5. The Birds

One day, while I was playing at recess, a flock of seagulls flew over the jungle gym I was on and I looked at a lunch lady who was outside smoking a cigarette and said, “Somebody better call Alfred Hitchcock!” She smirked at me and then tossed her cigarette on the ground. It was the only time I ever saw her show any emotion. She was fired two weeks later for drinking on the job.

4. The Soccer SNAFU

Attending one of my sister’s weekend-long soccer tournaments, I was very bored and very tired of watching scoreless games be played for hours on end. At half-time of the fourth game of the day, I walked onto the field and kicked the ball, which was lined up center field, into a nearby wooded area because I was sick of watching them play. I did this in front of all of the parents, the two teams playing, and the three officials, as a means of protesting a wasted Saturday. This was obviously bad behavior and my parents punished me for what I did. The only reason this story cracks the list is because as I walked off the field after having foolishly kicked the ball into the woods, Jack Keltz, a father of one of the girls on the team, laughed and told me that was “the best soccer he’d seen all day.” Then we high fived.

3. Wearing My Muscle Tee Shirt at School

When it comes to prop comedy, your mileage may vary, but when I came back from Spring Break ‘01 with a beach shop muscle tee and wore it to school, it took Jefferson Middle School by storm.

Walking down the hall with that shirt, it was as if I was one of the Beatles exiting Shea Stadium. The fanfare was insane. A lot of people wondered if it was even a shirt at all, which was strange because I was only ten years old and it’s pretty much impossible for a ten-year-old to get as shredded as that shirt. Nevertheless, teachers and students loved it—even the janitor had to give it up to me. At the end of the day, my hand hurt from all the high fives.

2. Moses Look-Alike

Back in those days, Redeemer Lutheran Church had a Saturday 6pm service, wherein everything was a bit more relaxed. You’d see blue jeans, folks coming in late, and the organist would miss musical cues, but because it wasn’t Sunday, no one seemed to really care.

On that particular evening, our pastor, Pastor Steve, was doing a sermon on the first few commandments. For whatever reason, around this time, PowerPoint presentations had overtaken our small town. Schools, town hall meetings, even churches were all just dying to create slideshows whenever possible. Our church had taken to using still images in PowerPoint form to accompany the Pastor’s sermons, which I liked because it gave me something else to focus on. As our pastor transitioned from the commandment on idols to name in vain, the slide switched and the congregation was given a visual of Moses unlike anything I’d ever seen. He was balding, had a sharp nose, and ears much too large for his face. I leaned close to my father and told him I thought Moses looked like famed actor Peter Boyle. My father nodded a few times, really taking in the photo and that’s when he saw it, the uncanny resemblance. He immediately seized up, covering his face with his hand, he looked down to the church carpet, his body humming as he stifled his laughter. From beneath his palm, still covering most of his face, I saw a single tear stream down his cheek. After the service, he told me it was the funniest thing he’d ever heard.

1. The Banana Split

Danny McKinnon’s birthday was the social event of 2005. If you weren’t there, you were very much square. The day was filled with recreational basketball in the driveway and Danny’s older brother, Jeff, giving us advice on how to pick up girls, though as far as I know he was very much single at that time. As day became night, we all crowded around the cake to sing to Danny. With the candles placed and anticipation high, Danny’s father, Murray, began with the lighting of the candles. But, somewhere between candle three and four, Murray lost a handle on the lighter and it fell to the floor. Not ideal timing with us kids all gathered around and ready for some cake, but far from being a major issue. However, as Murray turned away to pick up the lighter, his pants split wide open in front of us, revealing a pair of dingy yellow boxers. Before anyone could react, I shouted, “Forget cake, we should be having banana splits!” The crowd went nuts—even Murray seemed impressed by my quick wit. My well-timed banana bit was the talk of the school for months after.