I've been thinking today about my brain -- about all the stuff that's crammed in there. For example, I know where the word stiletto comes from, the meaning of quixotic, and what a Stradivarius is. I also know all kinds of gee whiz science things like why the sky is blue, why water expands when it freezes, and why you can't ice skate when it's very cold. I know weird medical things, like how MRIs, CTs, and SSRIs work. I also have the typical manly knowledge, like the difference between carburetors and fuel injection, 2 stroke versus 4 stroke, and why you want a limited slip differential. I also do okay when it comes to literature: I can quote a little bit of Dante, Dickens, and Demosthenes. I've read Austen, as well as Aeschylus and Asimov. I can also quote, at length, parts of the Princess Bride, Top Gun, Sneakers, So I Married an Axe Murderer, and several SNL skits. Give me an actor, and the odds are good that I'll be able to name at least one movie that they've been in before.
Now, before you shake your head in disgust, please know that I'm not trying to paint myself as a Renaissance man. Just knowing this random stuff doesn't mean that I'm actually intelligent (or would be successful at Jeopardy, as my mom thinks), but it may certainly give that illusion.
There is a very real irony in what we call intelligence, for in the last three months, I have not once, but twice, left my check card in the ATM and driven away without it. So much for being smart.