There has been a trend on Facebook lately – people write a list of things that you may not know about them, and if you “like” the list you are rewarded with a number. Then you are supposed to write a similar list with that many things about yourself. It seems to be calming down now – haven’t seen nearly as many this week – and I have been careful not to “like” any of them so I wouldn’t get stuck with a number.
But the whole process made me think, and in my head I started writing my own list. In less than ten minutes, I had 17 obscure facts about myself. So after a week filled with surgery updates, I share this as a much much lighter pathway to the weekend . . .
1. People who know me well (or only see me at shows) may find this hard to believe, but I am terribly shy. If I am in a room full of people I don’t know in a non-work situation, I will never speak unless someone speaks to me first.
2. I crave “alone time”, probably because I get so little of it. When I am traveling, I eat by myself, go to the movies by myself, play golf by myself, and love just driving down the road with nothing but my XM radio to keep me company.
3. When I was a kid, I hated mowing grass and working in the yard. My dad told me that would change when I had a place of my own. He was right — I have loved mowing and yardwork for years.
4. I lost my spleen when I was 16. I was umpiring a men’s softball game and was run over in the baseline by a guy who outweighed me by about 80 pounds. It was my fault — I was out of position. But for me it gave “Kill the Umpire” a whole new meaning.
5. I paid my own way through college. My parents offered to pay for it, but I told them they had done enough and it was my turn. Four years later (two years at a branch campus and two years at the main campus), I had my Miami degree — tuition, room and board, books and gas cost $10,000 (wouldn’t even get me through a semester today) and I had $250 left in the bank.
6. I have always hated owing money. Had mortgages on each of the houses I have owned because I had no choice, but once my current one was paid off, I vowed I would never owe money again. I don't have much, but nothing that I have requires a monthly payment.
7. I don’t like food and feel that sit-down meals are a waste of valuable time. I rarely try new foods. I have eaten the same thing for breakfast (a chocolate fudge Pop Tart and a glass of milk) since I was a teenager, the same thing for lunch (usually a burger and a Coke at McDonald’s) since I started working, and the same thing for dinner (usually nothing if I’m not hungry) as often as I can.
8. But I like to cook — especially bake — and often make things for others that I wouldn’t think of eating myself.
9. I have learned to do the dishes, do the laundry, run the sweeper, clean the toilets — and I enjoy it.
10. I took a sip of coffee when I was 8, didn’t like the taste, and have never taken another (but I love the smell of coffee). I took a sip of beer when I was 18 and didn’t like the taste — was told that it’s an acquired taste, I didn’t see the point, and have never taken another. I took a sip of whiskey when I was 21, it burned all the way down, again I didn’t see the point, and have never taken another.
11. I have decided to retire from announcing Waynesville football games at the end of the 2049 season — at that point I’ll have 70 years in and I feel more than that is probably greedy.
12. From the time I was 7 until I was almost 20, I wanted to be the radio voice of the Cincinnati Reds. Thankfully, my horizons broadened a bit — the guy who got the job when I was 15 is still there.
13. I have seen two no-hitters in person — Rick Wise pitched one against the Reds in 1971 (and hit two homers in the game), and Tom Seaver pitched the other for the Reds in 1978. I would like to see another.
14. I didn’t have a pet (Mom didn’t like them) until I was almost 40. Now, I can’t imagine life without them. Zoe seems to agree.
15. We do a show in Cincinnati every August that has a Friday night Preview Party with a costume theme. In 2003, the theme was “Wild West” so we decided to go with me as a riverboat gambler and Karen and Melinda as barroom floozies. But when we got to the costume shop, the barroom floozy costumes had no bustline. We didn’t have time to come up with another idea, so I had to wear the barroom floozy costume. Because of the response, I have worn similar costumes several times since — and now our customers are disappointed when I dress as a male.
16. I have never had trouble going to sleep at night, but for years I would wake up in the middle of the night and couldn’t go back to sleep because my mind would start racing. Finally solved the problem by putting an ear bud in my ear with the radio playing very softly, so when I wake up I just listen to the radio for a minute or two and I’m asleep again. Now I can’t sleep without it.
17. I have lived in only one Zip Code in my life, since before there were Zip Codes. I could take you on a walking tour past every house I have lived in and it would take about 15 minutes.
And now you know much more about me than you ever cared to know. My apologies . . .