Wednesday, August 28, 2013

NOBODY CALLS ME BETHY....Anymore

SYMBOLISM. Is what this is. And a chickadee.












I'm sitting here staring at my Starbucks coffee cup, upon which someone has written the name "Bethy." And while I hate that name and will cut you down where you stand and burn the body if you call me that, it does bring back fond memories of the one person in the history of time and space who has ever been allowed to call me Bethy. So, let's talk about her. Because warm, cuddly feelings make me feel better. I'm having kind of a difficult week.

When I was in kindergarten, I peed my pants on the school bus. I know. Gross. But I feel that it's as good a place as any to start the story. There I was, five years old, on the school bus, surrounded by other children who were totally staring at me and my peepants. I remember thinking as it was happening of that joke where the little boy is reciting his ABCs, and he skips the P, and his teacher asks, "Where the P?" And he says, "IT'S RUNNING DOWN MY LEG."

That's why when our bus driver, Nila, asked me, "Bethy, are you okay back there?" I responded with, "IT'S RUNNING DOWN MY LEG." And then I laughed and laughed at my joke and maybe also started to cry.

But it wasn't my fault. If you want to get technical, it was the fault of whichever parent made me wear that summer jumper with the rainbow polka dots. It was clearly designed by someone who was thinking like an adult putting clothes on a child and not like an adult expecting a child to dress herself. My arms didn't maneuver in a way that would allow me to fasten those snaps over my right shoulder. And so, rather than going to the bathroom and facing the mortification of having to ask my teacher to help me put my jumper back on in front of my classmates, I had held my pee all day long.

All day long.

Well, at least until noon, as our kindergarten school days only lasted half the day.

But if you're going to pee your pants on the school bus, there is nobody better to handle the situation than Nila. She didn't make a big deal about it. She didn't embarrass me or make me feel stupid. She told my mom about it in a whisper when we got to my house, after I had run inside to change. And I never had to wear the rainbow polka-dotted jumper again.

Nila was not only our bus driver, but also our neighbor. She and her husband Carl lived even farther from town than we did, about five miles from our house. And there was no one in the world who was happier to see you than Nila.

"I could just put you in my pocket and take you home!" she always said to people, especially my little brother who was, to his credit, the cutest ever when he was little. (He called her "Milo.")

"I hate it when Nila calls me Bethy!" I said, sometime in second grade as I got ready to head out to the school bus one morning.

"Then, ask her to stop calling you that then," my mom replied. "But do it politely. Don't be rude."

Nila said, "Good morning, Bethy!" when I got on the bus. I didn't have the heart to say anything. Nila was always so nice and pleasant, even though she probably had to get out of bed at 5 AM or something to drive us all to school.

Eventually, Nila retired from driving the school bus. I was in fifth grade when she did.

"Wow! She must be old!" I said. "How old is she???"

My mom said, "In her 70s. Please don't ask her."

In what I assumed was her 80s, Nila was declared legally blind. The last time I went to her house, we sat in her kitchen and she showed us her clock that made bird sounds every hour.

"I can't see the numbers anymore!" she explained as her clock chirped like a cardinal. "Must be 2 PM!"

The last time I saw Nila was at my grandpa's funeral.

"Why, Bethy!" she said, in the little chirpy way she always said it. Nila herself was like a little bird, a chickadee or a finch maybe. She pulled me in for a hug, squinting as she tried to get a good look at my face and see how I'd changed. I was almost 30, and she was almost 90. Her eyes were blue and milky, her face crinkled like paper.

I wished I could have stayed in that moment longer than I did. I knew I would probably never see her again, and I was right.

There are few people you meet in your life who care about you unconditionally. No matter what you tell them, they say, "Good for you! I'm so proud of you!" Nila was like that for me, even if I never really saw her after I became a teenager and then an adult. To her, I would always be that 5-year old who peed her pants on the way home from kindergarten, and that 7-year-old who fell in the mud running to the bus, or that 9-year-old who punched her brother in the face one time and got in trouble (HE DESERVED IT).

I guess I'm not sorry that I never got around to telling her to stop calling me Bethy. In a tiny way it always makes me happy to hear it.

But if any of the rest of you call me that, I will end you. It's Nila's name for me, and hers alone, and it died with her.

Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Miley Cyrus Is Trying to Kill Me

AVERT YOUR EYES.















Six months ago I got some terrible news from my doctor. She said to me, "Bethany, I'm a doctor. You can tell because I'm wearing a white lab coat, I'm carrying this stethoscope, and I've taken all your money to run a lot of tests on you. So it pains me greatly to tell you that you have a very serious condition, very serious indeed."

"What is it, Doctor?" I asked.

"Hold your horses!" she responded. "I can't just tell you. I have to allow the tension to build so that you'll be extra upset!"

I waited.

"Here goes!" she finally said, "You know how some people get cancer and some other people get bubonic plague? And it's really inconvenient for them and they sometimes die? Well, you have a disease where, if you see Miley Cyrus twerk one more time, it will kill you. It's called Twerkinson's."

"Are you trying to be funny?" I asked.

"No, cross my heart and hope to not get Twerkinson's," she replied. "I could not be more serious. You can tell I'm being serious because I took my glasses off so you could see the seriousness in my eyes. And my new eyeshadow. But this isn't about bringing out the green in my eyes. It's about you and your Twerkinson's."

"There isn't any such thing as Twerkinson's," I said.

"Ten years ago, there wasn't," she said, getting up and walking around her desk for extra dramatic effect. "We were all safe. Dance Fever existed only in the lab. But then people started dying. We doctors began to ask ourselves why."

"Are you messing with me again?" I asked. "Like that time when you told me I had a weird growth on my back, but it was just a scratch and sniff sticker that smelled like popcorn?"

"Hey! I removed it, didn't I??? Sheesh! I swear you get more ungrateful every time you come in here!" my doctor said.

"Yes, but you didn't need to use a scalpel to remove it. I have a big popcorn-shaped scar now."

"I said I was sorry! Now, can I go on??"

"Okay. Yes. Never mind. Go on. Tell me more about Twerkinson's."

My doctor settled back into her seat and slowly began to spin around in it.

"Anyway, like I was saying, people began to die and me and my doctor friends were like, 'What's going on here?' So, we decided to get to the bottom of it in the most scientific way possible. We ordered some chimps off the internet and began to run some tests on them."

"Ooookay," I said.

"They all died right after we made them watch internet videos of Miley Cyrus twerking," my doctor said. "It was then that we put two and two together. Miley Cyrus is trying to kill you. She's trying to kill us all. With Twerkinson's."

"I'm still not sure I believe you," I said, "but I'm scared, so I've decided to go with that feeling instead of doubt."

"Good idea," said my doctor. "The best thing to do is always believe everything I say 100 percent. I've never been wrong, except about that one thing."

"What thing was that?" I asked.

"I don't remember," she said. "But it definitely didn't involve a flu outbreak that killed 10,000 people. Now you should probably go so I can fart into this paper bag. I can't do it with you watching."

I left. I went home. I cried. I haven't watched any internet videos since.

I'm telling all of you this because after the VMAs the other night, I think all of you should probably get checked for Twerkinson's. I won't have your deaths on my hands.

Friday, August 23, 2013

The Movie Script I Wrote Called "City of Boners"

Fixed it.


















Have you guys heard about this new movie coming out called City of Boners: Mortal Instruments? I know. I was totally intrigued too until I squinted and got closer and found out it was actually called City of Bones. Apparently it's a book I haven't read?

But that hasn't stopped me from writing a script for City of Boners for you. I hope you brought protection.


My Script for City of Boners

INT. Day- Remote village hut on the morning of Young One's 13th year of life.

Young One: Now that I have reached the age of shaving, I must travel to the City of Boners and find my destiny.

Wise Elder: Do not go without this sword, my child.

Young One: I thank you, old one. I am gladdened that you think me old enough to carry a long, hard sword, and not the small, soft one from my youth.

Wise Elder: Go now. Go to the City of Boners. Take with you only your sword and this pouch of seeds.

Young One: What do I do with the seeds, Wise Elder?

Wise Elder: You will know in time, my child. Now, go. For I must get back to polishing my own sword for the next five to fifteen minutes. After which time I will fall asleep.

[Cut to!]
 

EXT. Day- City of Boners

Young One: Ah, I have reached the City of Boners. [to Vendor] Where shall I go first?

Vendor: You must go first to the temple.

Young One: Where is it?

Vendor: Follow that path. You cannot miss it. The temple is tall and surrounded by a thicket.

Young One: I fear to go there. Is that normal?

Vendor: All fear the High Priest of Boners. He is the one who dwells in the temple. You cannot enter the City of Boners without his permission.

Young One: I will go then, but my sword will be drawn for safety.

Vendor: It would be safer to keep it sheathed. Trust me on this. I once entered the Temple of Boners with my sword unsheathed, and the next day I regretted it very much. I must avoid using my sword because of the burning sensation it still creates.

[Cut to!]


INT. Day- Temple of Boners

High Priest of Boners: It is I, the High Priest of Boners. Who enters here?

Young One: A youth from the nearby village. It is my coming of age time.

High Priest of Boners: Unsheath your sword, young one, and come forward.

Young One: I cannot. For it makes me very uncomfortable when people look at it.

High Priest of Boners: I insist. To enter my city, you must perform three tasks to prove that you are worthy. The first of these is to hold out your sword and measure it next to mine.

Young One: I will do it then, but I am still wary. My sword is sacred to me.

High Priest of Boners: Fear not. I see a hundred swords of young ones each week.

Young One: Okay, I guess.

[Young One gets out his sword and holds it out.]

High Priest of Boners: You must hold it out straight.

Young One: I apologize, High Priest. For I am nervous.

[The two measure their swords.]

High Priest of Boners: My sword is longer, but yours is more robust. That is to be commended.

Young One: My father says that it's not the size of your sword but how you use it.

High Priest of Boners: Your father is wise and must have a powerful, if small, sword.

Young One: He says it is average and has had no complaints.

High Priest of Boners: You must now prepare for the second task.

Young One: I am prepared. Tell me what I need to do.

[Cut to!]


EXT. Day- Forest

Young One: According to the High Priest of Boners, I am to find the Sacred Spring through this forest, but I am most definitely lost.

Spirit of the Woods: Lost, you say?

Young One: Yes. I am looking for the Sacred Spring. The High Priest of Boners sent me this way, but he was vague about the directions.

Spirit of the Woods: That's because all he does is look at swords all day. I can show you the spring myself, for a small fee.

Young One: Name your price.

Spirit of the Woods: It depends. I can guide your sword with my hands or tell you the way with my mouth.

Young One: I feel very warm suddenly and must sit down and shield myself from your view for a moment.

Spirit of the Woods: It is because the Sacred Spring is near. Your sword can sense its presence.

Young One: Please take me to the Sacred Spring.

Spirit of the Woods: Well, you are kind of cute. I guess I will show you the way for free.

Young One: I accept your guidance.

Spirit of the Woods: Just don't tell anyone.

[Cut to!]


EXT. 30 seconds later- Sacred Spring

Young One: I think have lost the pouch of seeds Wise Elder gave me.

Spirit of the Woods: [sighs] You definitely did. So....this is where I leave you, Young One. I must now go home and shower.

Young One: You have been more helpful than you will ever know. If I ever pass this way again, I will call you.

Spirit of the Woods: No, that is okay. I will call you.

[She leaves.]

[Cut to!]


INT. Day- Temple of Boners

Young One: I have returned, High Priest of Boners. I traveled to the Sacred Spring and back!

High Priest of Boners: Really? I was sure you would take one look at the Sacred Forest and turn back.

Young One: Tell me of the third task.

High Priest of Boners: Nah. You're good. You've already traveled to the Sacred Spring. Therefore, you do not need my guidance any longer. And, besides, I am out of thinly-veiled sword puns. Go now, back to your village and tell them of your travels.

Young One: But I want to stay in the City of Boners and travel every day to the Sacred Spring!

High Priest of Boners: Wouldn't we all?

Young One: I thought you preferred staying in your temple and measuring the swords of young ones.

High Priest of Boners: Just because I prefer to measure swords does not mean that I have never ventured out to the Sacred Spring once or twice.

Young One: I am not passing judgment. It's just strange that you did not seem to know the way and described it as cold and terrible, when I found it to be quite warm and pleasant.

[There is an uncomfortable silence.]

High Priest of Boners: I really want you to leave now, so I can get back to exercising and looking at these sword etchings.

Young One: Okay.


INT. Day- Remote village hut

[Young One enters.]

Young One: Wise Elder! I have returned!

Wise Elder: Good. Did you ever figure out that situation with your penis?

Young One: What?

BLACKOUT.

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

MY LIST OF BIRTHDAY DEMANDS!!!!

I am completely overwhelmed right now, you guys. And topless.












Thirty-four years ago today, I was born. AND YOU'D BETTER NOT FORGET IT. As you are 100 percent aware, birthdays are the one day out of the year when you get to say or do anything you want and you cannot be criticized or prosecuted. Everyone is required to write nice things about you on Facebook and pretend they forgot about how you killed that guy that time and framed them for the crime. It also means I get to make some big time demands, and everyone has to adhere to them or suffer the consequences.

Are you ready for my demands??? GET OUT A PEN AND A PIECE OF PAPER AND GET READY BECAUSE HERE THEY COME.

1. First demand! Cheese! I want to eat cheese on everything. Get me some cheese and a grater immediately. But if you even hint at showing up with American cheese slices, I'll grate you instead and feed you to the pelicans!

2. Second demand! I want for everyone to think I'm cool. But that kind of effortless cool you can only be if you are Johnny Depp or a 20-something lesbian with an asymmetric haircut.

3. Third demand! I want peaches to be ripe and in season year round. I don't care what you have to do or how many Earth's orbits you have to destroy, I want it, and I want it now!

4. Fourth demand! A portal gun!

5. Fifth demand! Time travel!

6. Sixth demand! A sidekick! Someone to show up at my house and be like, "We have to go on a hijinks-filled roadtrip immediately," but always understanding that he or she is the sidekick and I'm the awesome one.

7. Seventh demand! Candy!

8. Eighth demand! For people to never use the adjective "smokin'" to describe another person ever again. Unless the person is on fire and is, in fact, smoking, in which case, DON'T JUST STAND THERE. DO SOMETHING.

9. Ninth demand! Money! But not too much because lots of money just leads people to turning up dead in swimming pools.

10. Tenth demand! Kittens!

11. Eleventh demand! Puppies!

12. Twelth demand! Baby elephants wearing little bonnets!

13. Thirteenth demand! A whale who wants to be best friends with me! A blue whale or a humpback. Right whales are stupid, and don't even get me started on sperm whales. JUST KIDDING. ANY WHALE WILL DO.

14. Fourteenth demand! Boyfriends for everybody!

15. Fifteenth demand! For you to quit complaining about the new boyfriend I just gave you!

16. Sixteenth demand! Cake!

17. Seventeenth demand! Pie!

18. Eighteenth demand! Cakepie! And unity in the dessert community.

19. Nineteenth demand! Extra demands for tomorrow!

20. Twentieth demand! For you to stop reading this list and get on these demands ASAP.

Monday, August 19, 2013

Some Updates (but Not Really) on My OKCupid Account

Say goodbye to my unibrow, Michael. It's the last time you're going to see it.














Well, you guys, it's been real. Real what? REAL AWESOME.

You know the story. Girl breaks up with guy. Girl gets on the internet looking for a new guy. Girl gets burned out and hateful after 10 minutes. Girl decides to put on makeup and wigs and dick with dumb people. Girl meets someone awesome and is happy but also like, "BOO!" because what is she going to do with her time now? Girl insists you stop calling her "girl" because she's 34 years old, thankyouverymuch.

But I don't want to leave you feeling sad about my abrupt departure from OKCupid. That's why I'm giving you a little something I've been saving for a while. One time I had a had a conversation with a weirdo on OKCupid IM. I was going to post it ages ago, but I kept going back and forth like, "Is this even appropriate?" It's not. And I decided I don't care. Just read it. Here it is.


The Time I Trolled for Weirdos on OKCupid


Dude: hey
Me: Hey yourself.
Dude: hey what u doin
Me: Oh, you know. Typical Tuesday night things.
Dude: i am [Dude]
Me: Bethany
Dude: hi bethany u r so clever lol
Dude: did u go out
Me: Did I go out tonight? Nope. I've been trying to get some writing done tonight.
Dude: oh cool i love a writer
Dude: it is sexy
Dude: can i ask u a forward question?
Me: Sure.
Dude: what r u wearing?
Me: It's not anything that's going to appeal to your sensual side, I can assure you.
Dude: u r 36d?
Me: MY GOD. HOW DID YOU KNOW THAT???
Dude: i like my big breasts. god.
Me: Well, you must be psychic.
Dude: since i was right u will have to let me massage them
Dude: i have good oil
Me: I've never met you. For all I know you could have hooks for hands. I can't make any promises unless you can assure me that your hands are not hooks.
Dude: my hands r soft and loving
Dude: they will take good care of you
Dude: when u r ready
Dude: sounds good?
Me: I don't know. I still have no photographic proof that you don't have hook hands. People lie on the internet all the time.
Dude: i am a lawyer not a liar
Me: You could be typing that with hook hands right now.
Dude: no i want to massage your big tits with my pretty hands
Me: Okay, I guess. But if I find out you have hook hands or even a peg leg, I'm going to be pissed.
Dude: ok. tell me to massage your big breasts
Me: Please use your hook hands to massage my breasts now.
Dude: oh yes. tell me to pour oil on them. do u have big nipples?
Me: I don't know. What do you consider big?
Dude: do they stand up when aroused
Me: Definitely not. The Bible forbids that.
Dude: ok. what r u wearing now
Me: A suit of armor.
Dude: haha do u wantme to massage your naked body when we r together?
Me: Not until I've established that you don't have hook hands.

So, maybe in the past, you’ve spent time in a relationship where you were always the one who had to initiate sex. And sometimes even after you did, the smallest interruption would unnerve your partner so much, he or she could not get in the mood again for the next six weeks. And you would spend your nights sweaty and anxious and wondering if perhaps you could use being celibate for the greater good and achieve some kind of spiritual enlightenment.

This is the happy alternative. Perverts on the internet will never turn you down. 

If you want to go back and peruse the old OKCupid stuff, I'm putting the links here. 


And, in conclusion, here's a jam all about saying goodbye.

Thursday, August 15, 2013

This Story Will Definitely Make You Barf












When I was a kid and we were gathered around the table eating dinner, sometimes there was a thing I didn't want to eat. One time it was spinach souffle. Another time it was a weird salad with a bunch of things in it like apples, poppyseed dressing, raisins, onions, cornbread, fish tacos, herbs, spices, and human flesh probably. I could only glare at it with loathing and hope the house would burn down.

And if there was one thing my dad totally hated, it was when we wouldn't eat a perfectly good food item. He hated it so much that he had a foolproof method for making us eat. Here is his method. I hope you write it down to one day use on your children, if you do not yet have children. If you do have children, I hope you make something gross and use it on them tonight. And if you don't have children and have no desire to ever have them, I hope you use this method on your pets or butler instead.

Here goes.


My Dad's Foolproof Method for Making Children Eat Things

1. Tell your children they are "picky." Imply that being "picky" is a very, very bad thing and they should be totally embarrassed to be labeled as such.

He still tries this on me, and I say to him, "Shut up, Dad. Aren't you the one who banned tuna from the house because you hate it so much? I REST MY CASE." (I went to a special law school I invented for throwing things back in your parents' faces.)

2. Remind them of a time they were proven wrong. For instance, "Remember that time I made that liver and onions, and you loved it? You ate it up like it was candy. Clearly, you love liver and onions and should eat everything on your plate right now. I REST MY CASE. " 

My dad went to a special law school he invented for remembering useless Dad information that he can use against his children later.

3. And the final step if all else fails. This is important!!! TELL THEM THAT YOU WILL TELL THEM "THE STORY."

"What story?" you're asking? Well, let me enlighten you.

My dad told us that if we didn't eat our [gross food item], he would tell us the story. The story that was so gross it would definitely make us barf.

"That's impossible!" we would taunt.

And Dad would say, "No, I'm serious. When I heard this story the first time, I barfed, so I know."

"What's it about?" we would ask.

"I can't tell you that," he would reply. "Just know that it's so gross, it will make you throw up for sure."

"Is the story about dead, rotting animals?" I asked.

"Maybe," Dad said.

"Are there maggots in it?" my brother asked.

"Possibly," Dad replied.

 "Is someone already barfing in the story?" I asked.

"You're going to find out if you don't eat that green bean hot dog surprise," Dad said.

Well, I hated barfing. This would never do.

We all looked around at each other. Did we want to risk it? Should we all just eat our macaroni and cheese "with peas in it for color because color is important in your meals" as our mom would say? 

"One final question," my older brother would say, recent graduate of a law school he invented where you ask lots of questions to delay Dad telling us a story that would make us barf. "Is there really a story that will make us barf or are you just making things up?"

At this, Dad would become indignant and look at us over the top of his glasses. "Yes, there's a story, and if you don't eat right now, I'm going to tell it to you."

"How much time do we have?" I asked. I had decided that barfing was not worth it.

"Fifteen minutes," he said, "Starting now."

At that point, I would force down the sweet and sour horse face curry as fast as I could and then run to my bedroom, get into bed, and cover my ears with a blanket, lest I risk overhearing the story that would make me barf instantly.

My dad still won't confirm or deny if there was an actual story that would make us throw up for sure, but every time I see something gross, I mentally file it away so I can ask my dad, "Was it about pus? Is there pus in the story? What about diarrhea?"

Monday, August 5, 2013

The Answer to a Question That I Am Frequently Asked


There is one question that I am frequently asked, and I feel I should probably answer it now that several years have passed since the incident that led to the question in question.

Many, many people would like to know the answer to this question, but I am only telling you because you seem very nice. And only nice people deserve to know the answers to things. Like, if Hitler asked me about this question, I would say to him, "Sorry, Hitler. You're not nice. Not nice like…that person over there." And I would be pointing at you. Because you're nice and reading this within a short distance of my conversation with Hitler in this scenario. 

But you have to promise me that once you have heard the answer to the question, you will not tell anyone. You'll just write it down on a piece of paper, put the piece of paper in a wooden box that you carved yourself, lock it, and then put it in a high security vault where it will be monitored 24/7 by armed guards that are extremely handsome.

The handsome part is non-negotiable. My secrets cannot be guarded by anyone with a weak, unclefted chin or a pair of eyes that don't sparkle in a winsome, carefree manner.

You must also promise that you will please feed the guards three square meals per day. Don't make them just stand there protecting the vault in all that Kevlar on an empty stomach. Also, give them some snacks throughout the day, like granola bars or a handful of grapes.

Now, at this point you are probably really curious about the answer to the question. You might be also wondering what the question is, as I have not yet told you. Don't worry! I'll definitely tell you both things very soon. I just need to make sure you understand your post-answered-question duties 100 percent. Just because you are nice does not mean you are necessarily responsible, and I need to make sure you are both before we take the exciting step forward as friends who tell each other things, like the answers to questions that one of us is asked frequently.

Yes, I consider you a friend. So, you'd better email me what you want to do for your birthday, or I'll just mess it up.

Now, are you ready to hear the question? The question that I am asked very frequently but have refused to answer up until this point? Good. Here goes.

How's it going?

No, I'm not asking you. That's the question I am asked frequently.

Now, it might seem like this question is one that many people are asked frequently, and it is. But when it is asked of me particularly, the person doing the asking is definitely relating it back to the aforementioned incident. Rather than placing the emphasis on "going," the asker is placing the emphasis on "it," which would imply that the important part of the question is the "it." Which, as with all pronouns, is just one giant mystery if you take "it" out of context. 

Furthermore, if the person doing the asking is wearing an eye patch at the time, that just deepens the mystery. Because how did he lose that eye and does it have anything at all to do with an incident that resulted in a question I am frequently asked? (The question "How's it going?" with the emphasis placed on "it," to refresh your memory.)

Yes. The incident in question did lead to someone losing an eye. But I'm not to blame, despite what anyone wearing an eye patch implies. I was simply in the room at the time. And, yes, I was holding a slingshot. But I am always very careful to point it away from eyes and other important body parts. Unless the body parts belong to the person who was responsible for putting someone's eye out through acts of villainy and a complete and utter disregard for safety. Even then, I am sure to never cause any permanent damage, as I am just an innocent bystander and not a villain.

But back to the answer to the question "How's IT going?" I still haven't told you the answer, even though you have pinkie sworn to guard my secrets with your life and some extremely handsome armed guards. After all of that and taking our sacred vow of friendship forever, I feel I owe you the courtesy of telling you the answer. Here's the answer:

Fine, fine. It's going fine.

Of course, taken out of context, you cannot see the fact that as I give you the answer to this question I am winking frantically, hoping that you will understand that the emphasis should be placed on the "going" in my response. Be sure you write down on the piece of paper that I am winking frantically, and be sure to underline "going" many times so that anyone who reads the paper in the future will know about the emphasis part. 

Now you know the answer to the question that I am asked frequently. And perhaps you are befuddled by the mystery surrounding the question and its answer and varying levels of emphasis placed on certain words in both of them. Maybe you have additional questions involving an incident involving a slingshot, a villain, and a man losing an eye. But if I tell you too much, it will certainly put your life in danger. So, for now, write my response down on a piece of paper, put it in that wooden box that you hand carved, lock the box, begin interviewing extremely handsome armed guards, and DON'T WHISPER A WORD OF THIS TO ANYONE. If anyone finds out that I am providing answers to questions that I am frequently asked, I shall never have a moment’s peace again and we’ll never get your birthday party planned.