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 pool maintenance technician 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.”
I am a forty-seven-year-old husband of one and father of three. My wife is an amazing woman who teaches high school kids math, which is becoming increasingly difficult now that school isn’t necessarily used for teaching anymore. For a math teacher, she’s an excellent counseloreferee.
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, in no particular order:
1) I am going bald, and amazingly, getting better looking with every single lost hair off my head.
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 George Patton’s dog.
4) I am related to U.S. president Grover Cleveland on my maternal grandmother’s side, whose husband (my grandmother’s, not Grover Clevelend’s) - I believe I may have mentioned this - killed General George S. Patton’s beloved English bull terrier, Willie. I don't really care about being related to Grover Cleveland since he’s not Teddy Roosevelt. Teddy got shot in the chest while leaving his hotel to give a speech. He continued on to the auditorium and gave an 84-minute speech with a bullet in his ribs. Teddy was the only truly cool president.
5) A few of my literary heroes are Roald Dahl, Dr. Seuss, Erma Bombeck, Michael Connelly, and Dave Barry. My grandfather did not kill any of their dogs, that I am aware of.
6) I am 47 now, and my once-fantastic eyesight is relaxing like a tired dad in a Barcalounger. My arms are not long enough to read small print anymore, or even the medium print. Also, every other part of my body aches.
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) Another highlight of being 47 now: My face is going numb. Why does this happen to men? You see old guys all the time eating dinner with food stuck to their faces. We just can’t feel it on there anymore. My chin is completely dead at this point.
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. (And they will end up stuck to my chin, where they will remain until my wife scolds me.)
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. See number 11.
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 doctor 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 like 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 © 2020 Marc Schmatjen
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