Winnie and I went to Borders in her hometown of Sacramento today after learning about a 40% off clearance sale.
The store is closing tomorrow, so most of the shelves were picked clean. All the graphic novels were gone along with the good manga. Not in the mood for Oprah and Dr. Phil self-help books, I wandered to the humor section.
I purchased these three books:
The Onion: Our Dumb World
The Areas Of My Expertise
More Information Than You Require
Now, the first book is basically an atlas with hilarious, made-up facts about our world. For example, in the entry for Jordan, instead of discussing religion or exports or GDP, it talks about how insanely hot their queen is and provides a detailed timeline of her existence. The other two books, both written by John Hodgman, contain all of the knowledge in the universe, completely made up by the author. You may know the man from the Daily Show, on which he is the resident expert of all things. He also plays the role of “PC” in those “Apple vs. PC” commercials.
I met Hodgman a few months ago. Well, perhaps I shouldn’t say met. After all, I didn’t actually talk to him. But I was positioned in such close proximity to him that had a summoned up the courage, I would very well have engaged in conversation with him.
I’ve been reading through Hodgman’s books since I got home and they’re indeed hilarious. For example, in More Information Than You Require, Hodgman enlightens you about the U.S. Presidents. Apparently, teddy bears are named after Teddy Roosevelt not because he refused to shoot a cub (as is often told) but because he lived on a steady diet of bear meat and was an intensely hairy man.
I can tell 2009 is off to a good start.