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.

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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.

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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.”

Great.

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.

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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.

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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.

Innermost Secrets 43 – 48

DSC00863The series is coming to a close. One more post after this and the emotional scarring that you’ve incurred for the sake of my secrets will be done. Give thanks to your deity of choice. Of course, if you are just starting into my blog now, feel free to travel back to the beginning of my innermost secrets and let your horrors commence (Innermost Secrets 1-8, 9-15, 16-21, 22, 23-27, 28-32, 33-37, and 38-42).

43rd Innermost Secret

  • I’d sell my soul if I could test drive a Honda Civic. Oh yeah!

Do you see this car? Oh Yeah!

44th Innermost Secret

I’m not really this fat. I pad, and heavily.

Is it a lot of work for no discernible reward? Sure. But is it worth it? No.

45th Innermost Secret

  • I play poker with El Chupacabra on Thursdays.

There was a time a while back when I was a song writer. The songs I wrote were of a comedic, but I like to think educational, nature. One of my hits was a song about El Chupacabra. If you are not familiar, El Chupacabra translates roughly to “The Goat Sucker” and is a mythical(?) creature who preys on sheep and other animals. But rather than eating animals outright, it simply punctures the animal’s skin, liquifies its organs, and sucks out all the innards through the bite mark, leaving husks where once virile animals roamed.

I’d tell you how El Chupacabra and I started playing poker, but that is a boring story, so I won’t.

46th Innermost Secret

  • I was aboard the iceberg when the Titanic hit me (I won).

Too soon?

47th Innermost Secret

  • I’ve never understood any joke, ever.

This is true. I have no sense of humor. Only a sense of smell, which, at times, I wish I didn’t.

48th Innermost Secret

  • My chest hair once tried to kill me.

Don’t ask me how. Please. Respect my privacy. Why are you even reading my secrets in the first place?

Innermost Secrets 38 – 42

DSC00863Here’s the deal. If you have any respect for me, discontinue reading this post. If you don’t, read on, but do not judge too harshly. These secrets were from a decade ago. And if you wish to be further horrified by my past, start at the beginning (Innermost Secrets 1-8, 9-15, 16-21, 22, 23-27, 28-32, and 33-37).

38th Innermost Secret

  • “Cut the Mullet” by Wesley Willis is my favorite song.

Keep in mind, this secret was immediately preceded by this one, “Were it not for the way they looked, I would have a mullet.” Also, a word about Wesley Willis. Wesley Willis was a diagnosed chronic schizophrenic and musician whose raw songwriting ability sparked a cult following. He was a fascinating man, an entertaining musician, and my college friends and I were fond of singing his songs to each other. Also, if you want to watch the video below, know ahead of time that not all of Wesley’s lyrics are suitable for children, nor are the images of Wesley Willis all that appealing.

39th Innermost Secret

  • I once hitchhiked across Madagascar.

Not true, but I have seen the movie Madagascar, so that’s probably close enough.

40th Innermost Secret

  • I’m a member of the Communist Party.

Not a paying member though, so the higher-ups are thinking of kicking me out.

41st Innermost Secret

  • I sometimes accept government hush money in return for untested psychotropic drugs (under the table of course).

What’s funny is that I heard about this happening in real life. Only instead of getting paid, people didn’t know they were getting dosed. Read more here.

42nd Innermost Secret

  • I like flowers because they’re pretty, like me.

Is it a crime to feel pretty?

Innermost Secrets 33 – 37

DSC00863This is the edge of the map. Further are warnings that say, “Here Be Dragons.” This is the next installment of my innermost secrets. If you wish to be further horrified by my past, start at the beginning (Innermost Secrets 1-8, 9-15, 16-21, 22, 23-27 & 28-32).

33rd Innermost Secret:

  • I didn’t know what the word “perorate” meant until yesterday.

I’m not going to lie to you, I had to look this word up again. I probably haven’t used it since I wrote it down in my secret journal. In fact, my spellcheck doesn’t even recognize it as a word. Then again it doesn’t like the word “spellcheck” either. Anyway, according to tfd.com, perorate means:

per·o·rate  (pr-rt)

intr.v. per·o·rat·ed, per·o·rat·ing, per·o·rates

1. To conclude a speech with a formal recapitulation.
2. To speak at great length, often in a grandiloquent manner; declaim.

34th Innermost Secret:

  • I dodged the draft, or maybe I just quit ROTC.

When deciding on where to spend my collegiate years, money played a big factor. I had earned a few scholarships from high school, but no more than I would have needed to cover my books and maybe tuition for one or two classes. What I needed was a way to have my entire college career paid for… and I found it.

Western Michigan University is one of many schools with a solid Army ROTC program. If you are unfamiliar with ROTC, it stands for “Reserve Officers Training Corps” and is a program for training commissioned officers in the armed services. Members of the ROTC can compete for scholarships. I competed and I won a four-year scholarship, complete with stipend for living expenses. It was a sweet deal. And the real beauty was that I didn’t need to actually enlist in the military until after my freshman year and before my sophomore year.This was a really good thing, because about midway through my freshman year, I realized that I didn’t really want to be in the military.

Now, this was just before the 9/11 attacks and the ensuing wars in Iraq, Afghanistan, and so on. That happened the year after I quit, so I really feel like a dodged a bullet (or many of them). At the end of my first semester, I went to the top brass, turned in my uniform and told them that I was returning my scholarship. I was not enlisted yet, so there were no military or legal repercussions to quitting. When they asked why I was giving up I pointed to one of the poster that hung nearby. It said, “The Army isn’t for everyone. That’s the point.”

35th Innermost Secret:

  • I’ve never bathed.

Just kidding. I did once. NEVER AGAIN.

36th Innermost Secret:

  • Even when people tell me I smell bad, I know they’re just kidding.

People are such kidders.

37th Innermost Secret:

  • Were it not for the way they looked, I would have a mullet.

And it would look like this:

Innermost Secrets 28 – 32

DSC00863Let us step into the time machine of our imaginations and travel back a decade. Look! It’s me! What am I saying? What was I thinking?

If you are just joining us, you may want to start at the beginning (Innermost Secrets 1-8, 9-15, 16-21, 22, & 23-27).

28th Innermost Secret:

  • At night, I turn into, okay, I don’t turn into anything at night, but it would be cool if I did.

I wrote this well in advance of there-entry of vampires and werewolves into pop culture. It’s like I had a crystal ball, right? No. I just like the idea of turning into something else at night, like a sleeping person or something.

29th Innermost Secret:

  • I hold the title of “Viceroy of Badgers” in Norway.

I don’t know if this is a real title, but if it is, I would like to figure out how to get it. Any of my Norwegian readers care to chime in here?

30th Innermost Secret:

  • The only holiday that I recognize is Australia Day.

Once in high school, I talked one of my female friends into seeing a movie with me on Australia Day. I think I tried to sell her on the idea of seeing a movie with me by calling it the “Australia Day Film Festival” even though it was only one movie and there was nothing particularly Australian about it. Also, I had no idea what Australia Day commemorated. In fact, I still have no idea what Australia Day commemorates. Other friends were going to come along, but they all bailed at the last moment, making it just the two of us. After the movie, she turns to me and says, “This wasn’t a date, was it?” The only proper answer to that question is “No. Of course not.” I don’t miss the emotional highs and lows of adolescence, and I love being married to my wonderful wife who has never asked me that question.

31st Innermost Secret:

  • The 9 in my name is silent.

Also invisible.

32nd Innermost Secret:

  • I am deathly afraid of fish (but not sharks).

I actually wrote about this once. That makes it true, right? Because we aren’t allowed to lie on the internet. Right? Right?!