Yesterday I posted about my background. I didn’t finish. So I’ll continue that today. If you missed yesterday, feel free to go back and read the other post before this one. It’ll make more sense. Maybe. After I flipped enough burgers I decided I needed to do something with my time. I took pilot lessons and was certified. I also learned I don’t have the attention to detail I needed if I wanted to be a commercial pilot. (Thank God! They make about what radio people do these days.) A perfect example: Phone rings. “Hello.” “Uh, Mark, this is Steve from the local FBO.” (That’s Fixed Base Operator – a pilot term. It used to be called Heileman Air Service, but is now Colgan Air Services.) “Yeah?” “I got a call from the Green Bay Flight Service Station, wondering if you’d landed. You never closed out your flight plan.” DOH! Forget that, and if nobody checks, it could trigger a search for a crashed plane. Not a high likelihood, but it’s possible. And the FAA frowns on searches for pilots who are kicking back and watching television. Flying wasn’t My Thing. I took martial arts. Earned a black belt. Came close to a second-degree black belt. Too much politicking. Not My Thing, but my instructor nudged me way back in the cave man days when I wore a green belt. Mark scoffs. “I could write a better movie than that.” Master Klahn waves me off. “Then shut up and do it.” So I did. In retrospect, a lot of things pointed at me being a writer. The most subtly obvious is the music I liked. Every one of my favorite songs told a story. The Gambler. Uneasy Rider. Thirty Thousand Pounds of Bananas. Things like that.
On Facebook a while back the question was posed: What got you in trouble the most in grade school? For me it was reading. I got caught reading when the teacher was lecturing. I remember checking a book out of the library on my way to my first class. I checked it in on my way out after school. Perhaps I read too much.
In one class we had a book with a lot of The Classics included. It was probably abridged, but I couldn’t say for sure. Bigger words were footnoted with definitions. I was flipping through and noticed “wizened,” just as the teacher asked if anyone knew what that word meant. I raised my hand. “Dried out.” My favorite jokes have always been word-play. Puns, you may have noticed, are high on my list of funny.