To Calve and Calve Not

I was lying in my hammock this past weekend and happened to look down at my legs.   As is always the case there was a riot of activity taking place in my calves.  For some reason,  small spasms  are continually present in that part of my legs.   After I’ve ridden my bike or played tennis, the activity is exaggerated and can be more  entertaining than a three ring circus.  And these twitches are like snow flakes- no two are  alike.  So, when I’m really bored and there’s nothing on TV a fun option is to just spend an hour or so staring at my legs. 

I’ve found that almost everyone I know has some anomalous physical condition which they’ll share at some point.  Usually, if you hang out with friends long enough and  run out of things to talk about or drink enough, someone will show you  some weird thing they can do with their tongue or some other body part.  And that usually opens the floodgates for everyone else in the room to showcase their “talent”.  Actually, it rarely starts with the tongue .  Often it’s some kind of joint flexibility like bending one’s thumb back against one’s wrist.  Then it gradually escalates to the tongue stuff….usually showing how you can touch your nose.  Occasionally, someone can do something really, really crazy with their tongue.  I try to be around for these occasions. 

As a kid, I can remember my father having some strange thing in one of his hands where he could make his knuckles cross or something like that.  My, brother and sister and I (not me) would beg him to do his “trick”.  He was smart and did this sparingly so as to make it seem all the more special.  He was also very  flexible and could  place a leg behind his head.  This was even a rarer treat.  (All the more so because I’m very tight  jointed…I can’t even put one of my legs behind someone else’s  head. )  My brother, for his part, could easily touch his tongue to his nose.   Now my sister’s ‘talent’ doesn’t technically qualify as one.  It’s not something she could do on demand but still it’s worth mentioning.  Over dinner we would try and get her laughing hard enough that so food would come out her nose.  This was especially exciting (and dangerous) when she was eating peas.  My guess is this is not something she showcases nowadays. (It’s not lost on me-nor was it on my therapist-that there’s no mention of my mother here. Let’s leave it at that.)

Sometimes these parlor tricks can be obliquely sexual in nature.  Obviously,the tongue stuff has a certain sensual quality to it….so it’s best done in mixed company.  Sometimes this can lead to even sexier stuff.  I was at a dinner party last year and a friend, Diane (who was really loaded) demonstrated doing a standing split while running one leg up a wall.  Very, very impressive.  And kind of hot. My groin (which hasn’t fully healed, thanks for asking) hurts just thinking about that.

But to get back to me and my calves (remember that’s how this started),  it doesn’t take much for me to display this condition of mine which frankly, I’ve found  to be unique. But, clearly I’m hamstrung (it seems I”ve replaced the foreign words and phrases that I promised with bad puns) because if I’m not wearing shorts I have to get partially undressed to parade my calves.  I’m not averse to doing that, it’s just that it’s such a drag in the winter when I’m wearing all sorts of layers.  Maybe I should cultivate another skill that’s less dependent on the season.   Actually, I do have this thing where my middle fingers form a huge “V”.  Not so good for swimming and certainly not nearly as interesting as the calf thing but still something to share in the dead of winter when my friends and I (not me) roll out our idiosyncrasies. 


8 Responses to “To Calve and Calve Not”

  1. Maria Says:

    I’m always learning more about you neil. Talents I somehow have overlooked until you’ve brought them to my attention. I just wonder, admittedly with some trepidation, what you will reveal next! Good thing I have your blog bookmarked….

    • ironicman Says:

      airam… .. i’m going to take this in the kindest way. although it’s my nature to be shy about this stuff, i’ll keep you posted on any other ‘talents’ that may surface.

  2. Joyce Says:

    it’s not because I too twitch that I’m writing. I mostly get them in my eyelid which I find particularly annoying. But I also get them in my legs and sometimes my arms. I find those more acceptable because I can attribute them to athletic prowess. I’m guessing your average sloth doesn’t suffer from such things. But Im writing to let you know I enjoy your blog and I am among your 5,000. It’s serving as a place for me to dwell occasionally as I contemplate (procrastinate) writing one of my own.
    Thanks for adding me to your list. I look forward to more.

    • ironicman Says:

      joycie…nice to hear from you! there’s a woman in my office who gets them in her ass. she’s supposed to show us the next time it happens.
      makes coming to work a pleasure.

  3. richard weinstock Says:

    The name Sigourney Weaver immediately comes to mind when I saw your video.
    In case you’re not up on pop culture “Alien”.
    Nice steady hands on the camera too.

    • ironicman Says:

      i neglected to give credit for the video. it twas written, produced and directed my luap. he was also the cameraman. i think he has a bright future.

  4. 1 aidualc Says:

    i’m speechless but i loved it. and I have something to show you that has to do with my tongue, too! lucky you. plus i have a great little french place on smith street for our next dinner and my little talent show, if you’re good.

    • ironicman Says:

      apparently, not entirely speechless. looking forward to the tongure thing….but don’t expect me to show you the calf tremors over dinner…there’s a time and place…..

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