When I was...oh about 10 or 11 years old...there appeared within my kitchen a dark-haired infant and a framed photograph of Moamar Qaddafi...I do not mean to imply a connection, but as a curious young "lady", I questioned the arrival of each. The child I understood as being the consequence of a loving relationship - the portrait was evidently, an accident.
Around about that time, I also recall assuming an alternate persona that had - until this evening - remained a bit of a mystery even to myself. I distinctly remember donning one of my sister's diapers beneath my visor and a pair of mirrored lenses - unquestionably feeling as if I was wearing the headdress of petrochemical royalty - and wandering the neighborhood in roller skates with Linda Edholm speaking exclusively in an imaginary language filled with too many harsh consonants and squiggly vowels.
Around about that time, I had also perfected the art of the prank phone call - my favorite gag being to pretend that I was a foreigner with a large sum of money to distribute to obliging prostitutes, but with no means of retrieving the funds from my bank account (was I ahead of the times or what?!) Desperately I would plead for assistance, and when asked for my name, I would say "Ben Gay-Z".
When written phonetically - the way I pronounced it - it appeared to be the signature of an aging rap star - but only today did I realize that it is the name of a city in Libya.
Now, I am both delighted and horrified to discover that at age 10, I knew something I no longer remember. Was I smarter then? Or just a smart ass, a everyone in my family constantly informed me? How magical is the human hippocampus that it can stash away little tidbits like mis-pronounced names (or lyrics, on occasion) for the sole purpose of delighting you in your declining years, when sitting on the couch watching the evening news is more satisfying than toying with some old lady who is ever so concerned that you forgot where you parked you limousine filled with cocaine and hundred dollar bills?
Hang on...I must go answer the phone...
Hello? Colonel Who?? Why, of course I can give you my credit card number and address...