Apparently I’ve been Shenked by Nate. That is, Nate Shenk over at ShenkItUp who’s tagline is “Wanna get shenked?”. He got nailed, so he’s passed this along like some sexually transmitted disease to me. A real sick internet “hashtag you’re it!” sorta thing.
So…here’s apparently what I must do to get myself out of this mess…
- I must post 11 things about myself.
- Answer the questions asked by the tagger (Nate).
- I must tag 11 other bloggers to continue the game.
- Create 11 new questions for the bloggers I then tag to answer.
- Inform each blogger that I have tagged them.
- Post the rules for the tagged bloggers to follow.
Let’s see what damage I can do here, all right?
11 things about myself
- When I was little, I tended to plug up toilets with alarming regularity (pardon the pun). Apparently that’s one gene I’ve managed to pass along to the Boy, which you can read about starting here. Anyway, my mother tells the story of our family going out to a nice restaurant. Luckily, we’d eaten before I asked to go to the washroom. But my mother looked on in horror as I came back out of the restaurant, a seeping trail of water from the overflowing toilet flowing along behind me. Apparently she paid the bill and got us out of there. Pronto.
- When I was about four, we owned a gas station/restaurant. One night, my black Lab, Dino (named after Dean Martin), was inside the gas station customer area and I was standing just outside. Dino jumped up, both paws on the window of the aluminum door that separated us. He wanted out, but me, being four, decided to play a game with him. I tapped at the glass and he went back to standing, staring at me. Then he jumped up again. So I hit the window again. Down he went again. We continued to do this, with one slight difference each time. Every time I hit the glass, I hit it a bit harder. Until I put my entire right forearm through the glass. 45 years later, I still have the scar that runs from where my thumb meets my wrist then runs in a slow arc back to the middle of my forearm. I probably should have gone to the hospital for stitches. I don’t remember a hospital at all (though I’m sure I went there eventually).
- I was Tobin Higgins until I was legally adopted by my step-father around 1972, at which point I became Tobin Elliott. And I gotta say, Tobin Higgins sounds freakishly foreign to me now.
- When I was ten, as I was bending down to pick up a baseball, my best friend, Jimmy Baldwin–completely unaware of what I was doing–was attempting to hit that same ball with a bat as hard as he could, golf style. He did hit the ball, but the follow-through landed the bat straight into the space just below my nose, breaking one front tooth in half and pushing the other one backwards 90 degrees. The lower part of the broken tooth tore a new hole through my lower lip, giving me a permanent Harrison Ford scar (really, they’re damn near identical). It also sent cracks up the front of my skull. The good news is, I lived. Jimmy felt horrible, but I never held it against him. Stupid accident.
- I have a sister I haven’t really talked to in 29 years, and a brother I haven’t really talked to (except for a massive blowout about a year ago) in 15 years. I essentially consider myself an only child.
- I was the very horribly bad lead singer in a band called Chunka Fudge (from the 1984 Oh Henry chocolate bar commercial). I think we practiced twice and played once. And then we were done. Trust me, the world is better without Chunka Fudge.
- I used to carry a bent fork in my jean jacket pocket. Not really sure why…I remember I found it outside a restaurant and picked it up (can’t remember what the hell I was going to do with it), but I ended up taking it home, discovering it in a pocket, washing it, then folding it over where the business end met the handle, then tucking into my jean jacket pocket and buttoning down the top flap again. All that was visible was the four tines. Though I got a lot of questioning glances and a couple of “why?” questions, no one ever seemed concerned over it. I wore that fork in the jacket for a solid five years. I don’t know where it is now. And no, I still don’t know why I did it. Seemed like a good idea at the time.
- I’ve never really drank alcohol. I think my sum total imbibing amounted to half a beer once. There was a period when I was 17 or 18 that I kind of got bugged about it, so one weekend when we were camping, I finally relented, said, “Okay, gimme a beer.” Everyone was excited. I popped the cap, held the bottle by the neck and said, “Okay, you all ready?” They agreed they were, smiles all around. I turned the bottle 180 degrees and they watched the precious liquid spill into the thirsty dirt. They never offered again. When I left town for school, I would attend parties, and, just to stave off the explanations and hassle, I would just go into the kitchen, grab an empty bottle, pour some water in it, then walk around with it. No one ever bugged me.
- I’ve never smoked or done drugs. The closest was keeping a lit Colt cigarillo in my mouth to light firecrackers during a firecracker war. But, like Bill Clinton, I never inhaled.
- Up until I moved away from Oshawa and to the small town of Barry’s Bay, ON, between grades 10 and 11, I was pathologically shy. I typically had one friend and I was the guy that everyone picked on in school. That all changed in Grade 11.
- Apparently I can do anything. When I was about 20, I was horribly undecided about what I wanted to do with my life. A wonderfully helpful woman at the Unemployment Office (now, in our politically correct times, is called the Employment Office) offered to run me through a battery of tests that would test my skills in language, math, comprehension, pattern recognition, manual dexterity and the like. It took a full day, but, she assured me, it would help me narrow the field and determine what I was good at. I don’t think I’ve seen the look before or since, but she looked chagrined when I came in for the results. Turns out I was above average in all areas. It didn’t eliminate anything. I remember her saying, “Tobin, you could literally be a garbage man or a brain surgeon and everything in between.” Fast forward twenty years to 2002 and I went through a different battery of tests for the company I work for, but they measured virtually all the same things except for manual dexterity. Apparently I again scored in the top third percentile. My director looked at me as said, “You are capable of doing anything you want.” So why is it I still can’t I figure out what I want to be when I grow up?
1. What is your best response to people who criticize your writing?
“Nobody forced you to read it.”
2. What country (other than America) would you like to live in?
Well, I don’t live in America, I live in Canada, which really can’t be beat. But if I could choose one other place? Venice has captured my attention in recent years, though I’ve never been. I’m gonna say Venice.
3. Do you think rap music should be considered music?
Sorry, “rap music” is an oxymoron for me. Just ain’t my style, but neither is country, or whatever that shit that Celine Dion sings.
4. What TV show do you watch that you’re embarrassed to admit to?
I’m really not embarrassed to admit I watch anything, to be honest. I don’t know…maybe something from my deep dark past? Like…The StarLost? The show that even Harlan Ellison removed his name from?
5. Would you rather be trapped on an island with Oprah, or Nancy Pelosi?
I’d take anyone over Oprah.
6. Do you believe that the world will end on December 21st? If so, what do you plan to do on December 20th?
No, I don’t. But if I knew it would, I’d be buying up a whole lotta shit on that “don’t pay for one full year!” deal.
7. Most embarrassing moment that you’re no longer embarrassed about?
Wow…it’s pretty damn hard to embarrass me. Maybe the time I got conned into walking around at a pool party interviewing the guests (I was maybe 22) while somebody videoed it. As I started talking to a very pretty girl, someone finally sprung the trap…they yanked my bathing trunks down to my ankles. On video. What did I do? Continued to ask her questions which she simply couldn’t answer. When she walked away, then I pulled up the shorts.
8. Do you believe that the government should legalize marijuana? (hehe you don’t have to answer, I just wanted to mix things up a bit). If you don’t want to answer that, do you believe that the legal drinking age should go back to being 18? Or 16, like it is in Germany?
Yes to legalizing marijuana. Legal drinking age? How about some smarter rules around it, demystify it so it’s not such a gigantic act of rebellion? We’ve let our kids drink in the house since they were fifteen. The result? The Boy couldn’t care less about it, and the Girl rarely drinks, and only in moderation.
9. What would be the first thing you purchased after winning $300 mil in the lotto?
A huge round the world trip for my family. But I’d also have a little something waiting for me when I got back. A 1963 split-window Corvette.
10. What is the first thing that comes to your mind when I say Lady Gaga?
That she puts the “gag” in Gaga.
11. How many siblings do you have? Would you of liked more, or less?
Answered above. One brother, one sister. I would have liked one of each with a lot more intelligence.
11 bloggers tagged to continue the game
The bloggers tagged who are now under sworn oath to do what I just did are as follows:
Pat from Nine Day Wonder
Noelle from Bound by the Word
Elizabeth from The Garden Gate (I got you before you got me…nyaah!)
Michael from Michael Lorenson (Mike, I’m doing you a favour by giving you daily blog material!)
Ruth from Ruth Ellen Parlour
Deepam from Deepam Wadds
William from Random Musings in Time
Jessa from The Terrible Secret of Space
Kevin from Kevin Craig
Notwriter from The Not Writer
UD from The Ongoing Adventures of the Undisciplined Writer (just cuz I haven’t seen a post from them in a loooooong time…proving she lives up to her title!)
Having said that, I know many bloggers hate these things…feel free to ignore if it will lead to panic attacks, stress, grey hairs, earthquakes, floods, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, lowered sex-drive, baldness, or the beating of baby seals.
The 11 Questions for the Tagged Bloggers
- Why do you blog?
- What country (other than your current one) would you like to live in?
- Who’s the best band/artist in the world?
- If you could have a conversation with any three people, living or dead, who would you choose?
- In the course of your day, you hear a message from God (or your deity of choice) telling you to leave your job, family, and life and live as a fisherman (or woman) on the Nile. There’s no doubt in your mind it’s truly God speaking to you. Do you go?
- You have one week to live. What do you do in the seven days left to you?
- Your deity of choice (and if you’re an athiest, just go with me here) is holding a Celestial Interview. You’re allowed only one question to Him/Her. What would it be?
- Has the Earth been visited by aliens? Why or why not?
- You can have any occupation in the world. What would it be?
- What’s the difference between an orange?
- Define the universe and give three examples.
(okay, those last two are just me having fun, but go ahead and answer if you’ve got the cojones)