I’ve always dabbled in nearly everything. Probably always will.

In high school, both parents of a close friend of mine were doctors. The father, who was a cardiologist, would leave his cardiology journals around the house.

So I’d read them, not for any particular reason, but because they were interesting and I was bored. I read these journals for about a year. At first, I understood maybe half of what was in them. Then maybe 75%. After a year, I understood maybe 90% of what was in each issue.

Like I said, no reason. It was just knowledge and available and I thought it was interesting.

One day while I was around, my friend’s father came home from work and started talking to his wife about some new procedure that he was trying at work.

I’d been reading about this procedure for nearly a year – its implications and drawbacks – and was familiar with it.

So I said, “That new aortic stenosis procedure does seem promising, but sans development of better minimally invasive techniques, the risk of endocarditis might be too high and push mortality back to right where it would be due to follow-on infection.”

Ha. Never have I seen jaws drop so quickly.

Now I don’t know jack shit about cardiology. Reading a hundred cardiology journals does not a cardiologist make.

I just thought it’d be funny to make a cardiologist think I was moonlighting at some hospital Doogie Howser-style.

And it was. It very much was.

But I do like having broad knowledge, even if it’s not that deep. It’s much harder to get snookered that way.

And it usually means I can fool an expert for a few hours in quite a few fields, which also can be fun.