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Today, in the middle of a conversation, I realized that the man I was speaking to was insane. This gentleman, whom I have known for quite some time, without warning began to tell me of his vast collection of the works of an obscure writer and insisted on detailing this writer’s entire career to me right down to how different manuscripts of various books differed from each other by even the slightest word. As if he were passing a scandalous stock tip he leaned in and whispered to me that he’d recently bought a rare edition worth over $100 for merely $90. He seemed somewhat crestfallen at my narrow-eyed, slow-nod, ‘alrighty-then’ reaction. This bizarre turn of the conversation into something I considered utterly snooze-worthy led me to the discovery of his insanity.
So I nodded, and agreed, and oh-I-see’d until he was done then beat a hasty retreat back to my office. As luck would have it though, he followed me and there in my lair caught sight of part of my comic book collection. I explained to him that he mustn’t touch or read my issue of Captain America #25 Vol. 5 (First Printing) because it was a mint condition document of the assassination of one of America’s most enduring patriots. He nodded his head, he agreed, he oh-I-see’d, and then he quietly slipped out of my office because he suddenly remembered his wife needed him to be home by five.
Clearly a crazy man.
So aren’t we all defined by our various insanities? Yes, of course we are. Here’s a short list of some of the many ways in which I am certifiably insane.
1. The aforementioned comic book disorder. Happily, I only have a couple hundred and therefore have not yet been relegated to the realm of the true nerd. Distressingly though, this number is growing at an alarming rate.
2. My Strawberry Nesquik (which I must have every morning) must be made only of the powdered mix, never the syrup, and must consist of three heaping teaspoons of mix in a large tumbler type cup. (The use of the word ‘heaping’ here carries the very scientific and culinary meaning of “really freakin’ huge”)
3. Butterflies may touch me. Grasshoppers may not.
4. I play this really geeky game with the kids at work called Heroclix. I can best describe it as chess with Superheroes. Sometimes I refer to my superheroic army as “all zee little pepples” and line them up so I can pretend like they are my henchmen.
5. Movies make me cry. I wish this only applied to movies like The Way We Were and Steel Magnolias but I’m afraid I cry a little for pure joy when Yoda pulls out his lightsaber and I cry a lot when Sam tells Frodo he’ll carry him. I’d talk about Pride and Prejudice but I’m afraid I’ll start crying right now.
6. Food on the plate is not allowed to touch other food except on rare occasions where it is unavoidable–like Thankgiving. Even then, the cranberry sauce must be kept a close watch upon.
7. I hate hot weather, love snow, and live in Florida.
8. I voted for Ross Perot.
9. I secretly love Meatloaf songs, and wish Andrew Peterson would write more in the style of Jim Steinman.
10. When I go out to eat Mexican, I spend the entire drive (35 minutes for me) agonizing over whether I should order cheese dip, guacamole dip, or possibly both. Lately, guacamole is winning the battle for my soul.
So those are a few of mine (trust me there are more, so many more). What are yours?
Pete Peterson is the author of the Revolutionary War adventure The Fiddler’s Gun and its sequel Fiddler’s Green. Among the many strange things he’s been in life are the following: U.S Marine air traffic controller, television editor, art teacher and boatwright at the Florida Sheriffs Boys Ranch, and progenitor of the mysterious Budge-Nuzzard. He lives in Nashville with his wife, Jennifer, where he's the Executive Director of the Rabbit Room and Managing Editor of Rabbit Room Press.