Thursday, August 12, 2010

Trade secrets of a trivia nerd.


I've been a trivia nerd for some time. I didn't go on Jeopardy! back in 1984 wondering if I might do okay. I expected to kick people's butts and I did.

This is a picture of David Crane, one of the co-founders of Activision and one of the best video game programmers and designers in his day. If you don't believe me, ask him. Dave did not have a lot of false modesty, or any kind of modesty for that matter. Well, to be fair, he didn't walk around naked, so he had some modesty. That's a blessing, I suppose.

The guy bought a DeLorean. Does that tell you enough about his personality?

Okay, let me add another little anecdote. Dave didn't like being second best at anything. When it came to trivia, he was good. But as long as I was around, he was second best and he'd just have to get used to that.

(Know where that line is from? I'll put the answer in the comments if no one gets it by tonight.)

So one day, David says to me. "Here's something you can't possibly know. Who are Emi and Yumi Ito?"


"That's easy." I answered, quick as a bunny. "Those are the tiny princesses from the Mothra movies."

He may have asked how I knew that. I might have told him, and I might have let him stew in his humiliation for a while, with a silent warning not to bring that weak stuff into my house.

But I will let out a little trade secret, not only of trivia but also education. There are easy ways and hard ways of asking a question, and he asked a hard question the easy way.

I know enough of language to know the two names were Japanese, and enough Japanese to know the two names were female. A nerd asks me about two Japanese chicks. Tell me another culturally important pair of Japanese females? Obviously, the two little princesses from Mothra.

If he had asked, "Who played the princesses in Mothra?" I would not have had a clue.

It was elementary, my dear Mr. Crane.


7 comments:

susan s. said...

"Mothra! Mothra!"

I haven't thought of them in years. I have a vision of them in a sort of bird cage. Were they ever let out?

Matty Boy said...

Yes, they were carried around by humans in a golden cage, but they were let out.

namastenancy said...

Oh wow - memories of Saturday night movies, home made popcorn and a jug of California Red. Banzi Princesses!

dguzman said...

"Bring back the egg!" Wasn't that what they kept saying in the movie?

Matty Boy said...

"Give us back the egg! It belongs to us!"

Matty Boy said...

Answer to the trivia question. Edward G. Robinson as Lancy Howard has the line. "You're good, kid, but as long as I'm around you're second best. You'll just have to get used to that."

Unknown said...

...and yet, the photo posted is not of Emi & Yumi Ito, but of Keiko Imamura and Sayaka Osawa, who portrayed Mothra's priestesses ("Earth's Cosmos") in one or more movies in the 1990s...