True or False – Teacher’s Edition

Didn’t you just always hate or envy or just have SOME strong feeling about the “Teacher’s edition” of your elementary textbooks? The ones with all the answers?

Well, today’s the day for the answers from my True or False quiz from last week. For the record, the only answer I got was Chaotic Kitten’s, and she scored 28/50 – pretty danged good for somebody that’s never met me!

Forgive the length; some stories are too good not to share.

[My former β€˜net identity] True or False!

1. I graduated from high school a year early.

    True. I skipped first grade, actually. Or, to be more accurate, when I was in kindergarten I was pretty far ahead of my class so they started putting me in first grade for reading, then for other things, until by the end of the year I was spending almost all day in first grade. My parents talked it over with the school and they all decided to put me into second grade the next year. It could have been a great move; however, a shitty 2nd-grade teacher who encouraged the other kids to scapegoat me made it pretty fucking hellish. Considering that I stayed with that same group of kids all through 7th grade, it’s no wonder I became a closed-off misanthrope.

    2. My best friend was killed the night I graduated from high school.

      True. He had moved to the next county and I hadn’t seen him in some time, but the night I graduated, he was riding with his girlfriend, an older girl who’d been drinking. She lost control and crashed, he was ejected and suffered massive head trauma. They took him off life support five days later.

      3. When I was 12, I was diagnosed with a mild form of sociopathy.

        False. But perhaps I should have been.

        4. I was convicted of 2nd degree assault and battery as a teenager.

          False. Convicted? No. πŸ˜‰ Okay, I’m kidding. No fighting for me.

          5. I briefly attended the Virginia State Police Academy.

            True. For a week between my junior and senior year of high school, in a program co-sponsored by the American Legion. It was a fun week, I really enjoyed it. I just never could reconcile myself to the idea of knocking on someone’s door at 3am and telling them their loved one had been killed. (And, truthfully, my eyesight would have disqualified me in those pre-LASIK days.)

            6. I studied Tae Kwon Do as an undergraduate.

              False. It was a different form of martial arts, similar to TKD, called Myo Sim Karate.

              7. I rushed a fraternity but did not receive a bid.

                False. Never rushed. The fraternity thing was never my scene. Good thing, because the fraternities at UVA were fucking expensive, as I found out later.

                8. During my senior year in college, I once drank a fifth of whiskey between 7 am and 3 pm.

                  True. Ah, the Fourth-Year Fifth, an infamous tradition at UVA in which seniors drink a fifth of their favorite beverage before the last football game. Many people hate it and try to stop it – probably with good reason. I drank a bottle of Jim Beam. I actually kept the bottle through a couple of moves until I finally threw it away.

                  9. I took up bodybuilding seriously for a year as an undergraduate.

                    True. I underwent a radical diet change and gained about 15 pounds of muscle. Unfortunately, I didn’t change my diet again once I went to grad school and stopped working out. That’s a good recipe for gaining another 40 pounds.

                    10. I was engaged previously to a young lady who managed to get me into a church at least every other week.

                      True. Engaged, as in we agreed to marry (and had even provisionally set a date, some years in advance, for after she graduated college) but without a ring. I almost bought her one several times but she actually asked me not to. I spent the money on guitars instead. πŸ˜€

                      11. My last several IQ tests scored between 120 and 150.

                        True. I usually score crazy high on spatial tests.

                        12. I passed the entrance examination for MENSA when I was 11.

                          True. In my little podunk backwater county, the gifted and talented program people gave the program kids the MENSA test. Out of the twenty or so of us, three passed, including yours truly. I’ve never taken the test again or had any interest in MENSA beyond that, though.

                          13. My biceps measure 15β€³ in diameter.

                            False at the time, they were about 16″. (Of course, I was about 15 pounds heavier then, and not in a good way.) Right now, I don’t have any idea.

                            14. I was a linebacker for my junior high football team.

                              False. Never played. My parents always thought I was too small, even though I was interested. By the time I got to junior high it was far too late for me to make the team.

                              15. I once led my baseball team in hits for the season.

                                True. When I was 12, I tied for the team lead in hits. Coincidentally, the guy I was tied with is now married to my first cousin.

                                16. I studied both Indian and Chinese Buddhism in college.

                                  True. That one’s pretty easy.

                                  17. I was a member of the Baptist Student Union as an undergraduate.

                                    True as well. A sign that I was trying too hard to be the guy that my church-girl girlfriend, referenced above, wanted me to be.

                                    18. I helped a friend raise a small crop of marijuana while I was in high school.

                                      True. At least I think it was marijuana, hell, I dunno.

                                      19. I once owned a motorcycle, but not any more.

                                        True at the time – I shared a dirt bike with my brother when I was in high school. Obviously more true now.

                                        20. I played center for my intramural basketball team in college.

                                          True. My dominating 5’10” white-boyness was the bomb. Okay, actually, it was the Baptist Student Union co-ed team, and we were supposed to play at least 2 girls at all times. Well, only 3 guys and 3 girls showed up for that particular game. We rotated the girls in and the guys played all 40 minutes…when the other guys got in too much foul trouble, I took over at center. We were playing the Law School team, which featured two guys who had actually played D-IA ball as undergrads. We lost, 75-20.

                                          21. I’m infamous for doing country & western covers of metal tunes, and metal covers of country and/or dance music.

                                            True. You should hear my alternate lyrics version of Tool’s “Stinkfist” as a country song. “There ain’t no other love like yours and mine. Baby, turn around and take my hand.” My death-metal buddy laughed his balls off and said I should send a demo to Maynard.

                                            22. I briefly studied kendo.

                                              True. Kendo wasn’t officially offered by my martial arts school at the time, but informally one of the master instructors taught a bit to a handful of us who were interested. I mostly learned one-steps, and I still have a suburi bokken for practice.

                                              23. I can quote hundreds of Looney Tunes at length from memory.

                                                True. Actually, it’s a buck-and-a-quarter quarter staff, but I’m not tellin’ him that.

                                                24. Quoting cartoons (or any movie/TV show) at length from memory eventually ticks off my wife.

                                                  True. Is any explanation needed? Quote “Blazing Saddles” with the guys all you want, but somehow, women have a lesser tolerance for such things. The quoting organ must reside in the balls someplace.

                                                  25. I’ve been told I resemble Tom Petty or Kevin Bacon.

                                                    True. The Tom Petty one was from this guy as an undergrad, when I was wearing a black cowboy hat. I was vaguely insulted. The Kevin Bacon was when I was giving a speech to my grad school class and someone said I acted like a Marine, then I said I’d quote Bacon’s “These are the facts in this case, and they are undisputed” line from A Few Good Men, and this other person chirped up and said, “Hey, you kinda look like Kevin Bacon!” Eh. Methinks not, but whatever.

                                                    26. I joined a group of my fellow [my former hangout]-ers for a rendition of “Mustang Sally” onstage with the Rhythm & Blues All-Stars at the Tiger Inn.

                                                      True. One of our number was very drunk and chatty, and kept bugging the band in between songs to be able to sing. They kept saying “Sure, later” and I was positive they were just putting him off. Nope. Finally in the last set they started saying, “Okay, where’s Steve? Where’d Steve go?” Well, Steve was sitting in a chair about 10 feet from the stage, passed the fuck out. They woke him up and dragged him (AND the chair) up on stage to sing. When the rest of us were laughing and having a ball, they started pulling us up there, too. They gave me a set of rhythm sticks. I pouted, I wanted the tambourine so I could play Stevie Nicks.

                                                      27. I used to be able to hold my breath underwater for more than 2 minutes.

                                                        True. You get bored in the summer when you’re 15 and do crazy stuff. The pool is a cooler place to do crazy stuff than elsewhere.

                                                        28. I once played with a country/classic rock band.

                                                          True. My uncle, now the leader of the family bluegrass band, had a country/Southern rock band in the early 90s. He used to take me to practices and I’d jam at times. When that band broke up, he started to put together another one, and this old Elvis-looking trucker guy in plaid and suspenders with Coke-bottle glasses latched on and wanted to play guitar for them. So my uncle brought me in, with my long hair flying and my heavy-metal distortion effects, to audition for the band. Not really to play with them (although the jam was fun), but to scare the other dude off. It worked.

                                                          29. I’m a decent drummer.

                                                            False. Hell no. I suck. My timing’s not all that great, which is why lately with my guitar practice I’ve been making friends with the metronome. Besides that, I bang on everything in sight quite often, and though I can keep a beat with my hands OR my feet, make me do both and I’m lost. I can NOT keep a simple kick/snare/high-hat thing going to save me, though I’d love to learn how.

                                                            30. I’m a mediocre golfer.

                                                              False. I’ve only hit a golf ball once, and that was when I was hanging out with my wife’s cousins while they played and they talked me into it. Golf doesn’t interest me.

                                                              31. I’m an avid outdoorsman.

                                                                True. More true at the time, when I was living in the rural Midwest, than now when I live in the city. But I still love to hunt and fish, I just very rarely fish nowadays except when I go visit the parents or in-laws, and I haven’t hefted a shotgun in probably five years.

                                                                32. I’m descended from slaveowners.

                                                                  True. Suspected for some time, confirmed while I was doing research in grad school. One branch of my family clearly owned slaves before the war. It’s a source of shame for me, personally.

                                                                  33. I’m descended from indentured servants.

                                                                    True. Not positively confirmed but a reasonably supported conclusion at this point. This would be the branch of the family whose name I still carry.

                                                                    34. My older brother was always a better athlete than I was.

                                                                      False. I only have a younger brother, but he was the better athlete, that’s true.

                                                                      35. I’ve had two different people listen to my accent and guess that I was British.

                                                                        True. I never got this one, personally. When I was still living in Richmond, Virginia in grad school, a prospective grad school student visited and all of the graduate assistants gathered in our office to talk to her about life as a student in the program. She was from western Michigan. Partway through she said, “I’m sorry, but can I ask what your accent is? Is it British?” We all looked at each other, dumbfounded, and I said, “Uh, no.” My colleague Josh explained that I probably had one of the last authentic Virginia accents.

                                                                        So then, two years later, my coworkers were throwing my wife and I a wedding shower at a swanky restaurant in Richmond (The Tobacco Company), and the men’s room attendant asked me the same thing. The girl had an excuse – that dude lived in Richmond, surely he should have known differently! Now that I’ve been living outside Virginia for about ten years, my accent has been bastardized to the point that I don’t think anyone would think that anymore, but hell, I never knew why these two did in the first place.

                                                                        36. I’m in a constant state of quitting smoking.

                                                                          False. Never smoked, with the exception of the brief time in college that some friends and I had the ridiculous notion to take up pipe-smoking. What the fuck were we thinking?

                                                                          37. The last guy I had an unpleasant run-in with had three inches, three years, and 40 pounds on me, and I sent him to the hospital with a broken nose.

                                                                            True. Although on a technicality. We were playing backyard football in high school. The guy thought he could just run right over me. He thought wrong. It was an accident, sure, but I did mean to knock the shit out of him. He was an asshole, but I was still sorry to see him bleeding like a stuck pig.

                                                                            38. I am infamous for bearing grudges.

                                                                              True, although I think I’ve mellowed a bit. In college, my Risk-playing buddies (we were so cool) named a form of vendetta after me.

                                                                              39. I’ve had several people ask me if I am or was a Marine.

                                                                                True. When speaking in public I tend to lapse into a parade-rest stance and assume a very direct manner that many people think seems military. The buzzcut I used to have and/or shaved head I sport now seems to emphasize the perception, I guess.

                                                                                40. I’ve studied Machiavelli quite thoroughly.

                                                                                  False. I read “The Prince” once or twice, that’s it.

                                                                                  41. 90% of the time I spend logged into [my former hangout], I’m wearing a tie.

                                                                                    False. I haven’t worn a tie regularly since 1998. Woohoo!!

                                                                                    42. I really stink at shooting pool.

                                                                                      True at the time and still true now. When I was 15 or so I wasn’t bad, but now I completely suck.

                                                                                      43. I’m a decent poker player, though.

                                                                                        True. I’m a little better now than at the time.

                                                                                        44. I NEVER drink beer.

                                                                                          True. I’ve only drank beer twice in my life, both times during my first year of college and both when I was so bored and/or depressed that I was desperate to get drunk. I usually stick to bourbon or rum.

                                                                                          45. In college, my friends and I used to play Super Tecmo Bowl as a drinking game.

                                                                                            True. I miss those days. I drank every time I scored or was scored upon.

                                                                                            46. I own three guns.

                                                                                              False. One, a shotgun that I haven’t fired in at least six years.

                                                                                              47. I once pulled a pistol on a college professor.

                                                                                                True. It was a .44 caliber black powder pistol, completely unloaded (and actually probably un-fireable at the time even if loaded – it had been some time since it had been stripped and cleaned as black powder guns need to be). I was wearing it as part of my Halloween costume as Jesse James to a party being held at the home of a history professor. Another history professor was dressed as Trotsky and carrying a little pop gun. I said, “That’s nice, this is better” and drew down on him. I thought it was funny; from how big his eyes got, he might not have agreed. (I didn’t like him anyway.)

                                                                                                48. I used to ride a bicycle at least four miles a day.

                                                                                                  True. It sucks to live in BFE and be too young to have a driver’s license. So my buddies and I would ride our bikes to the local store that had video games and pool tables.

                                                                                                  49. The biggest fish I ever caught was a 8.7 pound largemouth bass.

                                                                                                    False. It was a northern pike.

                                                                                                    50. I once brewed a small batch of moonshine.

                                                                                                      False. So far! πŸ˜€

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                                                                                                      2 Responses

                                                                                                      1. Well, damn. I was really hoping number 2 was false. I’m really sorry to hear that it’s not.

                                                                                                        As for the others, I was surprised by some of the answers. Especially the answer to 47. Now days if somebody did something like that, they’d call the cops. I swear, society is becoming a big pussy.

                                                                                                      2. Well, I think he knew it was a joke, he just thought it was inappropriate. One of my friends thought it was hilarious.

                                                                                                        Of course, I was also about three inches taller than that guy and outweighed him by probably 40 pounds, plus I was wearing my big wide-shouldered Outback duster. I probably didn’t need to point a large-caliber handgun in his direction in order to intimidate him. πŸ˜‰

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