I am glad to tell you that my friend McNeil does indeed recall giving that report on the history of matches in eighth grade. He did it, he writes, because "I thought, 'Why not. No one else is going to do something like that.' And probably also because I felt, like most people, that no matter what topic I chose, I was going to feel awkward and the subject of mockery. But when I got to the podium, everyone listened intently - which caught me by surprise. I remember talking the talk, but I was thinking about how quiet they were all of a sudden and how they were thinking about matches. I could see it in their eyes. They were thinking about matches! I had them! Finally! It's been all downhill from there."