There’s a “tag-your it” game going around the internet. The challenge is to list five of your weirdest habits. I haven’t been officially tagged by anyone, but I wanna play anyway. Here’s my five (as if you needed any more proof that I’m not normal):
1. I like to eat my cereal dry, with no milk. Soggy cereal = yuck.
2. When I’m making conversation and start gesturing, I have this unconscious habit of reaching up with my left hand and giving a quick tug on the seam on my left shoulder. I have no idea why I do this. Maybe I’m trying to shoo away the invisible parrot that keeps whispering cynical comments in my ear.
3. My sleep cycle is a mess. I can’t seem to go more than a few weeks on a “normal” schedule. Eventually I go through a persistent bout of insomnia, and finally I give in and wind up working nights for several days. Then my body “crashes” and I go back to normal. My wife is a saint for putting up with it. The really strange part is that I often do my best creative work during those night shifts.
4. Whenever I’m in a Wal-Mart or Target, I feel a compulsion to browse the DVDs. Even if I have no intention of buying anything, I still have to hover there for a few minutes.
5. I can recite all fifty states alphabetically, in order. When I was in elementary school our music teacher had us sing a song that put all the states to music, from A to Z. For some reason the tune stuck, and I can still sing the whole thing. Although I rarely get asked to at parties.
There you go. Other than those five things, I am completely normal. (Pause.) Quiet, Polly! You’ll get your cracker in a minute.