When I was a young lad there were moments I could have been seen as, what some might call, a “walking contradiction”. Far be it from me to explain the physics behind a term-of-phrase gaining the limbs and co-ordination required to stroll around all “human-like”… but I often had innate approaches to life that seemed contrary to their objectives.
I was always very curious about life in general, but often to the point of stupidity. In the decade or so immediately following my entry into the real world I could subsequently be found guilty of believing that I could run faster backwards than forwards, that jumping off an old-school (back then they were all the rage) “adventure” playground holding an open umbrella would result a Mary-Poppins-esque floating descent to the ground and that you could get “AID’s” from holding a girls hand too long… and that this resulting “yuckiness” would result in said arm falling off.
I guess this all resulted from a lack of well-directed questions. Had I asked anyone’s assistance or help or guidance on any of the above, I’m sure I would have at least second-guessed my assertions. This lack of questions led me to many “Wow-I-didn’t-know-that-but-always-wanted-to” moments, like the time my sister (at the impressionable young age of 6) asked my father what “(starts with “R”, rhymes with “tape”)” was . I was shocked. I was gob-smacked. I was absolutely dumbfounded that my sister had even said the word… so much so that I cant bring myself to type it. But… due to my historic lack of questions, I didn’t have the slimmest whisker of a clue as to what the hell it actually meant. I can’t remember exactly how Dad managed to fumble his way through an appropriately-vague-yet-satisfactory definition, but I’m sure he did his diplomatic best. I, as always, listened intently for so long as it took for me to be distracted by anything (food/thirst/butterfly/dog bark/spontaneous need to pee), which couldn’t have been much longer than a nano-second.
This rather-dominant trait of being easily distracted was, and continues to be, bad enough but, combined with being inherently lazy AND being a potential Olympic gold-medalist in the time-honoured sport of Procrastination (with a side interest in over-speculation-without-follow-through) in my teen years, it defies the laws of science that I continue to breathe, walk and talk all these years later. Other assertions I held during my high school years include the belief that having long hair and shouting Rage Against the Machines would lead to a life-time of bikini models, everlasting fame and never-ending fountains of money, that drinking Lion Red and hanging out the side of my best friends ride was something that similarly-aged females found attractive (quickly dispelled by TLC) and that Burger King Double Bacon Cheeseburgers were the epitome of classy cuisine… so long as there were free refills and you asked for extra ketchup.
Things have progressed markedly since my younger years. I have since given up the dream of floating from rooftops with wide-open umbrellas, winning any international track meetings for backwards running and have slowly realised that, although Double Bacon Cheeseburgers are rather delicious, there is a world beyond pizza and burgers… somewhere… in a boring, deprived galaxy far, far away. Yes, it’s been well over a decade since I banged my long locks to the thudding riff of “Killing in the Name” or yelled drunken obscenities from the passenger window of a dumped-out Civic OR a trust-worthy, late-1980’s-model, white-with-small-patches of rust Mazda 323 with mismatched hubcaps… but I’m convinced it was all for a greater good. I’m still unsure, yet very curious, as to what that “greater good” was… but I won’t ask.