Strove to find a way to punch people in the face by using the Internet.



Age 2: Learning to pee like a big boy takes a nasty turn as the toilet seat slams down on my pecker like a giant clam snapping shut on a helpless diver’s leg. I am trapped, screaming, for hours.

Age 7: Swallowed a nickel.

Age 8: I spent many years obsessed with catching crayfish. After a birthday party that featured a daunting blue cake made strangely lumpy by small marshmallows in the frosting (which nobody would eat, and which I had designed and specifically asked for) as well as a dozen or so kids somewhat aghast at encountering my shoddy house and annoying family, I single-mindedly drag the bored and reluctant revelers to a local creek to engage in my favorite pastime. I splash around with a determination and focus I’ve not since been able to recapture while the other kids stand on the bank and stare at me. I don’t catch any crayfish, and as a result of everything I am relegated to the bottom of the social stratus for the remainder of my school years.

Age 9: I lose my only friend, a kid named Bay, because I beat him up during a dispute over who will get to go out with actress Kristy MacNichol.

Age 10: I do catch a crayfish; a big one which promptly clamps down on my thumb. I ride my bike home several blocks, crying and with one hand outstretched. From it dangles the crayfish.

Age 11: After I wear a cape and a helmet to school, some kids begin calling me “Captain Weirdo.” I embrace the nickname, and for a short period become known as “C.W. Hughes.” It all comes to a stop when I move up a grade and this name appears on my report card, and my mom calls the school to make sure they don’t have me mixed up with another kid. My teachers don’t really seem too surprised to find out what those initials actually stand for.

Age 12: The day after I convince my mom to let me get this swell new haircut, I am confronted by older thugs while playing air hockey after school at the local rec center. They call me “Devo” and prepare to beat me, as to them my haircut implies I am a “new wave faggot.” Though proud of my haircut and a big fan of Devo, I lie my way out of the beating by telling them that the haircut is because I’m planning to be a punk rocker for Halloween. Oh, and the avant-garde hairdo in question? Today it’s known as the “mullet.” This was also the year I went to school dressed up as Dr. Who.

Age 13: After losing my virginity on a beach, I wander around in a daze for an hour or two. Sand in my swim trunks rubs the skin off of my crotch and inner-thighs, and I become convinced that I am now the carrier of some sort of heinous strain of fast-acting super herpes. I do not have sex again for many, many years, starting an unfortunate trend that continues to this day.

Age 14: Trying to fit in with the current fashion, I convince my mom to buy me an Ocean Pacific-brand shirt from a thrift store. The first day I wear it to school I am confronted by its previous owner, who had written his initials on the tag.

Age 15-34: Nothing! Two decades of bliss! I am cool and well liked!


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