5 of My Worst Ideas

April 23

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Today I was thinking about how fun it is to reminisce. It occurred to me that some of the worst ideas I’ve ever had ended up being hilariously fun memories. Isn’t it ironic that something causing you mad stress in one moment is something you will look back on and laugh about for years?

Allow me to share 5 of My Worst Ideas…evah.

1. A late night donut eating contest with my besties.

What doesn’t seem natural about challenging your two besties to eat a buttload of donuts at 1:00AM? Maybe it was all the bottles of wine or maybe it is because donuts are crazy yum. Or maybe it was because we randomly passed a Dunkin Donuts on the way home from our evening out and we were just silly enough to think we were capable of eating a dozen donuts in one sitting. I can speak for myself when I say I truly believed with my whole heart that I had the ability to eat all those sugary concoctions. So we ordered 3 dozen assorted to go. We sat in K’s apartment in Orlando, each with our own box of 12 in our lap. I remember feeling a lot bloated and miserable around 6, but when T put down 8, I forced myself to shovel in 2 more for a 3 way tie. And that’s how I almost died from blood sugar implosion.

2. Planning way too many things for one weekend.

Well, this has happened more than once. It’s actually happened more than 20 times. It makes everyone really stressed and tired and worn out by Sunday night. I have learned from this. Except I haven’t. Dammit! It’s definitely happening again.

3. Keeping a SCOBY hotel.

You might be asking: what’s a SCOBY? It stands for Symbiotic Culture Of Bacteria and Yeast and you need it to brew kombucha. You might be asking: what’s kombucha? Just google it. Or go to Whole Foods, you’ll find it there. Anyway, if you talked to me for even 5 minutes last fall, you knew I was home brewing kombucha. Because I told everybody. Ev.Ree.Body. Sorry folks. I was hella excited about it and in hindsight I can see that it was annoying; how much I talked about it and drank it in your face and tried to convince you to brew your own. Anyhoo…you need the SCOBY to ferment your tea (Ah! Now you don’t have to google. Kombucha is fermented tea.) and every time you use one it reproduces another SCOBY. So your supply is always multiplying. You can keep them in a SCOBY Hotel, which means storing them with some liquid from your kombucha. I took a hiatus from brewing and my SCOBY hotel turned into something that looked like a tub of lard and smelled like a vinegar bomb. I refused –refused!– to toss them out even though my husband complained incessantly of the nonsense in keeping something I wasn’t using. Those SCOBYs festered and reeked for months until I finally gave in and tossed them out. And that’s how I almost got divorced.

4. Auditioning for the Mickey Mouse Club.

Oh 1989, you were not kind to me. Aside from my perm and blue eyeshadow, The New Mickey Mouse Club was holding it’s second round of open auditions. These were the auditions that would give Justin, Christina, Brittany and Ryan Gosling their first shot at stardom. And then there was Autumn. With a grainy headshot her mom took in front of wrinkly sheet we hung on a wall (see the top of this post for proof). Who thought it would be brilliant and impressive to sing along to a song she recorded herself on her 1980 boombox, that she plunked out herself on the piano. And to sing a super depressing and overly mature song for a 13 year old (Live To Tell, Madonna). And last but not least, to make sure the Roger Rabbit was incorporated more than once in her dance choreography, which was also self-choreographed. It was a homespun audition and it was tragically hilarious. I can still remember exactly what that room looked like and the way the panel looked at me when I was finished. There was a long pause before someone finally uttered, “thank you.” Although it was probably more like, “thank you?” And I was panting-out-of-breath from all that Roger Rabbiting so I wasn’t sure what they said and I was like, “what?!” and just stood there on the dance floor for about 30 awkward seconds too long until one of the producers finally said, “you can sit down now.”

5. Driving a truckload of unsecured furniture 217 miles down the highway.

When you’re 21 and the father of your friend looks at you and says, “you’re all set,” you tend you believe him. I was driving some furniture from Tampa to Gainesville for a friend of mine. Her dad had packed her brother’s truck with a wooden dresser, a wicker desk and another small piece of wicker furniture and I was to drive the truck while my BFF followed. We set out on our 2 hour drive just before dark. After gassing up both vehicles, we got on the highway with me in the lead. About 10 minutes down the highway it was completely dark and I had a strange feeling that T was not behind me any more. (This was pre-cell phone era.) Said strange feeling was brought on by cars coming up from behind me, flashing their bright lights and honking. So I did what any normal person would do: assumed I was a crappy driver and took offense at their gestures. Besides, I was jamming to the Rent soundtrack and didn’t really care what they thought about my driving. About 30 minutes from arriving in Gainesville it becomes absolutely clear that if I want to make it through disc 2 of Rent, I need to make a Diet Coke stop at McDonalds. At this point I KNOW that T and I have been separated because if she saw me pull off she would have done the same. So I pull out a quarter and used this thing called a “pay phone” to call my friend I am bringing the furniture to. She informs me that not only did all the furniture come flying out of the truck bed as I accelerated up the on ramp, but an elderly couple crashed into it, which in turn, forced T to run off the road into a ditch. Police were involved and it was possible I was being charged with leaving the scene of an accident. And that’s how I almost accidentally killed my best friend.

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    July 4

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