Intersections – Useless InformationNicki Salcedo
I know I’m having a wild month when it starts with me stealing Ric Flair’s shot of sake on a dare. I was dining with three men who were shocked when I admitted I didn’t know who Ric Flair was. (He was the white-haired guy at the bar.) The three men gave me that twelve-year-old-boy look of disapproval. I could read it in their eyes.
“He’s only the third best wrestler in the history of professional wrestling.”
In response, I stared back blankly and quickly calculated. Were the wrestlers ranked number one and two Hulk Hogan and The Rock? I don’t know any wrestlers other than Hulk Hogan and The Rock. This put Ric Flair squarely in the No. 3 spot and on the bad end of a dare. He didn’t even want the sake, so it’s not like I really stole it from him. Though the thought of wrestling sake from a wrestler for the sake’s sake is pretty absurd. I guess that’s why I did it.
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I also went from never seeing a gun to holding two different kinds of pistols and a shotgun. Never say never. I can’t say never. As soon as I do, that never happens. Then I discovered that I’d gotten this far in life and not made the connection that Colt 45, the malt liquor, was named after a gun, Colt 45. In my head I whispered, “It works every time.” I’m particular about the kind of useless information that I store. When in doubt, listen to Billy Dee Williams or Billy Zane.
Billy Dee has been top of my mind because we’ve been watching ridiculous amounts of “Star Wars” this month.
“Mommy, Darth Vader would be terrible at hide-and-go-seek.”
“Mommy, did Luke kiss his sister?”
I know a lot of things, but rarely important things. We used to play team trivia back in the day. I was in charge of the questions from random TV shows like “Saved by the Bell” and “Perfect Strangers” and every John Hughes movie ever made.
What high school did the kids attend in “The Breakfast Club?” Ask me over a pitcher of beer, and I’m the Jeopardy champion of the world.
I want my kids to be book smart and street smart and smart about random things. I don’t know if you can teach them how to be smart about useless information, but it proves that you don’t live in a vacuum of facts only found in books.
I’m excited for my kids to build robots and join the Academic Bowl and fill the gaps in my knowledge.
I once interviewed a young man who turned the tables on me mid-interview.
“Do you know the capital of Denmark?” he asked. This was not at all on topic, but I’m a trivia master.
“Copenhagen?” I said it as a question, because I wasn’t sure where he was going with his question. The kids was originally from Germany.
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“Yes,” he said. “Most Americans don’t know that.”
Here’s a little piece of trivia: Don’t insult the person interviewing you and her country during the interview.
At some point, I could name every country and capital in the world. The capital of Djibouti is Djibouti. Funny, sensible, and true. But those days are gone.
If RicFlair had made a guest appearance on “Saved by the Bell” or “Star Trek” I would have known who he was. I wish I had spent more time with my dad watching professional wrestling. My dad was classy and smart, but part of his charm was knowing everything about professional wrestling.
I’ve so much to teach my kids. Will they ever know about Balki Bartokomous? Hulk Hogan? They sometimes get the President of the United States confused with the number two wrestler of all time.
I’ve seen my four-year-old point to a picture of the POTUS and say, “There’s The Rock Obama.” Close, but no cigar.
I enjoyed the sake that Ric Flair abandoned. I’m not afraid to take a dare. I might not be up-to-date on all the useless trivia in the world, but at least I’m willing to learn.
“Intersections,” the book, is a collection of columns from Decaturish.com and beyond. It is now available on Amazon and Barnes & Noble. Nicki Salcedo is a Decatur resident and Atlanta native. She is a novelist, blogger, and a working mom. Her column, Intersections, runs every Wednesday morning.
Correction: A earlier version of this column misspelled Ric Flair’s name. This story has been updated with the correct spelling.