I can’t gargle. Nope. I can’t.
Every single time in my life that I’ve tried I came close to drowning myself. I get the concept of gargling, I really do. Water in the mouth, tilt the head back, bounce the water at the edge of the throat, start gagging uncontrollably, spit water out and hock up a lung for the next half hour. I always end up there. Sputtering, coughing, gasping in convulsions. People around me try to perform CPR and the Heimlich maneuver. It would be funny if I wasn’t drowning over here.
Take one look at me and you can pretty much see that I am not athletic. I am in no shape to exercise. But there are a few things I can do fairly well in that world. In High School I was on the basketball team. I was a decent player, but never a star. I only had one shot, but it was a beauty. Deep down in the corner, in three point territory at the side of the basket, I had a sweet jump shot that went in more than not.
I can also dive pretty well. As a kid I was a fearless swimmer, and soon took to diving. jackknife, swan, high dive. I can even flip off a diving board. My form and technique are pretty good.
I can serve overhand in volleyball accurately. I learned that way, I’ve never done it underhand. I’m not a bad player either.
I’m not ticklish, never have been. Back of the arms, knees, feet...nothing. I don’t get it. I mean, I’m a pretty happy guy, I like to laugh. Maybe I don’t need to be ticklish because I laugh too much as it is. Who knows?
Along those same lines, until recently I had never experienced Goosebumps, Goose Pimples, Goose flesh, or any other waterfowl type sensation. About a month ago, during an emotional, deeply felt embrace, my skin erupted with an amazing rush of sensitivity. Problem is they didn’t look anything like geese.
I was struck by lightning. I was eighteen or nineteen, driving my 1980 Mustang hatchback. That baby was light blue metallic, four cylinders, and could go from zero to sixty in just under four days. A nasty storm was pounding down, visibility was murky and flashes sporadically turned night into day. After white-knuckling my way home for over an hour, I was finally a half block from my house. I was just starting to relax when lightning struck the hood of my car and the intensity of all that electricity engulfed my car in a fireball of blinding light. Thankfully I wasn’t touching metal and as quickly as it came, the lightning was gone. I pulled into my driveway, ran in and breathlessly told my mom who didn’t believe me. Parents. Sheesh.
I saw a UFO once. My sister and I were flying without our parents back home from vacation. I must have been nine or ten. I was scared to death of flying when I was a kid. I would get pale and talk non-stop to mask my nervousness. But my big sis was with me and she promised to keep me busy the whole way. Twenty minutes into our late-night flight she was sound asleep. Head back, mouth open kinda sleeping. I did my best not to lose it. I read the on-board magazine...twice. I looked around our cabin a lot. I stared out the little window into the inky darkness. Suddenly a light appeared, some distance away but very bright. It stayed alongside for a bit, then shot forward out of sight ahead of us. After several seconds, it returned for about a minute before slowly drifting straight up and out of my view from the window. I shook my sister awake and explained what I saw. She turned away from me, pulled the window shade down, and went back to sleep.