Lurking in the mail pile waiting for me at work were two tomes: The Amazing Book of Useless Information and Disgusting Things: A Miscellany. The former is a follow-up to The Book of Useless Information and is subtitled "More Things You Didn't Need to Know But Are About to Find Out," while the latter is basically a Garbage Pail Kids version. I realize there's a lot of more offending books, but for some reason those particularly irk me.
For all this I blame Ben Schott and his Miscellanies, which at least display decent wit. The copycats are just unbearable: "Antarctic means 'opposite the Arctic'," The Amazing Book tells us. "American and Russian spaceflights have always included chocolate." "The most popular gift in Eastern Europe is a bottle of vodka." Jeezus, these guys just google stuff randomly and call it a book! Disgusting Things, meanwhile, answers pressing questions such as "Why do dog farts smell so bad?" and "Do some women create artwork with their placentas?" What a colossal waste.
2 days ago