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DID YOU KNOW?

Did yo know that the tallest guy in the world is a Chinese man around 8 feet tall? So much for stereotypes. The shortest guy in the world, an Australian around two feet tall traveled to China recently to look the big guy up to take some publicity photos together. The world waits with bated breath. I smell a popular screen saver.

Did you know that the fattest guy in the world recently died, all twelve hundred and change pounds of him. A wall had to be knocked out of his house to remove his body. You know you're fat when…

Did you know that there's no category for the world's thinnest human?

Were you aware that there are a billion and a half Muslims but only 14 million Jews in this world? Makes me wonder if some of these Radical Islamic leaders aren't overstating the threat to their faith by Judaism just a drop. I'm just saying…

Did you know that the smallest independent nation in the world is Vatican City? It measures a whopping 108.7 square acres and boasts a population of around 550. I guess the Pope is the king there, the cardinals the princes and the Swiss Guard is their army. That's most of the population, so I wonder who the peons are? The second smallest nation? Monaco, which dwarfs the Vatican with three quarters of a square mile of territory and 32,671 inhabitants, making it the most densely populated country on earth. They don't have an army. France takes care of that for them. They do have a king, though, but he calls himself only a prince, what with his nation being smaller than Central Park and all.

He's a guy who got real lucky back in the 1950's and I'm not talking about breaking the bank at the casino at Monte Carlo, his nation's most famous locale. It was then that he married the most beautiful woman on earth at the time, the American movie star Grace Kelly. She became Princess Grace and lived a storybook life in the tiny monarchy until she drove off a cliff one day in 1982 . So much for the happily ever after part. She was the original Princess Diana and her death caused pretty much the same sensation, just as her life pretty much made the same amount of no difference to anybody else's life. Curious what affects people.

I guess some of us really relate to the old beautiful princess stories we grew up on. I don't remember any of those princesses living anything but frivolous lives either, not doing much of anything but fret and weep until the handsome prince slew the dragon or freed her from some lumpy old king or a cackling wart-faced witch or something. After that all they seemed to do was get waited on hand and foot by people who were ecstatic in their servitude, wear fabulous clothes and go to fancy balls with long haired guys in tights with swords.

That's about it, but then again they were just children's stories, weren't they? Weren't they? Happily ever after and all that. I'm not dreaming, am I that some people actually take these people seriously. Princes and princesses? Of course I'm not dreaming since there were about 127 TV shows about Princess Diana's tragic death on the 10th anniversary of her death. Will we remember Nelson Mandela so vividly?

Now, I had nothing against her and I wish she didn't die but we're not talking about somebody who cured a disease here, or invented something important, championed a worthy cause, ran a country notably well, advanced an important new philosophy or had some sort of talent besides looking good in an evening dress. So far as I can tell Diana's main accomplishment was to improve the looks of the next generation of the English Royal family, a public service to be sure but nothing to obsess over.

And judging by the headlines her sons make these days it looks like her genes did very little to raise the IQs of the Royals. So maybe whichever one of those jokers is heir to the throne should put a lot of thought into marrying a real smart woman for his future Queen. Or at least one of average intelligence, that should raise the bar substantially. Even the English will some day get weary of the embarrassment of having their royal family riding the short buses to school and finally do away with the whole silly institution. Bad enough they were all ugly as Mr. and Mrs. Potato Head for the past hundred years or so, but their stupidity and decadence are starting to remind people of the court of King Louis the Fourteenth and Marie Antoinette. This is, after all the 21st century. Get over that stuff already.

Did you pick up on the fact that I don't care so much for royalty? I agree with Mark Twain, who said it best: "Royalty anywhere is an insult to people everywhere."

Did you know that Mark Twain went broke a few times and had to hustle to get it back in his old age? Wonder if that'll happen to Steven King and Tom Clancy. I further wonder if the latter two will ever be required reading in American literature classes.

Were you cognizant of the fact that Coney Island is not an island at all but a peninsula. It was an island until the 1930's when Brooklyn's only highway was constructed, The Belt Parkway. They filled in the small tidal flats that separated it from the mainland and claimed it in the name of Spain. Or something like that.

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