So why 336?
Why out of all the integers available to me, did I choose three hundred and thirty-six to be part of the title for this blog.
The picture below has the answer.
It’s the seventh entry down and it reads “336 / Dimples on a golf ball”.
This is one of the first nuggets of trivia I ever learned and which I still remember. This entry, and all the others you see above (and now you where the Munsters lived), is from page 265 from the 1974 book The Trivia Encyclopedia by Fred L. Worth. This tome of knowledge was bestowed upon me by my parents along with The Joy of Trivia (1976) by Bernie Smith.
I still have those books today and they reside proudly on our bookshelves.
A tad tattered, but I still treasure them.
Trivia has always been a large part of my life. I do not know if my parents gifted me these volumes because I had already shown a fondness for inconsequential knowledge (does a seven-year old really need to know that the shortest verse in the Bible is “Jesus wept.”?) and a love for game shows (The Joker’s Wild was always a favorite). Or, did my fascination with things animal, vegetable, and mineral spawn from reading the pages of these gifts?
My love of trivia allowed me to be the most popular person in the room when Trivial Pursuit was brought out. My love of trivia allowed me to participate on our high school’s Knowledge Bowl team (where we competed on local access cable for the county championship…but lost). My love of trivia allowed me to be picked as the captain for our high school’s participation in the Great Auk Challenge, also known as the Knowledge Master Open (R.I.P.).
Finally, my love of trivia also allowed me to win $49,750 in cash and prizes when I appeared for five days on the game show Tic-Tac-Dough.
That’s my story.
But I still have a question.
What do parents wrought?
As I wrote above, was it the gifts from my parents that lit the fires of trivial for me or did they see something glowing in me and helped fan the flames? Whatever the answer is, I am who I am because of them and their gift of two books.
So, how am I affected my own children? What have I given to them, said to them, or not provided for them that will set them down one path over another? Can the purchase of a lacrosse stick instill a lifelong passion for sport? Can the introduction of a jigsaw puzzle featuring famous scientists spark a love for math? Does watching Monty Python’s Flying Circus with my children foster a sense of the absurd? Does a life overseas breed an open mind?
It is said by folks (and you can look here for my source) that the dimples on a golf ball help the object fly farther. Different dimples and different patterns achieve different results.
So, what have I done to mold the dimples my children will use to achieve their results?
I guess, that’s their story to write.
P.S. As to what I did with my game show winnings, well…that’s a tale for another day.