Me playing Pac-Man at about the same age and in about the same belly-flop position I would have read and written past lights-out. (No one caught a photo of that.) c. 1980

Ready for me to out myself as the most boring person on the planet?

In my youth, I got into trouble most for reading and writing past lights-out.


No surprise to my followers here: From the moment I gained the ability, I loved to read. (Before then, I loved to have someone read to me.)

I’d read by the dim glow of the Disney night light plugged into the socket by my bed. When my parents remodeled the room and the bed no longer abutted a wall, I’d sneak as close as I could to the edge of my bedroom without risking detection to read by the hall light, which we kept on to scare away boogeymen (mainly vampires).

Also, as I wanted to be a writer, I’d take my notebooks of novel into the same dim circle of hall light to sprawl on my stomach and pen as many scenes as I could.

My dad made a sport out of catching me. I could sometimes hear his knees clicking as he tiptoed toward my room to ensure I slept—but not always. Looking back, I detect his pure delight in making a “nab.” Back then? I felt too terrified to notice the game. He’d jump out of the darkness and boom: “What are you doing?” and “Get back in that bed right now!”

My punishment? Lost privileges. No television, for example.

I can’t say that hindered me much.

For which deeds did you get into the most trouble growing up?