Tuesday, June 19, 2007
Did you know that the Berlin wall was 26.5 miles long?
Or that polar bears were left handed?
Or that allurophobia was fear of cats?
Or that chewing ginger cures motion sickness?
Do not be afraid - I am not turning into a walking mine of useless information - at least not yet. But in the past three days, such maxims and factoids have been spurting forth from my lips like mini-arrows of smug knowingness.
It's not really my fault; I played Trivial Pursuit last sunday with a friend, a game which seemed to go on for ever as I waited for a darn piece of yellow pie. It went on so long we started to get the same questions over and over again. At first I hoped he had not noticed, but it soon became obvious that what we had embarked on was not a friendly meeting of like minds, but a bitter bout of revision. I've not revised for anything for nine years. Now suddenly I was being TESTED on what I'd learnt and not what I knew. And most of the questions were useless facts. Except one.
According to Arabian legend, which creature was the result of an assignation between a lioness and a monkey aboard Noah's Ark?
Now there's something you don't hear every day. According to Islamic tradition, Noah's Ark was a hotbed of animal lust, cross-breeding and inter-special fornication. Forget what the humans were doing; these animals were indulging in their own form of horizontal jogging, producing hybrids that became the modern-day domestic and wild creatures we know and love today. Darwin would be doing the proverbial 360 at the suggestion that Natural Selection was simply a result of animals being bored and shagging each other.
This led me down other, darker, paths than simply winning the game (of course I won). It started me thinking - what if our friendly furry friends were all the result of some 40-day bestial orgy going on while Noah and his family were eating their dinner upstairs, innocently wondering when the rain would stop?
Take the Sloth. What is that all about? Surely that's a gorilla and a dog, right? And an aardvark? Nellie the elephant and a crocodile - he sure packed her trunk. Pandas mating with hedgehogs to produce badgers...
"Hellooo baby... You have the prettiest black eyes I've ever seen."
"Why you charmer! Ow! Your prickles are sticking into me."
"That's no prickle, princess."
The mere fact my head is warping its way along this train of thought worries me immensely. If this is what playing board games does to a person, then there should be Mental Health warnings on the box.
By the way, the answer to the question was, of course a Cat.
at 5:30 am