A Bit About Me

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Along with my daily duties as founder and head writer of HumorMeOnline.com, in 2003, I took the Grand Prize in the Bulwer-Lytton Fiction Contest (also known as the "It Was a Dark and Stormy Night" competition). I've also been a contributor to "The Late Late Show with Craig Ferguson" and the web's "The Late Show with David Letterman". I also occupy my time writing three blogs, "Blogged Down at the Moment", "Brit Word of the Day" and "Production Numbers"...and my off-time is spent contemplating in an "on again/off again" fashion...my feable attempts at writing any one of a dozen books. I would love to write professionally one day...and by that I mean "actually get a paycheck".

13 March 2012

A Random Act of Mindness

I am not sure any of you know of this thing they have online called "Facebook". Facebook, for those who don't know (yeah, I'm being sarcastic), is this online "social networking" site...many times more like an anti-social networking site, but, nonetheless, it is online and about a billion plus two people are on it at any given moment.

People, being of either the trusting (or more likely, stupid) sort...tend to believe anything you post up there. Just think of it as the "early Wikipedia" of the Internet. Wikipedia, if you don't know (again with the sarcasm), is like a vast encyclopedia of "stuff", which, in its early incarnation...allowed anyone and their cat...to post up "factual information" which people, in turn, assumed was real information and turned right around and would do things like quote from it, copy/paste whole sections of it into their homework, and would "impress" anyone around who would listen to them. Consequently, it was the perfect opportunity for people to reinvent history. And invent they did. Way back when it was a witty person's dream: Think of something, the more plausible sounding the better, and post it up on Wikipedia and sit back and see how fast people start transferring their made up stuff, i.e., convoluted creme de la crap, to their websites and other websites and even more websites. It was fun while it happened. Now they require you to pass some test of fortitude or something in order to post stuff on Wiki...but, if you are imaginative, you can now turn to Facebook.

Sure, it's not posted up there for eons for all to see...it's a fleeting bit of silly...but, as all the world's a stage...I'm going to be a player.

Enter people and those "Random Facts" -- usually posted on background type of card or poster to make it seem "legit". It seems anything you put on a poster type thing will make the rounds no matter how mundane or totally unimaginative it is. So...when I started getting a bunch of these "random facts" showing up in my Facebook screen...I decided I was game...and started making up some of my own.

Half the fun was thinking of something witty, half the fun was trying to make it believable. The last half was sitting back and seeing if anyone commented. Fun was born for a grand total of about three days. Then I decided it was time to move on...but at the risk of never having these seen by more than the three people who bothered commenting on them...I'm packaging them all up and posting them here. Yeah...there's a lot...and I'm doing it because I can -- plus I'm also curious if I repeated any numbers...since I did them all "at random" without having any plan.

Hopefully some are enjoyable...if not, sorry for the huge waste of your time. And because there were much more than I originally thought, I'm going to do a two or three part blog.

It all started out innocently enough with this one:

"Random Fact #27: If you saved up all the grit in your eyes when you wake up, by the time you reach age 75 you could have had a real hobby."

This one was fun because it got people thinking and commenting. I, naturally, added more and more specifications like "...uh...that is citrus" and "...that is yellow" as they kept disproving my fact:

"Random Fact #42: 'Lemon' is the only two-syllable named fruit."

I won't bore you with commentary on each one...so here they are (in half their glory):

"Random Fact 70: The apostrophe was originally written as a comma on the first typewriters. In order for you to make an apostrophe you had to manually adjust the carriage, type the "comma" in the higher placement on the paper and then readjust it back again to continue typing."

"Random Fact 191: Ladies underpants were invented a full 150 years before men's were."

"Random Fact #2: Statistically, because I'm not keeping track, each time I come up with another random fact's number (at random I might add), I'm 11.4 times more likely to use a number I used before."

"Random Fact #90: If $1.00 of each Disneyland/Disneyworld ticket were set aside...in 10 years it would be able to pay off the national debt."

"Random Fact #29: It is widely conjectured that the species of animal responsible for the most puns...is fish. For example: Salmon chanted evening. I did that for the halibut. I need an aspirin because I've got a haddock. Et al."

"Random Fact #57: The Lunar Rover was named after Neil Armstrong's dog."

"Random Fact #23: All English words have been either borrowed or the pronunciation bastardized from foreign words from other countries. No words in the English language, with the exception of those made up by Chaucer, Shakespeare and Snoop Dogg...are English or American in origin."

"Random Fact #92: Contrary to popular belief, Gordon Lightfoot was not that great a dancer."

"Random Fact #71: Approximately 1 in 280 milk cows are born with an extra udder. They are promptly sent to the slaughter house and sold as veal as the automatic milking machines only have four "milker" receptacles. Having a fifth teet makes it impossible to get the proper "suction sequence" going for the machine to work optimally, and therefore the cow will produce less and less milk with each subsequent milking...eventually becoming a "dry" cow. Slaughter not only aids in higher milk production but also ensures this gene abnormality is not passed to the next generation."

"Random Fact #22: The cheapest gas has ever been per gallon was in 1932 at 17 cents. The last time it was 25 cents per gallon (or cheaper) was 1947. Adjusted for inflation, that would be roughly 2.83 and 2.41, respectively. So, the next time someone tells you they remember when gas was "less than a quarter per gallon"...either they are really old...or they are lying."

"Random Fact #81: No one knows how a snail can excrete that much mucous to leave as a trail. Scientific tests speculate the snail's body is like a wick of a humidifier and depending on the humidity level...determines how far it can travel."

"Random Fact #43: Sharks do not have tongues and therefore cannot taste their food until it reaches their stomach...this accounts for the fact most human "prey" is not usually swallowed but spat back up."

"Random Fact #87: The word "garbanzo" as in "garbanzo bean" (otherwise known as the chickpea) means "testicle" in Aztec."

"Random Fact #33: Anthropologists have long deduced the fork evolved from an ordinary stick. It then took the shape of two prongs when mankind realized the stabilizing effect of the dual tine. Mankind further evolved the fork into a three-pronged implement...again further stabilizing the usefulness of the device. Science has proven that four tines is the optimal configuration for an eating implement of that type and that five would be pretty much superfluous. This fact has totally been lost on the razor/shaving industry altho it has been proven that the extra blades are unnessary and do nothing more than give the impression that 'more is better'."

"Random Fact #81: "Bubble Wrap" was invented after a scientist noticed how his foot's blister cushioned the underlying skin from further impact from outside stimuli even when pressed with extreme force."

"Random Fact #55: While most people know the "Guinea Pig" is neither from New Guinea nor a pig...most people do not know they used to only cost one guinea to buy (in England in the 1700s) and, when roasted, smell remarkably like bacon."

"Random Fact #102: A typical five pound bag of grits usually contains 1/2 pound of non-corn-based grit -- mostly road-based and/or the wearing down of antiquated machinery-type grit."

"Random Fact #48: "Global Marketing" is in fact a misnomer as no one ever markets anything for Antarctica really."

"Random Fact #17: Wikipedia was originally a database of Wiccan information and was originally entitled 'Wiccapedia'."

"Random Fact #59: Shakespeare's title for "Love's Labour's Lost" was originally 'Eat Pray Love'."

"Random Fact #27: Scientists have calculated that the temperature would have to dip down to -256 degrees K for Hell to freeze over. Ironically, this is the number of pages in "Dante's Inferno" and exactly the same temperature it takes for the creme inside a Twinkie to solidify fully."

"Random Fact # 31: If you drop a compass from a great height above at the North Pole - the needle will spin erratically until it hits 4,000 feet. This is caused by the interference of the Coriolis Effect on the gravitational pull in the stratosphere. When the compass enters the troposphere...it regains the correct reading."

"Random Fact #2: Henry Wadsworth Longfellow was only 4' 8" tall and was the inspiration for the "Munchkins" in L. Frank Baum's "The Wonderful Wizard of Oz". A lifelong feud between the two has typically been said to have produced some of the greatest written material of all time."

"Random Fact #1: No matter what kind of bread...or how expensive your toaster, no one in history has ever had their toast "toasted" correctly on the first try."

"Random Fact #4: You can sing any song to the tune of "Twinkle Twinkle Little Star" except Queen's "Bohemian Rhapsody"."

And, on that note...I'll stop until Part II.


  1. haha! I wish I had seen this series on FB. I love that you could assert that lemon was the only two-syllable fruit and no one just said "how about apple?"
    Maybe that's why the Eagles got back together -- they only got to -255 below zero.
    And I think "Eat Pray Love" would've been an ideal name for Shakespeare in Love.


  2. Oh my goodness, these are hilarious! Wish I had seen them posted and what responses you got....one or two of them would be ones I could disprove -- yes, I am that old.

  3. Traci - They don't last very long on Facebook. Thanks for reading and commenting (I live for comments)...don't forget to check out Part II in a couple days...it has a few really good ones in it I think. Two I really, really am proud of. :)

  4. Collie -

    You gotta tell me the ones you'd disprove...other than the "lemon" one. You have me wondering now. :)

  5. Oh my goodness Mariann! What a wonderful way to start the afternoon!!! I read through these laughing on my own, and then read them allowed to my hubby on his lunch break. LOL His comment? "That's good stuff." And let me tell you, THAT is a huge compliment! When we went to the Redwood Forest and he saw his first truly ginormous tree he said "yea, that's a big tree."

    I can't wait for part two!??? Are we there yet?????

  6. Thank you, Dawnee...glad I could make a few people laugh today. Don't forget to "tune in" to Part II.

    You can actually "join my blog" - which means you'll get a notification when I update. I think it's to the right of my blog where it probably says "Follow This Blog?" or something else. Oh...it says "Join this Site". Feel free to share it with people (even people you hate - you can find a blog I wrote about that sort of person and then share it...all innocently and all). I'm hoping one day soon to hit that 100 person mark. It's taken forever - I swear people have a LOT of family who read their blogs. ;)

  7. To StarTraci: Someone did say, "um, Apple". As well as a few others. Hence Mariann's qualifier before she wrote it that she later added, it has to be yellow, it has to be citrus. :-D

    P.S. I don't remember; but I thought the first couple of "random facts" posted on Facebook weren't initially explained as "Mariann's Random Facts". I think the experiment is much more fun that way; but our friend is too honest to have let that slide for more than a day.