April No-Fooling Day

I'm recusing myself from April Fool's Day this year.  Not only were the events of several weeks ago stranger than fiction, but I keep reminding people of them in a plea for tolerance for being behind on my work.  So pranking today would, I think, be uncool.

Instead, I'm going to say some things that merely sound implausible, but are 100% true. I'll provide explanations or links to same when I can get around to it. Any similarities to the drinking game "I Never" (popularized on Lost) are not coincidental.

Please chime in with your stories too, and perhaps this can become a meme.  (If you post or Twitter them somewhere, please drop a link in the comments!)  Only one rule -- you commit to explaining them (not necessarily on April Fool's Day) to show they're actually true.

1.  My kitchen caught on fire, just as I was Twittering with LeVar Burton of Star Trek:TNG and Roots fame.  Links are above.

2.  I double-dated with Larry Ellison, twice. Just him, me, and our respective girlfriends or dates.

3.  I told people at a conference "I just spent the afternoon with Bill Gates' girlfriend -- and boy is my butt sore!" I was telling the truth.

4.  I got James Marsters ("Spike" on Buffy the Vampire Slayer) to autograph a shirtless picture of himself.  As noted above, I'm heterosexual.

5.  I achieved (inter)national reputations in four different fields before my 24th birthday -- two academic, two non-academic.

 6.  I've often held hands with experts in speech recognition technology. 

7.  I was the top-rated chess player my age in the United States. Here's an explanatory link to that one.  (Edit: Oops. See the comment thread before clicking on that link.)

8.  I didn't own (or lease) a car until I was 36 years old.

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