There are two reasons why I hate playing Trivial Pursuit (against my better judgement, I succumbed over the Christmas break).  Firstly, I only ever know the answers to other peoples’ questions, never to my own.  Secondly, the whole experience only serves to remind me that I don’t know anything.  The fact that the things I don’t know are described as ‘trivial’ sends my fragile self-esteem into a nosedive.  I’m definitely an ignoramus.

On the other hand, I love discovering snippets of perfectly useless information that no-one else could possibly care about or bother to know.  One day I might invent my own version of Trivial Pursuit where all the questions are really, really trivial and where I am the only person, preferably in the whole world, to know all the answers!  I could finish up feeling like Stephen Fry.

Just to whet your appetite, here are examples of the sort of questions I would delight in including:

  1. In America, how much loose change, on average, is found in every car that is sent to the crusher?  And if you recovered it all, what would the annual total amount to?
  2. How many times a second does the bottom A string on a piano vibrate?  And the top A?
  3. If you drove a car at exactly 62 mph, taking no breaks, how long would it take to reach the sun?

Gagging for the answers?  But wait!  Knowledge is power and I’m revelling in this delightful role reversal where I know the answers and, hopefully, you do not.  This must be what it’s like to be asking the questions on Mastermind or University Challenge.  Once, admittedly a long time ago – in 1968 when the Race Discrimination Act became law in the UK, I was the only person in the world to know how many people from ethnic minorities were employed by British Airways. The information had taken weeks of painstaking research to assemble and the day finally came when I received the last piece of information and I KNEW THE ANSWER.  I felt so smug that I sat on the information for a week and went around inviting people to guess the number.  As it happens, everyone grossly exaggerated the actual number which made tantalising people even more fun!

Anyway, I’ll be magnanimous and put you out of your misery.

1       On average $1.65 is found in each car that is scrapped and the grand total amounts to $20,000,000 per annum.

2       Bottom A vibrates at 27.5 times a second and top A at 3,520 times a second (middle C, 261 times).

3       117 years.

Of course, I have spoilt those questions now.  I shall have to busy myself gathering more snippets that are utterly absurd/not worth knowing.  Never mind, plenty more where those came from.


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