I’ve been thinking a lot lately since it’s a new year (hello, 2019!) about all the crazy things that have happened to me in life so far. Some of them were good, some were bad – but all were interesting, at the very least. So, for a new installment of Top Ten – I figured I would list the TOP TEN STRANGEST THINGS TO HAPPEN TO ME. These are all completely true, and have happened to me over the years (and of course I will explain as best I can the circumstances around them).

 


 

 

1. I once spent two weeks in the hospital with a collapsed lung next to a guy who was attacked by a moose.

Though I forget his name, the guy I shared a room with was in the hospital for the same thing I was; a collapsed lung (aka pneumothorax). We became fast friends after he heard me bust out laughing while he was telling his story to his visiting brother. When he finally left the hospital, his lovely wife and daughter still came to visit me a few times and even brought me cookies. My doctor was the most alpha dude you could ever meet, once telling me a procedure would “hurt like hell” because they couldn’t use anaesthesia as they shoved what looked like guitar wire into my chest. When the doc was going to yank the one-foot-long tube out of my chest, he put his knee on my gurney and just…yanked, saying “Don’t be such a little bitch,” as I tried to look away. Bonus: I also became addicted to percocet! (It was the only good sleep I’ve ever had in my entire life, though while in its throes one evening, I couldn’t move and my grandmother decided to creep into my room wearing a Scream mask while wielding a fake knife)

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2. I was once completely engulfed in flames but it randomly went out for no reason. 
My friend at the time had a rug on his floor, and as he was messing around with a candle (putting lighter fluid into it), it fell onto his rug and caught a large patch of his floor on fire. As my friend tried to stifle the flames with a blanket (I was initially laughing because he was shouting “MAMA! MAMA!”), I tried to help and stomped on the fire with my shoes. Big mistake. The fire lanced up my right leg and all the way up to my shirt, and then mysteriously went out for no reason as my friend was reaching with a blanket to put me out.

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3. I once ran after a guy I thought was going to mug me, and I turned the tables on him. I chased him for a half mile in a snowstorm at 3am.
Growing up in the city, we were constantly cautious. Add to that the fact that I’m full of anxiety and I end up doing surprising stuff. I saw a man following in my footsteps as I had that moment of panic, and my brain did the rest. I leaped from my footprints in the snow to a bare patch of tar, hid in an alley, and watched as he looked around to see where my footprints went. I came out behind him and he started running, so I impulsively ran after him, not wanting him to sneak up on me again. Come to think of it, he may have just wanted to keep his feet as dry as possible and I chased him for no reason. *shrug*

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4. I was once made an honorary biker gang member when I was a teenager by a biker named Wade who collected Magic cards. 
My mom went through a wild phase where she cheated on my stepdad with a biker named Wade. He was a nerd at heart, and played Magic Cards. Once, I was going to shoot him with my BB gun in anger and to sort of mellow me out, he said he respected my “balls” and made me an honorary member of their gang. It’s the one and only time I’ve ever been in a “gang” of any kind. I didn’t even get a tee-shirt.

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5. I was pulled over for running, twice, by the police. Not running FROM them. Just…running. 
When I had a car but didn’t want to get pulled over for not having an inspection sticker, I used to leave the car at home and walk, not risking the fine or hassle for the ease of travel. Unfortunately, it backfired on me twice in a row on two different weeks. As I ran not for fitness, but to get somewhere faster, I was immediately flagged as suspicious. Both times, I had my ID called in to see if I had any warrants or priors, and I had to calmly explain that I was just running because I hadn’t wanted to get pulled over for not having a sticker.

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6. While I was dressed as Obi-Wan Kenobi from Star Wars: Episode III, actor Ray Park decided to run me through with my own lightsaber for a photo op. He shouted “This is my revenge!” 
I was at Super Megafest in Marlborough, Mass when this happened. I wanted a photo op with the legendary Darth Maul actor, and while he typically only does one photo per person, he chose to do a couple of different ones with me, much the amusement of the fans around me. I had a fun experience, and I also reaped the benefits of multiple photos. He was a nice dude!

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7. I once starred in a short film and it was my first time acting, ever. We won first place at the International Mustache Film Festival and received a cash prize. 
I both starred in and co-wrote the film, Results May Vary – and we filmed it in one day at the Starbucks I worked in Saco, Maine. Anyone involved in the shoot went out to dinner with me and the writer/director, and we ate at Nosh here in Portland, Maine. It was a very cool experience.

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8. I was once asked onstage at a concert by a Beastie Boys cover band when I went dressed as a Beastie Boy from the Sabotage music video. They saw me and wanted me to jump around during the song “Sabotage”, and I did in front of the screaming audience. 
I was with my friends, and we all decided to dress up as the three guys from the Sabotage music video. When we arrived at the venue, the band was practicing on stage and one of the members leaped down and ran over to us, practically yelling that we had to come up on stage for Sabotage. We got to hang out with the band backstage and drink and then got to bounce around onstage for the song, with lots of cheering fans freaking out. It was quite the experience.

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9. I collected Beavis and Butthead comics from Marvel Comics back in my late teens and early twenties. Now, as an adult, I have my name in a comic book alongside the artist of those books – and he’s the one who got me the gig. 
Aside from watching the show religiously, Beavis and Butt-Head also had a great comic produced by Marvel Comics and I read that all the time. I met the artist, Rick Parker, at a convention here in Portland, Maine. After striking up a conversation, we became more friendly and over time, I got to know his wife, too. At one point, they extended a job opportunity to me (working on a comic book called RAGE: BANE OF DEMONS) and I took it. Rick came up with the new logo for the book, and so now I have my name in a comic book next to an artist I admired (and still admire) from my teen years.

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10. I was once the leader of a semi-professional ghost hunting group called “Ghost Gumshoes”. Business cards, a website, the works. We only had one commissioned hunt, before we were forced by circumstances to disband. 
I have been fascinated by the supernatural for a long time, especially since having lived in a very haunted house. Before all of the current ghost-hunting shows hit mainstream popularity, I put together my own paranormal investigation group called Ghost Gumshoes – and we were primed to really hit our stride, but then unfortunately I fell on hard times and had to disband the group. I still want to get back into it, however, so hopefully someday I will again.

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