Monday, January 5, 2015

A brain for trivia.

Especially pop culture trivia.

One of the ways I used to bond with my Dad was trying to outguess him on who the actors were in a movie; or the director, or the screenwriter.  We got down pretty far into the character actors parts in old B & W movies.

One time, I sat down and read one of those movie ratings books from cover to cover.  I even analyzed it a little.  Who had the most 4 star movies?  Cary Grant.

I have a very strange brain.  I probably wouldn't do that well in a trivia contest because my memory isn't instantly concise.  I have to circle around a little, but I usually get there.   I just love gathering these obscure facts that no one else cares about.

When I'm in either store, people can ask for a title or an author, and I'll almost always know who it is, or where to find it.  Or, at other times, a name or title will pop into my brain from somewhere that is so obscure that even I'm surprised I know it.

Anyway, Linda and I were visiting with my sister Sue's family last night.  These are not really pop culture people, except in the most casual way.  I used the term Steampunk and Sue had to ask what that was.

I mentioned that William Hurt had been in my store once buying Star Wars comics.  "Who's William Hurt?"

Out pops the computer and I'm looking up the wiki entry.  My nephew Carl, who I think is about  15 years old, is looking over my shoulder.

Anyway, that must have emboldened him.  So every time I was searching for a name -- proper names don't come to me as fast as they once did -- Carl would pop up and provide the name.  Any movie we mentioned, he knew what we were asking.

Finally, his father Klaus looked looked at him in surprise, and said, "WHO are you!"

And I answered for him, "He's a McGeary!"

I'm not sure how useful an ability this is in the age of Google.  Dad was known for his esoteric knowledge.  Any of the doctors at St. Charles who had a question would automatically go to him to ask.

I think it is pretty useful for a writer.  I'm writing a story right now that combines a sort of alternate universe, future Odyssey and Iliad.  I keep coming up with details that I'm sort of surprised I know or remember. It makes the creative flow that much easier.  I can make these weird combinations.

I think it's a comfort blanket for me, this accumulations of facts.  

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