Five Things You Didn’t Know About Me But Now Do And It’s All Raph’s Fault

No, really. Like Raph, I’m not sure if there is anything left about me that isn’t already an open book, but let’s give it a go.

1. I was a high school dropout. No, really. I was a fairly troubled adolescent, and I spent more time reading in the local college library than in school. It helped that I literally lived across the street from said local college at the time. Eventually I just quit making a pretense of showing up to school, as it was getting in the way of my actually learning things. It didn’t seem to hinder my career overly much, but it’s still not an educational path I’d recommend.

2. I was in the military for 60 days. No, really. The US Navy, to be precise. And I never left RTC (the naval version of boot camp). Women had just been made drill instructors when I was there in the early 80’s, and the highlight of my brief career as Seaman Recruit Jennings was having two female DIs ambush me as I was going somewhere and harangue me for about 10 minutes about how I was a disgrace to the United States Armed Forces. And they said I’d never accomplish anything! Eventually the military and I came to a mutual understanding that we weren’t really suited for each other.

3. I am rodentophobic. No, really. Full blown phobia and everything. I freak out, have an anxiety attack, etc. It’s really kind of embarrassing. I’m to the point now where I can stand to be around a mouse in a cage BUT DO NOT MAKE ME TOUCH IT, and with rats, all bets are off. Comes from two things: when a small child, entering a dark garage/pantry and having a flying rodent aimed loosely at my head, and somewhere about the same time lying in bed listening to my parents detail all the things about rats that basically make them into the Terminator. You know, chew through metal, form intricate civilizations, can smell fear, etc. Anyway, I. don’t. like. rats. Suffice to say that any game I work on will not have rat-killing as part of its advancement schema.

4. I rode cross-country on a freight train once. No, really. And it was filthy. As in, covered in grime looking like you just walked out of a factory in a Dickens novel dirty. It’s one of those things you should (only) do once, I guess. At any rate this was over 20 years ago and I suspect security is a mite tighter now. But when I did it, the train crew didn’t really care. Which I really wish I would have figured out closer to the end of the trip when I finally upgraded from a coal car crevasse to one of the engines. When I popped in my new seat, an engineer just poked his head in, yelled “DON’T TOUCH ANYTHING” and kept going. But it was great for one reason: the train took a wrong turn in Texas (I was trying to go from Georgia to California) and I ended up in Arkansas, which took me a solid hour to figure out. By that time I was tired of train travel and settled down there for the next decade or so. And whenever anyone asked how I ended up in Little Rock, I always answered “By accident.”

5. I’m a really, really, really bad public speaker. No, really! Unfortunately this is something more and more of you are learning as I get dragooned into public speaking. It’s a lot easier to write than speak, y0. I tend-to-talk-really-really-fast-and-follow-a-script-and-not-look-up-and-forget-to-breathe.

So, I suspect the main reason Raph tagged me was to spread this insidious meme further into the bloodstream. So… the following people are now free to not respond, and feel guilty! Abalieno/HRose, Cosmik of n3rfed, Jeff Freeman, Amber Night and Damion Schubert, – step right up, and bare 1/5th of your soul. Or not.