I could spend hours reading stuff like, “The king of hearts is the only king without a moustache.” … “Charlie Brown’s father was a barber.” … “The plastic things on the end of shoelaces are called aglets.” Fun, huh?
Yeah. But that, and a buck-twenty, might get you a cup of coffee. This is the kind of information only a select few have any use for. But it’s quite satisfying when one of these factoids comes to mind at just the right moment. If you can pull it off, it makes you amazing.
Remember the good old days, when you could confidently spout off a piece of trivia? I long for yesteryear—when there was no risk of three nerds stopping their texting long enough to look at you and say, in unison: “You might want to look that up; I read on Snopes that ‘s an urban legend.”
Arrgghhh! Can’t a person even have a moment in the sun anymore?
I dare you and your iPad to refute my knowledge! I’m certain that a dime has 118 ridges around the edge—one fewer than a quarter—and they’re called reeds. … A “jiffy” is an actual unit of time for 1/100th of a second. … Gilligan’s first name was Willy, and the skipper’s name was Jonas Grumby. … And while we’re at it, Wilma Flintstone’s maiden name was Slaghoopal, and Betty Rubble’s maiden name was McBricker. I feel so brave posting these without triple-checking them with the Library of Congress! In every episode of “Seinfeld” there is a Superman somewhere. …
When I’m at a barbecue, it’s nice to have a few of these up my sleeve to break an awkward silence. I’m not drop-dead gorgeous, have never traveled, can’t do card tricks, and keeping up with the news gives me an involuntary tick. So, the other day I found myself brazenly taking the floor with, “The verb ‘cleave’ is the only English word with two synonyms which are antonyms of each other: adhere and separate.” Shameful, I know. But trust me: it was relevant to the discussion, and a good time was had by all.