“Whose brain did you bring me?” asked young Frankenstein.
“Abby someone…Abby Normal I believe” responded Igor.
If you are a movie buff, or Royce Alger, then it will be obvious that this is from the classic Mel Brooks film, “Young Frankenstein” It sprang to mind when I was asked if I was normal.
I had been carrying on a conversation with a woman on Linkedin. I sent her an invitation to connect, and she responded, “Going to hope you’re not oddball—seems normal. Usually add people I know well to connect – but been more open, these days. Want to be in a ‘good crowd’ – perceptions = reality”
Naturally I assumed she meant Donald Sutherland’s character in the 1970’s classic ‘Kelly’s Heroes’, Sgt. Oddball. Or perhaps she actually meant Donald Sutherland, either way; it was probably a good idea to make sure I wasn’t Mr. Sutherland.
I responded, “Define normal.”, after I determined that she was using the adjective oddball, and applying it to me. Actually, she was saying I seemed normal. This concerned me, because it was apparent, in our brief conversation, that I may have misrepresented myself.
She responded, “Not sure I can. but funny come-back. Guess I’ll just have to follow you to see.”
I liked her wait and see attitude. She was leaving the door open to bailing, but doing it in such a way that was not at all offensive to me. I thought she was being quite prudent. But I did feel a bit guilty, knowing as I did, the ultimate conclusion she would reach. So I felt obligated to respond.
It was a great question, one that I think everyone should ask of themselves.
The more I thought about it, I came to the conclusion that I am not normal at all. I am the son of a mathematician, and when I think of normal, I think of a normal distribution curve.
“I have worked very hard to avoid being part of the normal distribution in all that I do. I found a fun game yesterday, and have been playing it, trying to move further away from ‘normal’. [Editors note: The Eyeballing Game]
I love to read. Surely that isn’t normal in this day and age. I am fascinated by words and language and like to play scrabble. Most of my friends find the game boring, so they would say that isn’t normal.
I worked as a volunteer docent at the Corcoran gallery in DC, for a year, before I moved back to Iowa. Most people wouldn’t want to spend hours in a museum, most normal people that is.
I have a PC and an iphone, and like both Apple and Microsoft, surely that is odd. Many people get as worked up about Apple vs. Microsoft, as they do about politics. I don’t. That isn’t normal at all.
In my blog, I wrote an introduction in iambic pentameter, just to see if I could. Most normal people have never heard of this style, and I am sure, don’t feel that they are missing anything.
People who are passionate about politics consider their positions normal, though half the country disagrees with them.
A normal person would prefer to go to a movie, in a group, watch endless car chases and gun play. I would rather go to a foreign film, alone, and then meet up with my ‘car chase, no dialogue’ loving friends afterwards.
I bought an electric piano, with weighted keys, when I was 38, just because I have always wanted to learn the piano. I still stink, but I love to play around with it. Who does that? Certainly not a normal person.
I just can’t think of a single thing in my life that is ‘normal’. I am happy though. I really enjoy life. Which, I would assume, is also, not normal.”
She liked my response, and thought it should be part of a blog post. I just checked and we are still connected. I will send to her the link to tonight’s blog post, and she can read some of the other silliness.
Perhaps then she will be able to finally conclude, that on a scale of normal to oddball, I am tilting towards odd.
I thought about this a lot tonight, as I ran my router over the laminate top. Each pass is so close to perfect, so much better than the other side, that I am almost amazed. The sanding is going to take far less time. I will then use the same methodology on the middle section. Once that is done, I will be able to move onto cutting the middle section in half, routing the edges to take the router plate, and then glue the 3 table pieces together.
I am confident that I can get through all of those steps this weekend. It feels like I am well over half way done with my router table, though I could be wrong. It is possible I will decide to add some upgrades to it, thus moving the finishing line further and further away. It is ok though, as it all makes me better at this wonderful hobby.
Well now I am going to go back into my basement, on a Friday night, and spend hours and hours playing with chunks of wood. That seems a little odd to me, but perhaps I am not the person to ask. [Editor’s note: Normally we don’t include cow shots.]
-- Brian Meeks, http://extremelyaverage.com