Time’s up. Please put your pencils down. The Five Things About Me Quiz is finished. The answers are below.
1. I was a cheerleader in high school.
Dive, are you sitting down?
Oh, this is fun. The looks I get when I admit this are priceless. YOU?! YOU WERE A CHEERLEADER?! people shout when I tell them. Yep. I was.
Please stay seated, Dive, as it gets worse.
I was not only a cheerleader; I was also the captain of the squad. In other words, I was a great cheerleader. I have the trophies to prove it (well, they are gathering dust in my parents’ attic, but you get the idea). If Smokestack makes herself known here, she’ll tell ya. I rocked the house.
Just as no one sets out to be a junkie, I didn’t set out to be a cheerleader. Thing is, I needed an activity for college, and dancing wasn’t going to cut it. I needed something I could letter in. I couldn’t play basketball. I wasn’t terribly good at softball (I throw like the girl I am). They didn’t offer volleyball until my junior year (I was pretty good at that).
I might not have possessed great athletic prowess, but boy could I dance, and I could yell loud enough to raise the dead. Hence, cheerleading. Even though I went to a tiny, conservative Christian school, we had real uniforms with short skirts, and we did plenty of jumping (and cartwheels, and flips, and splits). I hated it. I was not a stereotypical cheerleader. I was not popular, nor was I outgoing (Little Sassy Schmoozer took a big long snoozer during my awkward teenage years). I tried to quit my junior year, but my coach wouldn’t let me. Instead I became the captain of the cheerleaders.
So, yes I was a cheerleader in high school. I was also an excellent student. It always amused me when people at school used to put the cheerleaders down for being ditzy and dumb, especially since some of the most intelligent girls in school were on the squad. One of my cheerleading buddies majored in math and went on to earn oodles of money at IBM. Thanks to my AP credits, I was technically a college sophomore half-way through my first semester in college. But you know, I was like, a cheerleader, so I’m, like, totally dumb and stuff. Totally.
2. I worked at McDonald’s for a summer.
Doubly sad, but also true. I started college in the middle of a recession (thank you, Reagan and Bush I). There were no jobs, and so we were all taking what we could get for work. I had to suck up working at Mickey Ds. I was a vegetarian McDonald’s employee who really didn’t care if people got their fries in a hurry. They didn’t like me much.
My first day, I donned my high-water polyester pants (I am all of five feet, three inches tall, and I have never had a problem with high-waters before or since) with the arches emblazoned on the ass, the polyester striped button down complete with bow tie, and the visor. My friend beheld my appearance and nearly died of asphyixiation. In no way did I look like myself. I’m not just saying that. My McDonald's costume would have made the perfect disguise if I had wanted to live a life of crime.
One time I worked at another store, and after my shift I changed my clothes before going back to the counter to get an employee drink. They asked to see my employee ID. I had to show them my mustard-stained uniform before they believed it was me and forked over the Diet Coke. When I brought back my uniform at the end of summer, one guy who hadn't been particularly nice to me took one look at me and exclaimed, “You’re pretty?! Holy Shit!” Ha. Ass.
3. I can roll my tongue.
True. I also have hitchhiker thumbs. My second toe on my right foot is longer than my big toe, and if you believe the story, that makes me a werewolf. My hair’s perfect.
4. I’ve run for public office.
FALSE! Fooled you! I have never run for public office. I’m too much of a rabble-rouser to be interested in running for office. Besides, I was a wild child in my wild days, and there are pictures to prove it. I inhaled. I might get elected dogcatcher, but that’s about it.
5. I’ve been tear gassed at a protest.
True. By Canadian Mounties, no less. In the spring of 2001 my coworkers and I traveled up to Quebec City, Canada, to protest at the Free Trade Area of the Americas meetings. The authorities were stopping people at the border, but we had rented a car and wore decent clothes, so we got a pass. Although I didn’t personally witness any violent activity, the cops did not want thousands of protesters anywhere near the meeting headquarters. So, they repeatedly fired tear gas into a crowd of peaceful demonstrators. The stuff’s awful, and I’m horribly allergic to it. It made me very sick, but my allergist always considered me a hero after that. I’ve been to plenty of other protests in my day, but that was the only time I’ve been tear gassed.
Before Girl is indeed the Smartest Person Alive. She’s the only one who figured it out.