Weekly feature by: Tommy Paley

I spent a lot of time in my 20s admiring bark.

My teachers in elementary school often confused me for someone who was taller, flatter and often used as a chalkboard and, who was I to argue, as I always aspired to be a chalkboard.

On advice from a friend, I am putting all my eggs in one basket and investing heavily in chicken fat.

I often go downtown on Mondays so I can swing around accountants or, as my dad oddly calls them, street lamps.

As a young boy I often peppered my mother with questions until she figuratively “put me out in the yard.”

In an effort to be a “numbers guy” I gave up letters for a solid week, only to come crawling back after being pelted with under-ripe tomatoes. It was December.

I once jumped over a small pond and, let me tell you, those ducks were super-impressed.

To make my little sister happy, I would often spend hours pretending I was a teddy bear. Why this made a 36 year old so happy I was a little scared to ask.

After careful consideration, I ceased using the letters “r” and “w” for a full year. I never felt more alive.

Seeking revenge, I once ate 25 apples in one sitting. As I clutched my stomach the rest of the afternoon I decided to either let go of my desire for revenge or stop taking suggestions from my friend, the apple farmer, or both.

Friday afternoons used to mean three things: buying shaving cream, laughing at kites and reading poetry. Then I got a second job and was too busy.

I have to restrain myself from climbing up flights of stairs to the top of buildings and then looking down at all of the people on the sidewalk and shaking my head at how puny and small they are. If only they knew what I knew.

No matter how much fun it sounds, “tickling the geese” is rarely a good idea except with particular geese.

When I ride my bike, I like to pretend that I’m being chased by a pack of rabid dogs which partially explains my high-pitched screams and my frantic offers of unlimited doggie treats as I race through the streets. The other reasons have been sealed by the judge who, strangely, usually smells like a combination of wet dog and bike grease.

No one and, I repeat, no one comes to my home before the cows do.

I don’t care what others say, but from now on I’ve decided to live as if each day is Tuesday.

Every six months I go visit this woman who is always going on and on about dental hygiene and brushing and flossing. Others tell me she is my dentist, while I vehemently claim that she is fictional.

My impassioned toast at New Year’s was called “an affront to everything we stand for,” “a call to arms,” “funny?” and “evidence that long-term exposure to industrial-strength soap is a bad idea.”

I used to live by the following motto “one can never have too many shirts” until I did.

One spring morning, I got up, got dressed and went for a walk in the woods. Some say I never returned. I’ve had to ask them multiple times to “stop saying that already.”


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