Tuesday, July 06, 2004

I was smart once.

No, really. People even told me that I was. True it was when I was in the fourth grade, and that it only applied to math, but I was gifted damnit. God had taken touched my brain and had given me the ability to do math a whole two grades better than the other slack-jawed yokels that I was in class with. I was gifted and the attention felt great. Later I realized that God hadn't touched my brain. I think I got close one time while picking my nose but that was the nearest anyone, or anything, got to it.

Recently, my father-in-law turned me on to crossword puzzles while on a family vacation. “Who was Bilbo Baggins in the Lord of the Rings?” Well, that’s easy, Ian Holm. “What’s Marquette's nickname?” The Golden Eagles. I felt invincible. Every question he threw at me made me feel more and more intelligent. It was like I was Cliff Claven on Jeopardy. Every question was just waiting for me to dip into my vast amounts of knowledge, deliver the answer, and wait for my applause.

I had found my intelligence again. I found my calling. I wasn’t just another guy who needed to take off his shoes and pants to count to twenty-one. I was going to be smart again, and people were going to notice.

That was until I realized a crucial point. I think my father-in-law grabbed his crossword puzzle from a recent issue of Highlights for Children.

I got home from the trip and decided to tackle the crossword in our local paper. I’m not sure where they get these things, but I’m now pretty certain that there is a certain race of underground- dwelling mole-people, bred using the sperm of Steven Hawking and the eggs of the late Eudora Welty, that are deploying their laborious creations in such a way that they can ensure that the race of man will only be able to look at them before throwing their hands up in disgust and then go back to watching Hardcastle and McCormick reruns.

“Historical Kingdom in the Pyrenees?” The Pyrenees were historic?

I’ve learned my lesson. I now only try to impress my wife with my knowledge. She’s never impressed, but every once in a while I get a look from her that seems to indicate that she thinks I’m smart. It’s either that or she’s got gas. The latter is probably more likely.


Post a Comment

<< Home