On the Subject of Me(me)

In response to Mark's Tag, seven interesting things about me that you might not be able to tell just by looking:

1) I was rocketed to earth from a dying planet by my father, a scientist who was scorned and ridiculed for his dire predictions that the planet was doomed.

2) I only eat cereal.

3) My job is college professor, but my passion is my volunteer work-- teaching French to injured birds.

4) If you look into a mirror and say "William Bradley" three times, I'll appear and offer you candy corn and Thunderbird wine.

5) I'm cookin' MCs like a pound of bacon.

6) I'm working on what I believe to be the world's first scratch-n-sniff pop-up memoir.

7) Most sophisticated music fans regard me as "The Fourth Hanson."

Okay. None of those things are particularly "true," I suppose. Here's my real list:

1) I was a terrible student in high school. Hated writing, reading, and-- of course-- homework. That all changed one spring break (on a trip to Florida, actually), when-- out of boredom-- I read The Catcher in the Rye, The Great Gatsby, and Richard Russo's Mohawk. Of the three books, I liked Russo's the best-- he was actually from the same town in upstate New York I lived in, and I thought he described the landscape and its people beautifully. Oddly enough, when I tried to re-read the book a couple years ago, I found it terrible and put it down after just a couple of chapters.

2) Before we started dating, my wife thought I was a conceited bore until, one night at the bar, I gave my boxer shorts to a group of bachelorette partiers on a scavenger hunt. That was the moment that Emily first suspected I might not be as uptight as she'd thought I was.

3) I cannot stand when hot food and cold food touch. Lettuce on a burger? No way. I'll take it on the side, please.

4) I also can't stand to be touched when I'm eating. I didn't know this about myself until Emily and I were living together. She would occasionally touch my shoulder or something while I was eating, and I'd tense up and be unable to swallow (or do anything but glare at her, really) for a few seconds.

5) When I was a kid, I wasn't allowed to watch horror movies, so I read the official novelizations of the first three Nightmare on Elm Street books when I was in the fifth grade. Didn't sleep for months.

6) When I was in the hospital with cancer, I very self-consciously tried to be as polite, charming, and accomodating as I could be to the nurses, orderlies, doctors-- whoever worked at the hospital and came into my room. My reasoning was that if they all liked me, then they'd subconsciously work harder to keep me alive if anything went wrong.

7) No, seriously. I'm "The Fourth Hanson."

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