Monday, March 2, 2015

So yesterday was Ron Howard's birthday...

I am quite possibly one of only a handful of people outside of Ron Howard's family who knew without being told that yesterday was his birthday.

Every March 1st (I'm not kidding, every March 1st), my wife and I have a conversation that goes something like this:

ME: Hey, guess what today is?

TERRY (thinking for a second to recall whether it's one of our kid's birthdays or something): I don't know?

ME: It's Ron Howard's birthday!

TERRY (clearly unimpressed): Oh...thanks.

Why, you might ask, do I have Richie Cunningham's birthday memorized? Because I just do. Because that's me: I fill my head with meaningless facts and dates about which no one cares. And I do so at the expense of remembering more important things, such as my children's names and my wife's favorite Starbucks drink.

NOTE: The whole Terry's-favorite-Starbucks-drink thing actually caused me a bit of pain and suffering a couple of months ago. I was going to Starbucks to buy treats for the family, and I asked her what she wanted. "You should know what I want," she said. "What's my favorite drink at Starbucks?" And I was sure I knew, except for the fact that I didn't. Well, I knew part of it. She had to remind me of the rest, which was not the right answer on my part, let me tell you. (For the record, she likes a grande skinny caramel macchiato with whip.)

But anyway, I know all sorts of useless stuff. It makes for a nice party trick, and I'm good to have around in case an impromptu game of Trivial Pursuit breaks out. But in most real-life applications, my knowledge and skills do not apply.

You probably know people like me: Not necessarily intelligent, but a brain overflowing with raw data. It's the truly talented people of the world who actually do something with this data and turn it into something useful. People like me simply recite it back on command, which like I said is kind of impressive the first time or two you see it, but after that is a bit repetitive.

One of the things I know without looking up is Ron Howard's birthday. Every March 1st, he's the guy I'm thinking of. The calendar turns and I get the itch to watch reruns of The Andy Griffith Show.

Like the one where Opie tells Andy about a mystical character named Mr. McBeevee. And Andy thinks Opie is just making him up, but he's really not. And then Opie gets threatened with a spanking when he insists that Mr. McBeevee gave him a quarter, and it turns out in the end that Mr. McBeevee is a real-life telephone lineman.

That episode? I could tell you every line of dialogue. My computer password at work (i.e., something extremely useful to me)? I had to think for almost two solid minutes just now before I remembered it. It's not easy being me.


  1. you should definitely write a book...

  2. terry and i had this conversation on our long ride to indy...she'd really like to forget Jenny McGuigan from high schools old phone number to make room for some Maroon 5 lyrics....LOL and i now will always remember her starbucks order as well.....and i believe yours involves something like Java chip or something.....ya. We had a couple of LONG car rides. ;)