Once: 100 Moments of a Dunce’s Life
This was originally posted on Medium.
A regular exercise of mine is to organize memories — take them out of storage, dust them off, and settle them back in a bit more polished than before — so it hopefully proves easier to revisit my brain down the road as it slowly, and then I assume quite rapidly, deteriorates. I do this with good and bad moments alike; however, the latter doesn’t necessarily read light and bouncy, and I tend to keep those ones personal anyhow.
So, in the spirit of a jovial read, I’ve kept this public offering of my memory bank polite, congenial, and amusing (ideally). It’s not meant to be a comprehensive reflection of an entire life. [Hell, I’m only in my 30s.] Instead, this particular assemblage of moments was more or less driven by, “Huh, that was curious or screwball,” rather than simply joyous memories that make me smile like a glossy-eyed dork.
While I’ve had moments of deep, transfixed sadness and gross emotional ineptitude, I dig the idea of, from time to time, life being reviewed like a highlight reel or some sparkling beach net collection of gems, even if they’re mere blips that only mattered for a few minutes.
Per my usual rule, I’ve left out the more personal narratives of sex and drugs. [Them memories are for my jubilation, triumph, and shame and my jubilation, triumph, and shame alone.] I’ve also kept names out of this because I lost all my permission slips and release forms. Everyone under the buddy, pal, or friend banner here knows who they are.
I suppose I engage in this memory recollection and refurbishing activity because it reveals how lucky I’ve been in this life, and I never want to overlook that or fail to appreciate it. My memory gets worse with each passing year, and I like having a seemingly tangible memory bank that I can readily come upon. And then I put it out in the world because I haven’t lead an interesting enough life to pen a memoir, so this is the closest I’ll ever get to nailing an autobiography.
1. Once, I convinced my friend he won concert tickets with a fake email from Travis Bickle. I asked if he’d take me. He said, “Maybe.”
2. Once, I wasn’t into a party at my house, so I watched Wise Blood in my bedroom. It made me feel so weird I came downstairs and lit myself up mad drunk with a distant stare I honestly couldn’t shake.
3. Once, I met Tim Armstrong from Rancid. Given that neither of us properly enunciate, much of the conversation was just the word ‘what.’
4. Once, riding shotgun on the way home from a party, my pal and I smashed into a car stopped in freeway traffic. Two dudes dressed like assassins from The Matrix — all leather and white/spiral contacts with weird make-up, legit looking from the future — popped out of the vehicle, to which I yelled, “WHO THE FUCK DID WE HIT.” Given that my buddy only had his permit, we avoided legal trouble by him saying, “So…he can’t be here,” and I just nodded and left with the strangers’ friends, who were also hit. I climbed into the backseat of a two-door sedan with a young woman crying into her phone, “And now some kid just got in our car!” Left at a gas station, I called my dad collect from a payphone. He wasn’t happy. Next day, he warmed up, asking, “How were you not kidnapped?” I had no answer — joking about vampires knowing their own, realizing how bad I am at making decisions, thinking, “I’m gonna die so dumb.”
5. Once, from a cab, I watched two officers in separate cop cars cuss each other out. It was the most New York thing I’ve ever seen in my life.
6. Once, in college, our house threw a bonkers party. The cops showed up, citing multiple calls. Each roommate then revealed he had called the police. Every single noise complaint was from us.
7. Once, when I was a 13, I broke into my neighbors’ house while they were on vacation to watch cable because my dad had gotten rid of ours.
8. Once, as a teen, a friend’s older babe neighbor offered me a smoke. I held it out for her to light like it was crime scene evidence. She laughed, “First cigarette?” It was.
9. Once, a designer I was dating asked what I thought of her new fonts. The first card read WHY DON’T YOU LOVE ME. The review did not go well.
10. Once, I forgot my ID, so a waitress, my age, quizzed me — when I graduated, what I grew up knowing, etc. There was a thoughtful pause as she considered me. I added that my prom’s DJ played “Ignition (Remix)” twice. She nodded, bellowed “YUP”, and served me a beer.
11. Once, at 19, I submitted an essay to The New Yorker. It was rejected. A month later, I received a second rejection letter for no reason.
12. Once, shortly after Sam’s Town came out, I went as Brandon Flowers for Halloween and kept putting on The Killers, so I could sing along like it was a concert. My extremely obnoxious running joke was not well-received.
13. Once, Mandy Moore came to my high school for an assembly. Wanting to woo her with a cute yet casual gesture, I gifted her a Del Taco coupon (that was only good down the street).
14. Once, as a party was winding down, I overheard a hookup pause so the woman could slap the dude and growl, “I said, do you believe in God?”
15. Once, a date wore a UCLA sweater to Knott’s Scary Farm. In an asylum maze, a monster with an ax ran at us, only to calmly quip, “USC rules.”
16. Once, hammered at a Thanksgiving party, I sprayed the leftovers with whipped cream and left to hook up in a van. No one was happy (but me). To this day, nothing I’ve done has come even remotely close to making my friends as mad as they were about this. Whenever it comes up in conversation, it’s like it happened just yesterday.
17. Once, at a party, things were weird with a girl I was dating…that got way weirder when she hooked up with an off-duty firefighter in the same jacuzzi as me.
18. Once, well after midnight, my pal joke-swerved on a dark mountain road to scare us and hit a parked car. Before waking the owner, he informed us we had to first bury all the drugs he was selling in the surrounding woods.
19. Once, at a club in Mexico, a stripper corrected my Spanish while still coyly writhing around stage as I slipped money into her underwear.
20. Once, in college, a friend’s mother snuck a foot up my bathing suit in a jacuzzi. I muttered, “Well, it’s getting too hot for me,” and got outta there.
21. Once, the weekend of Halloween, I hydroplaned, spun out, and wound up in a head-on collision on the freeway. I was down the street from my college and I hit two soroity girls in sexy costumes. As the family minivan was full of smoke and the rain was coming down brutal, the ladies invited me to wait for my dad in their car. By the time my dad showed up, I was having a blast, something he was extremely unstoked to behold. Days later, he calmed down, grateful I was alive, and told me if I ever saw them on campus, I should say, “Hey, funny running into you again!”
22. Once, attempting to use a gated community pool’s clubhouse, my very adult friends and I accidentally attended the most epic 420 high school party ever seen. It wound up as us drinking beer in the jacuzzi, surrounded by what felt like hordes of high schoolers. They tarped up the clubhouse windows and had a cover charge we didn’t have to pay because they were worried we’d call the cops.
23. Once, a pizza joint offered free cheesy bread if the Anaheim Ducks scored a power play goal — one per dining party. So my roommates and I piled into a car and staggered our arrival, waiting around like strangers. Things were going fine until one of us went rogue with a loud, elaborate backstory about being a CEO.
24. Once, when I was a teen insane with my first high school crush, a different girl at a party asked me if I wanted to go make out and I politely turned it down like someone’s mom had offered me a snack and then I caught my friend giving me the hardest WTF face I’ve probably ever seen.
25. Once, 3 a.m. in rural Kentucky, on our way home from Bonnaroo, my pal and I took a shortcut as the rainy forest road’s lone car on our way to a town we saw a turnoff for. After passing a church with a ominous swinging light, we came upon a meadow, flanked by mountains and a giant moon. “Where’s the town?” he asked flatly and gravely. Spooked, we sped to a motel and stayed up while the other showered out of fear of hungry ghosts.
26. Once, as a kid, my mom made pasta. I wasn’t into it that night and asked, “Can I have something else?” She answered, “Pretend this is a restaurant and you have to eat it.” I stared at it for a moment before informing her, “Well, then I didn’t order this.” My dad snorted wine out his nose and had to leave the table.
27. Once, in college, I left a party because I got way too high and came home to an empty house. Shortly after, my roommates killed the power and started creeping around, making weird noises. They didn’t know I kept a bat under my bed and it’s the closest I’ve come to murder.
28. Once, my friend and I saw an orchestra — in suits and on edibles. After an epic crescendo, he whisper-yelled, “Holy shit, I need to hit the bathroom to wipe all the cum off my face.” I concurred, “YEAH, DUDE.” And then the lady in front of us did the slowest turn I’ve ever seen.
29. Once, at a party, a friend saw me and said, “Nice shirt.” I agreed, explaining how I lifted it from our mutual clothes-grifting pal as retribution. My friend laughed, clarifying it was actually his shirt before it was stolen. That’s when the stripper pole came out of the ceiling.
30. Once, at a summer party, I drank wild on an empty stomach and spent the night making out with someone’s friend, treating her like my girlfriend. My sister got a head’s up about the gal and passed it onto me as I was leaving. I laughed, cross-eyed as hell and totally bewildered: “Who the fuck is Megan?”
31. Once, before a college girlfriend left to study abroad, my friends and I built a theater set of a restaurant that enclosed our patio. I scooped her and returned, where everyone played a role — valet, host, waiter, busboy, cook, owner, live music — each dude welcoming us as strangers.
32. Once, a teacher called my house during an otherwise delightful family dinner to inform my parents that she straight up couldn’t teach her class with me in it because I just wouldn’t stop talking. I had been there exactly one time. That’s how I rounded out my first day of 2nd grade. Later that year, she would send me outside for talking straight through the Pledge of Allegiance.
33. Once, on the first day my 7th grade friends and I walked home from school, we were pegged by jagged cans outside a donut shop. I went into a rage. I opened my grape soda, took one sip, and ran to pour it out on the kid. Then his older brother pinned me against the alley wall by the throat.
34. Once, I was banned from a Vancouver hostel. We befriended a drunk soldier on leave after he approached our table with a literal handful of weed. I let him use the bathroom and when the owner got mad at me, the dude threatened to beat his ass. It was our last night in town anyway.
35. Once, at 18, I went to a carnival in Vienna. Another student got a bloody nose on the bungee. The very buff operator turned to us laughing with blood on him. I said, “You look like a tough motherfucker!” He caught little and growled, “MOTHER.FUCKER?” He stepped at me with developing fury until my teacher explained that I was simply an idiot.
36. Once, when I played drums in 9th grade, my band was invited to play a popular dude’s party. That week, I was grounded for bad grades. My folks allowed me to go — only to play. So once my band wrapped its set, they rolled into the full-throttle party to help me load my gear into the minivan in front of everyone.
37. Once, my buddy and I were broke in Cuba. Our only chance was a Western Union transfer to our hostel’s employee. I scribbled the dude’s info with the note PLEASE SEND THIS MAN MONEY and texted a screenshot. Then I lost service. So for hours, my mother worried I had been kidnapped.
38. Once, when I was on a JV basketball team that went 1–21, we watched a 7-footer clear our 5'3" guard on a dunk and our AND1-loving bench went insane. Next practice, coach made us run until we couldn’t stand to teach us not to cheer for opponents. “That’s, like, Sports 101, guys.”
39. Once, while on the road, my buddy brought a gal back to our Airstream. I commented on her “Always” tattoo. She sang Snape’s praise as I called him a Nazi asshole with a crush. We drunkenly fought about this until I yelled, “Avada Kedavra!” She was instantly livid and did not stay.
40. Once, in high school, my friend, my brother, and I were to attend my sister’s basketball game. We forgot to rally everyone to go, so instead we each wore a homemade shirt featuring a letter (C/A/L) and hung up a paper banner reading SORRY CAITLIN, THE OTHER GUYS COULDN’T MAKE IT!
41. Once, as a grade school supervisor, two little girls told me I should make the other supervisor my girlfriend. One girl: “My dad has a girlfriend. It’s my mom.” Other girl: “My dad has a girlfriend. Mommy doesn’t know about it.” [Then it was just me splashing water on my face, trying to collect myself.]
42. Once, my grandparents gave me a shirt for Christmas. Upon opening the gift, a curious look crossed my face. My grandma said, “When I saw it, I thought, ‘That looks exactly like something Jake would wear!’” She was right — because she had bought me the same exact shirt the year before.
43. Once, I saw Skrillex crowd-surfing at a Refused show. Toward the end of ‘New Noise,’ I grabbed his collar and we repeatedly screamed “THE NEW BEAT” at each other with our sweaty foreheads touching. When it was over, I gave him an eskimo kiss and put him back on the wave of hands.
44. Once, while at a favorite bar in Baja, our bartender invited us to a party he was working that night. Hours later, 17 of us rolled up to the big garden bash in a van — piled inside, atop the roof, hanging on back — and started drinking…with the bride and groom’s friends and family.
45. Once, while living in a college party house, my roommates and I agreed to let our friend build a two-story living space in the garage. When he moved out, another buddy moved into the “Get-Outta-Townhouse.” Yet he still came around like a super — just fixing stuff and checking on things.
46. Once, as my friend and I set up a tent at sunset in Missouri, fireflies came out. It was magical. Neither of us had seen them before. We hustled to the nearest gas station, bought bottles of Boone’s Farm, and came back to sit in our lawn chairs. By then, the fireflies were gone.
47. Once, the ex of my pal’s lady razed him at a bar. He countered. Then a half dozen of us lined up with a half dozen of them like a damn movie. The monstrous meathead assigned to me was a chatty one. “Don’t wanna kick your ass, but I may have to,” he said, 1,000% stronger than me and earnestly filled with regret. My reply, simply: “Ah, that is unfortunate to hear.”
48. Once, in 1st grade, I opened a one-night pop-up eatery called eEvita’s (an edgy spelling, I suppose). My parents worked the kitchen, my siblings ran a hosting station/lemonade stand in the entryway, and every relative in the county packed the place. I dressed up and did not pay my staff.
49. Once, three pals and I cruised to the beach on Labor Day for (what was at the time) the best pizza. We picnicked on a hill overlooking the San Clemente Pier on a perfect day. Before us, against the sunset, a couple in their late 40s took turns aggressively getting each other off.
50. Once, as a boy, I had my future told over tarot cards in a treehouse by two girls. With a nearly debilitating crush on one of them, I tried to make a cool, funny, and memorable exit. It was only the latter. I fell out, got the wind knocked out of me, and thought I broke my arm.
51. Once, at a health food café, a server entered the patio carrying an enormous bowl of harvested vegetables, and all I could ask was, “What doofus ordered a whole veggie basket for brunch?” To my surprise, I had. It was then I learned crudité and crostini were not the same thing.
52. Once, a buddy got us WAY too stoned at a party. I sat at a table, hands folded like a job interview, loving the music. I asked him who it was. “Of Montreal. Sunlandic Twins,” he answered. A pal spoke up. “Okay, I have to step in. You two have had this exact conversation six times now. One of you has to get less high.”
53. Once, at a Vegas bachelor party, a few of us ate edibles without considering the consequences. In the wave pool, life was bliss. In the lazy river, however, we succumbed to delirious panic, convinced the current implied a waterfall, and chain-held one another so we wouldn’t go over. Kids continued to swim by.
54. Once, my 1–21 JV basketball team’s guard made a buzzer beater. As we walked off dejected — it was still a double-digit loss — he was scooped by our joyous forward. Coach yell-asked why he was So damn happy when we lost. Player replied, “Oh…I thought it was the end of the 3rd.” Coach made us run then and there.
55. Once, junior year, our English final was to pitch our summer goal, no matter how unrealistic. I wrote about owning a flamethrower. To add authenticity, I borrowed a friend’s lighter and lit the edges of the essay. It caught more and I had to put it out in a dead-quiet classroom.
56. Once, senior year, during an admin meeting, I learned our admin bought cameras — due to car vandalism — but not the tapes. So a bud and I made a huge banner reading WE SMILED FOR THE CAMERAS and hung it from the amphitheater’s roof. Problem was that no one knew about the missing tapes, so they just thought our gag was art kids being art kids.
57. Once, I came home wildly high from a party with $15 worth of Del Taco. I had watched the first half of Love Actually before leaving — my first viewing — and dove back in right before the boy runs through the airport. I loudly cheered him on through tears and a mouthful of burrito.
58. Once, after a week with cartoonish Southies, my buddy and I bussed it to Northampton for a concert and drank at a karaoke bar. Faking heavy Boston personas, we were a lively hit until I stumbled back to the “lesbian sorority” we were couchsurfing at and called my then-girlfriend about how I lost my friend to a woman/the woods.
59. Once, my pal and I were given molly at a beach party. A summer later, we tried to return the favor at a lake house. We strutted in with our bag of drugs, but there’d been a weird fight, so we went downstairs and ate the molly like sugar in the hands of kids. We even built a fort.
60. Once, in Buenos Aires, we hit the bars at 2 a.m. At sunrise/last call, one sly, smirking dude pitched a unique joint — a wild apartment party that operated weekly as an illegal bar. I danced with a woman there who told me I laugh after every sentence and could stay awake forever.
61. Once, as a supreme wuss at a sleepover, I lied about my folks forbidding me from watching R-rated movies like Species, so we watched Jury Duty instead. Leaving the next day, the birthday boy’s mother reassured my mom, who said I’d been given carte blanche to watch whatever at the sleepover. That boy’s slow turn of rage-betrayal still haunts me.
62. Once, my friends and I saw Against Me! three times in a weekend — Friday in Los Angeles, Saturday in Pomona, Sunday in San Diego — and the ringing in my ears never went away. It died down, but I haven’t heard silence since I was 20. I’ve worn earplugs to nearly every concert since.
63. Once, on a family trip, we wound up in a Mendocino record shop with single-digit capacity. Over the speakers came Pakistani religious music. Hypnotized, I told the hippie gal behind the counter I’d buy the album, whatever the price. The car stereo rotation became an ordeal.
64. Once, I went to a karaoke birthday in LA’s Koreatown. We had a private room, so everyone was a friend or a friend of friend. Recently sick, I cheered for all but the birthday gal demanded I sing. So I did “Bette Davis Eyes” entirely in gross falsetto. Only my best friend clapped.
65. Once, alone for a week in Orlando, I ate and/or drank at each of EPCOT’s dozen “countries”. A server reminded me of the non-nation Outpost, where I found only snacks. So I bought a bracelet instead. After a few steps, I exaggeratedly held up my newly adorned wrist to be inspected by my wonky, flooded eyes. “I’m too drunk to be here,” I said aloud to no one and bailed.
66. Once, my college roommates and I were watching American Gladiatorswhen three bros opened our front door and strolled through our living room to drink on our back patio. Extremely confused, we inquired. [Some gal had hyped a party at our place.] Once they left, we shut off the lights, filled up water balloons, and waited atop the roof. No one else came.
67. Once, at a wedding, the bride’s niece invited me to do molly with her. She led me down stairs, threw down her purse, and piled up her drugs and condoms. That’s when her dad — my friend’s brother — showed up as only a tall shadow, telling her to come back, while I hid around the corner like the dude was a t-rex.
68. Once, when I was three years old, my folks brought my new brother home from the hospital. Holding him in my arms, I looked up at my parents and said, “Cute baby you have.” Three decades later, it still stands as my politest and most coherent remark to new parents.
69. Once, my buddy and I hit a Tampa bar co-owned by my pal’s coworker’s brother — didn’t know us, wasn’t there. Our plan was one drink, but my order was a box of wine and we wound up blitzed with the staff. We slept in our trailer out back, where I was awoken with a bloody mary to go.
70. Once, heartbroken in San Francisco, my pal and I smoked joints until we fell asleep reading comics in Dolores Park. But then I caught sight of a MAN — adorned in only high-top Converse, a satchel, and a leather cowboy hat — strutting like a cartoon cat on a sunny day, dong aflap.
71. Once, my pal and I stayed at a tiny, hip hotel in New York City. To our damnable surprise, it was very much for couples — the door sign depicted sex — with our dorm room-sized getaway featuring a twin bed and a glass bathroom with a single frosted door that covered either the shower or toilet, but not both. So one person would have to leave if it was too be used. Tired of waiting in the hall during showers, we simply agreed not to look or judge.
72. Once, road-tripping through the snowy woods of Washington, my buddies and I scooped a hitchhiker (think a weirder Ned Flanders in a ski suit). He was out skiing, he said. But when he got out, one of us had to ask, “Did that guy not have skis?” Three people died on the mountain that night.
73. Once, my pals and I watched the World Cup at a bar and were blackout by noon. We befriended the bartender, who drove us to her twin sister’s bar at shift’s end. I woke the next day with dirt in my hair and cuts on my hands. My wallet was later found on a hillside fire road by a dog.
74. Once, in 8th grade, my favorite pants’ zipper broke. Instead of wearing other pants, I told my mom I’d try to sew it in home ec. In Spanish class that day, I stood talking to a girl at her desk. It went well until she deadpanned, “Your dick is in my face.” Not how I imagined first contact with a woman.
75. Once, at a party in San Francisco with a relatively new friend, I wound up in the bedroom of an extreme biter. In honest hellfire pain and scared of losing an ear, I sprang into the hallway to ask, “Hey, it’s pretty late, yeah? We should probably get back.” Unable to read my tone and noticing her holding my hand in a death grip, he shrugged and said, “Nah, dude, we got all the time in the world.” I was led back and inevitably woke up looking like I had been strangled.
76. Once, in high school, I took out a girl I had crushed on for the better part of a year. She made me crazy nervous. At the end of our date, instead of kissing her, I basically shook my mouth into hers. She laughed, “What was that?” And I had to sit down and explain that my knees were legit about to give out.
77. Once, in Portland, two pals and I went to a steakhouse strip club and a vegan strip club, next door to one another and at war. At the vegan one, the first stripper told us, “You guys are so bad at this,” as we had ordered so many drinks and so much food she couldn’t dance for us.
78. Once, in 1st grade, my mom told me my grandma would take care of me after school. That afternoon, I walked to grandma’s house (in another city) while she sat at my house freaking out. No one knew where I was. The school’s drama club began requiring guardian sign-outs afterward.
79. Once, while on the road, I stayed with a couple who smoked me out heavily as a nightcap. They went to bed as I spent the next hour making faces in the trifold bathroom mirror, breaking down my personality into thirds, presenting categorized looks in what I believed was an Olympic sport.
80. Once, as a waiter, I read a note by the morning manager about our dirty kitchen. I jokingly added how this went double for the night crew and was punishable by death. The owner yelled at me for being a bad night manager. Except I wasn’t the night manager. We didn’t even have one.
81. Once, for my first Halloween as a real adult, I stayed home to pass out candy. Apparently, I had underestimated the neighborhood’s age demo because we didn’t get a single trick-or-treater. So I got real high, watched From Hell, and ate most of the entire grocery bag of candy in total silence.
82. Once, when my coworkers and I were obsessed with online Scrabble, one of us got ratted out for playing at work. We then decided on our office suspects and invited them all to a sushi dinner (a la old noir flicks). Alas, it was too good of a happy hour, so our oddly specific questions gave way to cackling and talking shit on our higher-ups.
83. Once, I invited friends to a sleepover. As my dad was notorious for renting old movies, I begged him to rent Happy Gilmore. When he came home that night, I excitedly yet nervously asked if he had rented what I requested. He told me he rented Birth of a Nation instead. He didn’t really and it was years until I appreciated the gag.
84. Once, I organized a Mustache Olympics to acquiesce to my college girlfriend’s request that I shave the mustache and soul patch I dyed jet black and named Loki and Thor. She had to best one of my five friends in a series of competitions. I invited everyone I knew. The first event was an eating contest and she dominated, so she shaved it off me then and there.
85. Once, after driving two stoned friends to a pizza buffet, I ate an edible and we watched TV. Both of them fell asleep instantly, so I put on a nature doc. The weed kicked in just as a pod of killer whales murdered a gray whale calf in front of its mother, and I seriously couldn’t stop crying.
86. Once, a hippie elf babe sold shroom chocolate to two pals and me outside a bar in New Orleans. The next day, we went to a shotgun house for sound baths with her and her equally hippie girlfriends. At the end of the first half-hour chant, we opened our eyes to topless women. Hours later, two of us hit a bar. The other guy stayed.
87. Once, I staked my reputation on Mean Girls, informing my crew I’d reimburse anyone not a fan. Not a single cent was owed and I was hailed as a hero. Alas, I got cocky and later argued for Sky Captain and the World of Tomorrow. Upon our theater exit, I got, “You son of a bitch. You goddamn stupid son of a bitch.”
88. Once, on my first global work trip, I joked about Cafe Miss Cutie. My coworker called me a degenerate. Everyone inquired, so I had to explain to a table of clients how my pals and I use to play dice at a “coffee shop” of babes in bikinis/lingerie serving assumed gangsters.
89. Once, three pals and I chain-smoked joints and each drank a bottle of Jameson like a 40. Before watching the Star Wars trilogy, we hit every fast food spot within walking distance. At Del Taco, I ordered, like, half the menu. Server: “Is that…everything?” Me with bloody eyes and a crazed smile: “Okay, now multiply it all by two.”
90. Once, a pal and I showed up drunk to an airport right before departure. I lost him within minutes. Assuming he made it through security, I scooted by hundreds in line, only to reach the front and see him running from the bathroom. [He simply wanted to change his clothes.] Everyone was mad at us. Then we sat on the tarmac for hours with complimentary bloody marys, getting even drunker, surrounded by people from the line.
91. Once, when my very tan sister bought fake tanner to cover up her softball jersey tan for prom, my very-not-tan brother and I used it on our arms and necks. The next day, we awoke with orange streaks all over our bodies. My dad laughed, called us amateurs, and lifted his shirt for my mom, revealing “I ❤ Deb” in immaculately finger-drawn orange letters.
92. Once, as a teen in a garage band, I informed my dad that my friends didn’t consider the Sex Pistols real punks. Having been at their infamous Winterland show, he called my bandmates posers and my mom told him not to say that, and it suddenly dawned on me: “Holy shit, MY PARENTS are embarrassed of ME.”
93. Once, early on into dating a sushi waitress, I took my friends to visit her for dinner. When she brought out hot sauces, I instinctively responded, “Hot damn, I love you!” She laughed with wide eyes and left, and I put my face in my hands as one pal asked, “What have you done?”
94. Once, after signing forms for a new job, HR asked me if I had any questions. I blurted out, “I passed my drug test, right?” A bemused silence lasted until she said in an obvious tone, “Yes. You wouldn’t be here otherwise.” To which, I safely recovered with, “Right, right, right.”
95. Once, on a family vacation, we hit a Wherehouse for a Circus magazine. The pretty, slightly older clerk glanced at the cover and asked, “Hey, ya think Billy Corgan looks better with hair or without?” I fumbled my words: “W-with…o-“ Her: “Trick question, he looks weird either way.” I crushed on her the whole drive.
96. Once, on a work trip to Mexico, I stayed at beach resort under renovation in the off season. I floated in the sprawling jungle pool alone, in moonlight with a cup of wine, surrounded by torches and the smell of kerosene and fresh paint as maintenance guys worked by bonfire light.
97. Once, while staying on a sleeping friend’s boat in the Chula Vista Marina, two pals and I took the dinghy out with a bottle of rum, drunkenly singing punk tunes and eventually making our way across San Diego Bay to well-to-do Coronado, where we peed on every yacht we came upon.
98. Once, my physician came in with my chart, looked at me strangely, and asked, “Didn’t I just see you?” I answered, “Yeah, but that was about my wrist. This is about my throat.” Realizing I had also recently called about my chest, it became quite clear I was a hypochondriac.
99. Once, while (I guess) trying to catch the attention of an attractive coworker, I barreled out of the parking lot blasting The Bronx…and slammed into a car that 100% had the right of way. Given that it was the end of a work day, a solid portion of the company watched me do it.
100. Once, during a cave tour, our guide wanted to stress how quiet and dark the massive cavern was, so he asked all of us to put away any electronics and be silent. It was serene for a single moment and then this kid farted insanely loud and it echoed and to this day it’s the funniest thing anyone in my family has witnessed.
And that there are 100 moments of my life.