Like a Banana with a Disease
Kate W is a great writer, but an annoying person. Check out her bio here.
When I first received this assignment to write about the making of mischief, my gut reaction was something to the effect of “oh, shit.” I have been called a lot of things in my time walking this earth, and I’ve thought many things of myself, but mischievous has never been one of them.
Imagine my surprise when I took to the dictionary to find the definition of the word.
Pronunciation: \ˈmis-chə-vəs, ˈmish-; ÷mis-ˈchē-vē-əs, mish-\
Date: 14th century
1 : harmful, injurious <mischievous gossip>
2 a : able or tending to cause annoyance, trouble, or minor injury b : irresponsibly playful <mischievous behavior>
You see that there? Right there, entry 2 a? That’s me, you guys! I am tremendously gifted at causing annoyance! Seriously.
It started the very day I was born. I managed to annoy the hell out of my mom by not only trying to come out breech — resulting in the doctor having to jam his hand in there to flip me around — but having the audacity to weigh in at a whopping 9 pounds, 14 ½ ounces.
I was the thorn in my older brother’s side throughout my entire childhood and into adulthood. Following him wherever he went? Check. Getting him in trouble for teaching me the word “douchebag” by using it in front of him and my mom at the movie theater? Check. Mixing water with McDonald’s sweet and sour sauce and pouring it on his sheets before he stumbled into bed one drunken evening? Check.
In kindergarten I annoyed Mrs. W. with my inability to use scissors. In first grade I got Jane J.’s goat for many reasons, resulting in her deciding to spit in my face. In second grade my loud mouth was an obvious source of frustration for Vinny D. It got so bad that one day he punched both me and my Cabbage Patch Kid in the stomach. But that wasn’t the only use I got out of that particular Cabbage Patch Kid – I also used it to ruffle the feathers of my babysitter, an elderly gentleman named Howard, who strongly disapproved when I stuffed tissues up the doll’s handmade sweater to give her boobs. In fourth grade I wrote down all the wrong answers to a test that Tony B. was cheating off of, waited for him to turn in the paper, then erased all my wrong answers and filled in the right ones (mostly).
My ability to annoy had become pretty finely honed by the time I hit sixth grade. For three years, poor Danny W. walked around with a target on his back. I told him the wrong spelling of the word “drunkard” so he would lose the spelling bee and I would win. I kicked him hard in the shins in seventh grade after HE tried to annoy ME (can you believe that shiz?!) by taking the lock from my locker and securing it to the bin under my chair. In eighth grade I said nothing when Mrs. H. berated him for humming in her science class. In truth, it was really me, having gotten Bette Midler’s “I Think It’s Going to Rain Today” stuck in my head. (What? “Beaches” is a great movie.)
I tried to tone it down a bit in high school, but some talents just can’t be held back. I was able to annoy Jane J. – you know, the girl from first grade – with my carpool driving skills and the fact that I didn’t always pick up my feet when I walked. Kevin M., a dear friend of mine now, seemed terribly irked by me freshman year. He once told me I had cat eyes, but that it wasn’t meant as a compliment. Gasp! I still wonder how I moved past such a heinous statement. I probably felt a lot better after Kevin told Jane J. that she looked like a banana with a disease while wearing a shirt that was not so pretty in his eyes.
College was a whole new ballgame with a whole new set of rules. And also? My powers of annoyance had grown exponentially since high school. Now I was able to annoy people without even talking to them! A girl that lived in my hall freshman year hated me on sight! I felt almost magical.
At some point, I decided to move to Chicago from my home state of Connecticut. I went from living in a tiny town of fewer than 5,000 people to residing in the third-largest city in the country. With that came many instances of nettling people without even knowing it – let’s not even get into the poor elevated train etiquette I exhibited for the first few weeks I lived here. I don’t want to alienate the one person who’s still reading this.
These days I spend most of my time bugging my husband, co-workers, friends and family with too many questions and too many jokes made at their expense. And now, I’m lucky enough to share my ability with the lovely 30pov audience, too! Color me excited!
Me? Mischievous? Never would’ve thunk it, but I guess I can’t hide from the truth any longer.