Monday, February 28, 2005

Ten things I've done

I haven't seen this, but according to the infallible Terry Teachout, these lists are appearing all over the blogosphere. It's Monday morning and I'm supposed to be working on my taxes, but this sounds like more fun, so here right off the top of my head is a list of....

Ten Things I've Done That You Probably Haven't

1. Almost drowned in Niagara Falls. (Okay, it was a hotel pool in Niagara Falls, Canada. But I would have drowned if my mother hadn't been watching closely and jumped into the deep end just in time to save me.)

2. Allowed a snake wrangler to demonstrate the "harmlessness" of a very long, very fat black snake by draping it around my shoulders. As I held the reptile's head and smiled bravely for the clicking cameras, I felt the smooth, leathery tail wind itself around my right thigh and begin to squeeze.

3. Went out with a guy twice and then said yes when he proposed on our third date. (We'll celebrate our 30th anniversary this July.)

4. Sat next to the president of my city's Chamber of Commerce on an airplane and told him how great our city was -- because I had misunderstood him and thought he was making his first visit here.

5. Parachuted from an airplane way back in 1980, when it was still a pretty risky thing to do. (Now they have t-shirts that say, "Remember when sex was safe and skydiving was dangerous?")

6. Accompanied by several nerdy friends, dragged my telescope to the top of a cold, bare hill in the middle of nowhere in the middle of the night to be among the first to view the 1986 return of Comet Halley.

7. Laughed at my 13-year-old child when he told me he had broken his arm playing touch football. (Well, he wasn't screaming or anything.) The next day he couldn't move his fingers so I took him to our doctor, who gave me a long, hard look as he pointed to two fracture lines on the x-ray film.

8. Saw a dead whale wash up on a beach in Nova Scotia several hours before it was reported on the news and identified as a very rare species.

9. Told a bestselling novelist that I thought the only really good novelists were dead novelists. (I was gushing about my love of the classics. And, yes -- this was before I ever thought of writing a novel.)

10. Put down a romance novel, said, "I bet I could write one of these things", then wrote a complete novel and sold it on the first try to a major publishing house with no revisions. Yeah, go ahead and hate me.

Now go read Terry's list, which is way more interesting than mine. And then maybe you'd like to add your own list in the "comments" section, below.


Anonymous said...

Loved the 10 things list. I'll have to think a while to come up with 10 that very few people know about. One is forever embedded in my memory cells though -- on Halloween nightat age 11 (or maybe a bit older) with my grilfriend - running away (for a half-mile, no less)from an outraged homeowner after we tried to hit his nasty yippy little dog with a pumpkin and it splattered all over his front porch.

tristan coulter said...

Okay, I think the statute of limitations is up on most of these, so my mother can’t punish me.

1)Gave a homeless guy half of a pizza and sat down with him & listened to his life story.
2)Jumped on a moving train & rode it for about 5 miles.
3)Slept in an abandoned jail in a ghost town in Indiana
4)blocked traffic on a major freeway for 30 minutes because police though I was a terrorist (From a helicopter they saw me acting in a “suspicious manner” behind an abandoned factory in downtown Columbus. It took me a few moments before I realized they were chasing me so when I didn’t pull over right away they though I was trying to flee). One helicopter, 6 cruisers and 4 cop motor cycles stopped traffic so they could “deal with me”. (My Mom’s especially proud of that one).
5)Won five dollars in the only lottery I’ve ever participated in
6)With my friend Steve, rigged a little bomb we made to a model rocket and detonated it successfully at the rocket’s apogee
7)Made a bonfire in a quarry with 700 pounds of wood, a can of gasoline, and a bottle of lighter fluid. It took three cars to get everything down there.
8)Saved a friend’s life who got caught in an undertow near a dam in a river
9)Saw the bone and tendons in my wrist when my aforementioned friend was playing with a large chef’s knife in the restaurant where we worked and accidentally sliced my wrist. I had to interview for a new job a few days later and explain why I had 13 large, black stitches across the back of my wrist.
10)Have been pulled over and interrogated three times (for the same infraction – a burned out tail light) in 30 minutes by three over-zealous KHP officers who thought we were smuggling drugs to Kentucky. Was let off the hook each time.

Small Blue Thing said...

10. Put down a romance novel, said, "I bet I could write one of these things", then wrote a complete novel and sold it on the first try to a major publishing house with no revisions. Yeah, go ahead >>and hate me.I just can't. I do love you, tovarich :)

Blue Thing

Anonymous said...

Tristan, I'm Shocked!
are trying to give your mom a
heartattack? it would have me!

tristan coulter said...

I've always managed to land on my feet. I've got no criminal record and a clean bill of health to prove it. ;-)

Brenda Coulter said...

Tristan has given me several heart attacks. I'm surprised he didn't mention being wanted in Canada because of a paperwork mixup on a traffic violation, getting thrown off the boat he crewed in Miami, or getting escorted out of a rough Chicago neighborhood by a very concerned police officer. Hair-raising stories, all of them, but I guess he was limited by the 10-item list.

I keep telling him this stuff might be funny in twenty years, but it isn't funny now. And of course his father and I tried to teach him not to jump trains and play with fire, but some kids just aren't very good listeners, you know?

Blue Thing, thanks for the smile. I haven't been called "tovarish" since I studied Russian in college.

Anonymous said...

Tristan, you do know that the statute of limitations with a mom is longer, I know this I'm in my 40's and if I told mom some of the stuff that I did when I was kid, she would get the belt after me,