In 2008, my parents bought me a new car.
It was a college graduation present. The deal was that if I got a good scholarship and kept good grades, they’d purchase me a new car by the time I graduated.
I kept my end of the bargain by choosing a school that offered me a full scholarship and then graduating Magna Cum Laude*.
*You will find this post to be laden with similar bragging from me. You've been warned.
I was home for Spring Break, and after dinner my dad asked me to take a couple pizza boxes to the recycling bin in the garage.
I opened the door to see sparkling new Honda Civic with balloons sticking out of the trunk.
I quickly remembered our agreement from four years ago and swiftly deduced that this car was mine. Even though I knew it was coming, it was still a shock, and I was gleeful… almost to tears.
I quickly named him Dewey, and he was a significant upgrade to the car I had previously been driving named Putt Putt.
Dewey is still treating me wonderfully to this day.
* * *
Soon after I received Dewey, I took my sister for a drive.
“Niiice,” she said admiringly, getting into the passenger seat and buckling her seatbelt. “But what does the turn signal sound like?”
I found this to be an odd question, especially as an initial query. I don’t think it would even be in my Top 100 Questions to Ask Regarding a New Car.
In fact, I doubt I would ever ask this question at all. The only possible scenario I can come up with, in which I ask “What does your turn signal sound like?” is if I was being a smart-ass Backseat Driver (See also: “Asshole”) to someone who wasn’t properly signaling to the rest of traffic when he turns or changes lanes.
“What does my turn signal sound like?” I repeated, making sure I heard her right.
“Yea. Any good car has to have a decent-sounding turn signal.”
I reached to the left of the steering wheel and pressed the bar down, unleashing the sound and fury of Dewey’s left-turn signal:
“Tick-tock. Tick-tock. Tick-tock,” he said, dully.
“Oh!” she said, “That’s a good one.”
“What makes it good?” I asked.
“I don’t know exactly. It has to be slow. And it has to have a hollow sound. I just like the way some of them sound. I don’t know.”
I sat there listening to the turn signal and I understood what she meant. I didn’t necessarily agree in thinking that it sounded beautiful, but there was something comforting about it.
For the record, this is what Dewey’s turn signal sounds like:
"Turning Left" by Dewey The Car © 2012 Dewey the Car.
The acoustics of turn signals is something that my sister had obviously put conscious thought into before. While it may seem to be a strange subject to be putting time and effort into weighing the pros and cons, it was something that she was well-aware of. So much so that the sound of my turn signal was the first (and really only) condition by which she assessed the worth of my car.
It tickled her brain.
And I get that, because many weird things have tickled my brain, too.
For me, I derive great pleasure from the act of sitting in my car at a gas station, while the attendant washes my windshield.
My mouth drops agape and I just stare at the squeegee as it goes back and forth, wiping the dirt and grime off of my windshield. Then, the squeegee flips over and I hypnotically watch it wipe away the water, one rectangle at a time. This, added to the squealing sound of rubber-on-glass, brings chills to my temple and head, and sends shivers down my body.
Good chills. Good shivers.
Sounds creepy, I know.
The only way to describe it is that it tickles my brain. And I have no idea why.
|Oh hell yes.|
Perhaps it is the act of my windshield going from dirty-to-soapy-to-clean, all in a systematic method that slowly transforms the view before me from cloudy to clear.
Or perhaps it is some deep-seated childhood memory of being in the car when my dad was outside cleaning the windshield in the same manner and feeling adventurous, childlike, and safe.
Or maybe I’m just a freak.
All I know is that whatever it is, I enjoy the experience so much that when the gas station attendant comes back to hand me my credit card, I usually have to collect myself. Or he has to collect himself, perhaps having caught a glimpse of me staring open-mouthed at him as he wiped my windshield.
Another thing that tickles my brain is the act of watching someone draw or paint. As a kid, watching the art teacher bring something to life before my eyes was something that sent chills throughout my body, and still does to this day.
Here’s another thing. Just watching this video sends tingles throughout my body:
Or the grand-daddy of all brain-ticklings: when someone compliments my blog. And I’m not talking about the compliment from another blogger. These are nice, of course, but still somewhat rooted in the intention of support and camaraderie.
Instead, I am talking about the out-of-nowhere, “I’ve been keeping up with your blog,” type of compliment from a reader.
This is what a beautiful girl (with whom I converse maybe once every two years) wrote on my Facebook wall:
“I get so exited when I see you've posted something new on your blog. Seriously, you're an awesome writer, and not in the 'everything is grammatical and concise' way, but in the literally laughing out loud, smiling the whole time, understand exactly what you mean, couldn't have described it more perfectly, write another post now so I can continue to revel in this amusement' way. Love it...”
That. Is. Brain. Ticklingly. Awesome.
I don’t post as often as other bloggers, but I do spend a decent amount of time figuring out what to write about, writing, polishing, and formatting. This is time that could be spent watching television, reading, going out, or just mindlessly staring at a wall in an attempt to detox from work. I don’t make any money through this blog – it is merely a hobby as well as me trying to connect with readers.
So to hear someone say that they experience exactly what I attempt to make my readers experience, it makes this all worth it.
It’s a Brain Tickle partnered with an Ego High-Five.
Aside from being showered in compliments, what tickles your brain?
P.S. Here is the newest thing to tickle my brain:
Born yesterday, she is the reason I wasn’t around to post this piece until today, so you can blame her for that.
I'm suspicious that she may have purposely timed her arrival in order to attain a cameo in this post about things that tickle my brain.
However, I guess she doesn't really fit into the category of the mysterious things that tickle my brain. Because my feelings for her are easily defined in one word.
Hopefully she inherits her mother's great taste in turn signals.