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25 Random Things About Drew

drew1. When I was a freshman at Duke, there was an open call for extras in a movie being filmed near campus. Instead of going to the shoot, I stayed at the dorm and watched TV. The movie turned out to be “Bull Durham,” my favorite movie of all time. I could have been IN my favorite movie ever. I still kick myself about this.

2. I tell everyone that I am 6 feet tall, but in reality I have never measured taller than 5-11 3/4″. I’ve been living the lie for far too long.

3. I literally married “the girl next door.” Jennifer grew up next to me and our parents still live next door to one another. This makes the holidays simultaneously more and less convenient.

4. The hardest thing I’ve ever done was the first year of law school. The second hardest was trying to fold a fitted bedsheet.

5. I don’t like the taste of strawberries or watermelon. And I cannot drink coffee. I have tried multiple times to “acquire a taste” for coffee, but how can you acquire a taste for liquid tree bark? Horrible stuff. I’ll take my caffeine in a pill. Or Diet Dew. Glorious, delicious Diet Dew…

6. My full name is James Andrew Shirley, and this has created all kinds of challenges in my life. I’ve heard some variation of the “I am serious, and don’t call me Shirley” joke at least 1,000 times. This is my impression of every nurse at every doctor’s appointment I’ve ever been to: “SHIRLEY JAMES???” I’ve also had countless people read my full name and then ask me, “Where does ‘Drew’ come from?” I can’t explain that one.

7. I’ve lost at least 30 pounds six different times in my life and am currently working on the seventh. I always gain it back. A former significant other once explained to me the reason: “Your problem is that when you’re not dieting, you eat whatever you want.” Me: “By definition.”

8. I could eat pizza for breakfast, lunch and dinner every day of my life and never get tired of it. It’s possible that this fact and #7 are related.

9. I think Creed’s “Higher” is one of the best songs that has been released in the past 20 years. This opinion inspires violent anger in almost everyone who hears it. Also, Alanis Morrissette’s “Jagged Little Pill” was the best album of the 1990s, even though she has no idea what irony is.

10. When I start reading a good book, I find it almost impossible to do anything else until I have finished it. I sometimes get a little depressed when I go into a bookstore and I realize I won’t live long enough to read all the books I’d like to. My favorite book ever is “The Fountainhead.”

11. I was a TV sports guy in Austin during one of Lance Armstrong’s Tour de Frances, and during one sportscast, I said something about Lance being “just 24 seconds behind… Irrelevant Norwegian Guy.” Angry viewers flooded my station with complaints and a couple of people even demanded I be fired. I was not fired, but reprimanded. A couple of months later, I was at a football game when a husband and wife told me I was their favorite sportscaster because I had said Lance was chasing “the irrelevant Norwegian guy.”

12. Having two children has turned me into a giant blubbering fool. I now cry during movies, commercials, reading billboards, fortune cookie fortunes, graffiti… I justify this by reminding myself that Clint Eastwood cries in all of his movies nowadays, the pansy.

13. I am a libertarian but I am pretty sure that less than 5% of the American population has the foggiest idea what that means. I bet there are more people who support the whacked out nutjobs at PETA than libertarians.

14. I have an unrealized, semi-serious dream of being the lead singer in a 1980s cover band. The name of the band would be Phoebe’s Bikini. If you don’t know what Phoebe’s Bikini refers to, then during the ’80s you were either (a) not alive, or (b) not a male.

15. I think “Pulp Fiction” is the greatest movie ever made. It is not my favorite movie, but in terms of originality, influence, plot, dialogue, acting, humor, suspense, you name it… there has never been another movie that did so many things so well.

16. Not too long ago, I came to the conclusion that the most traumatic event of my childhood was probably the death of Obi-wan Kenobi. Either that or Phi Slamma Jamma losing to NC State in the Final Four. Then I came to the conclusion that my childhood was pretty much not traumatic.

17. My high school class voted me “Thinks He’s Most Intelligent.” Not “Most Intelligent,” but “Thinks He’s Most Intelligent.” I tried to get offended, but I had to admit it was, you know, true.

18. When I was on TV, I did get recognized quite a bit, but it was not so much the “Oh My God It’s Drew Shirley!” kind of fame. It was more the “Weren’t You My Waiter At Applebee’s Last Week?” kind.

19. The person who tagged me for this note is the first girl I ever had a crush on. It was in seventh grade. She liked me too, but I never even kissed her because I didn’t have the foggiest idea what to do or say in attempting to woo a young lady. It would not be the last time I would feel that way.

20. I used to mope around for days, weeks, months after Duke lost to Carolina. The last time it happened, I was despondent for about 10 minutes. Then my son did something funny and I cheered up immediately.

21. I think it should be legal to taze anyone who uses the meaningless phrase “it is what it is.” I also think the USA should have a Grammar and Spelling Czar, namely, me. Anyone caught using apostrophes to make ordinary nouns plural would be forced to eat at Shoney’s.

22. When I was in sixth grade, I punched a bully in the nose, and I still think it is one of the most important things I ever did. When I was in ninth grade, I didn’t punch a different bully because I was scared of him, and it is still probably my biggest regret in life.

23. My two sons are beautiful, hilarious, and brilliantly awesome, and it’s not a matter of opinion. Empirically, they are beautiful, hilarious, and brilliantly awesome. Your kids are boring.

24. I don’t think my wife has any real idea how much I worship the ground she walks on. I would be lost without her.

25. At the end of my favorite movie, Crash Davis gives Nuke Laloosh one last piece of advice about baseball: “You’ve gotta play this game with fear and arrogance.” It’s as good a philosophy of life as any I’ve heard.