Saturday, August 29, 2015

can't stop the geography

When someone at a party inadvertently says "Slovenia" when they meant "Slovakia", I ought not to jump in and correct it without even a break for breath. That's really not very polite of me.

I'm sorry; it's instinctual. I can't stop the geography. You may have seen by now the collection of geographic "gotchas" from John Oliver's TV show. I can't prove this happened, I just swear by all that's holy that it did. The first of these "gotchas" I saw in its original innocent nesting in one of the regular episodes. As soon as the map of South America with the highlighting and the country-name label appeared, I was pointing at the screen and exclaiming, "They got it wrong! That's Paraguay, not Uruguay!" And I was already composing in my head a blistering e-mail to the show. And all that in the ten seconds that it took before John Oliver said, "Uruguay, a country that you think about so little that you didn't even notice that that's not Uruguay." Ah, a joke! Well, brother, I noticed. And I'd be the same for all the other times Oliver's pulled this stunt.

I ace the Sporkle tests that ask you to put country labels on maps of continents. I'm a whiz at quiz questions like, given a bunch of US states, what other state borders them all? or Which state extends further north, Washington or Maine? (It's Washington, it really is.) I remember the name of which country Bratislava is the capital of. I can't help it; it's just me.

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