As a young student, I remember hearing “there is no such thing as a stupid question” stated firmly and repeatedly throughout my education. Occasionally, some smartass in the back of the class would add the prerequisite “only stupid people” to the end of that beloved idiom, but sometimes you just have to go with it and appreciate the irony. However, as I’ve progressed through life, I’ve found this theory to be flawed. Yes, Virginia, there ARE stupid questions.
My definition of a stupid question is one that is asked in spite of the querent’s indisputable knowledge of the correct answer which is quite possibly gnawing on his or her derriere at the moment the question is verbalized. For example, when I am quietly enjoying a book in the warm afternoon sun in beautiful solitude and my neighbor’s 8-year-old daughter asks, “What are you doing?” Or when the hugely under-dressed young lady from the office questions whether the mini skirt which barely conceals her vagina is too short. Or when the Good Samaritan from the neighborhood block party discovers the wretched soul contorted on the bathroom floor praying loudly and messily to the Porcelain God and feels compelled to say, “Are you okay?”
Under normal circumstances, I try to respond to these questions in the spirit in which they were asked. I would answer respectively, “Eating an elephant. Go away.”; “Maybe a little. Go away.”; and “Yes, thank you. Go away.” But recently I’ve discovered an underlying hostility toward stupid questions in my answers. I mean, seriously, if you have to ask whether those low rise painted on jeans make you look fat, perhaps it would be easier, more expedient and far less painful to choose another item from your wardrobe rather than endure my response.
So, the next time you feel that stupid question buzzing around in the back of your mind seeking an escape route past your lips, escort it to solitary confinement for it’s own protection. Let the correct answer currently engaged in a staring contest with you be your guide and then move on. You’ll be happier, wiser and completely uninjured by any sarcasm intended for the stupid question. Now, go away.