10 more things I’ve done that you probably haven’t

A while back I posted Ten things I’ve done you probably haven’t. Since then, we’ve all lived some more, and maybe remembered more. Let’s play again.

10 more things I’ve done that you probably haven’t:

1. Been pulled over by a sheriff’s deputy who suspected me and my friends of robbing a bank.

2. Been warned by a sheriff’s deputy that wearing mime makeup in public might lead people to think we were masked bank robbers.

3. Fought a seagull at Sea World for possession of a hamburger.

4. Borrowed a pair of lime green reading glasses from Harlan Coben.

5. Crashed a party at a Republican National Convention.

6. Been surrounded by shrieking baboons.

7. Drove a crazed squirrel from my bedroom using only a window screen and a samurai sword.

8. Turned down the Husband’s first marriage proposal because I thought he was delirious with fever.

9. Gone sand surfing on dunes that sit between a space shuttle landing strip and the site of the first atomic bomb explosion.

10. Let my children eat worms. From a restaurant menu.

How about you?

52 responses to “10 more things I’ve done that you probably haven’t

  1. Wow! I can’t hold a candle to that, but I’ll start thinking on it.

  2. I’ll get my thinking cap on and see if I come come up with anything different from last time, although the mental picture of Meg O’Death + samurai sword vs. squirrel is a little distracting.

  3. Jen: But you have power over crime authors. Surely you have tales to tell.

    DJ: Maybe you can mention the afro.

  4. I went trick or treating in full Alice Cooper makeup to my boss’ house one year with only a shot glass. This may not be weird enough for the list but I thought it pretty funny ar rhe time. “I’m older than that now.” ::>)

  5. Buzzzz! Got your #6 covered… if by shreiking baboons I can include my 8 year old and his buddies from school.

  6. I wrote this list in response to the same Scalzi column you did to your original, Meg. It stands the test of time.

  7. Well, since my link in the previous comment doesn’t seem to be working, here’s my list:

    1) Told Orson Scott Card at a book signing that my ex-wife’s mother lived just off a Greensboro street he included in Ender’s Game.
    2) Was in the operating room when my ex had an emergency C-section and saw spurting blood and drifting smoke over the curtain, just before the doctor said, “This looks like a nine pounder.”
    3) Took a much loved 17 year old cat to the vet hoping she could hang on, was told she couldn’t, asked to be with her when she went to sleep for the last time, watched the vet walk out for a couple of minute, then return and ask me, “Are you sure you want to take the body?”
    4) Backed a car that was stuck in reverse three miles through city traffic to meet my ride to work at the service station.
    5) Dressed in a grass skirt and coconut bra to raise money at our “Luau” Relay for Life event in 2007.
    6) Driven one of my dad’s farm tractors sideways into a six foot deep drainage ditch and walked away without a scratch.
    7) Preached a couple of Youth Sunday sermons at a Southern Baptist Church.
    8) Lost my first wife, after twelve year of marriage and three children, to another woman.
    9) Am married to my best friend, who I met through a Dean Koontz newsgroup on Usenet.
    10) Was recently a contestant on Jeopardy.

    • Okay, I’m going to say this all wrong — are you blind Eddie?

      • No, I’m not blind, but I’m apparently dense. Would you please clarify your question, Dana Jean?

      • I was just scrolling down to look at new replies, and NOW I see what you meant, Dana Jean! I made, as I often do, a typo. I meant to type “8)” for my list item and probably added an opening parenthesis, which rendered as the smiley wearing shaded. Since I didn’t catch that, maybe I am blind!

    • Eddie, regarding your #8, or 8-), I just attended a wedding where one of the two grooms had both of his late-teen, early-20s children in the wedding party. I learned that their mom, his ex-wife, is a lesbian. Both kids spoke, and they couldn’t have appeared either happier or more well-adjusted.

      • Ron, it’s good to hear that. My kids have grown up, in the main, well-adjusted too. I even get along with their mom these days. My regret is that my ex-wife took a job that moved the kids 800 miles away from me, so that I went from seeing them 2 times a week to 3-4 time a year. You learn to adjust or you go nuts; I adjusted.

  8. 1) I have appeared in (and survived) one of Meg’s books, as a baby-faced black Afro-American. Go on, look closely at my avatar. Imagine an afro and you’re half-way there.

    2) I caused Mark Billingham to change the start of one of his books. I emailed him after listening to him read from his (then unpublished) novel, From the Dead. I highlighted that the victim wouldn’t be able to see what Mark read that he saw from the description of what was happening. I got an email of thanks from Mark and the published novel’s start was different.

    3) I’ve been stung by a wasp where, believe you me, you don’t want to be stung. Lesson – make sure you or your spouse check your smalls when fetching them in from the washing line.

    4) I regularly work in a city which has publicly admitted it’s not prepared for a zombie attack. Last week 150 zombies tested that assertion.

    5) I’ve survived an encounter with a (potential assassin) monk.

    6) I’ve had Marsha DePhilippo (Steven King’s personal assistant) rate my contribution to a Halloween short story as “Good job!”. The exclamation mark was hers, not mine.

    7) I’ve crashed my bike (not motor) into the back of a stationary car and ended up on its roof (childhood event).

    8) I’ve fallen off my bike whilst stationary (darned clip-in pedals). I am please to report I am a little more competent on my bike nowadays.

    9) I have significantly more Facebook friends than I have friends. I’m guessing I’m not unique here, though.

    10) Hate to think I’m so dull that 10 new things haven’t happened to me in the last few years, but I can’t not repeat this one – I’ve seen Meg’s ‘China Lake’ handbag in real life! That exclamation mark is all mine.

  9. Meg’s number 3 mad me chuckle are there pictures or video of this? You know the rule ‘pics or it didn’t happen’ 😛

    The only things I can think of are:

    1. Going go-karting and forgetting which pedal was which so almost running over somone in the pit

    2. Drivien a fan boat

    3. After seeing the original Toy Story peering thorugh the crack in my door to see if my toys had come alive (sadly they never did)

    Went and put my washing out to see if could think of any more came to the conclusion that I’m quite boring and so is putting out washing!

    • Envious of #2. I am apt, at the drop of a hat, to go into my parody of “Mutual of Omaha’s Wild Kingdom” wherein I do my best Marlin Perkins and say, “Jim went in by air boat as I stayed back at camp drinking a gin fizz.”

  10. Great ones, Meg! Although I would’ve relinquished the burger to the gull…. and worms, really?

    Here’s mine:

    1. Did 5 laps in a Ferrari 458 at Elkhart Lake’s Road America Track
    2. Changed a flat tire on a van full of nuns during a Chicago snowstorm. (I’ll take the extra karma points whenever I can…)
    3. Shook the hand of former Secret Service Agent, Tim McCarthy. (He’s the guy that took a bullet for Ronald Reagan in 1981.)
    4. Almost lost a pinkie-finger to a garden tractor. (Don’t ask…)
    5. Spilled a cup of coffee on the shoes of an Illinois State Police Officer during a traffic stop….got a ticket, but avoided a pistol-whipping.
    6. Got bit in the ankle by my neighbor’s dog.. “He’s normally so friendly!”
    7. Had an email address hijacked and all of my contacts falsely emailed that I was stranged in Europe and in need of money.
    8. Received an acknowledgement in Meg’s latest white-knuckle thriller, The Nightmare Thief.
    9. Chased a coyote out of my back yard with a weed-whacker.
    10. Was the 10,000th commenter on my favorite blog, Lying for a Living.
    11. Oh yeah….got peed on by my own cat during a visit to the vet. Can’t forget that one…

    • (#7 – stranged = stranded) I need to learn to type…

    • Wow, just how many karma points must 4 earn you?

    • Dan, even more envious of your #1 than of Holly’s #2. I’ve not yet accomplished a life goal of attending a high-performance driving school, but I haven’t given up hope.

      • Ron, I work for a German auto manufacturer and we were at Road America for a “Team Building” day. I saw a friend who works for the competition and he got me some time in the 458 Italia. I got some dirty looks from my co-workers for driving a competitor’s car…but it was crazy-fun. So much for team building…

  11. Ah yes, I remember this. I have my list somewhere, and believe me, nothing exciting has happened since.

    Although like DJ, and a select set of others, have appeared in a Meg novel; in my case, the TV-personality, porn queen with the snake tattoo was far more in keeping with my own persona.

  12. 1. Smuggled our first dog from Germany into France, hiding the 10-week-old puppy under my six-year-old knees while my brother and I pretended to nap in the backseat of the car.
    2. Been pulled over by a sheriff’s deputy who suspected me and my friends of robbing a bank. (Yes, I was there)
    3. Been warned by a sheriff’s deputy that wearing mime makeup in public might lead people to think we were masked bank robbers. (Yes, I was there)
    4. As a three-year-old, jumped off the carport roof because I had seen my older brothers do it. (Which explains why I’m 5’2″ now)
    5. Hopped around my first place of employment, wearing an Easter bunny mask, passing out candy. (No one knew who I was…I was that new to the job)
    6. Was kissed by Shamu.
    7. Drove a 16-seater van filled with geologists across miles of dirt roads, while wearing no seatbelt and hardly being able to reach the gas pedal (see #4).
    8. Visited Skopje, Macedonia, where Mother Teresa was born.
    9. Parasailed to 1,200 feet in the air, and landed safely!
    10. Interviewed Apollo astronaut Wally Schirra shortly before he died.

  13. Here’s a short lived one. Reading The Nightmare Thief before almost everyone else in America. :>)

  14. I’m boring, but there have been a few unusual moments:

    1) Sang a concert in a mine 2070m under ground.
    2) Sang a concert in an olympic-sized swimming pool. The guest soprano sang from the top diving tower.
    3) Transported a harpsichord in the back of my car. Mazda should use this as an advertising feature, although I suspect it’s a niche market.
    4) Had a canoe blow off the roof of the same car while travelling 100 km/h. Yes, it was, in theory, strapped down.
    5) Got into a tug-of-war with my dog over a dead squirrel (likely offed by one of our cats).
    6) Played second kazoo in the one-of-a-kind “All Lezzie Kazoo Band, Scottish Tattoo, Baton-Twirling and Drum Corps.” Also produced the banner for said group from an absolutely lovely vinyl shower curtain printed with a subtle lavender florentine pattern and edged with little lavender pompoms.

    • Oh, right. Singing. Sang (with my choir) at the launch of the movie Wake of the Flood, documentary of Margaret Atwood’s amazing Year of the Flood book tour. (not underground)

      Patti, I’m agog at the harpsichord/canoe/Mazda adventures. And entirely understand. What I can’t understand is why Honda stopped producing the Civic hatchback so many years ago (which is why my car is 15 years old).

      But I digress….

    • Patti, I remember #1, and it is indeed list-worthy. And, I am prepared to represent the “All Lezzie…” and its banner. I think this market is under-served.

  15. 1) Saw Hank Aaron tie Babe Ruth’s home run record on his first at bat, on opening day in 1974 against the Cincinnati Red’s & pitcher Jack Billingham …the Braves lost.
    2) Stuck a Christmas tree in my head once…once is often enough.
    3) Told a judge to kiss my ass, as he was about to set my bail for charge of public intoxication (I was arrested as I crossed the sidewalk from a bar to my awaiting cab)…he decided to decline setting bail at that point for some reason, but I tells ya it was the easy thirty days I ever did..his honor can still kiss my ass.
    4) Use to drive a mule and old timey doctor buggy to the local Dairy Queen’s drive thru…and Muley Pie always got free ice cream cones and hamburger buns..now I ask you, just how fair is that?
    5) Booked the Fying Karamozov Bros. juggling act for free, to be the opening act for a Comedy Day On The Square in Cincinnati Ohio, that I produced waaayyy back when I had a comedy group…they were a rather weird bunch, and not entirely in a good way, but very groovy none the less, and good lord could they juggle!
    6) Once had me a skunk that lived under my kitchen sink in a box of rags. It just moved in one winter day when the door was open, moved out in the Spring (seems we’ve always had somethin’ just up & movin’ in)…gee whiz, talk about your boring critters, sleep sleep sleep, eat, poop, sleep sleep sleep..sleep some more…sleep, rinse repeat…..
    7) I worked on Jerry Springer’s big re-election campaign in Cincy, this was after he had previously resigned for getting busted paying for a hooker with a personal check…hey, he was a great councilman and mayor, and an even better local top rated news anchor that did incredible commentaries…very groovy smart dude, honest.
    8) Hitchhiked from Cincy to St. Petersburg Florida when I was about eighteen, and got there on just one ride, then when I stuck my thumb out about a week later to come home, got picked up by the same dude for a hitch all the way back.
    He was a recently retired Marine Drill Sgt., that was just cruisin’ around seeing his old buddies…he had the greatest stories!
    9) Have been totally fleeced in poker by a table full of clowns…no the real ones, floppy shoes, noses, make-up, wigs, you know, “Clowns”.
    Plumb cleaned me out a couple of times, ya just can’t beat ’em I tells ya, certainly not as a group at any rate, and besides, catchin’ tells is hard enough, but come on, we’re talkin’ CLOWNS here, think about it.
    (I don’t recommend playin’ poker with jockeys neither, them little feisty fellas Really stick together)
    10) Paid fifty beans to tangle with a traveling wrestling bear, when I was maybe twenty five, in an Indiana bar I worked.
    Bear 1 – PatTheHat 0.
    I went down like a sack o’ rocks in double gravity.
    He was a real nice big ol’ friendly black bear named Bip, but his show name was Blaster.
    I got to know the guy who owned him a little (but I couldn’t tell his name to save my life 🙂 ), and said he had raised it from an orphan, who knows, but he sure did love him, they were real pals & travelin’ compadres, and Bip lived like king of the Yogi Bear picnic baskets (none of that abusive stuff you often hear about showbiz animals…Dana 😉 ).
    And he had the mintiest freshest breath, go figure.
    (that’s why i lost the match ya know, that lovely sweet minty breath totally disarmed me, as it is often known to do)

  16. Claude Delgado

    Well this was kinda fun…here’s my list:

    1. Secured my bachelor’s degree, Cum Laude, 35 years – yes, 35 – after I started college.
    2. Single-handedly, was the top Fuller Brush Man in all of California for nearly the entire year of my senior year in high school
    3. Got up close and personal with Arnold Schwarzenegger, though NOT as close as Mildred Baena!
    4. Purposely, by accident, ran over a cat on my very first date ever. It was also my shortest date ever.
    5. Hid in the statuary of the US Capital building during an evacuation to get an up close view of George W Bush. Got to see him, wasn’t worth it.
    6. At 10 years old, was run over – flattened – by a VW Bug in front of my house. Never heard my mom scream so loud.
    7. Marched in the Rose Parade! 1 January 1974.
    8. Was homeless for awhile, slept in my car, ate at work. There’s a lotta stuff you can do when you’re young.
    9. Was held at gun and rifle point by six, SIX, South Pasadena policemen while I was trying to help a damsel in distress. Damn damsel.
    10. Proposed to my lovely wife of 31 years on 20 February 1978. Jeez…31 years, 32 this September 1st.

  17. 1. Met Neil Armstrong.
    2. Took the kids to an actual shark petting zoo (aquarium).
    3. Played bass for Merle Haggard in a small bar and didn’t know who he was. I was 17 at the time.
    4. Played bass for Debbie Boone at the Arlington Theater in Santa Barbara. Yes, I played ‘You Light Up My Life’.
    5. White water rafted in a river with crocodiles.
    6. Saw a buddy get bit by a rattlesnake – he was holding a mouse by the tail and dangling it in front of the snake – the snake went for the big meaty hand.
    7. Camped out at Normandy Beach with the Boy Scouts.
    8. Brought a real spy home to dinner. Meg was amazed when she realized she met a real ‘spook’.
    9. Played with George Whitsell, of Crazy Horse, and did not realize it until after the gig.
    10. Was followed by both US and Russian ‘intel’ people while giving a seminar in St. Petersburg. I guess they were expecting me to say something important. Boy did I fool them.

  18. My life has been pretty unexciting, but I’ve had a few moments of coolness, weirdness and/or triumph in there. Not sure I’ll make it all the way to ten of them, though.

    1. Avoided a drunk & disorderly arrest by waving my hand in front of a copper’s face and intoning in my best Alec Guinness voice “These are not the drunks you’re looking for.”
    2. Accidentally set fire to my own genitalia.
    3. Engaged in a foot chase lasting almost thirty minutes, while being pursued, sans trousers, by the enraged father of my high school girlfriend.
    4. Been pinned down and threatened with firearms by the Queen’s bodyguards. (In my defence, I was new to Edinburgh and didn’t know Holyrood Palace was a royal residence, or that the HRH was in attendance. I thought I was jumping a fence for a museum or something as I tried to take a shortcut back into the city from Salisbury Crags)
    5. Convinced an enraged German Shepherd to back down by adopting the body language of an angry ape and intimidating it.
    6. Avoided a libel suit from a highly litigious film maker by dint of sending a letter to their solicitor reading “I’m currently bankrupt, but feel free to sue anyway. It’s not as if I can be any more skint. Best of luck with enforcing the settlement, though.”
    7. Argued with a psychologist specialising in deprogramming that I didn’t need deprogrammed, since I was never in the cult, I was just letting them think I was believer so I had somewhere to stay that wasn’t on the streets or in a homeless shelter.
    8. Sold an ‘incognito’ George Michael a copy of The Big Issue which had his own face on the front. (Same year as #8, actually. 1996.)

    That’s it for stuff in my life that I think might qualify as unique experiences. Everything else I remember seems unique in circumstance, but universal in the general shape of the event.

    • Okay, number 2 — you were trying to light your own gas, weren’t you? Just admit it. What is it with guys?


  19. These are all wonderful. Though I’m having a tough time deciding who had the worse time with damsels, Claude or Daniel.

  20. Hi Dan – Normandy was emotionally overwhelming. We were there with the American Boy Scouts. Gen. Jim Jones, the man in charge of all forces in Europe and Asia, including Afghanistan and Iraq, gave a moving speech and asked the fathers to take a look at the dates on the graves. He noted that the average age of privates buried there was between 19-22. Nineteen was two 2 and 4 years shy of my sons’ age. It made all of us stop and think. As Colin Powell once said, the most expensive American real estate in the world is a two thousand yard stretch of beach in France.

    • Thanks for this, The Husband. With all the books I’ve read and History Channel programs that I’ve seen on the subject, I still can’t imagine standing there where it happened. General Powell’s description is the absolute truth; it was an astronomical expense.

  21. 1. In my first visit to Las Vegas, went to see boxer Joe Louis lying in state at Ceasar’s Palace and ran into Mohamed Ali leaving as I walked in.

    2. Invited ice skater Dorothy Hammil out to breakfast and a tour of Ketchum/Sun Valley, Idaho.

    3. Talked my way in to the Monday rehearsal of the 1981 Miss USA Pageant in Biloxi, MS, scheduled to be broadcast the following Thursday evening. I was 24, and traveling solo around the U.S. I witnessed Donnie Osmond and Elke Summers, the celebrity co-hosts, up close and personal. I made serious eye contact with Miss Colorado. I had dinner with the boyfriend of Miss Idaho (I’d just spent two winters living/skiing in Sun Valley) who had an extra ticket to the pageant broadcast on Thursday and invited me to stay and use it. (I chose to leave after the Monday evening rehearsal when I could still imagine what might have happened between me and Miss Colorado instead of staying and discovering that it didn’t.)

    4. Traveled around the U.S. in a mini-pickup and camper by myself, visiting 33 of the 48 contiguous states in 3 1/2 months and something like 12,500 miles. (Managed to miss Iowa, which would become my home of now 24 1/2 years)

    5. Performed in plays with both my children (son and daughter), and have directed my son on stage several times. (Maybe not remarkable, but quite a joy.)

    6. Saw both a future Catholic newspaper editor and a future award-winning thriller writer perform in a mime troupe. They were really good. (But they secretly aspired to be part of the improvisation troupe.)

    7. In approximately the same time period as Meg’s #2 and Snart’s #3, I was pulled over by a sheriff’s deputy after peeling out of the parking lot of my then-employer McDonald’s, and was NOT ticketed after the officer observed the full stage makeup I was still wearing from a performance earlier in the evening. The play was J.M. Synge’s “The Playboy of the Western World,” and I played the presumed-dead father who had taken a blow to the head with a shovel which was, it turns out, not fatal. I guess the officer figured a bloody head-wound was punishment enough. (This remains the only time I have been stopped and NOT gotten the ticket.)

    8. Won 2nd place (and $16,000) in a national “Stakeholder” essay contest sponsored by NCR while in grad school in the MBA program at the U of Iowa’s College of Business Admin. (The s.o.b. who beat me, and won 50 grand, was a PhD student from The Wharton School.)

    9. Won a Twist contest at a Midnight Madness sidewalk sale at the 5 Points Shopping Center in Santa Barbara, California. It was 1960, and I was 5.

    10. Had the short film my son was in, called “Mimes of the Prairie,” win the Des Moines 48 Hour Film Festival and then go on to win the International 48 Hour Film Festival in 2005, and then played the principal character in “Looking Glass,” which won Best of City and Audience Favorite in 48HFF in Des Moine in 2008. (The waddling, stumbling running gait was A CHARACTER CHOICE!!!)

    • As to #6, you DREAM that we wanted to be part of that troupe. Ha! You folks WALKED THROUGH TABLES you’d forgotten you had mimed! Hahahahahahaa! How could we EVER be part of that?! (Remember, I could have been part of Improv or Puffets…chose Mime and met one of my best friends for life. Fate!)

  22. Darn! Just remembered one I’d intended to include:
    11. Had to call my ex-wife from the E.R. to report that our 4-year-old son was being examined after falling out of the 2nd floor window of my apartment. (Fortunately, he sustained only a broken wrist, which received a Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles cast.)

  23. You all are so interesting. I don’t have anything interesting to tell. I’ll have to think on this.

  24. Pingback: Nerdfest: Day Two | Pop Culture Nerd

  25. Pingback: 5 more things I’ve done that you probably haven’t | lying for a living

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