Pogo Stick

1. I hate the twenty-five random things meme. Hated it when it appeared years back, as 10 Random Things, or 10 Things You’ve Done that Other People Haven’t. Hate it now. Mostly, I think, it’s just not getting into memes in general.

2. Some of the random things on this list might not be entirely true.

3. I’ve lived in Italy and Japan. Still miss Italy. Miss only the vacationy parts of Japan.

4. I write under a couple of pseudonyms.

5. I went pogo jumping on the moon.

6. I was astounded when I saw how many people keep tagging me for this poll. Thirty-two separate people at last count. Is it, I wondered, that they think of me as a random person, full of randomness? Or that they don’t know me? Or that they’ve run out of people to tag?

7. The problem with pogo jumping on the moon isn’t what you think it is. The problem is attempting to push down on the pogo stick so you can leap.

8. I read far far too much into requests for internet memes.

9. See, pogo sticks are built on the expectation of gravity and weight, that your own body will push down the springs. On the moon, you have the mass, but not the gravity or the weight.

10. No matter how much I write, I feel it isn’t enough, that I’m behind, so far behind, and everyone else is writing more than I am. Even people who don’t write at all.

11. The second problem, of course, is the moon dust. It gets everywhere—in the cracks of your spacesuit, along your space visor, and, most critically, in the little components of the pogo stick.

12. I love angel food cake. Unfortunately, so does one of my cats. This leads to interesting times at dessert, where we play “Do not chase the angel food cake.”

13. Also, I feel claustrophobic when I’m in a spacesuit. I mean, intellectually I know the oxygen’s there, you know, but emotionally, I keep thinking that I’m going to be running out.

14. The sport I most miss: skiing. It was cold, so cold my ears hurt. But it was also speed, pure speed, and utter exhilaration. The hobby I most miss: playing the piano, surprisingly enough since I hated having to practice it as a kid. Really hated. And yet even now my fingers itch for a real piano. I have an electronic keyboard, but it never feels the same.

15. I taught an alien how to pogo stick on the moon.

16. I’ve travelled to about 35 countries, rarely by my own conscious choice, usually sent there for one reason or another. (It’s difficult to count, since one of those countries used to be Yugoslavia, so it that one country? Three?) When I reached Costa Rica, I realized that I had lost the thrill of arriving in a new country, and I mourned that loss, just a little. By Japan I had stopped mourning.

17. The alien wasn’t particularly humanoid looking, which after years of indoctrination in Star Trek really surprised me. He was a rich pulsing orange blob, but somehow, he managed to wrap himself around the pogo stick.

18. I originally thought that using pseudonyms would be like wearing masks, bringing out different sides of my personality, allow me to be different things to different people. Turns out, not so much.

19. So picture this: huge pulsing orange alien bouncing across the surface of the moon; me bounding after it, half flying in the airless sky, getting an odd craving for McDonald’s French fries.

20. I write (and game) in part because I want to believe in impossible things, or even only semi possible things, and I can only create that belief through words.

21. The problem was—and I should have seen this coming—I couldn’t get the alien off the pogo stick.

22. I haven’t put stickers on my cane yet because that would make the cane permanent, real. I keep telling myself that I’ve accepted that. And yet the cane is still black and unadorned. I’d like it more if it had cool stickers on it.

23. The alien looked at me and emitted a series of loud popping crackles. I turned on my universal translator and got this: Why are you assuming I am impossible, and can only be created through your words? How freaking arrogant are you, to claim what is real and not real? And then the alien bounced off on my pogo stick.

24. Now I seriously want to go to the moon.

25. Maybe, if you look very carefully, you’ll see a pogo stick under all that moon dust.


Mari Ness  Mari Ness's website lives near a large, alligator infested lake in Central Florida, which she claims has a tendency to eat her words. Her work has previously appeared in numerous online and print venues, including Fantasy and Polu Texni. She keeps a disorganized blog at mariness.livejournal.com, and lives under the delusion that she may, one day, convince her two cats that her laptop is not a cat bed.

Other works by Mari Ness