I think the election season we just witnessed makes it pretty clear that life is surely stranger than fiction, wouldn’t you agree? Witches, Nazi reenactments, secret Muslims yes, it’s quite the bouillabaisse of absurdity bubbling in our country. But you don’t have to watch the news to locate the fictional nature of life, do you? I take two steps outside my door and suddenly wonder whose filming me for this TV show, and will I be making money when it goes into syndication? If you haven’t read my post about eavesdropping yet, that ought to give you a good indication of just how strange my life can get. But in case you were hungering for a few more ridiculous tidbits about my world, my pal Ilana over at Mommy Shorts sent me a challenge yesterday. She posted a list of five truths about herself and one lie, and then threw the gauntlet to me to do the same on my blog. Here now THE LIST:
1) NOSFERATU You’re probably not surprised to hear I had an incredibly overactive imagination as a child. In fact, I was so easily frightened by horror movies that after accidentally watching part of Dracula on the WPIX afternoon movie I got out the tiny gold Jewish star my grandmother gave me and kept it by my bedside for a month. This way, in the event a member of the undead decided to pay me a nighttime visit, I’d be prepped and ready. Just call me Heidi the Kosher Vampire Slayer.
TRUTH My secret superhero identity is revealed. I am in fact Heidi the Kosher Vampire Slayer. Although I have yet to purchase an appropriately kickass pair of black thigh-high leather boots, I am sharpening my wooden stakes and donning my Jewish star as we speak. I also make a nice Kugel that has vampire-repelling properties as well.
2) MAD MEN (AND WOMEN) I once went to the Australian outback to shoot a thirty foot blender for a TV commercial. It was winter which is fly season so we all had to wear hats with netting on them. There we all were standing around in our hats and veils in the shadow of the gigantic fiberglass beast, as if it wasn’t surreal enough to be in the Australian outback without a thirty foot blender. I for one looked vaguely like a Victorian ingenue. One of our aboriginal neighbors even stopped by the shoot to see what on earth we were doing. I’m pretty sure the account guy started saying “the dingo ate my baby” until we told him to shut up.
TRUTH I worked in advertising people, get with the program. Yes, a commercial shot for Tropicana fruit smoothies hence the blender. I took a 24 hour flight to Sydney. Then two or three days later another three (?) hour flight to the outback. At dusk we drove to the behemoth blender which, I kid you not, had guards (possibly armed) surrounding it. I could not make this shit up.
3) DO NOT TAKE THE BROWN ACID Growing up I had a large orange clock sitting on a chest of drawers in my bedroom. It matched the centers of the gigantic rows of pink flowers I chose for my bedroom wallpaper when I was seven. If someone had warned me what it would be like to wake up hung over and accosted by these cheery rows of Peptobismal colored flowers later in my youth, I might have reconsidered. Anyway, about the clock. One night, possibly due to excess viewing of H.R. Pufnstuff episodes, I was absolutely certain the clock started talking to me. It didn’t say anything profound mind you, just shooting the breeze. “Whatsup?” “How’s it goin’?” things of that nature. I was so sure it spoke to me and so completely freaked out by the incident that from that night on for years I went to sleep facing the wall to make it clear to the clock, the mirror, and any other inanimate objects in the room that I wasn’t all that interesting in chewing the fat.
TRUTH For those of you who don’t remember or never watched H.R. Pufnstuff it was a trippy little children’s show involving a British boy and his talking flute. (I know, seriously?) He had run ins with an evil witch appropriately named Witchypoo. The witch had a minion, an alarm clock, who would shout her arrival. This “may” have had something to do with it, but I’m betting that damn orange clock just enjoyed waking me up at night.
4) I DID IT FOR THE THIN MINTS As many of you know, there are the Brownies, the Girl Scouts, and then some other super advanced level of young-do-gooders requiring vetting and CIA clearance. As a youth I was enrolled in the Brownies and yes, I did foolishly assume chocolate would be involved. I had to wear a uniform to the meetings, a pale brown jumper if I recall correctly and beneath it, an orange turtleneck. Whatever the material of that turtleneck I was somehow allergic to it. It itched so badly I couldn’t stand to have it on, scratching desperately at my flesh. I actually skipped the Brownies because of the uniform and rejoined later for the Girl Scouts, at which time I succeeded in winning one badge for cooking because it was the only thing in the handbook that didn’t involve breaking a sweat.
TRUTH Apparently many of you find it difficult to believe I was a member of the children-do-gooder franchise. This week I discovered that there is a Girl Scout museum somewhere in NYC. The website describes their uniforms through the ages: “Starting in 1973, Brownie Girl Scouts chose among several official uniform components: light brown A-line jumper, shorts, pants, white blouse with brown trefoil stripes, tangerine-colored knit top, tangerine tie, and light brown eyelet design belt.” Nothing says “fashion” and “Get me the Cortizone cream” like a tangerine knit top and tie.
5) IT’S JUST A FLESH WOUND One of the rites of passage in my youth besides having Jill Leyton grab me by the hair and pull me over the bus seat, as well as dancing by myself to Donna Summer’s “Last Dance” at a camp social, was getting my ears pierced. At thirteen after a great deal of begging and pleading, I finally convinced my mother to let me go to the mall to get them done. But a firing mishap with the special gun they used to do the piercing cause a partial tear in my earlobe. It bled so badly I had to go to the emergency room and get two stitches. Not only did I not come home with pretty little gold posts in my lobes, but instead I had to have a bandage and gauze taped around my ear for three weeks while the thing got crusty. It did loads for my junior high school confidence let me tell you. Of course the chick who pulled my hair loved it.
LIE To quote my mother’s email from earlier this week: “Who would know better than I!!! The ear piercing is a tale of your own making Madame Paradox.” She is of course correct, and officially required by parliament to refer to me as Madame Paradox, incidentally. However, a girl with a different name did grab me by the hair one afternoon and pull me over the bus seat out of the blue. You know what low blood sugar can do to overly entitled suburbanites.
6) FOR THY SWEET LOVE REMEMBERED During my late twenties I became friendly with a fellow. We laughed, joked, talked endlessly to each other, clearly something flirtatious was afoot. However, not to put too fine a point on it, he was closer in appearance to the Hunchback of Notre Dame then he was to say, Brad Pitt. But I truly enjoyed talking to him so I decided this was my first opportunity to behave like an adult woman. Yes, I would be mature, I would date this lovely Creature from the Black Lagoon, man I mean, and grow to love him despite his imperfections. Who among us is perfect after all? Finally, he asked me out to dinner. I got all dolled up, floating into the room on a cloud of cleavage and hair mousse. He smiled, said something clever, I batted my eyelashes and followed suit. The dining room buzzed with nervous anticipation, clearly romance was on the menu. We ordered our appetizers, at which point Mr.Wonderful looked deep into my eyes and said:
“Before we eat I just want to get something out of the way. I can’t actually get into a physical relationship with you right now, because I’m seeing someone. But eventually, who knows.”
Historically speaking I haven’t had the greatest luck with men.
TRUTH I would like to get to the bottom of why no one assumed this was the lie. I suppose you’re all certain I have a catalog of these horrible stories, aren’t you? Well fine, just because you’re correct doesn’t mean you need to be smug about it.
So that’s it folks. Five truths about Heidi and one boldfaced lie. I do hope you’ll leave me a comment guessing which one carries the stank of dishonesty. If you’ve got your own blog by all means leave a post and link back here so I can read your version of truth and lies. I look forward to it.
This concludes the five truths and one lie exercise. Thanks for all the comments, I really enjoyed reading them.