There’s this meme going around, the “25 Random Things About Me,” and normally I don’t like memes, but that one really does the trick, because you find out all kinds of bizarre crap about people. Anything from, “I once fought a bear as a member of the French Foreign Legion” to, “I once fellated a man in a Donald Duck costume, and no, we weren’t at Disneyworld.”
So, in the spirit of that meme, here are 10 (c’mon, I’m too lazy to do 25 — actually, I might peter out around #7) things you very well might not know about me.
Ready? Okay, let’s rock this puppy.
#1: I once held secret aspirations to be a cartoonist. Seriously. It makes sense: I liked to doodle, and I was a miserable child, and I think those are the two things that go into any good Cartoonist Recipe. Problem was, my doodling was for shit, and in the end I realized that what I really wanted was just to Tell Stories, and it didn’t matter if those stories were relayed through a three-panel google-eyed cartoon or not. But I was serious for a while. In high school, I had a copyright on a comic strip about a… family? A trio? A gang? — of hedgehogs. No, it wasn’t good, nor was it particularly funny.
#2: Speaking of Things Chuck Used To Do, I also used to play the drums. Unfortunately, this also falls into the subcategory of Things Chuck Used To Do, But Not Particularly Well. I mean, I learned on my own without any kind of instruction, and in that way, I maybe wasn’t bad. But for the most part, I was a bag of crap. But — but! — I can rock the mighty fuck out of some Rock Band. Woo! I can even spin the drumsticks! For like, three seconds before damn near putting out an eye! Rock scream!
#3: I used to live in a trailer. Like, a trailer park-style of trailer.
#4: I’ve grown up around animals. In my life, I or my family have owned: white pheasants, a peacock, rabbits, pigs, cattle, whitetail deer, elk, dogs, cats, Canadian geese, chickens, and… that might be it? Oh, I had a hamster once. We raised the first two whitetail deer in the house, bottle-fed ’em. The geese once trapped my mother atop a big metal tank we had in our driveway, surrounding her like a honking gang of winged thugs. Kept her there for hours.
#5: I used to work for a retail merchandising company that was owned by a company that made neckties. As a result, I have about a billion ties that I never get to wear. And that’s a collection I whittled down from about two billion.
#6: I was once stung 20+ times by a surly flock of bumblebees. Seriously. I was, I dunno, five or something, and my cousin Julie and I were running around like idiots on the lawn, as children are wont to do. We ran behind my grandmother’s trailer (which is the trailer I ended up living in years later, referenced in #3, above), and suddenly, cousin Julie wasn’t with me anymore. In fact, she was fleeing. I couldn’t imagine why, until I heard the buzzing and felt things whipping into me like BBs. Lots of bees. Lots of stings. And yet somehow, I never developed a fear for bees.
#7: I did develop a fear of water, though. So, there’s that.
#8: Bees are a great topic, aren’t they? Let’s revisit. Here’s what my father used to have me do when I was, I dunno, 11 or 12? He’d stick a revolver in my hand. (Yes, a real revolver. It was a .22.) He’d give me a box of scattershot .22 rounds (CCI .22 “shotshells”), and then I’d shoot carpenter bees who were trying to eat holes in our barn. Pop, pop, pop. It was freakin’ awesome.
#9: I’m pondering the next steps as writer, and I’m pondering how to best incorporate this site into that process. The screenwriting thing is tumbling forward with its own momentum, so I’m happy there. But I still have a hundred novels inside me, chewing at my guts like a sackload of frenzied badgers. Not sure which one to write. And is it worth it to do some serial fiction, free on the web, just to raise my profile? I know one of the old tenets was, don’t give your writing away for free unless you’re a talentless hack, but that model is no longer really true, is it? Bands release music for free, and it’s great, and it garners them listeners. You look at a writer like David Wellington (the Monster Island guy), and his work is top-notch (and it seems to have gotten him some solid book deals). So it can work, right? I also have one or two games in me. Hrm. Not enough signal, too much noise.
#10: Speaking of fiction, I used to write some ludicrous fiction as a teenage miscreant. Some topics of said fiction include: A circus badger mocked so deeply by his animal trainer that he had to constantly engage in extremely violent revenge against him (Fritz was the badger, Hans the animal trailer); a man who would draw a face on his knee and the knee’s only desire was to consume human blood; and a dude who found an alternate dimension in his underwear (this was such a harmless story that it astounds me how, when my mother found the story, she wept and wanted me evaluated for psychological damage). This is all on top of the continued adventures of Lord Chuckles, Grebok Son of Drogmar, Lord of the Lemmings, Gunther P. Washington, and Sparky the Wonder Weasel, which could be found in the several notebooks known as “Shadowstories,” passed around largely between myself and Longtime Ideal Reader, Marty Henley. Sometimes I think, “I was a weird kid.” Then other times I think, “I’m a weird adult.” Then I think, “I’m barely an adult. More like a giant man-baby.” Finally, I usually end up at, “Mmm. Pie.”
So, there you have it, Faithful Readers. Some random bullshit about yours truly.
Time for you knuckleheads to sound off. Anybody actually reading this goddamn thing? Sound off in comments, because, hey, now I have comments on this’n here website, ayup. Let me know something about you that I might not know already. Hell, just let me know you’re out there, listening, and that I’m not alone, not cold and frightened, not a hollow echoing voice bouncing down the empty halls of the Net.