the seven list

People do the 100 List. They do it all the time! It's a weblog tradition, right up there with those INFURIATING FUCKING QUIZZES (What Buffy character do you most resemble? What sort of shoe polish are you? Etcetera). People wholly committed to their weblogs do the 100 list, even after the initial passion fades. I'm envious, intrigued, wannaknowmore-ish about this ability to think of 100 things off the top of one's head. But:

I'm busy. Aren't you busy? Don't you people have lives? One hundred things? Here's my five or six list.

1. Cold pizza for breakfast. A salad and a coffee for lunch. A belated smack to the head and a long look in the fridge for supper. It's the Palinode diet! Use only as directed.

2. By and large I'm a together kind of guy, but as long as I can remember I've had a mind-emptying fear of calling strangers on the phone. Back in 1990 I ended up in a telesurveying job, soliciting opinions from strangers about life insurance, soda, and politics. The job was only mildly stressful, but every number I dialed brought on a stomach-clenching, forehead-beading, blood-cooling terror. A few years later I started work as a documentary researcher. I had to spend my days phoning complete strangers and eliciting their life stories out of them. The fear I felt was animalistic and unreassoning, filling me with a tide of adrenaline that forced my words out in a babbling rush when the stranger answered. Over the years I turned that glandular surfeit into a tool, planing down my words and tone to a smooth persuasive pitch. Today I'm fully confident that I can punch out a number and convince a stranger to do nearly anything that I require. My phobia remains as strong as ever.

3. NASA has recently announced its intentions to throw a high-powered laser into orbit around the moon. That, I'm proud to say, is my doing. I called them up a few weeks ago and worked on the secretary until she put me through to the Department of Lasers. They went ape over my lunar laser eye surgery scheme.

4. The L Word is a web of histrionic characters and melodramatic plotlines barely supporting these heavy, near-bursting globes of softcore lesbian sex. I've been watching episode after episode trying to figure out why people like it so much.

5. In my late teen years I thought that I was having a whole lot of sex, but when I think back and calculate the number of days that actually included sex, I realized that they didn't amount to very many. My memory had apportioned one subjective week of time to every day that featured an interlude of doing it. Because really, what else of note was I doing that week? And being a teenager, the sex wasn't all that great either. BUT IT WAS BETTER THAN EVERYTHING ELSE I DID.

6. My wife has given me a lasting hatred of the number six. I had never realized how horrible and puke-yellow the number six was until she pointed it out to me. Now I won't give six the satisfaction of a proper entry.

7. Once in first-year university, an attractive girl whom I'd recently met asked me how I was doing. I stopped, thought about it with a pensive look stretched across my face, and answered "Pretty good". She never spoke to me again. I later found out that my moment to think about her question had disturbed her. The kids today call it "getting creeped out". The obvious lesson: no one wants emphatic answers to phatic questions. I had crossed some kind of boundary of ritualized meaning and utterly ruined my chances of getting laid.