13 November 2005

The Sunday 9: Did you know?

Shamelessly plagiari--er, ah, borrowed from Nettiemac's recent blog entry, trimmed down of course to a lucky nine items for this, THE SUNDAY 9 ... brought to you this week by The Kevin Federline School of Hip-Hop, with available distance learning via illegal downloads. Classes forming now. Financial aid available, too; fill out that FAFSA form and collect your disbursement within 24 hours (right, Seraphim?). K-Fed, setting rap music back six months.

Now then, here are nine things you may not know about ol' Talmadge Q. Gleck:

9) I am not allergic to poison ivy. As I approached adulthood, I began to wonder why I never 'came down with poison ivy.' Everyone has at least one accidental brush with the plant, despite the well-known warning 'leaflets three, let it be.' Then came one time during college when I knew I'd come into contact with some. And not a thing happened.

Back when Seraphim and I were dating, we met one weekend at a state park ... I totally blew the woman's mind by pulling some poison ivy off of a tree with my bare hands, and rubbing it against my arm. Again, not a thing happened.

Hmmmm, I wonder if I could make some serious $$ offering my services as a poisonous plant remover.....

8) I have award-winning legs. In fact, it's the only trophy I've ever won. It was 1988, and I was living in a little rathole called Pine Bluff, Arkansas. Sunshine Foundation, a local 'make-a-wish' charity, had invited radio personalities from the local stations, and some from nearby Little Rock, to take part in a legs contest ... the winner was the one who raised the most money for said charity. Yeah, okay, I was game. Why not? Besides, the lady at Sunshine was really nice.

Along with a couple of local 'competition', the show was stolen by several of the high-profile top-40 jocks from Little Rock (one of them went by the name "Holly-wooooooooood Harrison!!"). Us Pine Bluffers stood on the stage with sheepish grins on our faces, looking at each other with raised eyebrows as if to say, "okay, when is this damned thing gonna be over with?" But those Little Rock jocks milked this for all it was worth, striking poses, you name it.

Most of the audience were made up of teenaged girls, who swooned at their radio heroes ... and they were all crowded around the donation table. There were mason jars, each labeled with our name and station. I figured, "Okay, Hollywood from KKYK is gonna take this one hands down ... or maybe the guy from ZOO-98. How much longer 'till 1:00?"

When it WAS over, I ran up the street to cop a quick lunch with my then-girlfriend. I came back to the legs venue, only to find the entire entourage wondering where I had gone!! I FREAKIN' WON THAT LEGS CONTEST!!! The reason? Sure, all the teenyboppers dropped their change and small currency into the top-40 mason jars; that was the deal -- I had an older lady who listened to my show on the AM country station every morning ... she'd dropped a 20-spot into my jar, which clinched the trophy for moi.

I didn't win 'cuz of my legs; I won 'cuz of my older demographics!

But 17 years later, I still have that trophy (it's somewhere in the garage), and Seraphim likes to remind me from time to time that I am "Mr. Sunshine Legs."

7) Rush Limbaugh's cousin was my 8th grade Civics teacher. And you wonder why I'm so screwed up today!! We were living in Cape Girardeau, Rush's hometown, and she was from the same gaggle of Limbaughs which produced our pill-poppin' egotistical talk show buffoon.

6) I taught myself how to read. Long before Kindergarten I was reading. Exactly WHAT was I reading, mind you? Why, road signs! STOP ... well, that one was easy. Then "MADISON" was next (that was the small town outside of Huntsville where we were living at the time).

From there I graduated to the big green signs along the portion of interstate open between Birmingham and Decatur, Ala. One read HANCEVILLE - ARKADELPHIA; by age 4, I could pronounce "Hanceville", but it took a little longer to decipher that other word. But by first grade I had it down. (No, my Arkansas friends, yours isn't the only Arkadelphia; there's one in Alabama, too)

5) Ditto for telling time. I credit the fine publication known as TV Guide for this honor. I learned the concept of time by studying the TV schedule. By the time I first darkened my kindergarten classroom, I had it all down. Even the channel numbers, too.

4) I cannot 'think fast' when something is thrown toward me. I don't know when or why this came about, but I always flinch when a ball, or anything else of solidity is thrown to me.

This was yet another reason P.E. wasn't exactly my favorite class. But at least I provided ample entertainment for the other kids.

3) I once crossed the Mississippi on my bicycle. Back in those salad days when I rode all over Cape Girardeau on my bergundy-colored ten-speed (complete with modified can holder duct-taped to the frame to hold my little radio!), often with partner-in-crime 'Wiz.' One Spring day in 1980, we found ourselves downtown just riding around on a Sunday afternoon, and we both looked toward the Mississippi river bridge. We looked at one another, and ... it happened. We made our way toward Morgan Oak Street, and did something which I suppose was my most reckless childhood stunt: Wiz and I rode our bikes across the bridge into Illinois!!

That's right, gang, with the radio playing the rockin' sounds of KGIR for a soundtrack, we traversed the narrow 10-foot lanes of that 1928-era bridge. Look Mom, no shoulders!

I have no idea how many cars we bottlenecked as we crossed, and I remain amazed to this day that 1) we didn't get our asses run down, and 2) that either Missouri's, Illinois' or Cape's Finest didn't weld our asses to one of the bridge's plate girders.

Once over there, we grabbed a Coke - or, in Cape parlance, SODA - at a convenience store ... and I dropped a buck on what was my first-ever scratch-off (Illinois had a lottery even back then). And yes, I busted.

There's a piece in my 10th grade yearbook about a group of kids who took part in a 'Cape Bicycle Club' of sorts, and they recall the one day when the group all rode across the bridge. The quote was, "We used a van to escort us, because otherwise the cars would've mowed us over!"

Escort? Wiz and I didn't need no steenkin' escort.

2) My first car was a real embarrassment. Not every kid is lucky to have their own set of wheels when they turn 16 years old. The day I turned the magic age, my grandparents gave me a car as a gift for my birthday. Expecting something along the lines of a late '70s vintage Mustang (which, years later, my Dad said was the original intent and his disregarded suggestion), I opened the front door to find my new set of wheels: a 1976 AMC PACER.

Yes, a Pacer. And this was 1981. A full decade before this cruel joke of a vehicle was 'validated' through the movie Wayne's World. I always knew my grandparents had it in for me. Why couldn't I have had a rustbucket Chevette? Or a hand-me-down '69 Ford LTD battle tank?? At least those things looked like bleedin' CARS!

Lucky for me, the thing fell apart in time for high school graduation. From there it was to an '82 Mercury Capri - the car I drove through much of college (and the car I today feel the most 'nostalgic' about).

1) Chocolate makes me throw up. I am completely, totally and undoubtedly allergic to chocolate. I cannot keep any quantity of chocolate in my stomach for long, because it'll start going into spasms and seismic fits and expel the stuff back from whence it came. What's more, the smell of chocolate is enough to make me gag and, if in the venue long enough, toss my (chocolate-chip) cookies.

Fortunately, the smell is only sickening when it's being prepared -- so Seraphim always gives me ample warning before making a chocolate cake. Either I'll go out running errands or I'll hole up in the 'music room' with the fan pointing toward the door. Long as I have that fan, I'm okay.

My 'practice wife' Josiebelle viewed it, among other quirks, as a major embarrassment (I was the AMC Pacer of her little world). Seraphim, though, sees the silver lining: if anything chocolate ends up in my hands, it goes to her. And if we each get something like that, she gets BOTH.

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So there you have it, nine (9) things you might not have known about me.

I think I'll have myself some ice cream. Vanilla, of course.

Ciao for niao.

--Talmadge "Schwinn Daredevil" Gleck

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