I've taken a strong stand against bullshit on these pages, so it only seems fair that I own up to my own periodic bullshit. Because I do bullshit sometimes. Sometimes often. Often quite frequently.
Here are twenty things I feel very comfortable faking knowledge of, yet in truth have no idea about.
The definition of meretricious. Also febrile.
The expression Sine Qua Non
The 2nd Vatican Council
What the French and Indian war was all about.
Ditto the Treaty of Utrect, The Edict of Nantes and the Diet of Worms.
The rules of backgammon
The basic mechanical principles behind plumbing
I don’t think I could place Martin Luther in the correct century.
The geographic distinctions between Incas, Aztecs and Mayans
Happy Days, Laverne and Shirley, All in the Family, What’s Happening, Saved by the Bell, the show with Urkel, the one with Jim J. Bullock, and the one with the magical talking cat.
The plot of King Lear, Citizen Kane, North by Northwest, Brazil, Taxi Driver, Don Quixote, Bonnie and Clyde, and many more I'm sure.
The Hapsburg Empire
The various tie-knotting styles like the double-windsor
An alarming amount of the buttons, knobs, settings and displays inside my car.
The difference between a bicameral and unicameral legislature
I can’t name a single thing that happened in the 400 years between the fall of Rome and the beginning of the middle ages.
The whole deal with the Sandinistas. Also Patty Hearst. (possibly related?)
The name of any New York mayor pre-Koch (with the exception of La Guardia) Also any British Prime Minister between Churchill and Thatcher
Menu terms, including but not limited to “garlic aioli”, “coulis”, a “ragout”, anything involving shoots, a “brioche” and fennel.
The ease with which I was able to come up with those should give you an indication of the hundreds or maybe thousands of additional items that could also be on the list. Recently though, I learned the meaning of "Habeus Corpus" and also what write-offs are. ("Produce the body" and a company abandoning old debt that it concludes it can never recover) But I would have felt quite at ease feigning a working knowledge of either one. You never know with me. I just may be bullshitting.