I began my path to world domination at a young age. In kindergarten and first grade I opted for the “class know it all” method, in which I tattled on anyone who so much as breathed in the wrong direction or didn’t walk in a neat and orderly line to lunch. While in British kindergarten I also ran a covert snack-exchange program during 10 O’Clock Tuck in which I would divvy up my unique American snacks (FRUIT ROLL UPS) into five equal pieces and trade each tiny piece for an entire British snack, typically a package of crisps or a whole Penguin bar. I was discovered, at some point, and told to knock it off. What I called capitalism, they called being greedy. Also: the road to obesity….lesson learned.
We moved back to America and I realized the “class know it all” method had earned me no friends (although it set up my path to life long rule following and conformity to the proper way of doing things) so instead I decided to start a club. Everyone loves clubs! I started an Earth Club, with which I figured I could save the Earth and earn admission into Harvard. Some neighborhood kids joined and we started out with pizzazz- by collecting donations (from my Dad) we bought a trash can that we set up at the neighborhood pool with signs asking people to recycle soda cans. Every week my Dad would drive me and the other club members over to the pool, where we would collect the cans, take them to the recycling plant and then use the money to buy more recycling bins for other neighborhood community areas. SPLENDID. From what I hear, they are still recycling at that pool, 20 years later. Mother Earth – she wins!
I, however, did not win. I was kicked out of the club a few months later for hurting Mother Earth after I made newspaper pirate hats for all the members (jaunty!) and surprised them with my hard work. Apparently newspaper pirate hats were not the latest fashion (but New Kids on the Block splatter paint shirts were, so, um…yeah) and I was quickly voted out of the club for wasting newspaper instead of recycling it.
It wasn’t a great start to my Harvard admission process – I sent off for the application and then let Wilmer Valderrama sign it at the airport so it never made it back to Cambridge – and I’m still a bad recycler. That said, I’m still on my path to world domination so watch out. You never know when you might need to trade your mid-morning snack in for a Fruit Roll Up..because I might be your only option. Bad American accent and all.
When I was growing up my brother and I had a few games that we were very serious about. Life? Oh man we knew just how to spin the dial to land on all the good squares. We also had mad Sorry skills, even though it required little skill. Our family plays a card game that we call Push (similar to Gin Rummy) and we could play each other for days to declare a reigning Push Champion…but no game was more hotly contested than that of Dead Lions. Dead Lions went something like this:
- lie down
- very still
- like a dead lion
- the last one to move wins.
In retrospect I think my parents were the only winners at this game….but I’m fairly disturbed that my brother and I competed to see who could be the more convincing dead animal, rotting away on the jungle floor.