Monday, November 6th, 2006

Daily Archive

The Loneliness of the Trivia Boi

Posted by Office-Bob on 06 Nov 2006 | Tagged as: General Craziness

It is my curse, and I do not say this lightly, that I have a mind (or what passes for one) stuffed to the gills with trivia - I may not remember where I left my car keys but I can tell you the license plate of the car that John Drake drove in the opening credits of THE PRISONER (KAR 120C) or my Washington State drivers license number from over 25 years ago (I’m not listing it here for obvious reasons but it consists of the first 5 letters of my last name, the first letter of my first and middle names, 3 numbers and 2 more letters).

While being a font of (relatively) useless information can be useful on occasion at parties, there are quite a few times I’ve been in a situation where something has been funny to me because of my knowledge but it’s useless to explain it to others because, not having access to the irrelevant information I carry, they won’t understand. It’s a basic principle of jokes - if you have to explain them, they aren’t funny.

Examples:

1) While watching a movie last week, I laughed when one of the characters kept yelling “I’m not insane!”  because it reminded me of a campaign song for a fictitious Presidential candidate in a Firesign Theatre routine:

Papoon for President

there is no one to blame

Papoon for our Chief President

you know he’s NOT INSANE!

If you knew that bit you’d probably have laughed if I’d turned to you in the movie theatre and whispered, “It’s George Papoon!” If you didn’t - well, you wouldn’t understand why I was laughing.

2) If you’ve seen Mel Brooks’ movie SPACEBALLS (which, as an aside, was a great movie but suffered from being released too long after STAR WARS first came out), you’ll probably remember the diner scene towards the end that was a takeoff on Kane’s death scene in ALIEN - but unless you’re into old Warner Brothers cartoons you probably didn’t get the reference to ONE FROGGY EVENING when the chestburster started singing and dancing:

Hello my baby

hello my honey

hello my ragtime gal…

Of all the people watching the movie, there were only 3 of us who got the joke…the rest of the audience looked at us and wondered why we were laughing our heads off.

Kids these days…Pshaw.

On the other hand, there have been times that I’ve been able to impart some of my trivia wisdom to others - for example, I’ve been able to educate E on the finer points of film music to the point where she can often identify a score by Bernard Herrmann or Jerry Goldsmith because I’ve exposed her to enough of their music that she can recognize their styles. Unfortunately, this doesn’t make up for the difficulty of finding people willing to play Trivial Pursuit with me - let’s face it, would YOU want to play against someone who can point out when a trivia question is wrong (Gamera is a giant shrimp? Huckleberry Hound is Augie Doggie’s dad? WTF?)

3) I’ll finish this off with a little test to see how good your trivia skills are…please take a look at the following picture and answer this question: What is this cartoon character’s name?


It's Rudolf, dammit!


Did you say “Gossamer?” Well, in the words of MXC’s Captain Tenneal: YOU’RE WRONG!

Find a copy of the Bugs Bunny cartoon Water, Water Everyhare.

Go ahead, I’ll wait.

(dum de-dum-de-dum…)

Okay, now that you’ve watched it you know what I’m talking about. For those of you who weren’t able to locate a copy, I’l quote the relevant part here:

“Oh, Rudolf! There is a rabbit loose in the castle…return him to me and I shall reward you with a spider goulash.”

I rest my case. While this wasn’t Rudolf’s first appearance, it was the first cartoon where he was referred to by name (how’s that for trivia? Am I good, or what?).

I don’t know what the hell the writers of The Return of Duck Dodgers in the 24th and 1/2 Century were thinking when they decided to rename Rudolf as Gossamer, but I consider it my solemn - nay, holy - duty to do what I can to ensure that this naming travesty does not go unnoticed.

Thank you, and good night.

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