More Innermost Secrets

I escaped from the zoo at the age of six.

Truth be told, I think the zoo keepers left my cage open on purpose. Now that I think about it, I’m not even sure it was really a zoo.

sweet-cornI lost 10 lbs. in one week once on the “Corn Diet”.

In college, my friend Dan and I would always joke about the “Corn Diet”, a diet consisting entirely of varying forms of corn. Corn on the cob, frozen corn, creamed corn, corn pops cereal. The theory was that you could lose a lot of weight on this diet because corn seems to pass through human bodies without changing form. So your stomach would be full, but your body would have to burn the fat on reserve because the corn would only be acting as a filler. We never tried the diet though, because we thought that the last part of the corn’s journey through us would be painful if it only consisted of corn.

Sometimes, at night, I dress up in a large skunk costume and run around my back yard.

Mainly, I do this just to freak out my dog, who once got sprayed in the face by a skunk in my back yard. Secondarily, I do it because it is fun and good exercise.

I learned the hard way that you cannot make more money simply by cutting it in half.

Quarters are really hard to cut in half anyway, and nothing ever costs 12.5 cents. Oh, yeah, and stores complain when you hand them a dollar bill that has been cut in half.

I also learned this about neighbors.

The best you could hope for is that your old neighbors, whom you cut in half, would move on and be replaced by whole neighbors. More likely, you will go to jail where you will not like your new neighbors at all.


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In the debated between boxers and briefs, I say “Depends.”

Like the adult diaper. Get it? I’m hilarious. No, I’m not. That was a hurtful thing to say about people who can’t even control their own bowels. See my video apology here.

I may or may not be fluent in Dwarfish.

Not High Dwarfish though, just Low Dwarfish. “What is the difference?” you ask. More grunting.

funny_looking_babyI think 83% of babies are funny looking.

I mean, you guys are on Facebook too, right? You’ve seen the photos that people put on there of babies. Are you going to tell me that you haven’t had the same thought? There are some seriously messed-up looking babies out there.

P.S. If we are Facebook friends and you have recently posted baby photos, obviously I am not talking about you or your baby. Your baby is wonderful and beautiful and/or handsome. I’m talking about the other babies. You know the ones.

I horde emails.

It’s a problem. I have well over 1,000 unread emails just sitting there in my inbox, mocking me every time I am brave enough to log in to my email account. I think I’ve decided to stop calling it my inbox and start calling it my “unread email collection.”

The first thing I did upon arriving at my new job as assistant director of a camp in Montana was break the toilet.

True story. Sorry again, Dale. I’d like to blame the state of Nebraska. Traveling is never good on the bowels, but when a person has to travel the length of that God-forsaken wasteland, his insides revolt in unexpected ways. Mine waited until I stopped in Montana before they unleashed the porcelain-cracking fury that was my movement. Okay, no porcelain was cracked, but it did overflow a bit. After it was replaced, I used the broken one as a flower planter on my trailer’s porch. So, you know, I’m pretty fancy.

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I find the sound of fingernails on a chalkboard to be soothing.

It’s the music of Kenny G that I find revolting. Don’t get me wrong. I respect a man who can circular breathe, but that doesn’t mean I like what he does with his talent.

Growing up, I told people that my brother and I had a little sister that our parents kept in the basement.

Her name was Christy (or Kristy or Christie or Kristie, seriously, how many ways are there to spell that name?). She was a toddler-sized doll that my Grandma made for my mom because my mom had only boys. Her hair was made of yarn and was only attached to her head along the center seam, like a Mohawk. Naturally, my brother and I enjoyed putting her hair into a Mohawk whenever we could. I’m not sure what my parents thought about us telling people that we kept our sister in the basement, but if my girls did that, I’d think it was simultaneously funny and worrisome

I’m actually a dispossessed Nigerian prince, but whenever I try to get help reclaiming my throne, people act like I’m sending them spam.

Seriously people, just give me your bank account numbers and social security information! It’s a win-win!

Silver is my kryptonite (I may be an old-school vampire).

1991_geo_prizm-pic-3786True story. When it was time to get class rings in high school, every ring we ordered caused some kind of skin reaction. I couldn’t wear gold or silver, no matter how pure. So when we discovered that a class ring was not to be in my future, my parents put the money toward my first car instead. I was much happier with the car. Since then, my wife and I discovered a metal that didn’t react with my skin, so I am able to wear my wedding ring without any issues.

If I ever look as though I am deep in thought, I’m actually just replaying old episodes of Duck Tales in my head.

Duck Tales. Woo Ooh!

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rose_scentedMany people act as though their fecal matter is rose-scented. Mine actually is.

By that, I mean “well-fertilized” roses. Seriously, those roses smell terrible.

I am a technical Grease virgin.

Yes, I’ve played the songs from Grease in marching band. And yes, I sang the songs from Grease in choir. And yes, I know some of the details of the film. But I’ve never crossed the important line. I’ve never seen the movie. Nor do I plan to. I’d like to keep my Grease virginity until I die.

speedy_freezeI believe that one day, we will all have to answer for how many Frozen Cokes we have consumed while alive. I only hope I’ve had enough.

I mean, I’ve had quite a few. In fact, one summer I had so many that I got kidney stones. That was no fun. I was on quite a water kick after that. Well, until Frozen Cokes started sounding really good again, which was probably about two weeks later. But I started drinking them in moderation after that. And then after the second round of kidney stones, I cut down on them again. Basically, your body needs water. But still, I hope that when the final judgement comes, I’ve had enough.

I can turn lights on with my mind.

First my mind sends a signal to my hand. Then, my hand flips the light switch. Just like magic.

I was such an ugly baby, my folks showed pictures of my brother and told people it was me.

True story. I was born with the umbilical cord wrapped around my neck, so I came out all purple and nasty. I mean, most babies are pretty gross when they’ve just been born. My oldest looked so swollen, it was like she was stung by some a swarm of womb bees. But I was worse off, all peely and splotchy and nasty. So my parents did the only sane thing. They showed pictures of my brother when he was just born. All babies look pretty much the same at that point anyway. I don’t blame them, but I do tease them about it whenever I can.

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I only use my cell phone to talk (out loud) to people.

I don’t text or take pictures. I don’t use the internet on my phone. I just use it to talk, mostly to my wife. I’d be just as happy with a tin can and string combo if it got decent reception.

I was one of the original cast members of Full House until the studio decided they needed someone older to play Uncle Jesse.

I was discovered after appearing in a commercial for a local business. I was pretty bummed when the studio called me to let me know I wasn’t going to be Uncle Jesse. Oh well. It isn’t like I hold a grudge against that freak of nature, John Stamos.

Before I found out what it really meant, I thought the phrase “getting hammered” had something to do with getting drunk.

But now I know better. PS – Don’t ask me what it really means.

When playing “Rock, Paper, Scissors”, I only ever use Rock.

Seriously, when has Paper ever beaten Rock in real life? That’s why people use rocks as paperweights, not just more paper. If you are thinking about bringing up paper cuts, I’m way ahead of you. Rock cuts hurt too.

Striped_skunkI was once sent home from work because my smell was putting off customers.

True story. After an ill-timed run-in with a skunk, my wife and I foolishly let our dog, Cole, back into the house, where he promptly wiped his stinky body over every inch of our flooring and any clothes he could reach in our closet. The reason that we let him in was because we didn’t realize that it was a skunk at first. The incident happened just after we started using an invisible fence system. My wife saw Cole chase an animal toward the edge of the yard, but never saw them connect, nor did she see what the animal looked like. She only saw our dog hit the edge of his perimeter, then start freaking out and acting like his shock collar thing was killing him. In reality, the animal was a skunk who just happened to spray him directly on his shock collar.

This all happened in the early, early morning.

By the time we got the dog cleaned up (but before we got a chance to clean every square inch of our home), it was time for us to go to work. We showered and dressed, sniffed at each other, and headed out the door. Of course, our sniff test failed because by that time, we had lost our nasal sensitivity to how bad we stunk. I was at work for maybe an hour before my boss came over and said, “Josh, you smell terrible. Customers are complaining. You need to go home.”

So I did.

More Innermost Secrets

I am a man trapped in the body of a man.

And I am attracted to my wife who is a smart and attractive woman trapped within the body of a smart and attractive woman. Our dog, however, is an annoying third-grader trapped inside the body of a black lab.

Whenever I enter a room, I announce my presence with a war cry.

Is there a better way to announce one’s presence? No.

Baby_rabbitMy war cry is “For Bunnies and Glory!”

On a side note, “Bunny” is the pet name that I use for my wife. It is not as commonly used in the USA as “Dear” or “Sugar Booger”, but it is quite popular in Germany. Or so I’m told. Also popular in Germany? David Hasselhoff.

Old people frighten me (and I frighten them).

I don’t know if it is the aging process in general that scares me or the bad smells that emanate from their rotting pre-corpse bodies. Probably the second one. It is a sad truth though that I will one day (hopefully) be an old person. As such, I’ve already started trying to acclimatize myself to bad smells. So if you come into contact with me and you think, “Wowza! Josh smells exactly like rotting meat and sulfur,” I’m just trying to get us both ready for the inevitable. You’re welcome.

loc_grI was in a television commercial as a child.

This one is actually true. It was a commercial for Rider’s Hobby Shop, the store that my dad has managed for forever. I think I was in second grade at the time. In it, I am seen playing with a remote control car. The real way that one would play with a remote control car is to stand up, hold the remote in one’s hands, and control the car (remotely). What the director of the commercial asked me to do was get down and move the car around with my hand, the same as any non-remotely controlled car, which was dumb. Also dumb, I was making car noises as I moved it back and forth, but the sound was cut out for the commercial, so I just look like I’m having some kind of episode while playing with a toy in the wrong way. Not exactly flattering. But hey, I was on television, so that’s got to count for something.

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As the Dog Whisperer is to dogs, I am the same with sofas. I am the Sofa Whisperer.

It is a gift… and a curse. How can I help it if sofas, couches, and (as my grandmother called them) davenports just respond to me? I can’t. Let’s move on (unless you are me and you are currently stuck on a sofa).

tick%20and%20arthurI like to think of Arthur from “The Tick” as my arch-nemesis.

I love “The Tick”. Both the animated version and the one-season wonder that was the live-action version.

I just found out that Arthur from “The Tick” is a fictional character.

Of course, I knew that the cartoon wasn’t real, but they had a live-action version! Come on! That’s like false advertising or something! Next thing you know, they’ll be telling me that Batman isn’t real either (I’m referring to the live-action one, obviously).

I am now accepting applications for a new arch-nemesis.

Preferred status will be given to anyone that I think I can beat in a fight. What is the point of choosing someone who would obviously beat me?

800px-A_maglev_train_coming_out,_Pudong_International_Airport,_ShanghaiModern Maglev technology is based on my work with refridgerator magnets as a child.

True story. Well, kinda. As a kid, I was obsessed with magnets. There is something magical about the way they attract and repel each other. I even drew up plans for using magnets as a form of transportation, where the polarity could be alternated quickly along a path, propelling the object suspended in air forward or backward in accordance with the orientation of the magnetic fields. And then I found out that something like what I was drawing already existed in the form of Maglev trains. Eh, I’m just going to go ahead and take credit anyway.

More Innermost Secrets

Although I exhausted the Innermost Secrets that were written in my little book of the same title, I have not plumbed the depths of my secrets. And so, here are more.

The mess in my office is deliberate; I am actually a very tidy person who wants to convey an air of creativity.

Perhaps I am doing too good of a job in pretending to be messy, as that is one of the things that has worked its way into the Baker Book House Summer Reading Program cartoons. I should probably take care of some things. You know, so I can be more comfortable, being the tidy person that I am.



My hamster, Bigfoot, was not named ironically for his overall size, but for the insanely disproportionate size of his genitalia.

True story. They were huge. At-least-as-big-as-his-brain huge. The same could be metaphorically said of most guys, I suppose.

I don’t shave my head; I electrocute myself regularly.

I’m not going to pretend that it isn’t painful. It is. Excruciating. But is it worth it? You bet it is. I look handsome.

My eyebrows and facial hair are drawn on.

Because of the electrocutions, obviously.

I have a penchant for going to the zoo and telling the koalas that they aren’t real bears.

Is it mean? Probably. Am I going to stop? Not any time soon.

Innermost Secret 54 | The Final Secret (My Nose Job)

DSC00863The end is here. This is my final post in my Innermost Secrets series. It’s been fun reliving old memories from my days at Camp Manitou-Lin, but now it is time to say goodbye to them and start creating new and ever more horrifying secrets.

Want to start at the beginning? Try these: Innermost Secrets 1-8, 9-15, 16-21, 22, 23-27, 28-32, 33-37, 38-4243-48, and 49-53.

54th (and final) Innermost Secret

  • One time, I broke my face.

It happened while I was in high school. My church’s youth group was participating in some kind of multi-church event. The games were of a competitive nature. The winning church got more of God’s love. Just kidding. The winners just got bragging rights, which I guess means that they actually sinned more. Oh well.

Anyway, the game that broke my face was one played with a large ball, probably about four feet in diameter. Each of the four churches designated ten players to represent them. The players were organized by height along one of the four lines and assigned corresponding numbers (10=tallest, 1=shortest). Numbers were then called out and the people associated with them ran to the center of the square and tried to both prevent the giant ball from crossing their team’s line and get the giant ball across a different team’s line. When things got boring, multiple numbers were called.

It was during one of these boring moments when three numbers were called out. A small mob soon formed around the ball, and then it was airborne. Once it was up, the mob gathered below, all waving fists and elbows, anything to guide the ball away from their team’s line.

And then I made contact. Not with the ball, but with someone’s elbow. Possibly, it was the back of their head. At the flash of pain, I fought my way out of the scrum. When I touched my nose, my fingers came away red.

Now, nose bleeds and I are no strangers to each other. When I wrestled in middle school, not a practice went by without my nose leaking a bit of heart-juice. I would just wad up some toilet paper, shove it up my nose, and return to the mat.

When I saw the blood that night, I thought, Man, that’s really bleeding, but I didn’t think anything other than that. I excused myself to get some toilet paper from the bathroom. My trick about stuffing a was up my nose wasn’t working though. The flow was just too strong. I ended up pinching my nose shut and waiting for the flow to staunch itself.

After ten or fifteen minutes, it slowed enough for me to look in the mirror and assess the mess that I would need to clean up. But in looking at the bloody mess that lived below my nose, I noticed something else. My nose was no longer centered on my face. It was noticeably off, probably by half and inch or so.

When the event was over, my parents were called, and I went off to the emergency room. This wasn’t my first trip to the emergency room after a youth group event, and I feel bad for my youth pastor that he had to make at least two calls to my parents that preceded hospital visits for me.

The doctor who looked over my x-rays said about the least helpful thing a doctor could say, which was to state the obvious. “It’s broken,” he said. I knew that, but I didn’t know what to do about it. I asked. “Well,” he said, “in a little while, we’ll have to re-break it and set it properly so you can breathe normally through it again.”


By the time we left the hospital, my nose no longer hurt. It just looked strange. I imagined that I looked ruggedly handsome in a way, but that didn’t really help the breathing issue.

I soon met with the Otolaryngologist  (Ear, Nose & Throat Doc), and we scheduled my nose job over Christmas break, so I wouldn’t have to miss any school while I healed. Very thoughtful, I thought. I mean, what kid wants to miss school?

By the way, my nose doctor’s name was Dr. Nosanov. I just think that’s funny. Okay, back to the story.

For the surgery, I got to be put all the way under. I remember hearing Simon and Garfunkel playing when I started counting backwards and wondering if I would wake up thinking about the same thing as when I went under the anesthetic. When I woke up, I wasn’t thinking that. I was thinking about the episode of Seinfeld when Jerry goes to the dentist, gets anesthesia, and wakes up to blurry images of what he thinks are people just putting their clothes back on. Thus, I thought, “I hope people aren’t having sex in front me,” as I woke.

My second thought was one of discomfort. The initial break had taken only a second and within an hour, my nose no longer hurt. The surgery left me with two black eyes, swelling so bad that I couldn’t see or hear well, no sense of smell (my nose had been packed with gauze and between my ears, a little sling had been fashioned to catch anything that dripped out), and no sense of taste. In fact, the only sense that was working well was touch, and since the only thing I could feel was pain, it was the one I wanted least.

The rest of my Christmas vacation was pretty grim, but by the end of it, the swelling had gone down enough to hear and see and such. I went back to the doctor to get my gauze out and he said that it would take a little while for all of the swelling to go away.

I don’t remember how long it took, but when the swelling did go all the way down, I was in for another surprise. As shocked as I was to see my nose on the wrong side of my face when it broke, I was more shocked when I looked in the mirror and saw that my nose, though centered, was a stranger to me.

Before the surgery, my nose had something that I like to call, “The Mosey Bump”. My brother had it, my father had it, and his father before him. In the picture below, you can see it quite clearly. It was quite a feature.


The Infamous Before.

But after the surgery, my bump was gone. Where once stood a mogul, now I had a clear ski slope. I had gone under thinking that the doctor was just going to straighten things out, but apparently, once he got in there, he couldn’t help himself and he just had to make my nose prettier.


The Beautiful After (I’m on the right)

It wasn’t until I got a chance to read through the surgery notes (which I had procured for my Army ROTC scholarship documentation) that I learned what happened to my Mosey Bump. It fell victim to a tool called a Bone Scraper. I kid you not. It didn’t even stand a chance.

Now, I’m fine with my new nose. That happened quite a while ago and I’m used to it. When I see pictures of the old nose, that is the one that looks strange to me. But now I have children of my own, and I fear for them. What happens if they inherit the Mosey Bump and start thinking that they are not mine? What if they want to get some kind of plastic surgery, like their old man had?

Oh well. All that for another day I guess. Sorry for the long post, but it was the last of my Innermost Secrets and I wanted to do it justice. Also, unlike many of my secrets, this story is all true, so the details were just sitting there, ripe for the writing.

Thanks for reading!

Innermost Secrets 49 – 53

DSC00863The series really is coming to a close, just not today. I’ve decided to stretch it out to another week. So there will be one more post next week and that is it.

Want to start at the beginning? Try these: Innermost Secrets 1-8, 9-15, 16-21, 22, 23-27, 28-32, 33-3738-42, and 43-48.

49th Innermost Secret

  • I’ve gone over Niagara Falls in a hot air balloon, and lived…

I’m a daredevil. What can I say?

One of my favorite Deep Thoughts by Jack Handy (an old bit from Saturday Night Live) was along these lines: Love isn’t something that you put in chains and send over Niagara Falls in a barrel. That’s called Houdini. Love is when you like someone a lot.

50th Innermost Secret

  • My heart stopped beating in 1994.

I was twelve in 1994. Or eleven. It depends on if we’re talking about before or after my birthday.

51st Innermost Secret

  • It never restarted.

True fact.

52nd Innermost Secret

  • Vengeance is spelled J-O-S-H.

I was a big fan of the movie, The Count of Monte Cristo” when it came out. So much so, that I was led to read the original by Dumas. Oh man, did the movie version simplify things! Also, oh man, did the movie version change major plot elements! That said, I enjoyed both the movie and the book, though I probably wouldn’t have like the movie much had it been a more true representation of the book (the book was basically a soap opera). But I bring this up because the major theme of both stories was vengeance.

I’m also a big fan of Monte Cristo sandwiches, for which my body will one day get its revenge on me by giving my a heart attack or something. Oh well. Some things are worth it, and the unholy offspring of a ham sandwich and a jelly doughnut is worth it in my book.

53rd Innermost Secret

  • I was second runner up in the World’s Strongest Woman Competition last year.

There was a time when I enjoyed saying really awkward things (that time is still now). One of my good friends in high school, a girl, was quite strong and said one time that she had strong pectoral muscles. But my other friend who was dating her at the time did NOT appreciate when I would say things like “Nice pecs Julie.” I’m glad that I’m so much more mature now.

And since I’ve decided to drag things out another week, you’ll just have to wait until next week for the final secret.