Monday, February 16, 2009

The Things I Know

Yesterday my husband looked over my shoulder at the website I currently had open on my laptop.

"Why are you reading about jellyfish?" he asked.

"I need to know how to treat a jellyfish sting," I replied.

A moment of silence while he processed this. "Is there something I should know about?"


This got me to thinking about all the obscure things I now know or know how to do because of writing.

For example, in addition to offering first aid for a jellyfish sting, I can:

• Start a fire with a flashlight.

• Name all of the runes in the Elder Futhark and their general meanings

• Discuss in disturbing detail the various ways of collecting horse semen for use in artificial insemination

• Identify which plants and herbs would have made a good hair dye in late sixteenth century colonial America

• Explain the process a juvenile delinquent would follow if he were to commit a crime in the UK

• Spew obscenities in eight different languages (well, three of these are variations of English but they count)

• Tell you what drugs to add to a cup of tea to render the drinker unconscious

• Find a great topless beach in Maui

• Take photos in the dark, without using flash so as to not give yourself away

If I get nothing else out of writing, at least I'm gaining an interesting education.

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