Monday, October 09, 2006

To Cut A Long Story Short I Lost My Mind

Juan Rodriguez has spent the past 16 years writing over 50,000 questions for the new versions of Trivial Pursuit.

In an incredibly written, gonzo piece for The The Montreal Mirror, he tells us about his pain.
Once you finish a Trivial Pursuit edition, massive relief descends. You want to clear the deck--the desk, tables, floor of scribbled paper, print-outs, books, magazines, newspapers and photocopies. Purge the brain of factoids and start real life again, get with some real writing, read a real book. Exit TP mode. Fini! Never again! No mas! (What two Spanish words did Roberto Duran utter when he quit his second fight with Sugar Ray Leonard? There you go again, not so easy to junk this monkey off your back.) Having cleansed yourself of trivial detritus, something strange and perverse happens (like the hand rising from the grave in Carrie). You see something in a magazine or on TV and say, "That would make a good question." But you're finished, you mutter, you don't need another damned question. At least not now. But what about later? No, you say, let it go, there are oodles of questions where that one came from. Give it a rest. But, but... this might be the right one! You'll forget it, it might not pop up again six or eight months down the long and winding road. (Meanwhile, during this inner agonized Q&A, you fear the question is disappearing into vapour right there in your demented mind.)

There's no escape. Throwing out magazines is bad luck, you never know when you're gonna need 'em. And I can't stop buying them anyway. (I try, but I can't. I'm always "on" for trivia.) The piles grow silently, inexorably. And: Calista Flockhart sez: "I am not anorexic" (sorta like Nixon's "I am not a crook"). Is it tabloid fodder, or Trivial Pursuit grist? (Calista's skinny today, Jennifer Lopez's butt tomorrow.) There's Cameron Diaz: what organic substance gave Cameron's coif that "look" in There's Something About Mary? Heh-heh. Well, lookee here: George Michael fined $910 for performing one-man "lewd act" in public rest room in Will Rogers Park in Beverly Hills. Too good to be true. Think: who was arrested for wanting his own sex? Hmm... There's Leonard Di Caprio: whose club-crawling entourage was dubbed "The Pussy Posse"? Wish there was an X-Rated Edition.

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