Daily Dojo

Seven Strange Things

Don Hall tagged me with a meme entitled Seven Strange Things in which we list, well, seven strange things about ourselves.

Heh-heh. Okay. I had to think for a minute, not because I’m lacking in strange things, but rather because I’ve listed so much Personal Sh*t via various memes it’s work just to avoid repeating myself.

But okay, here we go . . .

1) I was a virgin until college.

Hey, shut up, it happens, I’m from a very small town in Iowa and was a very late bloomer, not only was I a virgin, I was extremely sexually naive (I believe the farthest I’d gotten was second base). Once in college though, I lost my virginity in a rather ridiculous and surreal manner, the full details of which I wrote about in my play The Penis Papers that I hope someone will someday produce. If you want to know the full story, you’re gonna have to read that. It’s pretty embarrassing and highly amusing.

Suffice to say that once said virginity was was gone, I made up for lost time rather rapidly.

2) When I was in junior high, I built a working Seismograph for a district-wide science fair contest and won third place.

This may not seem strange, but it was to everyone else at the time because I hadn’t shown any aptitude for science, I wasn’t a good student nor did I care about science or being a good student. Yet when the competition came around I threw myself into it and managed to build a seismograph on my own, without help from anyone. I just dug out a lot of books from the library (this was B.I. Before Internet) and did it. I guess I’m just simply competitive.

Still only got third place (I seem to recall one of the other winning projects was a working model of a pumping heart, no lie) but seeing as that it was a competition including students from all schools in the district, with submissions numbering in the hundreds, it was considered quite the accomplishment and I got my picture in the paper. To the surprise of everyone.

It seemed strange to everyone then. Hell, seems strange to me now.

3) I worked with VH1’s Adrienne Frost at an animal hospital.

I only list this because Don’s got a quote from Adrienne up on his blog. We worked at the same vet some time in the late nineties. She’s funny. Stand-up comedians aren’t always fun to spend eight hours in a small enclosed space with, though . . . you’d think they would be, but my experience is they’re best in bite-sized portions . . . otherwise by the end of an eight hour shift and they’re still going and going, you’re definitely considering homicidal thoughts.

No reflection on Adrienne, of course, she’s nice, that’s just the nature of her profession.

4) I was a published cartoonist by the time I was 15 years old.

I had several cartoons published in a nation-wide student magazine, and some more in a local newspaper. Also had a few published in my dinky high school newspaper that got me in hot water with the teachers satirized, heh-heh.

But everyone figured I’d be a professional someday.

My memory is that I was pretty good at it, I know I drew constantly for years, but I simply lost interest in it sometime after I got my driver’s license.

5) I read my first Stephen King book at age 9.

It was THE STAND. An awesome piece of work. I read a lot of books as a youngster, I simply ripped through them. But THE STAND, next to his non-fiction work ON WRITING, was a piece of art and growing up, I day-dreamed about playing Nick Andros in the movie, should they ever make one. I was heart-broken years later when Rob Lowe was cast as Nick in THE STAND mini-series, I thought he was all wrong for it.

Interestingly enough, I had a screenplay optioned by one of the producers of THE STAND mini-series later on. I didn’t share with him my thoughts on the casting, however. The only thing he told me about it was that Molly Ringwald wasn’t the most pleasant person to work with. That’s what he said.

6) One of the first paid gigs I got when I moved to New York was as a nude male model.

It’s true, stop laughing, it’s true, shut up . . . I actually worked as a nude model. Shut up.

This was back when I was thin and ripped. It paid fifty bucks an hour and there was a whole bunch of us, male and female, sitting around taking turns doing provocative poses with each other, many of it same-sex, though since it was arty and for public consumption, none of our naughty bits could be shown (anyone’s genitalia, nipples on women) and had to be artfully covered.

Since some of us had a bit more than a bit to our bits than others, this could be difficult, they’d ask you to turn your body and then someone would shout out, “We see dick, tuck it in, tuck it in!”

I also remember that everyone on set except me and one other guy was gay. That included all the women there. And I had to shave my chest and legs which was no fun when it grew back. Itched like hell.

It’s the only time I ever did any modeling. I can’t say it was enjoyable. It was cold and long and boring and about as sexy as a Mormon Salsa dance, but it paid well.

I have no regrets that provocative sexy photos of me are floating out there somewhere . . . the only regret I have is that I’m not that skinny and ripped anymore.

Right now I’m about as ripped as Tony Soprano.

7) I once performed a Heimlich Maneuver on an old man at a Chinese restaurant while on a date.

Saved his life. He was turning blue. None of the waiters paid attention to the choking senior citizen and his increasingly desperate wife. I stepped up, got my arms around him and GURG! Out popped a piece of braised short rib.

He didn’t even say thank you. My date was pretty impressed, though. And the old fella’s wife thanked me.

They didn’t offer to pay for my dinner, though.

Okay, now that I’m done with that exercise in self-humiliation, I guess I have to tag a few others. I tag Parabasis, SHEILA, Matthew Freeman, James and Bellware, who I’m sure has stories that will curdle . . . and anyone else who wants to play.

2 Responses to “ Seven Strange Things”

  1. James Says:

    Hot dog. How do I top these?

  2. Joshua James Says:

    Oh now James, you surely underestimate yourself, heh-heh.

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