All About Andrew

A Cheesy Little Fairy Tale

Version 1: Long-winded, convoluted, time-killing version packed with useless trivia.
Version 2: Short, simple, no-frills version. (What's the rush?)

A long time ago in a city far, far away...

Well, actually that depends. Time and distance can be measured in both absolute and relative terms. 27 years ago--a relatively absolute measure of time--when this particular story begins, seems like forever ago to me. But to my mother and father, the same incident feels like it just happened two or three years ago. Also, Miami, Florida may be three miles from your front door, or 2,500 miles around on the other side of the world from your home. So, like I said--it all depends. Relatively speaking, of course.

Anyway, let's get back to my story. In April of 1974, a handsome young red-headed prince was born unto King and Queen Ragsdale of Miami, Florida. Although the good King and Queen were already blessed with another prince and princess, they felt the urgent need to do their part in overpopulating the earth (which at that particular point, by today's standards, wasn't too terribly crowded). The King and Queen knew right away that the slimy young 7 and pounds of human flesh and bones was not the run-of-the-mill prince. No, they could tell from the worse-than-limburger smell emanating from the goop of flesh in the nurse's arms that Prince Andrew would grow up to be one of the cheesiest mortals ever to walk the earth. (Heck, isn't the ridiculous beginning to my bio proof enough?)

Although Prince Andrew was born in the thriving metropolitan city of Miami, the stench of Andrew's effervescent aroma was too much to keep bottled up in one place. Fortunately, the Good King was also a Colonel in the United States Air Force and was therefore required to move every two or three years, or at the whim of his superiors, whichever came first. So after a few years in Miami, Andrew, et al, packed up their belongings and headed north to Eglin Air Force Base and the happening city of Fort Walton Beach, Florida. It was here, in preschool, kindergarten and grade one that the hero of our story unknowingly began his life-long quest for educational fulfillment.

Prince Andrew continued his education throughout high school in Indialantic and Melbourne, Florida, with the exception of a year spent--sporadically enough--in Abilene, Texas: home of Dyess Air Force Base and the first fleet of B1-Bombers (and a line of Western clothing, I think). It was here, some scholars argue (not really), that the warped mind and cheesy personality of Prince Andrew was most noticeably developed--and altered--by his close proximity to several hundred megatons of nuclear weapons radiating from deep within their well-insulated bunkers nearby in the air force base on which he lived. Did this really have an affect on our young Prince? Who cares? No one, probably; I just threw that in for randomness, which is--dare I say--the motif for this web site?

Moving along. Even though Prince Andrew was born into royalty (or "middle-classiness," which Andrew, through delusions of grandeur, somehow equates with royalty), he experienced a childhood not unlike many reading this story (in Andrew's delusional world, "many" people will venture into the deep recesses of the Internet to sneak a glimpse into the extraordinarily ordinary life of a cheese-puff such as himself. Humor him, ok?). Andrew filled his days going to school, watching cartoons, playing sports and games, building forts, going to Sunday school and church, doing homework and chores, taking piano lessons, wearing dresses, trick-or-treating, rolling houses, playing with fire, mastering mind-numbing video games, hanging out with his friends, going to the beach, driving his car, experimenting with drugs and alcohol, philosophizing with his teachers, friends and family, and falling in love with a beautiful princess who would one day become his bride and the Queen of his universe. But we're jumping ahead of ourselves. Let' not rush...We'll live longer.

After graduating from high school, Prince Andrew ventured three hours north to the sleepy college community of Gainesville, Florida, where he sought to extend his academic training and expand his mind with a liberal arts education focusing on history and, ironically enough, education. History and studying were not the only things that interested Andrew, though. No, our handsome young Prince--who by this point was maturing into quite the specimen of cheese--began to dabble in intramural sports, disc golf, ultimate, Krishna food, the Itchetucknee, road-tripping, chess, guitar, college football, concert-hopping, fine-foods, good beer, affordable wine, hiking, camping, exploring, grooving, loving, and plain, old-fashioned being. Life was good for our Prince. But it got better, and continues, to this day, to get better.

Prince Andrew's diverse interests lead him to travel across the United States to Arizona to work at and explore the Grand Canyon and the great Southwest for a summer. This experience opened Andrew's cheese-coated eyes to the grandeur and beauty of life, nature and good friends. The following summer, Prince Andrew was fortunate enough to spend a couple months studying Victorian history and traveling the British countryside at Cambridge University in England. It was here that school began to get in the way of our hero's life; a classic example of school getting in the way of fun, or of the "real-world" getting in the way of what's really important.

In the summer of 1996, Andrew's future was looking (and smelling) great. After graduating with his Bachelor's of Arts, Andrew decided to step up to the plate and take a swing at marriage. So in the middle of a quiet little sushi restaurant, after a delightfully satisfying meal, Andrew produced a ring and popped the question to his beautiful princess, who he had been courting for the past five years. The Princess responded to Prince Andrew's sincere proposal with a big smile, a laugh, and the question: "Is this some sort of joke?" Thus began the two on their road to holy matrimony.

Prince Andrew spent the next year earning his Master's degree in secondary social-studies education, while his bride-to-be spent her time planning the wedding and finishing her studies in sociology and mass communications. The wedding came and went, along with two graduation ceremonies, two job-hunt expeditions, and a move to Orlando, where our Fair Prince landed a job goofing-off with--er, teaching American history to 120 or so hormonally imbalanced and challenging eighth graders.

During their first year of wedded bliss, Princess Jill planned for her triumphant return to college to receive her master's degree in public relations. Long story short (well past that point now, huh?), Princess Jill and Prince Andrew uprooted themselves from their Floridian roots (thus, uprooted) and moved off to the sticks of Knoxville, Tennessee, where the Fairest Princess ventured into the realm of Volunteers to further enhance her potential for a highly satisfying public relations position in the professional world. Two years came and went. Jill earned her degree, Andrew worked in a restaurant, and the two of them made some of the best friends the world has ever known. Meanwhile, Prince Andrew undertook the futile challenge of trying to figure out what in the world he wanted to do with his life, besides spend all eternity with his beautiful bride, their two wonderful cats, their family and friends and music and love and blah, blah, blah...

So back to Florida went the two young (yet, eternal) lovers. Princes Jill landed a wonderful job with Hospice of North Central Florida. Prince Andrew, the hero of our story and this epic web-tale, landed a position as a grad-student in the College of Journalism and Mass Communication at the University of Florida. This is where the story is today. With a little luck and the grace of the gods, Prince Andrew will continue on his quest for eternal knowledge with acceptance into the Levin College of Law, where he will further his academic training and carve a niche for himself and his future as an attorney protecting the First Amendment rights of his fellow countrymen and women.

But, alas, the future has not yet come to pass, and we can go no further than the here and now. So for now, adieu.

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Last Updated: 13-MAR-01
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