I was a suburban brat who was allergic to trees, grass, ragweed, mold, and mildew. In other words, I was allergic to the world, which was a bit of a bummer since when I wasn’t hiding from my sisters in the basement with a book, I was outside raising hell and getting into mischief.
Summers as a kid were the best. We lived a ten-minute walk from a ravine with a fast-flowing creek for environmentally unfriendly styrofoam boat races, life-risking Tarzan swings over the water, a little hippy commune down the hill from the IBM country club, and an improvised plywood fort the big kids tried to light…
We all have summer memories of one sort or another. Mine are pretty good and the best ones involve my father, Ken. Regular readers here know me as the Class Clown of SEARCH Magazine, but what you don’t know is that I inherited my Genetic Goofball gene from my dad.
Although he had a reputation as an ex-military, ex-lumberjack, strongly-disciplined man, Dad was really a big teddy bear with the kind of off-color humor being a navy pilot and a lumberjack will foster. I wish I could share some of his classic chuckles with you here, but SEARCH is a family magazine and Dad…
This year marks the 50th anniversary of when I began failing as an entrepreneur, going back to my first days as the neighborhood butcher of grass. For five dollars here and five dollars there, I pushed our four-horse, two-stroke (or was that two-horse, four-stroke?) grass-shredding beast from lawn to lawn. As easy as the job was, I failed to make my fortune at it for two reasons. First, I really hated cutting lawns and second, I’m allergic to grass. Of course, fifty years later I’m still allergic and still have a lawn I have to cut, only now I don’t have an overseer watching and judging me from a second-floor window.
Eventually, I failed enough at that job that I decided to become the world’s greatest magician. Or at least the greatest one in our household. I had a few tricks I was pretty good at and some I was mediocre at, but my entrepreneurial success was stunted by my complete lack of interest in practicing my art beyond knowing how the trick worked. Despite this crappy attitude and my weak business acumen, I…
I’m a big supporter of health and wellness. Really! I have a regular exercise regimen that includes stretching the truth, jumping to conclusions, and running off at the mouth. When I’m feeling extra energetic I even try to jog my memory.
I like my yoga plain, with fresh fruit mixed in, and my “downward dog” is textbook perfect—if you define “downward dog” as napping with my pup, Sedona. I have a coat rack in my living room that looks just like a stationary bike, a tarp hanger in my basement that strongly resembles an $1100 elliptical machine…
Continue reading in our Winter 2021 #Wellness issue.
You’re thinking, “Of course you’re not, Tim. You’re 61 and you’re not an astronaut,” and you’d be right. But I might have. I actually applied to go with Japanese billionaire Yusaka Maezawa.
He’s taking eight people with him on SpaceX’s Starship, in 2023. Really! It’s the #DearMoon project. And I applied. So what if I didn’t make the cut? My point is, I might have gone. The odds of me going weren’t great, but there was a slim chance. By applying, my chances were 1 in 62,500. Despite failing to make the cut, I don’t regret applying. If I didn’t apply, my chance was zero.
The world is full of self-helpless gurus much more ego-boosting than I, all lined up to feed you a “Reasons to DO Something” list, but I’m here to give you 40 valid reasons NOT to do something. In no particular order.
It’s going to hurt…a lot. You’re not a trained dancer and that table isn’t very sturdy.
There are laws in place to specifically discourage doing it.
Your mother wouldn’t approve.
Your insurance has lapsed.
The last time you tried to do it, you lost your pants and your pride.
There are still active warrants from the last time you did it.
Sister Mary Elephant warned that you’d go to Hell if you did it.
You haven’t asked, “WWJD?”
You’re not as young as you once were.
When they did it on American Gladiator it looked like fun but two contestants were hospitalized.
Up in the sky! It’s a bird! It’s a plane! It’s…my buddy Bruce in a cape jumping off his roof and breaking his arm! Oops.
Even after Bruce broke his arm, I wanted to be Superman. Or even Clark Kent, star reporter. I ended up being Jimmy Olsen, photographer. We all grew up wanting to be superheroes. I wanted to be Green Arrow and had the archery set and practiced in the front yard… until I shot an arrow in the air and it came down and hit the neighbor’s car two houses away. I wanted to be Aquaman and swim the oceans with the whales and sharks using my perfect dolphin kick…except I sank like a stone and couldn’t grow gills no matter how many fish sticks I ate. I dreamed of being The Flash…but couldn’t outrun my own bullies so I sure wasn’t saving anyone else.
My buddy Patrick and I wanted to be Spider-Men, but after climbing a very tall pinnacle of rock in the park, we couldn’t get down. No sticky webs, no Spidey-jumps, just a rope…and Mr. McGregor talking us down one hand-hold at a time…
Apparently, it’s time to discuss Family Traditions here at SEARCH Magazine.
While my family members are all wonderful people, there’s not much I can say about our traditions without one or more of them getting a wee bit upset that I’ve aired our emotional laundry in public. It’s my job in this column to bring you the smiles and laughs, unfortunately there aren’t a lot of laughs to be had in the traditions of a family who should probably keep a team of therapists on retainer. That said, there is one tradition I inherited both from my maternal grandfather and my father, who died two months apart in 1982 and 1983, and that is the spinning of tails and the fabricating of fictions. In the grand tradition of those good men, I shall spin you a story about my life, and our–not at all true–family traditions.
As part of our Blast from the Past issue, we’re revisiting useful articles from past issues. This article first appeared in Summer 2017:
Fifty Shades of Beige
by Tim Reynolds
I live a boring little life, in a boring little duplex, on a boring little cul-de-sac, in a city whose most exciting event of the year revolves around cows.
I eat, I sleep, I go to work, I write, I hang out with my three beasts. My life is completely devoid of adventure and really always has been. If there was a color to describe my life, it would be Suburban Beige, the beigiest beige on the color wheel.
As a kid I wanted to be everything from an astronaut to a cowboy to a spy to a movie star, and finally, Elvis. None of it happened.
I’ve never even had the adventure of marriage, although I did once propose to a girlfriend at the airport before she left on a jet plane to fly across the continent to donate a kidney to her mother. No, she didn’t say ‘yes’. She laughed and said, “Are you kidding?”
You laugh, but I am a Space Cadet, or better, a Space Fanatic. I always have been. I was born just before Yuri Gagarin went into orbit, and my childhood was spent watching the Space Race from the rug in the rec room right along with Dad, a former Navy pilot. Clutched tightly in one hand was my Major Matt Mason action figure because the whole idea of man landing on the moon fascinated me. The Moon! That waxing, waning white-grey shiny thingy hanging in the sky above the house!
I even built a monstrous (for me) plastic model of Saturn V rocket with removable Command and Lunar Modules. But a model, an action figure, and an old black and white television were all so abstract. They got me excited, but it wasn’t until the Ontario Science Centre opened in September 1969 (two months after Neil and Buzz stepped foot onto luna firma) that my love of space reached escape velocity. In that wondrous building were housed a real NASA spacesuit, a mock-up of the Command Module that I could actually sit in and flick switches and a Lunar Module Eagle simulator!
I spent hours trying to land that sucker on the “moon” and imagined that NASA themselves would pick the next crop of astronauts from the kids who could successfully land that Eagle onto that Sea of Tranquility. Sadly, I was never able to master the skill, and today I’m sure that’s why … Read more in the Fall 2019 issue