To hear my parents tell it, my stutter never stopped me from opening my mouth when I should've kept it severely shut. My father was a professor at a teachers' college in New Jersey, and one day, before the president and his wife arrived for dinner, he warned me to speak only when spoken to, and then, to be very polite about it. It went well till the president got to talking about the vegetables he'd been growing in his Victory Garden, and bemoaned the fact he'd been unable to grow cucumbers because the soil was too sandy. "No," I piped up. "You can grow cucumbers in sandy soil. Would you like to see?" Then I led him out back, where I'd buried some cucumber seeds in the sandiest soil you'd ever see away from a beach. The patch was covered with vines and vegetables. I compounded my felony by telling the president if he'd water his plants a lot, I was sure he'd get cucumbers too.
I told her, and asked hers. She replied, then asked me my age.
"I'm four," I said. "How old are you?"
"How old do you think I am?" she said.
I took a minute to look her up and down. "I don't know," I said. "But you look old enough to be dead."