Looking back, I see that I was accumulating many letters-ADHD and OCD. It would take decades to solve this puzzle. I'd like to buy a vowel, Pat.
I remember agitation being the pervasive emotion of my childhood. I believe this is a rough start for any child. I was a color-blind outcast with ear infections who had a maniacal need to be the center of attention, sometimes walked like Quasimodo, randomly fell into puddles, and had a crazy fear of hamper lids. With all these gifts, I was off to make my way in the world.
As tough as this sounds, I lived a wonderful childhood. One of the biggest highlights was our family's yearly trip to Miami Beach during winter break. Remember I'm a Jew, so this was my Christmas. The night before the trip was like Christmas Eve. I had always heard about how all the non-Jewish kids couldn't wait to wake up on Christmas and open their presents. They would stay up late with anticipation and then get up before the sun rose on Christmas morning and sit under the tree with the presents until their parents woke up.
My parents would put my brother and me to bed early because we were leaving at four a.m. Steve and I had rooms across the hall from each other, and we would sleep with our doors open and try to stay awake all night. We could hear our parents in the living room watching Johnny Carson and smell the pizza they had ordered.
Excerpted from HERE'S THE DEAL: DON'T TOUCH ME by Howie Mandel with Josh Young Copyright © 2009 by Alevy Productions, Inc. Excerpted by permission of Bantam Books, a division of Random House, Inc. All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
For more information on OCD, visit the Obsessive Compulsive Foundation, the Anxiety Disorders Association of America's Web site, and Howie Mandel's official Web site.