ranking the things I know I don’t know

After alienating 90 percent of my audience (what’s 90 percent of three?) with last week’s barely coherent electoral rant, I thought I might calm things down a bit with a topic that’s a little less polarizing. Like Android versus Apple (not the smartphones, but rather who would win in a battle between Data and a ripe Honeycrisp), or a post ranking world religions based on sexiness of their respective gods, or possibly a meticulously footnoted, 15,000-word screed on why feminism is racist.

I don’t want to lie to you: those topics are gold, every last one, and I will keep them in my back pocket for a time when the Muse stops answering my calls. (She’s already threatened a restraining order.) But while those ideas are guaranteed to generate literally tens of pageviews, I suspect they would all require a fair bit of research, as I know nothing about any of those things. Well, except for the Data/Honeycrisp fight; I already have an accordion folder stuffed to the brim with detailed notes. But you write what you know, they say, but then again, who are they? They’re not the boss of me! (Unless I am at work, and my boss straight-up tells me to write what I know, in which case that person actually is in reality the boss of me, and I will hop to it straightaway). As last week’s post clearly illustrated, ignorance has never stopped me before, so why not flip the paradigm on its ear, and specifically write about what I don’t know? And I don’t know much, but I know I love Aaron Neville. I also know that I am profoundly ignorant about a lot of important things, and I know almost all there is to know about how to put together numbered lists.

(Please note that this is not by any means a comprehensive list of things I do not understand. Trust me, none of us has that kind of time.)

I do not understand:

14. why a Top 14 list should be considered any less valid than a Top 10 list


13. why The Big Bang Theory is so popular

NERD RACISM, definitely

12. why people eat olives on purpose

Look, people, once you’ve squozen all the delicious oil out, you throw the the rest of that foot-sweat-tasting mush-ball into the garbage. After you warm up some chicken noodle soup, do you eat the can? (Apologies to my any readers who are goats, because if the cartoons have taught me anything, it’s that goats eat tin cans and alley cats eat fish skeletons served up on garbage can lids.)

11. how to spell “commitee”

You know, the thing where you get a bunch of people together and you have a meeting or whatever? I am literally a spelling bee champion and I cann’t for the life of me remember how many M’s and T’s and I’s are supposed to be in there. Probably more than I used. Cccooooommittttte?

10. how to fill out this list without getting all meta and padding it out with a joke entry or two

9. how you didn’t see that joke entry coming from a mile away

8. why Gilbert Gottfried doesn’t have his own series

Yeah, he’s a duck-voiced weirdo who occasionally spits out a boneheaded tweet that manages to offend great swathes of globe, but dang if he ain’t kind of a genius. If you don’t mind a heapin’ helpin’ of filthy jokes, I highly recommend his Amazing Colossal Podcast, which will both expand your horizons and make people think you’re a maniac because you’re listening to it on headphones at work and at random intervals you’re snort-guffawing like an asthmatic mule.

6. what is a “swathe”

7. how to keep the numbers from getting out of order

In my defense, I did say that I know ALMOST all there is to know about constructing numbered lists.

5. how to monetize this thing

I know step 1 is something like “get people to read what you write,” and step 2 is probably something like “don’t make jokey lists because Thrillist and Buzzfeed kind of already have that genre nailed down.” So maybe I should work on the basics before I move to step 3. I do know that I don’t want to have obnoxious autoplay videos or a bunch of ads running down the side of screen hawking gold coins and freeze-dried mail-order mattresses or whatever. I’m hoping to seamlessly and discreetly integrate ad copy right into the content. How hard could it be?

4. why anyone has bothered to read this far

3. how life works

I mean, don’t get me wrong, I completely understand how life starts. I do have a couple of children, y’know, so I’m well aware that life’s beginnings have to do with my wife keeping her eyes closed for 90 seconds, politely asking if I’m done, and then going back to browsing Pinterest on an iPad while sobbing quietly. That’s not what I’m talking about. I’m asking you: how do you even know how to live a life in this baffling, nonsensical plane of existence without collapsing into a jittery pile of sweat-soaked terror? Sweet dang, this world does not make a lick of sense. I do not understand why anyone does anything. I do not understand why everybody else has all the success and all I have to show for a lifetime of effort is an absurd amount of forehead real estate and a handful of dumb scars. I do not get what this world wants from me other than that I stop pestering it about what it wants from me. Also I sometimes wonder how did we even discover that you can eat an egg. But mostly just life itself: how do it work?

2. your mom

Seriously, what is her deal. I don’t know what her problem is with me, but whatever it is, I suspect what she really needs is a long, relaxing soak in a hot bath, made all the more luxurious with Aromatherapy Lavender Vanilla Bath Soak© from Bath and Body Works®. Bath and Body Works: I Bet Your Mom Would Like How This Stuff Smells.

1. why I ever thought this blog was a good idea

I don’t feel too guilty. Nobody understands this one.