I’ve been tagged by Billy to reveal seven weird things about myself. Although I am a very normal and average sort of guy, I’ll attempt to come up with some suitable oddities. As is usual of my response to memes, I won’t tag anyone else. This is actually one of the easier memes, though, so if you feel the urge have at it and consider yourself tagged by me.
1. Despite the fact that I’m 49 years old and a rather staid college professor, I get hassled quite often because of my long hair. I could relate many examples of this, but here’s one that happened Sunday. I’m out for a walk, as I do quite often on nice days around the neighborhood, and I happen down a dirt road I’ve only been down a few times. A couple of women in a truck turn into a driveway some way ahead of me and seem to deliberately wait for me to approach. I offer a smile and move to pass them when one woman asks: “Can I help you?” “No, I’m just out for a walk,” I reply, and continue on. “You live around here?” the woman demands. Her voice is clearly confrontational and suspicious. I stop for a moment and start to answer her, but then decide to be contrary because of the tone of her voice and say instead. “Why do you want to know?” “Well, I’ve lived here 23 years and I haven’t seen you around and we’ve had a lot of robberies in the area and I’m just protecting my home,” is the reply. I could have sympathized with her concern if it had not been for the fact that her angry attitude seemed already to have convicted me. The fact is, I pissed her off by walking by her house, and I’m sure the long shaggy hair was a big part of her issue with me.
2. I’ve never been one to believe much in astrology, but it sure is interesting that my birthday is the day after Lana’s and that we are both so compatible. We are Libras. Of course, her sun is in art while I’m a rising drunk. But nevertheless.
3. I’ve walked away from four motorcycle wrecks, three of which totaled the bike I was on at the time. Actually, limped away is a more accurate assessment. There were various broken bones as well as lots and lots of missing skin and meat.
4. I have been shot in the face with a shotgun at far too close a range. When I was about twenty-four I was dove hunting with others on our family farm. A teenager who had not hunted with us before was in a creek about thirty yards from me. A dove swept down between us and he shot at it while I was directly in the line of fire. At least a dozen bird shot BBs struck me across the face and chest. Two BB’s actually penetrated my cheeks and one lodged under the skin. Another BB bounced off my nose, leaving a nice bloody spot behind. I’m glad I didn’t get BBs in the eyes. Although bird shot at such a distance is not lethal, it sure as hell hurt.
5. I wrote a western novel at age 18 but it will never see print. It was a poor pastiche of a bad Louis L’Amour knockoff. I called it “The Bear Paw Valley” and I didn’t even break it into chapters. However, a character in that book is the ancestor of Ruenn Maclang from my Taleran novels. And a short section of that book has since been greatly polished and published as a short story.
6. When I was about 11 years old I wanted to be a priest. I would even bless my food at supper. I think it’s a good thing the priesthood lost out on getting me. Good mostly for the priesthood.
7. I often remember important events in my life by the book I was reading at the time. For example, I was reading The Rise and Fall of the Third Reich when my son was born. I was reading Brain Control on my first and only trip to Boston. I was reading a fantasy collection called Amazons when I first went to visit Lana in Canada.