. . . I did Trivia. I’ve been sending out trivia questions by email daily for something like nine years, I think. Some days would include long and wordy commentaries on pop culture while others have been short wanna-be-talk-show-monologue jokes. Other times I would just get right to the question. I’m not sure why I did it that way. I didn’t know what blogging was. In fact, it probably didn’t exist yet, certainly not on any sort of a popular level. But I did it every weekday with relatively few days off.
To be honest, I’m still not 100% sure what blogging is supposed to be. The genre hasn’t exactly been precisely defined for me, but I get the gist. The purpose of this blog (at least the primary purpose I’ve attached to it) is to give myself and others the chance to waste time in a way that doesn’t feel like a waste. It’s meant to be a diversion that feels like the right way to go. In essence, trivia that somehow feels important . . . and fun. And that has been the model of my trivia email pursuits from the beginning. I’ve tried to make my readers’ days just a little brighter while also making ourselves just a little brighter as well.
Anyway, I say all this to let you know that if this blog ever grows stagnant (oxymoron alert) you can always look to Trivia for a little bit of pointless knowledge and frivolous commentary. And if it winds up feeling purposeful and meaningful, well, so be it. Here’s the introduction to today’s question. It’s a typical example of the way things used to be before conventional blogging forced trivia into its current truncated existence:
Say what you want about the air quality, but there’s something in the water in Beijing. It seems that a new world record is being set with every heat of every round of every swimming event. Now, the optimistic side of me loves the fact that the American men’s 4×100-meter freestyle relay team completed the most amazing comeback in the comeback world since L.L. Cool J told us not to call his comeback a comeback. I was whooping and hollering right along with those four musclebound marine mammals as they rubbed their smash-prediction-defying victory in the turned-up noses of the French.
But they beat the world record by almost four seconds. In a race that runs just over three minutes, that’s a full two-percent shift. Keep in mind, the old World Record was not yet a day old. Five, count ’em, FIVE of the eight teams in the race beat the previous world record. I’m not saying the Americans are cheaters. I’m saying everyone is a bunch of cheaters. There is still no test for Human Growth Hormone.
But I’d say the stopwatch is a pretty good indicator.