Stuff I Did in the '80s
Dare to Be Stupid
Dare to Be Stupid

As a 13 year-old, I loved a good practical joke. You know, like gluing a quarter to a sidewalk with superglue and laughing in hysterics watching people try to pick it up. Innocent pranks intended for a laugh.

Lisa Decker was, arguably, the most popular girl in Murray Middle School. Because our last names were alphabetically close, we were often seated next to one another in class. Given the choice I am sure she would have preferred sitting with her friends: cool kids like surfers, cheerleaders and jocks. I, on the other hand, drew wizards, TIE fighters and spent my free time expanding my insect collection. We were two different species…but I thought perhaps a bit of humor might earn her friendship. One morning before school, I hollowed out a piece of Hubba Bubba bubblegum, filled it with garlic powder and placed it back in the package. I offered her a piece once we were seated in class.

She accepted the gum with a smile and then turned around to examine my drawings. With each question she asked I realized she showed genuine interest in me, my art and even Dungeons & Dragons. With each question she asked I was barraged with wave after wave of garlic. She now smelled like Pizza Hut.

Lisa soon realized something was amiss and ran for the water fountain, gagging and spitting out gobs of garlic powder. I grinned with pride knowing that I’d made an impression on the most popular girl in school.

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Introduction Half a Boombox I’m Not a Member I was Simon Le Bon (For Fifteen Minutes) Motown 25 Watch Whatever, Whenever Snowblind You’re the One That I Want Call Me Your Kiss is on My List Electric Boogaloo Dear Daryl Hall and John Oates Where Shopping is a Pleasure Dialect of a Decade I’m Alright The Sunshine State Shazam! It’s Just a Fantasy I’ve Got a Secret Sunday Funnies Impeachment American Top 40 License to Drive Risky (Show) Business Jumping Someone Else’s Train Yakety Sax I Want to be Elton John When I Grow Up Hit Me With Your Best Shot: Tetherball, Dodgeball & Flag Football Sk8 or Go Home Roll a Saving Throw vs. Velour Piano Man The Duckman Cometh Money for Nothing Waiting for the Bus More Than Meets the Eye The Legend Begins Whip It When You Care Enough to Send the Very Best Master Chef Muppetmania I Want to Ride My Bicycle WW III My Octopus Teacher Some Like it Hot Cuckoo for Cocoa Puffs Dare to Be Stupid Keeping the Faith
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Never Abandon Imagination Tony DiTerlizzi: Never abandon imagination.

Imagination is a world of possibility that exists within each of us. It is what makes us uniquely human. It is our creative fingerprint that touches and influences the world around us. Imagination is essential to art and science; to innovation and prosperity. It gives us hope, calls us to action and leads to change.

Whether it’s fairies, dragons, robots or aliens, all of my children’s book characters are siblings born of my imagination – an imagination strengthened through years of encouragement from family, teachers and friends. While so many others abandoned it during their transition from childhood to adulthood, I fiercely held onto mine, hoping for a day when I could share it to inspire the next generation of dreamers. Innovators. World changers.

Imagination empowers us to envision and create a reality of what could be. We must hold it dear, foster it and never abandon it.