Today's Featured Biography
Okay, 50th reunion, time for the Last Report Card evaluating what you did in your half-century allocated to achievement. I hope it’s not indicative that the original rendezvous, TGIF, didn’t make it past its figurative Thursday. At least the new place offers valet parking for my Rolls; or should I drive the Bentley? Forgive us our trespasses as we forgive those who double park in the valet zone! Lead us not unto Temptation theme park, but straight to the bar.
My life in a tweet: “Rabble-Rouser, Discomforter of the Rich and Comfortable Alike, Day Dreamer. Saludos, Don Quixote!" Bertie Einstein was right--time flies economy in the time-space continuum!
Act II, Scene One. Summertime. Music (Elgar’s Pompous Circumstance) fades. Grim-faced boy at desk. That's me. I'm designing an improved long-range missile for the Pentagon (it was later adapted for deep-space exploration by NASA). I prefer to think of it not as another doomsday tool for the national death cult, but as the tipping point that persuaded the Soviets to sign the first Anti-Ballistic Missile Treaty. At least that’s what Leonid told me while I was negotiating the treaty for Dick and Henry during a weekend visit to L’s dacha outside Moscow in 1972.
I did a few other sciency projects around that time, including demonstrating the Higgs bosun in the little DIY Hadron collider that I built in the basement using just Lego® blocks and Betty Crocker’s Double Whammy Brownie mix, while I piloted Yellow Cab #791 by night during the summer of 1965. Or was it 1966? No, that was the summer I tried to sell Daphne Saunders a set of pots and pans, going door to door. Or was that ’67? Who can keep track of time? That’s one reason I invented the personal computer – so I could run the atomic clock app and know exactly what name to assign to each successive Now as it came and went. Naturally, it was lonely in the basement with all those Lego blocks and no one but subatomic particles to keep me company, so I invented the Internet, the Web, the first Web browser, and wrote the code for Facebook.
Also on a practical level, I solved the environmental and psychological problems (carbon and boredom respectively) linked to commuting back and forth to college on the East Coast by developing the Honey Bee Harness. I demonstrated the concept by harnessing 150,000 honey bees, with stingers, to pull one of my antique Duesenbergs on a straight line from Denver to Kansas City. Unfortunately, after I sold an exclusive license to develop the concept to the American Petroleum Institute, they sat on it ever since. Al Gore tried to buy back the rights, but nothing doing.
Then I remembered the kind comment written in my last yearbook by the dearly beloved Jane Stanborough: “Yes, you will be a writer.” So I filled empty moments writing (“typing” some would say, for which I felt I had “the touch”). Some of my works include Wikipedia, How Come I Know Everything and You Don't? Fuggedabout Things Past (novel), War and 72-Hour Truce (also a novel), Fifty Shades of Beige (adults only!), How I Saved the World, In the Footsteps of Che: What Is To Be Done Now, Tweets for Life (sample: “To be average is acceptable, to be boring is not”), Simple Words for Shaker Hummingbirds, and the first two volumes of my autobiography (out of the five or six currently projected): Biggest Man on Campus, followed by JUNGle Jim, the Nightmare Years (due this fall from Word Association GmbH, an imprint of Id Press, Zürich; $35.95). There have been a few others – a 3–vol. history of terrorism, a 4-vol. history (sort of) of American politics, both aimed at the adolescent market, and an Encyclopedia of the War on Terror, under contract and still under construction. If you can’t wait for that one, there’s still time to download my really short Need to Know: A Short History of the Muslim Brotherhood from Amazon. But don’t wait! The updated, expanded revised version will be going up soon, at twice the price: $4.99.
I won’t mention the few tens of thousands of newspaper articles published by the likes of the NYTimes, the Daily News, Le Monde, Pravda, People’s Daily (Beijing), Star-Ledger (Newark), Camden County News (hometown paper of “Mmmmm Mmmmm Good Grief!”), The Daily Riot (Watts, CA), and, yes, the Denver Post -- many of them but not all, written under pseudonyms like “UPI” and “Reuter.”
People speak of traveling. I got that out of the way first (see my memoir, Waiting On the On-Ramp). I spent the mandatory year impersonating Ernest Hemingway in Spain, practicing for my destiny as a trouble-maker by glaring at the Guardia Civil in Barcelona in the waning days of the Franco regime, and becoming one of the tiny handful of Yankees ever turned back by Dutch border guards and bundled onto the next train back to Deutschland. (No, I’ve never made it to Amsterdam.) That was also the year (who can remember all those numbers?) that I performed the first inter-species whole-brain transplant at the Lapin Institute of Medicine and Political Science in France. The procedure became so commonplace that most folks hardly notice when politicians propose, yet again, including fresh salad with school lunches.
[Note to the Editor: Is this the right place to bring up developing the first non-alcoholic, zero-calorie beer brewed from grass clippings? I sold the formula to Brew Sky Beverages which positioned it as the preferred beverage to go with West Virginia Slims: an extra, extra, extra, really light beer that “tastes like Rocky Mountain spring water – and the gluten is free!” You probably saw the ads during coverage of the Olympics where I won three consecutive Gold Medals in the men’s 4-metre hit-and-run-smash-and-grab. I mean, I don’t want to sound as if I’m bragging or something!]
I did a couple of seasons in the lead role of Camden Opera’s production of Braggadocio, speaking of which causes my sense of candor and self-transparency to overcome my inherent modesty and mention some of the honors I’ve oh-so-humbly accepted from time to time. There was the Bare Chest of the Year medal (Putin Gym), the Gummy Bear Prize for Jolliest Good Fellow (Jolly Rancher Candy Co.), Best-in-Show Snoring-with-a-Brogue (Ancient Order of Hibernatians), and the Frank Zappa Classical Music Award for my Symphony 68 -- or was it my 69th? -- “Ode to Noise.”
Oh yes, and the World’s Longest Bio for Lost Classmates (1,534 words, 7,565 char., 54 tweets, but who’s counting?).
For my 65th birthday I stepped out of my private American Standard Navel Observatory and took up Yukon Nude Bear Wrestling. Every year around the winter solstice I fly one of my Black Hawks (traded by the Sons of Anarchy in exchange for my fleet of never-driven vintage Harleys; remind me later to tell you about the helivators I had to install in my houses in California, New Hampshire, and the Caymens) to northwestern Canada and follow some abandoned logging road to its end, where I land the heli and then hike 10-20 miles into the wilderness. There I then hang a dozen Omaha Steaks in a circle around a clearing, climb out of my leisure suit, and sit in some shrubs, passing time by calculating some new prime numbers. The fun begins when a male grizzly barges into the clearing and accepts my dare by going for a low-hanging steak. I jump out with a mighty roar (usually, “Whaddya Want, Suckka???”) and wrestle the critter to the ground, making him promise to go vegan before I let him go. (Even though they’re wearing a fur coat, I figure the bears think they’re nude, and I don’t want to be accused of taking unfair advantage in the costume department.) Lots of fun and very invigorating! So far, the score is Steaks 48, Bears 0.
During the past three summers I’ve led National Geographic Society expeditions in search of intelligent life in Arizona; nothing to report yet. Next year we may try Utah instead, although I’m not too optimistic of success there, either.
Sorry, I have to break off now. I have a counseling appointment with the Republican Party to see whether they can possibly recover their lost minds. Verrry slow going. So far, they can only mumble incoherently. It sounds like Blah Blah, but I think they’re trying to say “Lady Gaga.” I’m doing it as a tax deduction, or rather, as a public service to help the American Curmudgeon Society’s Emergency Campaign to Save the White-Capped Snowy Geezer (an endangered species, you know).
Cheers to one and all! And remember: Act III is just starting! Let the show go on…and on…and on. L’chaim!
PS: Don’t forget to download the book!
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