At grandma's house, I slouch over my computer at the dining room table getting bitch-slapped by the Google Play registration application. I turn on some music. My tinny little computer speakers kick out the middle of a Stevie song. Instantly, my pop, who perches on a chair in the livingroom, says, "Little Stevie Wonder, Fingertips Part 2, 1963, 3 minutes and 13 seconds in length."
Pop's well known to rattle off long lists of random facts, but seriously what the fuck? This is the question I pose.
Pop says that when he was in college, living in a house he called the Sugar Shack, he would go up in this little room and shine a UV lamp on his face. Every day for three minutes, doctor's orders. He had oily skin, you see. Instead of bothering with a watch to time the exposure, he plopped down the needle on the Fingertips vinyl 45. This is why he is so intimate with the song and its duration.
But one day, right after he turned off Stevie and his lamp and turned on the radio, the news reported JFK had been shot. That's how he knows the year.