Following in the Footsteps of the Tracks I've Buried
The rules are:
1. Let others know who tagged you.
I already told you. It was Gates of Vienna.
2. Players start with 8 random facts about themselves.
3. Those who are tagged should post these rules and their 8 random facts.
This seems redundant. Why not just combine rules (2) and (3)?
4. Players should tag 8 other people and notify them they have been tagged.
Hmm, let's see... Going down the list in order, Petey, Van, Ben, Cousin Dupree, Robin Starfish, Lisa, Julie, and Mizz E.
Okay, random facts about Bob....
1) In high school I was so in awe of girls, that I don't think I actually spoke to one in any non-official capacity until I took my first sip of beer at 17. That was also the first time I kissed a girl -- just before I spoke to her, in fact -- which is why beer immediately opened up a whole world of possibilities to me. I guess you could say that I've been grateful to it ever since.
2) While on the topic of high school, back then I was so lacking in direction -- or so focussed, depending on your point of view -- that the only professions I could conceive of pursuing were professional baseball player or rock star. Especially after I read the book Ball Four -- the only book I enjoyed (or probably read) in high school -- I could scarcely conceive of doing anything else.
In fact, even if I couldn't be a professional athlete, I vowed to emulate one by avoiding real work, sleeping late, drinking beer with my friends, and maybe even sneaking on to the team hotel roof to try to ogle women (an accomplishment thus far denied me; but one must retain some lofty goals to provide a sense of meaning and purpose).
3) But I went to college anyway, even though I had no earthly idea why I was there except to provide "cover" for the desire to extend my adolescence -- after all, it was just finally getting interesting (see fact #1) -- for as long as possible. I reflexively chose Business Administration as a major, but only because I had no academic interests whatsoever, and thought that I would at least be able to get some kind of a job with a business degree. But I ended up flunking out of college in late 1976. Just prior to that, I had begun working at the supermarket in Malibu, and I found that I much preferred honest physical labor to any kind of intellectual work anyway, in part because I was completely incapable of the latter. I mean that literally. Oddly -- or perhaps not, again, depending on your point of view -- I can see that I was the same person then that I am now.
4) The store in Malibu was located right around the corner from the Sheriff's station. One day, a fellow clerk (PBUH) discovered by chance that the bathroom key also unlocked the front door of the store! The store closed at 9:00 PM, at which time (after the night manager had left) we'd saunter right back into the store and come out with all the fixin's necessary for the Ultimate Party -- beer, giant sandwiches from the deli, beer, etc. This went on for months on end. The sheriffs would just drive by and wave in the distance, as they knew who we were and assumed that our presence relieved them of the need to surveil the store for burglars and the like.
5) I guess I moved out and got my first apartment in 1977. Between then and when I got married in 1987, I moved 13 times. But only because my apartment would inevitably get dirty, no matter how much I ignored the problem.
6) Which reminds me. Eventually store security caught on to the nighttime parking lot revelry, and heads rolled. Fortunately not mine, but my roommate's. At the time, he and I shared a three bedroom condo on the beach in Port Hueneme. Being that he was now unemployed, it was necessary for him to create a new cash stream. Therefore, he converted our unused room into a pot plantation. He purchased one of those 1,000 watt bulbs, and every square inch of the room was covered in 20 gallon containers.
The plants quickly grew to the ceiling, so my roommate's job essentially involved topping the plants every day, toasting them in the oven for a bit, and serving his customers. Now, at the time, I didn't even partake, but I was obviously a very open-minded guy, so I had no fundamental objection to my roommate laying around all day smoking pot, surfing, and converting our condo into a tropical jungle. I wasn't even alarmed when our electricity bill jumped from $20 to $200 a month, not knowing that that is one of the ways The Man busts pot growers.
Normally we kept this giant canvas Holiday Inn flag over the window of the farm, but one night I came home from work and saw that a breeze had blown the flag down. It looked as if the mid-day sun were shining out of our window. I guess only then did I realize the potential peril I was in. So I moved on to my next clean apartment.
7) Some time prior to that, we had taken our first road trip to Vegas -- I and a couple of coworkers. We wanted to get in as much gambling as possible with the least amount of overhead, so we conceived this plan: we would embark from Los Angeles at about 6:00 PM, arriving in Vegas at about 10:00. We'd then gamble for the subsequent 12 hours, and check into our room at 11:00 AM. Then we could sleep all day and gamble again all night. The idea was to get in two full nights of gambling for the price of one!
Look, I'm not saying I'm a genius, or that I'm proud of any of this. I'm just reporting the facts, as they actually occurred.
I was saved from penury the first night by winning a sizable jackpot on a slot machine. But I blew it all the second night on blackjack. By then, it was about 3:00 AM, and my companions had already gone to bed to sleep it off. While shambling down the strip back to our room, I walked toward the Holiday Inn, when I was seized by an unexplainable impulse. Right outside the hotel, there was a little mound with two or possibly three flagpoles, one of which flew a giant Holiday Inn flag. Frankly, from the ground, it didn't look all that big, but for whatever reason, I decided that I wanted it. Now.
So I marched and staggered -- difficult to do at the same time -- up the the rock-covered hillock, unwound the twine, and generally acted like it was my job to draw down the flag. As it got closer, I could see that it was much bigger than I'd imagined -- like 8 by 12 feet.
No one interfered. The flag was secure. So I just walked down the street, looking straight ahead, making no eye contact with any of the sparse passersby.
Made it into the hotel. I was safe with my prize. It was officially mine. Now what? That's the kind of triumph a fellow naturally wants to share with his mates, even if they are technically passed out.
Again, I'm not pretending any of this makes any sense, but at the time, all of my actions were governed by an impulsive logic -- almost an inevitability -- that I fully grasped in an instant. Just prior to that, my friends and I had seen Bruce Springsteen at the Forum. I guess that makes it 1978. Anyway, we were very impressed with his rousing cover version of Buddy Holly's Rave On.
So I draped the Holiday Inn flag around my shoulders like a cape, jumped up on their beds, and began bellowing Rave On, bouncing from one bed to the other.
The little things you say and do,
Make me wanna be with you-a-hoo
Rave on, it's a crazy feeling, and
I know it's got me reeling
When you say, "I love you," well rave on!
8) Hmm, how do you top that.... or sink lower, allowing for the sentiments of my stunned and uncomprehending friends. I'll have to give it some thought. But for some reason, I am reminded of a story about Johnny Cash. On their first major tour of America, U2, who were big fans, wanted to visit him. They had dinner at his mansion in Tennessee, and all held hands together as Johnny led them in a long and elaborate grace. Then he opened his eyes, winked at Bono, and said, "sure do miss the drugs though."
So, fact #8: it's been a long time since I was crazy, but every once in awhile I wish I still was.