Trivial Savant

I know weird things. Totally useless pieces of information, randomly acquired. For instance, the other night I was flipping channels, just as the final Jeopardy question was asked. “Opened in 2012, the Belfast museum seen here commemorates this, also constructed there.” Without missing a beat, in a sort of odd, Rainman like way, I answered “the Titanic, what is the Titanic?” And I was right.
And then I laughed, because I have never been to Belfast or even heard of the museum. But because I like to know about weird things, I had watched a special once on the building of the Titanic, and remembered it had been built in Belfast. Plus the quick shot of the museum they showed looked like a ship. Voila.
Before you think I am bragging about this talent, let me assure you, I am not. I am severely deficient in enough other areas to keep pride at bay. For example, I have lived in my house for almost ten years and I still haven’t mastered how to program the automatic sprinklers. There’s even instructions glued to the system, but when I look at them, they may as well be in another language. The same issue applies to the heated floors in my bathroom, installed by the previous owner. They are heated winter and summer, because I have no idea how to adjust the controls.
Even worse, I am exceptionally nonobservant, a sort of curly headed Mr. Magoo. I have a stationary bike, which I have owned for years and ride for a minimum of 120 minutes a week. For months I have been complaining that the bike had somehow gotten stuck in the wrong position, and that it was exacerbating my knee problem. So, being the wonderful friend that she is, Kerry stopped by last weekend with some WD-40, and her muscles, to help me straighten it out. Only to point out to me the solid metal bar that keeps the bike locked in position, and does not allow for it to be adjusted. So, the bike is in the same exact position it’s always been in. Scary!
Now, before you start planning a telethon for me, let’s get back to my heightened knowledge of the useless. Did you know the name of the cottage Eleanor Roosevelt built, so she could enjoy time away with her lady friends? I do. It’s called Val-Kill (no relation to Val Kilmer). Did you know the dot over the letter “I” is called a tittle? Does it make you titter?
Did you know Buffalo Wings were made for the first time at the Anchor Bar in Buffalo, NY? Well, now you do! And here’s one of my favorites, especially since it relates to one of my favorite people. Did you know the name Wendy “allegedly” originated with J.M. Barrie’s Wendy Darling, she of Peter Pan fame? Supposedly (there is controversy about this one), Wendy was never used as a first name prior to publication of that book, although there is some lore that it is a derivative of Gwendolyn or Guinevere.
Now, don’t you like knowing all of these completely unimportant things? Aren’t you just itching to go to your next cocktail party and casually mention that there are no clocks in Las Vegas casinos. At least not in public gambling areas because they don’t want you to know how long you’ve been there, throwing your hard earned money away.
Knowing all of these silly little nuggets of information doesn’t make me smarter. And I’m by no means a know-it-all, thank goodness. I mean, who likes a know-it-all? I’m more of a know-it-sometimes-especially-if-it’s-random-and-obscure. So, if you want to know when World War 2 officially started in Europe, or some other really important historical fact, look it up or better yet, call my dad. But if you ever want to know who Jennifer Anniston’s godfather was (Telly Savalas) or if Duncan Hines was a real person (he was), and your iPad, laptop, cell phone and desk top are on the fritz, give me a holler. I might just be able to help you out.
The end, for now


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