Friday, June 03, 2005

And the Winners Are...

Thanks for playing everyone!

The two things I have not done are:

1. Get kicked out of a guitar store for playing "Stairway to Heaven." I can, in fact, play "Stairway to Heaven," and I was in a store where they had a sign posted saying anyone who played "Stairway to Heaven" would be asked to leave, but for some reason I didn't want to find out if they'd enforce that.

2. Publish a book about tarantulas. I've published books about whales, dolphins, seahorses, but not tarantulas.

The Recovering Straight Girl and Cagey were the first to guess correctly, so they will be getting chocolate. Send your snail mail addresses to me at:

I know a lot of you are wondering about the whole assassin thing. Here's how I pulled that off. Back when I was a kid, my school band went to this annual Cherry Festival thing in Traverse City, Michigan. Ex-President Gerald R. Ford attended, and they were worried that someone might try to finish him off, so they made all us band kids serve as something they called an "honor guard." We formed a sort of human/musical instrument moat around Ford. Personally, I found this quite alarming. I didn't want myself or my saxophone to have to take a bullet for an ex-president that hadn't even been elected to office in the first place--but I had no say in the matter. Perhaps he is alive today because of my service in the honor guard. We shall never know.

Here's a quick rundown on the rest of the things that I have, in fact, done:

I learned to drive in a Checker cab. Within a week of getting my license, I jumped a curb with the big, unweildy behemoth and crashed into a tree. The car was unscathed; I got a bloody nose.

My 4-H club (the Junior Wonder Maids--we were named after a training bra!) competed in a choral event at the Illinois State Fair that involved singing "Climb Every Mountain," while pushing two halves of a rainbow together. Each of us sported a sash with the name of a different country on it. I was Sudan. The judges found it so meaningful and symbolic of WORLD HARMONY that were each awarded blue ribbons.

I was really into mushroom hunting when I was a kid, and had a lot of mushroom books and no practical experience hunting mushrooms with an expert. I found some mushrooms in our yard that I was pretty sure weren't poisonous according to my (no doubt very incomplete) books. My brave family trusted me enough to eat the spaghetti dish I made with the mushrooms. The sauce tasted very metallic, but we all survived.

I've refused two marriage proposals. Had I accepted, I'm pretty sure I'd be a divorcee twice over.

I met Shelley Winters at the Musicbox Theatre in Chicago, where they were screening one of her old movies. She's one of the ditziest people I've ever met. I cannot begin to imagine how she ever memorized lines. (And Denise, I think you are a bit mixed up with your seasons. Suzanne Sommers is the thighmaster person. I don't think Shelley Winters has ever gotten within 100 feet of one.)

I quit a very miserable job after I had a dream (in December of 1996) that "told" me I should quit in May 1997, which I did--even though I had nothing else lined up.

Pig's blood is the main ingredient in black pudding (AKA blood sausage). I ate some out of politeness when I was in Scotland.

BTW: I had a great time at the Coast. I'll post some highlights and photos soon.


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