Monday, October 5, 2009

A secret dirty little trick from a misguided youth

Children of the corn? (I'm There...somewhere.)

I have lived a full life. It is time to come clean. I cannot go to my death bed with this on my conscience. I have a confession. I made people believe I was smarter than I really was. I am actually quite clueless on the way to survive in life. I have trained all my life to be a game show contestant.

The realization that I had a special talent came to me in fourth grade. We were having a History bee contest. Like a spelling be, but no spelling, just history and geography. I was the last one standing. Even my grumpy old maid teacher was dumb struck. The smart kids were glaring at me. Until this moment I had been classified with the boys in the class who were capable of only making animal sounds when asked a question.
"Who discovered America, Mr. Swineton? His answer was usually, "grunt, grunt".
Everyone just called him pig. He also had a chicken and a beaver in our class. It was quite a menagerie. I separated myself from the menagerie that day.

I became a treasure trove of useless information. To this day, I know the roster and playing position of the NY Giants and the NY Yankees of 1956. I was interested in sports then. It was a game, not a business.
I also become pretty good at History, Geography, English Literature or anything that had useless facts involved. I became a threat to the smart people. An aberration, a deviation from logic. I never carried a book home. I never did homework unless it was essential.

As far as education was concerned, I was a minimalist. I had the same #2 Dixon Ticonderoga pencil for three years straight. I even sharpened it a couple times. The pencil sharpener was by the window. I wanted to look outside. I purchased One writing tablet per year. If I ran out of paper, I borrowed some.

To be seen with an actual school book was an embarrassment. I did sneak into the Library just about every day. I would have to study or pretend to be doing something useful if I stayed in my class. I always liked books, just not the books that were given to me at the start of the school year.
I hated the Math books. I called them...How long before you lose all your marbles books. If you start out with eight marbles and you give away....blah blah blah..How long before you lose your marbles?

I sold my books at the end of the year. They were in mint condition. never opened,never used. despite this, I continued to amass my knowledge of useless information.School was a wonderful social event. I may have actually learned some stuff too.

I decided to go to college. I was not Harvard material. I entered a junior college.
It was a rerun of high school. I accumulated useless information. I actually memorized most of the names and addresses in the student handbook. I didn't actually memorize all of the names. Very many names. There were 800 students.

I knew who were the BMOC's were. This is good stuff to know. I would go to the local college bar with $2 in my pocket and a head full of information. I would walk up to someone and say, " I know you. Your John Smith from 100 Main Street, His Town, N.Y." He/She would be amazed that I knew their name. I would tell him, "I know everybody name and address, what their major was."
This little trick got me many beers. I only had to know all the students who went to that bar and match it up with the name in the handbook. This worked 9 out of 10 times.
I did not go back to school for my second year. I didn't care much for the major I was taking and they did not have a major called, "Game Show Contestant Technology".

I think back now: What if I had actually studied what the schools were teaching? What if I had been interested in something other than a good time? I guess I wasn't so smart was I? I haven't been on a game show yet.

Did you know that there is 336 dimples on a golf ball?....."Golf balls or $400, Alex."


  1. What if we had actually paid attention and studied hard?
    I think that's something alot of us baby boomers wonder.

  2. that's quite a interesting post!

    sometimes "what if" questions are good to ponder upon!

    **wink**, just minglin'!
    have a great day!


  3. Just mingling and had to tell ya that I am considered the Queen of Fluff!! If it's unimportant trivia, I probably know it! Nice to meet a fellow "fluff person". :)

  4. That's hilarious, because I feel the same way. I, too, could totally ace any gameshow out there. But, I guess as long as everyone wants to believe we're smart, let 'em. :-)


  5. The question of what we would have been had we "applied ourselves" is one that is perhaps better left unanswered :) But, really... it's not too late to be a game show contestant, is it?

    Mingle on!

  6. what a great post! thanks for the laughs this morning.
    i'm not an official mingler, but did surf in from
    glad to be here!