Contrary to popular belief and oft-repeated untruths, dentists do not have the highest suicide rate of any profession. CONTRIBUTED

Quarterback Joe Burrow replaced Patrick Mahomes as the highest-paid NFL player.

Dentists have a higher-than-usual rate of suicide allegedly because their clients always hate coming to see them. (This claim has been debunked by repeated studies undertaken between 1975 and today.)

Phil Mickelson bet more than $1 billion (with a B) on football, basketball and baseball over three decades — and has a less-than-flattering nickname among PGA Tour players. (You’ll have to Google what FIGJAM means, as I can’t print it here due to the word behind the F.)

The new (and equally ridiculous) Bachelor reality show features a bachelor who’s 71 years old, with similarly aged women vying for his rose.

Troy Aikman’s marriage is ending, or over, as evidenced by photos of him with a much younger girl, and the absence of a wedding ring during his Monday Night Football broadcast on Sept. 25. (These are the things I notice while others are apparently paying attention to the game and analysis.)

All of the above are examples of the useless facts and bits of trivia that we all know and share to contribute to conversations in any setting. Most of the above came up during my trip this week to visit my parents at the South Jersey Shore, where I flew directly into Tropical Storm Ophelia and spent my first two days battening down the hatches, Keys-style.

With the beach at the end of the street a frothing mess of white water and wind-blown sand, I was trapped like a rat in my childhood home, which, despite my teen-reminiscent eye rolls, is a pretty perfect place to hang and ride out a storm.

But back to our useless knowledge. I’d venture to guess that the veracity of such conversational tidbits has likely increased significantly since the dawn of the internet and smartphones. We now have all the knowledge in the world tucked in our grubby little hands at our instant disposal.

Remember when a debate about the highest-paid NFL player would have involved escalating arguments and on more than one occasion, a late-night phone call to a sleepy and somewhat aggravated friend that started with the words, “Sorry to bug you, but you’ve gotta settle a bet.”

Of course, before that call was placed, all parties involved in the argument would have had to agree on who to call and whose word would be considered final.

What did we do before Google?

Apparently, we went to sleep with inaccurate information and unsettled arguments.

And that’s no way to go through life. Of course, if you’re Joe Burrow with a five-year, $275 million contract extension, it probably doesn’t matter.

Mandy Miles
Mandy Miles drops stuff, breaks things and falls down more than any adult should. An award-winning writer, reporter and columnist, she's been stringing words together in Key West since 1998. "Local news is crucial," she says. "It informs and connects a community. It prompts conversation. It gets people involved, holds people accountable. The Keys Weekly takes its responsibility seriously. Our owners are raising families in Key West & Marathon. Our writers live in the communities we cover - Key West, Marathon & the Upper Keys. We respect our readers. We question our leaders. We believe in the Florida Keys community. And we like to have a good time." Mandy's married to a saintly — and handy — fishing captain, and can't imagine living anywhere else.