Michael G. Howell (1977 - )

When he was an awkward pre-teen, Mr. Howell had an experience that changed his entire life. He was with his mother and sister ''just sitting down to eat at Ponderosa — when it was sort of still good,'' he relates. ''And I had just liberally coated my french fries with a dose of ketchup — or catsup, I can't remember which — when it happened.'' Just as he was placing a napkin in his lap, his forearm struck the plate and flung all its contents onto his shirt and pants. ''I looked like an extra from the 'Thriller' video.'' Because of this, his favorite color is green.