In 1963, Tom Berry was born. He was an only child of an only child, but
was named after four generations of Scottish ascendants. His parents, both educators with doctorates, taught Tom
to read before he entered kindergarten, where he was "skipped ahead" a year.
Tom was subjected to a series of "gifted programs" and promptly began
his historic rise to mediocrity.
Tom's baby picture.
When he was six
years old, he was too young
to be the first man to set foot on the moon. Instead, it was around that time that he followed a
of feral dogs onto a frozen pond, where he broke through the ice and
in. He clawed his way up through the jagged hole, clambered onto the ice, and ran home, where
his mother made tomato soup, and he had some brand new toy cars
called Hot WheelsSee My Little Cars.
Throughout his secondary education, he found himself the proverbial hexagonal
peg in a square hole. His observations of the world around him, and an ample imagination diverted him from scholastic
achievement. His tenure at Papillion-LaVista
High School was so traumatic that since then his mind has eliminated nearly all memory
of it in favor of NASCAR trivia.
He developed amazing talents for playing piano and guitar, and
around the time he left High School, he became involved with the Voices
of Omaha and the Omaha Symphony, so he killed some time being a music
major at the local State University. There, he became dispirited at being forced into
mandatory prerequisites, rather than the advanced classes he needed
in order to improve. After flubbing his lines during an Italian oratorio,
he fled in humiliation, and began dabbling in hotel/motel
Meanwhile, his mother had become a Media Guru with
entire school districts at her disposal; at the same time his father Ph.D. initiated the
Revolution" by developing educational software and opening a computer store. Sadly, the family narrowly avoided becoming
kajillionaires because, at the time, nobody knew what a computer was.
Although Tom was exposed to Apple IIs (and the first Macintosh) along with the prevalent
TRS-80s and Amigas, he eschewed them in favor of local social networking, utilizing
such Graphical User Interfaces as "Pac-Man" and
Toward the end of the "lost decade" that was
the '80s, Tom began his
career in photofinishing and
manipulation. He attended industry seminars and enrolled in relevant curriculae at a
local college. There, he scored
100 percent perfect score on his entrance exams by discovering that, when held to the light, one could
the answers through the cover sheet of the test form.
Only later did he realize why he enjoyed
photofinishing and photographic imaging— he was
unconsciously using his talent for graphic artistry to alter reality.
After making a particularly bizarre statement (common for him), Tom was once asked, "What color is the sky in your world?"
His quick retort was,
"Any Colour I Like!A Pink Floyd video"
Through the 1990s
Tom simulated flying Sopwith Camels and F-18
Hornets, and driving Formula 1 race cars. By
cheering loudly at the television during football games, he helped lead the Nebraska
to back-to-back National Championships. Meanwhile, in one glorious
summer, he single-handedly lost over 100 games of Nintendo Major League
More than once he was seen playing assorted
musical instruments in local taverns. It was in those taverns that he and his photofinishing colleagues
competed in a weekly Mensa Team Trivia tournament and compiled a dominating 13 and
1 record. However, their results in
volleyball tournaments were quite the opposite— in three seasons, the only match they won was on the night their opponents never showed up.
For a brief time at his peak,
Tom was appointed Assistant Manager of a chain of six photo labs, while being courted by Kodak for a corporate
position. Self-training for over a decade, he was
prepared for the Digital Age. To his misfortune, the company he worked for— wasn't.
It changed its business focus, but the company continued to decline, as the Digital Revolution wiped out the
entire industry. The company's owners closed its store locations, and sold off the most expensive
pieces of equipment,
including Tom. The company no longer exists.
Three days after being released to free agency, Tom spawned, and the trauma of these incidents
caused him to suddenly shun his high-profile Hollywood
lifestyle. Currently living in seclusion,
he declines interviews and is rarely seen in public. Tom practices
daily in order to remain a Photoshop whiz, and continues to play guitar, piano, and computer (often at the same time). He
studies subjects in many diverse fields and considers himself a typical renaissance man; jack of all trades
and master of few.
Barricaded within his mansion, he reads (a lot), and writes about himself in the third- and sometimes
fourth-person. He tries, fails, and optimistically tries again. Due to a bitter falling-out with
Mattel, he no longer
plays with Hot WheelsSee My Little
Cars. Instead, he spends his days rambling about his ancestral estate, crafting his
masterwork and tending the gardens of his mind.