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The Areas of My Expertise

Hal Harris's picture
Wed, 02/01/2006 - 00:00 -- Hal Harris

The full title of this book is "The Areas of My Expertise: Which Include Matters Historical, Matters Literary, Matters Cryptozoological, Hobo Matters, Food, Drink & Cheese (a kind of food), Squirrels and Lobsters & Eels, Haircuts, Utopia, What Will Happen in the Future, and Most Other Subjects". It is full of little-known and bizarre facts, all of which were fabricated. It is a sort of an almanac, with information that everyone needs. There is a lot about hoboes, including 700 hobo names and a compendium of hobo signs. Did you know that Yale enforces its will on the world via a capella singing groups? Or the essential differences between cat people and dog people? [Linus Pauling fed massive doses of vitamin C to his Schipperke, "Josef" and Daniel Boone devised forty-six ways of skinning cats (many still used today)] How about five jokes that have never produced laughter, or nine palindromes that aren't quite palindromes? [A man, a plan, a kind of man-made river, planned."] According to TAOME, a cesium-133 atom will oscillate between two hyperfine levels 16,546,737,186,000 times in half an hour. A compendium of fifty-five dramatic situations will provide the basis for any book that you might want to write. Several pages of potents and omens provide a guide for the future. Best of all, almost nothing in the book is true (except for the frequency of the cesium clock). It is all made up (by Mr. Hodgman, who is also "the PC guy" in the Apple commercials), and it is quite funny, in the sort of way that appeals mainly to the warped. I guess I qualify.

Pick Attribution: 

John Hodgman

Publication Date: 
Saturday, January 1, 2005
Price: 
$22.00
Domain: