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I was born. Relatives tell me that I looked like a poached egg. We lived in an apartment show-cased in the popular magazine, Squalid Living.

Ma Plum was first mate on a kayak. Pop Plum sold Chiquita bananas on the street. Unfortunately, Chiquita soon had her fill of bananas, and Pop went out of business.

Skipping lightly over the developmental milestones—incessant lying (“I’m hungry. I’m hungry.”); feeding myself a foul gruel-like substance with a rubber-tipped spoon (the gruel didn’t have the spoon. I did); throwing toys out of my crib and laughing (oh, very mature!)—I became an adult. However, my early symptoms of CPD, or Compulsive Prank Disorder, endured. Beginning with pointing to the ceiling, saying “Look. LOOK!” and then running away (which brought fewer laughs than I’d budgeted for, possibly because I was alone), I graduated to tying people’s shoelaces to the legs of their chair. This was endlessly amusing. Still is.

In high school we spent weekend nights cruising the streets--in Lester’s black ’57 Chevy, or Eddie’s maroon ’47 Mercury, or Frankie’s metallic blue ’56 Ford (3, 2-barrel carbs and a hot cam), or my Grandpa Charlie's red '59 Buick convertible—trying to “pick up” girls (well, not girls. Young ladies). [Grandpa Charlie looked a lot like Telly Savalas in Kojak. Great dresser. He'd been in--shall we say--a profitable "family business" during Prohibition.]

Our famous pick-up line was, “Hey, wanna ride?” Smooth. Real smooth. One time we “scored.” Unfortunately, it was Eddie’s little sister and her little girlfriend. (Well, I guess they were of average dimensions.) We all went to Howard Johnson's and got icecream.

50,000 miles of cruising and I score a chocolate cone!

Now I teach at a university in the Texas Hill Country--where wild flowers create rainbow fields and outdoor saloons fill the air with sausages and beer. Well, not whole sausages--more like the aroma.