Wednesday, March 26, 2008

On Eccentricity

I admit that I am a little bit eccentric. To be fair, I come from a long line of eccentric people. Of course, it is rare that I actually give myself the credit for being anything like my interesting and colorful forebears. It stands to reason that I shouldn't be blamed for attempting to avoid the comparison to my father, for example, who has been known to get drunk enough to drive his 4x4 Jeep around his muddy property in the hills of the Appalachian Mountains, only to crash the front end of the vehicle into one of the large, swooping decks that were built around the house. These decks, mind you, were designed with the express purpose of allowing my father the freedom to "piss of my own back porch any time I please". My father, you see, hated urban living and always longed to live in the middle of nowhere. On a good day, when he is not splitting wood for the pot-bellied stove that acts as the only heat source for his over-sized wood cabin home (for the over-sized boy scout who resides therein), he can be found jamming out (in the nude) on his Spanish guitar, wailing away in one of his many, made-up "foreign tongues" and periodically, yes, you heard it here folks, pissing off his own deck. Amen.

While I could devote an entire 10-part series to the genius-madness complex that courses through my veins, I would just like to discreetly point out that my brother keeps chickens in his backyard. He also owns a Post Office. A working one. For real. Why? Because it was such a bargain! ... My mother currently has 25 United States patents (which Bro and I stand to inherit one day) in a variety of assorted "inventions" that she has created over the years for disabled people. Yes, it is quite amazing what a glue-gun can do...

Very few people know this, but my maternal grandfather was obsessive compulsive long before it was cool. He inscribed his name with permanent marker on everything that was his. EVERYTHING. He also put the date. Because he was a member of a steal worker's union, he also had a number associated with his name. The number was 769. If he didn't have enough space to put his name and date on something, he would just inscribe his number. 769. 769. 769. Every week, he played the lottery with these numbers. Now, whenever Bro and I play the lottery, we only use this number. We each have a key chain with a small, hand-pressed piece of scrap metal that my grandfather once melted down in his shop. Upon it, he melted his number. 769. The key chain never leaves me now. In meditation, I rub my thumb over the numbers when I drive long distances, and think of my grandfather with the hope that he is with me from the beyond now. I guess...I'm superstitious like that. Not that I am a tattoo person at all, but Bro and I have recently discussed the idea of getting 769 tattoos this summer to honor the man. If this happens, mine will be very tiny, and most likely done in white in a discreet, remote place on my body that would never see the light of day, whereas Bro's will be prominently displayed on muscle, and most certainly done in black. My greatest consolation in this is that at least we are not wearing vials of blood around our necks. Now that would be really weird...

Today I attended a little lunch that was catered in my office building. After the lunch was over, I wandered back to the room where it was held and noticed that there was a bunch of leftover bananas that nobody ate. There was also a small bottle of Diet Pepsi that no one drank! Oh, and a couple of apples. I guess I shouldn't neglect to mention the extra brownie and couple of strawberries that I swiped, too. Of course, I don't blame my klepto behavior on anything more than the fact that I am getting paid such a small amount here. So small, in fact, that I can't afford to buy treats for my classes. I am poor, therefore, I improvise...

Since I had a couple of students coming to my office this afternoon to discuss a project that they are working on, I decided to swipe the goods and insist that we all sit down on my office floor and have a picnic while we discuss their big ideas. Of course, they loved it. Loved it! And per my usual, I served the tea of the Quakers...

Of course, the person who did not like this was the food service worker guy who walked in the meeting room to clean up the lunch just as I was about to leave with my arms full of culinary contraband. Yeesh. The fortunate thing about this is that the worker guy confused me for a student. I, of course, didn't miss a beat, as I smiled with as much cuteness as I could muster and innocently told him that I was just making his clean-up job easier. He laughed uncomfortably, and I made sure to scuttle out of there without dropping anything, looking over my shoulder to see that he didn't see me scramble into my office...

Suffice it to say, at least I haven't turned my office into a glue gun animal farm. Oh, and I am not peeing on anything.

Yet.

Namaste

6 comments:

Alan Ward said...

And of course you know why your students love it, right? Because it's different/you're different ... Must be refreshing break for them after a day in academic tedium.

769 is a prime number.

Namaste said...

769 is a prime number, Alan Ward! And thank you. Don't we all need a break from the tedium?

VJ said...

A perfectly delightfully mad post. Entertainment at it's best. Your brother BTW does sound like the sensible one in the family from what little we can glean from this and past posts. Chickens are pretty common in many rural places. They're good cheap entertainment too, and usually reasonably cheap to keep.

So thanks for the smile, and Piss On this:
[http://www.deutscheoptik.com/catalog/product_info.php?products_id=947].

If that does not come out clean just go to deutscheoptik.com and search under 'piss on battery'. It's a good (working!) gag gift for dad. Or maybe moms too. But yeah. Behavioral genetics. We need a front row seat for the F2&3 generation. This might be getting interesting!

(Don't worry too much about the klepto stuff, most college folks do it for precisely the same damn reasons!) Cheers & Good Luck! 'VJ'

Kim Ayres said...

Jamming out in the nude on the guitar I must admit has a certain appeal, but for the fact that either it's too cold or it's the midge season

I-66 said...

Honey, please don't start peeing on things. I mean, yeah, it might be in homage, but really... Please don't.

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