Tuesday, February 22, 2005

Okay, Edited: Eight Things I've Done (Many of them Stupid) That You Probably Haven't

Eight Things I've Done That You Probably Haven't (I got bored after eight, and I like to be different, so sue me.)

1.) Called Algis Budrys at home when I was seventeen years old to ask him about a submission I'd made to Tomorrow Magazine. I expected Tomorrow Magazine headquarters was in a tall skyscraper in Chicago, next to The Daily Planet building, but what I got was Algis Budrys in his apartment. He was very nice to me and chatted about my story with me and gave me all sorts of tips for submitting stories. The scales were lifted from my eyes concerning the production of science fiction and fantasy magazines. I'm so glad I learned all this with Algis and not someone who would have freaked out on me. But he put his damned phone number in the magazine, so what did he expect?

2.) Spent a weekend in jail. I was shown my bunk and my first encounter was with the man sleeping in the bunk above me doling out coffee grounds to three other guys, saying, "For my bitch number one, for my bitch number two, for my bitch number three." He then turned to me and said, "So do you want to be my bitch too?" and held out a spoonful of coffee grounds. I said, "Dude, a cup of coffee ain't worth it," and he was nice to me for the rest of the weekend.

3.) Started learning a new language at 29 years old and several weeks into it called one of my coworkers a pervert instead of a genius (hentai/tensai). Shut up.

4.) Sat next to a very old, very loud woman on the bus back to Oceanside from World Fantasy Convention in Monterey, California, 1998, who wouldn't stop talking to me about her husband who was in jail, a 23 year old illegal Mexican immigrant who she married after he started working as a janitor at her assisted living complex. When a seat opened up and I moved to it, she said, "What's the matter with you? You don't want to talk to me, huh? Hmmph."

5.) Met Michael Moore in NYC city after Rick Bowes and I came out of the theatre where we'd watched "Farenheit 9/11.

6.) Sat on Kelly Link's lap in a taxi all the way home while I was drunk and she told me a story about a man in Australia having his scrotum sliced open in the ocean by his own surfboard, but he didn't lose his um, ball, because his tight scuba suit held it inside.

7.) Got drunk at a backstage party at a Magnetic Fields concert and was flirted with by the cute member of the Magnetic Fields, what's-his-name, Dudley. Shut up, I don't want to hear anyone saying there is no cute member of the Magnetic Fields. And you shut up too, I don't want to hear if he flirted with you or your friend or some other person you know either.

8.) Went into a Christian missionary tent at the Trumbull County fair when I was 12 with my friend Brent and let a guy talk to us about Jesus. He showed us a box and said, "Do you know what your funeral will look like?" and we said no and he pressed a button and the box lit up and he said, "Look inside here, here it is!" and there was a casket with a lot of flowers on it, and I was disappointed. He then wanted us to take Jesus into our hearts and said all we had to do was repeat after him, and Brent looked at me and we were both doing that Oh my God smile, I can't believe this, and as the guy tried to lead us through the God sales pitch we kept breaking out laughing while repeating the taking Jesus into our hearts chant until we both broke out laughing so hard and the guy made a disgusted face that we jumped up and ran out of the tent and out into the midway and ran all the way back to the 4-H barns (where our cows were) shouting, "I take Jesus into my heart! Bwahahaha!"
**Inspired by #2 on Susan's list.

Oh, and I just realized there are people out there who could add to the descriptions of the events listed above, or who might think I should have included some other equally embarrassing moment in this list. For those of you who are thinking about adding to these moments, this is not the time or place to get your yucks in. I have said all I wanted to say publicly, and that is enough.

That is all.


Blogger Elad said...

strangely, i also submitted my first story to Algis Burdys (can't remember the name of the magazine now) when i was sixteen or seventeen complete with every "don'ts" you'll ever hear. single-spaced, both sides of the page, etc. he sent back the cover letter, totally full of red ink.

that guy must attract newbies.

8:54 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Oh my, yes, #5 was embarrassing because you so obviously were NOT a New Yorker and treated the sight of the director of the movie you had just seen as an important and amazing thing instead of just casting a half glance at him and murmuring, "He's put on a lot of weight since he was at Cannes."


11:01 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

3 things I've done that you probably haven't:

1.Driven my son to Detroit at 4 a.m. and proceeded to drive onto a sidewalk trying to find the Japanese Consulate.
2.Driven my son to jail,cried all the way home, asking myself where I had failed trying to be a role model for him and worrying for his safety every minute he was there.
3.Set off the metal detector in the Empire State building in NYC, and frantically tried to talk my way out of being frisked by the attendant, as he asked my friends,"how many drinks has she had?"

Chris, I think you take after your mother, just guessing! Love you, mom

8:31 PM  
Blogger Christopher Barzak said...

Hahaha, we are both always drive on a sidewalk no matter where we are!

8:43 PM  
Blogger Heather Shaw said...

Chris, I swear I nearly have #8! A friend of mine and I messed with the Christians in their tent at the Marion County Fair. I wasn't showing cattle at the time, but most likely had other 4-H exhibits (including the Cat Show). Ah, the midwest! Hee!

7:00 PM  
Blogger Christopher Barzak said...


8:22 AM  

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