What turned you on to Dope?

The Straight Dope, that is.

When I was a Junior or Senior in high school, I read an article in Discover magazine about this guy, Cecil Adams, who had a column in one of the Chicago papers. The article described his columns and gave some examples of questions he had answered. It also plugged Cecil’s first book, The Straight Dope. Soon after reading the Discover article, I ran across The Straight Dope at the book store and immediately purhased it. I’ve been reading his books ever since. Earlier this year, I got to wondering if there were any web sites for TSD since none of the papers in Phoenix carry the column. A search returned this web site. After a lengthy reading of the archives, I finally wandered into the MB area and soon became a member.

My hsb found The Straight Dope when it was on TV (short-lived, though it was) and we were hooked immediately. My favorite episode by far was the one about hypnotizing chickens. My hsb STILL goes around saying, “I can’t feel my beak!” Anyway, we were crushed after the show was cancelled, and redeemed when he found the site. I’ve only recently joined the board.

“With enough courage, you can do without a reputation.” - Rhett Butler

It was 1991 and I didn’t have a place to live so I hung out at the library a lot. I found the Straight Dope book and was addicted.

There was a TV SHOW??? Oh, I feel so gypped not to have seen it! Cecil must put it on tape!

I just saw the column in a local weekly and fell in love.

Sometime in the late 80’s, at a boyfriend’s place, I saw the first Straight Dope lying about so I picked up, read it and promptly got hooked. I’ve since bought all the books. When I finally bought a PC last year, one of the first things I checked was to see if there was a SD web site. I only became a member a few weeks ago.

The boyfriend has long been gone but Cecil’s still around :wink:

I prefer rogues to imbeciles because they sometimes take a rest.
Alexandre Dumas the Younger (1824-1895)

I was yammering on about something or other and my boyfriend said, “Have you ever read ‘The Straight Dope’? They explained [whatever I was talking about].” I had never heard of it so he sent me one of his Straight Dope books. A few months later, I caught the TV show.

We saw the TV show for the whole three seconds that it was on… the one I remember the most was the one about toilet paper. I think the question was something like “Who Invented Toilet Paper” or “When Did We Start Using Toilet Paper”. Anyway, after answering the initial question, he went on to talk about what we used before toilet paper (Sears catalogue pages or corn cob leaves) and discussed wadding vs. folding (all the men said “fold” and all the women said “wad”) and etc… the end of the spot was a little rhyme. “Sears or a cob will finish the job.”

Veni, Vidi, Visa … I came, I saw, I bought.

I read the Dope in 1975-1980 from The Isthmus in Madison, Wisconsin. For some years I did not find a paper that carried it, until last fall I think I found it on the net. I also read News of the Weird.

I enjoy a good reference book, and was combing through the reference section at a bookstore about, oh 10 years ago, and I ran across the first Straight Dope book. Read the back, and knew I must have it. I do not live in an area that carries his column, so I had to wait a very long time for his next book. I do have them all now. I’ve beena ble to answer some of the weirdest questions that people ask, thanks to Cecil and his genius. Even though my friends just think I’m really smart :wink: I do give credit to Cecil whenever I give an answer that I’ve gotten from one of his books. Turned a lot of people on to him that way. And I loved his TV show!

Ages ago, my son loaned me his copy of “More of the Straight Dope,” and I just laughed my ass off. Informative and funny - can’t beat that! My son also told me about this site. I didn’t even know Cecil had a newspaper column til I saw mention of it here. I only wish the column appeared in my newspaper (The Washington Post). How does one go about campaigning for that? Contact the paper or Cecil?

Strainger, I, too read the same article in DISCOVER magazine. In fact, I still have that issue! I love Cecil’s first book and how he was always picking on/putting down those folks in “Balmer”/Maryland.

“Quoth the Raven, ‘Nevermore.’”
E A Poe

I first encountered it as a kid when my mother would bring home a local weekly that carried it. I liked it but didn’t pay a whole lot of attention to it until I got a job as a proofreader at the same paper and had to read every word of it (what a job, eh?). As a grownup, I laughed even harder than when I was a kid. And once I got onto the Internet, it was all over.

Beginning about 1983, it was the first thing I turned to in the DC City Paper. And the lack of it is yet another reason to be sorry I moved to San Francisco.

Never regret what seemed like a good idea at the time.

Ran across it in a magazine (Guess it was DISCOVER) and was interested. And forgot about it.
Turned on the TV one Sunday night on A&E and that was it. Production value was a disappointment, but the information content was great.

I chanced across a copy of Return of the Straight Dope a bookstore and was compelled to buy it. Two or three years later, I located The Straight Dope and More of the Straight Dope while Christmas shopping and snapped them up without hesitation.
When The Straight Dope Tells All appeared in my bookstore, and snapped it up also and found out about the AOL SD site, the website and afca. Seeing as how I was using the 10 free hours of AOL deal, I looked into the AOL boards. When AOL dropped SD, I moved here and to mfsd (I check out afca occasionally also).

As a kid I read a LOT (still do). I ran across the first Straight Dope book when I was about ten or eleven and I loved it. Then came More of the Straight Dope and I loved that too. Then (gasp) there were no more Straight Dope books for a long time and our newspaper (The Denver Post) didn’t carry it. I was crushed. But somehow I managed to survive (I admit I used David Feldman’s Imponderable books, but I didn’t inhale). Then I came across Return of the Straight Dope and learned about Cecil’s website. My life had meaning again.

– Sylence

“The problem with reality is the lack of background music.” – Anon

I’ve always had a fascination for reading about obscure and interesting facts. The Guiness Book of World Records, The Book of Lists, (I’ve since learned better), and any trivia book I could get my hands on.

When I was in college, I found the first SD book in the book store. I’ve been hooked ever since.

Carpe hoc!

I love reading the trivia/non-fiction stuff, too. I was in a bookstore and went to the reference section and saw the first book. I loved it and bought all of them since.
One day I signed on AOL and on the first screen they had a reference to the Straight Dope MBs and I checked it out. And here I am!

Sometimes life is so great you just gotta muss up your hair and quack like a duck!

Hmmm. Good question. I honestly don’t remember. I know I bought the first book a while ago (a loooong while ago – like when it first came out, I think), but I don’t know why. Might have read about it in Discover, since I’ve been getting that forever, but if so, I don’t remember it. I might’ve just chanced upon it in a bookstore, I guess. I just don’t know…

Sycorax says:

> I only wish the column appeared in my
> newspaper (The Washington Post).

If you live in the Washington area, you can read the column in The Washington City Paper. It’s a free weekly paper. You do know about it, don’t you?