Top 5 Dumbest Pieces of Trivia I Inexplicably Remember and Cherish

Welcome to Top 5 Fun Friday, a regularly-occurring blog feature where I give you a list of extremely specific pointless shit from my life no one asked for. Why? Because the internet is STILL incredibly un-fun in 2021 and I enjoy blogging. It’s Friday and these will be fun! This week’s list…

Top 5 Dumbest Pieces of Trivia I Inexplicably Remember and Cherish

Image from the Jeopardy! website, found here: https://www.jeopardy.com/jbuzz/news-events/alex-trebek-1940-2020

I keep plenty of important shit up in this here brain of mine considering I’m a business owner, parent, husband, informed citizen, and whatever the hell else, but WAY too much space is dedicated to absolutely pointless, useless, esoteric garbage. I can recall with stunning clarity professional wrestling storylines from 30+ years ago. Lines of dialogue from television shows and movies float to the surface with remarkably little resistance. And small, seemingly insignificant moments from my time with friends are always ready to be accessed at a moment’s notice, frequently to my friends’ surprise and delight/horror depending on the nature of the story.

People have called my memory a “superpower,” and, OK, I guess. It’s just how I exist, so what might be weirder to you is that I find it mind-boggling that other people have crappy memories. It’s your life, how do you not remember it? Like all assholes gifted with an outsized talent, I can’t explain how I access all of this, I just do it.

So, with that framing, let’s dig into the vast archives of my brain and call up some of the dumbest bullshit I can think of that I’m ready to deploy at a moment’s notice. And since I love “Jeopardy!” let’s do it in that style. Here we go…

Who is Braun Strowman?

Image: https://www.wwe.com/superstars/braun-strowman

I have no idea where I actually learned this, but once I knew it, I couldn’t un-know it and immediately had to learn more about this man. First of all, I suppose SOMEONE has to be the best slow pitch softball player of all-time, but that’s a distinction that never would have even occurred to me to contemplate in a billion years unprompted. Second, just how good was this guy? And third, Braun Strowman is an absolute grizzly bear of a man at nearly 7′ tall and more than 350 lbs, who’s the demi-god who gave this sasquatch half his DNA?

First of all, take a look at “The Crusher” here. That’s a big fuckin’ dude! And then, read this outstanding CBS Sports article about Rick Scherr that contains links to fun videos highlighting Rick Scherr’s insane pop, a link to an outrageous LA Times article from 1986 about him, and ludicrous paragraphs like this:

In that story, Scherr discusses his team, Howard’s Western Steer, winning games with outlandish scores like 60-5 and winning six World Softball Championships. The story notes that Scherr hit 451 home runs in 191 games in 1986. Even typing such a thing is making me laugh out loud. Hilarious. 

https://www.cbssports.com/mlb/news/look-father-of-wwe-payback-2017-star-braun-strowman-is-the-best-slugger-ever/

It’s estimated that this dude hit more than 1,800 home runs in his career, a figure my brain can hardly comprehend. And the quirkiness of one of the oddest trivia footnotes I’ve ever had the pristine joy of knowing fathering a man who gets to do crazy stunts on WWE programming like beating up Roman Reigns in the back of an ambulance and then turning the whole goddamn thing on its side is just too much for me to handle on some days. Honestly, I don’t give a shit if you stop reading right now (I hope you don’t!), but I just needed other people to have all of this carny shit in their heads along with me. You’re welcome! Happy Friday!

Who is Fabio?

Image: https://www.dailypress.com/entertainment/dp-popcorn-fabio-goose-0814-story.html

There’s too many elements in this story for a human brain to process all at once. Imagine telling this story to someone else — in fact, tell this story to someone today and see how it goes! Anyway, it’s such insane word salad, people need several seconds to process it all properly.

Ok, so you know Fabio?

The hunky blond guy who was on all those romance novel covers and did the I Can’t Believe It’s Not Butter commercials?

The very same! Did you ever hear about that time he got hit in the face by a dead goose that caused a cut on his nose that required three stitches?

How does someone get hit in the face with a dead bird?

Well, he was riding a rollercoaster, and the dumbass bird flew right into the flight path of the car on the very first big drop, broke it’s neck and ricocheted right into Fabio’s face while the coaster was going 70 mph.

I…. uhhhh… what? First of all, what’s Fabio doing on a rollercoaster? Second, does this happen a lot? And third… again, Fabio doesn’t strike me as a thrill ride guy, so what’s he doing there?

No, it doesn’t happen a lot! Pretty much never! And Fabio was actually there on the very first day Busch Gardens in Virginia – I know, you thought I was going to say Florida! – opened a new rollercoaster called “Apollo’s Chariot” which explains why all the chicks in that photo are dressed like they’re going to a toga party, and Fabio, having Greek God like features and stunning hair, was there for publicity purposes.

So, holy shit, there was a ton of media there, too?

Oh, you know it, including this guy who wrote a hilarious remembrance of the incident here, which included this remarkable passage that seems like pure nightmare fuel of dorky PR dipshits everywhere:

Cameras rolled as the train pulled out of the station, but two minutes later when it rolled back in, something was wrong. Fabio’s face was smeared crimson (was it lipstick from the overzealous ladies?) and everyone on the ride seemed rattled. Then, pandemonium. Some folks ran to Fabio. Others moved to push the media back.

I don’t think I could write a better Mad Libs than “Fabio gets hit in the face by a dead goose while commemorating the opening of a new rollercoaster in Virginia” if you gave me a week, a giant bag of weed, and six of the best TV sitcom showrunners in history. If and when dementia and/or Alzheimer’s kicks in, this feels like it’ll be the last thing to leave my brain before I shuffle off this mortal coil altogether. It’s simply too singular to ever forget.

What are lottery tickets and chewing tobacco?

Look, drinking and driving isn’t funny and kills thousands of people each year. Todd made a mistake that he apologized for and has to live with the rest of his life. I recognize all of that.

But! If you haven’t been half in the bag some night after having had “two Igloo cups of red wine” (and probably more) and thought to yourself, “You know what I need right now? Nicotine and something to gamble on!” then you’re full of shit or at least had the good fortune of never taking up smoking. It’s late, the buzz is either winding down or been going for so long you need to change the energy of it, and my god, some nicotine would really do the trick! It’s at that point you either make the chump choice and hope a flight of angels sing thee to thy blessed 7-11 and back, or you act like an adult and order yourself a sober stranger off the internet to drive you to the gas station to procure your necessary items.

Or you avoid the hangover altogether and get your ass to bed having successfully avoided contributing an entry to the drunk celebrity mugshot hall of fame. Make the right choice!

Who is Koko the Gorilla?

https://www.buzzfeednews.com/article/ellievhall/these-photos-of-koko-the-gorilla-mourning-the-loss-of-robin

I think I read Koko’s Kitten when I was in elementary school. And for whatever reason, I think about this damn ape way more than any reasonable person should. It’s an unbelievable achievement to teach a gorilla how to communicate with sign language, yet outside of Koko the only gorilla that could ever do it represented in pop culture was that unbelievably fucking annoying fictional one from shitty b-movie Congo (presumably based off of Koko) that smoked cigars, drank martinis, and at one point jumped out of a plane while strapped to a human male.

I’m getting off track. I have no particular interest in gorillas, sign language, or really anything in this milieu, yet I couldn’t stop thinking about Koko. Koko is a useful metaphor for my professional wrestling fandom and my past girlfriends. Gorillas who learn sign language don’t pass this skill on to their offspring. Every girlfriend I ever had was subjected to an unholy volume of professional wrestling just by virtue of being in my orbit (my poor wife) and claimed to enjoy it to the point of asking me questions about it even when it wasn’t on, yet when we broke up, none of them ever carried that fandom forward. Nothing about this comparison is problematic, no sir!

Anyway, Robin Williams semi-famously hung out with Koko one afternoon, and the two hit it off. Maybe they compared notes on how to maintain that much body hair, who knows. But when I learned that Koko was sad about Robin Williams’s passing, I couldn’t help but wonder who these jagoffs were that felt compelled to just ruin her day. It’s not like Koko wakes up and starts reading the newspaper every morning, why would she ever need to know? Turns out, she overheard these clumsy putzes talking about his death, and then got sad about it. Koko was said to have an IQ approximate to a 3 year-old child. Anyone who’s ever had a 3 year-old child knows that little ears area always listening. Do better, gorilla experts! Entertainment Tonight of all places has a lovely story about this.

Who are Mike Kekich and Fritz Peterson?

https://allthatsinteresting.com/mike-kekich-fritz-peterson

Aww yeah, here we go, probably the all-time undefeated champion of baseball and wife swapping-related trivia in history! Why did I write “probably” there? Like this story is somehow in a neck-and-neck competition with some other piece of baseball and wife swapping trivia out there? Fuck it, I’m leaving it in.

While driving to Fort Collins two weekends ago, The Struts’ song “The Ol’ Switcheroo” came on, and, as you’ve likely guessed by now, it’s about wife swapping. So I says to Kristin, I says, “Kind of like those two Yankees pitchers in the ’70s, right?” She says, “What?!” “Yeah, in the glow of the sexual revolution, two Yankees pitchers swapped wives, realized they liked the new arrangement better, the women stayed in their homes, and the men simply switched places. The women, houses, dogs and kids stayed put, the men flip-flopped.” She could barely handle her own life at that point and immediately started looking this up.

This article from All That’s Interesting probably tells the story in the most comprehensive and compelling way, so I encourage you to read the whole thing if, like me, you’re agog that these four people all simultaneously came to the same conclusion about their marriages. Sadly, it seems only one of the marriages survives to this day. Which one? Hey, I’ve given you enough trivia today, read that article yourself.

And with the weekend coming, vaccinations barreling ahead, and the weather warming up, we’re starting to congregate again. You now have five terrific conversation starters (your friends are insane like mine, yes?) for your next backyard cookout.

However, I will not accept any blame if you end up swapping partners with one another couple. That one’s fully on you and the three other weirdos you hang out with.

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