Claim to Fame
I started the rumor that Marylin Manson played "Paul" from the Wonder Years.
What's the stupidest thing you've ever done?
When I was twelve, I used to sneak out of my house at night and mess around town. One night, I was walking home and a car pulled over and offered me a ride. I wasn't in the habit of hitching rides but I had been picked up by a curious cop two weeks earlier so I guess I was anxious to get home or at least get off the street.
The guy driving the car couldn't have been more then 25 but when you're twelve, everyone over the age of 18 looks like their 40, so I was trying to remain aware of my surroundings should things take a turn. Sure enough, we hadn't driven more then a mile down the road when the guy reaches over and starts rubbing my thigh. Had this happened to me in my twenties I might have freaked out, but at twelve I suppose there's that mix of knowing you're going to live for ever and not knowing enough to know what danger looks like, so I just squirmed a little and tried to continue making conversation. As luck would have it, about 30 seconds later we came to a stop sign. The guy didn't actully stop, he just kind of rolled it but it still gave me time to push the door open and kind of do a stumble step/jump out of the moving car. I guess we were both surprised because the guy didn't have time to grab me, although I did feel him try, but being young and agile I was able to take off running towards a section of houses I used as a short cut home from school.
Even in the dark, I knew where I was going, but to the driver it must have looked like I just vanished. I ran all the way home and collapsed at the basement steps of my house. Once I caught my breath, the reality of what had happened started to set in a little but really all I had the patience to do at that point was sneak back in the house and make it back into bed.
Are you sorry?
I'm a pretty firm believer in character building experiences and that wasn't the last time I sneaked out of the house with unintended consequences. However, that was the first and last time I ever hitchhiked.
Are you going to do it again?
Nope. Way to scared now. To my mind, you get away with something stupid once, its because you're lucky. Trying it a second time just makes you stupid. The universe keeps score.
Would you recommend it to others?
Hitchhiking? No. Not really. But I wouldn't have taken some old dude's recommendation at that age either and, what's more, nothing really all that bad happened to me. So, no on the hitchhiking, but yes on the being open to creating your own cautionary tales.