"Ignorance isn't only for deep things." -Dragon Lady
Question #77060 posted on 04/04/2014 1:42 p.m.
Q:

Dear Reunion Tour,

Copying my question from last year's reunion tour, what's a story you want to tell or a tidbit you want us to hear? If you can't figure out a way to say it in another question, here's your chance.

--Nathan

A:

Dear Nathan,

Okay. I know I said a while ago that I couldn't tell this story because a version of it got really popular on Reddit, but like five people already saw it, read through my Reddit posting history, connected the dots and figured out my identity (seriously people-- stop e-mailing me to gloat!) and I don't really care anymore, so here goes, straight from my Board app: 

Due to some strange connection between my tear ducts and the part of my brain that produces laughter, I cry almost every time I laugh--much to the horror of all new acquaintances that make me laugh and think I’m actually really sad. 

However, there was a time when I laughed and cried, and both were inextricably and unfortunately connected by a single BB gun pellet. The pre-story to the story is that I grew up in one of the worst areas of the US. It was pretty hardcore and I worked at this ghetto little fast-food place in this equally sketchy area. My boss believed me to be the only trustworthy employee there, so despite my diminutive size and relatively harmless appearance, I was always on register. As it turns out, I was manning the register on that fateful day. 

It was early in the evening, just before the dinner rush. I was behind the register, fending off my creepy boss (who was insistent that I see the tattoo that he got in prison) when the door slammed open. A very bedraggled man limped to the center of the restaurant and raised his arm and pointed it directly at me. The unfortunate thing was that he was holding a gun in the hand that was attached to that arm and it was now level with my chest. It turned out that my fight-or-flight reflex is fairly defective, so I didn’t even react.  I just stood there and stared like an idiot. I was vaguely aware that the bones in my legs had melted and that the man was speaking in a raspy voice: “I don’t wanna hurt you. Just give me your money.” 

Three things happened in the next moment that launched me into the realm of hysterics. The first was my boss, who whimpered an expletive and dropped behind the counter for shelter, reminding me dimly that the reason he’d been in prison was for the very same crime. The second thing was the realization that this man was holding a BB gun and attempting to seriously hold up a restaurant and the third irrational thing was that this man sounded like a rapist in a back alleyway. I kid you not--that was my exact thought process and for some reason I thought it to be the most hilarious string of discoveries I had ever heard of.

So I lost it. I completely and utterly lost it. I was screaming with laughter and clinging to the counter for support while my boss stared up at me in terror. It was absolutely not a laughing matter, but like I said, my self-preservation instinct was not up to par. I was desperately aware that I needed to call for help, but I was too busy choking on my own spit and tears of laughter. The man stepped closer and I started gasping for air, trying to stop. “Give it!” he insisted, waving his gun wildly. I took a few deep breaths, straightened up and managed a condescending “No!” in between hiccups. So he shot me. Seriously-- this crazy stranger shot me point blank in the chest with a BB gun. Obviously BB guns are nowhere near as deadly as a real gun would have been at this point, but as anyone who has ever been shot by one knows, they hurt. They hurt a lot. So that was when the real tears began and I dropped to the floor next to my boss who still didn’t know it was a BB gun and thought I’d actually just been murdered. 

By that point one of the few patrons in the restaurant had gotten up and taken the would-be robber out, so I got to spend the next few minutes until the police showed up in the arms of my creepy boss who thought it was oddly romantic. I just mostly cried and laughed and got snot everywhere until someone dug the pellet out of my chest. 

And that is the story of the time I laughed so hard that I cried. And got shot.

-Concorde

A:

Dear me,

A classmate just told me that he and a friend had decided that I would be one of the few people they know who would survive the zombie apocalypse. In case you don't realize, that's the best compliment I could ever hope to receive. 

--Pilgrim

A:

Dear Nathan,

I'm going to put in a shameless plug for the Mormon Texts Project. Read ebooks of classic out-of-copyright Mormon literature (complete list) for free! Even delightfully quirky Orson Pratt stuff! Like the project on Facebook! Follow it on Twitter! Make a tax-exempt donation of your firstborn child! 

~Professor Kirke

A:

Dear Nathan,

My last post on this subject in Board Question #71812 had to do with bodily fluids.  Some months ago, I added to my list of bodily fluids I have had to clean off my uniform. After a few months in my job, you collect all the normal ones (emesis, blood, saliva) and the undesirable ones that make you want to burn your clothing too.

I was present for the delivery of a baby. It was pretty exciting, though obviously stressful. Mom was not excited about delivering outside of a hospital without an epidural, so we tried to keep her as comfortable as possible. There isn't much for the paramedic to do. Honestly, the delivery just kind of happens, you try to support the mother as best you can. You just get really nervous, do your best to position and comfort the mother, and then when the baby comes out there is a lot to do! Baby wasn't transitioning well after delivery, and required some breathing support and close monitoring. Flash forward about 45 minutes after we got the baby stabilized. I didn't realize until handing the baby off to the Neonatal ICU team that I was covered in amniotic fluid and vernix. The little plastic aprons that come in the field delivery kit aren't nearly large enough.

I was going to write more, but I work again tomorrow. I hope I don't add any more bodily fluids to the list. I think that is quite enough "badges of courage" to be counting, don't you?

Have Fun Storming the Castle,

-Il Guanaco

A:

Dear friend--

I don't have a story. I just have a thought. And my thought is: be kind.

- Lexi Khan

A:

Dear Nathan

My 5-year-old, Lil' Master, was struggling with some emotions after BYU lost in first round of the NCAA tournament. With wisdom born of personal experience, I told her it's okay to be sad or frustrated when your favorite team loses. But, you should try not to get, you know, too sad or frustrated. Fighting back tears she said to me, "Daddy, it's not just that BYU lost. Now all my picks are wrong."

She had, rather optimistically and against the counsel I had given her, picked BYU to win it all. So her picks were quite wrong.

-Humble Master

A:

Dear Nathan,

I think that I may have mentioned this before, but Il Guanaco and I were roommates as freshmen. Like sharing the tiny box of space BYU calls a dorm as two immature 18 year olds roommates. The most interesting thing I remember about sharing a room was the time we decided to split our room into halves with masking tape and not allow the other person on the other person's side. I can't even remember why we did it, but it was probably something the stupid jerkface, Il Guanaco, did. He's pretty shifty (note the picture below) and I'm pretty much a saint so I am sure that it was his fault.  The only problem was that out room didn't exactly divide easily for normal life to continue. Please note the rough sketch of our dorm room below. 

Dorm Room 1.JPG

Notice that I had the clear advantage. Sure I couldn't use the sink and my side was noticeably smaller, but Il Guanaco couldn't even leave his side without crossing through my side. Eventually, we settled on the comprise shown below creating a number of "safe zones" for the other to use. 

Dorm Room 2.JPG

What I think is funniest about this is that I can vividly remember hopping a crossing the safe zones - even at times when Il Guanaco wasn't home - like I would hop on one foot from square to square by myself. In fact I was more likely to have a safe zone infraction when he was home to irritate him. 

It should be noted that Il Guanaco and I were (and continue to be) pretty good friends. Apparently, my blankie still has some unresolved issues, though (he sent Il Guanaco this text in response to yayfulness' answer to Board Question #75453). I honestly can't remember why we decided to divide our room, but I do remember our RA coming to talk to us and stage a "conflict resolution session" with us. It was awkward to try to explain the joke that he found very unfunny. 

At any rate I hope this helps or was what you had in mind. Please don't hate me. Feel free to hate Il Guanaco - he is still a stupid jerkface. 

- Brutus

A:

Hey Nathan,

Here's a weird one that I wish I had known a year ago: pregnancy loss is extremely common.  

In November of 2012 I found out I was pregnant.  Surprise!  I lost the pregnancy a few days later.  It was a bit of a bummer but I took it to be a wake up call.  Perhaps this was a sign that we needed to start our family.  During the Board reunion last year, I found out I was pregnant again.  When I lost that pregnancy, I was devastated.  All meaning I had put into the first loss was gone and I was convinced that I was infertile.  

Since I'm up in Canada, it took four months to get in to see an OB/GYN to talk about the two losses and make a plan for the future.  During those four months, I was in a bad depression.  I was convinced that I would never have children and wracked with guilt that my husband was stuck with an infertile crone.  Since we were international, we couldn't even begin the paperwork for adoption until I was done with school and back in the States.  I went from 0 to EXTREME CRISIS pretty quickly.

Then, when I finally got to see the doc, it was explained to me that somewhere between 25-50% of pregnancies are lost in the first trimester.  And even women with six recurrent losses have an 85% chance of carrying a child to term.  Basically, I was crying over having a cold.  Yes, it sucks and there is nothing anyone can do about it but it's common and not necessarily life altering.  After talking to my mom and mother-in-law, I found out that BOTH had pregnancy losses but were too ashamed to say anything.

Best part is, we got pregnant again after one month of trying and this little guy has decided to stick around!  I really wish current me could go give year-ago-me a big hug.  

- Hypatia

A:

Dear Nathan,

Bimmer #4 is on the way! Due in August.

- Beemer Boy (who is suddenly in the market for a minivan)