Rushville Republican

Columns

December 9, 2012

Stuart: Boy oh Boyd! Prize-winning trivia!

RUSHVILLE — When I was a kid, my parents put vast amounts of money in the pockets of the newspaper industry. On Sundays, especially, we had little to no excuse for not being well-informed; we’d get the Gary Post-Tribune and the Hammond Times delivered to our door, dad would walk to the store to buy the Sunday Chicago Tribune, and the next day, we’d get the Sunday Indianapolis Star in the mail. This was in addition to the daily deliveries of all of the above minus the Chi Trib.

My siblings and I were never subjected to quizzes by mom and dad on what we learned from all those papers. I think they wanted to spare themselves from five different interpretations of that week’s “Peanuts” comic strip.

(Although now that I think about it, a little news quiz competition in our house might’ve been fun; just think, we could’ve had some little reward at stake for winning. We maybe could’ve called it the “Stu-litzer Prize.”

Now that I think about it even further, I might’ve been able to corral that prize on a regular basis, as long as the topics in question revolved around trivia. Because my favorite thing to read, once I reached the age where “Peanuts” wasn’t my favorite thing to read, was a column by a guy named L.M. Boyd.

L. M. Boyd wrote a nationally syndicated column that has been described by one prominent writer as “something Don Stuart would write.” (It’s true, you might say I’m quite personally close to the prominent writer who said that.)

You see, Boyd’s column was a random collection of miscellany, trivia, and amusing facts. It had a grip on my imagination that I can still palpably recall to this day, mainly because it left newsprint ink stains on my imagination. I mean to tell you, that grip was tight!

I would read his column and then sit and wonder, “How does he learn all this stuff?” (I found out just today that Boyd once described his technique as “the same one a pig uses hunting truffles.” Whatever that means.) “What does ‘L. M.’ stand for?” (I found out just today: Louis Malcolm.) “Could I ever earn boodles of moolah doing what he does?” (I found out just today. According to Republican editor Kevin Green, the answer is, “Uhhh, no way.”)

Now I don’t think that I ever stored any of Boyd’s factoids away for future reference like the guy who posted an online comment to Boyd’s obituary in the San Francisco Chronicle (Boyd died in 2007). This fella said it was only because of L. M. Boyd that he knows the 1972 defense budget of the nation of Andorra: $5.

Isn’t that amazing? Not the $5 Andorran defense budget, but that this reader recalled that item 35 years later! (I’m imagining his wife rolling her eyes when he tells people Andorra’s 1972 defense budget at parties, and then asking him somewhat sharply why he “can’t remember their (stinking) wedding anniversary?!”

Incidentally, one reminiscence I read of Boyd included a comment from a physics professor at Cal-Berkeley, who said Boyd’s column was “interesting, and accurate.” Followed immediately by a comment from a guy who edited Boyd’s column for many years, who said Boyd wasn’t always accurate.” There’s something disconcerting here; shouldn’t parents whose kids are studying physics at Cal-Berkeley worry if they’re under the tutelage of guy who relies on a trivia column for accurate information?

But even more disconcerting, if accuracy is important in a trivia column, is Kevin Green scoffing at me earning boodles of L. M. Boyd-like moolah because he thinks I’m not accurate?!?!

Well, try this on for size! Here’s an L. M. Boyd-like tidbit (the miscellaneous fact that actually spurred this entire column in the first place) AND it is indisputably accurate: The guy from the “Men’s Wearhouse” TV commercials, the one who says, “You’re gonna like the way you look. I guarantee it,” is starting to look exactly like “The Most Interesting Man in the World” from the Dos Equis beer commercials!

Just as L. M. Boyd did during his column-writing career, I had this item fact-checked by my wife, who verified that it proves that I watch waaaaay too much TV. But she did concede it was an interesting enough observation to earn me a reward; unfortunately, it’s the “Stupid-litzer Prize.”

 

1
Text Only
Columns
  • We are still the United States It seems to me that America has in the past had an idea of destiny, one that started at Concord and continues to today. A great experiment was begun with the shot heard around the world. It continued on through the remainder of the Revolution and spa

    April 22, 2014

  • Mail Tales: Of postcards and wishing where you were This week we're going to explore the exciting world of Deltiology. I know that "Deltiology" sounds vaguely scientific, which means some of you are probably worrying that this is another one of my sneaky attempts to foist upon you a poorly researched,

    April 22, 2014

  • An important election this year I wonder if anyone has to be reminded that we're in another election year. The current election season is often referred to as an "off-year" election because it's not a year in which we vote for a president. This will be, nevertheless, one of the mos

    April 22, 2014

  • In a perpetual comma I misplace a lot of things: keys wallet gloves the dog's leash. Recently I misplaced something that may not seem very important unless you read that last sentence carefully. Then you will realize that believe it or not I can't find my comma. Yes it's

    April 22, 2014

  • Crate art Paper labels from 1880-1930, collectively referred to as "Crate Art", are a unique form of American Folk Art. Originally designed to be glued to the ends of wooden crates to identify produce during shipping, the graphically attractive labels are stil

    April 22, 2014

  • This column will self-destruct in 5 seconds I've become completely infatuated over the past few weeks with a gift I received a few Christmases ago. It was a completely unexpected gift from one of my big brothers: a set of "Mission: Impossible" DVDs. No, not home videos of me begging my kids to

    April 15, 2014

  • Don't sweat the small things There are a few things in life that really get under my skin, one of which is complaining. Yes, I complain sometimes, but it doesn't last too long at all before I put myself in check. There was a story this week that really touched my heart and like

    April 15, 2014

  • The timeless beauty of wicker No matter what the day may bring, I can leave it all behind when I take my evening walk. Strolling through our historic neighborhood on Indy's south side is a multifaceted treat. It is good for my heart, it erases the cares of the day and it affords

    April 15, 2014

  • Self deposit box I love where I bank. It's a branch inside of a big supermarket. I can make a modest withdrawal and then go and blow every last penny in the cookie aisle. The tellers at the window appreciate me. They know about my obsession with round numbers and und

    April 15, 2014

  • Change can be done here In previous columns I've suggested that one of the factors holding this community back is the relatively poor image many of us have of our town. The point, as some may recall, was made by several people who live in other communities who said Rushvill

    April 15, 2014

Featured Ads
AP Video
US Proposes Pay-for-priority Internet Standards Wife Mourns Chicago Doctor Killed in Afghanistan FDA Proposes Regulations on E-cigarettes Kerry Warns Russia of Expensive New Sanctions Mideast Peace Talks Stall on Hamas Deal Cody Walker Remembers His Late Brother Paul Grieving South Korea Puts Up Yellow Ribbons Raw: Kerry Brings His Dog to Work Raw: Girls Survive Car Crash Into Their Bedroom Three U.S. Doctors Killed by Afghan Security Yankees' Pineda Suspended 10 Games for Pine Tar Colleagues Mourn Death of Doctors in Afghanistan Ukraine Launches Operation Against Insurgents Obama Reassures Japan on China Raw: Car Crashes Into San Antonio Pool Time Magazine Announces Top Influencers List Raw: Angry Relatives Confront SKorea Officials Bigger Riders Means Bigger Horses Out West Yankees Pineda Ejected for Pine Tar Deadly Fungus Killing Bats, Spreading in US
Hyperlocal Search
Premier Guide
Find a business

Walking Fingers
Maps, Menus, Store hours, Coupons, and more...
Premier Guide
Parade
Magazine

Click HERE to read all your Parade favorites including Hollywood Wire, Celebrity interviews and photo galleries, Food recipes and cooking tips, Games and lots more.