Useless Trivia, a Wedding and a Buffet Eating Contest

My mind is a whirl. Four days into my holiday and my brain is clogged to the brim with information. Rumour has it that the average male only uses 10% of his brain. This means the moment my hard drive is almost up to its capacity. This situation often happens to me during my holidays. I don’t have the pressure of work and therefore my mind starts to wander. It doesn’t help that I am reading a rather entertaining book entitled ‘The Know it All’. For those people that know me well the book definitely suits me.

The book is written by A.J Jacobs who takes on the challenge of becoming the smartest person in the world. To reach this summit he embarks on the challenge of reading the entire encyclopedia of Britannica – 32,900 pages, 65,000 articles, 9,500 contributors and 24,000 images!!!
The book tells of his frustration and enjoyment while intertwining it with small items of pointless but interesting facts. Herein lies my problem. My mind is a sponge of knowledge and is absorbing useless facts at an alarming rate.

Did you know…..
The lightening bolt you see actually travels from the ground up.
A dragonfly can eat its own weight in thirty minutes.
A raccoon washes its food before eating it.
Prehistoric razors were made of clamshells.
The inventor of the rodeo was Bill Pickett.
The game of scrabble is available in braille.

I could astound you with other bits of information, but I sense your concentration is waning. That is the sad fact about knowledge. Unless it is yours nobody really cares. Last night I started spouting of these random facts while having a family dinner. For me it was a giant release of pressure for everyone else it was a giant conversation stopper.

The process of knowledge accumulation has been difficult, especially as my vocabulary has amplified.
Yesterday I wrote a wedding card for a wedding we were attending.
After a brief and courteous introduction I applauded them on the quality of their ‘assertive mating’.
To the uninformed ‘assertive mating’ is when you pick a mate who is similar to you.’ Like the way fat people marry fat people. I was only trying to point out that the two people are similar. As you may have guessed my elaborate choice of words didn’t go down well with Rachel and I was forced to buy a new card.

The wedding was a beautiful. A Christian wedding held in the exquisite Cashmere Presbyterian Church. One of the interesting aspects of the service was unique tag team style of officiating we had. This was something I had not seen before at a wedding. The complication arose from the groom being catholic, the bride having a minister as a father and someone else needed for the parental blessing. So we effectively had three men taking their turn to lead their respective parts. It was like WWF tag team wrestling. I think their stage name was the ‘Trinity’. They even all had cool white robes as their attire. While not as fearsome as ‘Hart Foundation’ of the late 80’s they certainly could have held their own in the Royal Rumble.
In the blue corner to start off was The Colonel with the parental blessing. When he found trouble, in came Catholic man Reverend Powers (to answer your curiosity he did resemble Austin Power’s dad). Then we had ‘Costinator’ arrive. The lynch pin of the Trinity. Half Father of the bride, half minister. Nobody’s was going to mess with him on this day. He wore his traditional all white costume and rounded off the proceedings nicely.

After the service we had a line up to congratulate the bride and groom. With my mind still fill I had to release some pressure, so I decided to hand out some advice in the form of useless information. I gave Rich, the groom, some wise advice. “No need to prove yourself on the first night buddy.” Something I had learned from reading ‘ the know it all’ was that Attila the Hun had died from exhaustion on his wedding night. I warned Richard that if that can happen to Attilla it could happen to us all.
“Great tip”, he says. “Thanks Shem I will remember that.”

I tell Jen she looks lambent. Despite her English teaching background I sense alack of comprehension and I tell her it is an adjective meaning giving off light. She seems impressed.
I then add: “Just so you know, if you ever need an out, the easiest method of divorce comes from the Pueblo Indians. Just walk around the bed twice and the marriage is officially divorced. (Incidentally that is why I have the head of our bed jammed against the wall. No chance of Rachel running around it twice!!!!)
Jen didn’t seem that happy about this information and in hindsight it is not really the thing to say to the bride on her wedding day. But when my mind is in this state I just don’t know what is going to come out!!!!

We then moved on to the reception and luckily I had something to take my mind off pointless trivia. Three weeks prior to the wedding I had found out we were in for a buffet style meal. For me the Buffet sorts the men from the boys. Anyone can eat a carefully arranged plate but it takes a true man to be able to put away plate after plate of food. I had spent the day preparing for the buffet. Carefully regulating my body and ensuring the balance between eating as little as possible to ensure enough room for ample food intake while eating enough to keep my stomach from shrinking to the size of a clode (a small African beetle and as a matter of interest the average adult’s stomach capacity is 0.94 liters).
I new things were going to be tough at the buffet. I had married into a very formidable eating family. The Colonel, mentioned as part of the tag-wrestling brigade at the service, was going to be my main competition. He has huge pedigree. Raised in the south island, family of 3 boys and coming into his prime at 57.
Only two weeks ago he had beaten me hands down at the local Mei Pong Too Chinese buffet in Mount Maunganui. This was his home ground and I felt this was the reason for his excellent performance. However, today was a different story – the Rydges in Christchurch was a neutral venue and I felt I had learnt a thing or two from my beating at the Mei Pong Too.

The bride and groom sensing an embarrassing ‘eat off’ placed as so far apart I wasn’t actually sure the Colonel was at the wedding.
Sadly, due to the large numbers of people at the wedding my table was last to be issued with our green light. I need not have worried about my enemy. By the time I got to the serving table I knew the Colonel had been through. All of the seafood had been decimated, gone was the antipasto palter and there was only morsels of the chicken stir fry left. The Colonel had started with the classic ‘sinder’ movement. This when you force your opponent into eating the heavy items first, made famous German Eric Sinder. My only option was to go with the rice. I was on the ropes early. In my pre meal plan (PMP) I had planned rice for the 3rd visit to the table but here I was heaving it on in to my plate in my maiden voyage to the table. I felt like the titanic. (Incidentally did you know that there were 4,321,318 rivets helping hold the Titanic together)
I had been in a similar situation two weeks earlier at the Mei Pong Too, but this time I had a plan. Although not strictly in the rules I was sinking that fast I needed something drastic. I had noticed that the Colonel’s table was position very close to the dance floor, and more importantly the local DJ.

All it took was a friendly jiggle of the hips and a wink in the direction of the groom and suddenly the first dance was over and the music was pumping. Pleasingly the local DJ was a young buck, yet to enter puberty and with no knowledge of anything pre 1990. There wasn’t a Leonard Cohen track in sight, instead it was all Britany Spears , Black Eyed Peas and Timberlake. The Colonel had no chance. He held on tightly through one Anastasia song, doggedly eating his shimps, but halfway through the second the battle between his ears and stomach was over (did you know a shrimp has 10 jointed legs on its thorax). The ears had won, the Colonel was forced into the lounge.

So another buffet leaving me bloated, tired and exhausted. My only option for Sunday afternoon is to sit back and continue pumping my brain fill of useless information.

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