“Looking for a set of wheels? We can beat all them deals. Great is how you’re gonna feel. We’ve got the cars that have appeal. Come on down to Dave’s, let’s make a deal. You’d better believe it! Leary Chevrolet, Route 9-W, just South of Newbergh. You’d better believe it!”
The above is an example of some of the completely useless information I have stuck in my head. It is a commercial jingle I heard when I was eight years old, and we were living in New York. It’s no wonder I try to sign my maiden name on checks half the time. I can’t concentrate worth a damn. And here are some of the reasons why.
I know the lyrics to entirely too many hair band songs. I can’t remember my sister’s current address, but I know every word to “Unskinny Bop.” Though this information might one day prove useful at drunken karaoke, these unintelligent and perverted lyrics are not something I want crowding my brain anymore. And for some reason, I know every word to “I Want it that Way” by the Backstreet Boys, even though I don’t recall making any effort whatsoever to actually listen to the Backstreet Boys. The lyrics to many “One Hit Wonders” are also stored in my cursed cranium. “Baby Got Back,” “Ice Ice Baby,” and “Mambo Number Five” are just a few of the offenders. “A little bit of Monica in my life, a little bit of Erica by my side…” And yes. I meant to get that stuck in your head. If I must suffer, then so must everyone…
Naturally, when I want to know the lyrics to songs I actually like, I can’t remember them to save my life. I have to look them up, and then I promptly forget them.
I have also played the “Six Degrees of Kevin Bacon” game way too much. It has permeated all forms of entertainment for me. Do you know how many actors they re-use in “Law and Order?” I do. I can identify them within seconds, along with which versions and which episodes they starred in. I can even recognize actors from commercials and link them to movies and TV shows. Other than the fleeting and nerdy sense of accomplishment it gives me, this information serves no practical purpose. If I’m lost in the woods, the crickets and raccoons and vultures are not going to be impressed that I can link Joe Piscopo and Kevin Bacon within two steps. Since I have not managed to retain even the most basic of survival skills, I will die of exposure or dehydration or bear mauling, while deliriously reciting lines from “Ghostbusters” or any of the other movies that I have memorized in their entirety...
Then there are certain things I’d really rather not know: some of the interesting but trivial tidbits I learned in college. Like the chemical composition of stars. And the many fun facts I retained from Biology of Human Disease. Tetanus, and tapeworms, and cysts, oh my! Not stuff I really want to dwell on. Maybe I can be on “Jeopardy!” one day. Until then, I must endure the burden of such useless knowledge in silence.
And of course there are commercial jingles. And elevator music. And the different versions of secular Christmas songs I had to listen to during my short stint as a department store employee. Do you know how many versions of “Santa Baby” there are???
“A little bit of Rita’s all I need, a little bit of Tina’s what I see…”
Dear God, make it stop.