Thursday, January 04, 2007

The importance of trivia

A post on an acquaintance's blog prompted a memory of how necessary it is for the brain to become sidetracked. In 2001, I lived, worked, and played in DC. A few days after 9/11, all our friends were completely freaked, depressed, or just drinking heavily. For some reason, amongst all this horror, an email thread between several of us sparked a ridiculously trivial question: do blue foods exist? Many bizarre, goofy, wonderful arguments later, everyone latched on for dear life and came away feeling much better. Here is the only excerpt that I saved (because it was a brilliant contribution by my dear AJS):
See, we still haven't refined our distinctions of either "blueness" or "foodness." Do we exclude man-made comestibles? If so, we have to exclude the cheeses because they don't occur naturally without some manipulation on the part of a sentient being familiar with the black art of curd fermentation (viz, the cheesemaker). Similar situation with the Kool Aids and blue curacaos and the blue part of the tricolor Bingo Bomb Pops they sell on the Mall in the summer.

But what of the naturally occurring blue foods? Using Mlle. Wyman's trialectic, if it's blue on the vine, bowl, and fingers, we should consider it a blue food. But therein lies a faulty syllogism.

For the moment, let's pretend you're Professor Peabody and you've just set the Wayback Machine for April 1789. You're trapped on board the life raft of the H.M.S. Bounty with Captain Bligh, and he just so happens to have a gangrenous blue-inked tattoo of the word "blue" on his left buttock. And for the sake of argument, let's say he's got the word "point" tattooed on his right buttock, to remind him of his favorite species of oyster. This, the result of a bar bet gone horribly awry.

Everybody on board, even brave Little Pip, is slowly starving to death. Now, by La Wyman's rationale, the captain's left buttock could be considered "blue food," in the sense of being edible (albeit revolting); being tattooed the color blue; turning blue from gangrene; being a written representation of the word "blue," and blue in the sense of involving full frontal (or in this case, rear) nudity. And I can say without hyperbole that this is the most ridiculous argument I've ever made.

Have I told you how much more fun this is than actually working?

1 comment:

  1. Now that's a twisty line of thought I can appreciate. As for "trivia," maybe I object to the... trivialization of the word. Been a trivia freak for quite a while - was one of the few kids (I bet) in my high school who pored over the likes of The Book of Lists, Fred Worth's Super Trivia, etc. The Internet of the '70s, they were.


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