> I heard the deal was betweem Asimov and
> Arthur C. Clarke.
Yes, the deal was between Asimov and Clarke, not Asimov and Bradbury. Asimov tells the story several times in his books. Clarke also tells the same story. The story wouldn’t make any sense if it were Bradbury, since he hasn’t written any science books.
> But I never got the idea he was a
> practical man. So suppose our car breaks
> down in the desert, I’d rather have Cecil
> in the car than Isaac.
Asimov admitted as much. He tells the story of how once his car broke down at night on a weekend, and he had difficulty finding a towing service open. As it happens, he had broken down not too far from where his brother Stanley lived, so he called him. Stanley drove over to where Asimov’s car was and tried to help him call towing services. Finally, Stanley said, “You know, Isaac, if you’re so brilliant, why don’t you have AAA?” Asimov said, “Oh, I do have AAA.” With nothing more said but with a strange look at his brother, Stanley took Asimov’s AAA card and immediately got him a tow truck.
There’s no such thing as a universal genius. Everybody has their strengths and their weaknesses. (You can read my review of Good Will Hunting and see how ridiculous I find the idea of a universal genius in that film. Go to http://www.dcfilmsociety.org, click on Reviews, and then click on Good Will Hunting.)
This is why I think that hero worship is ridiculous. Everyone has their weaknesses, even Cecil Adams. He may be able to produce a one-page answer to general knowledge questions within a week (and, what’s more, a funny answer) better than anyone else, but undoubtedly he’s weak in other areas.