I dominate Trivial Pursuit. Watching Jeopardy with me is unpleasant for most people. No problems in school. Standardized tests are a joke to me. But I am absolutely stupid. And have been for most of my life.
When I was 6, I wanted to be a race car when I grew up. Since I haven't grown up, this dream remains unfulfilled.
When I was 11, I decided against the easy merit badges during my first week at Scout Camp. Kids from the Bronx are wholly unprepared for Small Boat Sailing. I'm not sure how many times I took an aluminum boom to the head that week, but you'd think I'd learn what "jibe ho" meant a little quicker.
When I was 15, I laughed about the Pope in front of my Italian teacher. A very old school (and old), very Catholic immigrant from the Old Country. I found the discussion about the Pope skiing to be absolutely hysterical. Mr. Tiseo wanted to know what was so funny. A small glimmer of sense emerged and I tried to deny laughing, laughing about the pope, or laughing about anything associated with class. Mr. Tiseo insisted, "Michael, what is so funny about the Pope skiing." Earnestly, "how does he go skiing in all those robes and that giant hat?"
When I was 16, I broke up with a girl who lived a long bus ride away. I didn't really have time to go over there just to break up with her, so I did it by phone. After I broke the bad news there was some silence, then I asked "so anyway, how's it going?"
When I was 19, I was pulled by rope sitting in a flying saucer behind a truck in a blizzard. We whipped around a curve and I was launched to leave a Wile E. Coyote print six-feet deep in a snowbank.
When I was 23, I drove by an animal feedlot (aka CAFO aka Confined Animal Feeding Operation aka a few thousand cows and their crap in a very small area) with the windows open on my way to a job interview. Of course I didn't figure out that I smelled of atomized poop until several hours after my appointment.
When I was 27, I tried for far too long to continue eating my delicious doner kebab while some dude ran around the kebab shop waving what probably was a gun yelling "I'm a cop." The cook and the regular customers didn't look too concerned, why should that sandwich go to waste!
This list is far from exhaustive. There's the mezcal and goldschlager incidents. The U-Haul truck. My dirty thoughts parading as journalism for all my school to read, three times. The perfumed taint. Kicking down the fraternity house door. Kicking down my apartment door. Ripping my face open tobogganing. Getting my head shaved (complete with an "H" helicopter landing pad in the top) in my friend's bathroom. The locker room smoke bombs.
To answer the most obvious question: yes, I do feel lucky to be alive and not incarcerated.