Surprising Things

(Here’s the 3rd thing I wrote for my creative nonfiction class. Honestly, I think it’s pretty bad; we were supposed to experiment with structure, so it’s modeled after another list essay called “Hateful Things”)

Thinking about a song and iTunes randomly selecting it as the next song to play.
Going to buy something at “7-11”, reaching into one’s pocket for the cash, and discovering that one’s wallet was left at home.
Reaching into the other pocket and discovering that one had apparently left $20 in that pocket and let the pants run through the wash. And the cash is still there to buy a “slurpee”.
Winning a dorm government election on a “I am not a rapist” platform.
Finding one’s grandparents on Facebook.
“Sports Authority” shopping runs with colleagues during a lunch break that was only supposed to be food and “Starbucks”.
Easy Thursday crossword puzzles.
An egg sucked into a bottle by a match inside the bottle.
One has dinner with a group of friends, and someone drops his or her fork several times. Another says, “May the forks be with you,” and not everyone gets the “Star Wars” reference because they have never seen any of the “Star Wars” movies.
Hearing that one’s parents played and enjoyed “Dance Dance Revolution”.
Bad weather forecasts for Stanford, CA.
Good weather forecasts for Houston, TX.
Scissors confiscated at airport security. Plastic scissors that have “Crayola” written on them. Bright yellow scissors confiscated and dumped into a box of items including switchblades and sharp pliers.
One attempts to open a banana as fast as possible, and succeeds only in breaking the banana into two pieces.
Coming back from vacation and hearing about all of the shocking developments in the world. One might hear about a congressmen yelling “You lie” at the president, or Apple releasing a new iPod, or Kanye West storming the stage to an express an opinion that he believes everyone show know. Well, maybe that last one is not so surprising.
Sitting in a boring lecture, almost falling asleep, and one’s phone goes off, not on silent, but with a 90’s pop song for a ringtone, and vibrating somewhere in one’s pants that isn’t immediately apparent.
Waking up and only being reminded that I have a top bunk when I sit up, forehead into ceiling.
Waking up standing in front of a friend’s door.
I set the alarm for 6:00AM and check multiple times to see that it is turned on. I wake up at 6:45 with my alarm off, likely because I was awake enough to avoid snooze, but tired enough to immediately return to sleep without memory.
A former roommate telling one that he heard talking while sleeping.
One has a dream that one is constantly falling. Upon waking up, only a leg tangled in the sheets prevents the rest of the body from falling off the side of the bed.
One’s friend puts a cardboard cut-out of Legolas in your room, so when one wakes up, the first sight is an elf pointing an arrow towards one’s abdomen.
I met someone once in class and sometime later became friends with. Upon mentioning the friend to my mom, my mom corrects my pronunciation of the friend’s last name, commenting that she is knows my friend’s mom quite well.
Discovering that when someone writes that they ran for the bushes, they weren’t just peeing.
The orange juice button dispensing water instead of orange juice.
Matthew Broderick in a new movie, where he suddenly looks old.
I switched from a “Nalgene” water bottle to a “Sigg” water bottle because the plastic secretes BPA into the water, which apparently disrupts the body’s hormones. Over a year later, I am surprised to learn that the plastic lining on my “Sigg” water bottle also has BPA in it.
Taking a shower and managing to tune the temperature of the water to a perfectly comforting stream, when someone flushes the toilet and shocks you with freezing water.
Very bitter salad leaves.
Going home and seeing a new building in place of a dilapidated shed that was there for as long as memory.
Randomly talking about shot put with friends and subsequently getting absorbed into videos of Russian soldiers doing folk dances.
Gifts that one never thought about receiving but realize how much one needs it upon seeing them.
A gummy worm in a pack of gummy bears.

5 replies on “Surprising Things”

This may have been a creative non-fiction writing exercise … but it has the feel of one of those annoying lists that people post on Facebook. (I refuse to participate in those).

Yeah, I agree it’s pretty annoying. I was working through it, and I realized that all the things I had listed were pretty random and as a piece, it didn’t make much sense. The best I could do was try to organize it thematically, but that didn’t help much.

I didn’t think about it, but it definitely has a mini-fml theme to it as well. Maybe that’s me trying to be entertaining.

“…someone flushes the toilet and shocks you with freezing water.” Really? How is this possible? Were you showering near the toilet, with the shower curtains open? Or are you adding this for dramatic effect?

Hi Kevin–

This is gonna sound REALLY weird, but you know how you have a link to Kevin Y Leung’s website? How did that mix-up occur? I live in Colorado, where Mr Leung is running for School Board election. I find it interesting that on his handouts, he refers to, which is clearly NOT his own website. Any thoughts? This is purely out of curiosity. Thanks! 🙂

On an unrelated note, I started reading your blog and thought it was very interesting. Glad you’re going to Stanford… my dad is from the Bay Area. Go Giants!


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