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Jody Brettkelly Headshot

Celebrity Obsession Is Good For You

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Who dated Gwyn, then married a Jen? Selective celebrity memory...how do I know all the stars involved but I can't remember what carpool I'm driving this afternoon?

Did you know Jake Gyllenhall got his first driving lesson from family friend Paul Newman? That George Clooney sometimes sleeps in the walk-in closet of his LA mansion because "all the rooms are too light." That Angie's black velvet Versace right-leg revealer was reminiscent of Jennifer Aniston's Valentino two years ago?

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Somehow I do know that. You see I have a photographic memory. Unfortunately, not for anything that can make me any money, afford me any respect, be of use to society or aid world peace. I have an steel trap memory for celebrity trivia.

The more obscure and trivial the drivel, the better I remember it. Jennifer Garner rode the Disney Small World ride days before giving birth to her son Samuel and bought a pretzel for her daughter Violet. Embarrassing that I know that - how do I know that?

I also know everything about reality stars. The incredible thing is: I don't watch reality shows, I have never seen Jersey Shore, Housewives or any of them... So how do I know that Snooki confirmed baby rumours by tweeting she has a "mini meatball in the oven," then on the show they had a pickle fight. How did I pick up that condimental nonsense?

Instead of retaining all this, can't I replace it with dignified and useful stuff like: the steps on how to compact all my emails, add a home phone number to my contacts or use the convection part of our oven properly. Or how about the words to T.S. Eliot's The Waste Land? The words to any song? And yes, the carpool I'm driving today?

I suppose I could argue that this ability to discuss random celebrities in terrifying and lengthy detail helps The Village. In fact it's an anthropological necessity. Back in time, when most of us lived in small villages, we had loads of common experiences because we lived, worked and played together. Now friends and workmates live at least an hour from each other so they are together less, have fewer shared friends and fewer shared experiences to discuss. Enter the shared knowledge of celebs who can be discussed safely and till the cows come home, helping forge and further friendships, according to British social anthropologists.

There ends the Justification Call. What's the most obscure thing do you know about a celeb?

(And the answer to the first question: Ben Affleck and Brad Pitt...yeah, easy one)