I’m Such a Convenient Target…


…for memes that is. I don’t know why. I try to be kind to my fellow man, live an honorable life, show compassion and empathy to the sick and wounded, and practice the Golden Rule. What do I get in return?

Memes.

This time I’ve been tagged by Bohemian Road Nurse, who not only has the uncanny ability to spot a compulsive oversharer when she sees one, but also just knew I was suffering from blogger’s block.

Creepy.

Was it the multiple abbreviated posts and linky-love I’ve thrown up today, pointing my readers to someone, anyone, who has some readable material?

Or does she have some darker power, some way to gaze from afar into my living room, spying on me as I sit here naked in a beanbag chair, eating celery and using my navel as a salt dipper, waiting for the return of my muse?

I don’t know which, but I’m gonna put some aluminum foil over the windows just in case.

The way it works is, you list eight random facts/habits about yourself, and feel free to write a little bit about those things if you’d like. Then you tag a bunch of other people and leave comments on their blog to let them know they’ve been tagged.

Here goes, hoping I don’t repeat a random fact from here, or here, or here:

1. I don’t pass along memes. I’ll play, but if anyone else on my blog roll wants to take it up, it’s purely voluntary.

Heh. One random fact down, seven more to go. Suhweet!

2. I was beaten up every day until I was around thirteen years old. You see, I was the younger of a pair of fraternal twins. Until I hit puberty, my twin sister was bigger, stronger and infinitely meaner than I. Her motto was “hit first, and hit dirty.”

I was always restraining by my gentle nature and my parent’s admonishment that Boys Do Not Hit Girls, even if the girl in question started shaving in the fifth grade. Her back, that is. The facial hair started in the womb.

Once I got past that silly hangup, she was easy to take. And to this day, no beefy linebacker or drug crazed psycho has hit me harder than my twin sister. Ass-whippings hold no fear for me.

Side Note: You’d be amazed how many people, on meeting me and my sister and learning that we are twins, will exclaim, “Twins! So, are you identical?”

I’d always answer, “Yeah, right down to the goatee and male genitalia!”

Sis always hated that.

3. I am hard on guns. So much so, that one of the primary things I look for in a weapon is a synthetic stock and a rust-resistant finish. I once ruined a really nice .50 cal muzzle loader because I forgot to clean the bore before I put it up after the season.

My Daddy taught me better, he really did. And when it comes to keeping actions and bores clean for reliability and accuracy, I’m diligent. I have a number of pretty guns with rich bluing and pretty wood, but they get shot less often than my ugly guns.

I’m hardest on my shotguns. Duck hunting by its very nature is a dirty sport, and shotguns take a beating in the duck blind or the bottom of the boat. One spring, I put my Remington 870 away in the closet, stored in one of those modular Kolpin ATV gun boots [note: NEVER use these things for long-term storage, kiddies]. It had been lovingly cleaned and oiled after I had shot it last. Imagine my horror six months later when I pulled it from its case to find it horribly pitted and rusted. I got the rust off, but the finish was forever marred.

So, after that season, I wasn’t all that worried about what the old 870 looked like. I shot it all that season (maybe two cases of shells) without so much as wiping it down, much less running a patch through the bore. I put it away for the summer without cleaning it (albeit in a much better gun case).

I followed the same routine the next season. And the next. And the one after that. The most I ever did was hold it under the water wherever I was hunting and work the action vigorously a few times to flush out any grit that may have accumulated. After two such seasons of hunting nearly every day, it became a perverse experiment in field testing: How much crap can an 870 take before it malfunctions?

The answer to that question is: five seasons and over twelve cases of shells. Without even so much as a wipe with an oiled rag. Opening day of the sixth season, the first shell jammed in the chamber after firing, and I had to disassemble the gun and ram the empty out of the barrel. I ran a chamber brush and some solvent-soaked patches through the bore and kept hunting without another malfunction.

Yeah, I know it was stupid. Lest my father roll over in his grave right now, I will say that I detail stripped and cleaned every weapon I own just last week. Other than the ugly pits on my 870 receiver, they’re all in good shape, Dad.

4. I once fell off the back of a 1000cc Honda Hurricane at 60 mph. We were horsing around, showing off for a couple of hot coeds in a Volkswagen Cabriolet convertible in the adjacent lane. My buddy goosed it, dumped the clutch, and Yours Truly went off the back. While you may think it somewhat emasculating to wrap your arms around your buddy’s waist like a girl, it’s nothing compared to cartwheeling down the pavement like an ungainly rag doll for 156 feet.

Actually, I only cartwheeled for fifty feet or so before I rolled into a neat little ball for the final 126 feet. When I came to a stop, I took a mental inventory of all my parts, assured myself they were still working, and lay there spread-eagled in the roadway, thankful to be alive.

The squeal of brakes brought me back to the present:

You’re still in the fucking road, dummy!

I sat bolt upright, much like Jason in the Friday the Thirteenth movies, when the brave but stupid camp counselor ventures close enough to prod his heretofore presumed lifeless corpse. I watched in super slo-mo as the hot chicks in the Cabriolet veered off the road to avoid hitting me and ran up onto the curb.

I got up, limped over to their car, flipped back the visor on my helmet and said, “Well, I didn’t keep my toes pointed and my feet together, but altogether I’m pleased with it.”

True story, swear to God.

The one in the passenger seat gave me her digits, too. Sadly, by the time I got out of the ER and recuperated from my bumps, bruises and strawberries, I had lost the scrap of paper.

Melissa Whatever-Your-Name-Was, if you’re reading this, I’m single again, and the road rash scars have all healed. Gimme a holla, sweet thang.

5. I once went to a Halloween party dressed as a flasher: Ray Bans, trench coat, and a huge fake penis made out of one
leg of a pair of taupe nylons. Tacky and sophomoric, you say? Perhaps. My first choice was to wear only briefs and the Ray Bans, and coat my entire body with whipped cream. My roommate, the mature one, talked me out of it.

6. I once wore a bunny suit while attending a stroke patient. I was at a co-worker’s house, playing the Easter Bunny for her kids and their friends, when a call came in just a few doors down. Co-worker and I hopped in her pickup and sprinted the call, and we took care of the lady until the ambulance arrived. I think the only reason the poor woman knew she wasn’t hallucinating was the fact that I had the opportunity to take the rabbit head off and toss it into the back of the truck before we went on the call.

I was going to blog about it one day, and then I read LawDog’s pink gorilla suit story, and decided I couldn’t top that. Plus, the woman had a bad outcome and it wasn’t that funny a story to begin with.

7. I did CPR for the very first time when I was a sophomore in high school, on an old man in a hotel restaurant when I was on a school trip. He was choking, and it seemed like no one there knew the Heimlich maneuver, so I ran over to his table and helped him. After three good thrusts, he coughed up a big glob of sausage, took a couple of gasping breaths, and put his hand on my shoulder.

Then he fell in a heap, right there at my feet. I did CPR and had my roommate help me, and together we worked him until the paramedics arrived. They got him back, too.

One of the medics came back after the call and tracked me down, and gave me the Star of Life pin off one of his collar points. Everybody at the conference made such a big deal of the event, and it embarrassed me no end. At the time, I didn’t even know what an EMT was, but my Mom kept that pin in her jewelry box until the day she died. I have no idea where it even is, now.

Come to think of it, that’s actually a pretty good story. I’ll put it in the next book.

8. I am a beer Philistine. I’m fond of saying that I enjoy two kinds of beer: Budweiser and free. My buddy Jeff B. is a connoisseur of dark ales, and endeavored one night to educate me in beerology. Since he was buying, that fit my second criteria for beer choices, so I tried to be a diligent student and learn what I could. We sallied forth down Sixth Street in Austin, TX, eager to sample all things containing hops and barley.

Sadly, I don’t remember much after the third bar. I may need a refresher course next time we hook up.