I is dumb

I is dumb

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Listen, I know I'm not the brightest guy on earth.

In fact, I've always thought I was stupid.

Well, it's not so much that I think I'm stupid as it is I think I'm an idiot. Or a moron.

Of course, if I'm not sure, all I have to do is ask my wife to confirm my suspicions.

Well, it's not so much that I have to ask my wife as it is that she tells me. Every single day. For the last 12 years.

But now? Now I have proof. 

Certifiable, undeniable proof.

I am a stupid, idiotic moron.

The beauty of my dumbness, however, is that I'm so dumb, I went out of my way to seek this undeniable truth.

I'm ashamed to admit it, but I really am…The Weakest Link.

I'm sure you've seen the show. Or heard about it. It's one part Who Wants To Be A Millionaire and one part Survivor. 

I'm two parts loser.

Basically, on the Weakest Link, eight contestants are asked questions to attempt to accumulate money that only one of them will win at the end of the show. At the end of each round, everyone votes to get rid of one of the contestants, until there are only two people left. Then they go toe-to-toe for all the cash. It could be as much as a million dollars, but it's usually around $60,000 or $70,000.

The host of the show is this obnoxious lesbian British woman named Anne who insults, degrades and demoralizes the contestants. 

This obnoxious lesbian British woman in the long black leather coat goes out of her way to make them feel like the worthless, pathetic scum they are.

I don't know why they didn't just call the show "The Dominatrix Hour."

Anyway, before last week, I had seen the Weakest Link a couple of times. I answered the questions. They weren't that hard. They were all general knowledge-based. Nothing too difficult.

Hey, I can do this, I thought.

Only later did I realize that the first sign of stupidity is a failure to realize one's stupidity.

Much to my delight, two weeks ago I heard that they were holding open auditions for my new favorite show, the Weakest Link…in Cleveland! 

Finally, that opportunity I'd been waiting for. 

A chance to show my vast expanse of knowledge. A chance to gain fame and wealth and success.

A chance to erase the label of stupid idiotic moron from my resume.

Or at least the moron part.

I wondered if there were any qualifications. Because those are the kinds of things smart people do. When I heard that the only rule was that you needed to be over 18 years of age, I quickly called my mom, found out that I was in fact over the age of 18, and so, without haste, I hurried down for my shot at glory.

The auditions were held at the Four Points Hotel in Independence. Being the highly-intelligent I am, I found the hotel flawlessly. And before I walked into the hotel, I locked my car.

Because those are the kinds of things smart people do.

Once inside, I was smart enough to spot the 6' x 8' banner that read "WEAKEST LINK AUDITIONS THIS WAY." And I was smart enough to see that the arrow was pointing to the right. 

As I sat down in the ballroom, I saw that there were about 20 other people filling out a questionnaire to be a contestant on the show.

I could tell by the looks in their eyes that they were all afraid of me. 

Well, OK, maybe I couldn't tell by the looks in their eyes because they weren't exactly looking at me. But I knew what they were thinking.

The woman in charge (no, not Anne), gave me a pen and asked me to sit somewhere in the middle of the room.

I thanked her for the pen. 

Because those are the kinds of things smart people do.

I sat in the middle of the room and filled out the general information form. They wanted basics (name, address, etc.), along with some personal stuff that they could possibly use on the show.

Looking back, it probably wasn't a good idea to list my hobbies as "counterfeiting, adult films and blinking."

When we were all done with the form, she told us that they were going to ask us 20 questions. They would repeat each question and then we had to write our answers on a sheet of paper. "Don't erase," she said, "because we'll take your first answer, just like we do on the show." 

I'm glad you're telling this to these other idiots, I thought. Because God knows they're going to need an eraser. To keep up with yours truly. 

Do these people think it's mere coincidence that Mensa starts with Me?

She said they would then grade everyone's papers, and they would have the best people stay behind to videotape a fake episode, which they would send back to Los Angeles to review. 

One look at me, I thought, and I am so in. 

I almost felt bad. This was almost unfair.

She asked if we were ready. 

Of course I was ready. Smart people are always ready. That's why they're smart.


Question 1: 

What word starting with the letter "P" was first introduced in the 1960s in a case involving Lee Marvin?

ME: Hey, waiwaiwaiwaiwait just minute. Whatever happened to questions like, "In the popular nursery rhyme, the three mice had a disability. What was it?"

Christ, a "P" word? How the hell do I know? I dropped out of law school, remember? Hmmmm…what about "P"aper? They use paper in the courtroom. Nah, too obvious. "P"ants? Everybody has to wear pants in court, right? Hey, why the hell is everybody writing so fast? Dammit, I need something here. Anything. Uh, uh…hey, what do you call that thing you use to write…a pen! Or a pencil! Shit, another decision. Eenie-meenie-miney-moe….Pen! That's it! A pen! Damn, I am good.

I wonder what I should wear when I'm on the show?


Question 2:

What famous painting is also known as a "Still Life in Black and White?"

ME: C'mon, nobody knows anything about art. That's totally bogus, dude. Ask me a question about Hank Aaron or something. This sucks. A still life in black and white? Still life? Aren't all still life's baskets of fruits? I've got no clue. Dammit, he's moving on to the next question. I need an answer. Trust your gut, man. Trust your gut.

My gut wrote this as an answer: Bea Arthur.


Question 3:

What is the French word for rock that's also used as a filament in a lightbulb?

ME: Unfair! Bzzzzz. Error. Danger, Wil Robinson! Um, six year of Spanish. Hello! No way I know anything French. Other than fries, toast or bread pizza.

My answer: L'bea Arthur.


Question 4:

We've all heard references to DNA. What does DNA stand for?

ME: My response? Don't No Answer.

There were 16 other questions on this test. I think the only one I got right was "What is 15 times 8?" 

When it was over, they collected all the tests and said they'd be back in a few minutes. They scary thing is, I actually waited, thinking, "Well, ok, so maybe I didn't get them all right. But gosh darn it, I sure gave them some funny wrong answers. And I think that says a lot about a person."

To answer your question, yes, I am delusional.

When they returned, the woman said, "Now comes the hard part of my job. If I don't call your number, you can leave now and try again in six months. And thanks for stopping by today."

Shockingly, they didn't call my number.

And so I left, head bowed, feeling a bit insecure about myself. 

Maybe I'm not as smart as I think, I thought.

Maybe that superior intellect I thought I had really is superior. To a flea.

Maybe I am dum.

Then I started the car, popped in my Jethro Tull tape, and thought:

Ah, screw it. Were those a bunch of stupid freakin' questions, or what?

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