Well, this is strange. Just days after my first time playing ‘Celebrity’ on I discovered my favorite columnist writing about the game. I’d guess that he’s wrong about it being something that his friend invented, but that’s okay.
Speaking of which, I do have a story for you…
Our good friend Don DiLego has invented something, and it’s something that you use. Maybe not often, but from time to time. And even if you don’t use it, I’ll bet you’ve heard it used a time or two. It’s a word. It’s ridonculous. That’s right, I know the guy that coined the term ridonculous.
First off, of course a guy named Don invented that word, right? If I remember correctly, he invented it while playing video games with his brother and disseminated the word through his taste-making friends in Company Flow. I have no way to substantiate his claim, but I’m not sure I really need to. Despite the occasional prank, I have no reason to think that he would make something like this up.
That said, Daddy Wrall has another friend that claims to have invented this word. So, maybe neither of them did, because you never know what the brain knows.*
*Alright: here we go… (I think I may have explained this at some point, but I’m going to give it another shot. I can do better.) Some time ago, Daddy Wrall, Sammy Bananas and I were driving on some highway somewhere and I pointed out that there was a vanity plate on a car nearby whose message related in some significant way to our conversation. I saw this as some kind of a synchronicity and said so, but Sam balked, saying that I probably had seen the plate and that triggered me to initiate the conversation. I said “no way, I just saw it for the first time now” to which he replied:
“You never know what the brain knows.”
This sounded as ridiculous at the time as it sounds logical now. You never know what the brain knows? Well, if the brain is the one “knowing” in the first place, wouldn’t it, well, know? Incredulous, I concluded that Sam’s ridiculous statement rendered his whole point irrelevant and that was…
…not that. No, not at all. DW and I were all over him. Every time one of us noticed a coincidence, we said, “you never know what the brain knows, right?” by way of needling the Nice one. We did this especially when we knew the phrase not to apply.
You see, the statement actually does make sense. Let me try to explain it like Sam would (he’s really good at ‘splaining stuff). So, our brains are constantly working, gathering, processing and sorting sensory information. This information goes in new and immediately becomes a memory. It can also trigger old memories. Now, we have so much stimulus available to us at all times that we can’t possibly process all of this information consciously, so much of it is done sub-consciously. The brain “knows” that the vanity plate said FR8 TRN, so the fact that I’m singing Elizabeth Cotten is more than a coincidence. There is a causal relationship. I don’t know this because the trigger happened sub-consciously.**
**Or is it unconsciously? I’m always confused by that.
Okay, so it makes sense. Sometimes there are these coincidences, “synchronicities”, whatever you want to call thems and they are really just the result of some super fast connection making by our brains, behind the scenes, if you will. Sometimes, there is no possible way that the brain could have known unless you believe in one of many theories*** It is those cases that Wrall and I were known to pounce most mercilessly, because those are the moments that made the theory look silly. If I start singing “Freight Train” by Elizabeth Cotten and then my friend Tim, who not only introduced me to that song, but is listening to it in the background, calls unexpectedly after nearly a year of being incommunicado, would that not be impossible to explain from a “you never know what the brain knows” perspective? Indeed, so that makes it the perfect opportunity to make fun of the catchphrase.
***Okay, here’s a theory: some of us agree that time probably isn’t linear. Much like space, all time seems likely to exist simultaneously. If that’s the case, we may only experience as we do to make things simpler. If we could access “memories” from the future as well as the past, it could explain how our brain would make connections between things it can’t possibly know. Take the above example. When Tim calls, it can’t be explained as “known” unless the brain knows the future, right? Just stew on it, whydoncha?
At some point in the story, all this talk of brains brought us to that all important brain: Krang. Krang, for both of you non-TMNT fans out there, was the leader bad guy in the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles comic. He was just a brain that lived in the belly of a robot* and ordered around the masked Shredder. He was famous for saying “Shredder, I want my body!” in a very raspy and annoying voice. When saying, “you never know what the brain knows” became too much to say every 45 seconds, it was shortened to simply, “krang.” What we had was something like this:
Try it out sometime. It’s very satisfying. It seems that the more you try to notice this stuff and point it out, the more there is too notice, but I’m sure that’s just a case of Krang…
*Here’s a krang for you: We’re talking about this brain inside a robot, right? Well, the post that inspired this tangent is about Don DiLego, who’s in a band with Bree Sharp called Beautiful Small Machines, whose latest release is called… Robots in Love.
How about that?!
Where the heck was I? Oh yeah, Donnie D. Well, Don may have (probably) just heard the term “ridonculous” somewhere and noticed it because, well, his name is Don. And he picked up on it subconsciously. When he said it during a heated game of Contra with his brother, they noticed how cool and new it seemed. You never know what the brain knows, after all. When new people heard him use it, they adopted it as well, and since these new people were also popular people, well, it’s not hard to extrapolate a theory in which Don inventing this word is possible… nay, likely. And once we’re at that point now, we may as well say it:
Don DiLego is an inventor of words.
Speaking of the game celebrity, if not for the 80% rule,* I would count Don Dilego a celebrity. Or, heck, 80% of the people in any room that I’m in should know Don D’Motherlovin’ DiLego; that’s for damn sure.
*In celebrity, you must choose the celebrities by the guideline that 80% of the people playing the game would know who that person is.