by Peter Johnson
Sometimes, we encounter people who are so overly-assured of their knowledge of all things, that they can be overly so—or as a lady friend once said, ‘overweening’—she was an English major, as opposed to an English Major. (overweening • \oh-ver-WEE-ning\ • adjective. 1: arrogant, presumptuous 2: immoderate, exaggerated. At times, more humility and less hubris can go a long way towards making us all better people. To achieve my goal,–‘To Help Make North Gremlins Less ‘Over-Weenies’,–I have compiled the following:
Useless Trivia: A dime has 118 ridges, a crocodile can’t stick out its tongue, a dragonfly has a 24-hour lifespan and a goldfish’s memory is all of 3 seconds. Now cats! Well, there’s an interesting critter: cats have 32 muscles in their ears. That’s right, 32! Two and two-thirds dozen muscles to NOT use when you call. That many times. it will act like it can’t hear you when you are trying to get it back into the house late at night. The same number of genes to make up their disinterested, people-ignoring nature. Are cats overweening by nature? And still with the Animal Kingdom, snails can sleep for three years. Just a small point here: how do you tell if it is alive, let alone sleeping? They don’t really dash about at the best of times. Next, if you are being consumed by a shark, you can take some solace in the fact that it is the only fish that can blink both of its eyes. How about the eyes of an ostrich? They are bigger than its brain—it has a relatively small head, so it’s brain is not enormous. Is your brain getting bigger?
Gangsters Anyone? According to Al Capone’s business cards, he was a furniture salesman. He grew up in Brooklyn, and had only a middle-school education. He had a scar on his face…thus the nickname. He got it in a fight, in a brothel of all places. Isn’t fighting in a brothel kind of counter-productive? Mr. Capone found Chicago weather to be too cold, so he set up shop in Florida. Does this sound like someone else who loves being in the news? Scarface—Al, was eventually convicted, not of being a crook, but of income tax evasion. Again, the parallels are eerie… uncanny ..strange. (okay, enough with the synonyms).
Words at Your Fingertips, Spelling & Language: There is a dearth words in English that rhyme with: ‘month’, ‘orange’, ‘silver’ and ‘purple’ (to correct this, my mother made up ‘burple’–she defined it as the colour of a hiccup). On your keyboard, the longest word that can be typed using only the left-hand keys is ‘stewardesses’; with the right hand? ‘Lollipop’—sweet!
Random Stuff: Our eyes are always the same size throughout our lives, whereas our ears and nose continue to grow. Babies are born without kneecaps. (I thought I was trapped inside a woman’s body…then I was born.) You can’t keep your eyes open when you sneeze. ‘Dreamt’ is the only word in this language ending in ‘mt’. Leonardo da Vinci, who invented almost everything, also took care of scissors…which has no singular form, by the way: like trousers, stairs, clothes, goods, belongings, earnings—to name a few.
That completes my list of useless, pointless factoids. I look forward to hearing from the appropriate member of council regarding my nomination as “Nominal Nurturing Citizen of the Year for Networking with North Grenvillans to Overcome Over-weenie-ness”. I am not being facetious when I say that I will humbly hang the award in a prominent location…next to my well-thumbed Oxford English Dictionary. Be well Weenies.