This I Believe

Lindsay - Syracuse, New York
Entered on September 2, 2008

This one time, at a local university café, I did an air guitar solo on an old broomstick in exchange for a $.50 cup of coffee. A lot of people watched. My name is Lindsay S–, and I believe in letting your Freak Flag fly.

So what is a Freak Flag, you ask? A freak flag is the inside-weirdness. It’s the hidden oddity. Basically, your Freak Flag is the part of you, no matter how repressed, that makes you consider getting up on that stage and doing a karaoke version of “Love Shack”. It’s the tickle at the back of your mind that tempts you to skid into the common room in your socks and briefs — la Tom Cruise in Risky Business.

The first rule of Freak Flags is: everyone’s got one. The second rule of Freak Flags is: everyone has got one. Sure, a lot of people may refute that point for everything they’re worth. “No, I don’t get random urges,” they say. “I haven’t got any weird talents,” they say. I say, “Lies. All of it.” Because I know the first rule of Freak Flags, and I believe they must be flown to prevent an event known as the Freak Out.

Once upon a time I had this ‘normal’ friend. She was attractive, smart, perpetually socially-aware and a firm non-believer in flying the Double F… but she had one. Oh, did she have one. “You’d better stop repressing your freakiness,” I would tell her, but she would wave me off because to her, my occasional indulgence in puddle-jumping and bubble-blowing was nothing short of madness.

Then, one day, it happened: I went to her house, upstairs to her room, and peered around the door to find her jumping on her bed wearing only undergarments and an African mask pilfered from her dad’s study. “OOGA!” She screamed. “I TOLD you,” I replied, dodging a projectile stuffed animal. This is a true story, and the moral is: Fly your Freak Flag—for your own sake.

So now I believe in doing Sean Connery impressions in public. I believe in participating in the Limbo on a cruise ship and singing Backstreet Boys songs in the car, even if there are other passengers. I endorse test-driving a pogo stick in the local Walmart and playing the air guitar on old brooms to win cheap coffee—especially that. Because the first and second rule of Freak Flags is that everyone’s got one, with rules 3, 4, 5, 6, 7 and so forth being that if you don’t fly them, they’ll take you to mask-dancing town.

My name is Lindsay S–, and this I believe.