James, by Mark Tonra
Blogmother Sheena has tagged me. Viral chain blogging somehow rates higher than chain e-mails. Go figger.
Cheek’s Weirdness, in Six Degrees
1. I can wolf whistle freakishly loud. Learned the skill from Grandma of Hampton University fame when I was 7. Running with urchins in the swampy neighborhood was limited only by being in range to return dad’s own “time for dinner” beckoning whistle. I forget its volume occasionally and wound the ear next to me (my apologies to Mr. Pid, the last victim). I can also whistle and hum at the same time. Fingers are required for both feats, and volume is realized only on the exhale. Using just lips yields a soft tune, accomplished only with inhaling (If I Only Had a Brain is my soft whistle tune druther).
2. I’m a recovering picky eater reveling in the discovery that it’s textures that wig me out, not tastes. It’s freed my palate to boldly go where Cheek hasn’t before. A recent first was oysters – cornmeal fried with cheese grits and remoulade sauce at Kool Beanz Café. Carolina Mom’s incredulity finds her not buying the oyster intake story until a witness testifies. Raw oysters score in the danger zone on the texture-ick-o-meter. not. gonna. do it.
3. I have never eaten a hamburger, steak, or any red meat. No vegetarian here (CheekierMeSly Passim), but digestion proves futile. Recent bidness travel found me seated next to the owner of the FatBurger chain – thanks, PW, for not dismissing me out of hand! I join Sheena in her condiment non-druthers: ketchup, mustard, straight mayo, pickles … ew.
4. My long-term recall is judged a peculiar shade of powerful by the average bear. Music lyrics and childhood deets in particular. But if I don’t put my car keys and phone in the same place every time I come home, I’m screwed. It’s all about balance.
(Props to online comic strip xkcd.com.)
5. My vocabulary is, well, let’s call it big-a**ed. And I get crap for it daily. JMU MC slammed me during freshman year midterms as a f*cking English major for calling a cafeteria offering “putrid”. His own vocab ain’t nuthin’ to sneeze at, but his twitty wit is infamous. Snobbery risk avoidance measures found me peppering my speech with choice mal mots. I wear my smartified grammarian badge of courage proudly now (f*ck ‘em if they have to look it up!), but that potty mouth action is here for life. Color me turned on by folks who – as a new acquaintance puts it – use three syllable words. Regularly. Strung together even. I have the most recent laugh on JMU MC – his utterance of “Buy our CDs, and go to hell” will not be lived down. A Freudian slip or Tourette's?. (MC, love ya, no sh*t.)
6. Stupid human tricks: I can touch my tongue to my nose. Can curl it too, but can’t flip it. I can pull my thumbs back to touch the bottom of my forearm. I have restless pinky toes, always moving out and in, unconsciously. My second toe is longer than my big toe. My largest mole is on the right side of my head. I’m green/blue-eyed, but my right eye has a streak of reddish brown. I hear noises at high frequencies that most can’t (some cash registers, monitors on with CPUs off). My knee caps have unusual wiggability by hereditary design of the patriarchal persuasion. And I make superlative, foodgasmic chocolate chip oatmeal cookies while whistling, rolling the squishy dough in perfect balls, not eating a f*cking hamburger, and thinking about my age 10 swim time in 50m freestyle.
Ready or not, here I come. Cheek tags: