Writing

Did You Know?

THE INVENTION OF THE TELEPHONE

Did you know that the first working prototype for a telephone was invented in 1713, by the amateur French chemist Henri de Champ? If so, you are profoundly mistaken. The telephone was actually invented by Alexander Graham Bell, as nearly everyone is aware. Sure, there were some other people who invented similar devices, but Bell invented the one that became popular, which is why everyone learns his name in elementary school. Were you home-schooled or something? Who the hell is Henri de Champ? History is not yours to invent.

MARK TWAIN AND HALLEY’S COMET

Did you know what Mark Twain was born two weeks after the appearance of Halley’s Comet in 1835, and died, as he himself predicted, in 1910, a day after the comet’s subsequent appearance? Do you think such coincidences have deeper meaning? With all of the events which occur, is it not to be expected that certain unconnected events will coincide multiple times?

THE LARGEST LIVING ANIMAL

Did you know that the largest living animal is the blue whale? You don’t seem to be impressed with this information. Not all of this trivia can be surprising, you realize. Some of it will accord with information you already have. Don’t scoff. Look, I’m really sorry there isn’t a larger animal that you haven’t heard of, so that once you know what the actual largest animal is you can impress your friends by asking them “Do you know what the largest living animal is?” and when they say “the blue whale” you can laugh heartily in their faces, spraying thick, viscous drops of spittle which will drive home the depths of their ignorance. “The blue whale? No, it is the Enormodon, you saliva-drenched fools, a lizard which burrows deep below the Amazonian rain forest and was until recently believed to be extinct” Sadly, the Enormodon doesn’t exist. The blue whale does, and it is very large. As you would expect.

THE STOPLIGHT

Did you know the stoplight was invented by an African American? Do you know that man’s name? Do you really think you can understand how anyone can live in a society in which he is regarded as different, as inferior, and yet still strive to better the society in which he lives? Do you think that Black History Month prepares you to confront such issues?

TWO PLUS TWO

Did you know that two plus two equals four? Well, lah-dee-freaking-da. Look at me. Look how impressed I am. Get out of here, already.

POSTAGE STAMPS AND THE ILLUMINATI

Did you know that on the back of every single United States postage stamp is a faintly drawn outline of “The Rounded Pyramid of Styringian,” the secret Illuminati symbol used in the esoteric rights of the Illuminati Masonis, the group that covertly rules the world? If you “know” this, then you are sadly a conspiracy theorist, and you are wrong. Although it is perversely comforting to think that there are people, even evil people, in control of our lives, in reality we are all just stumbling along from place to place, reacting to emergencies as they happen, and using any petty advantage at our disposal to put down others and feel better about ourselves.

ICE CREAM

Did you know the joy of sitting in the grass on a warm summer day, an ice cream cone in your hand? Your entire being was focused on one simple pleasure, one task: eat your ice cream fast enough that it didn’t melt, but not so fast that you got an ice cream headache. You ate, smiled, and existed. Did you know, for a few fleeting moments long ago, happiness? What happened to it? Why can’t you even care enough to care?

SECRET FRIENDS

Did you know I’ve been standing behind you the entire time?

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