After registering for his high school classes, my son burst into the house, filled with excitement. "Dad," he announced in one breath, "I got all the classes I wanted. But I have to have my school supplies by tomorrow. I need a protractor and a compass for geometry, a dictionary for English, a dissecting kit for biology—and a car for driver’s ed."
It was the first day of basketball practice at Wingate high school in Brooklyn, N.Y. Coach Jack Kaminer handed a ball to each player.
"Fellas," he said, "I want you to practice shooting from the spots you might expect to be in during the game."
The No. 12 sub immediately sat down at the end of the bench and began launching the ball toward the basket.
Back at my high school for the tenth reunion, I met my old coach. Walking through the gym, we came upon a plaque on which I was still listed as the record holder for the longest softball throw.
Noticing my surprise, the coach said, "That record will stand forever."
I was about to make some modest disclaimer that records exist to be broken, when he added, "We stopped holding that event years ago."
Before google, there were librarians. Here are some queries posed to the poor, suffering staff of public libraries:
• A woman wanted “inspirational material on grass and lawns.”
• “Who built the English Channel?”
• “Is there a full moon every night in Acapulco?”
• “Music suitable for a doll wedding to take place between a Shirley Temple doll and a teddy bear.”
• “Can the New York Public Library recommend a good forger?”