Cookie Monster’s Real Name, And Other Useless Knowledge

cookie-monster-1132275_6401I do my best philosophical thinking while I’m folding laundry.  The other day, as I folded yet another fitted sheet and realized both that I actually know how to fold a fitted sheet, and also that there is no point to folding a fitted sheet, I started thinking about how many other things I know that serve no practical purpose.  For instance, I know Cookie Monster’s first name.  It’s Sid.  No one needs to know that (except, presumably, Sid).

Then I started wondering:  how did I wind up with all this useless knowledge?  It began with a few odd bits of information from family and friends, knowledge I never wanted but kept anyway to be polite (like how to fold a fitted sheet), but over time it became such a massive pile of crap in my mental garage that there was barely enough room for the Porsche 911 that the Little Blind Girl In My Head totally drives.

Now, though, I need that space for things like retirement planning and how to tell if fruit is ripe.  So, to clear out my mental garage, I’ve decided to have a mental yard sale.  I thought about having an auction, but I don’t really need any more voices in my head.  So if you like to stockpile pointless facts for emergency use at, judging from experience, family reunions and office parties, come spend a little time in my psyche (it’s BYOB).  I’ve got some good stuff.  Here’s a sample item:

Useless Knowledge For Sale: The proper use of finger bowls

There isn’t one.  Everyone just assumes they’re for washing your fingers.  Finger bowls aren’t brought out until just before the dessert course in a formal dinner, however, and— formal dinners not being known for their finger food— you’ll almost never need to wash your fingers at this point in the meal.  The proper thing to do with a finger bowl is almost always to set it off to the left so it doesn’t get in the way of the dessert.

In fact, needing to use a finger bowl is the fine dining equivalent of the walk of shame.  It means you’re such a messy eater that, despite having been provided with three different spoons, four different forks, and six different knives, you still managed to get food all over your hands.  Honestly, it’s like you were raised in a barn.

(If this happens, by the way, no one actually expects you to use the finger bowl.  Just wipe your fingers discreetly on your napkin and then “accidentally” let the napkin slip to the floor, at which point you have an excuse to replace it with a cleaner model.  This method has served me well for years.)

I realize this isn’t much of a sales pitch, so I’ll throw in another, somewhat related bit of arcane table manners trivia free of charge:

Useless Knowledge Gift With Purchase:  It’s completely acceptable to eat asparagus with your hands.

Unlike much of what was said at the recent political conventions, this is actually true.  You may daintily dine on the succulent shoots without using so much as an asparagus tong and then smugly wiggle your fingers around in your finger bowl in perfect propriety, though you should stop short of flicking water at the people who used utensils.

Unfortunately for me, I hate asparagus, so this fascinating knowledge does me no good, even if the Queen of England were to invite me to a formal asparagus tasting replete with finger bowls of every description.  One little blind girl’s trash is someone else’s treasure, though, so up for sale it goes.

Asking Price:  The proper use of Tumblr

woman-1459220_640I went on Tumblr a few times to try to understand what it is, but the longest I went without getting trapped in porn was fourteen minutes.  It may be that porn is, in fact, the proper use of Tumblr, I’m not sure.  But I’m told there’s more to it, and knowing how to use Tumblr seems more relevant these days than knowing how to use a finger bowl— at any rate, it’s certainly more common.  So if you’re interested or if you’ve got something else to trade, feel free to make an offer.  I’m open to negotiation, and I really want my mind-garage back.

And anyway, Queen Victoria once drank from a finger bowl, so what do I know?


(All images are in the public domain via

Where The Wild Blogs Are

(For the Sendak-deprived, this is a play on Where The Wild Things Are.)

The night the Little Blind Girl changed her avatar and made mischief of one kind


and another


her followers called her “WILD BLOG!”
and the Little Blind Girl said “ I’LL FILTER YOUR CONTENT!”
so she was made to sign out without checking her statistics.

That very night in the Little Blind Girl’s computer the social media grew


and grew-


and grew until her smartphone chimed with tweets
and her Pinterest Board pinned the world all around

and Tumblr scrolled by with a private blog for the Little Blind Girl
and she clicked through the pages and gifs
and in and out of memes

and almost over the cat videos

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to where the wild blogs are.


And when she came to the place where the wild blogs are
they roared their anonymous roars and gnashed their anonymous teeth
and rolled their anonymous eyes and showed their anonymous claws

til the Little Blind Girl wrote “LMAO!”
and tamed them with the magic trick
of standing up to all the trolls without taking their bait once

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and they were frightened and called her the most wild blog of all
and made her king of all wild blogs.

“And now,” tweeted the Little Blind Girl, “let the wild blog-rumpus start!”


“Now stop!” the Little Blind Girl tweeted and made the wild blogs sign out without checking their statistics. And the Little Blind Girl, the king of all wild blogs, was lonely and wanted to be where someone loved her writing best of all.

Then all around from away across the blogosphere
she sensed good things to read
so she gave up being king of where the wild blogs are.

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But the wild blogs cried, “Oh please don’t go–
we’ll filter your content–we love you so!”
And the Little Blind Girl said, “No!”

The wild blogs roared their anonymous roars and gnashed their anonymous teeth
and rolled their anonymous eyes and showed their anonymous claws
but the Little Blind Girl logged onto her private blog and waved good-bye


and clicked back over the cat videos
and in and out of memes
and through the gifs

and onto the home page of iliketheworldfuzzy
where she found her saved draft waiting for her


and it was still good.


[all pictures are in the public domain via pixabay]