The Secret Master by Gary D. Crawford
Have you ever done something really extraordinar y, something completely beyond your abi lit y and expectations? I mean a onetime triumph of some sort, never to be repeated and scarcely to be believed, something that witnesses will remember for years? Let me give you an example. Some years back, Trivia was a popular social game like Charades or Twister. People asked one another unimportant but interesting questions, like: What did Lincoln have in his pocket when he was assassinated? (A Confederate $5 bill.) Most of the material was from pop culture; lists of questions and answers circulated freely. I was never much good at it. One night some young people were playing Trivia and one guy asked me to give it a try. Reluctantly, I agreed. Then it happened. He asked three questions in a row and I knew the answers to all three. First it was Donald Duck’s license plate number (303), then name of The Shadow’s girlfriend (Margo Lane). Heck, those were easy; I grew up on that stuff. I wanted to walk away with everyone impressed, but the guy stopped me by saying, “OK, here’s a tough
one. Nobody has gotten this.” Now, the chances of me hitting three for three were a million to one, but the trifecta was tempting. So I nodded. Gleef u l ly, he pou nc ed. “W ho played the first Tarzan?” Bingo! By dumb luck, I had read an article in the barber shop about the dozen or so actors who had played Tarzan over the years. I knew about Buster Crabbe and Johnny Weismuller, but after reading the article I would never forget the very first one. The guy was perfect for the part, very buff, with a page-boy wig and a rather sweet smile. He made a real impression on me, as I am certain he did on the female moviegoers back in 1918. I found his name equally memorable.
I pretended to think. “Hmm, let’s see. Wasn’t that Elmo Lincoln?” Four jaws, and a dead silence, fell.