My father has becme obsessed with British naval history in the past few years, to the extent that he and my mother visited the Tower of London for the second time today with the large referential volume “Kings and Queens of England” in hand. On any average day my father will begin a sentence with
“I had never realised but…” and finish with an obscure fact about the monarchy, expecting equal astonishment from you. He also loves etymology, and will constantly be telling you the origin of certain phrases. Depending on the fact, this astonishment is more or less easy to fake.
A few samples:
… that there was a roman fort town in Wales that was never discovered until 1982.
… that there were so few thrones in the crown jewels vault between william the conquerer and queen elizabeth.
… that a score is actually ’20’.
… that Edward was imprisoned by his wife and her lover, where they found that starving him to death took too long, and decided to instead murder him with a red hot poker in the bowel.
And those are just the facts from today. I can’t even remember yesterdays. Or the facts from our visit to Portsmouth where he spent TWO entire days on the HMS victory communing with the spirit of Nelson.