I was having a conversation with a friend of mine when she asked a question regarding some nautical flags that we saw on the side of a car. I said that each flag represents a letter. This prompted my friend to state, "I am amazed at the amount of useless information that you store in your head."
After I made her rephrase her backhanded compliment, I started to think that she is probably right.
I have always tried to read everything I get my hands on. This has led me to know a little bit about a great deal of things. But I also realize that there are many things I either know nothing about or really don't understand.
From this has spawned a new career idea. I will be the person who gathers all the useless information and puts it into print. Think about all the things you either see or that pop into your head everyday. They make you wonder fleetingly, but you never get an answer to or an understanding. The nautical flags are just the tip of the iceberg - it doesn't impact my life, but it is interesting to know. Think of all the conversation starters that I could uncover. I have found that I meet a lot of interesting people just by putting my two cents in about some obscure fact and then letting the conversation flow from there.
I was sharing this idea with my friend, then I started to wonder if I had some food stuck in my teeth. She was just staring at me as if I was nuts. No one wants to read that stuff and how would you know what interests everyone. I tried to explain that everyone wants to read it and that the joy of it is that you write about everything and anything. Let the reader decide what interests them. It would have to involve things that we see or hear about all the time, and the more useless the better.
I decided to change the subject because the way she was looking at me I was sure that the food stuck in my teeth could feed a Third World country. We started talking about sporting events and things that we hated to cover. She said that once she had to cover an ice skating event and that it was possibly the worst week of her life. She said that in the interview sessions she was lost. They would talk of things like triple sow cows, (must be a special breed of bovine used for ice cream), toe walleys and lutzs. You had to be an insider to know what was going on. I can occasionally watch ice skating, but I have no desire to learn the lingo. Then the vein in my head started to throb.
I stopped her in her tracks. I said that this could be the second part of my new job. I could ask all the questions that normal people really want to know but that nobody ever asks. I don't want to know about toe walleys or lutzs but I do want to know how you spin around all those times and not get dizzy or how do you make yourself spin faster and faster without moving anything on your body. Think of all the times you have seen people spin around with their head resting on a baseball bat and then fall down as they try to go from point A to point B. If you had the inside secret on how to do this, you would be a hit everywhere you went.
I could be the people's representative. My questions could not be answered with the normal jock speak; they would require a real answer. I am secure in myself enough that I wouldn't be embarrassed to admit I don't know everything about a particular sport.
I would like to know what those little finger wraps that Allen Iverson wears are all about. I have seen them for sale but I don't know what they are used for. How come some pro football players don't wear pads in their pants? Is it comfort or do they really hinder their performance? In fact, I would like to ask the grounds crew how they get the grass to look like it is cut into special designs. If it's not too hard, I'm sure there are many sports fans that would cut their grass to look like the outfield at the new ballpark.
I was bursting with excitement - I really felt like I was onto something. My friend told me that I should probably be considered armed and dangerous. The thought that there were other people out there, who were as strange as I, scared her to death. I think that I am in the norm. I get inundated with information all day that I have no other choice but to accept and process. Occasionally I want to learn about something that has no impact on my life, but that I always wondered about. The next time she is stuck at a less than enthusiastic sports event, she'll wish I had written my book so that she knew what questions to ask in the interview.