My writing has led me to looking up the most random of subjects: prison architecture and design, Tamil history, the various shades of yellow, krav maga techniques, etc. The list could continue for a very. long. time. It makes me wonder what other people search for on Google. Does anyone else have "can you get cancer by eating cancer-infected flesh?*" on their history? Just me?
So in an effort to avoid having to 1) wait for my father to verify that what my mother told me was accurate and 2) hear "Go look it up" one more fucking time, I took it upon myself to cut out the middle man and go straight to the source, which in this case was the entire World Book series. For some reason, my parents thought the World Book was better than the Encyclopedia Britannica, but I didn't know the difference. I was a young child and, because the internet hadn't been invented by Al Gore yet**, I was forced to actually read. Well, I found it enjoyable because I'd read the whole damned collection by the time I was 10 years old. This really isn't a bragging point for me, I promise. I'd start reading about dog breeds and the get distracted by another topic as I was searching for the right page; then that subject would have "see also" at the end of the article, so to another volume I went. Eventually, I'd get around to reading about dog breeds. Probably. This is how I entertained myself, and yeah, I was That Weird Kid at school who knew way too much about random shit.
And the internet has just made this aspect of myself worse. All of that information, just at the end of your fingertips. And fuck you, Wikipedia. Wiki-spirals are the worst enemy of my writerly productivity. Sure, it starts out as a quick Google search for ancient druid rituals, yet somehow, I always seem to end up on an image page, trying to pick out my next tattoo, or reading about the meanings behind Florence + the Machine's lyrics. Three has come home to me, staring wide-eyed at my computer screen, with 50 tabs open that have absolutely nothing to do with each other (maybe tangentially). He then tells me to come talk to him, an actual in-person human being.
I really hope to pass this trait down to my children. I mean, it's not like I want to force them to have a love of reading and learning on their own. That's not for everyone, I know. But it's something that both my father and I bonded over. He'd come home, and I'd rush to him with this new information that I was just positive he didn't know. It rarely worked out that way, since my father is somewhat of an unrecognized genius who remembers the page from a magazine he read in college and what exactly was on that page and ... sigh. I can only try to be that smart. But he'd sit and listen to me talk about the new dinosaur I'd discovered*** or how I knew how to differentiate between the male and female fiddler crabs down by the bank a few yards away from our house****. I'd like to be able to do the same with my and Three's kids. I don't expect them to be nerdy about the same things, but I'd also like to learn from them. We will be able to geek out together!
God, I really haven't changed much since I was a Wee Baby Seamus.
For now, let's hope that an FBI agent doesn't come knocking on my door because of my internet search history. I've heard that happens sometimes, and not just on some conspiracy theorist put it on a webpage that I might have seen the other day. I swear, I was only looking for information on dead bodies because I want this dead body to appear authentic? And not a real dead body. I am describing one in my story! You know, I should just stop.
I leave you with one of my favorite Weird Al songs:
* Based on what I found, you would have to eat a LOT of cancer to "catch" it, but it's not likely. So eat that cancer, bitches. It's not necessarily bad for you, and it probably won't kill you! YOU ARE WELCOME!!
** I joke, I joke. Snopes.com has already proven this false, but I like to poke fun at good ol' Al.
*** I was and still am a giant dinosaur nerd. I wanted to be a paleontologist for the majority of my young life, although that tended to intertwine with my desire to write. Don't be surprised if dinosaurs in some form show up in my writing. And I'll try to tone down the Moby Dick-esque descriptions of them because we all know that's boring. For other people. I could read about the structure of dinosaurs and their perceived hunting habits all damned day.
**** It's their claw size, by the way. Males have one big claw and one little one. Females have two little ones. The more you know.