Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Knowledge Gaps

Well, everyone. I'm not perfect.

"But Hannah," you cry, "I thought you knew all the lyrics to Aaron's Party by Aaron Carter!"

Is he wearing cargo pants that zip off at the knee? Don't worry about it. 

Why, yes. Yes I do.

"And Hannah! I'm CERTAIN that I remember you mentioning that you wore the same Cheetos Chester Cheetah t-shirt for the entirety of the eighth grade."


"What I'm saying is... you're perfect. Just the way you are."

Thank you. Now lets go kill some zombies.


That's an excerpt from my upcoming one-woman show titled, "Pretending Like I Didn't Wave Back When You Were Waving at the Person Behind Me: The Hannah Shepard Story."

But it is true. I'm not perfect. I have many knowledge gaps. Aspects of life that I didn't fully grasp until long after it was acceptable.

Let's take a look, shall we? At some of the things that I believed through most of my childhood:

1. Vanilla extract contains salmonella

I blame my mother for this one. I think she said it so an even wider selection of raw batter was off-limits to me. She denies it, but I know the truth. I KNOW.

Are there even recipes in existence that have vanilla extract but no eggs? I really hope the answer to this question isn't super basic, like brownies. Careful, Hannah. You're about to reveal the depth of your cooking/baking incompetence.

2. "Company" is a car brand

As in, "I just got a Company car from the office!" This became particularly embarrassing after we read Harry Potter in the fourth grade and Mr. Dursley shows off his company car.

A friend asked me what a company car was and I looked contemptuously over at her.

Idiot girl, I thought to myself, she doesn't even know what a Company car is. I sneered, "It's like owning a Jaguar. It's that expensive."

I like to think that the girl remembers that I told her this. Maybe she still thinks - correctly - that I am a fool who will lie through my teeth to seem smarter. 

3. Home insulation is a portal device that can cause my arm to pop up somewhere else in the house

Have I told this story? I don't remember. But it's real good so it's worth telling again.

When I was just a bowl-cutted 4-year-old, I was asked to go get Halloween decorations from the attic. Now, our attic had exposed insulation in some places. My mom, knowing that touching the insulation would make me itch, told my older sister and brother to make sure I didn't touch it. Unfortunately, she forgot that my brother and sister are heartless brutes who took great pleasure in my childhood struggles.

So they told me that if I put my hand into the insulation then it would disappear and reappear in the living room. Sticking out of the wall.

I believed this lie for much longer than I care to admit.

4. Outdoor Christmas trees are a thing

I found this one out about three years ago. You people don't have outdoor Christmas trees?!

Apparently it's a Chicagoland thing. Here's the extent of the tradition: You know how you have a tree on the inside of your house? Well we also have one on the outside. You go into a forest, cut down a tree, bring it home, attach it to a pole, and stick the pole in the middle of your front yard. Add lights, probably.

Actually, outdoor trees are usually the scrappy leftovers that nobody wanted for their indoor tree. Waste energy going out and cutting down a tree just to use it for an outdoor Christmas tree? PLEASE. That kind of time is reserved for indoor Christmas trees, only. 

I have a lot of survivor's guilt toward outdoor Christmas trees right now. 

5. These are the lyrics to Grease's "Look at me, I'm Sandra Dee."

Imagine an 8-year-old walking up to you and saying, "a hickey from Kenickie is like a Hallmark Card." Because I used to say that to other students in my class. Of course, I also used to tell my teachers that I was "funnier on paper." I assume I heard that on Simpsons and repeated it immediately.

But that was my devotion to the movie Grease. However, it's difficult to memorize lyrics about sex and drinking when you're a kid. Add in 50s references and a pregnancy scare? Please. So here are the lyrics my brain invented when I was a kid.

                         Actual lyrics                                                                                   Invented Lyrics

Some people are so touchy.