Innermost Secrets 16 – 21

And so we continue our trip into my deepest, darkest places. Or at least, those deep, dark places that I didn’t mind sharing with people about a decade ago with people at YMCA Camp Manitou Lin. Need to brush up on Innermost Secrets 1 – 15? Check this post and this post.

16th Innermost Secret:

  • I am the spider that bites the British staff.

I shared in my 9th Innermost Secret about how the camp employed a group of British staff through an international work exchange program, and how I was jealous of them because being British is cool. One thing that I was not jealous of was the spider bites that they all got. Whenever the staff would sleep in the tents near the high ropes course, one of the British staff would get bit by a spider, but none of the American staff were ever bothered. Perhaps the Brits have sweeter blood, or perhaps the spiders are some kind of uber-patriots who still think we’re fighting the Revolutionary War.

17th Innermost Secret:

  • Kate Crawford is my ex-wife, also Pat Crawford is my ex-husband.

Pat and Kate ran the high ropes course at camp. They were an incredibly kind couple who were a few years older than the rest of us, and as such, they stayed above most of the camp drama. They also sold me a really nice hiking backpack. I wasn’t really married to either of them… or was I? No, I wasn’t.

18th Innermost Secret:

  • Innermost Secret number 2 is a lie.

Self-referential humor is the best humor. Also, since many of my innermost secrets are lies, I think it is funny to lie about lying. Does that make my 18th Innermost Secret true? No.

19th Innermost Secret:

  • Danger is my middle name.

I still like telling people this secret. But in truth, my middle name is not Danger. My middle name is Dumbledore.

20th Innermost Secret:

  • My second wife died in a pillow fight.

Aside from the past tense phrasing of this secret, this may well be true. But I haven’t actually been married twice, nor do I plan to be. Besides, my wife and I have agreed that neither one of us is allowed to die before the other. Either we both go at the same time, or not at all. Although, if I were to choose a way for both of us to die simultaneously, a pillow fight would be a pretty good way I feel.

21st Innermost Secret:

  • When I was a paperboy, I delivered papers to a dead woman for 3 days without knowing she was dead.

Hmm. To be continued next week!

Innermost Secrets 9 – 15

I was thinking that this was going to be a Thursday post, but since tomorrow is Thanksgiving, I’ll do it a day early. That way, you have one more thing to be thankful for. If you have no idea why I’m starting at nine, you should probably start back at the beginning.

9th Innermost Secret:

  • I derive pleasure from demeaning the British (but only because I’m jealous).

The YMCA camp was part of a really cool program that hired English-speaking international staff for the summer. We had one girl from Australia, and a girl and some guys from England. Sometime before they got there, one of the English guys called the camp and I happened to pick up the phone. His Manchester accent was so thick, I had to tell him to call back because I had no idea what he was saying. By the end of the summer, I could understand him just fine, but I helped to watch him speaking. Over the phone I was at a complete loss.

10th Innermost Secret:

  • Jason is really my twin.

In an act of pure nepotism, I hired my former college suitemate, Jason. I’ve written about Jason before. He was the vice-president of the Valhalla Norwegian Society, and he and I shared some frightening similarities. People really did believe that we were related. And we had a lot of fun that summer. In addition to all of the normal fun of being at camp, Jason and I had a folk-rock comedy band in which we used bad British accents (see Innermost Secret #9) called The Electric Fandango. Jason is now a Latin teacher at a school nearby me. Maybe we should get the band back together.

11th Innermost Secret:

  • I like to wear pink undies (when I wear undies at all).

I feel no need to explain this secret.

12th Innermost Secret:

  • Jay Turpin is my father.

Jay was the camp’s executive director. He’s been mentioned before on the blog as well. I pranked him though he did not deserve it. Sorry Jay. Anyway, Jay is only like 10 years older than me, so if he were my dad, he would have had to get started at a pretty early age.

13th Innermost Secret:

  • Honey Mustard…

This is simply the title of one of the songs from The Electric Fandango (see Innermost Secret #10). The whole song is a declaration of love to Honey Mustard, God’s own condiment. The reason I wrote the song was because Honey Mustard was the only thing that enabled me to eat all of the processed chicken that showed up on the camp menu. Pretty much every other meal was some kind of processed chicken. But it was free processed chicken because I lived at camp, so I’m not going to complain too loudly.

14th Innermost Secret:

  • Sometimes I drink bleach.

This is stolen directly from a thing I saw David Letterman do one time. I only saw it once, but for some reason it really stuck with me. Letterman was going through his desk routine, playing the little games that he does when all of a sudden he reaches down and brings a jug of bleach to his lips, takes a deep drink and puts it down. No one says anything about it, so he does it again later. Finally, he says something like, “Isn’t anyone going to try to stop me? I’m drinking bleach for goodness sake.” I thought that was hilarious. I couldn’t tell you why now.

15th Innermost Secret:

  • I clean the bath house for fun and profit.

As the Visiting Groups Director, it was my responsibility to make sure that all of the facilities that my visiting groups used got cleaned up. I never wanted to be the type of boss who simply assigned the dirty tasks to my underlings, so I cleaned the bathhouse personally. And though it wasn’t always that much fun, I think it was a good way to help my staff feel appreciated. Plus, someone had to do it, and I was getting paid the most of any of my staff so it might as well have been me.

Thanks for reading! Stay tuned next week for the continuation of my innermost secrets.