at 10:59 AM on March 31, 2015


I had to go to the ER for a paper cut on my cornea.

That sounds so miserable. And strangely comedic.

Sort of on a related note, I used to work in auto insurance claims and part of the job was settling with people who had injuries in car accidents. There were some objective criteria, but when it comes to subjective suffering, it was hard to put a price tag on it at times. We'd regularly get some pretty crazy compensation requests for minor injuries.

So my friend and I used to come up with hypothetical metric questions that were supposed to help in those cases:
Did your injury hurt worse than a paper-cut? What about ten paper-cuts? All in the same location? What about a paper-cut on your eye? (Seriously, that was one of them.)

Was it worse than a bee sting? What about a bee sting on a paper-cut? What if you poured vinegar on it?

What about a bee sting on your eye?
We never actually asked these, but in a profession that was known for its high burnout and consistently difficult negotions, it added a bit of levity to the day.
posted by SpacemanStix at 11:09 AM on March 31, 2015 [1 favorite]


I guess I'm the third person in this thread who stepped on a needle, had it break off in my foot, and had to have it surgically removed. Mine involved a good bit of malpractice, which led to blood poisoning and left me with a scar that bothered me for years and years.

I also did the chicken bone lodged sideways in my throat thing as a kid. In my case, the army doctor gave me something to make me throw up. IIRC, that did not dislodge it. I think they ultimately pulled it out with tongs or something.

I have also been quoted in some book (looking it up, it appears to be out of print).
posted by Michele in California at 11:10 AM on March 31, 2015 [1 favorite]


I would give anything to have a piece of my grandfather's skull.

check your memail
posted by Greg Nog at 11:16 AM on March 31, 2015 [49 favorites]


Once, on the way to a job interview, I was confronted by a large, angry swan. The office was surrounded by extensive landscaping and the only visible route to the lobby was over a narrow concrete footpath set a few foot above a brook. The brook was too wide to jump across while wearing a suit and heels and the swan was in the middle of the bridge—with his wings extended he was more than twice the width of the bridge.

I tried reasoning with the swan but he hissed at me and then bit me when I advanced so I smacked him hard upside the head with my portfolio, knocking him off the bridge and into the brook. I scurried past him before he flew back up onto the bridge and chased me halfway to the lobby.

I spent much of the interview wondering if one of my potential future coworkers had spotted me abusing their swan. I was also distracted thinking of how I was going to get back to my car across that stupid swan-guarded bridge so when my interviewer asked me if I had any questions, I blurted out, "Do you have a slice of bread?"

I got the job anyway and learned there was a back entrance well away from cranky waterfowl. Angry swan was eventually sent to rehab after he wandered into a nearby townhouse complex and attacked people who were soaking in a hot tub.
posted by jamaro at 11:21 AM on March 31, 2015 [41 favorites]


I once appeared as a drawing in a graphic novel and received a thank you credit in the back. A few years later I was on a walk with a date in a completely different city and as we passed a comic book store I impulsively blurted out, "hey, I was in a comic book once. Let's go in and see if they have it!" We went in the shop and, sure enough, they had the issue. I pulled it out of the plastic bag and showed my date the picture and then verified the name in the back. She seemed to be fairly impressed by this, and 17 years of marriage and two kids later I still tell this story. It's the best one I have.
posted by Otis at 11:22 AM on March 31, 2015 [16 favorites]


rb, if you're older than 35, your powers to drink without suffering after astound and impress me. If you're younger than that, wait.

Heh. Closing in on the half-century mark and still waiting for the first hangover.
posted by ricochet biscuit at 11:25 AM on March 31, 2015 [2 favorites]


I taught my dog to run in circles chasing her tail when I say "Leprechaun!"
posted by Daddy-O at 11:25 AM on March 31, 2015 [4 favorites]


I like the subject of gruesome medical facts, of which I have unfortunately many, but my favourite is when at 13 I had the most appalling case of mono any of my doctors had ever seen in person. I had enormous weeping sores on every bit of the inside of my mouth, my gums, and down my throat so far that the feeding tube they eventually had to jam down there was incredibly unpleasant. The crowning moment of joyous misery was not when my room became a popular stopping point for medical students on their first year residency rounds to ooh and aah over thrillingly rare side effects but was instead when my hideously belesioned mouth was photographed for a medical textbook.

also iirc my swollen and jaundiced liver was protruding from my body in an enjoyably repulsive fashion
posted by poffin boffin at 11:26 AM on March 31, 2015 [3 favorites]


Some of these injury stories are causing me involuntary testicle retraction. Good on you.

So, inujuries.

There was the deep-vein thrombosis, but that would take a lot of typing to fully relate and I've made it a policy to only tell that over a pint of decent beer. It takes me about a pint to tell the whole story.

In kindergarten, we were playing a game called "Run Teddy Bear, Run". One kid gets selected to be the ursine pariah and then we all had to run away from him/her. Which makes no sense given the game title. Still, I decided that I was going to run as fast as I damn well could and slammed head first into a chain, cutting deeply into my right eyebrow. I ended up with stitches.

In second grade at bed time, I did a Superman dive onto my bed, slid right over it and into the window sill, opening a similar cut on my left eyebrow. My dad took me to the ER and while they getting ready to put in novacaine, the ER doc said, "it's going to feel like a mosquito is biting you." I replied, "I've had stitches before."

Most of my significant injuries since then have been with my hands and nearly all of them are the result of being over tired while working with tools. My left pinkie is nicely deformed from the time that Artie Hasegawa's mom was giving us a ride to a band concert and I slammed my hand in the car door and she started to drive away. I was jogging alongside the car while yelling and pounding on the window with my right hand. My mom, a complete night owl, never heard the phone from the multiple calls to our house. By the time she picked me up and took me to a doctor, we were told that it was way too late to put in stitches.

If you look at this picture (from the "I can bend my fingertips independently" cabal), you can see the nice slice I took while working on a bagel at 5 dark thirty. I was swearing a blue streak afterwards, and Mrs. Plinth declared that it was the only time she felt really scared of me. I wasn't swearing because it hurt (it didn't). I was swearing because I was angry at myself for being so stupid. I went to the ER (and I figure they would have a coffee cup with my name on it by now) and the triage nurse asked me what the cause was and I said, "stupidity." She said, "no, really, what was the cause." I said, "I was really stupid." She gave me a look and I said, "bagel." She said, "that was really stupid."
I recommend when you get stitches to decorate them.

Last year, I hit by a piece of plywood kicked back from my table saw and had it hit a little lower, I'd be singing soprano. As it is was, I ended up with clear marks where the first corner hit me and then it pivoted and caught me again. Within a day, most of my groin was indigo.

Finally, I have two pencil points embedded in my right hand. One of them has been there since 1977, the other since 1999. My last words before the first one went in were "Hey Pete, would you toss me that pencil?". The red Try-Rex went in point first, like a lawn dart, before tipping over and depositing its graphite payload.
posted by plinth at 11:43 AM on March 31, 2015 [2 favorites]


As gruesome injuries go, I have no idea how I haven't had more in my life. Three t-bone car accidents without a scratch. (1: semi truck ran a red light into our 1972 Chevy Nova. 2: station wagon ran a red light into our first Volvo... bought after the Nova was totalled. 3: red Toyota pickup with a cow guard ran a red light into our second Volvo, yes, bought after the first.) As a kid I'd climb trees, jump into shallow cricks, swing to above the top of our monster-high school swingset and jump out when the recess monitors' backs were turned, played street football and got pushed instead of tagged (I have scars), numerous baseball pitches to the ribcage. As an adult I've fallen into a ravine on my mountain bike, been smacked by dudes in cars while road cycling (%*$@#)... nothing more than twisted ankles and scars here and there. Never had a broken bone. Don't know how it's possible.

A fascinating thing I haven't shared on MeFi, hmm... oh yeah! That recent Sierra thread. I nearly shared this there. A close friendship that began over Space Quest eventually led to me interviewing for a pre-university Computer Science studies internship position for a high schooler with Sierra in Eugene (Oregon). I met Al Lowe, the creator of Leisure Suit Larry, who was suitably embarrassed that a young woman was interviewing for an internship (I was the only one...) and knew who he was, and also met one of the co-creators of Space Quest, Scott Murphy, who got an excited teenaged earful out of me. I didn't get the internship because its program managers "couldn't see a clear career path in CS" for me. I may only have been 16, but I still got it, and was really disappointed in them.

I didn't post it in the Sierra thread at the time because my current grown-up job as a functional software Test Lead at the Paris IT headquarters of [BigFrenchCompany] interrupted my MeFi browsing for a little while. *grin*
posted by fraula at 11:45 AM on March 31, 2015 [8 favorites]


I was arrested many moons ago and was handcuffed and placed in a squad car. Twice that night I escaped from the cuffs. The officer left me alone in the backseat and went into a building and I was able to painfully squeeze my hands out of the cuffs and contort myself enough to unlock the drivers front door. I didn't run away. I just waited on the hood of the squad car and handed the cop the cuffs when she came back to check on me.

Second time that evening she cuffed me to a metal bar in the police station and I used my free hand and an earring to unlock the cuffs.

Fun times.
posted by futz at 11:45 AM on March 31, 2015 [8 favorites]


I am the inventor of a novelty cocktail that was served for one night only at Trader Vic's in Beverly Hills. The drink was called a "Pack Rat". It was a regular martini except that it had 4 olives. 3 regular cocktail olives and one black olive.

I was also replaced by Slash, yes that Slash, when an actor friend was putting together a group of musicians to perform on his demo.

The funny thing is that I'm equally bad at guitar as I am at drinking.
posted by cazoo at 11:52 AM on March 31, 2015 [2 favorites]


When I was two or three, and riding in a kiddie seat on the handlebars of my mother's bicycle, I managed to grab a seed or fruit or, I suppose, a sort of tiny pinecone from a conifere shrub. I then proceeded to stuff it up my nose. I can't remember why.

What I do remember is the bean-shaped stainless steel dish the doctor dropped it in, and the book my mother had been reading to me in the waiting room. It was De koe die in het water viel (The cow that fell into the water).
posted by Too-Ticky at 12:02 PM on March 31, 2015 [1 favorite]


In grade school we had to write and then read a letter to someone but I couldn't think of anyone to write to so I wrote it to the chickens we had in the backyard coop. I actually read it to them, too.
posted by mountmccabe at 12:09 PM on March 31, 2015 [8 favorites]


I can do an excellent impression of a warthog, but it only works if I'm right by your ear. This has very limited application.

Tortoise story 1: I once ate the still beating heart of a tortoise, handed to me by an amerindian deep in the Guyanese jungle in south america. He later admitted the suggestion I eat it for luck was just a joke, as we were both drunk. (I should point out tortoises were considered a local delicacy). Gained me significant kudos, however.

I've chatted with the Queen and Prince Phillip while roaring drunk. So was he, and excellent company, too.

Tortoise story 2: I once had to dive under the legs of the pilot of a 14 seater passenger aircraft (again, Guyana) and remove a tortoise that was jamming the pedals just as we were coming in to land. It had escaped from a cargo net at the rear, slid down on its shell and got stuck.

My left collar bone is permanently detached from my sternum and clicks in and out.

I was once briefly detained by the military police for inadvertently photographing nuclear secrets.

I have also eaten iguana. Tortoise is much nicer, if you ever need to choose.
posted by dowcrag at 12:12 PM on March 31, 2015 [4 favorites]


I have also eaten iguana. Tortoise is much nicer, if you ever need to choose.

Maybe it just needs to still be beating.
posted by phearlez at 12:15 PM on March 31, 2015 [1 favorite]


The first car I ever owned was a Dodge Omni that I bought off my mother. It was a piece of shit car and I didn't take very good care of it. Inside, on the floor, were these filthy floor mats.

One day, I had a friend in the car when he leaned down and picked a small plant that had sprouted in the dirt on the carpet. It was growing there. It soon occurred to me what sort of seeds were regularly spilled onto my floor. To this day I'm the only person I know who grew pot in his car.

As I mentioned before, I was once in a collision with a moose. It happened at 11:30 on a Friday night just south of Gorham, New Hampshire. After the scene was cleared and my soon-to-be-totaled Isuzu pick-up truck was towed away, the nice police man called his buddy, who owned a local hotel, and got us a room where we could spend the night. He drove us in the back of his police car. Once we got settled in the room I pulled a bag of weed from my backpack and my buddy and I proceeded to get high. It was only then that I realized I had just transported marijuana in the back of a police car.

It was good to end such a bizarre and almost deadly night with a laugh.
posted by bondcliff at 12:17 PM on March 31, 2015 [12 favorites]


I am three degrees of separation from Mobutu Sese Seko, the deposed former dictator of Zaire, via Pat Robertson, due to that time I co-hosted the 700 Club when I was 13.

I got better.
posted by verb at 12:21 PM on March 31, 2015 [11 favorites]


I then proceeded to stuff it up my nose. I can't remember why.

Because that is the best place to keep things. When I was two, I thought that my nose - being a reliable source of tasty treats - was a good place to keep small pieces of Velveeta and also the marshmallows from some cereal that God smiled on me long enough to make a parent buy for me. Because I might want them later. I did this on more than one occasion and only stopped because I could never find my snacks later where I had so carefully stored them.
posted by you must supply a verb at 12:21 PM on March 31, 2015 [7 favorites]


Dear mods:

Please do not close this thread ever. EVER.
posted by DirtyOldTown at 12:23 PM on March 31, 2015 [17 favorites]


My ebola number is 2.

Mmmmmm . . . . noses. When I was in high school, I would scam money for sodas by asking for two quarters and telling people I would make them disappear. I would turn my back, sequester them carefully away and then turn around with a flourish. The people would find their quarters in my nostrils, angled outward making he nostrils look huge and angular.
I always tried to give them back. No one ever wanted them.

My first adult-life dog was a coy-dog. She was super loyal. She would leap up and catch birds 8 or 9 feet up in the air when they mobbed her in the yard. The birds never made it. One morning before work, I let her out. She bolted and was back at the door about ten second later with a confused look on her face. When I opened the door, I heard the most amazing high pitched squealing sound coming from her mouth. She hat caught one of the kits. She was super happy to let it go unharmed, she had just been holding it gently.
posted by Seamus at 12:38 PM on March 31, 2015 [2 favorites]


I've never tried coffee. Or cola of any brand.
posted by the_blizz at 12:40 PM on March 31, 2015


There is (supposedly) an album of songs about me written by an ex. You may have even heard it! No I am not telling you who it is because it is embarrassing.

I talk a lot, and when one of my favorite musicians came into the bookshop where I used to work, I was struck so stammeringly dumb, my co-worker teased me for a month.
posted by bibliogrrl at 12:42 PM on March 31, 2015


Once, at work, I held a person's skull together so their brain wouldn't fall out.

(It made no difference in the end but it confirmed my suspicion that almost nothing freaks me out.)
posted by Hairy Lobster at 12:43 PM on March 31, 2015 [3 favorites]


When I was 8 or 9, I hit a kid in the face with an aluminum bat.

My brother, my sister and I were playing tee ball in the backyard, and the neighbor kid's two cousins were also over. The older of the two cousins, a boy named JJ, and my brother took turns batting for a while, while the rest of us fielded. That got old pretty quickly, though, and I demanded a turn at the tee.

JJ said no.

I disagreed, ended up with the bat, and stepped up to the tee -- ball already there, just waiting to be hit.

I took a good, hard smack at it.

Unfortunately for JJ, he'd came up behind me, apparently with the idea that he was going to surprise me by grabbing the bat away from me, putting him directly in its path as it came around. I remember my shock as I realized what had happened, and I remember how scared I was when I ran upstairs to hide out for a while. I do not remember how badly JJ ended up being hurt.

I also believe I didn't end up getting in trouble for the incident, since after all, it had been an accident, and he should have been letting us girls have our turns anyway.
posted by rewil at 12:45 PM on March 31, 2015 [2 favorites]


Ha! I thought of something! I've punched a nun in the face.

When I was 12 or so, I was putting on my jacket at school and shot my arm through the sleeve a little too exuberantly. My right hand connected with Sister Margaret Thomasine's face. I immediately burst into tears, of course. She, being a saint, comforted me because she knew I didn't mean to do it.

She died in 2010. I hope she rests in peace.
posted by ob1quixote at 12:50 PM on March 31, 2015 [15 favorites]


Oh man, great thread. Most of my good bits have already been used here, but other comments prompted some thoughts:

"Also, I can relax my facial muscles so much that by shaking my head quickly back and forth I look like one of those guys from an old centrifuge video. I don't know if that is special, because people generally tell me I am an idiot, but then I find them in the bathroom later trying to do the same thing in front of the mirror."

I remember being in a Pizza Hut with my parents on a road trip and there was a late teen fat kid doing that in the mirror above the salad bar, just letting his lower face go limp and swinging it back and forth. I can still picture it over 15 years later.

"my best friend and I crashed the debutante ball when we were about 17. we both wore black velvet. Yes, we stood out. We made friends with a couple of the 'escorts' (or whatever they call the guys on the arms of the debs), and staved off security for the better part of an hour."

A friend and I used to play frisbee on the law quad at our local university, and one year we were there and people started setting up buffets and drinks tables so we thought "Hey, free food!" Then the kids in the gowns started coming in with their families. We'd accidentally crashed the law school graduation, but for some reason no one gave us any crap about being out there in t-shirts and those ugly plaid shorts that were basically my summer wardrobe for most of the '90s. After a bit, we start going up to families that are trying to take pictures, volunteering to take over so they can all get in the shot together. Then one of us would stand next to all of these people in their formal togs and do what has now become known as photobombing. At least 30 families have pictures of some grubby local kid next to them in their finery.

"When I worked on campus at UT, I tracked down all of the remaining bullet holes from the Whitman shooting. I would show them to people. One of the campus cops let us go up in the tower during the time when people were forbidden to go up there."

One of my best friends from school, his mom was one of the women being shot at. She hid behind a bench and was only missed by a couple of feet.

"(I once had an immature deer follow me around the woods. I wasn't feeding it or anything it just ....kept like ten paces past.)"

This summer up on Hurricane Ridge in the Olympic National Park, there were deer everywhere and they're pretty aggressive. But I had to take a piss, and jogged some 30 feet off the trail, behind a ridge. About halfway through my deluge, some buck comes nosing up and gets about three feet from me before I notice and then have to scramble around dick-out to avoid him, since he keeps blocking the route back to the trail. It took about five minutes to finally get around him, keeping trees in between, not least because I wasn't done pissing and resumed several times once I got 10 feet away or so. Because damn, I had to piss.

"When I was a kid, I moved cities, going from very working class to solidly middle class. After a year of mockery for my "weird accent", I set about losing it, which I did. But now my accent is weirdly mutable and changes depending on how the people around me are talking, which makes me self conscious. And, like, Filthy Light Thief, people always think that I sound like I'm from ...somewhere. No one's sure where, but it's definitely not here, regardless of where the "here" of the moment is."

Since I grew up in a majority black neighborhood and went to a magnet school with swells, I unconsciously code switch all the time. One of my prouder moments was when the mom of one of my friends complimented me on saying "motherfucker" just like a black person.

"really what i am trying to say is that i want more stories about tiny adorable goats if at all possible"

I first saw fainting goats at Prairie Dog Town, possibly the best tourist trap roadside experience I've ever had, and certainly the best in Kansas. They advertise a 10-ton prairie dog (it's concrete and crudely sculpted), but have tons of roaming fainting goats that will just keel over if you clap near them. They also have a crate full of rattlesnakes you're encouraged to kick so they all rattle at once, and a "six-legged steer" and "six-legged calf," both of which have two spindly deformo legs coming out of the side of their necks.

"I invented Post-Its."

A girl in my middle school gave a science fair presentation where she claimed her father had invented post-its. She would inhale in the middle of her words, and the presentation was deeply weird, and I still suspect it's bullshit (though back then I was certain it was bullshit). It became a running joke and is still what Post-Its bring to mind for me. Now, looking back through a lens of compassion that I very much did not have as a middle schooler, I feel bad about how mercilessly she was mocked; we were a magnet school full of weirdos but she was the wrong kind of weirdo — the kind that wore hot pink matching tights and tops with sequins all over them and who was prone to just wildly implausible fabrications along with a way of speaking that always made it seem like she had just run a race. Her mom used to drop her off and they'd both be wearing matching hot pink tights and tops combos, this during the sullen days of the earth-tone '90s. She cried easily and while now I can recognize that as a mixed-race kid being raised by a single mom (who was also a déclassé weirdo) she got way more shit than she deserved on any level, she was likely a godsend for the kids who had up until then been the most bullied. She's one of a handful of weirdos and outsiders I remember from school that I now wonder what the hell happened to (her facebook's private, but she's married now and seems to be really into Star Trek, which kind of makes me assume she turned out OK). I know at least one of the other kids changed her name from "Julia" to "Wolf" sometime after high school and was mostly known among the crust punks for not caring if she knocked over your bike or your tent. She used to get made fun of for being well over 6' and Basil Olverton ugly, the kind of person who's in eighth grade and gets bullied by sixth graders, but that ended when she busted a kid in the face hard enough that blood was coming out of his nose and mouth.

Sorry, I also went to high school(s) with both Andrew WK and Mayer Hawthorne (birth name also Andrew). But I think the weirdos are more interesting.

"I have never had a black eye. Or a broken bone. This is due to sheer luck rather than any particular care for personal safety, though."

I had never had a broken bone or stitches until I crashed my bike, but MeFi is pretty aware of that saga.

Couple final bits:

I can do the wave with my eyebrows, that's the one I usually use in ice-breaking circles.

As part of a weird contest/internship, I was in one of four small groups that wrote and recorded a song with Big and Rich; one of the other groups was behind the original version of "Save a Horse, Ride a Cowboy."

As part of that same weird contest/internship, I visited Cowboy Jack Clement's house (the guy who added the horns to "Ring of Fire" and where U2 recorded "Rattle and Hum"), but I spent most of the time puking in the bathroom with one of the worst hangovers of my life. I had to sneak out of the house to use the garden hose to clean my vomit off their driveway, and I found out that the seal between the toilet and the floor wasn't solid because while I clung to it for dear life, it leaked and soaked my clothes. (The previous night gave me the ability to say that I've vomited out a limo sunroof, and during a group kareoke of "Sweet Home Alabama.")
posted by klangklangston at 12:57 PM on March 31, 2015 [4 favorites]


There is (supposedly) an album of songs about me written by an ex. You may have even heard it! No I am not telling you who it is because it is embarrassing.

OMG TaySway???
posted by kenko at 1:05 PM on March 31, 2015 [5 favorites]


Oh, and since I got to the part about horses up there: I could ride a horse before I learned to walk. When I was a kid, I lived on a farm (which has given me a lifelong distrust of goats), mostly because my mom had worked long enough as a stable hand to get a horse (Star of Stonewall) who was great, but too smart for her own good and kinda a pain in the ass to a lot of people. She was the kind of horse who didn't take it for granted that people are smarter, and would walk backwards or sideways if she didn't feel like you knew what you were doing. But while she liked nothing better than flipping my dad off her back, she was really great with kids and I could get on her bareback. I kept riding on and off until I was about 16 and haven't ever fallen off a horse (but since it's been over a decade since I've been on one, I'm willing to bet my skills have atrophied quite a bit). We had to get rid of her when we moved to Ann Arbor, and I was dead jealous that I couldn't afford to really ride — I used to muck stalls in exchange for lessons, but our family couldn't afford a horse. Poor S.O.'s new owners looked good on paper but we got the sense they were mistreating her (sores on her legs, stuff like that) and after a bit they stopped responding to us and moved her, so I don't know what happened to her after that.
posted by klangklangston at 1:08 PM on March 31, 2015


poffin boffin and I might have gotten along well had we been kids together.

When I broke my arm at age 11, I called my sister (who was off at college) and announced it so gleefully that she sent me a "congratulations" card instead of a sympathy card. When, at age nine, I cut my main artery in my right arm open on a fence and gushed blood everywhere until my mother turned green -- fearing I would bleed to death because even with a tourniquet we could not stop the bleeding -- I watched with fascination while they stitched my artery back together and then closed the skin.

For bonus fun: The really cool school principal wrote a hall pass on my cast. So, for three weeks (green stick fracture, nothing serious), I had my own semi-permanent hall pass because I had broken my arm.
posted by Michele in California at 1:10 PM on March 31, 2015


See also: the hilarious (largely historical at this point i hope) supposition that women would faint at the sight of blood.

The only two people I've ever known to get faint at the sight of blood were both enormous, muscly men.

If we're doing degrees of separation, I'm one degree from Leonard Nimoy.
posted by The Underpants Monster at 1:13 PM on March 31, 2015 [2 favorites]


When I was 11 I worked on a school film project. We decided to make a murder-mystery, and a fairly popular girl was cast as the lead. Her character accidentally saw a murder take place and had to hide from the killer.

The next year she left school and soon after the country, as her father had killed her mother and was on the loose looking for her.

He was eventually arrested and jailed for the crime. I don't know if any tapes of the movie still exist.
posted by Gin and Broadband at 1:16 PM on March 31, 2015 [2 favorites]


Once I got a bit drunk with some friends, one of whom was working for a politician at the time, and we blagged our way into a midnight tour round the Houses of Parliament and House of Lords using said friend's credentials.

I did a similar climbing frame takedown as poffin boffin when I was a small child, only my victim was my brother and I bit his arm to take him down instead of grabbing his hair (he insisted the climbing frame was a pirate ship when it was CLEARLY a fairy castle).

When I was 15, I flew to America on my own to meet a load of people I only knew from the internet (this was pre 9/11, so also pre 'knowing people on the internet is normal'). It was great. I'm still friends with all of them.
posted by theseldomseenkid at 1:30 PM on March 31, 2015 [5 favorites]


Ohh. One more! I have been to Space Camp. Before the movie came out.

And I only found out recently that part of the reason I went to Space Camp was so my family could visit my uncle, who was in military jail in Alabama.
posted by bibliogrrl at 1:32 PM on March 31, 2015 [4 favorites]


I've been struck by lightning. I have few memories of the night, but my friends say I wandered back into the dorm, drank some root beer, and passed out. It was exam time, and no one thought that behavior was odd.

I was once teargassed while trying to buy toothpaste.

I got lost in the Sonoran Desert and was found because my hair was dyed bright purple at the time and I was therefore spotted from a surprising distance away.
posted by kyrademon at 1:34 PM on March 31, 2015 [8 favorites]


There is (supposedly) an album of songs about me written by an ex. You may have even heard it! No I am not telling you who it is because it is embarrassing.

*tenterhooks*
+
*high-five*

'Cause I didn't get a whole album, but I've had at least one song written about me by an ex...thing, and I am certain beyond a shadow of a doubt that some folks here have heard it. I guess it was supposed to be flattering, but in retrospect, it's just really, really depressing.

Unrelated: I once had a very brief cameo on The Late Show with David Letterman, which was filmed while I was completely blacked out drunk. Like, not a trace of consciousness to be had. My darling friends and I had been sipping Licor 43 and apple juice (YUM) since mid-morning but for whatever reason, by dinnertime, TLS' on-site camera crew had decided a couple of us should be on TV.

I blacked out the interview, I blacked out signing the release form, and I woke up for weeks afterward assuming my friends were the only ones who'd been tapped by the producers... until I saw myself drunkenly rambling over the interviewer and then cracking up at my own joke on national television. I just looked up the sketch on YouTube and yep, it's still there. Definitely happened. I have no recollection of why or how it happened, but it did. Ah, youth.

For the gruesome injuries file: When I was a kid, my brother tried to stab me in the gut with a pair of semi-opened bonsai shears I'd brought home as part of a school project. I was nimble enough to be able to grab the scissors away from him as he lunged forward, but instinctively closing my hand around them snapped the blades shut in my palm, where they snipped a perfect consummate 'V'-shaped flap between my right index finger and thumb. I remember whispering, "Oh, shit" and immediately running down to the basement for superglue and electrical tape to try to seal up the wound. It was the first and only time I ever swore in front of my parents.
posted by divined by radio at 1:39 PM on March 31, 2015 [1 favorite]


Derek Trucks once sat in the back of my old Suburban for three minutes waiting for a ride from the radio station to his hotel before the whole band decided to all go in their tour bus instead. Never did get to play my band's tunes for him.
posted by GrapeApiary at 1:43 PM on March 31, 2015


Let's see. Injuries: When I was young, my left foot was stepped on by several horses, an Angus steer, Berkshire hog and a burro (I volunteered at the local humane society for 3 years). In eighth grade a friend dropped an 8lb shotput on it while we were standing in bare feet on a pool deck waiting for swim team practice to begin. I broke my left ankle running from the yard-duty lady because I'd been down by the creek smoking with my friends and caught my ankle in a tree root. Friends all ditched me and the principal had to carry me back to the school--the break was so bad I didn't get in trouble for the smoking/ditching class. And I graduated in a cast. I also graduated from college in a cast because I broke the same ankle attempting a hitch kick in the hallway of my shared condo. Needless to say, now that I'm in my dotage, all that has come back to haunt me.

Other weird injuries in the family--just found my great-uncle's application for a Civil War pension--he claimed disability because his penis had been shot off.
posted by agatha_magatha at 1:45 PM on March 31, 2015 [3 favorites]


> Never did get to play my band's tunes for him.

I think I can tell you why he suddenly changed transportation plans.
posted by gilrain at 1:51 PM on March 31, 2015 [1 favorite]


I've always been really good at finding four-leaf clovers. One day when I was 10 or so, I was on a farm and found maybe 20 of them, which I fed to all the horses so they would have good luck.

I forgot how to ride a bicycle for a while.
posted by ferret branca at 1:52 PM on March 31, 2015 [6 favorites]


I can move my ears, separately.
posted by LooseFilter at 2:17 PM on March 31, 2015


I can only see out of one eye at once, but I can consciously switch the eye I'm seeing with. Colours look very slightly different with the other eye.

When I was fourteen, I was on a train in Italy that caught fire due to someone from a Rolls Royce owners club bribing a train official. It was a Motorail train where the passengers were in carriages at the front and the cars were carried at the back, we were headed for a ferry port in France and set off six hours late because of a standoff between the Rolls Royce owners who'd booked one-way tickets and the officials refusing to let them on because the cars were too tall. Eventually they got loaded up, we set off, car clipped a power line or something a few hours later and the train stopped in the middle of nowhere while all the passengers piled out to watch two train staff try to put out a car fire with one tiny fire extinguisher. By the time we got to France, we were running twelve hours late, had long missed the ferry, there was no food left on the train and standard class was starting to revolt in a quiet British-tourist way via handwritten signs like "Ford Escort Owners Club - at least WE let the trains run on time." But then the very kind French train staff gave us free sandwiches, so class war was averted.
posted by Catseye at 2:22 PM on March 31, 2015 [8 favorites]


I've been thrown by horses, ponies, cows, pigs, and sheep. I've never attempted to ride a goat.

As a child, I was an honorary goose.

My ancestor's hand is pickled and can be seen on request (if you are family?) at a museum in Norwich.
posted by julen at 2:34 PM on March 31, 2015 [1 favorite]


I nearly had a threesome once.

Just needed two more people...
posted by HarrysDad at 2:34 PM on March 31, 2015 [7 favorites]


I played the "who am I" game, where they read a headline and you have to guess who they're talking about. You have to actually write what you want Carl to say, which stumped me for a long time -- I'm not good at that -- but eventually I wrote something like "I'm Carl Kasell. Mary Ellen won me on a radio quiz show, so now I must do her bidding. I'll pass your message along to her as soon as I fetch her a drink and feed her a bonbon." Except I never have figured out a good way to make it my outgoing message, so it lives on my computer.

(If you want to hear me, the show was in January 2012, and I was the unemployed librarian. )
posted by sarcasticah at 2:49 PM on March 31, 2015 [6 favorites]


I had to go to the ER for a paper cut on my cornea. I was too hasty in grabbing an invoice coming out of the printer. It was so miserable!

I have done this! I was getting into bed with a magazine in my hand and I leaned down too far; the edge of the magazine went neatly under my glasses and got me in the eye. (I didn't go to the ER and probably should have; it healed on its own but did I have a terrible night.)

I guess I'm the third person in this thread who stepped on a needle, had it break off in my foot, and had to have it surgically removed.

And I'm the fourth, if you count outpatient removal in the ER as surgery--it was more like a big splinter than anything else but my parents recognized that it was beyond them and I needed professional help.
posted by dlugoczaj at 2:55 PM on March 31, 2015


I sneeze when I'm really really hungry. Like, in the morning if it's been 12 hours or more since I've eaten.

... I mean, I think I'm fascinating as all get out, but really, that's all I got.
posted by vignettist at 3:04 PM on March 31, 2015 [3 favorites]


Lots of people know this about me because I won't stop going on about it, but I don't think it's ever come up online:

I can stack almost 100 nails on the head of another nail. Like, sink a carpentry nail an inch into a small base of wood and give me a bunch of slightly smaller nails, and I will balance those on the head of the carpentry nail, all together at once. I'm pretty sure nobody else can do that (or has really tried, come to think of it).
posted by carsonb at 3:13 PM on March 31, 2015 [1 favorite]


Lyn Never: "1. I am in the alt.folklore.urban FAQ."

Oh man, I was too at one point!
posted by Chrysostom at 3:15 PM on March 31, 2015


I will pick up your linguistic tics within 24 hours spent together. In four languages.

My grandfather was a mariner who taught me about the stars. We emigrated to America on the QE2, and then lived there in a building famous for its ground-floor restaurant fashioned from the remains of the sunken Lusitania. The stars I met there: John Belushi, Patti Smith, Robert Mapplethorpe.

Also:as a young teen, I went to see Jethro Tull with my mom, the Plasmatics with my dad, and The Rocky Horror Picture Show (midnight at the 8th Street Playhouse!) with my grandma, twice.
posted by progosk at 3:20 PM on March 31, 2015 [2 favorites]


Oh, and I can replace the heater element in your Bosch washing machine!
posted by progosk at 3:28 PM on March 31, 2015


>> Oh, yeah. I once threatened to spank a future Texas Gubernatorial candidate (and author, and musician, and Jewish cowboy, and the owner of name that would suggest he might like a spanking) in the kitchen of the political commentator and essayist who coined the name Shrub for George W. Bush.

I have been in that kitchen! Unfortunately, while I was in that kitchen, said political commentator's standard poodle started relentlessly nosing my crotch. My efforts to dissuade the dog were futile, and its owner (who was larger than life and of whom I was in awe) had to drag it away by its collar. She smiled very sweetly while doing so, and made no jokes at my expense, for which I was overwhelmingly grateful.

Also regionally relevant: I was misgendered by Lady Bird Johnson.

RIP to both those women.
posted by mudpuppie at 3:29 PM on March 31, 2015 [6 favorites]


I had chicken pox 3 times between the ages of 8 and 11. Still have the scars on my feet from the last bout which had me down for almost a week.

I grew up on a ranch in New Mexico and have tried to save some of the local wildlife that had been injured (because we were too far from a vet). This includes trying to feed a hawk that had an injured wing and could not fly, a bunch of feral kittens, various bull snakes, and I rescued a baby jack rabbit whose mother had just been eaten by a rattlesnake. The rattlesnake was killed by my uncle, but the baby jack rabbit (that I named Hazel) was rescued and lived in my room for almost two years during high school.
posted by Benway at 3:29 PM on March 31, 2015


There is (supposedly) an album of songs about me written by an ex.

In this vein, there is an album of songs about an ex of mine and the dude she was banging, written by said dude's pissed-off wife. The lesson I learned from that relationship is someone who gets in relationships dramatic enough to generate Grammy nominations is probably not going to be a good fit for me.

I think I've told all my good stories here, but my most interesting stupid human trick is that I have music-color synaesthesia strong enough that if I turn the radio up too loud, I can't see to drive.
posted by restless_nomad (staff) at 3:38 PM on March 31, 2015 [16 favorites]


Oh good God, the eyeball papercuts just gave me a full-body shudder, and made me made a very high-pitched noise of horror than I didn't even know I could make. Gaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaah.
posted by sarcasticah at 3:55 PM on March 31, 2015 [1 favorite]


I got my cornea scratched by my 18-month-old's ultra-sharp fingernail-talon when I was picking him up out of his crib and had to go to the ER. I'm super-squeamish about eyeballs -- I almost vomit when people poke their contacts in or out, and I flinch when people put on eyeliner -- so they had a hell of a time getting the various drops into my eye to numb it and dilate it because I kept flinching so violently. The nurse and doctoring were physically holding me flat with their bodyweight to try to keep me from moving and looming over me with the dropper and holding my head and I am thinking, Oh my God, I hate you so much right now ... when suddenly the doctor and nurse both burst out laughing.

"Oh shit," I said, "Was that my out loud voice? I'm really sorry!"
posted by Eyebrows McGee at 4:04 PM on March 31, 2015 [20 favorites]


I'm slowly teaching myself to read old Irish. For several years now I have this dream that I want to go to Ireland and read/translate these old Irish texts. I read in a book that there are still texts that have barely been looked at.
I don't remember what these texts are or where exactly they are. I do know where I read about them but I can't find that book so I have to get another copy of it.

I honestly don't know why I want to do this. It's just this weird thing that I keep coming back too.
posted by Jalliah at 4:05 PM on March 31, 2015 [3 favorites]


Speaking of Lady Bird Johnson, after my high school prom, a group of us ended up down by the Potomac, dancing on her monument (or is it a memorial?) to Wham! songs.
posted by Quasirandom at 4:07 PM on March 31, 2015


I flew a four-seat airplane for around ten minutes when I was 11.

I was in a rodeo once in Fort Davis, TX. I think I was 13.

I frequently have the experience of memories resurfacing unbidden, most commonly when driving, and when they do I twitch involuntarily.

The first time I ever smoked weed with my parents was in my dad's car, and when he passed me the lit joint I was so mentally unprepared that I thought a piece of burning refuse had fallen through the sunroof and he was asking me to dispose of it. I had the window down and had almost thrown it out before I realized what was happening, which if I had gone through with it would have been a pretty funny apparent repudiation of weed smoking on my part.

This one was weird: one time I went to the grocery store and saw a big stack of pumpkin pies. I love pumpkin pie, so I picked one up, but something seemed weird about it. I read the label a few times and looked it a little bit and everything seemed to check out, but I just had this feeling of wrongness about it that I couldn't shake. Still, ain't nothing that is or ever will be wrong about pie, I reasoned, so I chalked it up to the rumblings of that same imp of the perverse who agitates in favor of such as doing the laundry and washing behind my ears and took that sucker home. I opened it up and had a slice just about immediately after getting back and goddamnit but it tasted fucking weird, a little too sweet, a little too thin, like those bigger avocados you get in Puerto Rico that suck a lot. So I revisit the label and there it is: "SWEET POTATO PIE." To this day it still humbles me that I could deceive myself to the extent that I read those words multiple times in several instances and came away convinced in each case that it said "PUMPKIN PIE" on it.

Lastly, and I promise that the events leading to this circumstance were not in any way nefarious, there was for many years in the house I grew up in a plastic bag with maybe five frozen, dead puppies in it in the freezer of the refrigerator in our garage.
posted by invitapriore at 4:09 PM on March 31, 2015 [5 favorites]


Oh, stupid dull celebrity encounters! Well, aside from the Henry Rollins one, I once sold cigarettes to the guy who played the older brother on The Wonder Years, Jason Hervey, when I worked at a CVS drugstore on Newbury Street in Boston. He was with a very scantily-dressed, heavily made-up woman who didn't appear to like him very much (he may have been, er, paying for her company?) and he was a complete jerk. Really rude and humorless. (It was near Halloween, and we had these little jack-o-lantern lights sitting by all the registers, and mine had stopped working. He picked it up to kind of sneer at it, and it lit up, and I made some joking comment about how he had healed it!! Trying to be friendly, you know? And he glared at me, muttered "whatever," grabbed his cigarettes and his date, and stormed off.)
posted by sarcasticah at 4:11 PM on March 31, 2015


invitapriore, my aunt has several gallon freezer bags filled with dead songbirds in her deep freezer for presumably similar non-nefarious reasons.
posted by coppermoss at 4:14 PM on March 31, 2015


Songbird soup stock?
posted by invitapriore at 4:17 PM on March 31, 2015 [5 favorites]


" I'm super-squeamish about eyeballs -- I almost vomit when people poke their contacts in or out, and I flinch when people put on eyeliner -- so they had a hell of a time getting the various drops into my eye to numb it and dilate it because I kept flinching so violently."

Oh man, I am too. And my wife has contacts and I just can't look. Back when I did theater, getting the eyeliner was the worst part of any stage experience.
posted by klangklangston at 4:42 PM on March 31, 2015 [1 favorite]


I honestly don't know why I want to do this.

your subconscious is preparing you for accidental time travel, which is very well done indeed
posted by poffin boffin at 4:42 PM on March 31, 2015 [4 favorites]


i have been sort of halfassedly studying the native fauna and edible flora of the 5 boros in case of accidental time travel

also catalan for reasons which i fear i have explained too many times already
posted by poffin boffin at 4:43 PM on March 31, 2015 [5 favorites]


Other trivia: I'm pretty good at buying weed on the street, having picked it up in Boston, Las Vegas, Seattle, and a handful of other cities without knowing anyone on the ground. I tried to buy it in Vancouver, before a MeFi meetup, but the helpful Canadians explained that it was illegal to sell it in one of the smoking cafes, so they gave me an eighth and told me it would hold me until I could meet a professional. (Thanks to a MeFite at a meetup that night, it was less than 12 hours before I could buy acid and kind bud, another reason why I love y'all.)
posted by klangklangston at 4:45 PM on March 31, 2015 [3 favorites]


also catalan for reasons which i fear i have explained too many times already

Sounds like something an anti-Catalan separatist would say.
posted by corb at 4:51 PM on March 31, 2015


HOW VERY DARE
posted by poffin boffin at 4:54 PM on March 31, 2015


I'm a man of Irish descent who grew up in Connecticut. I've sung Chinese opera (jingju) in China.
posted by Joey Michaels at 4:58 PM on March 31, 2015 [5 favorites]


Oh yeah, gruesome injuries. I had one of those.

When I was six or seven I was climbing a tree in the back yard and hanging with my hands from a branch, I let go and fell about ten feet to the ground not realizing that there was a surveyor's stake in the ground below me. I landed with the stake between my legs and immediately passed out from the pain. Woke up in the hospital two days later after the surgery to sew my nads back into the sack. I have a fairly long and ugly scar that only a select few other than myself have seen.
posted by octothorpe at 5:21 PM on March 31, 2015 [2 favorites]


Two cops drew guns on me after stopping me in a car for no discernible reason on an empty, remote road in upstate New York. Federal warrant for someone who shares my name.

Years later, unrelated incident, I was allowed back into the US from abroad with no, zero, none ID on my person. This was after 9/11. And customs never even asked for my name. They questioned my companion for ten minutes and let us go.
posted by vers at 5:47 PM on March 31, 2015


I've been married twice. Or rather, I am married and was married once before.

My first marriage lasted exactly three years, my now ex-husband asked for a divorce on our anniversary.

On the third anniversary with my now-husband, our daughter was born. Crazy coincidence that third anniversaries have bern life-alteringly significant.
posted by sonika at 5:59 PM on March 31, 2015 [2 favorites]


I harbor a deep mistrust of male turkeys as a result of their constant harassment of my research assistants and me one summer. Their behavior paved the way for the first guilt-free Thanksgiving of my post-vegetarian years.

I am extremely good at Dr. Mario as a result of a summer spent taking a variety of uppers and playing my two best friends (also on a variety of uppers) for hours at a time, although a major weakness of my game to this day is excessive pill flipping.
posted by palindromic at 6:13 PM on March 31, 2015 [5 favorites]


The dad of one of my childhood friends was one of the groundfloor guys in Formerly Major Still Around Internet Company. When were both preteens, my friend used to snail mail me printouts of dirty jokes from chatrooms, marked with her own handwritten LOLs.

This same friend and I were once at an amusement park with our families when I had a big blood sugar crash for the first time. I was maybe 8 or 9 at the time and didn't understand what was happening, but a breakfast of Eggo waffles and a late morning snack of cotton candy were probably responsible for why I very suddenly felt all weird and swimmy and couldn't hold myself up. Our parents didn't seem to understand what had happened, because rather than handing me a juice box, they made what is in retrospect the totally bizarre decision to simply ask the park staff if they could borrow a wheelchair for a normally healthy, able bodied kid who claimed that all of a sudden she was too weak to walk. I discovered in this way that kids in wheel chairs and their friend and sibling entourage got to cut a lot of lines for the good rides.

Two things I've done that in my darker moments remind me that I'm not an all-bad human being are a. donating bone marrow when I learned I was a match for someone (super easy and painless. I spent a few hours in bed being pampered by nurses and watching movies. I still get random swag from the matching organization.) and b. crashing a job fair to clandestinely inform attendees that one of the employers tabling is a hellhole of child-abusers masquerading as a school for kids with autism.

I swear I've never had the right prescription for my lousy distance vision because I am very, very good at guessing letterforms based on extremely slight variation in the height and thickness of blurry shapes, and don't like to do poorly on tests.

A friend once took me to a prix fixe dinner at a restaurant known for its highly experimental cuisine. He is a meat and taters fella, in town for the week from the Midwest, and excited to try new things and expand his palate. I suggested this place as I'd been there before and liked their vegetarian offerings, and he read up on it on Yelp was eager to try it out. He insisted it was his treat as he had been my guest. That night I watched his face fall after tasting a single forkful of one tiny, meticulously plated dish after another. He was gamely trying everything and making jokes, but I knew he was miserable. Turns out the dishes that night were all sea themed and his one food aversion is seafood. We had only reached a third of the way through the multi-course affair, and what had started to feel like an interminable ordeal (him hungry and thinking of the expense - this place was Not Cheap, and me feeling guilty for suggesting it in the first place and for enjoying the food when he couldn't,) when...the lights cut out. The whole block lost power. We waited a good 20 minutes or more, holding our breath, and when it still hadn't come back up and no more dishes had emerged from the kitchen, we seized our moment. The restaurant offered to comp us the meal but my friend wrote a check, practically dancing.

Reader, I bought him a burger.
posted by prewar lemonade at 6:16 PM on March 31, 2015 [12 favorites]


Oh, also! I have also been officially trained by my IACUC on wildlife management and now know the most humane way to euthanize a whale.

(It turns out the answer is explosives.)
posted by sciatrix at 6:22 PM on March 31, 2015 [12 favorites]


Some of these injury stories are causing me involuntary testicle retraction.

OH MY GOD I had no idea this was a thing for other people as well!!!
posted by en forme de poire at 6:24 PM on March 31, 2015 [2 favorites]


i have a fish. in my pants.
posted by quonsar II: smock fishpants and the temple of foon at 6:34 PM on March 31, 2015 [6 favorites]


Modern art makes me ill. No, really, I have not made it through the Hirschhorn successfully, yet, and my spontaneous nosebleeds at the Walker, in Minneapolis, are impressive. I make a point of not going to modern art galleries like the Tate because I wish to retain my precious fluids. The Musee d'Orsay was fine and I made it through the Schielle, the Vienna Seccessionists and made it through the 1960's. Art installations are the worst! This is funny since my office mate, across the way, makes art with body fluids, human hair and other decomposing material and I like her stuff, usually.

I have been in a vehicle that evaded hot pursuit and I had an epically bad blind date that included gun fire, police, disposal of evidence and vengeance seeking cholo gangbangers. And no, there is no pics, and my parents NEVER found out. Praise Jeebus.
posted by jadepearl at 6:39 PM on March 31, 2015 [5 favorites]


i have a fish. in my pants.

Is that a literal fish, and if so is it alive or dead? If it is a metaphorical fish, is the metaphor because it is cold, floppy, and faintly unpleasant smelling or is there some other, possibly spine-related reason? Inquiring minds want to know.
posted by sciatrix at 6:47 PM on March 31, 2015 [1 favorite]


Well, a few heavier anecdotes seem to have found a kind of equilibrium here toward the bottom of the thread, so.

At five, during the summer after kindergarten, I tried to kill the seven year old next door neighbor just out of first grade because, when I was away from the house one afternoon with my family he squashed my pet pink chameleon, which lived in a window box outside our living room. I stalked him for weeks, and have a very vivid memory of him reaching out and convulsively grasping at his mother's pleated green mid-calf skirt as they came out of their house one afternoon and he saw me staring at him longingly from our front yard. I could never catch him more than a couple of feet from some adult, though, and finally gave up and went back to spending my days exploring the dry, stony fields full of tall grass, prickly pear, yucca, strange ant's nests made out of tiny sticks, and grasshoppers with colorful wings that would fly up in front of me as I walked, where I'd caught that poor unchangingly shocking pink chameleon and which were some distance from our houses -- but then one day I came around the corner of his house and saw him playing by himself too far from his front door to make it inside before I could reach him. The last things I remember from that day are the panicked look on his face as our eyes met, and shifting my weight forward for the sprint.

He survived, probably because my mother went outside to see what was going on when she heard what she thought was a dog crying after it had been hit by a car, and which turned out to be me howling as I banged his head on the exposed edge of the concrete sidewalk. He was unconscious, and she concluded he must be dead from the boneless way he slumped to the ground after she managed to pry my fingers one by one from his throat. There was blood everywhere, also mostly mine, mainly from a severe bite wound in the middle of my back. I was completely unreachable, and she was only able to stop the deafening howls by clamping her hand over my mouth. He was hospitalized for more than a week, according to her, most of it in a coma.

I don't remember really getting in trouble for this; when you're a little kid and do terrible things that no one can pass off as accidental, maybe there's a bleak, overcast zone beyond trouble where adults mill around aimlessly with slumped shoulders because they don't know what to do. That's how I recall my experience, at least.

A month or so later, workmen showed up and built a fence out of two by fours and strange welded wire with a pattern of rectangular holes (instead of chickenwire) which enclosed the ground beyond his front door into a small yard unique in the big complex where we lived, but I never saw him playing in it.

I never saw him again at all, in fact, but right before school started, a loud gruff voice was coming from their place one day, and I stood beneath the sill of the ground floor window that was several inches above the top of my head in time to hear his father shouting "you can't spend the rest of your life in this house! You have to go outside!" as he screamed "No, no, no, nooooooo.....!" and broke into a sobbing wail. Tears streamed down my face at the sad awfulness of this, but I still wanted to kill him.

They moved at the end of that month, and we moved a couple of months later.
posted by jamjam at 6:52 PM on March 31, 2015 [22 favorites]


I've operated a (large, intense) amusement park ride while it was being filmed by a helicopter for a commercial.
posted by flatluigi at 7:16 PM on March 31, 2015 [2 favorites]


jamjam, I suspect you are April Fooling this sweetly honest thread, and if so, shame on you. :P
posted by gilrain at 7:21 PM on March 31, 2015 [1 favorite]


*wide-eyed* I really hope so, because otherwise damn. That's going to keep me up at night.
posted by sciatrix at 7:28 PM on March 31, 2015 [1 favorite]


I have a postcard from Isaac Asimov, written by him on his manual typewriter. I had written him a fan letter, and he replied, scolding me for misspelling his last name. This is one of my more valued possessions.
posted by mule98J at 7:43 PM on March 31, 2015 [1 favorite]


Here's another one: a livejournal entry of mine was the subject of an FPP on the blue, years before I joined metafilter.
Show and tell!


Ask and ye shall receive.

Also, I am the official voice of Cheese Weasel Day.
posted by KathrynT at 7:45 PM on March 31, 2015 [5 favorites]


I broke my ankle standing still. We were hiking at Acadia National Park, messing around in tidal pools and the rock I was standing on crumbled, rolling my ankle. Had to climb back up to the car, expanding my children's vocabulary all the way.

When I was a kid I took theater classes taught by Joyce Piven. In the classes were her kids, Shira and Jeremy along with Ann and Joan Cusack. I have ZERO theatrical talent but it wasn't until we were all grown up that I realized just how uneven the group really was.

When my son was in high school he played soccer. At one indoor game he was slammed into the wall and came off the field complaining that his arm hurt but he went back in and finished the game. Kept complaining for days but it wasn't bruised, swollen or displaced so we told him to wait for the bruise to heal. When he went to set a volleyball in gym class and dropped to his knees his gym teacher allowed as how we should get it looked at. My husband took him the ER where they said nope - and then ran after them when they were leaving when a second look revealed a break. He has never let us forget...
posted by leslies at 8:02 PM on March 31, 2015


> Is that a literal fish, and if so is it alive or dead?

It is a fish which is asleep, where it is a Viking.
posted by ardgedee at 8:10 PM on March 31, 2015 [5 favorites]


I was a stand-in in a bad western movie shot on Willie Nelson's property.
posted by swift at 8:11 PM on March 31, 2015


When I was 10, I wanted to be anything associated with Star Wars. Lacking a light-saber, I instead taught myself to whistle like R2D2.

I'm somewhat ashamed that my (now adult) children have an almost Pavlovian reaction to the sound.
posted by underflow at 8:17 PM on March 31, 2015 [1 favorite]


(It turns out the answer is explosives.)

I'm going to helpfully provide several links to articles about whale euthanasia, in case anyone else was so horrified/intrigued by sciatrix's comments that they, like me, had to immediately google, "How to euthanize a whale."

This one is from National Geographic. And here is one from Slate. For additional context, here is a scale comparison between an elephant and different types of whales. Turns out there are a lot of things to consider when euthanizing an animal of that size.

And if tonight I have a nightmare about a homicidal five year old trying to blow up a whale, I guess I'll know who to blame.

I was this close to turning this into a whale euthanasia FPP, but I decided I would probably be up way too late googling whale euthanasia articles, and then I started thinking about the awkward conversation I would be forced to have if someone looked at my internet history and saw 20 searches related to exploding whales, and...yeah.
posted by litera scripta manet at 8:35 PM on March 31, 2015 [6 favorites]


People in the habit of reading 9 year old projects posts are aware of this but I still write a song every day.
posted by nanojath at 8:42 PM on March 31, 2015 [5 favorites]


A select few...
I once fell all the way through the monkey bars, landing you-know-where. It was a huge set of monkey bars, and I was in first grade, and I was late coming in from recess, I didn't discuss it with anyone, until now. At the time you could buy a carton of milk with a paper straw, and a Moon Pie for six cents.

For the longest time I had the recurrent dream that somehow, someone had discovered I didn't pass first grade, and I was expected to make it up. I would be in an evening elementary school program with other confused adults, trying to fit in the tiny chairs at the round tables, but the faculty never showed.
posted by Oyéah at 8:52 PM on March 31, 2015 [1 favorite]


I was on Oprah in 1995.

I was on the front page of the NYTimes (for my job) and got 4 stars in Downbeat (for my music) in the same year.

I have a prehensile penis.
posted by Joseph Gurl at 8:58 PM on March 31, 2015


I once fell all the way through the monkey bars, landing you-know-where.

the ground?
posted by Greg Nog at 9:00 PM on March 31, 2015 [4 favorites]


Every hair dresser I've ever had has commented on how thick my hair is. I also have hypermobile ligaments -- I used to freak out my friends by stretching my thumb and pinkie out to make a completely straight line -- and am missing a non-essential organ.
posted by tooloudinhere at 9:04 PM on March 31, 2015


Didn't read the rest of this 600+odd comments thread, for now. I regularly read tarot cards and natal astrology charts for friends, hit me up. I played hockey since I was 3 years old, so for 38 years. I am multi-brow: low and high, equally. I am 5'11".
posted by lakersfan1222 at 9:12 PM on March 31, 2015 [1 favorite]


I once let my hair grow out to my shoulders then had it cut in New Orleans.

The big camp hairdresser ran his hands through my head and went "Man, you could make ROPE out of this."
posted by The Whelk at 9:13 PM on March 31, 2015


(I still have my tonsils and appendix and I'm convinced they're both going to burst, without warning, at the same time, when I'm on a really long hike)
posted by The Whelk at 9:14 PM on March 31, 2015 [2 favorites]


Not the ground, I landed on the lowest bar right in the middle of my pelvic area. The ground would have been kinder, softer...
posted by Oyéah at 9:19 PM on March 31, 2015


Radia Perlman once complimented me on my ear-ring [it was an 8GB usb drive].
posted by HiroProtagonist at 9:22 PM on March 31, 2015


I have a really nice handwritten postcard from Dave Barry. I was quoted as an "alert reader" in a Mr. Language Person column and not only did I get dozens of calls from distant acquaintances all over the world ("hey, was that you in Mr Language Person???? I saw it in the International Herald-Tribune ...") but Dave Barry himself sent a nice note that showed he had read my actual letter.

It is framed over my writing desk. What a nice guy. Also Pulitzer-prize winner Paul Salopek is super-nice to random teenaged fans. Also my mom was very concerned about my war zone letters.
posted by Eyebrows McGee at 9:22 PM on March 31, 2015 [1 favorite]


Big camp hairdresser?
posted by futz at 9:23 PM on March 31, 2015


Since Michelle In California, among others, has admitted it, I can say I used to bite my toenails (fingernails, too), compulsively. It took me a long time to stop. This meant occasional skin infections. I wasn't gonna share this one because I thought it was too gross, but what the hell, right?

I once performed surgery (well, "surgery") on an infected toenail with a piece of broken glass.

During art school, I shared a studio apartment with another guy, and shortly after he moved in, a stack of his stuff fell over, which included a glass cookpot. It broke, and I cleaned up all the glass as best I could, borrowed a vacuum cleaner or something to get the tiny bits, but while I was getting the big pieces, I noticed this one sliver that was almost perfectly round, and a little smaller than the end of a fresh pencil eraser. It had an edge almost all the way around, and a thick place that wasn't sharp. It was kind of pretty, so I kept it on the shelf over my bed.

Some weeks later, I got the aforementioned toenail infection, and didn't worry too much about it, because I'd never had one get too serious before. They always cleared up with a combination of soaking in hot water at night and wrapping in adhesive tape during the day.

So, this one was taking longer than expected to get better, for whatever reason, and I could tell by examining it that the new skin was growing in underneath, but it was still hot and swollen and pink, and I noticed a red line starting to creep up my toe, which was the warning sign that it was about to get much worse.

So, I panicked for about two minutes, and then tried to find a sharp knife, which, being that my choice of subjects meant I had lots of sharp things like hobby knives around, should have been no trouble, right?

Nope. Pocket knife was too dull, Xacto blades didn't do it either. Hurt like hell, but didn't cut. I panicked some more.

In looking around the apartment, I noticed the little round chip of glass I had saved. I remembered something my middle school history teacher had said about experiments with obsidian scalpels, and figured I'd give it a shot. It was too small to hold with my fingers (fingernails all chewed down, remember) but I managed to grip it with tweezers, wrap the tweezers tight with some thin wire so I wouldn't drop the thing, and sterilize it with a combination of rubbing alcohol and fire, just like the Boy Scout manual says (the fire part, anyway).

A tiny cut and some running water later, some rubbing alcohol and cotton balls, and the whole thing was over. There was zero pain. The skin on top was pretty dead. The pain I had felt trying the Xacto was just from pressure.

When it was done, I felt the exact same satisfaction I did after I successfully transferred the tape from a cracked cassette into a fresh one on the first try.
posted by Mister Moofoo at 9:25 PM on March 31, 2015 [3 favorites]


i got into a scooter accident once and wound up with a hole in my foot. i like to refer to the hole in my foot because people are like "what. you had a hole in your foot. what."

i crashed going super slow but it was raining a bit, the first rain in aaaaages, and it pulled all the oil out of the street so i went down around a curve. i yelled for help and there was a concert getting ready in a nearby performance space and all the bands' moms were there. a handsome man came and picked me up and carried me inside and the moms took care of me until the paramedics came and then my parents took me to the hospital. i have no idea who that dude was but he did pick my bike up off of me and then pick me up in his arms like i weighed nothing, i think. there might've been people helping him with the bike. i was pretty high on adrenaline.

my arm has heeled clean by now but my foot is still scarred and it hurts sometimes if i am in hot water now, which really makes the spa experience less fun because i have to weirdly stick my foot out of the water sometimes. also it's a bit puffy and there are some shoes i can't wear anymore because they do not fit over the scar.

i was wearing a sunnydale high school shirt at the time and the asphalt stain came off the fabric but is still on the SHS logo with fangs coming out the bottom and i feel this is 100% appropriate
posted by NoraReed at 9:32 PM on March 31, 2015 [2 favorites]


(I still have my tonsils and appendix and I'm convinced they're both going to burst, without warning, at the same time, when I'm on a really long hike)

Oh my god me too.
posted by phunniemee at 9:32 PM on March 31, 2015 [2 favorites]


also I have invented an advancement on the atlatl. I keep meaning to get a patent for it but I have no idea how to do that.
posted by NoraReed at 9:35 PM on March 31, 2015 [2 favorites]


I regularly read tarot cards and natal astrology charts for friends, hit me up.

I read that as "nasal" astrology charts.
posted by jaguar at 9:49 PM on March 31, 2015 [1 favorite]


(I still have my tonsils and appendix and I'm convinced they're both going to burst, without warning, at the same time, when I'm on a really long hike)

My appendix burst within a week or so of separately breaking my phone, computer, glasses, and couch. In retrospect, I should have seen it coming.
posted by everybody had matching towels at 9:54 PM on March 31, 2015 [2 favorites]


I have a prehensile penis.

No. What?
posted by lollusc at 10:01 PM on March 31, 2015 [1 favorite]


I used to freak out my friends by stretching my thumb and pinkie out to make a completely straight line

wait, do you mean out to either side? is this weird?

(i have recently realized that i have legit horrifying hypermobility issues so it is hard for me to judge when what is normal for me is actually weird/creepy/unusual for other people. like apparently not everyone's fingers bend 90 degrees in the opposite direction, for example. did not know. i can also fold up my hands so that they are the exact circumference of my wrist, rendering handcuffs useless. one day when i finally turn to a life of crime this will come in handy.)
posted by poffin boffin at 11:03 PM on March 31, 2015 [2 favorites]


I keep meaning to get a patent for it but I have no idea how to do that.

first you must hunt the most dangerous game
posted by poffin boffin at 11:04 PM on March 31, 2015 [3 favorites]


jaguar: I read that as "nasal" astrology charts.

Seeing that much of this thread is about noses, that makes total sense.
posted by Too-Ticky at 11:14 PM on March 31, 2015 [1 favorite]


When I was about 9 years old, I gave myself a tetanus shot. Watching this caused my Mom to pass out. When she revived, she made me promise never to be come a junkie. I didn't know what that meant at the time, but have never injected myself with anything ever again.

Before I got my drivers license, I was a passenger in a car in an auto accident every Friday night for 4 weeks in a row. My seeming ability to cause vehicular mayhem meant all my friends stopped giving me rides for a while.

I went to see The Cramps, and Lux Interior was shaking his leather-clad ass at the audience, so I slapped it. He threw the mic at my head.

Eating a phenomenal amount of lobster comes naturally. At a company picnic I set the all-company record by eating 9 one-pound lobsters with butter and a bag of steamed clams. After remaining perfectly still for about half an hour, I played some volleyball and went swimming.
posted by Gotanda at 11:28 PM on March 31, 2015 [7 favorites]


I can inflate my tongue so that it becomes about 4 cm tall (that's height, not length) at the back, tapering down from there towards the front. I have no idea how I figured this out, or when. I have never met anyone else who has this ability, or has seen it before, though doubtless I'm not the only such mutant out there.

It looks a bit like a chest burster is coming out of my mouth, and tends to produce wonder, horror, and lewdity in equal measure.
posted by Palindromedary at 11:30 PM on March 31, 2015 [1 favorite]


Security for Wonka.
posted by clavdivs at 11:38 PM on March 31, 2015 [2 favorites]


I can inflate my tongue so that it becomes about 4 cm tall

I, too, can do this. Can you do the clover?
posted by Joseph Gurl at 11:47 PM on March 31, 2015 [1 favorite]


first you must hunt the most dangerous game

when i was taking atlatl class we tested them out on the university's big field and it was field trip day and none of us have very good aim or enough skill to throw far enough to hit any of the children but it still involved a dozen or so students throwing (untipped) spears across from like 20 buses worth of elementary school kids

we couldn't even hit the little cutout rabbit that the prof set up for us though
posted by NoraReed at 11:50 PM on March 31, 2015


-This past summer, I learned that I have quite the talent for calling bingo.
-I don't know how to ride a bicycle.
-Many, many years ago, in my first newspaper advertising job, I took an ad over the phone from Gary Cherone (formerly of Extreme and Van Halen). He actually called me back on my direct work line a couple times after that, just to chat.
posted by SisterHavana at 11:56 PM on March 31, 2015 [1 favorite]


I, too, can do this. Can you do the clover?

No, perhaps oddly I can't do any of the usual tricks other than the basic curl. I'm pleased to meet a fellow lizard though.
posted by Palindromedary at 12:03 AM on April 1, 2015


I always test positive for pregnancy. This was especially strange when I was sure of my virginity, despite the deeply skeptical looks from various doctors.

My blood contains "interfering heterophile antibodies," which are antibodies that cause many a false positive where blood tests are concerned.

Ironically, it was a reproductive specialist who figured this out; I believe she went on to write a nice academic paper.

(I also accidentally first posted this as restless_nomad; she had borrowed my phone and never logged out. I had to ask her to delete that comment while off shift...)
posted by Alex Haist at 12:13 AM on April 1, 2015 [13 favorites]


"when i was taking atlatl class we tested them out on the university's big field and it was field trip day and none of us have very good aim or enough skill to throw far enough to hit any of the children but it still involved a dozen or so students throwing (untipped) spears across from like 20 buses worth of elementary school kids"

I was a Baha'i for a while growing up, and one of the best things about being a Baha'i in central Michigan is that you could go to Camp Louhelen for a week or so in the summer, and one of the best things about Louhelen is that at the time, a family of champion boomerang and flying disc uh athletes I guess worked there. They competed in things like partner trick throws, and for a while one of 'em held a national record for Aerobie distance. So pretty much every kid learned to throw a boomerang well enough to have it come back, and most of the kids who went more than one year cajoled their parents into buying them a boomerang, so in the big field in the middle of camp there was a pretty constant danger of being whacked in the back of the head if you didn't pay attention.

That camp was also where I learned how to play D&D (if there's an image that sums up much of my early life, it's me staying up late to read the Monster's Manual, which I thought was much more fun than actually playing), orienteering, that weird "Concentrate" game (pro-tip: don't google 'concentrate camp game') and who Motley Crüe were (our 14-year-old counselor picked our cabin name).

Weirdly, I've also served as a counsellor and photography teacher at a Christian camp run by an ex-girlfriend's mom, which was my first exposure to a lot of "God told Noah to build me an ark-y ark-y." While I was there, I tried to turn a dilapidated snack hut into a pinhole camera and basically failed on a large scale, something that as I got better as a photographer I realized was because of the crushing heat of the summer fucking up the chemistry. But I did finally get to do a bunch of pranks that I'd always wanted to do, and it was funny how much the kids wanted to be pranked. One kid even woke up when we were saran wrapping them to their beds and moved his blankets around to make it easier to bind him down.
posted by klangklangston at 12:16 AM on April 1, 2015


One not-especially-gruesome injury I forgot: I once gave myself a black eye walking into a door in the dark, just like the domestic-violence excuse/cliche. Super-awkward for my husband.
posted by gingerest at 12:19 AM on April 1, 2015 [3 favorites]


I would be really delighted to hear more about gruesome injuries

Here's one, greg nog.

The day after high school graduation, some friends and I snuck into an industrial park one night to skateboard up and down the ramps near the loading docks. Board got ahead of me and the toe of my right foot caught on the asphalt and I fell. Buddy started teasing "What? Can't get up because your sneaker came off?" My foot had twisted at least 90° to the right and 45° up. We were trespassing so we didn't call an ambulance, but they loaded me into the back of a car and stopped by Friendly's to call my folks then drive me to the ER.

So, it was a bad trimalleolar fracture but not compound. Someone in the ER mumbled "I can't believe none of the bones are sticking out." The doctor who first set it said "This is going to hurt. A lot." It did. It took one large orderly on each arm to hold me down.

The first doc was going to just basically insert an angled steel rod and then fuse the joint so the ankle would never bend again. My folks called in a favor from an uncle who was an orthopedic surgeon to phone one of his friends in the middle of the night to get down to the hospital. This doctor thought he could repair the joint. Lucky for me, he could. Three surgeries, 13 screws, and a metal plate later, I can walk pretty much normally, but no more running for me.

The gruesome part was that the foot had been twisted for so long and treatment had been delayed and all the nerves and major blood vessels severed by the twisting bones that they weren't sure if it would "take," or if the foot would have to be amputated. I didn't learn this until much later, but got so pissed off by staff coming in and poking my toes what seemed like every hour of the day for a week to monitor my circulation. Also it was hugely swollen, so they couldn't really close the incisions that completely so the drains were sticking out of kind of gross open wounds.

The even more gruesome part was the surgery report. The doctor was an instructor in orthorpedic surgery (thus my especially fortunate outcome) so there was a detailed report and it had been video recorded for instruction. Reading the report, I seem to recall they actually removed the broken off ends of the tibia and fibula to drill holes for the screws and put them back in. Doc offered to let me watch the video, but that report was enough.
posted by Gotanda at 12:21 AM on April 1, 2015 [2 favorites]


I seem to have a visual memory for words and I can usually spell any word I've read before. This causes problems with words that are regularly mis-spelled, of course, and if I've been reading old books I sometimes fall into archaic spellings.

As a consequence of this I can count letters in words really fast and I tend to do it without realising it. People usually ask me for long words (e.g., antidisestablishmentarianism, 28; or pneumonoultramicroscopicsilicovolcanoconiosis, 45) but those take me a few seconds. I think it's more fun and useful to be able to instantly recognise the number of letters in shorter words, which is what I'm actually able to do.

When I do my party trick I just visualise the word and count the letters as if I saw them in front of me. This is hard to do with words that are more than eight letters or so, so I break them into units ("Pneumono", "ultra", "microscopic", "silico", "volcano", "coniosis") first. It's the addition that takes the time, not the counting.
posted by Joe in Australia at 12:45 AM on April 1, 2015 [2 favorites]


Oh, I also played Division I college rugby and studied poetry with a poet who won the Pulitzer when I was in her class (she was later US laureate, in rotation).
posted by Joseph Gurl at 1:01 AM on April 1, 2015


One more:

I worked for a dotcom startup from 99-02 or so, and I didn't own a computer (in fact, I never owned a computer until '03ish).
posted by Joseph Gurl at 1:02 AM on April 1, 2015


Weirdest thing I can do. Hmm.

I can circular breathe for up to 20 minutes on a trumpet but I don't know the notes.
posted by Joseph Gurl at 1:03 AM on April 1, 2015


I once woke up ventriquilogist Edgar Bergen in a hotel; he was extremely nice about it, and even brought Charlie McCarthy out to meet me: I remember Charlie was a bit taller than then-4-year-old me. (Charlie and I had a conversation about hotels with swimming pools....)
posted by easily confused at 3:21 AM on April 1, 2015


I'm left handed, but can only use scissors with my right hand due to a paucity of left-handed scissors during my youth. I also play bass right handedly.
posted by Renoroc at 4:17 AM on April 1, 2015


One not-especially-gruesome injury I forgot: I once gave myself a black eye walking into a door in the dark, just like the domestic-violence excuse/cliche. Super-awkward for my husband.

My ex-girlfriend did this and gave herself a huge shiner. The good thing is that lots of people care enough to offer help and intervention. The bad news is that none of them will believe that it was really an accident. Awkward just barely begins to cover it.
posted by Dip Flash at 5:39 AM on April 1, 2015 [2 favorites]


I still have my tonsils and appendix

I still have those, and all of my wisdom teeth. They just... never came down. Last time the dentist looked for them, he said they were so far up in my skull it would require major surgery to remove them.
posted by backseatpilot at 5:46 AM on April 1, 2015


I had my wisdom teeth taken out at Pitt Dental School (for $100!) but my teeth were so sideways and impacted that the student doing the procedure panicked halfway through and ran out of the room to find anyone to finish the job. He ended up finding the dean of the school in who proceeded to put a smock on over his suit and pull the rest of the bits and pieces of wisdom tooth out of my head. A photographer came in to take pictures since it was such an event that the dean was doing a procedure so my mouth ended up in the school newsletter that month.
posted by octothorpe at 6:09 AM on April 1, 2015 [10 favorites]


One not-especially-gruesome injury I forgot: I once gave myself a black eye walking into a door in the dark, just like the domestic-violence excuse/cliche. Super-awkward for my husband.

I can top that - I gave myself a black eye when I was ten by falling out of bed. We were visiting my grandparents', the bed was up against the "wrong" wall to what I was used to, and I rolled out and did a faceplant onto one of my own shoes.

My mother seemed way more uneasy about us going out in public that afternoon than I thought she needed to be. It took me years to realize what was probably behind that.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 6:40 AM on April 1, 2015


I can write in cursive backwards without even thinking about it much. My son asks me to say short sentences backwards (properly, not just how they're spelled) all the time because I'm just.that.cool.
posted by h00py at 6:45 AM on April 1, 2015 [2 favorites]


I once rolled out of the top bunk at a friend's house and landed on his trumpet, open in the case. I flattened half the bell and a bunch of the tubing. I didn't wake up. I was not bruised.
posted by Seamus at 6:47 AM on April 1, 2015 [3 favorites]


I had a mole removed from my eyebrow and I didn't apply the ice to stop the swelling as recommended by the surgeon because I had rehearsal afterwards (Cat on a Hot Tin Roof; I played Mae - nest o' lice!) and I had a full black eye/cheek for about 2 weeks afterwards. I tried to think of a more exciting reason for it than mole removal but I am in fact bland/cool and so just played up how big and deep the roots of the mole went.
posted by h00py at 6:50 AM on April 1, 2015


Wisdom teeth! They used local anesthetic for mine and injected some into the wrong place (onto a nerve or something, idk) and my chin was numb for two or three months. I like to tell this story to people about to go in for the procedure because I am a bad friend.
posted by everybody had matching towels at 6:52 AM on April 1, 2015 [6 favorites]


Around 1988 I won a Captain Kirk impersonation contest at a Star Trek convention--the only fan convention I have ever attended. I do not actually have the ability to impersonate Captain Kirk, and I have never practiced a Captain Kirk impersonation. But only two other people signed up, and it seemed like an easy way to get some dumb prizes as souvenirs, so I added my name to the list, and then when it was my turn I grabbed the mic and yelled "matlh! jol yIchu'!", which is the bit of Klingonese that Kirk shouted into a communicator to get the good guys beamed up to the Klingon Bird of Prey in Star Trek III. So I impersonated Kirk impersonating Klingon Commander Kruge which was a ploy at just the right intersection of dumb/clever/funny to win the adulation of my fellow nerds, and the applausometer jumped in my favor.

My prizes for winning: three old back issues of Starlog magazine, a book of Klingon poetry, and--for the Canadian connection, I suppose--a Dudley Do-right action figure.
posted by Pater Aletheias at 6:54 AM on April 1, 2015 [6 favorites]

One time a naked guy warned me about a bear. That night a bear visited my camp and took all my food.
You met a werebear?
posted by fullerine at 6:56 AM on April 1, 2015 [26 favorites]


My uterus is the 1%. If there's some kind of bizarre birth control side effect, I *will* get it. I have epilepsy and the Mirena actually induced seizures, making me quite notable to my neurologist (who specializes in epilepsy in pregnancy/childbearing women) as she had heard of this happening before all of NEVER.

Due to other various side effects - my cervix evicted the NuvaRing, birth control pills made me insane, Depo worked ok but I had to get it more frequently due to my anti convulsants and I was on it so long that doing that again for the rest of my fertile years would turn my bones into Swiss cheese... I elected to just get my tubes tied when my pregnancy career ended.

The procedure my OB preferred was actually getting the Fallopian tubes removed entirely, rather than a tubal ligation. I almost, ALMOST went for the Essure implants instead but changed my mind at the last minute when I read about the 1% side effects. So. Tubes out.

Surgery was totally no big deal, everything was fine. The tubes were examined by pathology, totally routine, and found to be covered in adrenal tissue. (The adrenal gland and its associated tissue live on your kidneys, this is a mishap that occurred when I myself was in utero as it doesn't exactly *migrate.*) The likelihood of this... Less than 1%. When going over my post op reports, my primary care doc's eyes nearly popped right out of her head - she had never even heard of such a thing. There are a lot of Notes in my chart about how I am Interesting.

(Would it have caused problems with the Essure? YOU BET YOUR BIPPY. Dodged one hell of a bullet.)
posted by sonika at 7:02 AM on April 1, 2015 [11 favorites]


(I've also read my entire OB chart. Other notes include how excited I was to find out I was having a girl, which is kind of sweet.)
posted by sonika at 7:05 AM on April 1, 2015 [2 favorites]


Hmmm. Ok, I have my appendix, tonsils, and wisdom teeth (fully erupted, according to the dentist). And due to medical issues, I haven't driven a car since 1997.
posted by worldswalker at 7:06 AM on April 1, 2015


Once I broke the two smallest fingers on my left hand (ring and pinkie, just like on most people's left hands). That isn't the interesting part. The interesting part is that then I went to a doctor to have them "fixed" and he decided to re-set them right then and there by hand, but first, obviously, I'd need to be anesthetized. So he got a HUGE SYRINGE full of anasthetic and put the needle into the top of my hand, then slowly depressed the plunger, causing a HUGE BUBBLE of anasthetic to grow under the skin of my hand. He then massaged this bubble of anasthetic toward my fingers.

Then he sort of yanked the fingers around until they were where he thought they ought to be, and put a cast on.
posted by kenko at 7:28 AM on April 1, 2015



> Never did get to play my band's tunes for him.

I think I can tell you why he suddenly changed transportation plans.
posted by gilrain at 4:51 PM on March 31 [1 favorite +] [!]


Because he didn't hear our sweet tunes, yes.
posted by GrapeApiary at 8:02 AM on April 1, 2015 [1 favorite]


I'm not an athlete by any means, but my resting heart rate is often in the 40's although it is 50 on average. I even drink caffeine regularly.

I'd like to think its because I have an exceptionally strong heart I got from my dad. He was once hospitalised for a severe case of gout. His heart stopped at one point during the night and then restarted again. The doctors said he was briefly clinically dead and remarked he had one of the most powerful hearts they had ever seen.
posted by vacapinta at 8:08 AM on April 1, 2015 [1 favorite]


My superpower is the ability to subconsciously keep track of short-term timers. Like, I'll set the microwave timer for 5:25 to cook dinner, and I will, without thinking about it and without being aware of how much time has passed other than "enough", get up and return to the kitchen when it says somewhere between 0:02 and 0:05. I have performed this feat so reliably, and for so many different periods of time, that what seemed like it was surely luck the first few times cannot possibly be luck anymore.

I have performed at Carnegie Hall.

I can recite about the first third of the periodic table, because a) as a child, I was really impressed that Meg Murray could do this in A Wrinkle In Time and b) about a third of the way is as far as I got before I got distracted by some other new literary fascination (probably counting the number of stairs in staircases, because Sherlock Holmes did that).

I can wiggle one, and only one, eyebrow. I taught myself to do this as a teenager, because it seemed like a good idea, but no matter how much I have tried to learn again since, I can't extent the talent to my other eyebrow.
posted by Hold your seahorses at 8:29 AM on April 1, 2015 [3 favorites]


My superpower is the ability to subconsciously keep track of short-term timers.

That reminds me. I'm one of those people who sets the alarm for 8am and then wakes up a few minutes before and shuts off the alarm right before it rings. I've met a few other people who do this too.

You basically have to drug me (e.g. heavy drinking, sleeping pills etc.) for me to wake up to an alarm instead of before it.
posted by vacapinta at 8:36 AM on April 1, 2015 [2 favorites]


i have a fish. in my pants.

Is that a literal fish, and if so is it alive or dead? If it is a metaphorical fish, is the metaphor because it is cold, floppy, and faintly unpleasant smelling or is there some other, possibly spine-related reason? Inquiring minds want to know.


you're not from around here, are you?
posted by quonsar II: smock fishpants and the temple of foon at 8:41 AM on April 1, 2015 [3 favorites]


my cervix evicted the NuvaRing,

I AM SO SORRY TO LAUGH AT YOUR UTERINE TRAVAILS but oh my god i can't stop picturing a furious cervix throwing all the nuvaring's belongings out onto the lawn while the nuvaring pleads for understanding and forgiveness.
posted by poffin boffin at 8:44 AM on April 1, 2015 [30 favorites]


Oh hey, I didn't think of this and I'm sure in this crowd, it's not unique (never mind the fact that my husband is a Mefite), but today is my 15th anniversary, no fooling! April 1 was a Saturday that year, it fit our schedule, and we didn't have a lot of competition for vendors. Also we had the Yellow Submarine art car for a getaway vehicle.
posted by immlass at 8:59 AM on April 1, 2015 [3 favorites]


The only bone I've ever broken is my skull. (I was hit by a car.)

I was in a choir for 10 years but these days I almost never even listen to music.

I can cook pretty well, and can put together a passable cake or bread dough by eye, but what I'm really good at is meal planning. I can look at an "empty" kitchen and come up with a three course meal with leftovers for tomorrow, and I love reading the grocery flyer. I'm also good at laundry. Basically what I'm saying is I would make one hell of a housewife.
posted by quaking fajita at 9:13 AM on April 1, 2015 [2 favorites]


I AM SO SORRY TO LAUGH AT YOUR UTERINE TRAVAILS but oh my god i can't stop picturing a furious cervix throwing all the nuvaring's belongings out onto the lawn while the nuvaring pleads for understanding and forgiveness.

That is an entirely accurate description of what happened, if by "lawn" you mean "my underpants."
posted by sonika at 9:15 AM on April 1, 2015 [24 favorites]


I can cook pretty well, and can put together a passable cake or bread dough by eye, but what I'm really good at is meal planning. I can look at an "empty" kitchen and come up with a three course meal with leftovers for tomorrow, and I love reading the grocery flyer. I'm also good at laundry. Basically what I'm saying is I would make one hell of a housewife.

What are your rates and when can you start?
posted by sonika at 9:17 AM on April 1, 2015 [9 favorites]


I once let near-strangers drive me an hour away to a workshop on strap-ons.

It was the summer of 2010, I was unemployed and bored, and I'd just gotten out of what was arguably my first serious relationship. I was trying to distract myself by any means available, so when I saw that an advocacy group I'd used to work with was throwing a benefit concert nearby, I jumped on it. Never mind that I hadn't seen anybody from said advocacy group since I quit the job that linked me to them. I'd bring a friend of my own so things wouldn't be awkward.

Unfortunately the concert ran on serious punk time during the week in DC, and my friend had hauled out from the NoVA boonies. When she had to run to catch the last metro, I was alone at the concert with people I only knew through my horribly dysfunctional first job.

But, my other secret talent is looking sad in public, and attracting friendly extroverts who pick up on my sad puppy face. So when a pair of drunk younger women came up to me and decided they needed to teach me to swagger and do a runway walk like a drag king, who was I to argue? (It turns out I suck at swaggering like a drag king.)

I took their numbers, and texted later in the week to see if they wanted to hang out. And they said "hey, we're going to a strap-on workshop in Baltimore, wanna come?" And because I was horrifically lonely can never pass up an opportunity for a good story, I took them up on it. I only wish I remember the technique I saw there for making a harness out of a bed sheet.

Other notable things about this pair; one of the women claimed to be minor Swedish royalty (never verified this, but the family home she lived in in upper Northwest DC was certainly befitting of royalty). The other lied to me about the university her mom worked for; quick googling revealed that her research was real, but she worked for a much less prestigious school than her daughter claimed.

The next year, I took a first okcupid date exploring on the grounds of the mostly-abandoned east campus of St. Elizabeths hospital. It's kind of a wonder I came out of DC alive.
posted by ActionPopulated at 9:36 AM on April 1, 2015 [4 favorites]


I made a FREE (creepy) HUGS t-shirt as a spoof of the FREE HUGS campaign. I quickly learned that wearing it meant I had to learn how to give creepy hugs to those that ask, and now (after wearing it to many parties and festivals) I have given hundreds of creepy hugs.

I never give creepy hugs unless specifically requested, and I go for emotional-vampire-creepy over sexual-harassment-creepy.

Memorable creepy hugs:
* A bunch of wrestlers at a Jiu Jitsu match.
* A man who said, afterwards, "Actually, that felt really nice. I haven't really been touched in a long time." (I gave him a second non-creepy hug).
* A woman with whom I subsequently had an extremely enjoyable discussion about boundaries.
* Nina Hartley
posted by Jonathan Harford at 9:37 AM on April 1, 2015 [9 favorites]


Metafilter: An entirely accurate description of what happened, if by "lawn" you mean "my underpants."
posted by Mchelly at 10:17 AM on April 1, 2015 [12 favorites]


In part inspired by WomensMarch I only listened to music by women for the month. Most of what I listen to is classical (etc.) music, so I am only listening to music composed by women. There were more relaxed rules for jazz, blues, rock, pop, and such, focusing more on the performers.

Last year I did something similar for Black History Month. Previously I listened my way, composer by composer, through Western classical music, or at least the medieval and renaissance eras, over the course of a couple months.

Inspired by current events (let's face it: MeFi FPPs) I have made (and listened to) playlists focusing on Ukranian music, LBGT composers (when DOMA was ruled unconstitutional), Degenerate music, Hurricane Sandy (I lived in Manhattan at the time), the Scottish independence vote, and more.
posted by mountmccabe at 10:34 AM on April 1, 2015 [3 favorites]


Ok, I have my appendix, tonsils, and wisdom teeth

I'll jump in with a "me, too!" while I can; yesterday my dentist said we should have a talk about my wisdom teeth at my next visit.
posted by Room 641-A at 10:37 AM on April 1, 2015


The first celebrity I ever met was Bowzer from Sha Na Na. I was four. There was a meet and greet after the show, and I had a bouquet of roses for him. My mom snuck in a camera, even though there was a no photographs allowed policy. When we got to the table, she asked if she could take a picture of him. He stood up, all eleventy hundred feet of him (he's 6'3 apparently, but I was four, and he was the tallest person I had ever seen at that point in my life), and said, "You most certainly may NOT!" Then he REACHED OVER THE TABLE, picked me up, grinned and said, "But you can take a picture of us." So that's why there's a picture of a terrified looking little Ruki clutching a bouquet of roses like my life depended on it while being held by Bowzer.

Also when I was a four, I rode a bull.

I have eaten just about every small to moderate sized woodland creature that can be found in southeastern New England. My babcia made this beef stew. My uncles hunted on the farm. I didn't make the connection until I was 13, and I was thoroughly horrified.
posted by Ruki at 10:41 AM on April 1, 2015 [3 favorites]


I really wanted to do an April Fool's Day version of this thread (which I love): "I want to get to know my fellow MeFites better! Tell us some things about yourself: your mother's maiden name, the name of your first pet, the last four digits of your Social Security Number."

But then I figured mods already have enough to do.
posted by DirtyOldTown at 10:43 AM on April 1, 2015 [4 favorites]


I gave birth to my 2nd child in Bolivia, at a little Catholic charity clinic that was adjacent to the squatter's settlement where I was living and doing research for my doctoral dissertation. When I went into labor I walked around the block a couple laps, had a coca cola at the shop across then street, then walked myself to the clinic. I also walked home the next day. The clinic had an operating table and 3 beds. The doctor told me to stop shouting like a sissy at one point during my very brief labor/delivery. It cost me $20, cash.
posted by drlith at 11:00 AM on April 1, 2015 [16 favorites]


I doubt this is very fascinating, but I think my only relevant superpower is the ability to successfully harness/leash train any cat I've put my mind to doing this for, including several belonging to roommates and friends. When I say "leash trained", my metric for success is "they will willingly go with me where I go, not just plunk themselves down under a bush in the yard to eat grass or run under the porch". My seal point longhaired kitty goes all the way the local park and back with me (roughly 3K total distance). I even have to carry poo baggies with me, since if we go anywhere near the playground or the ball diamond, he'll make a deposit in the sand/pea gravel and no one wants to find that on their shoes. The only difference between walking him and walking, say a small dog, is that he'll randomly sprint a couple meters up any handy tree trunks within reach, and sometimes when he gets tired/overheated and flops down (cats do seem to overheat somewhat more easily than dogs) I can just stick him on my shoulder to give him a ride. This causes no end of joy for the neighborhood children to whom I'm sure I've become the area's legendary weirdo cat lady.

the hardest case I've had yet was the small, semiferal tuxedo cat I had in my late teens; she took the longest and required the most patience but it ultimately turned out to be her /our best socialization project. She had originally been a barn cat on my mom's farm, and wasn't adjusting well to indoor city life until I leash trained her.
posted by lonefrontranger at 11:18 AM on April 1, 2015 [14 favorites]


I dated (and later broke up with) a millionaire who holds the record for being the world's youngest college graduate.

When I was fifteen, I got hit by a power surge caused by lightning, and my nickname throughout high school was Lightning Girl.

I'm unable to recognize Vince Gill. I've sat next to him (and chatted, once) on three separate occasions, but he just looks like somebody's cool dad. I think he has glasses?
posted by zoetrope at 11:25 AM on April 1, 2015 [2 favorites]


I once split an order of fried green tomatoes with Lewis Black.
posted by Illiterate Savant at 11:37 AM on April 1, 2015 [2 favorites]


I have never: gone on a date, driven a car, rented an apartment, or had a job interview
posted by The Whelk at 11:49 AM on April 1, 2015 [5 favorites]


I really wanted to do an April Fool's Day version of this thread (which I love): "I want to get to know my fellow MeFites better! Tell us some things about yourself: your mother's maiden name, the name of your first pet, the last four digits of your Social Security Number."

But then I figured mods already have enough to do.


Since metatalk is now queued they could have made their April Fool's joke not approving it till the 2nd and then reporting you to local law enforcement.
posted by phearlez at 11:58 AM on April 1, 2015 [1 favorite]


What are your rates and when can you start?

Sorry, have to finish writing up my phd before I can start my career as professional home economist.

Oh, how about this:

Getting hit by a car (technically, a pickup truck) topped off my ~year of "weird medical shit." During a period of approximately 14 months, I had to get a colonoscopy, two ultrasounds of different organs, and a single wisdom tooth removed (two are fine where they are, and the fourth doesn't exist). Oh and I was on iron supplements. And saw an ophthalmologist and a psychiatrist.

All for totally unrelated things, and all ultimately non-serious (except the accident. Should you want the phrasing from my discharge: "a supraorbital fracture along with a small epidural hematoma.")
posted by quaking fajita at 12:00 PM on April 1, 2015


Does anybody else here have toenails that point up?
posted by moira at 12:41 PM on April 1, 2015 [1 favorite]


I can write backwards as fast as forwards, a talent I discovered or invented while on LSD during Saturday detention in high school.
posted by mygothlaundry at 12:42 PM on April 1, 2015 [3 favorites]


Does anybody else here have toenails that point up?

Only on my pinky toes. Much to the detriment of my socks and said pinky toenails.
posted by Seamus at 12:53 PM on April 1, 2015 [1 favorite]


Ok, I have my appendix, tonsils, and wisdom teeth

I have my appendix and tonsils. I had my wisdom teeth until well into my 40s, when my relentless dentist nagged me into getting them out -- and boy, I don't miss brushing them and flossing them a bit -- and I had World's Most Boring Reaction to general anesthesia, which is that I insisted my husband go with me to shop for items I did not need at a local pharmacy before I let him take me home in the car. I have no memory of any of this and puzzled my puzzler quite a bit about the pharmacy bag and receipt I found later until my husband explained it to me. He said I did seem a bit weirdly zonked while doing my pharmacy shopping.
posted by bearwife at 12:56 PM on April 1, 2015 [1 favorite]


If we're talking celebrity weirdness, my family took a trip to the Bahamas where we stayed in Burl Ives' house, though upon finding that it was infested with gigantic spiders we spent the night on the tin roof of the porch instead of inside. In the morning we walked into town but caught a ride on a golf-cart driven by the owner of Checkers, and spent the evening on his unreasonably-large yacht.
posted by odinsdream at 1:21 PM on April 1, 2015 [2 favorites]


I stapled my finger in second grade to see what it felt like.

I burned my chin on a frying pan on a stove-top in third grade to see what it felt like.

I ran a bike into a pole in high school when distracted by puberty. I also rode it with deflated tires for a week before my dad found out and berated me for not learning bike care.

On a particularly frustrating college night, I jumped over a second floor railing and broke a sofa. I was unharmed. However, on another day I tripped on a flat sidewalk 2 steps outside a door in sneakers, and couldn't walk straight for 3 months afterwards.

I used to be good at measuring time by playing songs mentally, to about 1% error margin. I also used to have the ability to hold 2-3 songs in my head simultaneously.
posted by halifix at 1:23 PM on April 1, 2015


I stapled my finger in second grade to see what it felt like.

me too! Only it was 3rd grade (or maybe 4th), and boredom and idiocy was more of a factor than curiosity.
posted by GenjiandProust at 1:26 PM on April 1, 2015


To my knowledge, I have no laugh of my own. My laugh is the laugh of whoever I hang out with most (husband's, brother's, friend) and changes depending on the crowd I'm with. I occasionally borrow laughs from movies or random people and use those for a while. It's completely unintentional but I'm aware nowadays that I do it after a girl in college pointed it out to me.
posted by emjaybee at 1:40 PM on April 1, 2015 [5 favorites]


I am one of the relatively small number of people whom Xanax fills with rage. This makes it not a good anti-anxiety medication for me; fortunately, I'm not prone to anxiety.
posted by restless_nomad (staff) at 1:56 PM on April 1, 2015 [2 favorites]


"Due to other various side effects - my cervix evicted the NuvaRing, birth control pills made me insane, Depo worked ok but I had to get it more frequently due to my anti convulsants and I was on it so long that doing that again for the rest of my fertile years would turn my bones into Swiss cheese... I elected to just get my tubes tied when my pregnancy career ended. "

One of my teachers in high school was also the father of a couple of my friends, so I got to hear about his saga with birth control. After he and his wife had their first kid, they were trying to hold off. Then the condom broke, so kid #2. She got her tubes tied, but somehow in one of those freak occurrences, he managed to knock her up again. He got a vasectomy and about four years later, still managed to knock her up for the final brother. So, the first two kids had a three year gap, the next two had a five and four year gap, meaning the oldest was out on his own while I was still in high school with the youngest two. The oldest of the brothers had a kid, then had a failure of IIRC the pill and so had another. Then the dad got caught having an affair after he knocked up a grad student, also a failure of condom, and (IIRC) the oldest son got caught having an affair after he knocked up his girlfriend. We used to joke about the mighty sperm of the family, saying it was a celestial seed that only Galactus could stop.
posted by klangklangston at 2:03 PM on April 1, 2015 [3 favorites]


Burl Ives house? So yer sayin' you were the cats on Burl Ives' hot tin roof?
posted by Oyéah at 2:14 PM on April 1, 2015 [8 favorites]


"I have my appendix and tonsils."

Oh man, I'd forgotten about getting my tonsils out as an adult. I guess I had had stitches prior to the bike thing. Getting them out was fucking terrible and for a long time I really wasn't sure if I'd made the right decision. I used to get sinus infections that felt like someone stabbing an icepick through my ear every time I swallowed, and they'd last for five, six weeks at a time, at which point I'd usually get antibiotics (part of why I'm allergic to penicillin, I think). So after having several bouts of that in one year, the doctor finally talked me (with no insurance) into getting them out. It was miserable, some of the worst pain I've ever felt, and I spent pretty much every day for the next week drinking the thinnest soup imaginable.

But by the end of the week, they felt OK enough to have some soft solid food and, more importantly, have sex with the girl I was dating then. It'd been a week and my sensory homunculus had testes the size of basketballs. But afterwards, I noticed that I was coughing a bit of blood up. And it wouldn't stop. My mouth kept filling with blood. Nothing really hurt though, just blood.

So I go to urgent care and tell them what's going on and they tell me that they'll see me as soon as possible, but whatevs. I'm sitting there, and after an hour or so there's enough blood that I can't keep swallowing it. It's trickling down my face, and when I go back they just give me a little dixie cup to spit in. So I fill that with blood, and they give me another cup, and now it's been about three hours and my throat is starting to actually hurt. But the nurses are like, we'll see you when we see you. Just sit with your cup and be patient. I'm starting to get woozy, and keep coming back to the desk every ten minutes, then every five, and it's always we got nuttin' but love for ya, honey, keep chilling. Finally while I'm up there, I start coughing and that turns into gagging and I vomit out a golf ball sized chunk of semi-congealed blood and a good cup of other blood onto the floor and start staggering. That's when I suddenly became a priority and had to spend the next couple days on a saline drip when they realized I'd lost almost a liter of blood after the dissolving stitches in my throat had burst during sex.
posted by klangklangston at 2:21 PM on April 1, 2015 [7 favorites]


I had chicken pox as an adult(22)*, and it SUCKED! I caught it from my (then) 6 year old sister. Every time she saw me, I'd say "You did this to me!" and she'd get play-scared and run out of my room.

*had moved back home for economic reasons, left not long after
posted by jonmc at 2:23 PM on April 1, 2015 [1 favorite]


I'm always late to the party. But you knew that.

When I was in about second grade, I was playing in the front yard when the big mean girl from up the street was walking home from school.
"Wanna fight?" she asked.
"Sure," I said.

In the ensuing altercation, she bit my hand and otherwise cleaned my clock.

I had to think fast when my parents asked about the strange wound on my hand and how it became infected.
posted by key_of_z at 2:53 PM on April 1, 2015


My walking speed is so fast and my running so slow and ungainly that I essentially travel at a constant velocity.
posted by comealongpole at 4:01 PM on April 1, 2015 [11 favorites]


When I was an undergrad in university I could write a six page essay on pretty much anything my coursework threw at me in two hours (plus maybe an hour of prep) and usually get between B+ and A-.

My formula; six pages = 1500 words. 200 each for the intro and conclusion leaves 1100. Find four or five good points to support the thesis, plug 250-300 words in for each one and you're done!

Of course, these days I have trouble composing Metafilter posts.
posted by The Card Cheat at 4:17 PM on April 1, 2015 [7 favorites]


I am awesome at finding things that aren't lost and fixing computers that aren't broken just by walking into the room.
posted by bluesky43 at 4:25 PM on April 1, 2015


No pox, no tonsils, no cervix
posted by clavdivs at 4:49 PM on April 1, 2015 [1 favorite]


I have a history of accidentally making celebrities uncomfortable in restaurants.

One time I was eating dinner with my mother, telling her how great the movie Matinee is and how great John Goodman is in it. When I left the table to use the facilities I realized that Goodman himself was seated at the table next to ours and was looking at me rather suspiciously.

A few years later I was at another restaurant and gave the "what's up?" nod to someone who I thought was a neighbor at first. It wasn't until he frowned at me that I realized it was Laurence Fishburne.
posted by brundlefly at 5:09 PM on April 1, 2015


I have a mostly black thumb, but I'm really good at arranging flowers
posted by thivaia at 5:12 PM on April 1, 2015


I have never: gone on a date, driven a car, rented an apartment, or had a job interview

Oh, right. I've never had a driver's license for reasons I used to have trouble articulating. Luckily for me I was diagnosed as epileptic a few years back (I don't think I've ever mentioned that here.) which makes for a quick explanation that shuts people up.
posted by brundlefly at 5:14 PM on April 1, 2015 [1 favorite]


I am immune to existential crises.
posted by Johann Georg Faust at 5:36 PM on April 1, 2015 [2 favorites]


this one is for mr. bluesky. when he had his colonoscopy HE HAD NO ANESTHESIA. and marveled with the doc about the pink healthy state of his colon.
posted by bluesky43 at 5:55 PM on April 1, 2015


About a year ago I came pretty close to dying by being smashed between two cars. No big deal, right? But wait--I have it on video!

I went to a local gas station and parked in front of the building. As I picked out whatever I was buying I heard someone say there's something going on outside. Apparently there's a reckless driver careening all over the parking lot. That sucks, I thought, hope nobody gets hurt.

Then I see it: She full-on hits my driver side door (where I'd been standing about a minute ago) moving my parked car about a half a parking space. She backs up, nearly hit another car at the pump (who witnessed my car getting hit and decided they wanted no part of this) and finally stopped when her open (!) driver-side door goes past a parking block like in the movie Tommy Boy ("what'd you DO?"), forcing it permanently open.

My car was a total loss. The gas station got it all on video, too, with their recently-installed security cameras. The clerk let me go back into the employee area to watch it (as well as record it with my phone) on their video console. Sure enough, there I am getting out of the car, then it happens.

Apparently it was an older lady, there was some impairment due to medication involved, she was confused, and she just lost control of the vehicle. Did I mention I live in Florida?
posted by ostranenie at 6:26 PM on April 1, 2015 [7 favorites]


I castrated farm animals, edited a Super Bowl commercial, was roughed up by the Russian Secret Service, had lunch with Jerry Clower and was a set dresser for NPH's house in Gone Girl.
posted by DaddyNewt at 6:55 PM on April 1, 2015 [4 favorites]


I wrote an email to Tobias Wolff, and he responded right away, so that was pretty cool I guess
posted by showbiz_liz at 7:14 PM on April 1, 2015 [1 favorite]


In my early twenties I did some backpacking around South America. The absolute highlight, however, was being hospitalised in Peru for vomiting blood.

Abandoned by my travel buddy, I spent three days uncomprehending (no shared language) nil by mouth, and nothing to read, punctuated only with med students dropping by, reading my chart, and laughing at me*.

Topped off with an endoscopy.

An anesthetic-free endoscopy.

Two spritzes of an aerosol painkiller and down my throat the camera rammed. I still remember lying there, in the feotal position, eyes staring directly at the doctors crotch.

* It turned out, due to a translation error, my chart said I'd had four glass-fuls of vodka the night prior, rather than four standard drinks. They all thought I deserved it
posted by coriolisdave at 7:37 PM on April 1, 2015 [2 favorites]


OK. Since you asked for it. I am a man. I am 6'3", 205lbs worth of masculine human being. I am asked to lift heavy things and open tight jars - by other men!

Tonight, I wear a Maxipad.™

Actually, it's more of a house-brand "Sanitary Napkin" my wife buys from the BJ's by the orders-of-magnitude, and boy howdy, tonight, I'm glad she does.

You see, for the past month, despite eating whole-grain everything and eating "steamable" veggies by the entire bagful, things became, ummm... difficult... when contemplating life. On a particular fixture in most American homes.

After fruitlessly contemplating life especially deeply a few nights ago, I awoke with some discomfort. As all manly men do, I ignored it. And by ignoring it, I hid out in bed the whole day claiming to have a hangover despite not drinking. Hangovers are manly afflictions. Trying to poop too hard is somehow absent from the pantheon of "take a bullet" and "watch a badguy kill someone you like" pain.

It still hurts a whole bunch.

You can ignore it stoically, tho! Which is what I did!

Except I hung out in bed instead of helped a family member lift a heavy thing. And pranced about the house on tip-toes going "Hssst-hsst-hsst!" And, then, heroically, stoically, the damn grape-sized thing burst.

Been bleeding since.

Everywhere I sat or laid down on. Deep, dark, dookie blood, a horrible stain. In everything I was wearing from the belt-line down, on the bed sheets. I knew I was in for a ton of fun when the actual ER Dr, not the ER Nurse Practitioner, after probing around painfully with a flashlight, said, regretfully, she needed to make some phone calls...

Her calls were returned! Nothing they can do. It will take three to twelve days for it to stop. If I had ran to the hospital at the first twinge of discomfort like a less virile man, a simple procedure would have prevented me from wearing my wife's MaxipadsImeanSanitarynapkins in my super-hawt boxer-briefs for the immediate future.

Also, I am typing this standing up, as there is not enough tylenol in the world...
posted by Slap*Happy at 8:06 PM on April 1, 2015 [9 favorites]


I am one of the relatively small number of people whom Xanax fills with rage. This makes it not a good anti-anxiety medication for me; fortunately, I'm not prone to anxiety.

if anyone ever invites you to go live on a planet called Miranda, please don't go
posted by NoraReed at 8:14 PM on April 1, 2015 [18 favorites]


It turned out, due to a translation error, my chart said I'd had four glass-fuls of vodka the night prior, rather than four standard drinks. They all thought I deserved it

After being punched in the head in South America (second of five), the hospital staff generously let me do the goddamn math myself on how many kilograms I -- a lifelong user of the Imperial system -- weighed. Turns out I did the conversion wrong, resulting in my getting nearly half again as much anesthetic as I needed. They called the U.S. embassy because they thought they'd killed an American, but I woke up before someone was dispatched.
posted by Etrigan at 8:20 PM on April 1, 2015 [2 favorites]


when he had his colonoscopy HE HAD NO ANESTHESIA

That's hardcore. I was awake for my sigmoidoscopy (and likewise marvelled at the clean pink perfection of my colon) but for the long pipe I want good drugs.
posted by Johnny Wallflower at 8:26 PM on April 1, 2015


About all I recall from my colonoscopy was watching the Propofol snake through my IV tube then the next moment after I saw it hit the needle I was in the recovery area. Switched off.
posted by Abon Sapi at 8:32 PM on April 1, 2015


Oh I forgot some of my favorite ones!

I got to go to a rehearsal of John Adams' (whom I am not in general terribly fond of) Doctor Atomic Symphony and a subsequent Q&A session with the composer. At one point in the piece the violin section starts in on an arrhythmic passage performed col legno battuto (you bounce the wood of the bow off the strings rather than drawing the hair across them) in a way that really evokes a Geiger counter. I asked him if that was the intent during the Q&A session and he paused for a second like he was deciding whether to tell the truth and finally said, no, it wasn't the intent at all, but he liked the notion. My composition teacher assured me that I could sue him should he go on to start telling people that that was in fact the idea.

I can manage the Sid Caesar-like talent of speaking valid-sounding nonsense in other languages. I'll grant that I practice this a little bit by doing it when I'm bored and alone, but I kind of just discovered one day that it was something I can do. I'm pretty good at French, Italian, and German, decent at Japanese, and I can kind of pull off Cantonese on a good day. Weirdly, I'm incapable of doing it with Spanish because I actually know that language, and naturally English is out of the question.
posted by invitapriore at 9:02 PM on April 1, 2015 [1 favorite]


Some of my dubious claims to fame:

- When I was around 5, I had meningitis. I started convulsing in the early hours of the morning and my mom took me to the hospital. While I was convulsing at home my teenaged uncle thought I was possessed because The Exorcist had just made its broadcast television debut the night before. (If only!)

- If I'm in the middle of a recalcitrant sneeze, looking toward a bright light will usually help complete the transaction. When I tell people this they generally think I'm nuts but it's a real thing. (One of the names for it is ACHOO syndrome - autosomal dominant compulsive/compelling helio-ophthalmic outburst and that is not, in any way, an April Fool's joke. This is why we can't have nice things, science.)
posted by Arrrgyle at 9:04 PM on April 1, 2015 [2 favorites]


If I'm in the middle of a recalcitrant sneeze, looking toward a bright light will usually help complete the transaction. When I tell people this they generally think I'm nuts but it's a real thing.

My biology teacher in 9th grade actually taught us to do this. You need better people around whom to sneeze recalcitrantly.
posted by jaguar at 9:11 PM on April 1, 2015 [5 favorites]


The only thing I remember from my endoscopy was yelping NOT THE BUTT ONE RIGHT just before passing out to general laughter from the nurses and an immensely put-upon sigh from my gastro doctor who is perhaps the most humorless person on earth. later i woke up with a sore throat and he yelled at me for having food in my stomach even though i hadn't eaten since 8pm the night before, so then about a week or so later he made me eat radioactive eggs at 630 in the morning as cruel retribution.
posted by poffin boffin at 9:18 PM on April 1, 2015 [5 favorites]


I am one of the first 6000 users on Twitter. (Type 'vacapinta' here to see)
I am one of the first 7000 people on Facebook. I have a four-digit userid. I'm a Harvard alum and joined only a few months after it was launched.
I am one of the first 200 people on Flickr. (here's my upload of photo #1500) It is why I have the nice url of flickr.com/ricardo

This has not brought me money or fame. But perhaps people could pay me to tell them what I am signing up for at the moment.
posted by vacapinta at 9:19 PM on April 1, 2015 [13 favorites]


I once shot a man in Reno just to watch him die.

No wait, that's just the song I'm listening to.
posted by Sleeper at 10:47 PM on April 1, 2015 [1 favorite]


"No pox, no tonsils, no cervix"

NO PEACE

You see, for the past month, despite eating whole-grain everything and eating "steamable" veggies by the entire bagful, things became, ummm... difficult... when contemplating life. On a particular fixture in most American homes.

After fruitlessly contemplating life especially deeply a few nights ago, I awoke with some discomfort. As all manly men do, I ignored it. And by ignoring it, I hid out in bed the whole day claiming to have a hangover despite not drinking. Hangovers are manly afflictions. Trying to poop too hard is somehow absent from the pantheon of "take a bullet" and "watch a badguy kill someone you like" pain.


One of the absolute worst parts of having to take opioids for months was the constipation. Even with the prescription laxatives. And from there, the hemorrhoids. Right about exactly the time I could actually walk and hike again, my wife's family had a trip planned to Yosemite, which we'd planned for about a year. I wasn't gonna miss it… so I spent a good third of it making everyone stop the car every ten minutes so I could get off my ass, and blaming it on an old back injury. Ass pain is no joke; much sympathy.

(One of my wife's old coworkers kept having stomach problems until she collapsed at work. She was 19 and had moved out of her Jehova's Witness parents' place a couple months prior, so was being shunned. It turned out that she had no idea that not taking a shit for a month was weird or related to the extreme gut pain she had off and on, and had impacted bowels that needed surgery. Apparently, she was poop shy not only where she worked but also in the apartment she lived in. She came back and told her nonplussed coworkers that she was on doctor's orders to poop at least once a day.

She was a weird girl in other ways too. She left the Witnesses and her parents to marry some 35-year-old she'd met at the mall, and used to boast that she was only working until the wedding so didn't need to learn any of the systems at the medical office she and my wife worked at. I don't remember if she was the same coworker of my wife's that only ate jerky, but it would make sense.)
posted by klangklangston at 11:47 PM on April 1, 2015 [1 favorite]


What does a classical latin accent sound like? I've often wondered. All I remember from high school is Sister Mary Aiden, whenever she thought we were dozing off, leaping from the teacher's dais (or is the classical term "podium"?) and making us stand and decline "amo, amas, amat, etc" with arm exercises . "Again!" she'd cry, "Louder!" and as our volume increased our arms flailed harder. We often dozed off, consequently to this day I can decline that one latin verb and no other.

Also I can curl my little finger over my ring finger without assistance from any other digits.
posted by valetta at 2:03 AM on April 2, 2015


I once shot a man in Reno just to watch him die.

I once put that in a dating profile.
posted by valetta at 2:10 AM on April 2, 2015 [5 favorites]


Thought of some more.

I was kidnapped in Nara by a well-intentioned grandmother-type lady. I was waiting on the platform for my train to arrive, heading to Nara city when this lady came up and asked, in a mixture of simple Japanese and English, if I'd ever been to Nara Park before. Now, at this time, I'd been living in Japan for a couple of months and I wasn't really comfortable with anything yet. I tried to tell the lady that I had in fact been to the park, but something got lost in the telling of it, and she determined that it was her duty that day to make sure I went to the park, and did all the tourist stuff you do there - see Toudaiji, feed the deer, go to Kasuga Taisha.... so despite my initial protestations, that's how I ended up spending my afternoon; mainly because I just couldn't figure out how to get out of the situation. She paid for everything, including my train ticket back home, after cheerfully walking me back to the station. All in all, it was a pretty fun afternoon, even though I'm pretty sure neither of us made any sense to the other.

I've been on tv in Japan a bunch of times, but that's something every foreigner living here does eventually.

I used to have a friend connected with Yoshimoto Kogyo, and one day I got a message saying there was going to be a film festival showing short movies directed by Yoshimoto comedians, and would I be available to be an extra? The filming time worked with my schedule, so one morning I woke up extra early, met the director and the other extras, and got to be zombie victim #1. I screamed when the zombies killed me, and when I finally saw the final movie, I realized they used that scream every time someone in the movie died. I've heard my scream a few other times on tv with Yoshimoto produced shows, so I guess they kept it in their sound database or something.
posted by emmling at 6:19 AM on April 2, 2015 [10 favorites]


I have a valid permanent residence card for the US.
I have a valid permanent residence card for The Netherlands.
I have a valid permanent residence card for Finland.
I have a...wait the permanent residence card for Singapore expired in Sept 2014 but I do have a valid visa right now.
I have a valid citizenship of India.

This means that as recently as 6 months ago I could technically live and work (and pay taxes) on 3 continents, simultaneously to 5 different national tax authorities don't try this alone at home
posted by infini at 7:00 AM on April 2, 2015 [7 favorites]


Like candy... the last few... like candy on Halloween.
posted by infini at 7:02 AM on April 2, 2015


Oh right. People keep reminding of other things..

By the end of 2015, I'll be a citizen of three different countries: US, Mexico, UK.
I'm thinking of keeping the three passports in a small drawer surrounded by foreign currencies - just like in the movies.

The last one allows me to live and work anywhere in the EU. Even if the UK left the EU though, it wouldn't affect me. My wife is an EU citizen so I could still travel and work as her spouse.
posted by vacapinta at 7:19 AM on April 2, 2015 [5 favorites]


I also have my tonsils and appendix, and never had chicken pox.

I did get my wisdom teeth taken out around 7 years ago. It was nowhere near as awful as I thought it would be. The oral surgeon told me afterward that the part that took longest was waiting for me to come out of sedation. (I woke up the next morning in no pain, either. )
posted by SisterHavana at 7:28 AM on April 2, 2015


I asked Seymour Papert if he agreed that computers should get voting rights eventually. It was during his visit to Moscow in the 1980s. (He agreed.)
posted by hat_eater at 7:40 AM on April 2, 2015


I don't have, and never had, wisdom teeth. My dentist says it's a 1/400 chance but talking to people, I suspect it's rarer than that.

I used to live next door to Wonkette's parents.

Twenty-some years ago I lost touch with the man I dated for three years in college. Two years ago, he recognized me on Metafilter and we got back in touch via MeMail. (This is a good thing - it was great to catch up with him.)
posted by workerant at 7:44 AM on April 2, 2015 [1 favorite]


I live in Santa Monica so I better jump in with this while I still can, too: no mumps, measles, or chicken pox.
posted by Room 641-A at 8:05 AM on April 2, 2015


When my mom was growing up in New Jersey, she lived next door to William Shockley who co-invented the transistor and then later helped found Silicon Valley (and then later turned into a racist crank).
posted by octothorpe at 8:42 AM on April 2, 2015


In the 1980s, I studied Japanese for a year or so, and on a test was once asked to explain the usage of the particle "wa" [は]. I don't remember what I said, but when the TA handed the tests back, she asked me if she could cite me in her thesis. I was complimented by my teachers on the accuracy and elegance of my hiragana and kanji, which they said were as good as any native, and because I was scrupulous about stroke order, even when I didn't take care, I was still quite legible.

Today, I don't speak a word of Japanese, except for this snippet from one of my textbooks, which I found so absurd that I have always remembered it [albeit only in romaji, and probably not accurately]: Arubeito-o shinagara benkyo suru no wa taihen desu ne?
posted by QuakerMel at 9:03 AM on April 2, 2015


My parents told me I was fluent in Japanese when we lived in Japan (i.e. when I was 4-5 years old). I never questioned this for some reason, even though my only Japanese words as an adult are "arigato" and various words for Japanese foods. Now I wonder how fluent in a language any 4 year old can be . . . but if this was actually true, then I used to be fluent and later managed to forget everything.
posted by bearwife at 9:18 AM on April 2, 2015


passports in a small drawer surrounded by foreign currencies - just like in the movies.

what movies? that's how I keep my IDs and passport ;p

its when you start sorting into hard and soft currencies you know its far too much
posted by infini at 9:35 AM on April 2, 2015 [3 favorites]


When I was very young, I wrote a letter to Richard Scarry, who was my favorite author at the time. I got a typed and signed letter back with a pencil-and-ink drawing of Sergeant Murphy, Huckle Cat and Lowly Worm on a motorbike. Sooooo cool.
posted by infinitewindow at 10:19 AM on April 2, 2015 [9 favorites]


> My parents told me I was fluent in Japanese when we lived in Japan (i.e. when I was 4-5 years old). I never questioned this for some reason, even though my only Japanese words as an adult are "arigato" and various words for Japanese foods. Now I wonder how fluent in a language any 4 year old can be . . . but if this was actually true, then I used to be fluent and later managed to forget everything.

This applies to me as well, except that I (re)learned some—not much—Japanese when we were there for another few years when I was 10 to 14. Four-year-olds are pretty fluent in the basics of the language, though obviously they're not going to be discussing philosophy, and there's no reason to doubt your parents' story.
posted by languagehat at 10:36 AM on April 2, 2015 [3 favorites]


I was into facebook in 1983.
Mind you that was boarding school and the facebook was what the student directory was called. But still - facebook!
posted by From Bklyn at 10:44 AM on April 2, 2015 [2 favorites]


A family member once let my dog loose on the Augusta National golf course. My dog thought this was awesome. They had to grab some carts to catch up with him a few holes later. My husband and I weren't there, but now whenever we pass a golf course with Dog in tow, I faux-shout "DOG PAAAAAAAAARK!" in the excited voice we use to make fun of the dog sometimes.

I have a random nub of cartilage protruding from my ear that sits just forward of my tragus.

When I was 13, Bill Clinton once returned my enthusiastic thumbs-up from his presidential limo. This fun fact's level of creepiness has waxed and waned over the intervening years.

I crashed a car into a tree when I was four. (While buckling me into the passenger seat, my grandfather told me I could shift gears once we got down the driveway. Awed by the Extreme Responsibility of this task, tiny me decided I should really practice it first to be sure I did it right.)
posted by deludingmyself at 11:02 AM on April 2, 2015 [3 favorites]


I'm sure there are all sorts of things about me that are bizarre but I just perceive as normal, so I won't guess here.

The one thing that baffles me: I have quite a few tattoos, two on my hipbones, and yet I am terrified of having blood taken.
posted by averysmallcat at 11:12 AM on April 2, 2015 [1 favorite]


I served Molotov a cocktail. The cocktail party was in Vienna in the early 1960s. I lived with the family of an International Atomic Energy Agency bigwig; Molotov was the Russian envoy to the IAEA. Shortly after I served him a cocktail he was forced into retirement. It was not my doing, I was just a kid.
posted by mareli at 11:17 AM on April 2, 2015 [19 favorites]


The driving stories reminded me of the fact that I backed my parents' car into the garage door when I was learning to drive. Also, I did this from inside the garage. (I was trying to judge how far the door had opened by sound and I was...off.) Also, I was 21 years old.

But they had wanted to replace the door for years and I guess this gave them the final impetus they needed.
posted by capricorn at 12:28 PM on April 2, 2015


When I was very young, I wrote a letter to Richard Scarry, who was my favorite author at the time. I got a typed and signed letter back with a pencil-and-ink drawing of Sergeant Murphy, Huckle Cat and Lowly Worm on a motorbike.

I tried writing a fan letter to Charles Schulz when I was little, complete with a little drawing of a dancing Snoopy. However, I'd been working with an old address for his publisher, and it ended up in the hands of a secretary at a typewriter company, who took pity on me and returned it, with an apologetic letter saying "I'm sure Mr. Schulz would have liked your picture very much."

I was disappointed, but still somehow it felt like a very "Charlie Brown" sort of outcome.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 12:39 PM on April 2, 2015 [14 favorites]


It's common enough advice, but I can tell you from experience: do not leave a child in a car, not even to run back inside for, like, five seconds because you forgot something. Especially if the child is curious and prone to experimenting to satisfy that curiosity.

We had a long, fairly steep, and wooded driveway. I had been left alone in the passenger seat of our Isuzu Trooper, at the top of the drive, for, like, five seconds before I found myself terribly curious what that button at the end of that lever did. I resisted pushing it for another few seconds, then tried a good ol' push. It was stubborn, but I did get it pushed.

The lever snapped down, and the car lurched backward down the drive. It picked up alarming speed, somehow weaved through a couple trees, then smashed into a final tree at the bottom of the drive, just before the road where it would, in all likelihood due to the quiet neighborhood, have continued across and into the living room of the house across the street.

From the inside, all of this was a brief, scary, very bumpy ride with a sudden, somewhat painful conclusion. I can't remember which parent rushed down moments afterward, but, as is the nature of near-misses, they were too relieved to find me unharmed to be angry.

So, never leave a child alone in a car. Or, at least put it in gear as well as apply the emergency brake.

Years later, I was endlessly amused to find there was a Calvin and Hobbes strip with a nearly identical scenario.
posted by gilrain at 12:40 PM on April 2, 2015 [4 favorites]


I have a third nipple.
...
Also a fourth.
posted by carsonb at 12:40 PM on April 2, 2015


It's time to realize that they're teats.
posted by Abon Sapi at 12:42 PM on April 2, 2015 [12 favorites]


When I was a wee lad of 4 or 5, I ran over myself with our neighbor's car.
posted by rhizome at 12:43 PM on April 2, 2015 [2 favorites]


That reminds me. I'm one of those people who sets the alarm for 8am and then wakes up a few minutes before and shuts off the alarm right before it rings. I've met a few other people who do this too.

You basically have to drug me (e.g. heavy drinking, sleeping pills etc.) for me to wake up to an alarm instead of before it.
posted by vacapinta at 8:36 AM on April 1 [2 favorites +] [!]


I have this ability as well, and I can wake up to a resolution of almost exactly 60 seconds before the alarm. I have done it often enough that I started counting as soon as I opened my eyes and have without fail been within 5-8 seconds.

There is a byproduct of this, too - I can tell myself, while looking at a clock, "I need to nap for 47 minutes."

I will wake up exactly 47 minutes later, or whatever number I call for. It's weird.
posted by Thistledown at 2:10 PM on April 2, 2015 [3 favorites]


gilrain, I had a shorter steep driveway when my oldest son did the exact same thing. He ended up with the car halfway in the grass in the perfectly level yard across the street, stopping well before the picture window of their living room.

Yes, we had the related Calvin and Hobbes strip on our fridge for a while. No, I never left my kids in the car again, not even to lock the damn door (the task I was up to when he did this -- our garage had no remote control dealie and had to be locked manually).
posted by Michele in California at 2:24 PM on April 2, 2015 [1 favorite]


I've been struck by lightning inside my own home during a thunderstorm.
posted by Unicorn on the cob at 3:42 PM on April 2, 2015 [5 favorites]


I don't know if they're fascinating or anything, but... some of these I may have mentioned once or twice before:
- I was once in the running for the Twin Galaxies world record in Dreamcast Crazy Taxi. 8th place was where I topped out, but then they ruled that a tactic that I didn't find fun to play was legal, and once allowed obviously the best strategy, so I dropped out without sending in a tape. I was also (once obviously hacked scores are removed) in the top 20 worldwide for Steam Pac-Man CE DX, with a score of 2,100,440. In Pac-Man CE DX, the non-hacked scores rely on fortuitous monster behavior that really only luck can provide. (The scoreboard is currently overloaded with hacked scores which Namco has failed to clean out, which is shameful because it's easy to tell if most scores are hacked because replays are available. The highest legitimate score on the Championship 2 board that I've verified is Wizzleteeth's score of 2,164,610.)
- I once interviewed Commodore 64 engineer and legend Jim Butterfield in a chat room for Compuserve's Commodore forum, for Loadstar, the Commodore magazine I was submitting to at the time. We covered a lot of topics. I send the transcript in to the magazine, but as far as I know it was never printed, and I have no extant transcript. I am amazingly saddened by this because Butterfield passed away a few years ago (which fact made the blue).
- One night late at DragonCon in Atlanta, we (me and friend Matt) were walking through the darkened Peachtree Mall on the way to MARTA, and I was talking to a Brunswick friend on Matt's cellphone. All the stores were closed and the lights were down. We were in a bit of a hurry, but who did we find sitting there alone in the dark at a table in the food court but "TV's" Frank Conniff, of Mystery Science Theater 3000. He was gracious even in the face of my incredible fanboying, and agreed to say hello to my Brunswick friend over the phone (who's also a MSTie). It remains the only time I've seen a DragonCon guest celebrity anywhere outside of a panel.
posted by JHarris at 3:54 PM on April 2, 2015 [2 favorites]


Genesis P-Orridge wanted to give me a back rub.

Also, HOLY HELL! The voluntary eye-twitch crew needs to get together and freak each other out. I'm so glad it has a name--now that my son can do it, I can neurotically research it and be reassured that I haven't shared the worst bit of my DNA possible (and now he freaks all his friends out, too.)
posted by readymade at 4:52 PM on April 2, 2015 [1 favorite]


Also, Tony Millionaire drew Drinky Crow on an envelope mailed to me, complete with my name. Clearly I framed it.
posted by readymade at 4:58 PM on April 2, 2015 [2 favorites]


I, too, can do the eye-twitch thing. I also can flare my nostrils.
posted by NoraReed at 5:14 PM on April 2, 2015 [1 favorite]


hmmmm. I've kind of had different jobs and been willing to be mobile, sometimes on short notice. opportunity knocks more than people think, you just have to answer the damned door.

I used to work for Jerry Brown. I once performed in a Jimmy Hendrix tribute, doing Arap to Purple Haze (sometimes, opportunity knocks and you should say, thanks, but no).

I whistle tunefully quite well, would like to learn to whistle Loudly.
I get depressed; the last couple years were clouded by Zoloft, but were rather more survivable. I am a grandmother. Holding a sleeping grandbaby cures depression.
I am very, very frugal.
I suspect that many of you think you are dull or unexciting and are not. MeFi is my 2nd home, and I consider many of you siblings. Matt always liked you best.
posted by theora55 at 5:15 PM on April 2, 2015 [7 favorites]


I ran into a window as a kid and severed the frenulum on my tongue, so my tongue extends a bit further out than most people's, and i can also fold it in on itself, which i think is kind of cool, if a bit disgusting.

My great-grandad was a somewhat famous cartoonist in argentina, and he received Walt Disney once when he was visiting, you can see them drawing cartoons of each other at around the 20-second mark.
posted by palbo at 5:15 PM on April 2, 2015 [2 favorites]


I once complained about having to write a one page essay to a woman I later realized was Pauline Kael. In my defense, I was in middle school at the time.

I watched a lunar eclipse in a parking lot with the guy who came up with the idea of the Hayflick limit.

A Nobel Prize winner was impressed by a gel I did. It turned out to have completely useless results (all background contaminants, sigh).

I once crashed an opera while at a grad school interview weekend. Just walked in and found a seat for myself and my extremely confused/impressed student host.

I can do this thing where I line up all five fingernails on one hand in parallel, including my thumb nail. I can touch my tongue to my nose.
posted by sciencegeek at 5:16 PM on April 2, 2015 [1 favorite]


My first job was an Elf. My Mom made me a hideously awesome costume out of felt. Felt spats, that fit over my shoes, pointy and stiff. Felt skirt. Felt vest, and this was all GREEN, btw, with gold brick-a-brack edging, and the vest was worn over a white turtleneck. Complete with a sort of weird Robin Hood green felt cap. All so I could earn $1.85 an hour, assisting little children on their way to the lap of Santa. While my brethren and sistren worked across the way at Baskin Robbins, I was thrown to the Santa wolves. NO ICE CREAM FOR ME.

The Santa and his photog took me to lunch at Denny's. So I got to listen to two middle-aged men talk about their lives. One of them had an MG, and being 13, I really didn't care. I couldn't wait to get back home and eat one of my sister's ice cream cakes.
posted by Marie Mon Dieu at 5:39 PM on April 2, 2015


As a small child riding on my father's shoulders I decided I wanted down and threw myself backward. He didn't manage to catch me before I hit the ground. I apparently hit chest first and then my head hit the ground. I had a bruise the size of my fist in the middle of my forehead. In the end, the bones in my forehead didn't combine into a flat plane, but fused in more of a bump. In short, I have a Klingon ridge. You can't see anything, but you can feel it.
posted by stoneegg21 at 5:49 PM on April 2, 2015 [1 favorite]


You guys are weird.

My great-uncle was the voice of Moses in The Ten Commandments.

I too can flare my nostrils, NoraReed.
posted by Uncle Grumpy at 5:52 PM on April 2, 2015


I found out who my dad was when my mom spotted him in a small role in a movie
posted by The Whelk at 5:54 PM on April 2, 2015 [4 favorites]


You guys are weird.

I had about twenty nicknames as a kid. They included Weirdo, Weird One and Weird O. (short for Weird One). Those were some of the affectionate ones from home, unlike the really hostile school nicknames.

So, guilty as charged -- and have been for a really, really long time.
posted by Michele in California at 5:58 PM on April 2, 2015


If I blow hard enough, my left nostril produces a super-shrill whistle. It started when I was about 12 (the age at which uniqueness is death by embarrassment) and evolved into a fun party trick that I forget most of the time. It's only one tone, a G I think.

I won $945 from a Taco Bell contest; I never knew those codes printed on cups were legitimate.

I can drive (and crank start!) a Ford Model T. Both are tricky in their own way (the car has three pedals on the floor, none of which provide the gas).

My grandparents and great-grandparents worked for Harry Bennett (Henry Ford's thug), so my dad owns Harry Bennett's pistol. He also has a biography of Abraham Lincoln autographed by Henry Ford, who thought this biography proved that Lincoln was an anti-Semite (or so the theory goes).

As long as I'm on a Ford kick, here's a longer story:

I worked at Greenfield Village in college (hence the Model T driving), and one afternoon I was working in Henry Ford's birth home when a child started to climb over the rope in the kitchen. Much of my job as historical presenter was corralling children and protecting the artifacts, so I got good at off-the-cuff remarks that got people's attention. Whoa, there's history back there was a good mix of silly and serious that alerted parents to trespasses without embarrassing anyone.

But on this day, the goofy part of my brain kicked in, and without thinking I blurted (to a four year-old) Hey, if you go behind that rope, Henry Ford is going to run out of that closet and chew your face off!

My life (or at least my continued employment) flashed before my eyes as I stammered a weak apology to the parents; they were weirdly cool with it and the kid didn't care. Bullet dodged.

Two years later, I'm interviewing for my first job after college. The interviewer asked what was the biggest risk I ever took. I was a college graduate with few marketable skills, so I gave a limp answer about embarking on a road trip without telling my parents, which was such a boring response, even to my unmarketable self.

Naturally, I started talking about the summers I spent as an historical presenter and then oh my God I'm repeating the story above and I can't stop and I can't change the ending and the next thing I know I'm telling a representative of a Fortune 500 company Henry Ford will chew your face off! and God did I feel dumb.

I got the job! Part of me wants to tell it in every interview, just to see if it's my talisman of employment.
posted by Turkey Glue at 6:04 PM on April 2, 2015 [12 favorites]


Let's see....

There's a non-player character named after me in a 2nd edition Vampire: the Masquerade supplement. Because I am in fact that nerdy.

I came in 2nd place (Best Actress category) in my state's high school theater competition.

I'm distantly related to Muhammad Ali. We're both descended from Cassius Marcellus Clay, Kentucky politician and cousin to Henry Clay. He was an emancipationist (not an abolitionist; important difference there), and gave Rev. John G. Fee a ten-acre tract of land to start the interracial school that eventually became Berea College. I grew up a block from the college.

My old high school looks like a spaceship.

At one point, my father was one of the premiere cockfighters in Kentucky (previously, on Metafilter). As a result, I can still do a passable imitation of a rooster crowing.

Some years back I and a passel of my gal-pals ran into (now-former) Governor Paul Patton during the afternoon St. Patrick's Day festivities in Louisville. We were holding a large table--the largest in the event tent, actually--for other friends who were arriving after work. Patton and his entourage were in town (probably to support Mayor Armstrong during the controversy over his firing of the local police chief), and had come down to this particular Irish-style pub for drinks and to hear some music.

One of his aides started looking for a place to sit, and since we had the largest, currently empty table, asked if they could join us for a half hour or so. We were in our cups by that time, so it took a few minutes to recognize that the Governor of our fair commonwealth had just plunked himself down next to us. We immediately bought him several shots of Irish whiskey. Before we left, we got a photo of ourselves with Gov. Patton, raising our shot glasses with goofy grins on our faces. One of the women was underage at the time, so we treasure that photo.
posted by magstheaxe at 6:07 PM on April 2, 2015 [3 favorites]


Oh, and I sympathize with all the silly-singers upthread. Last year my girlfriend reminded me, while I was singing "I'm a lady hea, hellooo helloooo" in a falsetto voice while curtsying (note: I am male), that I was in public.

Granted, we were in San Francisco, but I conceded the point.
posted by Turkey Glue at 6:10 PM on April 2, 2015 [2 favorites]


At fourteen I was so disappointed that nobody had ever endowed me with a nickname that I invented one for myself. With a teen's taste for the unpleasant I combined "mildew" and "fungus" to make "mungus". More disappointment followed as it failed to catch on with my peers. No one but me ever referred to me as Mungus. Unsurprisingly I have never used it as a handle online, though if there'd been the interwebs back then I surely would have.
posted by valetta at 6:21 PM on April 2, 2015 [3 favorites]


Also while working at Greenfield Village, I drag-raced a penny farthing bicycle in a 1926 Model T. I won, and the kid I raced broke a pedal on the bike, for which he got in big trouble. My boss was perplexed (what made you think that was a good idea!?) but I only missed one day of work, and my coworkers rallied behind me for whatever reason. Oh, and I had passengers in the car, who were not informed of my racing plans and didn't really consent to the idea. But the kid who rode the bike was chirping about how he could get a good push and blah blah, so I had to take up his challenge.

That happened in 2006. My aunt visited the museum last summer, mentioned my name, and someone said "Oh, he's the guy who drag raced the bike."
posted by Turkey Glue at 6:55 PM on April 2, 2015 [2 favorites]


My grandfather was a National League umpire.
posted by oh posey at 6:55 PM on April 2, 2015 [2 favorites]


I have never owned a car with an automatic transmission.

I have never owned an American car, but my Dad let me drive the green rambler station wagon. I escaped home in a woody Willis Jeep. While driving the Bears Ears Pass road, (65miles of gravel and sand at that time,) in my Triumph Spitfire, my friend and I came around a bend and two guys with shotguns were up in the back of a pickup truck, and the third guy was bound and gagged in the truck bed. We were 35 miles in and the sun was getting low, so we acted like we didn't see them. We made a couple of curves at the same pace and then drove as fast as we could to meet up with friends at Natural Bridges. We hid our car under brush a mile away and walked to the camp site. I never heard about any one missing except maybe one guy much later. We were city slickers, terrified but pragmatic young women. We went home a different way. I could see the Bears Ears Pass from my porch when I taught in Southern Utah, a couple of years ago. I heard some stories down there...
posted by Oyéah at 6:59 PM on April 2, 2015


I was once nearly run down by Mario Andretti driving a golf cart. Ok, had to move slightly out of the way of, but still.
posted by kiltedtaco at 7:11 PM on April 2, 2015 [1 favorite]


Oh my god, Greenfield Village. What deeply weird (but fun!) place.

I only wish Henry Ford would have chewed my face off, instead it was an overeager Canadian Goose chomping my finger. I have a little scar and, I think, the goose got a taste for human flesh - mine, specifically - and told its friends because it's been 23 years and no matter where I go they're always just looking at me. And I've definitely caught a pack of them following me once or twice.
posted by everybody had matching towels at 7:22 PM on April 2, 2015 [2 favorites]


I met Mario Andretti and then I stood next to Danny Unser when he beat him and got milk poured on his head, while seeing Paul Newman and Walter Payton at the same race.
posted by Marie Mon Dieu at 7:34 PM on April 2, 2015 [1 favorite]


Ghidorah: "I have never had a black eye.
... I do not bruise visibly. I mean, it'll still be tender, but there won't be any discoloration.
"
Same here, although I have had black eyes. I never bruise visibly any more though, so maybe this characteristic has changed in me?

quonsar II: smock fishpants and the temple of foon: "i have a fish. in my pants.."
You've been saying this for a while now. I hope it's not the same fish.

I once lost all eleven of my toenails after my second endurance event (96km walk non-stop). Eleven? My right big toe was pulverised when the keel of a boat I was working on fell on it and the toenail bed was split to the extent that toe now has two separate nails that cross over each other and grow in weird and wonderful shapes.

Many years ago, I cut the side of my knee badly at work and was driven to my doctor for treatment, all the while holding a rag against the side of my knee to stem the bleeding. The receptionist was very dubious about the need for urgent care and asked to have a look so she could decide for herself (I hadn't actually seen it myself yet, but knew it needed a doctor). On my obligingly removing the rag, the whole side of my knee fell open, exposing various mechanisms that have no right being exposed to the air. Looking rather green, she sat down suddenly and waved me straight through.

I also have a scar on my upper arm from a knife (fight over a girl in high school), another on the same knee as above (thrown through tree while sledding), one on my left middle finger and no feeling along one side of that finger (careless with razor knife in pocket), burn scars on my left arm and hand (set myself on fire accidentally), another knife scar on the palm of my right had (knife slip while camping), two scars running up my right foot and shin (hit by concrete-cutting wheel that broke), one in my left eyebrow (hit in face with axe) and multitudes of others. When I was younger, I was both stupid and clumsy. Fortunately, I heal spectacularly well, so most of these scars aren't too bad.
posted by dg at 7:57 PM on April 2, 2015 [3 favorites]


Hmm...I have a family vendetta against Chef Boyardee.
posted by NoxAeternum at 8:06 PM on April 2, 2015


I'm faster than all of the boys at skating backwards.
posted by lakersfan1222 at 8:22 PM on April 2, 2015 [1 favorite]


My grandpa once had his picture in Look magazine.
posted by jonmc at 9:04 PM on April 2, 2015


In high school, my history teacher was a very well connected man in the Republican party (he ran for the House). So, when we got to the Civil War, we studied a ton of antebellum architecture and then went on a tour of Mississippi homes and slept in a bunch of them and pestered the cocktail parties of his friends. We didn't really do much after that.

I witnessed my eccentric high school Spanish teacher try to convince Justice Scalia during a Q&A that everyone in the United States deserves two weeks of vacation paid for by the government. It was after his constitution speech.

When I was an undergrad, I was cleaning out a lab with a coworker when she accidentally dropped a container of leftover stock hydrochloric acid stored on a top shelf. It burst and spilled all over her. I pried her away from the sink because it was stuck to her clothes, and screamed for help in the hallway. I left the door open, and then the second floor was evacuated due to the acid. Every doorknob on that part of the floor turned black. Keep the door closed!
posted by chinesefood at 9:14 PM on April 2, 2015


Ok, since we're not just doing grievous bodily harm stories - I won two poetry slams, and actually got a cash prize for one of them.

The other was a nationally recognized venue, and I was conveniently not invited back to compete for a spot on the venue's long established and well respected Slam Nationals team. My stuff was... unorthodox. Not filthy or adult, not transgressive at all, and apolitical, save for some deep rooted progressive ideals baked in. One of my contemporaries and rivals described it as Dr. Seuss trading love letters with E. A. Poe.

Rap artist Sage Francis once mocked my poetry openly at a slam in Providence. On stage. It was AWESOME!
posted by Slap*Happy at 9:23 PM on April 2, 2015 [3 favorites]


I have three equally-fully-functioning kidneys: two on my left side and one more on the right. So did my father, and also his mother. Don't know how much farther it goes back from that, though.
posted by easily confused at 10:08 PM on April 2, 2015 [2 favorites]


I'm a vomit magnet.
posted by mazola at 10:36 PM on April 2, 2015


when he had his colonoscopy HE HAD NO ANESTHESIA

Had both with and without. Oddly, I think the without was better. That guy had some serious technique.
posted by Gotanda at 11:37 PM on April 2, 2015


I did circus training for some time, and the one thing I knew how to do best was something I kind of picked up on my own: platespinning. I can't juggle, can't hula hoop, am barely ok with acro, and feel like a fraud amongst my other circus types - but when it comes to platespinning suddenly I'm the champion.

I don't know that I'm as good as the guy in the video; I've been out of practice. But I can keep a plate spinning in my hand while tumbling backwards.
posted by divabat at 11:42 PM on April 2, 2015 [2 favorites]


When my company first got connected to the Internet, I found comp.ai.philosophy on Usenet and made my first post. I got e-mail in reply from Marvin Minsky. This is how you get addicted to the Internet.

I have a postcard from Alison Bechdel.

I got all the Riddler trophies in Arkham City.
posted by zompist at 11:47 PM on April 2, 2015 [4 favorites]


If we opened this up to general video game accomplishments, well, I'd be here for awhile. Among others, I've beaten Athena on both arcade and NES, and that's ludicrous.
posted by JHarris at 12:58 AM on April 3, 2015


My milkshakes bring all the boys to the yard.
posted by billiebee at 1:17 AM on April 3, 2015 [3 favorites]


My hips don't lie.
posted by h00py at 1:23 AM on April 3, 2015 [4 favorites]


If we're going to talk video game accomplishments, I dreamt about half the cheats to Jazz Jackrabbit 2, which I then used after I figured out you could input them on the keyboard.
posted by solarion at 1:33 AM on April 3, 2015 [2 favorites]


I was born exactly 1 day, 1 month, and 1 year, after my parent's wedding day.
posted by infini at 3:36 AM on April 3, 2015 [1 favorite]


In my early twenties my now-husband and I helped my brother and his wife move into a new condo several states away from where I live. There was a big pool party/barbecue by the condo association that night, and there was a limbo contest. I won the contest. The prize was a gift certificate to the local mall and thus completely useless to me, but not to my sibling and his wife, who used the certificate to get a kitten.

I also once won a gift certificate for a tattoo under an assumed name, in a room full of police officers. Never got the tattoo because the shop was new and none of the artists had portfolios that impressed me.

Come to think of it, I win stuff kind of a lot, or at least I used to. I've been to scores of concerts for free (small town radio stations give away a lot of tickets) and my entering-to-winning ratio is pretty good.
posted by SeedStitch at 6:31 AM on April 3, 2015


I won the costume contest at our mall in high school with an embarrassingly lazy costume. I put on a parka but zipped it above my head, and put a talking decorative pumpkin on my head above the jacket collar.

That was it. I could barely see walking around.
posted by odinsdream at 7:07 AM on April 3, 2015 [1 favorite]


I learned how to open beer bottles with chopsticks in Harbin, China. I don't drink, but it impressed my friends who do. The secret is that it hurts. Every time.
posted by mecran01 at 7:34 AM on April 3, 2015


I am missing the 5th metacarpal of my left hand. To compensate for this, the 4th and 5th metacarpals of my right hand are fused into one super-carpal.
posted by tdismukes at 7:52 AM on April 3, 2015 [2 favorites]


i was a state champion in policy debate and foreign extemporaneous speaking in high school

making bad economic arguments for four years made me interested in actually learning something about it

i'm now in year 3 of the ol' phd!

if you don't know, now you know
posted by dismas at 8:19 AM on April 3, 2015 [2 favorites]


i guess that was probably something you could construct from my comment history but only spread out over about eight years
posted by dismas at 8:23 AM on April 3, 2015


I've met Stephen King.
posted by Unicorn on the cob at 9:13 AM on April 3, 2015


I can sing all of the countries of the world, in that Animaniacs song. I memorized it as a middle schooler, and more than 20 years later I can still do it.

I was the opera singer at the Macaroni Grill in Brandon, Florida.

I helped a country vet deliver kittens via c-section.

I also had a short lived stint as a singer for a Christian metal band named Underoath, who has gone on to be wildly successful. Although I am not a Christian, I am very proud of them.

I can stop a cassette tape, eject it, flip it over, put it back in, and hit play—with my toes.

My family was held at gunpoint in Haiti when I was about 9 or 10.

Speaking of Haiti, when I was a small child I had a small part to play in this story, which I don't think has had a happy ending since that article was written.

I have been bitten by at least 3 exotic spiders, which respectively resulted in a paralyzed hand (which got better), a patch shaved off of my hair, and a hole in my elbow.

I once train-hopped from Tulsa to Broken Arrow.

I ate sub sandwiches with Kid Rock and the Atlanta Falcons Cheerleaders, in his trailer.

I've nearly blown myself up with New Years fireworks in Reykjavik, twice.

I collect wooden machine-part templates from the late 1800s. They look kind of like this, but bigger. My favorite ones are from the rebuilding of Atlanta's Fulton Cotton Mill.

My family had many chickens, but a special one was named Ron. Ron turned out to be a lady, but that's neither here nor there when she accidentally became dinner one night. My little brother freaked out when we learned what happened, and buried a lemon roasted chicken in the back yard.

Aaaaand tonight I am cooking my first Passover Seder. I really, really have to go now.

Fun thread!
posted by functionequalsform at 9:47 AM on April 3, 2015 [10 favorites]


I never had any wisdom teeth, and also I manged to cut my toe so badly on a plastic CD spindle that it ultimately required an ER trip and stitches.
posted by PearlRose at 9:48 AM on April 3, 2015


Apparently I punch doctors in the face when I am coming out of general anesthetic


It would be really funny if they punched you back.
posted by discopolo at 9:50 AM on April 3, 2015 [1 favorite]


I once opened for the Rolling Stones. True story.



OK it was marching band and 40 other people can claim the same thing.
posted by Mei's lost sandal at 10:38 AM on April 3, 2015 [3 favorites]


I told Ethan Hawke that he looked as bad as I felt when I poured his coffee. (Both of us hungover.)
posted by readymade at 10:42 AM on April 3, 2015 [2 favorites]


Oh! I don't get hangovers. Ever.

I tend to get very tipsy, very quickly, the metabolize it pretty fast too, so I feel tipsy sometimes after a beer, but I'm not really drunk anymore by the time I go to bed. It's the best superpower.
posted by PearlRose at 11:14 AM on April 3, 2015 [1 favorite]


Oh! Also, my vagina has mysterious healing powers.

I was at my first OBGYN exam. I wasn't even that nervous that I had never had sex and that my doctor - an old white guy - was to be the first to poke around. At least, I wasn't nervous until he said, "Hmm! That's interesting." (Tip to current and future doctors: please banish this phrase from your vocabulary in doctor-patient interaction.) A later trans-vaginal ultrasound confirmed his hunch: the entrance to my uterus was deviated, such that it was like two tubes fused together instead of one. He said it wasn't uncommon but that if I ever wanted kids I'd need to consider some surgical options. I never had the desire for kids so I never really thought about it.

Some years later after I moved I went for an appointment with a new OBGYN. I mentioned my weird deviant vagina as part of my medical history as she was prodding around, but then she surprised me by saying, "Well, I don't know what your old doctor saw, but I don't see any evidence of that." To this day I'm not sure if I indeed had a deviated septum that fused together later, or that one of my doctors was massively incompetent.

- - -

And I once had a big cyst that formed on my nethers so I went to get it checked out. I was in the room all dressed in my little hospital gown thing and the most beautiful woman I'd ever seen walked in. She was also my doctor. On that day I learned that I am bi and that I have a very high pain tolerance when I am sufficiently motivated to not appear wussy in front of an incredibly hot doctor with a scalpel.
posted by nicodine at 11:16 AM on April 3, 2015 [12 favorites]


OK, might as well mortify myself a bit here. When I was moving out of New York a couple of years ago I made a series of terrible decisions which culminated in my not having any pants at 9 pm in Brooklyn. The solution I found was to put on a t-shirt in lieu of pants, like, legs through the arm holes. I eventually found a clothing store and bought the cheapest thing I could find that would cover my legs for real, but because it was an American Apparel it was A. $30 and B. a swimsuit that only came about a quarter of the way down my thighs. At the time, I was also wearing women's purple floral-print flip-flops from Walgreens. (NB: I am a 6'1" dude with facial hair.)

I felt extremely self-conscious walking back to the subway from Red Hook.

(The person working the counter at the Am Appy said like my questionable legwear looked plausibly like hippie yoga pants unless you knew the backstory, but I think she was being polite.)
posted by en forme de poire at 2:39 PM on April 3, 2015 [4 favorites]


When I was moving out of New York a couple of years ago I made a series of terrible decisions which culminated in my not having any pants at 9 pm in Brooklyn.

Go on. . . .
posted by KathrynT at 2:56 PM on April 3, 2015 [8 favorites]


I've gotten low with Congressional Medal of Honor recipient Dolores Huerta.
posted by klangklangston at 3:12 PM on April 3, 2015 [4 favorites]


Re goats: my dad calls everyone in our family 'chagol', which is the Bengali word for 'goat' and usually means something like 'you idiot'. I used to get offended but now baa at him. My mum got really bothered about it, but then he said "well we called the other one [my sister] 'chagol' and now she has a Ph.D., I think she'll be fine". (My sister signs cards to them with 'chagol'.)

Best moment though was when I was at home, at the upstairs lounge area with my dad, my mum in the master bedroom next door. She's a little hard of hearing, but is mostly oblivious, especially since my dad is so loud. My dad tried to get my mum's attention:

Dad: [My mum's name]!
Mum: ...
Dad: Mum?
Mum: ...
Dad: OI CHAGOL!
Mum: HUH YES WHAT?
Me: *ded of lol*
posted by divabat at 3:21 PM on April 3, 2015 [5 favorites]


PearlRose: I don't usually get hangovers either! I got hungover-to-the-point-of-vomiting ONCE, after an especially large bender. Usually my body is pretty good at shutting me down before it gets too much - it's like I viscerally can't drink another drop.
posted by divabat at 3:25 PM on April 3, 2015


Go on. . . .

I know, it sounds like it would be for a fun reason. But the real reason is that my pants had suddenly, without warning, betrayed me by splitting completely in half while I was getting something off a low shelf in Walgreens (possibly the flip-flops I mentioned earlier). I didn't realize how bad it was until I got back to the apartment and looked in a mirror, where I discovered my butt was basically completely hanging out. This was already moderately embarrassing, but I thought it was totally solvable because while the rest of my belongings were not immediately accessible, I had an overnight bag. In this bag, I'd packed what I was sure was a few days' worth of clothes. So I discarded the ruined shorts, took a cold shower (it was August), toweled off, and opened up my bag only to find... no pants.
posted by en forme de poire at 3:28 PM on April 3, 2015 [3 favorites]


I once got into a minor car accident on I-80/94 on the south side of Chicago, because I was driving with my knee, because I was playing a small wooden flute. (To be fair, it was mostly stop-and-go traffic, not really moving all that fast. Nobody got hurt, and weirdly it turned out that I knew the woman who I rear-ended, so it ended mostly amicably. Also it's attention-deficit stuff like this which is why I mostly don't drive anymore.)

Also I set my hand on fire once while trying to light an improvised Molotov cocktail (cf: Mareli). Probably for the best, as it distracted me from throwing it into the neighbor's yard per my original plan. I was 12.
posted by Two unicycles and some duct tape at 4:11 PM on April 3, 2015 [1 favorite]


Is this where we talk about impressive/disturbing tongue tricks? I can put my tongue in my nose from the other side. Not all the way through of course, but I can flip it backwards, past my tonsils and up into the.... sinuses? I'm not sure what that part is called.

I've never met anyone else who would admit to being able to do this. Although it's not a trick one really busts out on first meeting people.

I can also touch my nose with it from outside. Oh, and ride a unicycle. At the same time!
posted by Durhey at 4:35 PM on April 3, 2015 [1 favorite]


I don't usually get hangovers either!

Believe it or not, neither do I. After a hard nights drinking, I'll usually wake up around 2am thirsty and I'll guzzle a few mouthfuls of milk, juice, whatever and that hydrates me enough to avoid the hangover. Plus since I quit coffee (due to gastrointestinal stuff) I start the day with Gatorade which is waonderful hydrator.
posted by jonmc at 5:40 PM on April 3, 2015


I do get hangovers.

Also, a (good) writer told me I should have asked a question at a literary event because I knew what I was talking about.
posted by ersatz at 6:28 PM on April 3, 2015


I can sing all of the countries of the world, in that Animaniacs song. I memorized it as a middle schooler, and more than 20 years later I can still do it.

United States, Canada, Mexico, Panama, Haiti, Jamaica, Peru...

God, what kind of weirdo would still remember that twenty years later

...Republic Dominican, Cuba, Caribbean, Greenland, El Salvador too...

Damn you functionequalsform, I was going out drinking tonight and now I'll probably end up on top of a bar at 3AM leading the patrons in that song.

Puerto Rico, Colombia, Ven-e-zuela, Honduras, Guyana and still...
Guatemala, Bolivia, then Argentina...
Oh god help me
posted by Hold your seahorses at 6:56 PM on April 3, 2015 [4 favorites]


My 3 kids' birthdays, in birth order, are 1/5, 4/10, and 7/20. I am very fond of this mathematical symmetry, and it certainly makes them easier to remember.

I won an election bet with Larry Lessig that we agreed on when I was in law school. I won the bet on Election Day 1992, 6 months after I dropped out of law school. He very graciously sent me a check, which I have framed somewhere.

I was a state legislator for 4 years. I wrote and helped pass a law that I imagine about 75% of mefites would find horrifying, and I am quite sure (based on polling data) that 75% of Americans would support it.

I was an elected official for 8 years, and if the voters had been even mildly informed about my reckless adventures as a private citizen, my political career would have been approximately 8 years shorter.
posted by Mr. Justice at 7:06 PM on April 3, 2015 [4 favorites]


The only reason I'm currently in grad school for biophysics is because I left my undergraduate to go devote my life to weightlifting.
posted by schroedinger at 8:13 PM on April 3, 2015 [4 favorites]


And I thought I had weird visa issues.

Infini: I was born on my parents' wedding anniversary!

I have a handprint-shaped ridge on the back of my head from when my mum held on tightly to me as a baby when we got into a car accident.

I am super obsessed with twins to the point that I viscerally/psychicly feel like I have a twin that's hiding somewhere. Chimera? Past life? Family secret?

I have an aunt who looks like Gloria Estefan. One time I tried to call her Gloria and in retaliation she called me Oprah. The name stuck.

I am convinced that my family is hiding a huge secret from me. They are never really forthcoming with anything else (I've had to hear about death and illnesses indirectly) so I'm not entirely surprised.

I share my name with a famous Malaysian actress, so people always made the same joke about it. I got to interview the Prime Minister of Malaysia about 10 years ago and he cracked the joke too. Then I met said actress and she thought I was named after her.

I have no sense of scale : I can't imagine measurements or estimate them by looking.

I got interested in pie and artichokes years before I ate one by reading about them in books.

I became such a Big Name Fan of a local music TV program that I ended up being a regular caller and getting regular shoutouts on air. I got close to one of the VJs (that in itself is an epic story) who knew that I was a major Darren Hayes fan, so the day before she interviewed him she asked me if I had any questions for him. I sent her about three pages of research, which she used! I got a private video of one of the questions, a personally signed notebook, and an advance copy of his album. What really gratified me though was seeing the interview a while later and at the end Darren Hayes says that it was the best interview he's ever done. *_*

My connection of Savage Garden /Darren Hayes merch was part of a museum exhibition.

I streaked through SF MOMA nude as part of a performance with Annie Sprinkle.
posted by divabat at 8:25 PM on April 3, 2015 [5 favorites]


Oh, I also once yelled at Vint Cerf because Verizon was deliberately fucking with my DSL provider, and I was trying to run a weird fetish particular enthusiast community off of a stolen Sparcstation LX. He was just named Verizon's Chief Internet Officer, and by the end of the EFF Meet and Greet, wished he hadn't. I didn't know he was Vint Cerf at the time, he was only wearing the nametag and I wasn't as up on industry news as I should have been, trying to run an unexpectedly massive website off a stolen Sparcstation LX on a dodgy DSL line and all.

I wasn't even the most awkward angry nerd there that night he had to deal with, so I don't feel bad.

More celebrity stories? More celebrity stories.

I once kicked the band "7 Mary 3" out of a strip bar in Daytona Beach. We were an hour past closing, and Dom, the owner, said "Shut it down, big guy!" So I politely asked them to leave. These guys are enormous. The lead singer is easily my height, I ain't short, and he was elfin next to the other guys.

The guitarist guy leeeaned down and said, inches from my face, "I bet you studied science in highschool real hard." He had my number. I was a nerd playing tough.

He also pissed me off, and I had been fighting on the local BBS all week about some pointless comic book flamewar.

"Actually, I studied YOUR MOM real hard. I got an O++"

They left. Dom fired me, and then hired me back the next night by firing me again for not showing up to work, and I would be fired yet again if I didn't get down there before the day crew left.

I once got into an intensely technical discussion with Mark Texiera, Joe Jusko, Amanda Connor and Jimmy Palmiotti about Jack Kirby's graphic design skills. I had flunked out of art school, twice. I also once worked at a comic book store. I knew whereof I spoke. They loved it.

Secrets - Joe Jusko loves the technique of painting. He's so involved with it, and idolizes artists who can do cool tricks with paint and brush. Also, he's huge. I mean, enormous, an NFL defensive end who also plays pro basketball: huge and fit. Amanda Connor's favorite heroine is Tigra, and she would die to draw an edgy, progressive, Vertigo/Marvel Max sort of series starring her with the right writer. Mark Texiera is also a huge, fit human being, and very nice in a tentative sort of way. He and I met more than once at the Berkshire Brewery's Steel Rail Pale Ale keg. Kevin Smith is very small and compact in person, and he was cornered by film school groupies all evening and very unhappy, as he, too, had opinions on Jack Kirby art he couldn't share.

Christopher Priest was also on hand, and kind of shell-shocked at how fiercely loved he is as a comic book writer.
posted by Slap*Happy at 8:27 PM on April 3, 2015 [1 favorite]


I was born on my paternal grandfather's 50th birthday. Of all my extended family, I felt the most connected to him, though that's a low bar given the weird history of my extended family. He looked extremely similar to Humphrey Bogart, and while I'm sure I would have had a soft spot for Humphrey Bogart anyway, I definitely have an extra-big soft spot for Humphrey Bogart, because he reminds me of my grandfather.
posted by jaguar at 8:28 PM on April 3, 2015 [2 favorites]


Some more stuff. One of my ancestors came to America because he was the servent for a German officer. He got beaten for not polishing his officer's boots well. So he stole them, sold them and bought a ticket to America. Supposedly, people would leave their boots in the hall to get polished. So he'd pee in them so it would freeze.

I touched a running chainsaw. Fortunately,it just took off the top layer of skin. I bought chainsaw proof gloves.

I had my appendix become inflamed on Sunday. I wasn't in a lot of pain, it just felt like cramps. I drove myself to the ER on Friday morning, after looking up appendicitis online. I nearly walked out of the ER, until I realized I literally could not get out of the bed. When they finally operated, I had infection from my ribs to my hips, my appendix had long burst. It still didn't hurt that much.
posted by stoneegg21 at 8:43 PM on April 3, 2015 [2 favorites]




Just in the last 12 months:

A Bulgarian border guard explained to me patiently the difference between poco and poquito at 2AM in the morning, on the Turkish - Bulgarian border. That was helpful. I'm not likely to forget that, ever.

A cabbie in Barcelona recited poetry to me that he was writing. It was shit, but what can I do: can't really open the door in the middle of the expressway and escape. That was when I realized how it felt to be picked up by Vogons.

Much better being one of the four people to have sat on, and enjoyed an off-season flamenco performance in Granada.

I have seen the Niagara Falls frozen at -38C, (or near frozen for me to not be able to tell the difference). I saw snowfall only once in my life before that, for all of 10 minutes. More used to temperatures hovering above +40C, which is how it was four months later.
posted by the cydonian at 2:13 AM on April 4, 2015 [1 favorite]


At age 4, I was attacked on the way home from the supermarket by a large goat. Was a lot more 'low-functioning' on the spectrum back then, and all I could do was gape silently at the sheer injustice of this horned beast butting me and rolling me over and stamping on me.

While it might have chosen the right victim, it definitely chose the wrong time; my mother was about 25m away, further up the path. She was a heavy amphetamine user, which might have helped- she rushed it, screaming and waving her shopping bag, and smashed it in the head a dozen times (at least) with a can of baked beans. The goat was badly injured enough that the owners had it put down.
posted by The Zeroth Law at 2:26 AM on April 4, 2015 [5 favorites]


When I was a baby, I got stabbed in the face. (It was a rough neighbourhood -- what can I say?)

That, coupled with the bike accident scar from age 22 and the time when I got mugged as a teenager and the ne'er-do-well punched me in the face, driving my glasses a quarter-inch deep into the bridge of my nose, means that I have something of the look of a tic-tac-toe game of scar tissue.
posted by ricochet biscuit at 6:19 AM on April 4, 2015 [1 favorite]


In high school, I worked at a grocery store and was trained by one of Jimmy Hoffa's former bodyguards.

Joe was a kind, well-beloved employee who took me under his wing when I started my job. He was a well-beloved employee and no one at the time knew of his past at the time. At some point, he stopped showing up to work. A while later, I happened to read a newspaper article reporting that Joe had been living under an assumed identity and on the run for years. The FBI had caught up to him and taken him into custody.
posted by skenfrith at 7:51 AM on April 4, 2015 [2 favorites]


I also have three citizenships: Belgian, American, and Dominican.

I can lick the tip of my nose. And my right elbow, but not my left.

I had my wisdom teeth removed, but I only had the bottom two. My sister still has hers, but she only has the top two.

I was missing an anterior nasal spine, so my surgeon made me one, using bone left over from my lower jaw setback osteotomy.

I have the same birthday as my dad, we're exactly thirty years apart. Both my grandfathers have the same first name, so I'm named after them. But I was born in the Dominican Republic, and my parents thought that if they named me Paul, in Spanish people would pronounce it like Raul, but with a P, so they named me Pol. Of course, when we moved to the states no one could pronounce my name. So I've been called every variation of Pool, Pole, etc. you can imagine.
posted by Karmeliet at 8:14 AM on April 4, 2015


When I was a baby, I got stabbed in the face.

Omar?
posted by Johnny Wallflower at 8:40 AM on April 4, 2015 [2 favorites]


I can improvise tolerably well imitating any musical style after hearing a song on the radio, but if I stop for more than a few seconds I can't start again.

My dog appeared in a photo in the NY Times once. (Print edition, not some dumb photo blog!)

I failed a hearing test when I was 8-ish, because of tinnitus:
"Press the button whenever you hear a tone."
*Holds down the button continuously for two minutes*
posted by moonmilk at 10:46 AM on April 4, 2015 [1 favorite]


...and I can recognize a sparkfun box in the back of plinth's photo.
posted by moonmilk at 10:58 AM on April 4, 2015


My great grandpa invented Reese's peanut butter cups. Star Jones once demanded that I give her a Playstation so she could give it to her boyfriend. I told Barbara Walters to shake her booty. I smoked a cigarette with Dave Alvin.
posted by Camofrog at 12:00 PM on April 4, 2015 [1 favorite]


I am intimately connected to the only two people to have hosted A Prairie Home Companion who are not Garrison Keillor.
posted by gilrain at 3:03 PM on April 4, 2015


Do they also frequently sing off key? I am so sorry.
posted by Mr. Yuck at 3:43 PM on April 4, 2015 [2 favorites]


I crossed the street directly behind Kurt Vonnegut once.

I've met Richard Branson.

The INF Treaty directly affected my life. My family moved back to the US when my dad's base was shut down.

When I was a little kid there was a house being built next to mine. Some friends of mine decided that we wanted to build something in my backyard out of the bricks from the construction site. Instead of carrying the bricks all the way around the house the the gate we decided to throw them over the fence. Head injuries bleed a lot.

When I was in 7th grade I came home from school to find myself locked out. Instead of waiting, I decided to push out one of the basement windows. The glass broke and my left hand went through the window cutting my wrist badly. I sat on the back porch in shock for another half hour, holding the wrist closed until my mom came home.

I was once riding my bike on an unlit bike path with no lights when I crashed into another cyclist head on. Our front tires hit so perfectly that I didn't even fall off the bike.

Still have appendix and tonsils.

I've been to the Skywalker ranch twice.

I've never owned a tv or a microwave.
posted by bendy at 4:32 PM on April 4, 2015


gruesome injuries or salacious sexual proclivities

How about both? I was once treated for an infected bite wound on my left breast. I was the one telling the nurse to calm down when she saw it.

My great-great-uncle Gordon was one of San Diego's first car thieves.

I have a 4.5cm cyst on my brain.

My Unabomber number is 3.
posted by shiny blue object at 4:43 PM on April 4, 2015 [4 favorites]


Also I was at a taping of Wait, Wait, Don't Tell Me when Kevin Bacon was the call-in guest. I think that helps my Bacon number somehow.
posted by bendy at 4:48 PM on April 4, 2015


I could swear I told this story here, but I can't find it, so here's the story of me and the Secret Service:

I worked for a museum very close to the White House that has a large concert hall where the President frequently delivered addresses. Sometimes they told us when he was in the building, sometimes they didn't - while we were all technically one building, in reality it was a separate area that could easily be closed off, so we were rarely inconvenienced by people in suits with earpieces and dogs.

My boss and I had designated a day to move a collection of pieces from one storage area to the other. Walking behind my boss, who was pushing a cart full of swords of various types, I stepped out carrying a fowling piece that had recently been conserved. The thing was a gun with a very long barrel, and I was sort of carrying it at port arms while wearing my protective white cotton gloves. As we rounded a corner, I saw, down a long, long, long hallway, a man in a suit sort of stand up straight and put his hand inside his coat. We walked past, I thought nothing of it, and we trundled ourselves off into the elevator and went back to our desks, where I got a very irate phone call from our building's head of security, who informed me that the Secret Service took a very dim view of what we had done. He apparently felt I was inches from being shot, but I think he may have been a little overexcited.

I don't have a ton of interesting stories or party tricks (besides the habit of picking things up with my toes) but I have some minor celebrity connections. My mother-in-law babysat Carrie Fisher and Shawn Cassidy when she was a teenager. I assisted at a few overnights for the West Wing when they filmed at the museum where the above incident occured (and shortly after I left, Angelina Jolie moved in for ages to film Salt). And lastly and least interestingly, a man who appeared on an episode of House Hunters International turned out to be the professor who had bored my group out of their mind on a trip to the Roman Forum, where he kept us standing in the blazing sun for an eternity.
posted by PussKillian at 5:07 PM on April 4, 2015 [3 favorites]


I'm quoted but not named in a NYT style section article
posted by The Whelk at 6:09 PM on April 4, 2015

...my third toe is the second-largest...
Probably all that roast beef.
posted by blueberry at 7:04 PM on April 4, 2015 [9 favorites]


I'm able to carry on fairly convincing phone conversations in my sleep, especially if I've been drinking, and I used to keep my phone under my pillow to use as an alarm (I have a newer and louder phone and don't do that anymore for reasons that'll become clear in a moment.) Mostly the only person who's gotten to experience this is my boyfriend, who over time has become pretty good at recognizing when I'm on asleep and autopiloting the conversation, but one time I cheek-dialed a friend I'd been texting with earlier in the evening. I woke up to frantic pounding on my door at around 3 in the morning, at which point I got a hug and then a sheepish apology from said friend. I'd apparently mumbled semi-coherently at him for a while and then stopped responding, and didn't pick up when he called back (because sleep), and he got worried.
posted by kagredon at 8:43 PM on April 4, 2015 [2 favorites]


The very first thing I ever did in this world, right after birth, was pee all over the doctor's face when he was double-checking 'boy or girl?'

Got him right in the eye.
posted by feckless fecal fear mongering at 8:49 PM on April 4, 2015 [8 favorites]


Also, over the years I have won several hundred dollars, often in the form of fairly large jackpots (including one that was about $450 in Reno once) from penny slots. In spite of understanding the odds/decision algorithms, playing conservatively, and even attempting to keep a loose count once or twice, I have absolutely abysmal luck at blackjack.

For the most part, though, I prefer poker to either.
posted by kagredon at 8:52 PM on April 4, 2015


This is how my family came to be in the western U.S.
posted by moira at 9:32 PM on April 4, 2015 [1 favorite]


Oh! Injuries!

When I was but a wee slip of a thing, my older sister threw me down the stairs to the front porch in my stroller, because she didn't like me. Swore up and down to my mother that the stroller just slipped. I learned many years later that apparently I enjoyed having my face mushed into the front lawn and was munching on the grass.

When I was about three I nearly lost an eye when a (then-provincial, now-federal) politician's dog went for my face--my dad was canvassing for him at the time.

When I was four I stepped on a nail in the backyard. I think it went through my foot, can't remember. Parents both at work, my older sister had to look after me until one of them could get home to get me to the hospital. Her not-entirely-awesome first aid skills, along with god only knows what my parents were thinking, led to me sitting on the sofa with my foot in a bucket of water with some sort of disinfectant in it--probably TSP or whatever it was called. Dettol? Whatever. I was under orders to Keep That Foot In There Or Else, and I had to pee. We all know what happened next.

When I was six I broke my arm falling out of bed. It was a bunkbed, but still. My sister had just done her lifeguarding certification--some level of it anyway--and was all proud of wrapping my wrist up in a tensor bandage and whatnot. (Come to think of it, she features prominently in all of these events. Hmm.) We had no idea it was broken until a week later when I was at the park, fell over and caught myself with the same hand, and started screaming bloody murder.

When I was... nine, I think, my best friend knocked me out cold with an umbrella. We were farting around in the classroom after school, and we both had those umbrellas that were small, but you hit a button and they'd MAGICALLY EXTEND except his flew right off the handle and into the side of my head. Out like a light. IHe also stabbed me in the neck with a pencil that year. (We're still friends.)

In high school I was testing a light backstage, found that the bulb was blown. So, being sleep deprived, I reached in to undo it--not super safe but not entirely stupid. The envelope came right off the base, so--this was the stupid part--I went to pull the base out. 2.4kW through my arm. Everything went a bit hazy for a few moments.

Had to have my appendix out six or seven years ago. The whole thing was a comedy of errors, including the doctor doing an ultrasound staring in horrified fascination at the monitor while JABBING the wand into my abdomen and going "Wow. That is the biggest appendix I have ever seen. Wow," followed by making me wait another three days for surgery, only finally doing it when the damn thing ruptured. When I went back six weeks after the surgery for a followup, the surgeon expressed surprise that I'd been able to move for the previous couple of months--nastiest, most infected, and gangrenous (!!!) appendix he'd ever seen. Prior to the day of going into the hospital, the only symptom I'd had was a night of severe cramping and vomiting &c, which I'd put down to food poisoning.
posted by feckless fecal fear mongering at 10:03 PM on April 4, 2015 [3 favorites]


Oh and I did get revenge on my sister eventually: I had chicken pox, and she broke out on the bus en route to visiting her boyfriend in Timmins. Check. Mate.
posted by feckless fecal fear mongering at 10:10 PM on April 4, 2015 [4 favorites]


I stepped out carrying a fowling piece that had recently been conserved. The thing was a gun with a very long barrel

Umm. For those playing along at home, imagine an old-timey musket, that's twelve foot long with a barrel half a foot wide, packed with gunpowder and lead shot, designed to kill entire flocks of geese at once.
posted by Slap*Happy at 10:55 PM on April 4, 2015 [4 favorites]


During the summer after my junior year of college, I had an internship at a magazine in NYC. One day, a large envelope arrived in the mail for me from EIB. Inside was a personally autographed photo of Rush Limbaugh.

(Story: One of the media reporters at the magazine saw me reading this article one day and from then on, liked to joke that he knew I was a secret dittohead. When I got the photo, I had a feeling this reporter had something to do with that. Turns out he knew one of Limbaugh's producers pretty well - so he told this producer that the summer intern was a major Rush Limbaugh fan and would just love to have an autographed picture. I did have a friend who really was a major Rush fan at the time and he was seriously jealous. : ) )
posted by SisterHavana at 12:14 AM on April 5, 2015


It wasn't quite that long, and the barrel wasn't nearly that wide, but I do think it was taller than I was.

Oh, injuries! I have a collection of impressive scars and two of the most impressive are both from Slip 'n Slide incidents.
When I was a little kid I stepped on a nail while playing Ghost in the Graveyard in the woods on the base were were living on. I yanked out the nail and kept on going and my injury was only discovered by chance later that night after I had had a bath. Cue tetanus shot in the hospital, with me wedging my head inside my dad's coat so I wouldn't have to see the needle go in. It was more traumatic than the nail was.
I broke my arm at the age of three after skidding across a marble floor and crashing into the sofa. I could still get to the top of the jungle gym with my arm in a cast. Besides that and breaking the same pinky toe in succession multiple times (I had a habit of charging down the stairs at our house and there was a little outcropping of wood that I constantly would hit with my foot) I haven't broken any other bones. My husband, on the other hand, has been hit by a car multiple times, one of them piloted by the driving instructor at the school, who was drunk at the time. That's how he got the money to go to Europe on a choir trip.
posted by PussKillian at 5:47 AM on April 5, 2015 [1 favorite]


I can 100% cure your hiccups, but I can only do it once. So you have to decide whether or not this is the episode of hiccups you want cured.
posted by vitabellosi at 7:45 AM on April 5, 2015 [5 favorites]


PussKillian: I'm the guy who brought The West Wing to your museum.

Being in the TV business makes the celebrity sightings less exotic, but I have had a sushi dinner with Alison Janney, been out drinking with George Clooney, and had Martin Sheen point out to my (then girlfriend, now) wife that "He coulda been a docta!"

No wisdom teeth left, but I do still have two baby teeth (and I'm now half way to 90, to quote one of my oldest friends).
posted by jindc at 7:47 AM on April 5, 2015 [4 favorites]


> I can put my tongue in my nose from the other side. Not all the way through of course, but I can flip it backwards, past my tonsils and up into the.... sinuses? I'm not sure what that part is called.

I can do this, too! You're the first person I've come across with the ability, or who can even understands. I actually find it very useful and civilized. For instance, I can clear out the mucus in that area without making that gross hacking noise other people resort to. I guess that's it's main utility, but I use it so frequently, and it's so thoroughly invisible from the outside, that I can't imagine living without it.

In case others are wondering: our tongues actually have easy access to whatever part of the upper respiratory area it is with the two holes which eventually lead to your nostrils. It's hard to describe, and I should probably look up anatomical charts of the area. If it helps, I can prove this on request but blowing air out of either nostril alone, on command, using only my tongue to (internally) plug those holes.
posted by gilrain at 8:01 AM on April 5, 2015


been out drinking with George Clooney

Holy hell, that must have been epic.
posted by feckless fecal fear mongering at 8:16 AM on April 5, 2015


been out drinking with George Clooney

Holy hell, that must have been epic.


Ha! Well, my sample size is small, but in the half dozen times or so we went out, he was generally under control. Its hard, because out in public he attracted attention (generally unwanted and uninvited) and was always, always unfailingly polite, even when others weren't. In more private gatherings, he let loose a bit, but he had some tricks to limit his intake (if folks wanted to buy him shots, say for instance). So I can't say that I experienced the Full Epic Clooney.

I will say that he is the single most charismatic person I have ever been around. To his credit, I personally saw him do generous things for other people out of simple kindness. He also always bought, no matter the bill or the size of the group (obviously he could afford it and no one else was in his tax bracket, but it was never a question).

He's not a saint and if I had a sister, I would not have wanted her to date him, but I found him to be a pretty decent person.
posted by jindc at 8:40 AM on April 5, 2015 [5 favorites]


The massive birding piece Slap*Happy described is usually called a "punt gun," named so because they were attached to the front of a punt for market hunting (you know, the economic force that drove the passenger pigeon to extinction. A great name for a weird gun.

In other weirdness, six years before we started dating and 12 years before we married, my wife set my hand on fire with Everclear. It seemed like a good idea at the time and I obviously didn't hold it against her. I probably should have gone to the hospital, but I didn't. I wasn't able to use my hand for a month. The skin that grew back between my fingers has never been the same.
posted by Seamus at 8:50 AM on April 5, 2015 [1 favorite]


It seemed like a good idea at the time and I obviously didn't hold it against her.

If you had held it against her, you both might have been burned.
posted by GenjiandProust at 9:23 AM on April 5, 2015 [6 favorites]


No wisdom teeth left, but I do still have two baby teeth (and I'm now half way to 90, to quote one of my oldest friends).

hah, my adult canines (the upper teeth immediately to each side of the front two) are both congenitally missing. The right baby one fell out in the normal tooth-losing period from about 7-10 years old, but the left one hung on for a good 20-odd years until I got it pulled in anticipation of getting implants.

(weirdly, that implant is also the one that survived my more-recent dental misfortune intact, while the right one was shattered to bits.)
posted by kagredon at 11:47 AM on April 5, 2015 [1 favorite]


Wait, not canines. Laterals. IANAD.
posted by kagredon at 12:01 PM on April 5, 2015


Oyéah: I have never owned a car with an automatic transmission.

Neither have I. But since that is the norm, I can't really find that all that fascinating.
posted by Too-Ticky at 12:48 PM on April 5, 2015 [2 favorites]


Such a nice thread. I wonder if this will be the last post? Hope not.

When I was very little our family visited England for a year. I was convinced afterwards till I was about 8 that terrifying dinosaurs are still alive and I'd seen them in and around a deep deep lake. And as I grew older I knew I must have dreamed it.
During that year we were living in Crystal Palace.

Also I've been chased by geese round the garden when I was on my bicycle screaming for my mother and they were honking and hissing and nearly taking off behind me.

And, I've been on a ghost hunt and the ghost found us. And it's night time here so I'm too scared to talk about it.
posted by glasseyes at 12:55 PM on April 5, 2015 [2 favorites]


kagredon, that's exactly the same for me....missing the adult lateral incisors. But in my case the adult canines slid over to replace the laterals and the baby canines are still hanging on.
posted by jindc at 1:03 PM on April 5, 2015 [1 favorite]


'I have never owned a car with an automatic transmission.'

Neither have I. But since that is the norm, I can't really find that all that fascinating.

That depends on where in the world you are.
posted by moira at 1:12 PM on April 5, 2015


Here in the US, it's hard to even find a car with a manual transmission to buy. I largely ended up with a Honda because I couldn't find a dealer with a Nissan, VW, Mazda or Subaru with a manual in stock to test drive. You could theoretically order one from the factory but I don't have that much patience.
posted by octothorpe at 1:16 PM on April 5, 2015


I meant worldwide. Why would the US be considered 'the norm'?
posted by Too-Ticky at 1:25 PM on April 5, 2015 [3 favorites]


Because if you consider the membership of Metafilter's resident contry then it is the norm?
posted by phearlez at 1:36 PM on April 5, 2015


I tend not to do that. I see this as an international site in the making. Maybe I'm a bit ahead of the times?
(Okay, enough of this derail now, as far as I'm concerned.)
posted by Too-Ticky at 1:41 PM on April 5, 2015


This is a text I sent my brother regarding an exchange with my 10-year-old son (at the time--now eleven.)

A PLAY IN ONE ACT

Scene:
Son is reading Atlantic Monthly and laughing hysterically.

Son: mom, what's a sphincter?

Mom: Bumhole.

Son: [laughs even more]

[Mom notes that he's reading about fraternities and how even more awful they've become --including blowing up sphincters with Roman candles]

Mom: just remember that you're laughing at someone else's misfortune.

Son: schadenfreude, mom. Schadenfreude.
posted by readymade at 5:49 PM on April 5, 2015 [13 favorites]


I have also only owned standard transmission cars, in the U.S. no less. The car I currently drive is my wife's, and automatic.

"Oh, injuries! I have a collection of impressive scars and two of the most impressive are both from Slip 'n Slide incidents. "

Man, I remember one summer, hot as the back of your balls and twice as sweaty, where my brother and I begged begged begged my parents to buy us a slip and slide. We were poor, and my parents were very much of the idea that we didn't need one because we owned a hose and could just spray each other dammit, but they finally gave in and got us some K-Mart version. My brother and I set it up and damn, it's slick. I'm fat enough that I glide down to the end pool and it's hardly worth the whump of jumping on my stomach, but my brother's a greased puck shooting down this plastic lane and exploding in a plume of water. We have it going for about 30 minutes, he takes a running start and essentially flies down it, zipping right through the pool at the end … and into a rock just beyond the pool, splitting his head open. Blood everywhere, trip to the hospital, we never get the damn thing out again.
posted by klangklangston at 5:52 PM on April 5, 2015 [2 favorites]


I have no feeling on the soles of my feet so if I close my eyes while standing still (say in yoga class) my body slightly waivers. Strangely being tired effects my balance far more detrimentally than being drunk. More than once I've walked through broken glass and not been aware of it, until I noticed blood on the floor. (They were minor cuts both times.)
posted by miss-lapin at 5:56 PM on April 5, 2015


"In high school I was testing a light backstage, found that the bulb was blown. So, being sleep deprived, I reached in to undo it--not super safe but not entirely stupid. The envelope came right off the base, so--this was the stupid part--I went to pull the base out. 2.4kW through my arm. Everything went a bit hazy for a few moments. "

Heh. I did a lot of theater in high school, primarily as a techie, and that included something that's unique to Michigan so far as I know: Forensic Competition Plays. Each is a one-act, and you have 45 minutes in total to get all of your sets into a marked area on stage, perform the play, and strike the set. We were often needlessly ambitious, and that included building our own travel dimmers that we could rig up on the fly since while you could take a board with you, high school infrastructure varied a lot and having local control of dimmers was advantageous. We made 'em out of plywood with some wires, a couple plugs and some screws. Screws that would frequently brush up against the exposed wiring. I too know the fun of having to have someone kick a hot dimmer out of my hand, and the terror of realizing that you're holding something that HURTS but can't let go.

Frankly, my high school tech shop was a comedy of injuries pretty regularly, to the extent that I'm surprised we were given such latitude on a regular basis.
posted by klangklangston at 5:59 PM on April 5, 2015 [2 favorites]


That "load in and strike fast" is also a feature in Fringe festivals too, which lead to one of the three or so times I've stripped for theater. ....all that meant is: I was supposed to retrieve a bulb back out of a lamp after our last strike, but forgot work gloves and the thing was hot, and stubbornly stuck. So after making sure I was the only human in the room, I took my shirt off and used that.

...the other times were all when I was in a really hot light booth high enough up towards the ceiling that people wouldn't have been able to see in; I think I've called about three shows while topless.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 6:09 PM on April 5, 2015 [3 favorites]


I was at my first OBGYN exam. I wasn't even that nervous that I had never had sex and that my doctor - an old white guy - was to be the first to poke around. At least, I wasn't nervous until he said, "Hmm! That's interesting." (Tip to current and future doctors: please banish this phrase from your vocabulary in doctor-patient interaction.)

I have a rather significant shoulder dysplasia on both sides; here's a should-be nice and rounded ball&socket vs me and my shovel blade picture for comparison. It's why my arms make a rather serious POP noise when I move them in certain circumstances, as well as a slight slump in one shoulder. That's an x-ray from a recent visit I had to sort of suss out the state of the art, but the initial diagnosis was twenty years ago.

At that time I had no idea why I had some arm weakness and the slump, so I went into the ortho with a generalized complaint and they said okay, let's do some x-rays. So after I'm zapped they plop me in an exam room and tell me to wait for the doc. After five-ten minutes he comes in with the films and says "okay, let's see what we have here." Click click the lightbox is on, tick tick the two films are up on the box.

He looks at them for a second and says. "Huh." *pause* "That's interesting." *pause* "I'm going to need to get a consult." tick tick the films are in the folder and he's out the door without another word.

I, of course, am now thinking they're going to amputate. A long five minute wait for him to come back and say it's all my parents' fault (my phrasing, but that's how I explain it to them whenever it comes up) and that they simply developed that way and there's nothing to do but get some exercise to stave off bursitis. (the more current explanation is that I can choose exercise or total shoulder replacement, which is an improvement in choices but not something to do at this point in my life)

So I suspect that my doc and the above OBGYN went to the same substandard bedside manner class.
posted by phearlez at 6:52 PM on April 5, 2015 [2 favorites]


I'm intersex by birth, which I've mentioned before in posts. One thing I've never had occasion to talk about is how, when you have an unusual medical condition, doctors are always asking about any bodily "anomalies" other blood relations may have had, which leads to you to having interesting discussions with relatives. As a result of these conversations, can tell you the following:

One of my great-grandmothers, who lived to be 102, had a second set of wisdom teeth come in in her 80s.

Joint hypermobility (aka Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome, hypermobility type) runs in my family. I am among those MeFites who can bend just the last joint of my fingers down without moving the rest, spread my fingers so my pinkie and thumb are open more than 180 degrees, fold my fingers backwards, and squash my hands into a cylinder the size of my wrists. The person who made most use of this flexibility is my grandmother, a Jewish immigrant from Lithuania who rebelled against her Orthodox family's expectations of her and took up dancing with the Denishawn school, leaving with Martha Graham when Graham founded her own dance troupe. My grandmother was famous in her circle for her spinal flexibility that allowed her to do dramatic arches while dancing. Apparently when she gave birth to my mother at 40, the obstetrician on call invited a bunch of other hospital doctors into the room while she was in labor just to observe her flexibility and musculature (which she tolerated in good grace, which seems even more remarkable to me). She lived well into her 90s, and was able to bend over and put her palms flat on the floor to the end.

Apparently supernumerary nipples were common in my paternal grandfather's side of the family. One uncle had not only four nipples, but a third kidney.

None of these things have anything to do at all with my intersex status, but they're what I learned asking around, and doctors find them interesting. My personal conclusion is that bodies actually vary a great deal, but few of us are prodded into nagging our families for full details about such things, and we (meaning society as a whole and the medical profession as well) persist in acting as if facial features vary a lot, but the rest of our bodies vary little.
posted by DrMew at 8:08 PM on April 5, 2015 [21 favorites]


"I was supposed to retrieve a bulb back out of a lamp after our last strike, but forgot work gloves and the thing was hot, and stubbornly stuck. So after making sure I was the only human in the room, I took my shirt off and used that."

Shit, a lot of lamp bulbs will blow up in your hand if you touch them, since the oil from your fingers concentrates the heat above the melting point of the glass.
posted by klangklangston at 8:23 PM on April 5, 2015 [1 favorite]


- I've ridden a motorcycle through a burning ring of fire.
- I made a small mechanical bird prop for Tilda Swinton to use in an ambitious but crap movie. The entire effects team was never paid. Tilde was gracious and charming. Karen Black was also involved.
- For more than a decade, whenever my brain was idle, it was humming "The Girl from Impanema." About 5 years ago, that stopped, but recently the phenomenon has begun again, this time with the theme from Wallace & Gromit.
- I can sleep almost anywhere, anytime except in my bed at bedtime.
- I was roommates with, and worked with the guy who invented the "Dancing Baby" that was *everywhere* in the 90's. We were a VFX shop that was beta-testing some character animation software, and realized we could skin the animatic skeleton with any model we wanted. So he put a baby on it. We showed the coding the team, and they took copies of the clip back to their corporate offices. And now you know the rest of the story....
posted by gofargogo at 9:02 PM on April 5, 2015 [9 favorites]


For more than a decade, whenever my brain was idle, it was humming "The Girl from Impanema."

I read an interview with Joanna Newsom (ha, found it) who said that for her, this was "Never Fully Dressed Without A Smile."
posted by en forme de poire at 1:20 AM on April 6, 2015 [1 favorite]


That's interesting.
According to Mrs. Plinth when she was working with doctors to test out surgical tools that she designed, surgeons are taught to expunge such phrases as "oops", "oh, crap", and other expressions of "I just effed up" and replace them with "interesting."

The Mrs. designed tools for minimally invasive cardiac surgery, vein harvesting, and later ablative tools. The ablative tools were tested on pigs, which apparently are much more prone to cardiac arrest on the table and they had a special defibrillator with pig-sized paddles.
posted by plinth at 6:56 AM on April 6, 2015 [5 favorites]


So I suspect that my doc and the above OBGYN went to the same substandard bedside manner class.

Have I told you guys the story about the doctor who *didn't* do my hysterectomy?

I was visiting friends out of state when I started having horrible abdominal pain. At the rural ER, they ruled enough stuff out that they suspected something was up with the ovaries and called in the OB/GYN on duty. He felt around and decided there was either a torsion or a tumor. He said, "Im going to do a full hysterectomy/oophorotomy first thing in the morning." I balked at the idea of major abdominal surgery without even any tests to confirm the diagnosis.

He said, "No woman over 25 who's not married and planning more children needs to hang onto her uterus. You should be happy to get rid of it, and your insurance company will thank me for doing it instead of some doctor back in New York who'll charge twice as much."

As soon as he was out of the room I got up all my courage and told the nurse I wanted a second opinion. She said, "I couldn't say anything in front of the doctor, but I'm glad you did. Everybody's afraid of that man, and he's got a terrible reputation. He got his training in the Israeli Army."

It did turn out to be cancer, and I did end up having the full surgery, but with a doctor who did tests first and wasn't a bully. Ever since then,my sister and I have a running joke about the crack Mossad Hysterectomy Squad. They can field-strip and reassemble a uterus in one minute flat.

None of these things have anything to do at all with my intersex status, but they're what I learned asking around, and doctors find them interesting.

My family is a bit of a hotbed of unusual medical conditions themselves, and whenever a doctor or nurse takes my medical history and remarks on it I always say, "I guess I'm just swimming in the shallow end of the gene pool."
posted by The Underpants Monster at 9:35 AM on April 6, 2015 [12 favorites]


One uncle had not only four nipples, but a third kidney.

My grandmother only has one kidney because the second one is small and deformed and nonfunctional. I've grown up hearing all about her bum kidney. She'll occasionally start sobbing (out of the blue, no prompting) about how she'll never be able to donate a kidney to one of us grandkids because she only has the one and needs it to live and she's so sorry.

None of us needs a kidney and no one close to her has ever needed a kidney, this is just something she's always felt guilty about.
posted by phunniemee at 9:53 AM on April 6, 2015 [2 favorites]


After one of my ovarian cysts burst (ow), I was told by an ultrasound tech that I have an attractive uterus and an efficient bladder. I can attest to the latter of those two, and I guess I believe her on the former. She was adamant about it.

Of course, this means nothing, unless I'm having a bad day. Then I remind myself that I have an attractive uterus and I shouldn't be so hard on myself. After all, it's what inside that counts.
posted by doyouknowwhoIam? at 9:56 AM on April 6, 2015 [30 favorites]


My family is a bit of a hotbed of unusual medical conditions themselves, and whenever a doctor or nurse takes my medical history and remarks on it I always say, "I guess I'm just swimming in the shallow end of the gene pool."

I'm the exact opposite; my medical history takes a minimal amount of time to complete, and usually the doctor or nurse seems disappointed and I have to apologize for being boring.
posted by nubs at 10:00 AM on April 6, 2015 [1 favorite]


After one of my ovarian cysts burst (ow), I was told by an ultrasound tech that I have an attractive uterus and an efficient bladder.

I've actually seen color pictures of my uterus. I know I've mentioned my case of ovarian torsion before; apparently, during the resulting surgery, the OR doctor took pictures to use as visual aids during his post-surgical discussion with me, but I didn't know that until I was in the recovery room with my parents and then-boyfriend and was half-stoned on morphine; I'd literally only woken up about fifteen minutes prior, and the doctor walks in and starts talking about how the whole thing went well, and then he just sort of whipped these pictures out and started pointing at things, saying "this pink mass in this photo is [EC's] uterus, and that black part there is..."

I was still stoned on morphine and anaethesia and didn't really comprehend what was happening. My mother went into full-on "oh my poor baby" mode, and my father got this look like he really wished he were in a different room. My boyfriend, meanwhile, was tempted to ask for copies so he could take them to work and freak people out ("wanna see a picture of my girlfriend?")

I also own the full X-ray of my left foot from when I broke it. The X-ray guy gave it to me to give to my orthopedist, but when I got there he said he'd downloaded the online file, and I could give it to my regular doctor. But when I got to her she just said she didn't need it either. So I took it home and am still trying to figure out what to do with it.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 10:13 AM on April 6, 2015 [3 favorites]


First met my future brother-in-law at a book signing by MeFi's Own John Scalzi.
posted by ZeusHumms at 10:15 AM on April 6, 2015 [2 favorites]


I was at my first OBGYN exam. I wasn't even that nervous that I had never had sex and that my doctor - an old white guy - was to be the first to poke around. At least, I wasn't nervous until he said, "Hmm! That's interesting." (Tip to current and future doctors: please banish this phrase from your vocabulary in doctor-patient interaction.)

This just happened to me! Not my first visit; I'm in my 40s. This is what I got:

Nurse Practitioner: I've never seen anything like this before. Do you mind if I go get the doctor on call?

(Leaves room. Returns with Doctor.)

Doctor: Hmmm. We're going to...go do some research. We'll be back.

(They both leave the room.)
posted by vitabellosi at 10:44 AM on April 6, 2015 [3 favorites]


I fought in the Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu World Championships in 2007, the first year that the IBJJF held the Worlds in the US. I was in grad school in Southern California, and was training pretty hard 4-6 times a week at a good school. So my coach encouraged me to jump in, and I did. Won my first match by decision, lost by 1 point in the second round. The division I fought in that day (Brown belt, Adult, Middle weight) produced two really famous champions who met in the final of the division- Kron Gracie, ADCC champ and MMA fighter, and Otavio Souza, 2 time black belt world champ. Kron was already developing a reputation at the time, and I was terribly intimidated to share a division with him. Had I won my second match, Otavio Souza would have been my quarterfinal opponent, which would have been fun.

I teach BJJ now, so I do talk about that. But I don't talk about it very often here, and it's kinda cool.

I broke my arm trying to slam dunk a basketball as an 11 year old. Jumped off the top of a step ladder, tried to grab the rim, slipped off, and hit my hand really hard on the ground.

When I was like 6-7 years old, I was in the 4th or 5th row at a Bobby McFerrin concert, and was asked my Mr. McFerrin to sing my name into the Microphone. Not my best work, sadly.
posted by HighTechUnderpants at 12:19 PM on April 6, 2015 [3 favorites]


I reviewed children's books for the Roanoke Times when I was in elementary-middle school.
posted by mmiddle at 12:51 PM on April 6, 2015 [1 favorite]


My first job was play testing games for Infocom; I was eight.
posted by culfinglin at 2:21 PM on April 6, 2015 [3 favorites]


So I can blame you for the babelfish?
posted by Rock Steady at 2:41 PM on April 6, 2015 [3 favorites]


I am an excellent lucid dreamer. I mostly use it to see how much longer I can sleep before the alarm goes off by creating a clock in my dream that shows the correct time.

I was a HUGE Tammy Faye fan back in the day and rarely missed an episode of The PTL Club. Even though I was not the least bit religious and never watched much television. My husband was actually afraid that I would send them money. And I might have, eventually, because hey, I pay for cable and it's not nearly as entertaining as Tammy Faye Bakker was.
posted by raisingsand at 2:56 PM on April 6, 2015 [2 favorites]


I was told by an ultrasound tech that I have an attractive uterus and an efficient bladder.

My doctor told me my uterus fell apart in his hands and he had to fish bits of it out of my abdominal cavity.

Now I'm picturing my uterus as the ugly stepsister of your Cinderella womb.
posted by The Underpants Monster at 5:35 PM on April 6, 2015 [3 favorites]


Last Valentine's day Neil Gaiman answered my joke write-in question about bee keeping on stage. I am so proud.
posted by Gymnopedist at 7:14 PM on April 6, 2015 [2 favorites]


I once had a guy declared dead.
posted by Eyebrows McGee at 7:55 PM on April 6, 2015 [1 favorite]


"I made a small mechanical bird prop for Tilda Swinton to use in an ambitious but crap movie. The entire effects team was never paid."

Snowpiercer?
posted by klangklangston at 8:31 PM on April 6, 2015 [2 favorites]


I had an allergic reaction to eyedrops once that made my eyelids swell up and one of them crack open and bleed--I ended up taping a gauze pad over it, it looked gruesome and hurt a lot--and resulted in no fewer than all of my college professors at the time informing me I could "tell them anything, really" and being stopped by three old ladies on the street to ask if I was okay. It would have been hilarious if I had been further away from being a violently self-conscious teenager.

I also have retrograde amnesia for about a week and a half of August 2008!
posted by clavier at 9:03 PM on April 6, 2015 [2 favorites]


So one of my close friends is good friends with Amanda Palmer.

A few years ago, I was living in a flat in central London (like, right next to the British Museum) and my friend asked me if I could put up Amanda Palmer in our flat.

I had other friends staying over, though, and I said no can't do it.

That's the end of the story. In a parallel universe, my story would have been better.
posted by vacapinta at 8:02 AM on April 7, 2015 [4 favorites]


That's the end of the story. In a parallel universe, my story would have been better.
posted by phearlez at 8:25 AM on April 7, 2015


Okay, if we're into celebrities: Terry Bisson stayed at my house! And left behind a pair of virtually disposable spare reading glasses which I now realize I've kept in the pencil jar ever since. (I mean, he didn't want them back.)

David Roediger let me into his grad seminar when I was still an undergrad because I asked nicely. (David Roediger is the current owner of the One Ring, or at least that is the only way I can explain the fact that he does not appear to age.)

I once had dinner at a local but rather indifferent Thai restaurant with Lu Edmonds, who is very nice man.

I mean, maybe these are not the most famous kind of celebrities, but they have the sterling advantage of being nice people with good values.

Also, John Zerzan attended a party at my house one time, but I was out of town. Which is just as well, because that was when I lived with a bunch of nineties-style green anarchists (the current ones are better) and they never cleaned anything and the bathtub was black with filth because I had decided I was on cleaning strike.
posted by Frowner at 8:35 AM on April 7, 2015 [1 favorite]


If we're doing celebrity near-misses... I was in Vancouver when I was 17, visiting my best friend for a month. My last day there, we were at his gf's house, and her mother invited us over to a barbecue at her friend's place. We declined, we had teenager stuff to do that evening.

Found out a couple days after I got home that the friend in question was Sarah McLachlan, and the BBQ turned into an all-night thing with a bonfire and singalongs. AUGH.
posted by feckless fecal fear mongering at 8:50 AM on April 7, 2015 [2 favorites]


"I made a small mechanical bird prop for Tilda Swinton to use in an ambitious but crap movie. The entire effects team was never paid."

Snowpiercer?


If Karen Black was also in it, the it would be Teknolust.
posted by octothorpe at 11:10 AM on April 7, 2015 [1 favorite]


I was in both the National Spelling Bee and International Science Fair in the same year, when I was twelve. The following year, I was in a severe motor vehicle accident involving a minivan landing on me, and didn't break any bones. I did receive full-thickness chemical burns and almost lost an eye and ear. Plastic surgeons are amazing.

Thirteen years later, I fell off a mountain, and hiked an hour or so out after waking up in the snow. It wasn't until after being stitched up and receiving cursory X-rays that I was informed that my skull and cervical spine were broken.

A perfect storm of all-night vomiting once led to an appearance in a very dodgy provincial Italian hospital, where they almost performed emergency surgery. "Almost" because the doctor wanted to remove my appendix, and I escaped before they could cut me open. Turns out I just had a bad GI virus.
posted by a halcyon day at 2:45 PM on April 7, 2015


I had sushi lunch with Andy Warhol when I was eleven; though he liked my shirt, I didn't make his diary.
posted by progosk at 3:06 PM on April 7, 2015 [3 favorites]


progosk, Andy Warhol was eating sushi and liked your own shirt? If I'd have eaten the (nori? sashimi?) shirt of an 11 year old, you can bet it'd made it into my diary. 👕 🍣
posted by ambrosen at 3:37 PM on April 7, 2015


"I made a small mechanical bird prop for Tilda Swinton to use in an ambitious but crap movie. The entire effects team was never paid."

Snowpiercer?


*rolls up sleeves*
posted by brundlefly at 3:53 PM on April 7, 2015 [1 favorite]


I was the person who in 2002 screen capped Gary Spivey (white afro-psychic) in this image. There's another image from an Illinois Lottery commercial where it's a gnomefest that I also captured.
posted by wcfields at 5:16 PM on April 7, 2015 [1 favorite]


When I vomit into the toilet, I do so from a standing position. This is an ability that has caused expressions of awe on at least two occasions.
posted by mikurski at 5:46 PM on April 7, 2015 [3 favorites]


"*rolls up sleeves*"

I know! Crappy for so many reasons!
posted by klangklangston at 7:36 PM on April 7, 2015


When I vomit into the toilet, I do so from a standing position.

I tried this approach one morning after being extremely unwise with red wine and some extra-strong follow-up cocktails the night before. While my aim was mostly true, the bathroom still looked as if I'd murdered a watermelon.
posted by maudlin at 7:45 PM on April 7, 2015 [1 favorite]


My main hobby is square dancing. This sounds boring and hokey but there are about 10 levels of calls, and each successive higher level has up to twice as many calls as the level below it. At this point I probably know 600-700 calls plus a whole bunch of special case formations that different ones can be called from without being totally bogus. I learned all this in 7 years, spread out over a total of 15 years, dancing with a club at MIT. It's fun because it feels like the caller is treating the square like a Rubik's cube, trying their hardest to scramble it up and then put it all back together in such a way that you don't realize it until you're next to your partner in a squared set, which can be a fun surprise. Except that the whole time you're working hard to perform the next call and make sure that everyone around you is following along, so that if your square resolves correctly, you feel happy and relieved.

I keep meaning to make a post about square dancing in general. It evolved from English country dancing into a much more complex and formalized thing in gradual stages. There are now a bunch of standard formations (many involving people arranged in a 2x4 grid, but sometimes other symmetric formations), and some calls are only legal from certain formations. Calls and formations became standardized after people started writing computer programs to help them to write out sequences of calls that would resolve to a square correctly. This didn't stifle creativity, but instead helped people to realize how calls could be broken down into pieces, and those pieces could be used to build up new calls. So it's a really fun activity, way better than a plate of beans!
posted by A dead Quaker at 8:09 PM on April 7, 2015 [24 favorites]


Wee hours Tuesday morning I was dispatched to a closed bar. There was nobody there. I called and the fare said she was running up a certain road and didn't think I was going to beat her there.

Medium hard rain coming down and temp in the fifties so I started driving down that road with hi-beams. Found her and her little dog too about a mile down. Not like anyone else was out at 02:30. Cabbies, cops, drunks and the occasional person having a rough time.

Wet cold early twenties woman and border collie hop in, neither dressed for the weather. Had to do a 5 point turn on a narrow street in a minivan to get where she wanted to go and just had to ask why she was running down the street and she said "He bit me. Can't believe he bit me." Such perversions defy my credulity and I thought she meant the dog and asked if he did that often while not being clear on why a dog bite would result in running in the rain.

Then she blurts "I'm in the service industry. I have cash." She sounded terrified. What has happened to her when she didn't have cash? Told her I could take a card or just drop her downtown for nothing because that is where I go to wait anyway.

We got to the destination in spite of suspect bitey dog trying to get in my lap 3 times. Batted him off expecting to be bitten.

I pulled in on the opposite side of the street from her place and she flipped because a certain make and model was in her driveway. Offered to turn the meter off and take her anywhere.
.
She said it was the biter's truck. I thought the dog was the biter. She pulled up her shirt and showed me the bites. No doubt they were inflicted by a hominid. Not titillating.

Wait a minute. A guy did that and he is in your house? And then a van pulls up and the driver throws a bag into the house's yard and peels out. I'd turned off the car lights. Then another van does the same thing.

Passenger said she must see what that is and borrowed my flashlight and left me with dog, whom I was feeling much better about. Then she comes back with two fat brown envelopes and a small gun and asks me to take her to a small airport 100 miles away. She didn't point it at me or anything. Talk stayed cordial.

I asked her why not wait for more and if she was going to shoot me. She said no to both and I believed. Said I'd been great and that is was time to turn off the tracking on my phone and could I please hand it to her. She let me send a message to dispatch that they would be very pleased with my meter but I was going to be out past shift change and to leave me alone. They understood what I was saying. She made a call and then changed our destination to a different airport.

There was a small jet waiting, we hugged and I told her to get the wounds looked at. She told me I'd been very calm and asked me if I was willing to do this again and I emphatically said no, I have a small boy who would really miss me. She laughed.

I don't fully know what I participated in but I will always drive escapees of cannibalization wherever they need to go in a calm and professional manner. Superb tippers they are when they utilize a car service to abscond with their due. Not that I have anything to compare that trip to.

So my own phone was dead by 6 am and my fare did something to the work phone and I couldn't call out. The livestock were fed as soon as I got home late that morning and I was kicked and spat upon. Never been able to explain anything to them.

Babysitter found me in the kitchen drinking a martini with my pants down while examining kick damage and assumed I'd done a night with someone and was checking for signs of disease without bothering to inform her of sudden plans and said then said she was quitting.

Never done this to you before and could I just have a minute to myself?

Next contestant. Boy was upset I was not snuggling him when he woke. Pulled that wad of a tip out and threw it at them. Split it 3 ways right there on the kitchen table. Told them about my night and that each of them had earned it. Everything is good. Sitter got me a burner for these situations. Toy shopping is in my future. Better snacks for the sitter. Kevlar underpants for me.

Sitter is staying on. It wasn't just the obscene amount of money.

TLDR: I am an idiot.
posted by Mr. Yuck at 12:16 AM on April 8, 2015 [50 favorites]


what
posted by OmieWise at 4:52 AM on April 8, 2015 [2 favorites]


Mr. Yuck when is your book coming out please thank you
posted by billiebee at 5:35 AM on April 8, 2015 [9 favorites]


- Since I was too small for this to make sense, I've had a keen aversion to stories of brushes with celebrities/politicians/inventors/etc. Intellectually, I now recognise this sort of anecdote as benign and widely enjoyed, and understand that being talked about is ultimately beneficial to most of these figures. Inside, I'm still that stodgy little 5-year-old.

- I didn't know that tonsils could need to be cleaned of debris until reading this thread.
posted by wonton endangerment at 6:04 AM on April 8, 2015


what

I thought that, followed by who, where, why, what day is today and why do I do this? There is no lesson and no redemption in that anecdote. Don't look for deeper meaning or you will go mad.
posted by Mr. Yuck at 7:00 AM on April 8, 2015 [5 favorites]


Mr. Yuck wins the Story That Sounds Most Like A Movie award.
posted by Johnny Wallflower at 7:19 AM on April 8, 2015 [6 favorites]


Mr Yuck wins the Story That Sounds Most Like a Stan Ridgway Song award, too.
posted by immlass at 8:25 AM on April 8, 2015 [4 favorites]


Could someone please put that to music now? Mefi Music challenge?
posted by odinsdream at 8:40 AM on April 8, 2015


Don't look for deeper meaning or you will go mad.

Aha! At the core of Mr. Yuck's story is the truth about the Lovecraftian beings who walk amongst us, and take late night cab rides and are good tippers.
posted by nubs at 8:46 AM on April 8, 2015 [7 favorites]


Mr Yuck, that seriously would make for a tight little thriller--kind of the opposite of Collateral. Pair up with maxsparber or sonascope or someone and get that shit written.
posted by feckless fecal fear mongering at 8:55 AM on April 8, 2015 [1 favorite]


I'm already working on my own thriller. It's about a boy who is afraid of cats and every day when he walks to school cats jump out at him.
posted by maxsparber at 8:58 AM on April 8, 2015 [6 favorites]


Cat Scare - Sometimes it's the cat you should be afraid of. Summer 2015
posted by Rock Steady at 9:05 AM on April 8, 2015 [3 favorites]


Mr Yuck, this story is wilder than the stuff we cooked up in the longest thread ever (also called the alphabet thread). Reality can be humbling somehow.
posted by Namlit at 10:53 AM on April 8, 2015


I just spent an hour trying to build an automatic single-mealworm dispenser for science reasons.
posted by sciatrix at 11:15 AM on April 8, 2015 [12 favorites]


I'm already working on my own thriller. It's about a boy who is afraid of cats and every day when he walks to school cats jump out at him.

Shit. I'll need to get my "nothing but Lewton Buses" screenplay finished ASAP.
posted by brundlefly at 11:47 AM on April 8, 2015 [1 favorite]


immlass wins the Most Perfect Analogy award.
posted by Johnny Wallflower at 12:05 PM on April 8, 2015 [1 favorite]


Lovecraftian beings who walk amongst us

Picked kiddo up at school today and first thing out of his mouth was "What would zombies need all that money for? They don't buy food." Logical assumptions. I told him again that I had no idea what was really going on and that he too will eventually and successfully negotiate situations without understanding the rules. "Is that what 'winging it' means?" Yup.

Boy is off to my right, reading this thread and laughing. 20 crisp hundreds next to his mouse. He just likes to count them and look at Amazon. I'll let you know which story he chooses for his "reading response."

And if anyone knows Stan Ridgway, cut and paste. He can have it.
posted by Mr. Yuck at 2:24 PM on April 8, 2015 [5 favorites]


http://www.panoramio.com/photo_explorer#view=photo&position=20&with_photo_id=8532754&order=date_desc&user=1102274

More than 55,000 views, (if the link works.)
posted by Oyéah at 7:59 PM on April 8, 2015


"Weird Al" Yankovic called my house, when I was a teenager, and referred me to my accordion teacher.
posted by gusandrews at 9:19 PM on April 8, 2015 [5 favorites]


And to balance out that weirdo cred, I wasn't the first female Gus to go to Hampshire College.
posted by gusandrews at 9:20 PM on April 8, 2015


That Gus is actually my neighbor. Small world!
posted by jessamyn (retired) at 7:27 AM on April 9, 2015 [5 favorites]


I knew my wife's serious, long-term boyfriend quite well about 10 years before I ever met my wife.

But boy does this ever seem like small potatoes after reading even a small part of this thread.
posted by flug at 3:29 PM on April 9, 2015 [4 favorites]


When I was a kid, I lived in a geodesic dome my hippie dad had built in the middle of nowhere in Oregon. While he was building it, part of the walls collapsed and fell around him, all cartoon-like: he said he saw everything falling, knew it was going to hurt and closed his eyes as he braced himself for it, but when he opened his eyes he was standing in the middle of a triangle of wooden beams with all kinds of broken and twisted beams and ladders around him. Totally unharmed.

When I was about three or four and a bit of a menace, I climbed up one of those ladders with a screwdriver in each hand and fell off. I got away with a broken arm, but it could have been much worse. My brother had broken his arm while riding his bike a few weeks before, so my parents got dirty looks everywhere they took us.

We later moved from the geodesic dome to a small town in Minnesota, where our apartment was inspected by Buck "Rock and Roll" Zumhofe, a professional AWA (later WCCW and WWF) wrestler. This was pretty early in his career and he had a day job as a rental inspector.
posted by Woodroar at 8:13 PM on April 9, 2015 [2 favorites]


First, excellent thread. I have been reading it, bit by bit, over the last several days and soon gave up trying to read it at work during lunch because of the laughter it has elicited! :)

That said, I don't know that there's too terribly much about me that's fascinating, but here goes.

- There is an ancestral home named for my maternal ancestor in Quebec City. It's called Maison Maillou and it was built in 1737 by Jean-Baptiste Maillou, son of Pierre Maillou -- the first ancestor of mine to come to Canada, sometime in the 1630s.

- I went to a Barenaked Ladies concert and one of the people I was with and I got invited to go backstage to meet the band. I had a Montreal Canadiens baseball cap on and asked Tyler Stewart if he wanted to kick my ass. He grudgingly admitted that the Montreal Canadiens were having "a pretty good year".

- Speaking of hockey, I was at a Montreal Canadiens/Washington Capitals game in Washington at one point. I, of course, was wearing a Habs jersey and cap (actually, the same one from the above story). Sergei Gonchar, then a defenseman for the Caps, brutally slashed the hand of Saku Koivu, the Canadiens' captain. There was no penalty on the play (but Koivu's hand was broken). Of course, I started screaming bloody murder. Three seats down to my left, with no one in between us, an older man turned to me and just stared. When I shut up and sit back down, he leaned over and drawled, in a thick, Southern accent, "I don't know how y'all do it up thar in Canada... but down here? We kill people fer less."

- My real name is so common that I was stopped at the airport in Frankfurt once because my name was flagged as one that people tend to appropriate as their own to bypass suspicion.

- I went to a Star Trek convention in 2001 where a (very drunk) Marc Alaimo (Gul Dukat) came up to me and a few friends and asked us if we knew where the nearest bar was. (At the same convention, Kate Mulgrew gave me a death glare, for completely unrelated, but justifiable, reasons.)

- I am fairly incapable of pronouncing the letter R in French -- the one from the back of the throat. I can't even properly pronounce my own last name. I end up rolling the Rs, like you would in Spanish or Italian. (Subsequently, while my French accent sucks, my Italian is lovely.)

- I have thrown up at Cape Spear, the easternmost point of North America.

- I had mono at age 7. It was nowhere near as bad as poffin boffin's experience. I quite enjoyed sleeping most of the day and having a full month off of school.

- I can also wiggle my ears, both together and indepedently, as well as being able to raise both eyebrows independently. (Raising the left makes me look angry, raising the right makes me look confused.)

- Finally, on the injury front, I broke my left collarbone while skiing. It snapped right in half. Worse, even after several attempts (with no painkillers), they couldn't pull it back into place because there was a piece of bone preventing them from snapping it back into place. They pulled my shoulders back as far as they could, put me into a figure 8 bandage and hoped for the best. It healed with a large bump that still exists today -- 24 years later. (I only stopped being able to predict rain with it about 8-9 years ago.)
posted by juliebug at 9:49 PM on April 9, 2015 [3 favorites]


flug: "I knew my wife's serious, long-term boyfriend quite well about 10 years before I ever met my wife."

Oh yeah, that reminds me. I had a best friend of the opposite gender all through High School. The summer before Senior year we decided to try dating. It was a colossal failure (no one's fault, just too weird) and it kind of drove a wedge into our friendship. A few months later I started dating the woman who would eventually become my wife, and that kind of pushed the friendship further to the side, to the point where we mostly lost touch in college and beyond (in those days before social media, this was possible, folks). Anyway, four or five years post-college my younger brother ran into her randomly on the subway and they kind of hit it off. He was forced to awkwardly ask me if it was OK if he started dating my ex and former best friend. I said sure - I had no hard feelings - and I hoped it worked out for them. They are now quite happily married with two kids and my sister-in-law and I have re-kindled our friendship. It's always fun when we tell people that we have known each other longer than either of us have known our spouses.
posted by Rock Steady at 6:17 AM on April 10, 2015 [2 favorites]


At the same convention, Kate Mulgrew gave me a death glare, for completely unrelated, but justifiable, reasons.

Did you tell her you loved her in Kissing Jessica Stein?
posted by phearlez at 7:11 AM on April 10, 2015


I have reached the half-century mark without having dated or had consensual sex.
posted by worldswalker at 7:25 AM on April 10, 2015


Did you tell her you loved her in Kissing Jessica Stein?

That might have been preferable... Someone in the audience had asked her to retell the story of how she got the part of Janeway. She mentioned that Genevieve Bujold, a French-Canadian actress, had been originally given the part. I, being young, stupid and from Montreal, cheered. There was dead silence. Kate Mulgrew looked right at me, eyes narrowed. I called out "sorry, I'm from Montreal."

"Oh, you're from Montreal..." she said, obviously unimpressed. She finally just continued on with the story. A friend of mine was in the dealer's room outside of the room we were in and later said that, upon hearing Kate Mulgrew say "Montreal", thought "Oh God, what did Julie DO?"
posted by juliebug at 8:09 AM on April 10, 2015 [6 favorites]


I knew my wife's serious, long-term boyfriend quite well about 10 years before I ever met my wife.

I swear this story I am about to tell is related, and you will understand how:

In 1993, I went to the Greenwich Village halloween parade with my then-boyfriend and two of my other friends. It was the one year that the parade was down 4th Avenue for a change, rather than 6th Avenue. We were all crowded on a street corner watching the proceedings, and for a split second I looked over my shoulder - just in time to see a guy pushing his way through the crowd behind me, in costume as the guy from Maigritte's "Son of Man" painting. He was dressed in the suit, with a little fake apple dangling from the brim of his bowler hat; I stared in awe at the costume, and saw him tip his hat to someone and mutter "enchante", and as I watched he made his way through the crowd and started to cross the street. I had barely enough time to recover and point him out to my friends ("dudes, look at THAT guy's costume!").

For the next 3 years I kept telling people about This Awesome Costume I Saw On A Stranger Once. I broke up with that boyfriend in early 1994, moved into another apartment, went through a couple other brief affairs and made new friends, and the whole while, every so often I'd get into a conversation about either costumes or Maigritte and I'd tell people, "oh, you gotta hear about this costume I saw on a guy once..."

In early 1996 I met a guy and we immediately hit it off - both of us instantly smitten, swept off our feet. (This is the guy who I was on the second date with when I had to have emergency surgery and who put me up in his apartment for a week after to let me recover.) We were both in the "happy starry-eyed twitterpated" stage for months after our first meeting.

And at some point that summer we got into a conversation about art, and he asked if I liked Maigritte. "Oh yeah!" I said, bracing to start the story.

But before I did, he said, "Oh, yeah, me too - in fact when there was that big exhibit at MOMA it gave me a great idea for a Halloween costume - I don't remember what year it was, it was whatever year the Halloween Parade was on 4th Avenue. Anyway, I got a fake apple and a bowler hat and - hey, why are you looking at me like that?"
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 8:27 AM on April 10, 2015 [37 favorites]


Woodrow's dad is the hippie Buster Keaton!
posted by The Underpants Monster at 9:11 AM on April 10, 2015 [2 favorites]


Two words: recreational orthopedics

In 2008 I broke my leg in 20+ places. I had a cast, then a Darth Vader booth. Months of PT. I took lots of photos during my recovery, and I posted them to Flickr because a couple of friends wanted to see them.

One day I noticed a couple of my leg photos were getting lots of hits. Most of my leg photos got fewer than 10 hits. But the ones with my leg in a cast were getting hundreds of hits per day. Flickr's stats let me trace where the hits were coming from: a site called Recreational Orthopedics. (No link; I'm at work.) I joined the site to see there particular message thread linking to my cast photos.

People were posting photos of my leg in a cast as part of a fetish called recreational orthopedics. The thread I'd found involved cast photos from real broken bones of unsuspecting non-members. The fetish community is diverse: For some it's sexual while for others it's just for attention or some other wish. Some people want to look at casts, while others want to wear them, while still others want to have sex with people in casts. For some it's a desire to actually break bones to cast them. Others have casting materials, crutches, and wheelchairs at home and for them "going full body cast" out in public is a Platonic ideal.

I loved my orthopedist, and I told him about how my leg photos had come to be on the site. He thought it was hilarious but that I was weird for not minding someone was getting off on my photos. We shared a laugh about it. The next time I saw him, he said he'd told all his colleagues about it; he himself wasn't internet savvy and wanted to brag about knowing about something interesting online. I saw this doc once a week at first, then less frequently. The last few times I saw him, too much time had passed between appointments for him to correctly remember all the details. He just remembered me as the FETISH WOMAN. "Hey, look, it's the fetish woman!" "How's that cast fetish thing going? HA HA, I STILL can't believe you do that." "Oh right, ImproviseOrDie is here today. Hey, Phil, did I ever tell you one of my patients belongs to a CAST FETISH COMMUNITY?"
posted by ImproviseOrDie at 9:56 AM on April 10, 2015 [15 favorites]


Late to the party, but here goes...

I smoked a joint with Bob Weir at the Marin County JCC. I did two shots of tequila with Dave Mathews at a bar in Palm Beach, Fla. I bought Warren Haynes a cup of coffee while he was waiting for his kid to finish I think a tutoring session. He talked to my son for about 10 minutes about playing the guitar. I just listened and soaked it all in.

I can write equally well with either my left or right hand. Equally well meaning poorly.

Since childhood or as far back as I can remember, I have always, never deviated once, put my right sock on first and my right shoe on first. I don't know why. My first step on a stairs is always with my left foot.
posted by AugustWest at 10:25 AM on April 10, 2015 [1 favorite]


I once tracked the Loch Ness Monster on an echo sounder for six minutes. If pressed, I admit that it wasn't _the_ Loch Ness Monster, since there were three traces of similar size moving in different directions, thirty metres directly below our boat. Echo sounders track changes in density, but if these things had swim bladders in the same proportion to their body-length as salmon, they'd have been 8-10 metres long.

1983. Scariest six minutes of my life.

Still not sure if I believe in the Loch Ness Monster.
posted by Hogshead at 1:13 PM on April 10, 2015 [6 favorites]


And you know which actor has the hands-down-bar-none best "You looked at me like you thought you knew me but then you realised it's because I'm famous and now you're embarrassed but you don't have to do anything, it's all okay, just keep walking" look? Olivia Coleman. Can convey the whole thing in under half a second. It's amazing
posted by Hogshead at 2:11 PM on April 10, 2015 [7 favorites]


I visited my mother last month, and while we were sorting through a box of old papers she passed me a small red envelope. It contained a certificate granting my late father the freedom of the City of London, something he or she had never mentioned to me. Mind you, it wasn't until about five years ago that my mother dropped into conversation the fact she'd been Orson Welles's personal assistant in the early 1960s. Not boastful, my parents.
posted by Hogshead at 3:51 PM on April 10, 2015 [5 favorites]


In elementary school, I won a local newspaper anti-drug poetry contest with a poem about Bill Nye.

Jonathan Coulton edited his Mandelbrot Set song for me so I could play it for my high school Calc class.

A friend of my sister's got punched by Justin Bieber in Disney World.

Margaret Atwood friended me on a social knitting network.
posted by Gordafarin at 1:18 AM on April 11, 2015 [5 favorites]


Empress's story reminded me of the time I was reading a mid-tier fantasy novel in an airport, and the author senselessly killed one of my favorite characters in the series. I was already annoyed by other travel-related factors, and the gate I was sitting at was pretty much empty, so I faux-angrily tossed the book away.

Just as some dude walks around the corner. The book lightly hits him, and he looks down and chuckles. "Wow. I haven't had one of my own books thrown at me in years."

I somehow recovered quickly enough to apologize, but added that if I'd known he was there, I would have sworn at him first for killing off the character. He laughed, we chatted a bit, and we went our separate ways.

Some years later, I meet and marry a fellow lover of mid-tier fantasy novels, and we consolidate our collections. My (then-)spouse wants to keep their copy of this book, because it was signed by the author.

"Funny story -- I ran into [the author] randomly at an airport, and he said that he'd just signed another copy of this for someone who actually threw it at him because he killed off [character]."
posted by Etrigan at 5:34 AM on April 11, 2015 [46 favorites]


Quite quite quite late but...

Larry Wall once encouraged me to drink less (about which he was probably insightful)

My grandfather once hosted Haile Selassie(!).
posted by iffthen at 2:43 PM on April 11, 2015 [2 favorites]


"I smoked a joint with Bob Weir at the Marin County JCC."

Grant Hart played a solo set at the Elbow Room in Ypsilanti, Mi., and I went with my parents and another friend. (My parents were a little old and a little late to Husker Du — Candy Apple Gray — but bought the Intolerance album on cassette and it was a huge part of the soundtrack of my youth.) I know some guys in the first opener, so my mom and I get high with them outside after their set and after most of the band and my mom go back in, Hart comes out. We start talking. He's wearing one of those very-'90s Krishna-printed lycra long-sleeve shirts, and he keeps complimenting me on my shirt, a sketch of the Dalai Lama done by Alan Ginsberg (what can I say, I grew up in a hippy town). I tell him my mom bought it for me (she did), and we go back in and talk to them. Apparently he was just at the same Ginsberg speaking event as my mom a couple months prior, and while they both loved the reading, Ginsberg was a real dick to my mom (and other women) in the signing line afterward — for women, he'd only sign new copies of his most recent work; for dudes, he was signing pretty much anything. Then they talked about the weather.

He played a pretty great set; afterward, my mom made fun of me for not noticing that Hart was hitting on me — "He said the shirt looked good on you, not that he liked the shirt."
posted by klangklangston at 4:08 PM on April 11, 2015 [1 favorite]


I think I have a superpower for getting students to apologize to me in their exam questions. I don't know any other TAs whose students routinely write apologies for not knowing the material better or studying more into their exams, anyway. I keep asking because it drives me insane, but everyone just looks at me like either I or my students are nuts.

I don't even grade that hard! Or care personally about their final grades! What is this.
posted by sciatrix at 5:01 PM on April 11, 2015 [2 favorites]


Still going, so I might as well jump in:

Douglas Adams laughed at the script of a sketch I wrote in college. Also in college, members of Toad the Wet Sprocket gave me advice about getting over the cold I had when I met them (they recommended peppermint tea).

I have had no dental work whatsoever -- no cavities, no braces, wisdom teeth are intact. I am one of few people I have heard of that kind of likes to go to the dentist.

I finalized my divorce and got remarried in the same calendar year. I was a "war bride" the second time around.

I was the first player worldwide to score 1,000,000 points on the "Quick" setting of an iPhone game called Orba, and held that world record for quite a long time -- months, if not more than a year. Several other players have now surpassed me, but I'm still in the top 10, though I play the game much less frequently than I used to. I find it gratifying that I can claim to have been the best in the world at something, even if it's an inconsequential thing.

I have had no major or gruesome injuries, but I have endured a bout of cysticercosis (infection with pork tapeworm larvae) despite having never (at that time) visited the developing world or had any other risk factors. The severe allergic reaction manifested as horrifying hives on my legs and arms, and subsequently a seizure that sent me to the hospital for five days (for comparison, that is longer than my dad was in for his quintuple bypass surgery). The length of stay was more about confirming the diagnosis than completing treatment; I had every test imaginable short of a brain biopsy, which was vetoed by my physician father. Never had another seizure or any other sequelae.

My MeFi handle is also my Twitter handle. I originally intended to tweet exclusively about the actual smells I detect in actual Detroit, but I've given in and used it for various other types of tweets as well.
posted by Smells of Detroit at 7:51 PM on April 11, 2015 [6 favorites]


Back in the early 90's I had a Very Bad Night that should by all rights have been significantly traumatizing. Instead it has had a lasting and positive impression on my life, as whenever things are especially hard, frustrating, or alarming I say to myself (really!):
"Well, things might not be going well at the moment but at least you're not locked in the trunk of your own car by men who told you they were going to kill you. You've made it through worse. How bad can this really be?"
I've lost count of the number of times this particular dose of perspective has lifted my spirits enough to allow me to make it through whatever I'm facing at the time.
posted by Nerd of the North at 1:03 AM on April 12, 2015 [8 favorites]


On an completely different note, and inspired by Smells of Detroit's mention of tapeworms.. I once returned home from a camping trip to find that a bear had crapped out a 50-foot-long tapeworm beginning on my deck and proceeding down a flight of stairs during my absence. I'm still glad I wasn't home for that one.
posted by Nerd of the North at 1:07 AM on April 12, 2015 [3 favorites]


inspired by Smells of Detroit's mention of tapeworms

I live to serve. Also, a few that I was going to mention before but forgot:

On a trip to Florida as a small child, I was bitten by a pelican. I think I have recovered from the PTSD (where the P stands for "pelican").

I have met or been in a room with four different Surgeons General (Richmond, Satcher, Koop and Benjamin). I had the chance to chat a bit with the first two, and Dr. Satcher told me he had read and enjoyed a journal article that I wrote.

I think there was a third thing I had forgotten I was going to mention, but now I have re-forgotten it.
posted by Smells of Detroit at 8:43 AM on April 12, 2015 [1 favorite]


I saved the life of a neighbor's baby who had choked and stopped breathing. I forgot to tell my mom about it until 13 years later when I told the story on a show like The Moth.

http://www.tellussomething.org/doug-doty-pain-emptiness-and-breathing/

( I never have figured out how to do links here.)
posted by ITravelMontana at 8:22 PM on April 12, 2015 [3 favorites]


My childhood next-door-neighbor was Alex Lifeson. I don't recall ever meeting him but I played road hockey with his kids on several occasions.

A couple years back I was in Marymoor Park with my daughter when Bill and Melinda Gates rode up to us on their bikes and asked me to take their picture.

Certain medical fears trigger a fight-or-flight response in me, which is to play dead. I have passed out in several random public places, to the significant consternation of my friends and family. Please avoid medical horror stories at the dinner table...

[edit]: in a past life I was a robotics researcher and had the opportunity to ride in Stanley, the car that won the DARPA grand challenge.
posted by simra at 9:34 PM on April 12, 2015


I most likely have taken the first digital photos of the WTC immediately after the first plane struck Tower 1. I took them from practically underneath the building. I've never shared them until today.
posted by Stu-Pendous at 10:31 PM on April 12, 2015 [36 favorites]


""Well, things might not be going well at the moment but at least you're not locked in the trunk of your own car by men who told you they were going to kill you. You've made it through worse. How bad can this really be?""

Aww, don't just leave it there.
posted by klangklangston at 10:48 PM on April 12, 2015


To be clear, I've never shared those shots publicly... However, I did get to show them to Harrison Ford, who happened to be hanging at the bar I stumbled into later that night in SoHo.
posted by Stu-Pendous at 11:13 PM on April 12, 2015


Stu-Pendous, I'm amazed you weren't killed by the debris in the second photo. You must have been really close! What did the impact sound like?
posted by Joe in Australia at 12:31 AM on April 13, 2015


I was on the passageway which connected the connected the WTC with the World Financial Center when it hit. The impact sounded like a muffled boom and was followed immediately by a short, powerful burst of "wind" that blew through the passageway.
posted by Stu-Pendous at 4:53 AM on April 13, 2015


I'm impressed that "Hung out in a bar with Harrison Ford" is such a distant second in "What Stu did on 9/11."
posted by Etrigan at 4:58 AM on April 13, 2015 [9 favorites]


I took piano lessons from Regan's Secretary of Defense's (Casper Weinberger) Housekeeper (edit:) because my dad cured her hemorrhoids.
Bob McGrath (Bob from s Sesame Street) once sang 'The Dishwasher is a Person in your Neighborhood' to me when I was 14 while I was washing dishes in a restaurant he was eating at.
I've played trombone with both Clark Terry and Maynard Ferguson.
posted by Nanukthedog at 5:22 AM on April 13, 2015 [1 favorite]

"Well, things might not be going well at the moment but at least you're not locked in the trunk of your own car by men who told you they were going to kill you. You've made it through worse. How bad can this really be?"
Aww, don't just leave it there.
Spoiler alert: They didn't kill me.

It's actually a pretty good story if I take the time to tell it properly, which, unfortunately I don't have today. But the really, really condensed version is: I was in the wrong place at the wrong time and ran into the wrong people.

I was abducted at gunpoint by three men who:
  • robbed me
  • assaulted me (if I had wanted to go for the really pithy version of this, I could have written "I have been pistol-whipped," as the "fascinating thing about [myself]")
  • boasted that they were going to kill me
  • and then locked me in the trunk of my car while they took it joyriding for several hours. (I have some permanent hearing loss from this part of the adventure, actually, as I spent about 3 hours confined underneath trunk-mounted speakers pumping out music at high-volume)
Obviously I survived and (despite their boasts) they probably never really intended to kill me. It was an unforgettable evening, though.
posted by Nerd of the North at 12:23 PM on April 13, 2015 [8 favorites]


  • I once owned a beer can that Billy Squire drank out of (Heineken)
  • I got to bowl with PBA legend Mark Roth
  • I worked at the World Trade Center on 9/11, but was at the doctor that morning having a biopsy performed
  • While doing a poetry reading, I dead-panned the lyrics to the theme song from Cheers
  • I once passed Jerry Seinfeld in a revolving door in the lobby at Ogilvy
  • I've been on the same airplane as Don King
posted by slogger at 12:10 PM on April 15, 2015


Also:
  • I went to college with Duncan Jones, film director and son of David Bowie. As a result, David Bowie and Iman were at my college graduation
posted by slogger at 12:14 PM on April 15, 2015 [1 favorite]


I'm the real president of Pathological Liars of America. Just ask my wife, uhh, Morgan Fairchild!
posted by not_on_display at 6:06 PM on April 15, 2015 [2 favorites]


Oh, and for real, I was attacked by a Barred Owl.
posted by not_on_display at 6:12 PM on April 15, 2015


A Barred Owl

BY RICHARD WILBUR
The warping night air having brought the boom
Of an owl’s voice into her darkened room,
We tell the wakened child that all she heard
Was an odd question from a forest bird,
Asking of us, if rightly listened to,
“Who cooks for you?” and then “Who cooks for you?”

Words, which can make our terrors bravely clear,
Can also thus domesticate a fear,
And send a small child back to sleep at night
Not listening for the sound of stealthy flight
Or dreaming of some small thing in a claw
Borne up to some dark branch and eaten raw.
posted by Joseph Gurl at 6:54 AM on April 16, 2015 [8 favorites]


The CRIMINAL podcast episode about owl attacks is awesome
posted by phearlez at 7:19 AM on April 16, 2015


A random purchase of an engraved-with-a-dragon pewter cocktail shaker as Lexica & I passed an antique store window over a decade ago led to my career as a bartender mixing fancy cocktails.

I'm also a bit of a baby whisperer. With baby's, just hold them gently & securely & silently against the chest, and breath long, slow, deep breaths, let them feel the heartbeat & rising/falling rib cage.
posted by Pirate-Bartender-Zombie-Monkey at 10:04 AM on April 18, 2015 [4 favorites]


I am a fantastic mimic. My friends once found an abandoned kitten because they thought it was me miaowing. Just yesterday I was clucking at some un-chatty chickens and overhrd someone suggest to a child in their care that they go visit the chickens... complete with a reenactment of my clucking.
posted by aniola at 11:39 PM on April 18, 2015 [2 favorites]


A random purchase of an engraved-with-a-dragon pewter cocktail shaker as Lexica & I passed an antique store window over a decade ago led to my career as a bartender mixing fancy cocktails.

Yes, but how did you become a pirate, a zombie and/or a monkey?
posted by St. Hubbins at 2:44 PM on April 20, 2015 [4 favorites]


Yes, but how did you become a pirate, a zombie and/or a monkey?

Lots and lots of rum, I'm guessing. XD
posted by zarq at 2:54 PM on April 20, 2015 [2 favorites]


I was going to guess multiple speed runs. But man, I can't remember my KOL password or the e-mail account I used to create it.
posted by gingerest at 10:43 PM on April 20, 2015 [4 favorites]


On the medical oddity front, I received a cornea transplant when I was 20. I was awake during the operation and can still remember the world just swimming away when they cut out the old cornea. The surgery was more or less painless, but I spent the next six months having the stitches removed one by one which was not as fun.

I also have curved pinkie fingers (Clinodactyly). My right pinkie was so bad that I had surgery as a little kid to intentionally fuse the knuckle joint to prevent the finger from folding over completely. The surgery did not go well, and a month later, I had a skin graft taken from my inner thigh applied to the inside of my finger. Which means...I literally have pubic hair growing from my palm.
posted by Eddie Mars at 10:18 AM on April 21, 2015 [5 favorites]


Nice try, Eddie. We know how it really got there.
posted by Johnny Wallflower at 10:31 AM on April 21, 2015 [8 favorites]


I once woke up from anesthesia just slightly too early -- it hurt every bit as much as you might imagine. I couldn't move, but I /was/ able to scream.
posted by Annabelle74 at 6:45 PM on April 21, 2015 [2 favorites]


"I'm also a bit of a baby whisperer. With baby's, just hold them gently & securely & silently against the chest, and breath long, slow, deep breaths, let them feel the heartbeat & rising/falling rib cage."

My wife makes fun of me because I use the same voice with animals and children, but what the hell — it works.
posted by klangklangston at 10:43 PM on April 21, 2015 [2 favorites]


"Cluck Cluck Woof Woof"?
posted by Rumple at 11:03 PM on April 21, 2015


"Come here, dearie, I'll stuff you with chestnuts and garlic."
posted by Namlit at 1:09 AM on April 22, 2015 [3 favorites]


Yes, but how did you become a pirate, a zombie and/or a monkey?

Pirate: my radio call-sign as a Black Rock Ranger out at Burning Man. It has been officially retired by the Rangers as I am now ranger emeritus.

Zombie: love George Romero movies since I was a wee lad, and yet Walking Dead is on the long list of modern series I dont follow.

Monkey: an old friend described his cat's yowl as communicating "Monkey! Food!" It just stuck with me.

And so when it came time for a MeFi handle… the longer ones tend to stick in my mind.
posted by Pirate-Bartender-Zombie-Monkey at 5:05 PM on April 22, 2015 [3 favorites]


I can clap using only one hand.
posted by jscalzi at 7:10 AM on April 23, 2015 [5 favorites]


I can clap using only one hand.

By slapping Vox Day?
posted by kagredon at 9:49 AM on April 23, 2015 [11 favorites]


By slapping Vox Day?

He can simply do a cinematic slow turn, and Vox Day would lose teeth from the force of it.

HeartBreaker1373:~ slapstarhappy$apl

ONEHANDCLAP ← 5 1 ⍴ "clap" "clap" "clap" "clap" "clap"

ONEHANDSLOWCLAP ← ONEHANDCLAP

ONEHANDSLOWCLAP

ONEHANDTHUNDEROUSAPPLAUSE ← 5 5 ⍴ ONEHANDCLAP

ONEHANDTHUNDEROUSAPPLAUSE

⍝ My other hand is holding my beer as I typed that.

⍝ Yet I can't figure out Python or Javascript.
posted by Slap*Happy at 7:06 PM on April 23, 2015


I can shake* a cocktail in one hand while stirring one with the other and not make a horrible mess.

Trust me; is harder than you think. Close to head-patting/belly-rubbing & you have to wind up w two cocktails someone is gonna pay money for w/out making a mess pr breaking the mixing glass.

--

*Cocktails containing nothing but spirits like a Manhattan or a Negroni one stirs to keep them clear & non bubbly. Ones w fruit juice or other types of mixers that require serious agitation to combine, shake. Bond may like his shaken martini, but he likea a cloudy, frothy version that loses the clean mouth-feel of a stirred
posted by Pirate-Bartender-Zombie-Monkey at 7:26 PM on April 23, 2015 [5 favorites]


*Cocktails containing nothing but spirits like a Manhattan or a Negroni one stirs to keep them clear & non bubbly. Ones w fruit juice or other types of mixers that require serious agitation to combine, shake.

Thank you, I've been meaning to look that up. I know there's a "Shaking is bad!" trend, but I figured it must be useful for something, otherwise why would there be shakers?
posted by jaguar at 9:41 PM on April 23, 2015 [1 favorite]


That's not where 'shaking is bad' comes from. No one would ever shake something carbonated for obvious reasons. But when you have a choice - say, when making a martini - the issue is that shaking (with ice, you always shake with ice) will dislodge tiny ice chips into your drink, making it colder but ever so slightly watered down. That's right, Bond likes weak cocktails
posted by showbiz_liz at 3:15 AM on April 24, 2015 [1 favorite]


No, I understand that, that people have been advocating against shaking cocktails for many reasons. I just didn't understand why shaking existed as a common technique if it was so bad for cocktail-making, and Pirate-Bartender-Zombie-Monkey's comment explained what it is good for.
posted by jaguar at 7:23 AM on April 24, 2015


Oh I don't actually think the ice chips are bad! I like it that way. Shaking is also a good way to make multiple cocktails at once, and to strain out additives like chunks of fruit or herbs when you just want their flavor. It's also how you make drinks with egg white in them get all frothy.
posted by showbiz_liz at 7:30 AM on April 24, 2015


My only trick that i have been good at is turning paper into harrier jets. Any paper.. mostly junk mail gets turned into origami harrier jets. So when i was little, there would be bunch of harrier jets all over the house.

Even at work, my all important stickies get turned into secret harrier jets . That is all
posted by radsqd at 8:52 AM on April 24, 2015 [2 favorites]


showbiz_liz: "Oh I don't actually think the ice chips are bad! I like it that way. Shaking is also a good way to make multiple cocktails at once, and to strain out additives like chunks of fruit or herbs when you just want their flavor. It's also how you make drinks with egg white in them get all frothy."

People drink alcoholic drinks with egg whites in them? I thought I was overstepping things adding the diet coke to my bourbon on the rocks.
posted by AugustWest at 8:54 AM on April 24, 2015


Any kind of historic or antique cocktail will usually involve egg whites
posted by The Whelk at 8:58 AM on April 24, 2015 [3 favorites]


Some Fizzes contain eggs. Silver Fizz. Americano Fizz. Royal Fizz. Ramos Gin Fizz. Etc. A Golden Fizz contains egg yolks.

Also, egg nog, obvs.
posted by zarq at 9:00 AM on April 24, 2015


I had a milk punch at a fancy cocktail bar in North Beach a couple months ago. Their version was aged for some weeks as well; it sounds gross when you read the recipe, maybe, but it was delicious and definitely in the category of "things I'm never going to make for myself."
posted by rtha at 9:36 AM on April 24, 2015 [1 favorite]


Wow. I am in m 50s and this is the first I heard of egg whites in mixed drinks. I must be hanging with either the wrong crowd or the right one depending. After drinking too many Alabama Slammers in the very early 80s, I stick to the simpler drinks of bourbon, beer and tequila. (A few times, mistakenly, on the same night.) You learn something new everyday. Thanks showbiz, whelk and zarq.

Since this is a tell us something fascinating about yourself thread, I once drank half of fifth of bourbon and fell off a second story balcony. The only thing I bruised was my ego and I have a floating bone chip in my left elbow. When my friend heard the noise, all he said was, "I don't know what that noise was, but violence preceded it."
posted by AugustWest at 9:44 AM on April 24, 2015 [4 favorites]


I once got my family evicted from a trailer park in Ohio because the manager told my mother I had the foulest mouth she had ever heard on a child.

In eighth grade I got kicked out of a private Christian school because someone saw me smoking a cigar at the bowling alley.

Once when I was in my twenties I had a random guy come up to me in a restaurant and tell me I looked like Precious, the manager/girlfriend of professional wrestler Gorgeous Jimmy Garvin.

When I was in my early forties, for a year or so when I was into wearing bright lipstick and bold glasses I kept having people come up to me and tell me I looked like Penelope Garcia from Criminal Minds.

I have a terrible memory and may, in fact, have mentioned one or more of these things on Metafilter at one point or another. If so, my bad.
posted by Serene Empress Dork at 9:12 AM on April 25, 2015 [6 favorites]


Neat fact on egg-whites in cocktails; to get them really frothy, you dry-shake, I.e. Without ice. Once your arms are tired, keep shaking. Then add ice, shake enough to chill & strain. I like to add an agitator ball to speed up the dry-shake., bc removing the spring from a Hawthorne strainer puts too much wear & tear on the tool.

A hotel in New Orleans, before prohibition, cranked out so many Ramos Gin Fizzes during Mardi Gras that they had an assembly line of bartenders shoulder to shoulder. At one end of the line was one bartender filling shakers, and passing it to the next guy, who started the dry-shake. Each new shaker got passed to the next bartender who continued the shake. Last guy in line would ice-shake and finish the drink.

And Showbiz_Liz is correct about ice chips & fruit chunks from shaking a cocktail, which is why we double strain most shaken cocktails; Hawthorne strainer over the shaker, tea-strainer over the glass. Koriko makes a Hawthorne strainer with an extra-tight spring so that one doesn't have to double strain.

Absolute best book on the subject of historical mixology: Imbibe! Updated and Revised Edition: From Absinthe Cocktail to Whiskey Smash, a Salute in Stories and Drinks to "Professor" Jerry Thomas, Pioneer of the American Bar True fact: I'm gonna buy a pair of proper goblets, learn how to pour a Blue Blazer w/out setting the room on fire, then get a tattoo of Jerry Thomas pouring his signature drink on my inside left forearm.
posted by Pirate-Bartender-Zombie-Monkey at 10:23 AM on April 25, 2015 [11 favorites]


Bourbon. Older than I am, and I Am Old. Yes, I know how much. Two of them, please. Neat. Then fill a tumbler with well scotch and have the bouncer set me out with the rest of the trash at sunup.
posted by Slap*Happy at 7:57 PM on April 25, 2015 [2 favorites]


Since we are talking about egg whites in drinks and milk punch, I will add my previously posted recipe for the family hot punch that uses eggs, red wine, tea and lemon! (Recipe sounds kind of disgusting but it is really very tasty.)
posted by gudrun at 8:54 AM on April 26, 2015 [3 favorites]


All this talk of cocktail made me tire member someone in Twitter proposed the idea of a NOLAy take on the mimosa (herbal, bitter, slightly fruit sweet) so we created

THE RIGOR MIMOSA

Absinthe wash, speaking wine, peach or orange juice, fresh fruit, splashed with St. Germaine

We are experimenting with adding a dash of bitters
posted by The Whelk at 12:54 PM on April 26, 2015 [2 favorites]


Speaking wine? Does it tell you its own terroir?
posted by showbiz_liz at 1:13 PM on April 26, 2015 [3 favorites]


OH HOW THE WINE TALKS
posted by The Whelk at 1:27 PM on April 26, 2015 [5 favorites]


Always complaining about something, though...
posted by maryr at 9:05 PM on April 26, 2015 [1 favorite]


Wine wine wine.
posted by jaguar at 9:08 PM on April 26, 2015 [2 favorites]


"Absolute best book on the subject of historical mixology: Imbibe! Updated and Revised Edition: From Absinthe Cocktail to Whiskey Smash, a Salute in Stories and Drinks to "Professor" Jerry Thomas, Pioneer of the American Bar True fact: I'm gonna buy a pair of proper goblets, learn how to pour a Blue Blazer w/out setting the room on fire, then get a tattoo of Jerry Thomas pouring his signature drink on my inside left forearm."

A couple years ago, I got into Herbert Asbury, and tracked down a public-domain copy of the original Jerry Thomas guide (more recently, found a nicely printed version for like $2 at Goodwill). I had an idea to see if I could mix every drink in there, but a closer perusal reminded me that I don't like claret or milk, so about half the recipes were out.
posted by klangklangston at 9:18 PM on April 26, 2015 [1 favorite]


I don't like milk (and have mild lactose intolerance) and I still like a lot of cocktails with milk in them. I think maybe a good metric is whether you like things like tomato sauce with cream or if you like any sort of creme liqueurs. I totally get if you don't like those, either, but I do think there's a difference between "milk" and "a bit of milk laced with bourbon and/or rum and maybe cooked or whipped into an interesting texture."
posted by jaguar at 10:08 PM on April 26, 2015


I like a couple creme liqueurs but hate plenty others. A lot of it is texture — I can't take the phlegminess.
posted by klangklangston at 11:22 PM on April 26, 2015 [1 favorite]


i am drinking milk right now. i love milk. i get super grumpy between meals and milk is the best easy protein source for me. i like milky cocktails a lot too!! baileys was the first alcohol i ever tried that didn't taste like shit to me
posted by NoraReed at 11:55 PM on April 26, 2015


I chugged milk that was solid once. I vomited on my best friend's shoulder about 6 hours later.
posted by h00py at 6:02 AM on April 27, 2015 [1 favorite]


My full name, translated etymologically component-by-component, comes out as “manly lustful disorder”.

My great-grandfather was a fairly well-known photographer in the early 20th century, and has been considered a father of the photographic traditions of two countries (Poland and Lithuania). One of his cameras (a Leica, IIRC) is in the Polish national museum in Krakow.

As for random encounters with famous people: I once walked to the long-distance bus stop in Reykjavík with Thurston Moore and his girlfriend.
posted by acb at 7:38 AM on April 27, 2015 [1 favorite]


My full name, translated etymologically component-by-component, comes out as “manly lustful disorder”.

So, I had an ex who spoke Mandarin, and we once had a conversation on "How Western Names Get Translated Into Chinese And How That Affects What The Names Mean". Lots of times, people go with the phonetic approach, where you just pick the sounds that most closely match the way your name sounds; but there you run into a potential "Bite the Wax Tadpole" problem, where the way your name sounds match up with words that just happen to mean something wacky.

However, for names that are similar to actual English words or compounds of English words, like "Smith" or "Brook" or "Butcherson" or whatever, you could translate those names or chunks of names into their corresponding Chinese equivalents. Or at least their nearest facsimilies - and there, sometimes you get amusing Google-translate kind of situations, where you translate something from English to another language and then back again, and the meaning has changed in a sometimes amusing way.

All of this is a very long way of explaining why apparently, in Mandarin Chinese, my surname loosely translates to "Fist Full Of Dollars."
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 8:17 AM on April 27, 2015 [11 favorites]


"i am drinking milk right now. i love milk. i get super grumpy between meals and milk is the best easy protein source for me. i like milky cocktails a lot too!! baileys was the first alcohol i ever tried that didn't taste like shit to me"

Margret McPoyle?
posted by klangklangston at 10:57 AM on April 27, 2015


So, I had an ex who spoke Mandarin, and we once had a conversation on "How Western Names Get Translated Into Chinese And How That Affects What The Names Mean". Lots of times, people go with the phonetic approach, where you just pick the sounds that most closely match the way your name sounds; but there you run into a potential "Bite the Wax Tadpole" problem, where the way your name sounds match up with words that just happen to mean something wacky.

Wait, people don't intentionally do this? One of the only good parts of my college Mandarin experience was having an excuse to introduce myself as "Hungry Person" all the time!
posted by sciatrix at 11:16 AM on April 27, 2015 [1 favorite]


Another interesting thing about EmpressCallipygos is that she once posted the 1,000th comment on a MetaTalk thread.
posted by duffell at 11:50 AM on April 27, 2015 [3 favorites]


Margret McPoyle?

i do not know who that is
posted by NoraReed at 9:00 PM on April 27, 2015


Sorry, always typo Margaret. That's something that most people don't know, I guess — I have a relative named Margret (sic).
posted by klangklangston at 10:36 PM on April 27, 2015


I don't know who that is either
posted by NoraReed at 10:46 PM on April 27, 2015


The McPoyle family are running antagonists on the linked situation comedy. One of their major character traits is bringing milk to drink at the bar, frustrating the staff and owners. It was a gentle ribbing over your USDA-approved comment.
posted by klangklangston at 11:10 PM on April 27, 2015 [1 favorite]


I chugged milk that was solid once. I vomited on my best friend's shoulder about 6 hours later.
posted by h00py at 8:02 PM on April 27 [1 favorite −] [!]


The secon time I met h00py, I misjudged the strength of the mead at the Ren Faire and vomited all over the place, but not on h00py. The first time I met her was at the tenth anniversary meet ups.

H00py gave a thumbs up to me dating a guy she knew at school - she wasn't to know he was a reincarnated ninja with an appointment for past life regression therapy, or that he would send my first ever jerk off dick pic.
posted by b33j at 12:20 AM on April 28, 2015 [3 favorites]


I have had the bends.
I have ridden atop a train through the desert of northern Sudan.
I discovered my father was adopted, which he did not know.
I once found a Mexican peseta from 1917 hidden in an old footlocker of my grandfather's. He had picked the peseta up during the Punitive Expedition.
posted by atchafalaya at 6:11 PM on April 29, 2015 [5 favorites]


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