Spoiler alert, it involves a glockenspiel and living in the Amityville horror house.
1. I played the glockenspiel in high school.
We didn’t have a marching band or anything. It was just me. And sometimes I’d kinda march around. So, ya, maybe that made me a one-person marching band. Regardless, no one could rock “When the Saints Go Marching In,” on, what was essentially an upright xylophone, like I could.
2. I wanted to change my name to Ralph.
Between the ages of 8-12 I had a somewhat secret desire to be called Ralph. It had nothing to do with it being considered a masculine name and everything to do with it being awesome. It just sounded cool. In retrospect I have no idea how the “Ralph seed,” got planted in my child brain. Maybe I was subconsciously hung up on Ralph the piano playing dog from the Muppets, who knows? All I can say for certain is that at that time in my life inside I felt like a Ralph.
3. I won a lot of awards for public speaking when I was a kid.
Yes I know this seems completely incongruous with the whole “card carrying introvert,” persona I now proudly proclaim, but it’s true. For a while I was “kind of a big deal,” in the world of grade school public speaking. At the height of my dizzying fame I took the provincial title for the grade 7-8 category. But I flew too close to the sun and never reached those heights again. I peaked too soon. Of course, I now realize it was probably for the best. The stress and exhaustion that came from acting enthusiastic about saying the same damn speech over and over and over would have probably driven me to a life of crime.
4. I remembered my past life.
Turns out I was kind of a creepy little kid. Like give you the heebies-jeebies kind of kid. According to my mom, up until I was four, I used to say things like, “when I was here before,” and “last time when I was a boy,” with such confidence that it left people feeling uneasy. Fortunately my mom was, and is, a little “out there,” so she just rolled with it. Now-a-days, if she’d caught that shit on tape, I’d have my own TV show as the precocious child leader of a group of grownup ghost hunters.
5. I grew up in a house that was a dead ringer for the Amityville Horror House
When I was about eleven my parents purchased this old, run down house that had actually been our little town’s first hospital, complete with morgue. My father had even been born there. However, what everyone neglected to tell me until after we moved in, was that our new home bore a striking resemblance to the infamous house in the Amityville Horror movies, complete with the half circle windows on the side that looked like creepy eyes. But for some reason it never really bothered me and I have no recollection of overly creepy stuff happening there. That is until my dad died in the house. For months afterwards, my older brother, who still lived in the house and was there on his own, reported some pretty unsettling activity that we can’t explain to this day. Needless to say I don’t go home much.