"Hi, Dave," the room answers.
I come from a family of addicts. Even as a child my parents gave me books and magazines, and even a dictionary. So at this stage in my life I feel I'm too far gone for help. It started innocently enough, sports trivia, but before I knew it I was hooked on facts. I read encyclopedias in the dark under my blanket with a flashlight, and when I found a name that I'd never heard of I would remember it and study up on it.
Benjamin Disraeli, Napoleon Bonaparte, Winston Churchill, Richard Nixon. Then I started having trouble in school. The teacher would ask a question and when I would raise my hand the teacher would say, "Would anyone besides David like to answer the question?" It was only facts that I was hooked on, and I wasn't so bad.
Then, when I was in high school I got a job at the high school radio station. News copy straight off the feed. Before I knew it I was main lining the Associated Press. Reams of copy and it was free!
I read that Churchill's favorite book was Gibbon's, "Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire," so I went to the library and read the first volume. When I went back the second volume was checked out; that's when I knew that I was hooked. I had to have that book! I woke up in the morning wondering if it had been checked back in. I went to sleep at night thinking, you moron! Finish the damn book!
I got the books; I've read them twice. Then I found Churchill's five volume "The Second World War." From there I went to "Rise and Fall of the Third Reich" which took me to "Berlin Diary" and finally back to Albert Spear's "Spandau Diary."
Then it was on to the Etruscans and the Greeks, and that led me to prehistory because once they've got you hooked on facts you stay hooked. I was on a steady diet of an ever-expanding maze of history and facts. I took the National Geographic geography test and correctly named all the world capitals, but a closer investigation of the instructions prompted me to slow down as they only wanted the name of the country and not the capitals.
I was no fun at parties. As soon as they pulled out Trivial Pursuit I had to leave or else I would be discovered. For fun I once entered a trivia contest in a bar. It was just for fun, right? I won fifty bar bucks but had to spend it another night because of all the hard looks I was getting. I can't help it! My parents made me this way! If you say longest river in the world, I can't help myself. It just pops out, "the Nile." Or tallest mountain in North America? Mount McKinley, discovered by George Vancouver in 1794, the same Vancouver that the city is named after. Oh God, I can't stop. I need help!
Then, when the Internet was invented I, like millions of Americans, found myself searching websites for" Who said porn? No, I was hanging out in the Louvre and checking out items from the Vatican library. I began to read newspapers from all over the world. That's when it all started to go bad and began to spiral out of control. American news sites started cutting the good stuff with infotainment. I just couldn't get off on it anymore, and I started going into withdrawal.
I wanted the war news and the news from the budget hearings, but all I could get were stories about Roman Polanski and his thirty-year-old rape charges. I wanted stories about the guy being prosecuted who left office ten months ago. Then I saw a story, "Will Miley Cyrus bump off The Black Eyed Peas?" Oh, God, I think I'm going to be sick. Miley Cyrus was invented by Disney! She's a character like Scooby Doo; reasonable adults don't ask if Scooby Doo could be the next Hollywood break out artist. He's a cartoon, for God sakes.
David Letterman sex scandal! What sex scandal? He had consensual sex with a woman and they tried to blackmail him. That's not a scandal, it's a crime! Letterman is a comedian, not the Pope. People are going to tell jokes about him and like a comedian he will laugh them off. He's in the comedy business; he knows how the game is played.
But just when you think that the Republicans have reached rock bottom, they dive even deeper. After screaming about birth certificates and what his wife wears and his alleged connection to corrupt Chicago politicians, now it's how Obama lost the Olympics. I get pretty tired of the corrupt Chicago angle. I was born and raised in Chicago. The garbage got picked up, the streets were clean, and crime was lower than a lot of other places. But it's always about the corrupt Chicago politics. I've been all around this big old world, north, south, east and west, and anything that is going on in Chicago is going on in your town, too.