This is the last day of #blogjune. It’s been fun doing a post each day and I hope you’ve enjoyed it. I thought I might keep this going at a slower pace – one a week, or thereabouts.
But, to today’s post, it’s something special from my childhood – The Trivia Encyclopedia by Fred L. Worth. I stumbled across this around 1980 or so and found it endlessly fascinating in its surgical detail of often useless facts. Want to know the name of the bear who played Gentle Ben? It’s here (Bruno). In the James Bond books and movies, what does S.P.E.C.T.R.E. stand for? (Page 253 – Special Executive for Counter-Terrorism, Revenge and Extortion). What year was Alfred Hitchcock born? (Page 28, 1899). The names of all the Chan Clan (from The Amazing Chan and the Chan Clan cartoon)? Why, it’s Allen, Flip, Henry, Moon, Nancy, Scooter, Stanley, Susie and Tom (Page 66). It’s all here. Thanks for asking.
Of course, we now have the internet and decades of pop cultural back-glances to know all this stuff, but then there was nothing and this was revolutionary goldmine of information. It was Google in a book, and from what I can tell, quite a hit. There was even a scandal involving Columbo and the game Trivial Pursuit using Worth’s book to source questions.
I have 2 different editions of The Trivia Encyclopedia but this el cheapo Tempo paperback is my favourite, partly because it’s the first copy I ever had, but also for the sensational slighty trippy cover design. Many thanks Mr. Worth.