Wednesday, December 28, 2005

A Brief Explanation

A few months back I was conversing with my blogging mentor about the seemingly remote possibilities of me starting one up myself. If I recall, I cycled through a series of excuses ("I'm not interesting, the internet doesn't work at home, I don't own a digital camera...") but I knew the eventual outcome was all but decided when I came up with the name. Shotgun Knowledge. At first I wanted it to be all mysterious and I fantasized that I would get barraged with questions as to its meaning. Realistically, I believe the average citizen would come to the assumption that I shoot skeet. This is not the case.

So I feel I must ruin my own private joke and explain it. They say that if you have to explain the joke it isn't funny. So be it.

Why Shotgun Knowledge? Because I am really good at trivia. I am that annoying guy who shouts out answers to game shows on television, ruining it for everyone else in the room. I can't help myself. If I know something I feel it is my duty to tell the world. I just can't keep it in. Now, I don't by any stretch of the imagination consider myself an intellectual giant or any type of genius. I consider myself of above-average intelligence. I just have an inordinately good capacity for remembering what you might call "useless facts."

So, again, why Shotgun Knowledge? It is not because I hold a wealth of shotgun-related trivia in my head. I actually know very little about firearms. This phrase is something that I came up with several years ago to describe why I can carry a conversation with virtually any person I meet. At the time I thought it was quite apposite and I gave myself a mental pat on the back for being so erudite. I do this when I use big words, too. As I said, I am by no means an expert in any field (except cellular communications towers - my profession and passion). However, I do have little snippets of information (news stories, half-understood processes, etc.) that I can draw upon to keep a conversation alive. Most people, including me, start to feel a bit uncomfortable when a conversation becomes a lecture. So then both parties revert to silence or worse, talking about sports and/or the weather. As a general rule, I am interested in what other people do, so I try to keep them talking to me as long as possible.

Here's the good part. My moment of intellectual glory came one night at the bars on State Street. After a long night of drinking delicious beers and conversing with anyone within earshot, a peripheral female acquaintance asked me how I can talk to people about so many different subjects. I responded that while most people know a lot about their specific fields, I happen to know a little about a wide variety of subjects. To illustrate this in terms that any female would understand, I said that while most peoples' knowledge was like a rifle, focused on several points on the target, my knowledge was spread all over the place, like a shotgun blast. I was so pleased with this that I am still using it to this day.

There you have it. 500 plus words explaining the title of this blog. This is what you have to look forward to, folks.

4 Comments:

Blogger Belle of Madison said...

Alternatively, you could call yourself "jack of all [conversation topics], master of none." ha ha ha.

1:48 PM  
Blogger K8E said...

Awesome :o)

3:12 PM  
Anonymous Carrie Schmidt said...

Dan, if you don't know much about firearms, then why is that all you talk about?

1:54 PM  
Blogger wallrock said...

CWS - you know I was just being modest. Anyone that has spent any time in my presence comes to realize I know all there is to know about guns.

Sarah - besides guns, I am totally the Master of Cell Phone Tower Knowledge. Give respect where it's due.

5:06 PM  

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