September 23, 2020

Fifty Things You Didn’t Know….and one outright lie

shh.gifUPDATE: Blast you Kyle Potter!

You’ve read this blog for 7 years. You’ve read my confessional essays. You’ve got the bio memorized. Your iPod has the podcast all the way back to episode 1. You’re confident you could pass any quiz on the life and times of the iMonk.

You’re wrong.

Welcome to fifty things you (probably) didn’t know about me. And only one of them is an outright lie. (Can you find it?)

1. I was voted the cutest baby in Crandon, Wisconsin in 1956. Which tells you a lot about how many babies were born in that town that year.

2. I’ve never been further west than Dallas, Texas.

3. I made a D in high school Geometry.

4. I flew across Kentucky in the Governor’s helicopter when I was ten years old.

5. I won the 8th grade Algebra II “Bee.”

6. Denise dated my best friend for years before we got together.

7. I once defended the teetotal position at a seminary debate on alcohol.

8. I play the bass guitar well, but I rarely do because I can’t sing and play at the same time.

9. I played the king in a school production of “Cinderella,” wore tights, waltzed and sang a duet.

10. I coached the chess team for five years, and we did really well.

11. I used to smoke a pipe. I still carry it with me.

12. I’ve never smoked anything else.

13. The IRS once seized my bank account over an $800 dispute. The $!@$#@#s

14. I freak out over wasps because I was stung by several at once when I was a kid.

15. Loud noises make me jump. I’m sure it looks ridiculous.

16. I hate voicemail and would discontinue it totally at my workplace if I could.

17. I once got an “A” on a research paper entitled “Game Fishing in Western Kentucky,” and the sources were interviews with my buddies.

18. I know some famous people in NASCAR and the NBA.

19. My dog once won first place in a city-wide dog show.

20. I was a very good basketball player in middle and high school. I should have made the freshman team. I have no idea what happened.

21. I stopped believing in the rapture in my freshman year of college after meeting some amill guys from Knoxville.

22. The first time I went to mass, it freaked me out so bad I left the service during the distribution and stood on the porch.

23. At one time in my life, I looked a lot like Johnny Bench.

24. My dad and I saw one movie together in a theater. One. “The Blue Max,” a World War I picture.

25. I went to college my first year on a full scholarship, and never owed a dollar for the entire four year ride.

26. I took 21 hours of college work per semester three times because I sat out a year but still wanted to graduate on time. I don’t recommend it.

27. I was turned over to the junior high school speech therapist on a regular basis, but I refused to come to any sessions.

28. I’d like to work things out with Jason Robertson and Scott Hill.

29. My favorite pet of all time was a dog named “Tiger Radio.”

30. I was in productions of “Annie Get Your Gun” and “Bye Bye Birdie.”

31. I once got my car stuck in a dangerous ditch way out in the country….with a girl. Very embarrassing.

32. I’ve been to a lot of concerts: Rush, Billy Joel, Boston, Elton John, Kansas, Bruce Springsteen. But I sold the only U2 tickets I ever had.

33. I bought an engagement ring for a girl who dumped me….and it was a good thing, too. Close call.

34. I can do a lot of voices and impressions, but I’m generally too nervous.

35. I made a lot of money mowing yards.

36. I had to make a decision on whether to go full-time in the frozen food business or go to college. I loved those frozen pizzas.

37. My handwriting was so bad in 4th grade the teacher had the whole class applaud when I wrote something legible.

38. I’m terrible at remembering names. A world where everyone wore nametags would suit me just fine.

39. I got so carsick as a teenager that you definitely didn’t want me in your car on any kind of a modestly curvy road.

40. I have a vivid sense of smell in my memory.

41. I have a good singing voice, and I would pay large cash to sing in a real church choir.

42. I once dropped the rings during a wedding I was doing. They rolled a few feet away. I picked them up and went on.

43. Aside from programs Denise and I enjoy together (the CSIs) and Baseball, I watch almost no television.

44. I went to exactly one public school dance, with Sally Main. God bless her, wherever she is.

45. I promoted several Christian concerts that did so poorly, I had to pay most of the money out of my own pocket.

46. Probably the single most fun I’ve ever had in youth ministry was a guy’s Bible study called “The Angry Young Men.”

47. I’ve had a lifelong secret fantasy of being in a rock band.

48. I actually like being bald.

49. I once lost 60 pounds on a protein diet, and gained it all back.

50. I’ve studied four non-English languages, including three years of Latin.


  1. Malu Lani says

    My guess would be that #20 is the lie. You don’t strike me as one who ever was good at basketball.

  2. Wrong. Thanks for playing.

  3. Smoking a pipe is a delicious diversion.

  4. My vote is #2.

  5. Wrong. You’re banned for life unless you pay a dollar.

  6. I’m thinking #28.

  7. Wrong. Close…..but wrong.

  8. Close???

  9. Well based on the past track record….it was an intelligent guess.

    But I am sad to be at odds with someone with whom I agree so completely on all things New Covenant.

  10. Histrion (Jay H) says

    After 9 seconds of careful consideration (I’m a very fast considerer), I’m voting for #25.

  11. Wrong blog boy. You’re OUT!

  12. OK. It seems obvious now. It’s #12

  13. Wrong. Stone the false prophet.

  14. It’s #34. You nervous? Nahhhhh…

  15. Wrong. Off with his head.

  16. #7 – can’t see you as a legalist even for the sake of a debate.

  17. It’s number 51, and its obvious

  18. It’s #4, the helicopter.

    I have been the best man at one wedding. It was in the Georgetown College chapel, and I dropped a ring and it rolled across the wooden floor of the stage. It was a very pretty echo.

  19. Gee…all of these sound outlandish enough to be true.

    I’m going with…#38.

    I will be expecting my toaster oven in 3 weeks.

  20. Damn you Kyle Potter! I’ll get you for this!

  21. It’s number One. When were you a baby in Wisconsin?

    -Jim Bob

  22. Aaargh! That’s what I get for not refreshing the screen before I voted! I guess the obvious answer, then, to my “rhetorical” question would be: 1956. Hah. Beat you to it.

    -Jim Bob

  23. Bill MacKinnon says

    OK. I’m too late, but how does a guy win an algebra contest and then get a D in geometry? Was there a girl involved?

  24. Reading your reply to Kyle, I could not help substituting the name Harry Potter for some reason. 😎

  25. #21 – the rapture.

  26. This is over. Kyle Potter won.

    And I don’t believe in the pre trib “rapture.”

  27. Histrion (Jay H) says

    Hee hee. He called me “boy.” That’s the second-nicest compliment I’ve gotten today. 🙂

  28. I’ve got your back, Monk man. Hahaha

  29. jmanning says

    What kind of tobacco did you smoke? Like black cavendish?

  30. Borkam Riff or anything from Ky