Thursday, August 28, 2014

Fun Facts

Things have been pretty heavy here on Adventures recently so I thought I would whip up something delectably frivolous for your consumption.

I’m kind of the worst at trivia. Filed away in my brain amidst row upon row of messy cabinets filled with old customer orders from when I waited tables and key strokes to computer systems I will never use again, is useless information about celebrities, history, and authors.  But how often do you get questions like which well-known author and publisher passed on publishing James Joyce’s Ulysses (Virginia Woolf) or which well-known actress stole the script for Shakespeare In Love from Gwyneth Paltrow in an effort to poach the role from her (Winona Ryder)?  Eeeexactly.  You’re more likely to get questions about Russian diplomats or Greek words or who won what world series championship when whatever and...truth be told, I just don’t know that shit.

So why am I telling you this?  Why do I tell you anything?  Why do I exist?  All good, if not even vaguely existential questions. I say this to you primarily to temper your expectations--so that when I tell you I have compiled a list of fun facts, you know that "fun" not only has a big fat ring of relativity to it but that the facts you are about to encounter boast a comfortable range of innocuous to random to why would anyone know this? to you lose, good day, sir.

Nevertheless, we proceed.

Fun Fact #1

Killer Whales aren’t actually whales; they are a kind of dolphin  When I learned this during a binge watching session of every whale-related documentary on Netflix, I felt betrayed by every elementary school science lesson and National Geographic Zoo magazine that failed to make this distinction.

Fun Fact #2

Dunkin' Donuts started in Canton, Massachusetts. Maybe that’s why they are e.v.e.r.y.w.h.e.r.e here.  Competing with Starbucks in New York City to see which franchise’s locations can most closely resemble a Russian doll.  

And inside this Starbucks...another Starbucks!

Fun Fact #3

Everyone talks about the hanging man in one of the wood scenes in the Wizard of Oz but that's just a rumor.  And trust me when I say this because I'm a bonafide Wizard of Oz expert.  From the time I was 3 to the time I was 5 or 6, I watched that movie at least once a week and that's a conservative estimate.  So you do the math.  No really, you do the math, it's too hard for me.

Someone did die on set; however, it was one of the canine thespians in the role of Toto.  He was accidentally crushed to death by one of the witch's guards.  How's that for a bleak end?

Fun Fact #4

Miley Cyrus has a tatoo of a Teddy Roosevelt quote: "So that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who neither know victory nor defeat.”

I personally would have gone with: "Walk softly and carry a big stick."

Fun Fact #5

Sylvia Plath and Anne Sexton used to routinely grab dry martinis together after their poetry class.  This fact makes me so happy, which in so doing evokes the polar opposite sentiment as their poetry.

Fun Fact #6

There is such a thing as oyster beer.  I've had it.  It's delicious.

Fun Fact #7

Rubies are just red sapphires.

Fun Fact #8

There was a 16 year old girl named Sybil Ludington who did same midnight ride as Paul Revere to warn the American colonialists that the British were coming. Except she made the ride in New York and she rode twice as far (40 miles instead of 20).  This fact comes courtesy of Drunk History.

Fun Fact #9

In the early 90's Sylvester Stallone and Sandra Bullock futuristic action movie, Demolition Man, all of the restaurants are Taco Bells. Except in the European version of the film when all of the restaurants are Pizza Huts.  My guess is that they needed all the product placement dinero they could get. You know...for the amazing costumes and special effects...(and if you haven't seen it, just insert a "not" here so you can get the gist of the joke.)
Fun Fact #10

The expression "sleep tight" comes from a period when bed mattress consisted of a series of ropes and you would want to pull the ropes tight in order to have a more comfortable night's sleep.

Fun Fact #11

I may have made up that last fact but I could have sworn that I remember a guide telling us that when my family and I toured the Rose Hill Mansion in Geneva, NY.  

Because that' what you do with your kids over the summer, n'est pas?  Take them on historical tours...

Fun Fact #12

Speaking of which, Elizabeth Cady Stanton's house near Seneca Falls NY was not only in the middle of a swamp (she and her kids were constantly fighting off mosquito-born illness) but it was also down river from a tannery.  My guess is that her backyard during the summertime was less than a pleasant place to be.

Fun Fact #13

Most of you probably already know that the original versions of the beloved Disney fairy tales are incredibly dark. Sleepy Beauty is perhaps the most disturbing.  In the Grimm version, Sleepy Beauty is raped by the Prince (while she is sleeping) and only comes to after one of the twins she gives birth to (again while she is sleeping) sucks out the piece of flax, thus breaking the spell of her slumber.

Fun Fact #14

I saw Titanic in the theaters and did not cry.

Fun Fact #15

And I cry at everything.

Fun Fact #16

The song "Maniac" was originally written about a serial killer.  It was altered for the movie Flash Dance, so that the lyrics are talking about tearing it up on the dance floor instead of chopping up your neighbors into little pieces.

Fun Fact #17

I've never seen Flash Dance, despite the fact that one of my roommates freshman year of college would watch it regularly.

Fun Fact #18

One fleck of jalapeno in the eye may be all that separates you from resembling James Joyce.

Fun Fact #19

We're all half centaur.  Isn't that true, Ron?


  1. Fun facts are my fave (as I guess are alliterations, too).
    #20: the movie It Happened One Night was the first to win "the grand slam" in Oscars (picture, director, actor, actress, screenplay). After shooting it, the main actress Claudette Colbert told her friend it was the worst movie she's ever made...
    I laughed at every one of Nick Offerman's shower thoughts. I die.

    1. Ha! I wonder how many actors/actresses in oscar winning movies have thought that? And me too; I love me some Nick Offerman. Always.