Why We Should Avoid Celebrities

October 25, 2010 § 1 Comment

The following is a facebook wall exchange between Meagan and me.  It reminded me that my family should avoid celebrities.  Those star-struck moments just magnify our normal weirdness.

Meagan really shouldn’t be allowed around famous people anymore. Telling the lead singer Bradie had to leave the number one spot in line to go find a bathroom is not appropriate conversation. In other news, THE SCRIPT IS AMAZING!!!!!!

Me: Ha-that’s great. At least you didn’t tell one of your favorite authors that he was a liar*.

Meagan: At least you didn’t tell your hero** that you were going to throw up on him.

Me: Whatever. That was the best Christmas card our family ever sent.

*My sister Colleen met one of my favorite authors and got him to call me while I was at the grocery store. I told him he was lying about who he was. He was a good sport and signed a book for me with the line, “It’s really me!”

**Steve Yzerman, former captain of the Detroit Red Wings.

– Patty

Conversations That Make Me Want to Smack Myself in the Forehead: Part 1

October 12, 2010 § 8 Comments

This one comes from last summer.

Marcus: Since we’re twins, half of what I say to you will be done telepathically anyway.

Me: We never really tried out the whole “telepathic communication” thing. Do you think we can do it?

Marcus: Tell you what. When we’re at the cottage, I’ll blindfold you in the yard and spin you around and around and around. Then I’ll stop you and have you sprint blindfolded toward the cliff. In my mind I’ll yell at you before you hit the edge. If you stop, we can communicate in our heads. If I’m wrong: death.

Me: Well, it has been a long time since we’ve used our twin shenanigans to scare the crap out of Mom and Dad…

Marcus: And maybe instead of sprinting, you can skip and leap toward the cliff, for fun.

– Patty

TVs, Slurpees, and Firefighters

September 29, 2010 § 4 Comments

Growing up normal in our family is no easy feat. Which is probably why none of us did. One of my earliest memories is being three years old looking behind me to see my brother on a ride on tractor chasing me. My little chubby three year old legs pumping wildly propelling me across the length of our acre backyard. To this day, he’ll say I exaggerate that story, but one does not forget their first near death experience.

As said in the introduction, I am in my last year of undergrad. To say I made it this far in life without any serious, permanent injury is a small miracle. In second grade, I had a best friend named Ashley. Ashley, Colleen, and I would often hang out together, because Ashley was in between Colleen and I’s age. On cold December, Michigan evenings we often had to get creative in making up games. Classic hide and seek seemed less than an exciting prospect for three energetic girls. So why not turn off the lights? The seeker won’t be able to tell where they are and they will have to feel their way around the room in order to find the other two.

I guess I should preface this story with a short description of the room. Pat, Colleen and I shared one room. Pat had her own bed, and own side of the room, while Colleen and I shared bunk beds, on the other side. Earlier in the evening before she left the house, we were under strict instruction not to go anywhere near Pat’s things.

So as we played hide and seek throughout the entire bedroom, I scouted out my hiding place. Closet? Too easy. Under the bed? Been there done that. Under the covers? What am I five? All of a sudden Pat’s TV stand came into view. Genius, I’ll shove my little body into the TV stand which held Pat’s cement block of a TV. Sensing my idea, Colleen made a rule: “No hiding under Pat’s TV stand.” Hearing that rule, what second grader wouldn’t think the TV stand was the best place to hide? She won’t be looking there because it’s off limits! Ashley hid under the blankets, Colleen was waiting outside, so I ran, turned off the lights, and squirmed into the TV stand, and called Colleen to come into the room.

Now Colleen is a different kind of sister. She had a mother’s instincts by the time she was eight. She knew by telling me I couldn’t hide under the TV, I would hide under the TV. Pitch black, she felt her way around the room till she could feel the glass screen of the television. Feeling her way down to the wooden stand, she got on the ground, put her hand inside and tagged me. I was out. Not only was I out but I was the first one out! Defeated, I began climbing out of the TV stand. Arms first, I crab-walked out of it putting my hands on the ground, then my butt. The dark concealed the slow tipping of the giant TV. So when it fell on my head I didn’t know what had hit me. I slammed to the ground, and Colleen with one hand threw it off my head in one fell swoop. Before I know it, the lights are on, I’m staring at the ceiling, unable to move, and my mom is running to my side. In what felt like less than three minutes, fire trucks and ambulances filled our driveway. Countless paramedics and firefighters crowded our room, putting me on a stretcher. Throughout this madness Colleen (the whiner) started complaining about her arm. I can’t get one ounce of attention without Colleen trying to steal my spotlight. “Mom my arm really hurts!”

“Colleen, your sister is really hurt, not now!”

“But mom, my arm really hurts!”

“Damn it Colleen!” and then to a fire fighter “Can you get her an ice pack or something?!”

Meanwhile, my mental state was being tested.

“Meagan do you know what month it is?”

“December.”

“Meagan, can you tell me who Santa is?”

“Uhh… Kris Kringle… duh…”

An ambulance ride is very exciting for a 7-year-old girl. You’re on your back, racing through the streets. Dad’s in the front seat of the ambulance asking question after question while I’m having the time of my life in the back. At the hospital the doctor told mom, they were taking me for x-rays, and that one of two things would happen. Either I would walk out of the x-ray room on my own, or something would be seriously wrong, I’d be wheeled back out, and more tests would have to be done. An hour later, when I walked down the hallway, my mom’s face immediately relaxed. Uncle Jerry, mom, and dad, all gave me a big hug (because I had earned it!) Now you may be asking where did Uncle Jerry come from in this story? Well it should be known that when a member of our family get’s hurt or sick, the entire family knows within 5 minutes, and no less than three people will volunteer to go to the hospital. Aunts and Uncles accompanied my parents on many a trip to the ER, from strep throat to scalp stitches to TVs falling on heads.

I walked back into my house late that night and headed straight for my room to show Colleen that Uncle Jerry bought me a Slurpee! Colleen is on the top bunk cradling her arm, which had grown to double its original size. She had torn tissue in her arm when she threw the TV off my head. She was none too pleased when I sauntered into the room completely fine with a Slurpee for my troubles. The next morning mom took her to the doctors, where they wrapped her arm (which I think was unnecessary, again with the attention stealing), and took her to 7-11 to get Colleen her well-earned Slurpee.

– Meagan

Conversations with Marcus: Twinkle Twinkle Little Rock Star

September 28, 2010 § 4 Comments

I would like to preface this dialogue by saying that my brother Marcus is smart. I mean, really smart. He’s also nuts.

Marc: Hello?

Me: Whazzuuuup?

Marc: Not mu-

Me: What pressure should my tires be at?

Marc: Oh, that’s nice.  I’m fine Patty, to answer your question.

Me: I’m sorry.  How are you?

Marc: I’m fine, just working.  Hey, have you figured out a way to get us famous yet?

Me: Yeah, we just have to write something.

Marc: Okay, I was thinking about it last night, and I have an idea.

Me: What’s that?

Marc: We’re going to write a book of short stories.  I think a collection of short stories written by twins would be really marketable.

Me: Well, usually you get the short stories published in a magazine or something.  Then you make an anthology.

Marc: Well, what magazine publishes zombie stories?

Me: I don’t know- a science fiction mag, maybe?  You have to look it up.

Marc: Okay, here’s the plan.  I’m setting a deadline for us, so that we really write.

Me: What’s the deadline?

Marc: Together we’ll write six short stories by the end of the month.

Me: That’s crazy!  Six by the end of the month?!

Marc: No, it’s only three each!

Me: Do you know how long it takes to write a good short story?  It can take months.

Marc: A month to write two to four pages?

Me: Two to four pages?  Short stories can be over twenty pages!

Marc: What magazine is going to publish a twenty page story?

Me: Any magazine that publishes short stories!

Marc: Really?  I guess I want to write “super short stories.”

Me: You’re talking about doing flash fiction.

Marc: What’s flash fiction?

Me: Super short stories.

Marc: Okay.  That, then.  

Me: You might be able to publish flash fiction online.  You should look it up. 

Marc: I’m totally on it.

Me: So are you going to revise my deadline?

Marc: Yeah.  Have one good, super short story by the end of the month.

Me: Okay, but you’re going to have to give me a plot.  I’m pretty drained.

Marc: Zombies.

Me: What?

Marc: Your plot is zombies.

Me: No, “zombies” is a topic.

Marc: Zombies are coming, and you have to survive.

Me: What’s the plot twist?

Marc: Okay, here’s your story.  You and the family, including Maureen, Jeff and the kids, are all in Mom and Dad’s basement, hiding from the zombies.

Me: That’s not a plot, that’s a setting.

Marc: You’re all in a Michigan basement, crowded together, trying to be silent.  It’s like Anne Frank, but with zombies.

Me: Like Anne Frank but with zombies?  Marcus, do you listen to what you say?

Marc: What?

Me: Whatever. 

Marc: Ooh, I just came up with something good!  Because the basement has to be silent, you turn the sump pump off.  So sometimes the basement floods with water.

Me: Like, up to your knees?

Marc: Yeah, when it rains.

Me: So we’re sometimes up to our knees in sewage.

Marc: No, it’s just rain water.  Although it’s close to a sewage line, so the sump pump could have backed-up human waste come in.  That’s entirely up to you.

Me: And how does it end?

Marc: At the end, you’re about to make a break for it.

Me: It ends with us trying to escape?

Marc: Yeah.  Then people will want to read part two.

Me: Part two?  I thought we were writing a short story.

Marc: Yeah… maybe that should be chapter one.  We’ll write a book instead.

Me: A book? 

Marc: How much money would a bestseller earn us?

Me: Well, first books take a long time to publish and aren’t usually that successful. 

Marc: But there’s a chance we’d be rich?

Me: There’s a chance, but it’s pretty remote.  Plus I think a book is too much right now.  We need to think of all our ideas for publishing something, then choose one and make goals.  Otherwise this is going to be Twinkle Twinkle Little Rock Star* all over again.

Marc: Yeah, I forgot how to play that song.

Me: I figured.

Marc: All I know is that I picture us sitting on David Letterman’s couch, explaining our madness to the audience.

Me: That would be awesome. 

Marc: Yeah. [hears a horn honking] Hey, where are you?

Me: I’m in the parking lot at my apartment.  I was going to call you about tire pressure before I took my doughnut upstairs and ate breakfast.

Marc: Oh yeah.  35 psi.

Me: Really?

Marc: Yeah, that’s optimum.

Me: Okay.  I went to the gas station and overfilled my tires.  I figured I would come back and just release the excess pressure if I needed to.

Marc: Why didn’t you just gauge the tires correctly while you were there?

Me: Because they never give you enough time to fill all your tires plus check their pressures.  I always have to go ask them to turn the air back on.  It makes me panic while I’m filling them up.

Marc: So you overfilled them.

Me: Yeah.

Marc: Okay.

Me: I mean, I can just release the excess pressure.

Marc: Yeah.  Just make sure the tires are even.

Me: Cool.  Okay, I’m going to go do that.  You have an awesome day at work.

Marc: Okay.  And don’t forget about the deadline and Zombie Anne Frank.

Me: Got it.

*Marcus once heard Billy Joel play the piano and decided he wanted to learn to play just like him. With no prior music experience of any kind,  he bought an expensive keyboard and a how-to book. The first song he learned was Twinkle Twinkle Little Rock Star. It was also the last song he learned.

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