Tuesday, May 4, 2010


“How can you be so pretty but so stupid?” he asked.

I had just sat down and ordered my coffee when the guy in the booth behind me offered that pithy comment to his companion.

“I’m not stupid,” she said. “I just don’t think it’s so important.”

Since I was eavesdropping on their conversation, I didn’t really know about which subject they were conversing. But I was hoping to find out soon. Conflict is such an intriguing thing to observe.

“Not important,” he challenged. “That proves your stupid. Of course it’s important. I say it is important and you say it isn’t. If that doesn’t prove it is, then I don’t know what else to say.”

This guy's reasoning skills and logic were almost unbelievable. Except that I just heard it.

“Oh Rock,” she said. “Let’s just drop it. Are we still going to the movies tonight?”

His name is Rock, I thought. As in, dumb as a. How appropriate.

Their conversation veered off in small talk and I quickly lost interest in eavesdropping on them. I never did find out what it was that was so important, or maybe not. But I did realize a few things.

One. If you’re a moron, don’t try to prove you’re right by essentially saying, “because I said so.” You don't want people to think of you when they hear the old saying, “It’s better to be silent and thought a fool, than to open your mouth and prove it.” (Variations on this saying have been attributed to many people, from Aristotle to Galileo to Ben Franklin to Abe Lincoln, and others.)

Two. If you want to develop a strong and healthy relationship with your girlfriend (or boyfriend), try not to ask questions like, “How can you be so stupid?” It begs to be answered with something like, “Because I thought you’d appreciate conversation at your level.”

Three. If you’re going to use a nickname like Rock, try not to be as dumb as one. The jokes are just too easy. Instead, try something like Tenebrous. You’ll have a gladiator-sounding name and most people won’t know that your thinking process is dark and gloomy. It’s a win-win.

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