I DON'T know much about any one thing. But that doesn't stop me from getting more telephone calls than anyone else in Hong Kong, particularly [ring] ... excuse me. 'Good morning, Charlie. Who is Fu Manchu, exactly?' 'A diabolical villain in novels by Sax Rohmer.' 'Do you have one of the books?' 'Let me see. Yes, here we go: Rabelais, Ringworm ... Rohmer. Re-Enter Fu Manchu. It's about his sinister plot to steal an atom bomb. Anything else?' 'No thanks. I'll pick it up tomorrow. Bye.' Anyway, people call me because of my reputation, a bit exaggerated [ring] ... excuse me. 'Hello Charles. Was your president always called Mr President?' 'Yes, since George Washington. Someone suggested His High and Mightiness, but they were worried that a short man might be elected some day.' 'That's fine. Thanks.' As I was saying, people seem to think I have an unlimited supply of trivia stored in my brain. Admittedly [ring] ... oh, sorry! 'Hey Charlie, my man, long time no see. Say, what's this tune: Da da da da da da da.' 'Rimsky-Korsakov's Trombone Concerto. And it's da da da da DA da.' 'Yeah, right. Is that in B-flat major?' 'You got it.' Being raised with television might be the cause. Comprehensive learning is almost impossible from television shows. What sticks are bits of [ring] ... whoops, hang on. 'Hi, Charlie. Just off the top of your head, remember the actress Vampira in Plan 9 from Outer Space? What was her real name? 'Maila Nurmi.' 'Of course! Sorry to bother you. Bye.' Love is involved too. You have to love certain things to keep them in storage for so long. True trivia fanatics believe that nothing is trivial. Maybe [ring] ... excuse me. 'Charlie, ol' pal. I need a quote from Raymond Chandler. Do you have any handy, like now?' 'Have your pencil ready? 'The eighty-five cent dinner tasted like a discarded mail bag and was served to me by a waiter who looked as if he would slug me for a quarter, cut my throat for six bits, and bury me at sea in a barrel of concrete for a dollar and a half, plus sales tax.' That's from Farewell My Lovely. 'I knew you'd come through. Thanks.' A couple of early experts, Goodgold and Carlinsky, defined the difference between trivia and minutiae. Trivia has sentimental value, while [ring] ... oh hell. 'Charlie, I want to have a jacket made without flaps on the pockets. What do you ... 'Besom pockets.' 'If you say so. Bye.' Where was I? Oh, yes, minutiae are facts that are merely obscure, such as who invented earmuffs. [ring] ... 'Say Charlie, where in God's name could I find out who invented earmuffs?' 'Chester Greenwood, Maine, USA.' [silence] ... But to me it's not that simple, because I have a sentimental attachment to obscure facts. They are interesting precisely because they are obscure, and thus [ring] excuse me ... 'Hi. Give me a palindrome, fast.' 'I saw desserts; I'd no lemons, alas, no melon; distressed was I.' 'Great. Thanks.' ... and thus they stick in my mind. And that's okay, since they make life funny and [ring] ... 'Charlie, I desperately need four composers with funny names.' 'You mean like Osbert Parsely, Leonard Duck, Alexander Spitzmuller-Karmersbach, and Fidelio F. Finke?' 'That'll do nicely. Cheers.' ... entertaining. The only problem is trying to get work done while [ring] ... 'Hi Charlie - ' 'Gid Tanner and his Skillet Lickers.' 'I figured you'd know it.'