The Cliff Clavins Among Us

6 04 2008

On the ’80s hit show Cheers, Cliff Clavin, played by John Ratzenberger, was a chatty know-it-all bar regular spewing trivia at will and correcting others despite the fact that he often got the facts wrong himself. Clavin, provincial postal worker, never hesitated to lecture others about husbandry in Chinese antiquity or inform his fellow drinkards what gave birth to the Bronze Age.

As kid, I watched reruns of the NBC sitcom thinking that surely Cliff Clavin character was a special case. There can’t be that many people so captivated by their own pomposity to want to drivel on and on about the most insignificant things. But my college and work world experience confirms that there are Cliff Clavins’ of all races and classes that walk among us.

Apparently, I am not along in thinking this. A relatively new blog called “Stuff that Educated Black People Like” tell us:

Educated Black People Like correcting others. It does not matter the topic or situation, an EBP will never miss an opportunity to correct someone else. Hell, they’ll probably correct this post. An EBP will stop at nothing to show off their so called “educated” status. Whether it be correcting a co-worker on a point of information, or telling their 90 year old grandmother that it’s pronounced “sink” and not “zink”; an EBP knows no boundaries.

As soon as an EBP has completed one semester of college, they’ll behave as though they have just obtained a Ph.D in Everything; even though their GPA was a 2.0 and they never went to class. They will automatically become an expert on spelling, grammar, rocket science, and of course African studies. These EBP come home from college anticipating the opportunity for a family or church member to make a mistake.

Well, perhaps there is a little Cliff Clavin in all of us.




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