The Odds

I’ve always wanted to play and win the lottery, but I never have. I was convinced that the chances of winning were so infinitesimally small that the perfect set of circumstances had to be in place for a win. You can’t win by playing over and over again, because each time you play, your chances revert back. Playing more than once increases your chances of winning one of them, but not of winning any of them. And so I waited. I continued on with my life without giving it too much thought, but it was still always in the back of my mind. I was not born with nothing, but could not simply have anything I wanted. I know how important money is. When I was nearly fifteen years old, my parents suggested I get a job. I’m not quite clear on the specifics of the law, but I know that I could have started working at least a year earlier, and I’m not sure why I didn’t. Looking back, I feel selfish for that. My father suggested I become a lifeguard but I don’t know what gave him that idea, but it would explain why he waited until I was older.
I have an extreme and overpowering instinct to protect people. When pedestrians are crossing the street, I slow down, not so that I won’t hit them, but so that I can keep an eye on them and make sure that no one else does. If I were to hear a bang, I don’t think I would hit the floor, I think I would look for people who needed help. Now, how effective I would be in a crisis is a different story, but my main concern is always others. Months ago, I was diagnosed with autism, and I’ve spoken briefly on this, but I didn’t really get too much into it. The word autism is from the Greek autos, meaning “self”. It is generally characterized by self-absorption, and a sometimes debilitating fear of interaction with others. Autistic people are all different—there are as many types of autism as there are people with autism—but one thing that seems to bind us all is social anxiety. This has led experts to believe that we spend too much time in our own heads, and that we are not concerned with others. But this is an insulting and ridiculous description that I take offense to.
The truth is that I don’t process information the same way neurotypical people do. I don’t ask questions, I don’t try to discuss, and I don’t even read as much as you would think. I learn best by seeing a problem and finding the answer through logic. Historical figure John Doe did this and this and this. Why? What was his motivation? Well, tell me the time period, his economic station, and his location, and I might be able to figure it out. That was not only an example of my thought process, but also of my expertise in tangent. I don’t know if you’ve noticed, but this is actually a tangent of a tangent. Mind blown?
When I’m in my own head, I’m not thinking about myself; I’m thinking about you. I’m thinking about what you want out of me; how I should respond to you. I’m thinking about the kinds of things you like and hate. I’m looking at how you dress, how you stand, how you look at me, how you look at others, whether you’re attractive, if you understand the value of a dollar, what movies you like, what you ate for breakfast, what your problems are, if you really hate me as much as I think you do, who you’re going to vote for, and if you’ve noticed how long I’ve taken to respond to you. And when we’re not in a conversation, but you’re in proximity, I’m thinking about whether you’re going to say something to me, what you’re going to say, and what I should say to you. I’m calculating every single possible scenario that could possibly come out of this, consolidated so they’re easier to manage. You might be mad at me, or you might be planning to give me a compliment. Or the world could end. It’s all possible, and I don’t really worry about which ones are the most plausible. I just throw them all in there.
All of what I’ve said is relevant because, since you didn’t know what I was thinking when you were around me, I’m not sure how my father could have known that I would excel at being a lifeguard. Even though I have this urge to help and protect people, I sure as hell don’t seem like I do. I would imagine that a great deal of people would think of me as kind of a dick. I don’t try to be rude, but I def come off as that, and it’s because my facial expressions don’t match my feelings. But that’s just me, that’s what my face looks like. You call it ugly, but it’s better known as bitchy resting face. Look it up.
I did well as a lifeguard, but it ended when I graduated from high school and went on to other things. I’ve had many jobs since then; more than I wish I had needed. And I’ve hated all of them, for varying reasons. I sometimes hated the people I worked with, and sometimes hated the work itself. But for the most part, I hated them because they ended. Looking for work has been the most stressful neverending experience of my life. I thought school was bad, but at least they let me in the door.
Both fortunately and unfortunately for me, I’m a writer. D’uh. And I’ve always had this idea that one day, I’ll publish a book, become rich and famous, and I’ll never have to work again. That’s not worked out so far, and so I’ve had to continue my search for work. But the fact that it may still happen—and I can never prove that it won’t—has always held me back. I’ve never been able to pursue a job search at full force, because it’s always seemed like a stepping stone. I didn’t think I would ever need to worry about a career, and I’ve just learned that I didn’t. But not for the reason I thought. I found money in a different, mostly unexpected, way.
Eleven. I was born with an extra finger on my right hand, which meant that I had eleven manual digits. It was surgically removed when I was eleven days old. Either because of the surgery, or just because, the rest of my fingers and jacked up. Goddamn ten. Eleven is a weird number, and I’ve always admired it for that. One is the loneliest number. It takes two to tango. Three’s a crowd. There are four elements. Five is a spiritual number. Hexagons are some of the most useful shapes. Seven is...never mind, that one doesn’t count. Eight ball. A cat’s nine lives. Ten is so perfect that everybody loves ten and fuck ten! And people like things that come in dozens—heh, gross. Nobody cares about eleven save musicians and physicists, and so I care about it. Nobody bases things in eleven. No one uses the undecimal system. No one organizes things in groups of eleven. Nobody likes it. It’s either more than you need or less than you think you deserve. It’s in the middle, it’s outcast, it’s dismissed, it’s teased and underestimated and thrown away. It’s me. I’m Eleven, and so that’s why I chose it as my first number.
Actual size.

On Saturday, February 24, 2007, I went off to the movies to see five films in a row. I saw Music and Lyrics, The Number 23, Rush Hour 3, The Astronaut Farmer, and Reno 911!: Miami. In that order. Now don’t worry, I don’t have an eidetic memory. I wrote it down on my calendar. That’s about as many as I could see at the theatre (yes, that’s how you spell that word) in the town where I went to college before they closed for the night. Trust me, I timed it out many times. That second movie was terrible; just the worst. It’s about a guy who is obsessed with the number 23 (obviously) and seems to think that it’s controlling every facet of his life, or something like that. He turns out to be a serial killer, or something. I don’t really remember, and it was really confusing because...eeso baaad. The plot was evidently lifted from a preexisting theory known as the 23 Enigma. It is probably one of the most famous examples of apophenia, which is the assumption of patterns that do not exist. 23 only seems like it appears all over the place because you’ve had the notion that it does, and every time it does show up, it confirms your suspicions. This psychological phenomena, and related conditions, are some of my favorite that do not involve language.
I decided to call this story The Odds because it’s kind of about the lottery, but perhaps I should have instead called in Tangent, because there is no way you have any clue just what the hell is happening here. There’s this psychological phenomenon involving language called logorrhea where you basically can’t stop goddamn talking. And so I’m using this story as a mean of spitting out my thoughts as they come, mashing up my personal experience with this bullshit story about winning the lottery. I don’t really think it through that much, and I believe that it shows. Just remember that you don’t have to read it, and I fully expect this to be my least popular stories, besides that godawful Siftens Landing; Jesus Christ. What am I doing right now? I mean there’s meta...and then there’s this. This thing. It’s freaking me out. Are you freaking out?
Moving on. The 23 Enigma is important, because that’s what this lottery story all comes down to. For the most part, numbers only hold relevance as you expect them to. Twenty-three doesn’t appear any more often than any other number, but someone arbitrarily settled on it once, and now people can’t get away from it. For me, however, Twenty-Four is one of the numbers. Twenty-three actually is too, because it’s one of the LOST numbers (4, 8, 15, 16, 23, 42). But Twenty-Four was the very first number I chose, long before I had any aim to play the lottery. Are you ready for another tangent story about my childhood? No? Good. Here we go. When I was thirteen years old (don’t worry, that’s not one of “the numbers) I was...crap, I need to go back further. When I was a little baby child baby, I fell in love with science. I had a laboratory in our basement that was really just a microscope, a book on genetics, and some graphing paper. Dexter would be disappoint. At some point I was going to be a Quantum Physicist, a Biochemist, and a Meteorologist. Respectively, I chose these from Quantum Leap, a science field trip I took in fourth grade, and doing well in meteorology in seventh grade. Tell me please that I’m not still such a basic bitch.
Come eighth grade, I start failing science class. And wouldn’t you know it, it’s all because of balancing chemical equations. Damn. I remember standing in the hallway where the grades were posted for a couple minutes, rapidly resigning myself to the fact that science was absolutely, positively, inarguably not my thing. But writing was. I was always good with language, and don’t remember having to learn the alphabet. I had intended to write science textbooks, but now I needed to shift my paradigm over to writing full time. I experienced two years of experimentation; Quantum Leap and Harry Potter fanfiction, mostly. Following a trip to the Florida Keys in the summer of aught-two (yeah, I’m using that word wrong, but I don’t even care cuz I’m a rebel), I found inspiration for my first novel, and things really got started. But one thing I determined during that experimentation period was that I would always write in terms of Twenty-Four. My novels would each have twenty-four chapters, my anthologies would be published in collections of twenty-four, and—after I started writing television—my TV series would contain twenty-four episodes per season.
Despite all of the rules I’ve set up, broken down, rearranged, and twisted throughout years of honing my skills, the Rule of Twenty-Four has held strong. In fact, I believe that it is the only early thing to survive my tenure thus far (save for the Anti-magic clause of 2003), and I see no reason to change it now. There isn’t really any specific reason why I chose it, however. Sure there are twenty-four timezones and hours in a day, but can you think of anything else? I just now looked it up on Wikipedia and found there to be very few uses of the number significant enough to publish online. It’s a nice enough number that’s easy to utilize in everyday life, so it’s not outcast like Eleven is, but I dunno. I like it despite how great it is, and I don’t think there’s anything more I can say on the matter. I have to get ready for class, but I may write more tomorrow after reading it with a fresh...perspective. Heyo, perspective reference. I can’t be stopped! If you read this in published form, independent from my website, then that doesn’t mean anything to you. But I’m currently running a series of microstories that each belong to a different character’s perspective. Now does it make sense? Crap, I’m gonna be late. Hey guys, I’m back. It’s tomorrow and I’ve added very little to this story. I guess I’ll just have to settle with what’s here. I know you won’t like it, so I just hope that you’re at least okay with it.
Do you see that? I think Forty-Two is on his way.

Everyone knows the answer to life, the universe, and everything. The problem is that no one knows the question. Hi, my name is Tavis Highfill, but you can call me Nick Fisherman. Today I’m here to talk to you about the number 42. It’s a beautiful number which, unlike 24, has a grand history of significance. Hey, did you notice that those two numbers are the reverse of each other? Interesting coincidence, don’t you think? Tons of religions looked at 42 and said coolly, “nice...nice.” Some think it’s bad number, but don’t worry about them. Why, just now, I read a tweet that came in while I was at work involving Molybdenum, whose atomic number happens to be 42. Boom, apophenia again! The most famous uses of the number come out of writers Douglas Adams and Lewis Carroll (the latter likely influenced the former).
I’m not going to go over what other people think of the number, because why would I do that? I’m going to explain how I came to the number myself. I first started watching the hit television series LOST on September 22, 2004. I didn’t look that up. It’s just something that I remember. It’s practically a religion for me. I grew up in a TV family. That’s what we did together. We didn’t go hunting, we didn’t do crafts, and we didn’t ignore each other. We watched TV. But when I was young, my viewing practices were limited. I spent a great deal of time watching PG-13 movies on HBO when my parents were at work. Sorry not sorry, mom and dad. I fell in love with Quantum Leap because it was my introduction to science fiction, was on before my mother got home and needed the TV for herself, and was just generally awesome. I also felt like I was getting away with pretending to be an adult for an hour a day.
I watched a few other things on my own, like Spiderman cartoons which seemed like a huge betrayal against my parents, because even though they hadn’t told me I couldn’t watch it, they also never told me I could. Besides the standard family-oriented programs like Step By Step, Boy Meets World, and Full House (one of the worst shows ever made, admit it) the family watched Scrubs, Will and Grace, and a few other comedies. In the summer of 2004, I started seeing previews for LOST, and I was immediately excited. A daring tale of survival, mystery, and intrigue. Was it drama? Was it science fiction? Who were these people? What is the island? It was around this time that I was starting to feel like television may be more relevant for my skills as a writer than books. I turned out to be right about that, by the way.
The years following the premiere of LOST saw me adding series to my repertoire exponentially, and I do mean that literally. With every passing season, the number of hours of scripted primetime television I was watching increased dramatically. I was watching the majority of new series, and catching up on series that I had missed. I was going back to long-lost legacy programs like Firefly, Dark Angel, and Surface, as well as then-current seasoned series like Battlestar Galactica, Smallville, Veronica Mars, and The 4400 using illegal streaming links. I was obsessed, and still am. I got to the point where I was probably watching 70-80 hours of content per week, no joke. I was more dedicated to understanding the art of television than most people are to their fulltime jobs. Again, no joke.
I was watching shows I loved, shows I could only watch while working on other things, and even shows that I absolutely detested. To that last part, I watched a couple of seasons of 2 Broke Girls, and stuck with Bones long past the point they ruined it. I finally managed to watch Stargate SG-1 & Stargate: Atlantis, Buffy the Vampire Slayer & Angel, and Odyssey 5. My sister’s gift of Netflix allowed me to streamline my viewing habits, and made it easier to watch shows like Farscape, Supernatural, SGU Stargate Universe, and Alias, among many, many others. I’ve seen Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles, Dollhouse, Heroes, and Prison Break at least twice. I’m going on a third for that last one to prepare for the revival. It would be impossible to count how many times I’ve seen any given episodes of LOST. Now that I’m running this website, and have lots of other responsibilities, my repertoire is much more tempered, but it’s still pretty strong. I study television like some study film. I look for what makes a good show and what makes a successful one, along with what’s happening when those two things are in conflict. I hunt for easter eggs, research interesting casting decisions, read trivia, and analyze trends. I’m an expert. If I could have earned a bachelor’s degree in the field, I so would have, and I would have kicked ass.
I used my knowledge of how to tell a goddamn story to write my own. My writing got better, not just because I was older and more experienced, but because TV taught me story structure. My high school teachers are not responsible for my talent, and my college professors sure and shit didn’t teach me two things. Damon Lindelof and Carlton Cuse are the ones who began my education, because they sent me on a path of exploration. They taught me how far to go with a cliffhanger, how to develop character relationships, and even why reading is important. Even though it’s clear that I gather the majority of my inspiration from TV, I do read some. The special LOST numbers of 4, 8, 15, 16, 23, and 42 led me to reading the five primary books in the Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy franchise. And so it was Douglas Adams who got me interested in reading again, and taught me that I should shy away from the so-called “classics” and gravitate towards exciting cult lowbrow fiction. I still don’t read as much as my contemporaries, but I read The Hunger Games trilogy, yet part of The Magicians trilogy, and many Richelle Mead novels.
Forty-Two is important because it’s not important. It doesn’t really mean anything. It doesn’t matter what the meaning of life is, because what would knowing that change? Is that really what you want; to have a purpose? If your purpose is to help someone else, aren’t you really just helping someone whose only purpose is to help someone else? Do you find comfort in “God’s plan”? Why? I say that if the point of life is to reach some sort of literally lofty goal, then there isn’t real a point at all. When you play a game of chess, you know that there will be one of two outcomes; a stalemate, or a win. But you’re not playing so you can discover which one, are you? You’re not even really playing to see who wins, should that be the result. You’re playing for the game itself. You could just knock one of the kings over and walk away from the board as soon as you sit down, but what the fuck would that accomplish? My God isn’t moving us around to his liking in order to get something done. She doesn’t send hurricanes, and she sure as hell doesn’t kill children. I don’t know why you’re praying to a God who kills children, but he sounds like a prick.
The number forty-two taught me what life is really about; whatever you make of it. Everything is just about choices, and your purpose is to make the world a better place. If you’re interested in making it worse, then your life is meaningless at best. There are quadrillions of stars in the universe, a couple hundred billion of which are in our galaxy alone. The chances that a planet with conditions like ours exists—as far from the sun as it needs to be, landscape as it needs to be, in a solar system as far from the central black hole that it needs to be—are incredibly low. Evolution has led us to this moment right here where I’m writing this, and you’re waiting to. The perfect set of circumstances had to combine in a perfect series of causal connections in order to make you be a thing that is real. I find that far more impressive than a God who came into being via magic and then just decided to invent you. Forty-Two is my third number because in no reality is it not.

Do you think it’s possible that the only reason I’m starting this sentence with a question is because, in order to set up formatting, I copy-pasted each installment beginning with ‘Have you ever wanted to write a story?’ and when I tried to highlight and overwrite it, I missed the question mark? No, it’s not.
Honestly, it would be rather difficult for me to remember exactly how I came to the conclusion that Fifty-Six should be my fourth number. The first three numbers in my list were a part of me. They were inherent to my understanding of how writing, and the world, works. It’s also a bit of a chicken or the egg thing with whether I thought to come up with numbers after watching LOST, or if I focused a lot on the LOST numbers because I had already found significance in my own. But as the old tangent goes, there’s a logical answer to the chicken or the egg “dilemma”. The problem here is that a chicken cannot be born but from an egg, and an egg cannot exist without being laid by a chicken. And so they seem equally likely and unlikely as each other, because one is wholly dependent on the other. But...ignoring all evolutionary concepts (read: reality) on the matter, one has an advantage over the other. Are you ready to have your minds blown? A chicken can live perfectly happily without an egg, but an egg cannot survive without a chicken to protect it from danger, following its creation. Somebody clean up this graymatter! You’re welcome!
Back to what I was saying, when you add up all the LOST numbers of 4, 8, 15, 16, 23, and 42, you end up with the number 108. When I started adding up my three preexisting numbers, I somehow realized how easy it would be for them to reach 216; twice 108, of course. Without any more calculations, I determined that, in order to reach that sum, my last two numbers would have to be around 50 and 80. I tried a few different combinations. 55 + 84? I didn’t want Fifty-Five to intrude on Eleven’s purpose of being palindromic. It would have been an interesting choice since it’s a Fibonacci number, but since my first three preclude me from also using 89, it would have seemed like a waste anyway. 52 + 87? I didn’t want there to be a connection to playing cards, and I didn’t like my birth year being in there, because it’s too obvious. I tried a few more, and finally settled on Fifty-Six and Eighty-Three. Now this seems very inorganic and insincere, but the process itself is what makes these numbers relevant. Yes, by the time I got to them, I had already been looking to complete my collection, but that’s what makes it so cool. The effort I put into finding Fifty-Six in the first place is what imbued it with its power.
Other people have used Fifty-Six for their own reasons, all of which I read about just now, and did not consider when first coming up with it. The most fascinating one is that Shirley Temple’s mother always ensured that she wore 56 curls as a child. I can’t find any information as to why her mother chose that number (or why that number chose her mother), but it seemed to have worked. She was the archetype of the cute child; one that casting directors and modeling agents seem to look for even today. While the ideal “beautiful person” has changed over time, if you think about it, the most adorable children in advertising are determined by how closely they resemble her. I suppose the curls themselves have nothing to do with that, but still. Hey, I’m just spitballing here. Well...I mean, I’m not. That’s gross.
Speaking of numbers, when I started writing for my website, I went through some growing pains to try and figure out how long each installment would be. The early ones are all over the place, and show no level of continuity, in that regard. But then the microstories started being between 200 to 300 words each. I think. I would have to go back and look, but I’m pretty sure they were on the short side, just reaching into my memory. The weekend stories—which I first referred to as flash fiction, and now call mezzofiction (in order to maintain that continuity)—were shaping up to be longer. In fact, they were about five times as long, which meant that five microstories were equal to one longer story. But that’s dumb, because there are two days in a weekend. I continued to work on creating a site that you could count on. Literally. Instead of posting nanofiction stories as they popped into my head, I starting writing them out in a spreadsheet, with the intention of posting them every three hours, a pattern which is broken only by my afternoon story post, and my evening photo. Speaking of which, sorry about the lack of photos. They take more effort than you would think, I’ve run out of “things” in my house, and I don’t get out much. As my methods progressed, I came up with interrelated microstory series that would last for weeks, and were connected in some way, rather than just whatever I could come up with at the time. Lastly, I decided to decide on story arcs for The Advancement of Mateo Matic that would last a year/volume each, and I planned for future Saturday mezzofiction so that I would never again be caught with my pants down, like I was with the continuation of Mr. Muxley Meets Mediocrity. And that’s funny, because my pants fell down when I realized I had no idea what this very story you’re reading now would be about.
Things were falling into place as they should have. Microstory length increased to about 300 to 500, with the mode being rather close to the median. Mezzofiction story length still hovers around 1250 words, but I’m finding I need a little more for my more recent installments of The Advancement of Mateo Matic. It’s easy to go over my mark, but it’s hard for me to be under. I always feel like I’m cheating you out of something, or that I’m missing something and it’s incomplete. But I need to get over that. I don’t encounter Fifty-Six nearly as much as the other four. And that’s okay, because magic numbers aren’t real. When an installment is done, it needs to be done. And right now, I’m only at 1119 words, but it’s done. That is at least more than I thought there would be.
Oh, I forgot to mention that I only started posting my images alongside my stories because I noticed an uptick in clicks when I did so. Most of my traffic, I believe, comes from Facebook. And as you’re going through your feed, if you don’t see a picture, you don’t see it. It might as well not exist. I’m a word guy, I like words. Honestly, you guys are frustratingly simplistic, and I struggle to come up with images that match my words. I’ve even altered my stories in order to match with a picture I already have. Which is ridiculous, and not how writing should be done! Grrr! Anyway, here’s a picture of some penguins, because nothing else works with this story. This is what you have reduced me to. Are you happy? 1256 words. Hmm...

I’ve already talked to you how I came up with Eighty-Three. I don’t understand why you’re asking me about it again. It just that the thing is that a four part story sounds weird, and I’ve already scheduled out one more week for this, and I’m not yet ready with the premise of my next story anyway. I had an idea for this final part, though. What was it? Dammit, I completely forgot what random thing I was going to talk about. I blame you. Oh forgot it again. My sister’s chatting with me online. Give me a second. The lottery! Yes, that was it! Do you remember how this story started out with me claiming that I won the lottery? Well, I’ll explain that to you. Just to make sure you know, I make $11.95 in a job I don’t hate, but with very low weekly hours. I absolutely did not win the lottery, which makes sense, because I only played it once. And when I did so, it gave me the idea for what eventually transmogrified into this story you’re reading right now.
The story was originally not about me at all, and was planned as a standard novel. Think Slumdog Millionaire meets 2007’s The Winner. What’s that second one, you ask? It’s a Rob Corddry show about a guy from the present telling the story about how he was once a loser, but eventually grew to be successful. He..might have won the lottery, or he might not have. It was pretty bad, so I didn’t exactly give it much thought. The point is that my story, originally entitled simply Lottery, was about a guy who uses a special set of numbers for the lottery, and ends up winning. And the book goes over what each number means to him; why he needed to use them. Upon decided to start my website, the idea was truncated to weekly series form that I was intending to write sometime in the beginning of my second year. That ended up being what happened, but not everything went as planned, obviously. I sat down on my computer a few weeks ago, knowing what story I was about to start, but not having any clue how to actually follow through. This was the Saturday of, literally a few hours from deadline. So what was I going to do? I did what every bad writer does: I wove myself into the story. I created a fictional version of myself and laced him with exaggerations, straight up lies, and warped perspective. I just had to get something out. And this isn’t the first time its happened. Nearly any continuous series I’ve tried to write that doesn’t take place in a canon I’ve already created ends in disaster. Siftens Landing, Mr. Muxley Meets Mediocrity, and this weeklong group of microstories about a bunch of vehicular collisions. They were all bad, or worse, and those first two have been stripped from the book version I’m releasing later this year, along with this. Really, the only series I like that doesn’t belong to salmonverse or recursiverse is my Perspectives microstory series. And even that is hit or miss, depending on my mood, how much sleep I’ve had, and what I have yet to do that day.
This series was supposed to be a couple more installments long, but I’ve had to truncate it because of how little interest I have in continuing it. It’s no longer a story at all; more of just a collection of random thoughts. So the next two weeks are going to be a fairly short story, supposedly told in second person perspective. If you recall, back before I even had a short fiction website, I posted a little thing in second person on Facebook. It’s also told backwards. I considered it to be my first microstory, and reposted it here, so you can read it. If you want, whatever, no big deal *shrugs and blushes*.
I just went through thirteen years of photos, and thirteen years of calendar events. I was hoping to find an interesting story I could tell you about myself, even a fictional one inspired by my life. But the truth is that I desperately hope that no one is reading this at all. I’m just going to quit while I’m behind and end it here. I’m sorry to have wasted your time. It’s just as well seeing as I need to focus on The Advancement of Mateo Matic. I made some major arc breakthroughs yesterday and today. Eighty-Three more installments to go until we can get to August 5, 2151. What’s the significance of that one? Dunno, that’s too far in the future. Do I seem like the kind of guy who plans well? I just wanted to mention the numbers one last time. Speaking of non-sequiturs, here’s a picture of the time I jumped into the air in the basement and plugged the shop-vac into the ceiling socket. Not impressed? Let’s see you do it. But the ceiling we use has to have two and a half feet on you.

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