Here at Just a Smidge, we continue to gain new readership each year. This past year alone we have documented as many as two new readers. So, for both of you just joining us, welcome! Let’s start the New Year with a little meet and greet, shall we?
Hi. I’m Marc Schmatjen, aka Smidge, and I’m the lone staff writer and head janitor here at Just a Smidge. Based on how much money I make writing this column, it would be inaccurate to call this my job, so let’s just go with “hobby.” It would be fun to be able to contribute to the mortgage payment and the food bill, however, so if you know anyone looking to syndicate a humor column, there’s an imported beer of your choice in it for you in exchange for an introduction.
I am a forty-six-year-old husband of one and father of three. My wife is an amazing woman who teaches high school kids math, which means she was born with an unnaturally high level of patience. This is a good thing, because it makes it possible for her to love me (or at least tolerate me), and it also allows her to do her job. Most days, however, the high school kids eat into her patience reserves a little too much, not leaving enough left over for dealing with me. I sleep on the couch a lot during the school year.
We have three boys, whom we affectionately refer to as Son Number One, Two, and Three. Two of them are teenagers and all three of them are loud and smelly and they eat a lot.
Anyway, enough about my wife and kids. Let’s talk more about me. Here are twenty other things that you should probably know about me:
1) I am a phenomenal driver, an amazing cook, and a first-rate housekeeper.
2) My grandfather killed General Patton's dog. That is the single most historically outstanding thing anyone in my family has done. We are a proud people.
3) Walking out into bright sunlight makes me sneeze. I am one of only an estimated seven people in the world with this disorder. We have a club. I inherited this trait from my grandmother, whose husband once killed General Patton’s dog.
4) I am loosely related to a U.S. president, but I’m not sure which one. I think it's either Grover Cleveland or Woodrow Wilson, but I don't care. I would only be excited if it was Teddy Roosevelt, and it isn't.
5) A few of my literary heroes are Roald Dahl, Erma Bombeck, Michael Connelly, and Dave Barry. My grandfather did not kill any of their dogs, that I am aware of.
6) I believe society would be better served if we could bring back these words into everyday use: Bailiwick, Hootenanny, Skullduggery, Scofflaw, Ballyhoo, Shenanigans, Donnybrook, Catawampus, Chicanery, Cajoled, Hullabaloo, Besmirch, Boondoggle, Melee, Befuddle, Flummox, Hoosegow, Wiseacre, Tomfoolery, and Kerfuffle.
7) As an author and a writer, I am not afraid to say that books of non-rhyming “poetry” with sentences like, “My mind is a seedless grape, grasping to comprehend the melancholy oration, drowning in a cacophony of humanity…” etc., are written by people who are too scared to attempt to write anything that is required to make sense.
8) I am slightly over six feet tall, I weigh around 200 pounds, and I have the bladder capacity of a four-year-old. Unfortunately, Son Number Three inherited this trait. He is ten and has the bladder capacity of a hamster.
9) My three favorite flavors are burnt pepperoni, slightly burnt bacon, and well-toasted sesame seeds. Basically, if it has caught on fire, I want to eat it. Except for my s’more marshmallows. Those should only be browned.
10) I was in shape once. I swam 100,000 yards in one week when I was in high school. I could not swim more than 50 yards or so today without needing a floatation device, an oxygen tank, and a defibrillator.
11) I love bacon and I sit all day. See number 10.
12) I constantly get my left and right mixed up. This makes driving directions with my wife fun.
13) I am a recovering engineer, so I know there are only 10 kinds of people in the world: those who understand binary, and those who don’t.
14) My favorite joke of all time is:
A guy walks into the psychiatrist’s office wearing nothing but underwear made out of Saran wrap. The psychiatrist takes one look at him and says, "Well, I can clearly see you’re nuts."
15) I like writing dialogue.
“You do?” they asked in unison.
“Yes. I do,” he said solemnly.
16) I love most foods (see number 10), but I have a deep, abiding hatred for cantaloupe. If bacon is a 10, cantaloupe is a negative 3000.
17) I love to travel and I love to stay home, but I don’t want an RV. Go figure.
18) My absolute favorite thing that has ever happened on this earth – and I am including my marriage and the birth of my children in that – was when the Oregon State Highway Division tried to disintegrate a dead whale with a half-ton of dynamite in 1970. I wasn’t around yet, but thankfully they had video cameras back then. (Just Google “Oregon Exploding Whale.”)
19) Coincidently, my favorite thing ever said on television – and I am including anything ever uttered on The Newlywed Game – came from KATU Channel 2 newsman Paul Linnman in 1970 after the whale dynamite was detonated. When large chunks of whale rained down on people and cars over a quarter-mile away, Paul noted, completely deadpan, “The blast blasted blubber beyond all believable bounds.”
20) My wife is still laughing right now about number 1.
So, there you have it, folks. You now know everything you need to know about me. We'll be back to our regularly scheduled programming next week.
See you soon,
Copyright © 2019 Marc Schmatjen
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