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25 Things About Me. Aren't You Glad You Asked?


Who knew that Facebook was such a grind? Now, in addition to constantly updating your status, posting your photos, tagging yourself and sharing your links, you're supposed to pull a book off the shelf and flip to a random page, or shuffle your iPod and list the songs that come up, or share 25 random facts about yourself.

If you read my blog, read my column or are on my Christmas card list, you know pretty much everything there is to know about me. But in the spirit of the Interwebs, and as the result of peer pressure, here are 25 things you may not have known about me:

1. I wasn't born in a log cabin.
2. I can touch my right elbow to the heel of my left foot, though this ability has no discernible benefit or application.
3. In first grade I pulled the wimple off a nun.
4. We were playing tag.
5. My greatest fear is being imprisoned for a crime I didn't commit.
6. My second greatest fear is horseshoe crabs.
7. The first record I ever bought was a 45 of Gordon Lightfoot's "Sundown."
8. It was for a girl named Caela Mills.
9. I suspected she'd been creepin' round my back stairs.
10. I was in fifth grade.
11. I'm a better driver drunk than I am sober but no one ever lets me prove it.

12. I shot a man in Reno just to watch him die.
13. I'm joking about #12.
14. Sometimes, late at night when everyone else is in bed and asleep, when the only sounds are the creaking of the house and the tick of the clock on the mantel, when a comfortable somnolence seems to hold the entire neighborhood in its warm embrace and only the nocturnal animals stir, I forget what I was going to say.
15. If I could have any superpower I wanted, it would be the ability to take other people's superpowers away from them.
16. For the longest time I thought "Gilligan's Island" was a documentary.
17. I invented MTV but because I didn't have access to a TV camera or a large cable network I was unable to profit from my creation.
18. I once appeared as half of a singing duo called The Neverly Brothers where my main contribution was to pound the floor very loudly with the heel of my shoe, keeping time to the music and irritating diners who were trying to enjoy their fajitas.
19. I can scare chlorophyll.
20. There is an asterisk on my driver's license indicating that I am an organ donor. There's a second asterisk indicating that I want my organ back when you're done with it.
21. Favorite food: Snausages.
22. I have opposable thumbs and opposable big toes.
23. A friend of mine appeared as an extra in the Robert Redford film "The Great Waldo Pepper."
24. I love this 25 things about me meme.
25. I'm joking about #24.

But enough about me(me). Please share some little-known random facts about yourself in our Comments section.

BritNews RoundUp
You know how those bearskin-hatted Queen's guards in England are supposed to maintain a straight face no matter what sort of abuse is hurled at them? Apparently even they have a breaking point, if this story and video from the Daily Mirror are to be believed. And I'm not sure they are.

Tennis elbow is a well-known malady. "Cello scrotum" less so. And now it turns out that, despite a letter printed in the British Medical Journal in 1974, and references since then, the malady is a myth. According to the Daily Mail, a young doctor and her husband invented it as a joke, never expecting it to be taken seriously. Writes the Mail: "Male musicians might have realised that to contract it, they would have had to play their cello in an exceedingly unusual way."

How do you get milk from a cow? Practice, practice, practice. No, that's how you get to Carnegie Hall. How you get milk from a cow -- more milk, anyway -- is to give it a name. Scientists in England have discovered that cows with names produce as much as 454 pints of milk more each year than cows with no names. Start spreading the moos.

No online chat today, but my column will be back in the paper on Monday. And as always, feel free to leave a comment here or drop me an e-mail. Have a great weekend. See you on Facebook.

By John Kelly  |  January 30, 2009; 10:00 AM ET
Save & Share:  Send E-mail   Facebook   Twitter   Digg   Yahoo Buzz   StumbleUpon   Technorati   Google Buzz   Previous: President Obama: Open Mouth, Remove Snowshoe
Next: Bowled Over, Then Kicked in the Groin


The only random thing you'll get out of me is that I've been tagged in numerous 25 things list but have declined to respond.

Posted by: ArlingtonGay | January 30, 2009 10:34 AM | Report abuse

John -

A comment and question about your list:

"6. My second greatest fear is horseshoe crabs."

I'm glad to know I'm not the only one who gets freaked out by these things. When I was a kid, my uncle grabbed one by the tail and flung it far out into the water because it was scaring the heck out of us. He's still my hero for doing that.

"18. I once appeared as half of a singing duo called The Neverly Brothers where my main contribution was to pound the floor very loudly with the heel of my shoe, keeping time to the music and irritating diners who were trying to enjoy their fajitas."

Was this at Tucson Cantina? I had friends who played there occasionally.

Posted by: staxowax | January 30, 2009 11:01 AM | Report abuse

Boy, who has the time, energy and inclination to do all that Facebook entails? I don't. Hey, maybe that's my first personal random fact. Now I just need 24 more.

Posted by: f-street | January 30, 2009 12:04 PM | Report abuse


You are old because you know what a "45" is, and you were not talking about a pistol. But your being old is not an unknown fact.

I used to play the accordion. I do not do that anymore because I have some compassion for the rest of humankind.

Posted by: reddragon1 | January 30, 2009 12:06 PM | Report abuse

Numerous questions remain regarding number 3. Most importantly, is number 4 definitely related to it? If not, you are probably going to burn in hell for all eternity, unless Whimple is the name of the guy attacking the nun.

Posted by: mfromalexva1 | January 30, 2009 12:10 PM | Report abuse

@Mfromalexva: The nun was my first grade teacher. The whole class was playing tag. I accidentally knocked her wimple off and discovered that Sister had this lovely long auburn hair. Who knew that nuns had hair?

@F-street & Arlingtongay: My thoughts exactly. Facebook is getting to be a grind, what with all these requests for information and contemplation.

@Staxowax: Was Tucson Cantina the place on Connecticut Ave? If so, yes, that's where it was. I couldn't remember the name. Thanks!

Posted by: JohnFKelly | January 30, 2009 7:03 PM | Report abuse

John -

Tucson Cantina was on Connecticut, right at the intersection with Calvert Street (i.e., the Woodley Park neighborhood).

Posted by: staxowax | January 31, 2009 10:24 AM | Report abuse

This is exactly why I don't have a page in My Face or My Space or Face Space, whatever. People moan and groan about their lack of privacy, afraid of identity theft, but then spread every private little thing about themselves on a world wide web so some sherpa can send messages to them. No thanks. I toss junk mail in the circular file and I certainly don't want any junk e-mails clogging up my mailbox.

Get over yourselves, people. You really are not that interesting.

Posted by: Baltimore11 | February 3, 2009 4:51 PM | Report abuse

I like Facebook, but I just ignore a lot of the stuff like this. I do get annoyed when people hit me with one of those "pass someone a drink" or "which movie are you" applications, which then ask you to foist it onto a bunch more friends. They're too much like those "forward this to 10 people in the next hour" chain e-mails (which I likewise ignore).

By the way, John, what's your view on the ethics of friend-ing? Do you feel bad when you ignore a friend request from some high school classmate you didn't much like at the time, even though 10 of your other friends have already accepted them? Do you ever de-friend someone and hope they don't notice? I love that I'm back in touch with the 5 or so people from high school whom I've actually missed over the years, but I wouldn't give the rest of my class another thought.

Posted by: Janine1 | February 5, 2009 12:38 PM | Report abuse

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