(Feel free to hum along to the Duran Duran song as you read, though the point of their song is somewhat different from the following smattering of thoughts.)
I have too much clutter in my head. And by "clutter" I mean absolutely useless bits of trivia and information which, aside from those random moments where I can pipe up and say "I know that!" serve no other purpose in my head other than space filler. If you read or saw Dreamcatcher by Stephen King (and if you have to choose the read it, the book was far better) there is a section that takes place inside a character's head, where everything he's every thought is filed away. My head is like that, only combined with the warehouse at the end of Raiders of the Lost Ark.
I've always been aware of this, but it was brought to the forefront the other day when I was reading something on various TV themes. They mentioned one in particular - a short lived show from the 80's that was born of the "heroes in/on vehicles trend" spawned by Knight Rider and Airwolf. Which show, you ask? It was called Street Hawk. What, you don't remember it? Don't worry, you're likely not alone. I retained it primarily because I was 11 when it came out and to an eleven-year old, the idea of a vigilante riding around on a souped-up motorcycle was cool.
So was KITT. I was eleven.
Which in a complete aside, was old enough to notice and be bothered by an eventual plot continuity problem with Street Hawk which had to do with how he maintained his secret identity. But I digress, and that could be an entirely separate entry on it's own.
As I said, it came up in conjunction with a discussion of TV themes. It turns out that this particular theme was written by Tangerine Dream, which I did not know. It also turned out that, even without clicking the link that was so generously provided, I could hum the theme. No words, so no singing, but I had the tune down. In my head, I was even in tune. (Reality was slightly different.)
The show ran for all of thirteen episodes, not even a full season. When I was eleven. It spawned no spin-offs, and while it wasn't as bad as, oh, say "Manimal" or the show with the computer guy and the cursor that followed him around - which was apparently bad enough for me to have forgotten the title completely* - it's not exactly the kind of thing that should have formed a lasting influence.
And yet, inexplicably, it did. Or at least I retained enough of it to make the connection reading about it again all these years later.
That's just one example. My head is full of those little tidbits and snippets, and while I could make the argument that, as a writer, you never know when one of those little things will blossom into something bigger and more important... I suspect they are just largely useless for anything other than taking me down random tangents at random moments.
Or the occasional moment when I can pipe up and say, "Hey, I know that!" even when no one else is in the room.
*An hour after I posted this the title occurred to me as I was making lunch: it was "Automan."