Here at Just a Smidge, we like to start the new year off with a little meet and greet, since we continue to gain new readership each and every year. So, for both of you joining us, welcome! Let’s get to know each other, shall we?
Hi. I’m Marc Schmatjen, aka Smidge, and I’m the lone staff writer and chief pooper scooper here at Just a Smidge. Based on how much money I make writing this column, it would be highly inaccurate to call this my job, so let’s just go with “hobby.”
I am a fifty-year-old husband of one, father of three, and legal custodian of one Labrador retriever. We affectionately refer to our boys as Son Number One, Two, and Three. They are all teenagers, and one of them just became an adult, but he hasn’t left yet. They are loud, smelly, and expensive, but the state says we have to keep feeding them, so we march on.
My wife is an amazing woman who teaches math to teenage high school kids, and, since we have three teenagers ourselves whom I spend quite a bit of time with, I am constantly amazed that she is able to maintain her sanity. (I am using “sanity” on a relative scale here. She’s human, after all.)
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 would be aging incredibly well if I were ten to fifteen years older.
2) My grandfather killed General Patton's dog. That is the single most historically significant thing anyone in my family has done.
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 distantly related to U.S. president Grover Cleveland on my maternal grandmother’s side, whose husband (my grandmother’s, not Grover Cleveland’s) - I believe I may have mentioned this - killed General George S. Patton’s beloved English bull terrier, Willie.
5) Dave Barry is my humor column hero, and I hope to be as cool as him someday, although his grandfather wasn’t connected in any way to General Patton’s dog, as far as I know, so I’ve got that going for me.
6) Toilet paper should come off the top of the roll. I’m not stating that as a personal preference, but simply as a fact.
7) We currently have four drivers and five cars. Our three-car garage only fits one. If garage-driveway-street vehicle shuffling was an Olympic event, I’d be a medal contender.
8) 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. (That’s 57 miles, for you English majors). I could not swim more than 57 yards today without needing a floatation device, an oxygen tank, and a defibrillator. See number 11.
11) I love chocolate and bacon. 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) After a twenty-one-year hiatus, I began snowboarding again two years ago with our boys. So far [sound of me knocking on every wooden surface I can find] I have not hurt myself. This could be my most impressive athletic feat to date, and I once swam 57 miles in a week.
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 once pointed out that Van Gogh’s “girlfriend” was actually a prostitute during a fifth-grade art docent lesson. It was not helpful to anyone involved.
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) I hope to one day be in charge of detonating something as large as a dead whale, but so far, my wife has not let me.
20) I only type with three of my ten fingers, so this is all very impressive, if you stop and think about it.
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 © 2023 Marc Schmatjen
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