1. I had 5 eye operations when I was a girl. The eye doctor was a friend of my mother’s. He asked if he could use me as a medical guinea pig. She said yes. She never paid for the operations. But she did send him a ham every Christmas.
2. I saw Richard Nixon in 1970. I didn’t mean to. I was at the Bangor airport when Nixon flew in. I stood outside the fence with all his fans. I was carrying a puppy in a crate because it was too hot to leave a dog in the car. Suddenly a large hand grabbed my arm, and a lowered voice asked, What’s in the crate? I turned to see a man in a trench coat with shades, reaching for my dog crate. Just then, Nixon stepped out of the plane.
3. When I was applying to colleges, I thought I wanted to be a marine biologist. I wanted to operate one of those bathyspheres and watch fish. I applied to the Florida Institute of Technology and was accepted. But I was informed in my acceptance letter that I would not be allowed to participate in the program I had selected. Women, the letter pointed out, are not strong enough to operate such equipment. That was in 1977.
4. Shortly after 9/11 I took an airplane trip to Chicago. One of the security agents pulled me aside. He said he wanted to examine me further and asked me to unzip my pants. I said something smart, like: that’s where I always keep my nuclear weapons. This is no laughing matter, Miss, he answered as he patted me down.
5. I used to love salad bars. I’d eat at any restaurant with a salad bar. Then one day my sister sneezed on the blue cheese dressing at a Ruby Tuesdays.