Tuesday, July 11, 2006

I have wasted my entire adult life

I know that the Seaver kids went to Dewey High in Growing Pains.
I know that Screech's "real" name is Samuel Powers.
I know that the creepy guy on all of the Iron Maiden album covers is "Eddie."
I know that "Up, Up, Down, Down, Left, Right, Left Right, BA, Start" is the greatest game cheat code of all time.

Having spent my formative years sexless and in front of the television, I have acquired a vast wealth of utterly useless knowledge. So much in fact that I am at times prone to spitting out these frightening little factoids in mid conversation just to make room in my brain for other bits of irrelevant minutae. Once I vacated college and semi-casually entered the professional world, it became seemingly clear to me that I wasn't going to get very far on my "informal education" and should rather concentrate on facts more germane to my career. I therefore began surpressing details like the three main "Cassetticons" Soundwave would eject in battle (Rumble, Ravage, and Laserbeak) and instead focused on recalling classroom facts such as the current draw of a cascaded two-stage MOSFET Class-A amplifier. This was my idea of maturing.

And to be quite honest, over the last six years it has not gone very well. While I am somehow barely able to function at work (remembering very little of the material I slaved over at school), I can still recite the entire Princess Bride screenplay without taking a breath. Perhaps I have some faulty synapses but for whatever reason my brain seems much more capable of retaining useless versus useful information. This used to bother me until the advent of two very significant things.

Trivial Pursuit Pop Culture

I was a pretty good Trivial Pursuit Genus "X" player, but when the Pop Culture edition was released I finally discovered something I could really dominate. Whip this thing out at a party and I will now have an outlet for all of the crap that has been squatting in the back of my brain for over twenty years. I will crush the casual player in this game and I will look like the complete tool that I am in the process but goddammit, for the fleetingest of moments I will be a winner.

World Series of Pop Culture

I watched the premiere of this show last night and got every single question right. And that was while half-asleep with a belly full of pizza. The construct of the show is terrible (in and of itself not very entertaining) but if you, pathetically like me, are interested in challenging your pop culture wits then this is indeed the show for you. I can't believe I didn't get in on the casting call for this. The winners get $250k. For wasting their lives on television and pulp media!

That's what really drives me nuts. I've been wasting my time trying to get book smart when all this time I had all of the knowledge I would ever need. I know how to drive a car, bathe myself, program a DVR, and can detail the COBRA chain-of-command. What more is there? If I had the wherewithal to get on this show I could be one-third of $250k richer (the show features three person teams). Hell, I might needn't have even gone to college. Or grad school for that matter! That's seven years I'll never get back.

It's quite the startling revelation when one comes to the realization that all of life's necessary knowledge can be unconsciously acquired whilst channel-surfing.


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