The River

Tuesday, December 19, 2006

Tagged by Frank Paynter

Who asks that I post five semi-secrets.

I have scars from falling in the bathtub (chin), falling into a desk in first grade (eyebrow), and shattering an aquarium with my face (nose). No broken bones, though.

I listen to rock –n- roll music in my car, loud because it sounds best that way. My car is a black 1998 Honda Civic HX coup, my fourth Civic. My first was a 1980 maroon metallic hatchback. Second was a red 1988 hatchback, third was a black 1993 hatchback (I miss the hatchback). The semi-secret is that my eardrums are still recovering from an AC/DC concert at the age of sixteen. Love hurts.

I feel lucky to have grown up during the 70s, a great time period full of both intellectual and cultural ferment and exploration, and paradoxically, the silly excesses we all laugh about now, a product of the desire to repackage the sixties for mass consumption. Semi-secret: I had a Greg Brady permanent in seventh grade.

I worked in a grocery store from ages 16-18. I did a little bit of everything -- bagging, checking, unloading trucks, stocking shelves, price changes, sweeping and mopping, hiding six packs by the dumpster out back to pick up later, surreptitiously drinking beer while changing the prices on cans of pet food, and feasting on Breyers Butter Pecan ice cream and other foodstuffs late at night while the store manager counted down the registers.

I was asked to teach a Sunday School for class for 11-13 year olds at an Episcopal Church. I told them I was a new age pagan Buddhist and wouldn’t be there if it wasn’t for my wife. I said I wasn’t sure about organized religion of any kind, mainly because it is too limiting of people’s natural spirituality, and was full of doubts and questions. They said, “So are the kids. You’ll be great.” I thought about it, and a voice said, “Go forth, and subvert the dominant paradigm.” I think it was mine.


If you would like to do this, consider yourself tagged.

Beer and Butter Pecan! My favorite Ice Cream Float!
I was probably about 7 or 8 when I realized Episcopal was an anagram for "Pepsi Cola."
What a coincidence .. Mr. Frank Stoll, my 4th grade teacher in Holland Township. NJ used to make me write "Go forth, and subvert the dominant paradigm" 100 times on the blackboard every other Thursday after the end of classes, becasue i was a consistent shit disturber.

After a couple of months, my parents let him know that I had taken to scribblinbg it on the walls at home or on the floor of the stores when I went shopping with my mother.

In high school in Connecticut, my best friend (who's now a rock / world music critic for the NY Times) wrote under my senior picture "non illegitimi carborundum". He was prescient about all the misery I would create for myself over the subsequent 30+ years.

Neither my teacher nor my friend probably didn't think much about how long their admonitions would stay with me ;-)
So it was yours!

I never know where this stuff comes from.

Scars are cool. So is subverting the dominant paradigm.

Saddam is dead, the world is now safe from terrorism. Go forth and spread the joy.
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