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Freak Prodigy
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II. How to Survive Crossing the English Channel with a Narcoleptic Sword Swallower
By Davy Rothbart

On your book tour, you're scheduled to read at a dive bar in that dive state, West Virginia. Nobody's there, except a 350-pound bouncer named Roadblock. A shaggy-haired teenager wanders in; he says his name is Brett and that he's a sword-swallower. Ask him to perform for you and Roadblock. Sit back with a drink and watch Brett climb up on stage and swallow swords, hammer nails up his nose, and eat light bulbs. Be absolutely dazzled and astounded. Kidnap Brett and let him open for you at all of your readings the next couple of weeks, up and down the East Coast. Worry about his fast-food diet and his habit of falling into deep and instant slumbers. When Brett's grandfather demands his return, put him on a Greyhound bus back to Charleston.
A year later, your book is published in the U.K. Invite Brett along on your European tour. Enjoy the expressions of awe, wonder, and glee on people's faces as Brett performs before your readings in towns like Cork and Belfast and Aberdeen. Return to London and head for mainland Europe. At Victoria Station, before boarding your train to Brussels, watch the yawning cop at the security checkpoint X-ray machine bolt upright when Brett sends his case of swords through. Intervene before Brett is arrested. Explain that he's a trained professional, that you're on a book tour. The cop eyes you both skeptically. Wait for the higher-ups. Plead with them not to confiscate Brett's swords. The higher-ups call for their higher-ups, until fifteen men and women with varied badges and uniforms are clustered around you and Brett. Give Brett a little nod. He snatches one of the swords and plunges it down his throat before anyone can stop him, then pulls it out, grins, and curtsies. All heads turn toward a little old man, the Chief of Security. A few roaring beats pass. Then the guy smiles. “Send them on,” he grumbles.
Pack up the swords in a flash. Dash away to catch your train. Find a seat. Peer out the window as the train rocks forward into the night. Notice a guy high on a scaffold, scrubbing the brick on the top floor of a four-story building, and think about all the people in the world and the jobs they have—your dad, Roadblock in West Virginia, the cop at the X-ray machine—and feel a strange, rare glow of contentment that you're doing what you're doing, that you've found the path you've found. Ask Brett if he's ever seen the Gene Wilder/ Richard Pryor movie The Silver Streak. But he's already fast asleep.
Doug Higley
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Brett: some people dream it, other people go ahead and do it. I envy you.

Ah, to be young and stupid again; the stories I'd be able to tell (my stories from when I was young and stupid ... I really really can't tell).
Freak Prodigy
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Davy, the guy that created FOUND Magazine and the reason I've been able to do a lot of the things I've done in the last two years, wrote a series of short "survival how to's" for another magazine.

This one just so happens to focus on my ability to fall asleep in any vehicle no mater how uncomfortable.

He told me about this series he wrote and it inspired me to write one too.

-How To Survive Being Left At a Gas Station In The Netherlands.

You’ve woken up in the back seat of a cramped car, finding yourself at a gas station in the middle of no where. You have to pee and you need a Red Bull. You get out of the car as your friend fills the gas tank, and you say, “Friend, I’m going to pee, I’ll be back in a sec.”, You assume he hears you.
You walk into the bathroom, but on your way are rudely stopped by the attendant, whom you have just as rudely not tipped (Remember, the Netherlands are in Europe, and there is no such thing a a free toilet over there). Reach into your overly full pockets and attempt to find the correct currency and out of annoyance give them much more than you intended too.
Pee as fast as you can.
Rush out of the restroom, and grab your Red Bull, you see your friend in the front of the line paying for gas. Soon you are in the front of the line to pay for your Red Bull.
As you start to walk out of the station, you see your friend driving off. Shout at him to stop. Run after him. Realize he doesn’t know that you are not in the car.
Curse his name, pound your feet and yell at the top of your lungs, your display of anger will keep the locals from wanting to help you, but at the same time it will help calm you.
Go back inside.
Sit at a table and loudly (to yourself) rationalize the situation. Open your Red Bull and drink it. Understand that your passport, wallet and cell phone are still in the car.
You are stuck.
Now do the only thing that you can do, wait. Soon your friend will realize that you are missing and he’ll have to come back for you.
In about fourty-five minutes you’ll be saved. Be aware that your friend will try to make light of the situation although you are clearly shaken.
Call him names like, ***, ****er, dip **** or anything else that makes you feel better.
Go back to sleep. You’ll be home soon.

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