FURTHERMORE AND HIS TRIVIA COLLECTION
It was getting warm in the living room last night. The fans, etc., were all working just fine, but my wife had lost her Nikes. And she was blaming me. I don’t know why. I don’t wear them. I don’t even like Nikes and I haven’t played tennis or basketball in years. Anyway, she was convinced that I had intentionally and with malice aforethought abducted her favorite shoes. And she was discussing this at length, making it very hard to concentrate on the history of the Peasant Revolt of 1381, which I was trying to read.
As I said, it was getting warm, so I decided to visit Furthermore, my Masonic-pet-raven-brother, in the caverns below the house. It’s always much cooler there, and, besides, that’s where I keep the gin.
The nine-headed hydra I employ to tyle the cavern door greeted me with a seven-fold hiss (two heads, apparently, had the night off) and affectionately tried to eat my left arm. I was in no mood to play, so I hit it with a couple of blasts from the anti-tank weapon that I keep on my key chain for just such eventualities. This reduced the local head count and I slipped into the main cavern just ahead of a tongue of fire that crisped a couple of odd Things. I know. Don’t write letters. The animal rights folks gave up on the hydra a long time ago. Now they’re trying to save the rats on that survivors island television show. Go figure.
“Welcome,” rasped Furthermore as he pulled out of a mach 2 dive and skidded to a halt by the humidor where we keep our cigars. “Did you see the latest poll?”
Now I do know better. I really do. Still, I always get sucked in.
“What poll?” I asked.
“The one that says that 58 percent of Americans feel their government is too big. The other 42 percent are the government.”
He chuckled as he did a nice spin.
“Cute,” I admitted. “Where did you find that little factoid?”
“Oh, I have a collection! Come see!”
So I did. Down the hall, around the rack and behind the Iron Maiden, is a long dark stone corridor. It really isn’t much to look at, but The Thing That Lives In The Dark calls it home. Furthermore brought a light and I could see that up and down the walls were small framed documents. Small factoids, bits of worthless information. Because I knew you’d be interested, here’s a sample from the old bird’s collection:
The only thing that saves us from bureaucracy is its inefficiency.
Congressmen are unhappy because they are underpaid, underappreciated and under investigation.
There was a little old man who would feed 2,000 pigeons each morning. Many thought he was a birdlover. He is not. He’s a dry cleaner.
Sign in the window: The Clairvoyance Society will not meet today due to unforeseen circumstances.
You look like Helen Green. That may be but I look worse in red.
If all the nations in the world are in debt, where did the money go?
Power corrupts, but absolute power is really neat.
Leadership is the ability to hide your panic from others.
If you can’t beat them, at least make them feel insecure.
If you can’t beat them, join them. Then beat them.
You had two parents. They each had two parents. Before that, you had eight great-grandparents, 16 great-greats, 32 great-great-greats, etc. If you figure an average of 25 years between generations, that means that 500 years ago there were 1,048,576 people involved in the production of you. Honestly, now. Was it worth their effort?
This was trivia taken to new and exciting levels and I told Furthermore I was proud of him. To celebrate, we fixed a matching pair of martinis (stirred, not shaken, because we think James Bond is full of it). By the way, we don’t let the hydra drink. It’s underage, after all. And those nine heads really make a dent in a bottle of good gin. In fact, I once asked Furthermore if he had a drinking problem. He just pointed at the hydra.
Anyway, that’s how things go when the temperature in the desert hits 115 degrees and life gets hot upstairs. Furthermore hopes you have a great week. He, of course, has other plans.