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01/14/2007 - 5:50 p.m.

WEIRD

Someone near and dear to me has been playing "tag." He joined into a game in which the rules were:

The Rules: Each player of this game starts with the six (6) weird things about you. People who get tagged need to write a blog post of their own six (6) weird things as well as state this rule clearly. In the end, you need to choose six (6) people to be tagged and list their names.

As befits a man who understands what a Ponzi scheme is and how it works (or, more accurately, doesn't work), he did not tag anyone else. But still, I'm intrigued and I'll play. So, I've tagged myself (although like someone else, I will not do the tagging others part.)

Now, playing this game is more of an act of courage than you might think. After all, I have a sixteen-year-old daughter. Her age gives her a different view of the rules. She thinks that the game should involve my child telling me how I'm weird. If I dare to play the game, she's already informed me that she will post a comment adding what she thinks should have been on my list. She better watch out because she is weird too and I might just write an entry about how she is weird. (And, yes, Day, this is a warning.) But I'm playing.

First, I'm weird because of breakfast. There is nothing weird, mind you, about eating Cheerios for breakfast, even if, as FogieKnight insists, I do it 345 days a year. (The other days are those days when I am not at home and no Cheerios are available or when he makes oatmeal, which, of course, must be eaten with raisins in it.) What is weird is that I must eat those Cheerios in my own chair. I can eat lunch at Day's place or at FogieKnight's place. I can eat dinner at any place. But not breakfast. I have to eat my Cheerios in my own chair and woe be to the person who gets in my way. I may manage if a guest inadvertently sits there but I won't be happy. I need my Cheerios and I need to eat them at my very own place at the table. I simply don't have the brains first thing in the morning to alter my routine.

Second, I am the Wicked Witch of the West (just ask my children and they'll tell you) but I am afraid of the flying monkeys more than I am afraid of water. Sometime in the recent past, a very good wizard, FogieKnight, who was operating under the delusion that he was some sort of minor god or something, removed the problems with water. But he failed to deal with the flying monkeys. Those monkeys have tormented me in my dreams ever since I saw the movie "The Wizard of Oz" when I was two years old or so. I have to dominate those flying monkeys. If I didn't, there is no telling what would happen.

Third, I live in a very bad musical (and I don't mean "Wicked.") As my mother once observed, life in my house involves random people breaking into less-than-random songs at any moment, sometimes accompanied by dancing. (In Day's case, the dancing is good dancing. As for the rest of us, well, we try.) Sometimes, we use the original lyrics to a song. Sometimes, we burst into spontaneous parodies. Sometimes, we get the tune correct. Sometimes, we don't. Often times, when Kat is around, we sing whatever we are singing in harmony. Once in a while, it's almost operatic around here.

Fourth, I own a bird even though I hate pets. I hate all pets, especially if they are mine. I do not want the mess. I do not want the trouble. I do not want the responsibility. Worse, I do not own just any bird. I own an extremely stupid bird. The bird will not come out of his cage. If the door is open, the bird flutters around all a-twitter, calling out, "Danger! Danger! Someone close the door! It'd dangerous out there." Once, long ago, we let Buddy (and his long-dead companion, Pete) out of the cage. Pete flew all over. Buddy flew, but he was not very good at perching and was torturing poor Pete every time they found a place. Pete finally flew to the fireplace and perched on a brick. Buddy flew there too—and went head first into the fireplace. If he had had any brains, he might have damaged them. But Buddy was capable of falling off his perch in the cage long before that. And the weirdest thing about all of this is that I did not kill that bird the one time I had the chance. Instead, I fed him and he lived.

Fifth, I like cabbage and cheese sandwiches. Really. Preferably with a little bit of French dressing but plain is just fine. I will eat lettuce on my cheese sandwich if there is no cabbage available but that lettuce is a clear second choice. For sandwich purposes, green cabbage is best but purple cabbage will do. If you have cabbage and cheese sandwiches, no one wants to steal your lunch. If they take it by mistake, you get it back. I know from experience.

Finally, I married a man who is a foot and a quarter taller than me. I married him because he had a very, very nice third shirt button on each of his shirts. I married him even though, at the time, my parents had no mattresses in their house that were as long as he was tall. I married him even though he is from Iowa. And what's weirder, I don't regret it---most of the time.

So what makes YOU weird?

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