->''"All of the historical oddities and amazing true facts contained herein are lies, made up by me -- and it is this astonishing innovation that allows each entry to contain more truths than if it were merely factual... Truth may be stranger than fiction, goes the old saw, but it is never as strange as lies, or for that matter, as true. Proof of which maxim is the fact that I just made it up."''

Short for:\\
''An Almanac of Complete World Knowledge Compiled with Instructive Annotation and Arranged in Useful Order by Me, John Hodgman, a Professional Writer, in '''[[TitleDrop the Areas of My Expertise]]''', which Include: Matters Historical; Matters Literary; Matters Cryptozoological; Hobo Matters; Food, Drink, & Cheese (a Kind of Food); Squirrels & Lobsters & Eels; Haircuts; Utopia; What Will Happen in the Future; and Most Other Subjects; Illustrated with a Reasonable Number of Tables and Figures, and Featuring the Best of "Were You Aware of It?", John Hodgman's Long-Running Newspaper Novelty Column of Strange Facts and Oddities of the Bizarre''.

As the name implies, it is a book of trivia written by John Hodgman, better known as [[{{Mascot}} a PC]], and as ''Series/TheDailyShow'''s "Resident Expert". Every single fact in it is a lie ... or is it?

It is intelligent, absurd humour, and primarily a parody of ''Poor Richard's Almanack'', written by Benjamin Franklin, and more broadly, a pastiche of almanacks and trivia books in general. In order to properly get every joke in it, you'd need to take a course. (In fact, one can imagine students in the far future doing so. ELL 321: Early 21st Century Comedy: John Hodgman).

The audiobook version, which in many ways is even more hilarious, is read by Hodgman in his trademark deadpan style. It also features Music/JonathanCoulton singing the book's theme song, the songs of the various American states, and generally acting as Hodgman's foil and straightman throughout.

The first in the ''Literature/CompleteWorldKnowledge'' trilogy, followed by ''Literature/MoreInformationThanYouRequire'' and ''Literature/ThatIsAll''.

!!Hodgman also gives us The Fifty-Five Dramatic Situations:

|| border=1
|| '''Man/Woman v. Man/Woman''' || '''Man/Woman v. Nature''' || '''Man/Woman v. Society''' || '''Man/Woman v. Him-/Herself''' || '''Man/Woman v. Cyborgs''' ||
|| Boy vs. Girl || Mountains thwart progress || [[TheDrifter A stranger]] comes to town || Triumph over ennui || [[Franchise/{{Terminator}} Threat of cyborgs from the future]] ||
|| [[OlderAndWiser Cop]] v. Rookie || [[TurnedAgainstTheirMasters Zoo animals attack zookeepers]] || A town springs up magically around a stranger || [[WhyDidItHaveToBeSnakes Success thwarted by phobia]] || [[RobotWar Threat of present-day cyborgs]] ||
|| [[MagicVersusScience Magicians v. Detectives]] || [[AttackOfTheKillerWhatever All animals attack all humans]] || [[TheNewRockAndRoll Society persecutes inventor of revolutionary fabric or vehicle]] || [[BettyAndVeronica Hero must choose between excellent sexual partner and stable companion]] || [[SteamPunk Return of Civil War-era cyborgs that are powered by steam]] ||
|| [[SaveOurStudents Teacher v. Unruly class; both learn lessons]] || [[DoNotTouchTheFunnelCloud Hunted by tornadoes]] || Self-satisfied loner flouts irrational laws, reveals [[StrawmanPolitical absurdity of society]], congratulates self || [[AmnesiacDissonance Past life reasserts itself]] || [[EnemyWithin Cyborg fights the man within]] ||
|| [[Literature/LesMiserables Pursuit throughout life]] by [[InspectorJavert a French constable whose determination exceeds his reason]] || [[ConvectionSchmonvection Volcanoes come to town]] || [[TorchesAndPitchforks Hero is chased by townspeople bearing torches]] || [[DivideAndConquer Hero wonders if closest friend is actually his archenemy, then lives in fear]] || [[IKnowYouAreInThereSomewhereFight Man seeks control of his own cybernetic brain]] ||
|| CountryMouse v. CityMouse || [[AnimalNemesis One partially blinded by bear seeks revenge]] || [[StylisticSelfParody Person living in two-dimensional world]] encourages [[ConspicuousCG embrace of third dimension]] [[Literature/{{Flatland}} and is shunned]] || [[TheGrotesque A horrible physical deformity is overcome]], only to be revealed that [[AllJustADream it is all in the protagonist's imagination]] || [[OnlySaneMan Only the hero can see the cyborgs]] who [[ConspiracyKitchenSink secretly run our government and media]] ||
|| [[CrankyNeighbor Devil worshippers]] v. [[OddCouple Apartment dwellers]] || [[JourneyToFindOneself Wilderness becomes crucible in which asthmatic learns to grow a beard]] || Conscience prevents acceptance of HumanResources || [[AnimalNemesis One partially blinded by bear overcomes need for revenge]] || [[EtTuBrute Family discovers pet to be cyborg]] ||
|| [[FoeYay Rivals in business become partners in bed]] || [[FailureIsTheOnlyOption The ocean arrives to put an end to well-laid plans]] || True talent [[StrawCritic overlooked]] in favour of kiss-asses || [[EnemyWithin Struggle to overcome]] the effects of [[{{Brainwashed}} brainwashing/hypnosis]] || Young, handsome [[CyberneticsEatYourSoul cyborg Army officer kills his own family]], [[YouCanPanicNow blames hippies]] ||
|| Former lovers who are [[AdventurerArchaeologist archeologists]] seek same [[PublicDomainArtifact ancient curio]] || [[TheDeterminator Petty jealousy inspires tireless pursuit]] of [[Literature/MobyDick whale]] || [[CloningBlues New numbering system for clones proves problematic for non-clones]] || [[AllJustADream Everything turns out to be a dream]] || Man creates cyborg who wishes [[BecomeARealBoy to become a real boy]] ||
|| Evil cousins thwart romance || [[BigFriendlyDog Saint Bernards]] come first as rescuers, [[TheMole then reveal themselves as enemies]] || [[StarCrossedLovers Shark loves]] [[WestSideStory Jet]] (also can be [[InterspeciesRomance Man v. Nature]] or [[CrackPairing Nature v. Technology]]) || [[HelpingHands Body part is severed, gains mind of its own: Watch out]] || [[TurnedAgainstTheirMasters Cyborg servants turn on master]] ||
|| [[DoingInTheWizard Professional debunker v. Popular spoon-bending psychic]] || [[ReptilesAreAbhorrent Snakes lie in wait]] || Child [[RaisedByWolves raised by Saint Bernard assassins]] seeks [[TheAtoner acceptance and forgiveness of human society]] || [[WhodunnitToMe Hero in coma seeks to solve own murder]], discovers [[TheKillerInMe culprit is himself]] || Cyborgs seek fortune on Broadway, settle for bartending gig, [[AlmightyJanitor and learn much about human life]] ||

!!This book provides examples (and parodies) of:
* AlienGeometries: One house with a 666 phone number is described as having no right angles.
* AncientConspiracy: Subverted: The Skulls and Bones are said to have failed in their bid for world domination, and now spend all their time masturbating and tending to the pterodactyls on their private island. The Masonic symbols allegedly hidden in Washington DC's architecture are also parodied.
* AttackOfTheKillerWhatever: [[DiscussedTrope Discussed]].
%%* BewareOfHitchhikingGhosts
* BreadEggsMilkSquick: The Hoboes voiced their displeasure with the government by whistling behind the White House, writing illiterate editorials to newspapers, and summoning dust storms to destroy the midwest.
* BunnyEarsLawyer: "Idiosyncrasies of the Great Detectives", parodying:
** Literature/LordPeterWimsey
** Literature/HerculePoirot
** Literature/NeroWolfe
** Literature/MissMarple
** Literature/BrotherCadfael
** {{Kid Detective}}s in general
* CallARabbitASmeerp: There was a species of otter called a "lobster", now driven to extinction by the New Lobsters. There's also a joke about how during the 1920s, when "gorilla" was a slang term for tough guy, the term for an actual gorilla was "mega-chimp"
* TheCon:
** One of which involves impersonating a {{Ninja}}, and requires, as part of the con, the summoning of {{Mons}}.
** Another requires several thousand people and the cooperation of the subject's family.
** Another requires control of the weather.
** And one requires a ferret.
** And one involves three-card monte. With a collaborator posing as the table.
* ComplexityAddiction: A common malady amongst conmen, given some of the schemes they come up with.
* ContemptibleCover: Discussed in the {{paratext}}.
* CoolAirship: President Hoover's hoveryacht in the Caspian Sea.
* CreepyChild: The Virtuous Child, Child Prodigies.
* EskimosArentReal: ''The Areas Of My Expertise'' has a running gag that Chicago is a myth, mostly as a joke on [[BigApplesauce how very New York the author's sensibilities are]]. Revisited in the follow-up ''Literature/ThatIsAll'', [[spoiler: when the mythical city rises at last from the swamp during the [[MayanDoomsday End Times of 2012]].]]
* {{Flanderization}}: [[UsefulNotes/TheSeveralStates Our 51 United States]].
** TheBigEasy
** DownOnTheFarm
** EverythingIsBigInTexas
** HollywoodNewEngland
** {{Joisey}}: Listed as the "Too-easy-to-Mock State".
** LostWorld: Hohoq (also known as "Ar"), the 51st state, also a [[FloatingContinent floating plateau]] populated by [[GiantFlyer thunderbirds]], [[MagicalNativeAmerican Magical Native Americans]], and Germans, who appear to be "simply German".
** VivaLasVegas
** UsefulNotes/{{Chicago}}: Hodgman claims Chicago is only a myth written about by Carl Sandberg (who also didn't exist), or at best only comes to this plane of existence every once in a while, like ''Theatre/{{Brigadoon}}''.
* GiantSwimmer: Averted. The Loch Ness Monster is fairly small and roughly humanoid.
* TheGreatDepression: What You Did Not Know About Hoboes.
* HistoricalInjoke: Loads.
* {{Homage}}:
** The mountains of Colorado (state nickname: [[TheLordOfTheRings The Dwarrowdelf]]) are described as "large and fairly [[Literature/TheLordOfTheRings Balrog]]-free".
** When describing the correct manner of raising rabbits, Hodgman describes the phenomenon of [[Literature/WatershipDown El-Ahrairah worship]]
** When building a snow fort, "watch out for [[StarWars wampas]]."
** Repeated references to ''Series/DoctorWho'', including using a picture of Cybermen for "typical cyborg mischief".
** Repeated references to the ''Franchise/EvilDead'' series, such as the claim that George W. Bush has a [[ChainsawGood chainsaw]] for [[ArmCannon a hand]]. John Hodgman was Creator/BruceCampbell's literary agent, and Campbell is listed as an expert consulted on the subject of fake blood (likely not a joke).
* TheKillerInMe / JekyllAndHyde: Lord Miles Overstreet ''is'' Dr. Craig Kittles!
* KillerRabbit: Squirrels.
* LongList: 700 Hobo Names. 800, in the paperback.
* {{Mascot}}: Discussion of breakfast cereal mascots.
* {{Mockumentary}}: In book form!
* NonsenseClassification: For example the column on "food, drink, and cheese", where there are "only so many kinds of foods to write about", namely "abs, polar bear steaks, chili, chili, and polar bear steaks."
* {{Pirate}}: Blackbeard pops up, briefly. There is also said to be [[http://www.venganza.org/ a Utopian community that hopes to improve humanity through acting like stereotypical pirates]].
* PlanetOfSteves: The ringtail cats, who, by a curious coincidence, are all named John [=McCain=].
%%* TheRoaringTwenties
* RunningGag: [[OurWerewolvesAreDifferent The different varieties of werewolf]], [[{{A Date With Rosie Palms}} masturbation]], eels, zeppelins, cheese, [[HairTropes haircuts/facial hair]], distrust for people who use pseudonyms, Creator/HenryDavidThoreau, giant Brazilian monkeys, Alexander Graham Bell, Yale University, crabs and lobsters (although the term "lobster" originally referred to a type of sea otter), the non-existence of Chicago, getting either [[IntoxicationEnsues "very high or very autistic"]], common flammable gels, Percoset, and, of course, the hoboes.
* ShoutOut: "The Amazing Duo of [[TheyMightBeGiants Flansburgh]] and Goldwasser", Bruce Campbell, "[[ComicBook/ElfQuest Skywise the Sexual Elf"]].
* ShownTheirWork: Ironically enough. There's quite a bit of genuine facts interspersed with all the nonsense.
* SeriousBusiness: "If you wish for sports information, might I kindly refer you to every other aspect of our culture?"
* TakeThat:
** Parodied with the "attack ad" segments, in which he jokingly accuses Music/JonathanCoulton of being an awful catsitter, and another person of masturbating out a window ''on two separate occasions'', while John Hodgman has only masturbated out a window ''once''. Also, one of the Hobo Names is Creator/NickNolte.
** ''Literature/MoreInformationThanYouRequire'' takes this even further.
*** ''Literature/ThatIsAll'' brings the Creator/NickNolte TakeThat to its inevitable conclusion [[spoiler: declaring him a cosmic horror]].
* WeaselMascot: Fig. 22: "Let's Use My Ferret To Steal That Diamond..."
* WhoopiEpiphanySpeech / ChildrenAreInnocent: Parodied with Hodgmina.
* WordSaladTitle: The whole title.
* YouCanPanicNow: One minor character is afraid that terrorists will attack the Mall of America.