Nine Plus a Spare (agus)

“Nine Plus a Spare (agus)”
Some weeks back, my good pal Dorky Dad (whom, in the weirdness that is Bloggerworld, I wouldn’t know if I ran over with my scooter in front of the Dairy Queen, but whom I nevertheless dote upon) tagged me for the most straightforward meme ever. No “tell us your top five brushes with the law”; no “from least to most important, rank the international issues that make you wince”; no “if you had a million dollars, what kind of house would you build” kind of stuff to this meme. Jehosephat, no.
This meme is mercifully simple and pretty much allows the tagee to reveal or exclude–mental photo of me: quivering with the power–just about anything. The meme is this, in the shell of a nut: tell us ten things about yourself.
Honey, I do this before 8 a.m. to strangers passing by the fire hydrant outside my house. Ten things about me? The workers at my favorite Caribou Coffee could tell you ten things about me in the time it takes them to make a skinny hazelnut latte (large, that is; if you ordered a medium, they could probably only squeak out Eight Points of Jocelyn Trivia before adding the final dollop of foam).
I’m hardly shy when it comes to personal disclosure.
Which may be why people blush so much in my presence.
Is it wrong that I greet the mail carrier with “Kee-ripes, but I’m bloated today”?
Or that I toss off a quick, “Hey, so I’ve actually been legally blind since the age of 7. I still thank Ben Franklin for those bifocals!” to my son’s preschool teacher as I hang up his backpack?
Surely, my lack of boundaries might be why patrons of the Barnes & Noble shimmy backwards, discomfited, when I edge up to them and randomly start an unsolicited sentence with “…and so when I was 35, my mom divorced my dad. Yea, after 40 years of marriage. And the next morning, after she had the papers served on him, she went and got a nose job. She was 67! You feel me?” C’mon, without an opener like that, how else could I pave the way for a new friendship, made right there in the self-help section?
So, hmmm, jes’ to mess with you, let’s call this meme “Ten Things About Jocelyn, Nine of Which are True, and One of Which Only Is in Her Dreams.” You can try to ferret out the lie, and more power to you with that.
1) I only saw STAR WARS because my dad told me to. I was ten in 1977, and he came up to me one day and suggested, “I’ve been hearing a lot about this movie–sounds like a good one for you kids.” So I went to it, and my recollections of that seminal film, even a day later, went along the lines of “It was in space or something, and they shot some stuff. At the start, these words scrolled backwards, kind of, across the screen at the start, and I got all dizzy. Oh, and there was a desert planet with some robot things on it. One of them beeped a lot.”
2) I sometimes think the only thing that could lure me to abandoning chocolate is asparagus. I set a timer tonight for two minutes and managed to eat seventeen broiled-with-feta-on-top asparagus spears by the time the beeper went off. Admittedly, two were still hanging out of my mouth like fangs at the end, but my point was made.
3) I can still sing all the lyrics to Rick Springfield’s “Jessie’s Girl” without missing a word. If you don’t know who Rick Springfield is, do the words “Dr. Noah Drake” help clear things up? If the answer is still no, I’m not sure you and I can ever really, really take it to the next level.

4) I once ran out of gas in the middle of Wyoming, where there are three gas stations, and had to walk along the highway until two scruballs stopped their pick-up to offer me a ride. Wanting my parents to one day see me again, I refused their offer but handed them a twenty-dollar bill and threw myself on their gas-retrieving mercy. Ten minutes they were back, and they only asked me once as they helped me refuel if I would like to play miniature golf with them later in Casper.
5) When I was 24, I started dating a 40-year-old. We were together for six years. He was really into tai chi and owned a Nordic Trak. We grilled a lot of chicken together, and for one spate, we both got addicted to playing Wolfenstein and Duke Nukem. I mean, my stars, but that first-person shooter business knocked the liberal arts education right out of me!
6) I reached my adult height in fourth grade. My breasts grew along with my legs.
No, I did not just type that my breasts grew on my legs. That would be freakish. Read more slowly, ya skimmer.
7) I am not a high school graduate (no GED either), yet I am a graduate school graduate.
8) I lived in Denmark with a host family for the summer before my senior year of high school–in the home of a single mother with three young boys. Every time I would draw a bath and slowly ease in, a pounding would start on the bathroom door, followed, in Danish, by the words, “I have to pee! I have to pee!”
9) I once had a pixie cut that, in my deluded mind, made me look like Pat Benatar having love on a battlefield. When I added in a skirt that looked like it had dishtowels hanging from it and a pair of those fingerless gloves from “We Belong,” the look was complete.
10) When I volunteer in my daughter’s first-grade class, I play a little internal game called “What Will Their Futures Hold?” with all the Girl’s classmates. I’m pretty sure I’m right about that brassy Audrey, in particular, who will be–I soothsay–pregnant in ten years. It probably wouldn’t be right of me to pull her mother aside, though, to pass on that prediction, right? Even though it might be helpful to have a heads-up and all.
Mostly true, plus one lie.
Thanks for the tag, Dorky Dad. I’ll be sure to run you over accidentally on my scooter next time I’m in your neck of Minnesota.
Note to self: buy Vespa.







44 responses to “Nine Plus a Spare (agus)”

  1. Dan Avatar

    Since you are a fan of aspargus, as I am, I just have to ask.

    Does your pea stink to bloody hell afte you eat asparagus? Mine does! Apparently many people have this problem. Sorry if I just put you off from asparagus forever.

    If I did, may I have yours?

  2. ldbug Avatar

    Huh, I can’t guess which one isn’t true….

    I’m too honest and forward too, but some people like that..really!!

    I love aspargus, but too expensive in NYC:-(

  3. Kirsten Avatar

    I’m guessing either 2 or 9 is the lie or partial lie…I’ve blocked out some of the past, so it could be nine, but I truly can’t imagine a sibling of mine giving up chocolate for asparagus, no matter how yummy…so…the others I know to be true! ‘fess up! ;P

  4. furiousBall Avatar

    I’m guessing it was number 4, because it wasn’t two young guys it was Dick Cheney and Satan (I know tough to tell them apart, Dick’s the one with out the tail…forked tail).

  5. susan Avatar

    It’s GOT to be #2. I mean, yeah, asparagus is divine, but come on, it’s CHOCOLATE!!!

  6. Logophile Avatar

    mmm, Mr Logo made some asparagus with prociutto and parmesan, omg, it’s sooo good.
    Please don’t run over Dorky Dad, I really need him to keep blogging.

  7. oreneta Avatar

    The asparagus is the lie…it must have taken at least 18 seconds…

    You should see the possible variety of scooters here…amazing. I still kinda like those older vespas though.

  8. Top cat Avatar
    Top cat

    I love asparagus.yum yum
    I liked all your answers but I can’t figure out the one that’s not true.

  9. Jenny! Avatar

    Wow, I wasn’t a huge fan of asparagus before, but could tolerate it, but after Dan’s comment, I will not be indulging anytime soon! I have no idea what’s the lie, I was going to go with the Star Wars one!

  10. lime Avatar

    LOL, #3,4,5,10 could be me so i can’t guess them as false…(because clearly if it is reality in my life it MUST be reality somewhere else right, i’m only a teensy bit narcissitic, really)

    #1 i can believe because of the ealrier post about being oblivious to things
    #2…well some people are just messed up in their priorities
    #6i’ve seen some kids for whom this is true
    #7 i know some people for whom this is true
    #8 the bath is a peepee magnet anywhere in the world you go

    i dunno, even though you are roughly my age and a child of the 80s i can’t see you wanting to dress like pat benatar. i’m guessing #9 is the false one

  11. actonbell Avatar

    LOL! Great job–#2 had me, especially:) Asparagus does more than water can.
    Oh, I can’t imagine which one is a lie–I’m no good at guessing the false story during “Wait, wait, don’t tell me,” either.
    I think Vespas are pretty cool, too.

  12. Hammer Avatar

    Hard to decide, lots of wacky ones here to choose from. Good stuff 🙂

  13. Em Avatar

    I have no clue which is the lie, but damn, you are funny! And honey, I actually have the album with Jessie’s Girl on it (somewhere down in the basement)…so perhaps this long distance relationship was meant to be!

  14. Claire Avatar

    I gotta go with #2 because even though I love asparagus, Nothing is better than chocolate (and chocolate doesn’t make your pee stink either).

  15. CS Avatar

    Wait, wait, don’t tell me……nope, I have no idea which is the lie. But I am definitely going to try broiling asparagus with feta, that sounds fantastic! Also remember that Carly Simon song “Jesse”? From that I deduced that Rick Springfield secretly lusted after Carly Simon.

  16. Jocelyn Avatar

    Dan–Yes, to bloody hell and back. Groom and I eat it together, so we have to bear each other. It’s the new garlic.

    Ldbug–Wow, we’ve stumbled across the ONE drawback to living in NYC, eh?

    Kirst–Okay, so, um, you’re my SISTER, and you don’t know. You lived it all with me, of course, up a floor and without a waterbed, but otherwise, same house. I think I’m a really, really good liar.

    Furious–Yea, Dick just has a forked tongue. Hey, I just discovered I’ve always wanted to type that sentence. Thanks for the opportunity.

    Susan–Here’s a hint: you should taste the asparagus we make.

    Logophile–I agree about Dorky Dad, so I’ll just run over him gently, shattering a femur at most.

    Oroneta–Wow. You not only live amongst really cool doors randomly placed in the sides of mountains; you have scooters, too.

    Top Cat–I can’t believe no one is exclaiming how much they hate asparagus. In fact, I can’t believe how much people are writing the word “asparagus” in response to this prompt.

    Jenny–All that stuff really did happen in STAR WARS. How they made those words scroll, I’ll never know.

    Lime–You are possessed of a rare gift of sleuthing. Your children will never do drugs freely on your watch, eh? Mummy can ferret out *anything.*

    Actonbell–Wouldn’t it be cool if we all formed a Vespa biker club and terrorized, um, people in the Toys R Us parking lot?

    Hammer–You are too diplomatically neutral here. Where is the real Hammer?

    Em–You and I, my friend, have just jumped to the next level. I have had to create a whole new tier of Bloggerpaldom just for you.

    Claire–Can you imagine asparagus spears made out of chocolate? Dying here.

    CS–The feta does wonders. Oh, and remember when James Taylor and Rick Springfield ended up in fisticuffs? Not.

  17. Malnurtured Snay Avatar
    Malnurtured Snay

    Thankfully, my top five brushes with the law all involved being pulled over for minor traffic violations. Unless you count my police ride along …

  18. Shari Avatar

    Jocelyn, I don’t know which one’s the lie. Since I don’t know you personally, I don’t know.

    1. I don’t know what year Star Wars came out. Was it ’77? Sounds about right, considering we are the same age. Did your dad make you go?

    2. Chocolate over asparagus? I live asparagus, too.

    3. I loved Rick Springfield!! Now I have “Jessie’s Girl” playing over and over in my head. See what you did?

    4. I can see not riding with strange boys, but giving them money to get gas for you? I don’t even know if I would have done that. I either would have gotten to the nearest phone to call my brother or get to the nearest gas station.

    5. Did you date a 40 year old man when you were 24? I don’t know. Maybe he was 35?

    6. Did you stop growing in fourth grade? Most girls stop growing around eighth to tenth grade, I think.

    7. Not a high school grad-not even a GED, but you are an instructor? Can that be done?

    8. Did you go to Denmark as a foreign exchange student? Or was it another country? Then again, your sister didn’t say anything about not knowing you did go.

    9. Pat Benatar haircut? Could be. Could not be.

    10. I think we all think about what is in a kid’s future. That could be possible. ???

    Again, they are all possible. Then again, I don’t know you well enough. That’s okay.

    Still playing the song…”I wanna tell her I love her but the point is probably moot….she’s loving him with that body I just know it…..”

    Am I gonna hear this song in my head all night?

  19. lime Avatar

    ooooooh, does that mean i win a vespa???

    oh, and thanks for the comment you left at my place. in all sincerity i am flattered because i think your writing is simply amazing. when you do humor i cannot be eating or drinking (i figured that out after snarfing on my monitor a few times). when you do sentimental i know my heart will be touched. i aspire to be that good.

  20. Jazz Avatar

    I have no idea which is a lie… Or are you lying about one of them being a lie?

  21. Bon Avatar

    as a first-timer, i’m not likely to find the lie…but it better not be about the words to “Jesse’s Girl.” ’cause that just ain’t funny to lie about, okay?

    and, erm, i’m with you on the asparagus. it’s quite nice WITH chocolate actually.

    whereas, Pat Benetar…? really?

  22. Mother of Invention Avatar
    Mother of Invention

    Dan: YES! Both for my whole family and my husband…it is a genetic body chemistry thing..kinda wish I didn’t have it because we live where there is tons of aspargaus grown!

    Joc: Thanks for the new redipe for broiled asparagus and feta!

    I’d guess that the one about your education is a lie, because here,you need a 4 year degree to even go to teachers college.

    But then, there’s the 40 year sound too wholesome to have done that…but also a bit on the wild side so maybe!!

  23. lushgurl Avatar

    Ya see, I was gonna vote for #6, until I read through all of your comments, so now I can appear to be sooo smart and know you sooo well, when actually, I don’t have a life (as my Angel CONSTANTLY reminds me), therefore I have the time it takes to eliminate the obvious and come to the conclusion that #9 IS the lie! HA, take THAT Pat Benatar- although I think she’s really cool and stuff, so I don’t really get why you wouldn’t want to be her!!!
    If ya feel like it, I was tagged too- an ABC tag- check it out!

  24. AmyTree Avatar


    Hmm…. I’m going to have to go with #9 as well – I just can’t imagine that awesome hair in a pixie! (And a lot of the rest of it could apply to me too…) I adore asparagus – there’s a restaurant here that does a pizza with asparagus puree instead of red sauce – it’s incredible!

  25. Kirsten Avatar

    alright. #9. i’m sure of it.

  26. Diana Avatar

    Ah, Dr Noah Drake. That was the summer I got hooked on soaps. Then he came out with the singing career (didn’t that coincide with something on the soap???) and we were all in heaven.

    I’m going to say that #2 is false because I’m sure you could chow more than 17 in 120 seconds, especially with slippery feta on top.

    (That vespa would look so good on you!)

  27. Voyager Avatar

    The fake is number 6, right? Unless you are now only 4 foot 5 inches, no way could you be adult height in fourth grade. Show us a picture. Prove it!

  28. Lizard Princess Avatar
    Lizard Princess

    I love asparagus too, and I thought for the first 25 years of life that I hated it. Turns out, my parents didn’t know when the prime picking time for asparagus was (either that or they were procrastinators) and it was always really tough and stringy.

    I’m guessing you really did graduate from high school. That’s the one I think you lied about.

    I’ve seen you on Dan’s blog and dorkly dad’s blog, but never came over- I liked it. You have a unique and fun writing style!

  29. velvet girl Avatar
    velvet girl

    I have no idea which one is a lie, but I have Jesse’s Girl stuck in my head. Dammit!

    “I feel so dirty when they start talking cute. I wanna tell her that I love her but the point is prob’ly moot…. oh, I wish that I had Jesse’s gir-ir-l… where can I find a woman like that?…. ” Aaaaaagh! Make it stop!!!

    (ok, that’s a lie, I kinda don’t mind that song.)

  30. dutchess of malfi Avatar
    dutchess of malfi

    I don’t know which is a lie either, but I don’t think it’s the education one because the same thing happened to me! No high school grad and no GED but I have a BSed, MBA, RN and most of a PhD.!

  31. Dorky Dad Avatar
    Dorky Dad

    Now, let me think. I’m pretty sure that No. 6 is the false one. There is no way you grew boobs on your legs. And I am not a swimmer.

    I’d also like to believe that the asparagus one is false, because nobody would even consider choosing asparagus over chocolate. That’s just not right.

    And I can relate to the impact of first-person shooters on one’s intelligence. Frankly, I blame my whole mental health, or lack thereof, on my days playing Quake.

    NOTE TO SELF: Please watch out for bespectacled redheads riding Vespas near Caribou Coffee. Crap I’m doomed. When ISN’T a Caribou Coffee populated by large gangs of redheaded Vespa drivers? Crap I’m doomed. But I already said that.

  32. Lone Grey Squirrel Avatar
    Lone Grey Squirrel

    Squirrel chose #9 as lie. If squirrel is right, squirrel will chose winning lottery number as next trick.

  33. My Reflecting Pool Avatar
    My Reflecting Pool

    I’m thinking the no high school degree one is the lie…

  34. cathy Avatar

    hmmm, going by the title I’d say the asparagus is false. Anything you want to know about Star Wars I’m your woman. I had the dubious pleasure of seeing it 147 times as I was an usherette in a cinema when it came out.

    They have something in Greece called PASTALMA which is mainly camel meat and garlic (must have originated somewhere else then) it makes your pee stink for days. Whenever my husdband eats it I make him leave the house and live with his mother for 3 days.That isn’t as harsh as it sounds as she lives downstairs.

  35. urban-urchin Avatar

    Love IS a battlefield. I don’t know- I’m gonna guess the fourth grade thing.

    I now have Jessie’s girl stuck in my head. Incidently I was visiting a friend on the set of some tv show that he was starring in (it was SO good I can’t remember the name!) I met him briefly at the craft service table and almost choked on my M&M’s. Now if Shawn Cassidy had been behind him talking to Rob Lowe about how sad they were that Andy Gibb had died? I would have had all my small girl crushes in one room (save Andy Gibb seein’ as he’s dead and all)….

    PS- Would you please send me the recipe for the feta asparagus thing? I looooove asparagus (but not more than chocolate)

  36. Theresa Avatar

    The asparagus, that has to be the lie, I mean come on, exchange chocolate for asparagus – That’s just plain craaaaazy! Do I get a prize if I’m right? The rest all makes perfect sense. I didn’t see “Star Wars” until I was in college, and although I never cut my hair like Pat Benatar’s, I did wear legwarmers and do the off-the-shoulder “Flashdance” thing.

    So, how do you say “I have to pee” in Danish? (And how do you say “My pee smells like asparagus” in Danish?)

  37. Julie Avatar

    OMG – another Rick Springfield lover! I totally heart him and FINALLY got to see him in concert last summer – he was fabulous! too bad he has resorted to playiing county fairs – he’s so much better than that!

  38. Julie Avatar

    OH, I just thought of something – how embarassing that the Rick might be the lie – and I just told the interweb that I heart him. Please say it’s not that one!

  39. Infinitesimal Avatar

    first, i had the same reaction to Star Wars as you did, and my Dad made me go too.

    Second, no way would ANY woman give up chocolate for asparagus…ever. LIE.

    Third, i know Rick, his lyrics to Jessie’s Girl and Noah Drake and his shiny mullet. I am down for your program home-skillet.

    Fourth, put on a stripy shirt, wear a pixi coif and fingerless gloves with dishrag skirt… those super huge gazongas of yours are not ever going to complete a Pat Benatar Look. You (and your gozongas would have had better luck dressing up as Joan Jett and the Blackhearts, like me)

    Seriously, 24 and a 40 year old? that’s hot. were it not for the asparagus debacle, I would call you out on that one.
    Never underestimate the power of the gazongas.

    I did a post called 100 things about me.

    Consider yourself tagged. (devilish grin;)

  40. Infinitesimal Avatar

    what do you mean you would never recognize dorky dad if you ran over him with a scooter? He looks just like Darren Stevens! Geeze!

    Anyway, glad to know you are not a Pat Wannabe. Whew.

    And FYI
    Asparagus makes you (and groom) “taste” better. I can’t believe you did not know that… it is like such a common sex fact.
    Me and my ex BF tested it out one day, gotta say, darn tasty, both ways.

  41. Emma in Canada Avatar
    Emma in Canada

    I don’t know which one is the lie, (my first guess was Rick Springfield but then I realized that I totally know the words to Jessie’s Girl, so must assume that others do too) but the Pat Benetar one totally made me pee my pants. Literally.

    I really need to pee.

  42. Jocelyn Avatar

    So, as many of you have figured out, the Pat Benatar one is the lie. I have hated many parts of my body, but my hair and I have always enjoyed having copious amounts of each other, so no short hair here. And fingerless gloves just feel weird.

    This has been too fun. Urban-Urchin, how fortuitous that you asked for the recipe! I actually have it all ready to go in my next post…

  43. Glamourpuss Avatar

    I hope the not graduating school is true – me, too – no A Levels, but a master’s degree. Always made me laugh that I taught kids to pass an exam I never took myself.


  44. heartinsanfrancisco Avatar

    Number 2 is the lie. You may love asparagus, but nothing replaces chocolate.

    How did you get into grad school w/o a high school diploma? Or into college first, by the way?

    I’m sure it was the running water that made the Danish kids have to pee. Bad arrangement.

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