Lessons From the Trivia King

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Your Trivia Is Annoying Me

Perhaps the most annoying people on earth are those who bore you with those "fun facts" that you just couldn't care less about. Do you know where to find the world's largest ketchup bottle? Do you care? Now, if some boob challenges you, you can respond authoritatively, "Collinsville, Ill., 170 feet high."

If size matters — and if you're American, let's just assume it does — you now have at your fingertips details on the biggest Dixie Cup (Lexington, Ky., 1,360 gallons), fire hydrant (Beaumont, Texas, 24 feet high), and baseball bat, (Louisville, Ky., of course, 120 feet high).

You might not consider yourself a trivia fan. Maybe you make fun of people who memorize useless information as an excuse for a personality. But, to some extent, we all do it.

"Trivia are those little details we remember about our past and we love to share them," Newman says. "Find out the little facts that people remember and you'll know a lot about them. For some people, it's baseball. For some people, it's old movies."

Did you know hockey legend Wayne Gretzky gets two tickets for every event at New York's Madison Square Garden? That was one of the terms of his final contract with the New York Rangers.

'Who The Hell Was Regis Philbin?'

Leafing through the pages of 10,000 Answers can really be a walk down memory lane. You'll recall that the Brady Bunch kids went to Fillmore Junior High and that Ziggy's pet duck is named Wack.

But a trivia expert must keep current. A 1978 book The Great 1960s Quiz asks the question, "Who the hell was Regis Philbin?"

"Of course, this was 11 years before Live with Regis and Kathie Lee and 21 years before Who Wants to Be a Millionaire," Newman says.

The answer to that question, back then, described Philbin's claim to fame as "Joey Bishop's sidekick on his [1967-69] late night show."

Shaq's Shoe Size … And More

If Newman is right — that the trivia you remember reflects who you are — maybe it's time to pick up 10,000 Answers for a little self-evaluation.