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Red Starbursts and individual uniqueness

Timothy Kincaid

April 13th, 2012

20120413-075035.jpgIt’s Friday and time for some totally irrelevant fun…

We are all unique individuals… but there are times I’d prefer to be a bit less unique. And as I sit here with a packet of Starburst candies, I’m reminded of one of my peculiarities.

I have physical oddity. It seems that red Starbursts (cherry flavor) make my scalp sweat. Not just a little dampness in the direct sun, but hair dampening sweat. As best I can tell, no other candy or food item has this result, and no other Starbursts flavor or color does this. And as I’ve never met another person who experienced this phenomenon (and I suspect that most people think I’m nuts if I mention it) I guess this is one of those things that is so rare as to be virtually unique to me.

Being gay (as many of you are) places you in a minority. But what peculiarities make you unique?

Comments

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DN
April 13th, 2012 | LINK

Nothing unique here – I have a dread of bugs, but I know I’m not the only person with that. Nothing like red Starburst.

But your post got me thinking – if I was an anti-gay person (or an automatically anti-anything non status quo person), how tempting it would be to deny your experience.

I could accuse you of lying to gain sympathy, lying to gain access to medical treatment, lying to trump up some suit against whatever company makes Starburst…

As an anti-gay, I could accuse you of making up your gay identity as an excuse to gain sympathy (I’ve seen them say that), gain access to medical benefits (seen that, too), and seen accusations of trumping up lawsuits (oh yeah – seen that).

I think that for a lot of anti-gays, their natural reaction is to deny the experience of their gay interlocutors because of cognitive dissonance. They’ve been trained to believe that gays are unhappy, self-loathing people, who are going to be miserable until they just accept that you are right and they need to live their lives according to your prescription.

GDad
April 13th, 2012 | LINK

My arms don’t swing when I walk. It seems natural to me, but it apparently unsettles some people. Given that I’m 6’3″ (before shoes) and pretty broad across the shoulders, I’ve been described as “walking like a brick wall.”

Larry Gist
April 13th, 2012 | LINK

Probably not unique as I have heard of a few other people that do this (although with just tomato juice)I like V8 with a Miller Light beer. I can hardly drink just a plain Miller Light anymore, and when I go out to a bar, I have to order a Blue Moon or a Guinness.

Blake
April 13th, 2012 | LINK

Third nipple!

charlie
April 13th, 2012 | LINK

I can stand on one leg with my other ankle behind my head, yet I can even come close to bending over and touching my toes.

Snowman
April 13th, 2012 | LINK

I can empathize on the red starburst thing, I’m allergic to something or other in grape soda…every brand of it I’ve ever tried screws up my system the same way.

Lindoro Almaviva
April 13th, 2012 | LINK

Not a trait but a preference: In most places I’ve worked I am the only person who likes opera. If this puts me in a wird category, the moment I say I am a trained opera singer and that I sang professionally for several years before changing gears people get this face, like they just met a person from Mars.

That is what happens when we let MTV do the music and arts education in the country.

Allen
April 13th, 2012 | LINK

I cultivate dandelions in my yard. Maybe “cultivate” is too strong a word, but I purposely leave dandelions in my yard alone. And when they form puffballs I blow the seeds all over my yard. And while I try to be respectful of other peoples’ yards when I’m in a public park and find a dandelion head I can’t resist picking it and blowing the seeds everywhere.

Maybe it’s not unique, but it is unusual. I’ve had friends and even strangers jogging by stop and suggest herbicides and other ways to get rid of all the dandelions in my yard, and I always say, “Why would I want to?”

Paul in Canada
April 13th, 2012 | LINK

I relive my entire day in my dreams each night.

Sometimes the dreams, although almost exactly as I experienced my day, have a slight twist. I’ve learned to analyze those twists to discover ‘issues’ I may be having with someone, or something.

At first it bothered me that I live my day twice, but I’ve found this very cathartic over the years.

‘-)

Soren456
April 13th, 2012 | LINK

No one thing is unique to me. But the totality of them, everything considered together, makes me unique.

cowboy
April 13th, 2012 | LINK

I will start to sweat with just sitting in front of a plate of buffalo chicken fingers. I can digest the little morsels just fine but I feel I need a shower afterwards.

I use ear-canal noise-canceling headphones while working. It is with thanks to technology that allows me to wear a 1” square music player and have decent fidelity to hear some good opera music…(but my playlist varies). I can come close to tears with listening to Kiri Te Kanawa and the MoTabs do their rendition of Casanova: Nuns’ Chorus.

Priya Lynn
April 13th, 2012 | LINK

I have two toes on each foot that are webbed together. Not unique, but certainly rare.

james
April 13th, 2012 | LINK

I have a dent in the side my head, on the right side, sort of towards the back. It was caused when I was in the second grade and a kid threw a rock at me that hit me there. Some people who know me well think it explains a lot. But I think there’s no permanent damage beyond the dent.

Unless, believing there’s no permanent damage is a delusion resulting from having been hit in the head by a rock when I was in second grade. Hmmmmmmm.

Rebecca Ashling
April 13th, 2012 | LINK

I can bite my toenails and often do. Not so easy as it used to be, now that I’m 47, but I still have the capability.

CPT_Doom
April 13th, 2012 | LINK

I have a very low body temperature – my normal is 97.1 – so I am extremely sensitive to the heat. I continually shock my friends and coworkers by going coatless or in a light jacket in weather they consider cold. OTOH, I hate all warm weather months (and I mean starting in May).

Also not unique, but rare, is that I began going grey at the age of 14. It is a form of vitiligo, I’m told, and by the age of 30 I had totally white hair (think Anderson Cooper, but without the great body and hot boyfriend, or the Vanderbuilt millions). I’ve colored it for the last 20 years, and am in the process of transitioning to my natural color so that I don’t end up like Ronald Reagan – 80 years old with jet-black hair claiming I don’t color.

Jim Burroway
April 13th, 2012 | LINK

Probably not unique as I have heard of a few other people that do this (although with just tomato juice)I like V8 with a Miller Light beer

In Sonora across the line from Arizona, I was introduced to a drink called a michelada (sometimes called a vampiro) which is a combination of lime juice, Clamato (a tomato juice cocktail which is quite popular in Mexico) and beer. The beer mug is typically salted on the rim, or sometimes a saladito (a salted dried plum) is dropped in the concoction instead. There is typically a dash of chile or tabasco involved. It’s one of my favorite drinks, especially in the summertime.

Jim Burroway
April 13th, 2012 | LINK

But speaking of peculiarities, I hate celery. Yes, I know. I get the same reaction. Celery? How can anyone hate that.

I don’t know, but to me celery has a very powerful and obnoxious flavor. I’ve heard people say they can’t stand eggs because they think it tastes like sulfur, and as I understand it, those people genearly do have some sort of anomoly in their taste buds or something that really does cause eggs to taste that way to them. I sometimes wonder if maybe I have something similar going on.

I can tolerate it if it is finely chopped and well cooked in small quantities as an ingredient in other things (dressing, for example). That seems to lessen/dilute its obnoxiousness considerably. But I can’t drink V8 juice because the taste of celery is way too powerful for me. It always annoys me when restaurants consider V8 an excusable substitute for tomato juice.

TJ Davis
April 13th, 2012 | LINK

Jim.
Celery?
My husband hates it too.
He says it taste like Curry to him.

But how can you guys live without good Jewish Deli Chicken salad?
It isn’t possible to have good Jewish Deli Chicken Salad without celery.
My late Jewish friend and veteran cook, Lenny used to tell me that chicken salad from the Jewish Deli was just basic nosh.
Like locks and bagels.
:O
:)

TJD

Timothy Kincaid
April 13th, 2012 | LINK

My one other physical oddball thing is that I’m allergic to bell peppers (and no, I don’t know if that means all colors or just the obvious green ones). I’ve met a few other people with this allergy but it’s pretty rare.

I think it’s an anaphylactic response but I don’t get hives or anything. I just pass out. Usually it comes on fairly slowly and I have time to get somewhere to lie down. I feel just a bit tired and then my vision starts tunneling in.

But I have had it happen where I slid into unconsciousness and back out so smoothly I didn’t even know I was out until I realized how much time had passed and friends told me, “oh, yeah, you were sleeping for a few hours.”

I try hard to avoid them – but bell peppers are everywhere these days. I actually was at one restaurant (bayou specialty) where it was impossible to order a meal off the menu.

And, btw, thanks for the comments folks. It’s nice to know that we all have some measure of downright weirdness.

TJ Davis
April 13th, 2012 | LINK

Sorry,

Allow me to correct my previous post.
Never press the send button without review.

It’s spelled “lox,” not, “locks.”
I have personally eaten in places that served a concoction that definitely tasted like I was having “locks,” and bagels not lox-n-bagels.
:)

TJD

Rachel H
April 13th, 2012 | LINK

I’ve had three kidney transplants. (The scars form an arrow pointing to my pudenda. Nice.)

Priya Lynn
April 13th, 2012 | LINK

WoW Rachel! Here’s to hoping for good health for you in the future.

Regan DuCasse
April 13th, 2012 | LINK

I dunno if this is unique, since I work with a lot of people doing the same work.

I’m hardly squeamish. Far from it. My sister and a few other people have remarked that I’m almost scary in how I don’t seem afraid of anything. The course of my work I have to encounter the gruesome and environmentally disgusting.
But I draw the line at watching someone eat bugs.
Fear Factor, people munching on roaches.
And I made a face, that my husband busted me on, when an exotic eater, rapturously popped a batter dipped, deep fried tarantula into his mouth.
GROSS!

I mean, I see a lot that most people don’t want to.
But I don’t put it in my mouth.
That shit is just nasty!

StraightGrandmother
April 13th, 2012 | LINK

B- Blood Type.
only 1.5% of the population has B Negative Blood.

Hey I am more rare than a person who is gay :)

My brother who also has B- blood frequently reminds me to be nice to him as he is the only one who can give me a kidney or blood. I remind him that that cuts both ways :)

Soren456
April 13th, 2012 | LINK

Speaking of bugs, I like raisins by themselves. But I can’t stand them cooked or stirred into anything, like bread or bread pudding, or rice pudding. It feels like I’m eating bugs. I gag every time.

Graham
April 13th, 2012 | LINK

I love the smell of gasoline. It’s just so soothing to me.

TomTallis
April 13th, 2012 | LINK

That used to happen to my dad whenever he ate vinegar.

andrew
April 13th, 2012 | LINK

I have a completely duplicate arterial structure in my liver.
My normal body temperature is about 97F.
Graham – I don’t like the smell of gasoline, but I love the whiff of diesel exhaust (comes from curling up on busrides on long trips when I was a kid, and growing up next to the Mass turnpike).
I crave tomato juice, but only at high altitude (on plane flights) – otherwise it makes me nauseous.
A single serving of whiskey products generate a 6-8 day migraine headache for me, but I can drink bourbon just fine.
I have no addictive response to nicotine.
My pulse fluctuates between 45 bpm and 102 bpm based on breathing patterns because of a high vagal nerve tone (freaks nurses out if I’m on a monitor).
And, I’m the 6th survivor, historically, of a particular autoimmune disease with an insanely high mortality rate, and am basically unaffected 25 years later.

Timothy Kincaid
April 13th, 2012 | LINK

“As best I can tell, no other candy or food item has this result…”

So, of course, today I find another candy that does the same thing. Skittles Sour (also made by M&M/Mars) also makes my scalp sweat. It didn’t seem to matter what color. I’d not had these before – probably won’t again; they are VERY sour.

Rachel H
April 14th, 2012 | LINK

Priya Lynn – a belated thank you!

Eric in Oakland
April 14th, 2012 | LINK

I have condition called Aura without Migraine. About once a month I experience some of the symptoms of a serious migraine (partial blindness, sensitivity to light, and nausea) but no headache or pain. Caffeine can bring it on, so I try to avoid caffeinated drinks. Also, though I am not in pain, I’ve found that aspirin greatly shortens the episode if I take it when my vision starts to go. I don’t know whether to feel unlucky for the episodes or lucky for the lack of headaches, but my doctors have told me it is a rare combination.

Hyhybt
April 14th, 2012 | LINK

Cheese. I can’t eat most cheeses. It’s not an allergy. It’s not a reaction that occurs after I eat them, because I *can’t* eat them. I don’t like them by smell anyway, but if I try to eat, say, a typical cheeseburger, my gag reflex kicks in and I throw it back up before it’s even all the way down.

The least “cheesy” cheeses, I’m fine with. Cream cheese? Fine. A normal pizza so long as it has other toppings as well)? Wonderful. And I’ve made enough progress over time that I can now handle swiss… but nothing stronger.

Andrew
April 15th, 2012 | LINK

Eric – it’s probably the anti-inflammatory properties of the aspirin that’s settling your vision down. Usually the inflammation also causes migraines (you have no idea how lucky you are) as well as the skewed vision, but doesn’t have to cause both. When I get migraines, my vision isn’t altered other than a sensitivity to light.

Priya Lynn
April 15th, 2012 | LINK

I agree with Andrew, Eric you should consider yourself extremely fortunate. I went through a period of about three years where I’d get a headache that would last 3 or 4 days, I’d be good for 2 or 3 days and then again another 3 to 4 day headache would appear. They were moderate rather than severe but the long duration really wore me down and made life hard to bear. Suicide did cross my mind on occaision.

Ronnie
April 15th, 2012 | LINK

I hate eggs. My mother tried to give them to me as an infant and I would spit them out. I was born with that.

But my big claim to fame is that I have a deviated septum from a toncilectomy when I was six and I can only breathe through nostril normally. In college, I would blow smoke out of my right nostril and the drunk sorority girls would watch in amazement.

b
April 16th, 2012 | LINK

peculiarities that add up to my uniqueness, let’s see here…

-I have practiced good dental hygiene all my life and intend to keep doing so, BUT…I have a set of doubly-busted teeth. By this I mean that 1) my bottom row of teeth makes an almost half a centimeter-wide underbite; and 2) my top row of teeth is not centered in the same spot as the bottom row, due to a final baby tooth (either a bicuspid or cuspid, don’t know for sure lol) falling out YEARS after the rest did and its replacement growing in behind the rest of the row.

-I am one of the few who’ve taken the SAT twice and ended up scoring LOWER on the second attempt instead of higher.

-As a writer I’m right-handed but as an archer I’m left-handed.

-As a child I had the 3* multiplication tables memorized LONG before ones such as 5*s and 10*s.

take your pick, I got more!! :D

b
April 16th, 2012 | LINK

one more I just thought of that I can’t help but share ;)…

-At the age of fourteen, I, as a bi-racial (part African-American, part Caucasian) cisgendered homosexual male, was able to hit and match every single note in ALL THE SAME OCTAVES as Mariah Carey in her 1992 #1 hit song “Emotions”. (Sadly there’s no way in HELL I’m EVER gonna be able to do THAT again LOL)

Blake
April 16th, 2012 | LINK

Thanks for reminding me SGM: I’m blood type AB(-). Even rarer. Less than 1% of the GP is what I’ve heard.

Timothy Kincaid
April 16th, 2012 | LINK

Eric,

I think I have something similar. I very very seldom get headaches (maybe a dozen in my life).

But for a while I would fairly frequently get a visual image – similar to when you close your eyes after looking at a bright light – which was a crescent with jagged lines. When I asked my ophthalmologist, she told me that it was a Migrain I was experiencing, even though I didn’t feel pain.

I also at times have sensitivity to light, but I just assumed that was due to an unrelated eye condition… now I wonder.

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