This is a scan of a Xerox of a photograph taken by my friend Mary Tiegreen at a sidewalk Cafe in Chicago circa 1975 (I met Mary Tiegreen my first week at college at the University of Iowa and we have been friends since). As a kid I had practiced and learned how to cross just one eye while keeping one eye straight--a trick that I fancied was a lot cooler and rarer than merely crossing both eyes. I took the photo that Mary sent me and typed this Carlos Castanda quote below it--thinking it was a nice juxtaposition of the silly and the serious. This picture hung for years in my office at graduate school.

     I have always been an obnoxious show-off who liked to bug people (e.g., learning how to cross just one eye).  In junior high school I read that Harry Houdini could pick up pins with his eye lashes, so I taught myself how to do this.  I was demonstrating this for my classmates one day when the teacher suddenly walked back into the room and asked me what I was doing standing up at the back of the class with my face pressed down on the top of a bookshelf.  I told her.   I think she was so stunned she didn't punish me.  As a boy I also learned how to open my entire esophogus at once and suck air into my stomach.  This made a cool sound like a garbage disposal sucking down water, but its primary benefit was that it allowed me to issue enormously long and loud belches.  

© 2005 Allen Bukoff