According to the map we’ve only gone 4 inches…

Sadly I came to a realization the other day.

I’m incredibly stupid.

Seriously. This isn’t a shameless ploy to garner some attention. I really am stupid – or at least I feel that way more often than not. Don’t misunderstand me. I’m in no way an pure idiot nor am I unintelligent. I have a vast supply of mostly unimportant knowledge and timeless wisdom for a gentleman my age, but I can’t escape feeling stupid in the presence of others at times. From worldly hot topics to text book knowledge I reign supreme as a certified moron.

Today I present to you the Unabridged Guide To Being a Professionally Clever Dumbass.

I can’t tell you how many times I’ve been involved in conversations I have no idea what the other parties are talking about. They’ll prattle on using terms and words I’m not familiar with and referencing sources I’ve never heard of while I sit (or stand) there looking on with unflinching interest. I’ve found that if you stare at a person’s eyes while they talk they swear you know what they’re talking about. People take looking into their eyes as them having your complete attention about the topic at hand. I end up looking very interested. Not because I understand what’s going on but because I’ve done drifted far away from the conversation and have been trying to figure out how to spell the first word I didn’t understand so I can Google it when I get to a computer later on. That or I like start singing the Thundercats theme in my head. That ends up leading to an slew of questions to myself about the show… like was Panthro black even though he was blue or why did Lion-O’s sword have an erection all the time? That’s enough to put put a seriously pensive look on my face to get me through the first half.

I’m keenly observant too. That’s the secret to faking like you’re not a complete dumbass. If while they’re talking you see the corners of their mouth begin to curl upwards, I smile in agreement as well. More often than not I probably have no clue as to what I’m agreeing with but smiling and nodding seems to bring reassurance to the person speaking. If I’m able to follow along with what’s being discussed (somewhat) it makes it easier for me to pull out my bag of discussion tricks. If they reach an agitated portion of their story, I shake my head in disbelief in support of their disdain for whatever it is they’re referring to. I find that bridge terms such as Really, Seriously, Get Out, Are You Serious, Absolutely, No Way, No Doubt, For Sure and Oh My God help out tremendously when attention suddenly focuses on you for a response. You have to be mindful of how and when to use them though. Using them too often will tip people off and they’ll think you’re a douche instead of just dumb.

We wouldn’t want that to happen.

I’m not completely without firepower though. I tend to know a little bit about a wide variety of things – just not enough in anything particular – which makes me awesome at being a conversation starter. I’ll often plant a seed of discussion and then let my mind wander off. I’ll sit there trying to remember the moves to the Safety Dance or start cataloging the chicks I’ve seen during the course of the day into groups of “hot”, “cute”, “alright”, and “meh”. That systematic sorting seems to hold a high priority in my brain at times for some reason. If by some twist of fate the conversation veers around and comes back to me for a response, I have to play it by ear. If I can still contribute with something meaningful I will but if not I’ll look to interject something comical as it helps to buy some more time. I’m usually pretty cynical and funny so I can toss out humorous and often witty remarks at the drop of a dime. However if I’ve exhausted my arsenal I’ll slyly try to change the subject to something slightly related so I can employ my full range of talents once again.

Then it’s wash, rinse and repeat until the conversation dissolves itself.

I’m a pro I tell you.

In the end, it has absolutely nothing to do with being disinterested with what anyone is saying. I don’t want anyone thinking I’m just being a dick. I do listen and man I try my best to understand sometimes but once misses start accumulating, the mind just drifts away to simpler things like wondering what bark is made of or trying to figure out where the wild things really are. Sometimes I actually retain some of the information I learn in a conversation. Like I now know that Arctic Char is a northern breed of Salmon and that Hurricanes and Tsunamis Cyclones (see… STUPID) are pretty much the same thing. How about that? The fact of the matter is I’m not professionally good looking so I can’t get by with my prettiness so I have to employ my wit.

So the next time you’re talking to somebody and you hear the words “really” or “for sure” think to yourself… are they really understanding what I’m talking about or are they just a Professionally Clever Dumbass? 😉


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15 responses

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  5. Haha, this post had me laughing (really, literally, lol’ing) from start to finish. Thanks for the glimpse into the life of a ‘professionally clever dumbass’ … And as for the other comments … Yeah, I thought it was a Thunder Jeep for a long time too. Damnit, maybe I’m a dumbass! Meh, at least I’m in good company. 🙂

    February 3, 2011 at 1:00 am

    • I’ve come to accept my intellectual shortcomings over the years. Being a PCD isn’t a job; it’s a way of life. ;p

      February 7, 2011 at 9:35 am

  6. We would make a hell of a bar room trivia contest team.

    and while I havent heard that ac/dc song like that before, it makes sense. If you’re in the business of dirty deeds, why wouldn’t you want to arrive in a thunder jeep? Doesn’t that establish a certain presence?

    December 9, 2010 at 8:16 am

    • You get exactly where I’m coming from. For years I’ve wanted a Thunder Jeep and then bam… in a flash my dreams got dashed due to my stupidity.

      December 9, 2010 at 8:36 am

  7. I listen attentively, hoping that they don’t ask my opinion on something that I have no clue about. If I interject, I paraphrase the stuff that I heard and understood and try to make it sound like I’ve known the information for years.

    December 8, 2010 at 7:10 pm

    • Oooo you’ve invested in the Advanced Training Guide I see. I like that one. Thanks for stopping by!

      December 8, 2010 at 9:24 pm

  8. Amy

    I kinda have that same problem only in reverse. People tend to have no idea what I’m talking about. It’s definitely not because I am smarter than anyone else, it’s just that some of the subjects that interest me are obscure or really useless information. I get the “smile and nod” a lot.

    Now I got Safety Dance stuck in my head . . .

    December 8, 2010 at 5:06 pm

    • At least you’re cognoscente enough to know that the subject matter may be a bit beyond them and acknowledge it. I guess I’m just too skilled in masking my own stupidity that people think I’m on their intellectual level.

      December 8, 2010 at 9:27 pm

  9. I do a lot of the same thing (without the observant part)…I call it “smiling and nodding.” I do it a lot when Jim is telling me about the latest computer innovation, or explaining some scientific concept. He knows me well enough to call me on it when I’m “smiling and nodding.” If he’s feeling benevolent, he’ll dumb down his conversation so I can understand…

    I don’t think we’re dumb…I think we just have certain interests which are more important to us!


    December 8, 2010 at 4:36 pm

    • No I’m straight up dumb. Suzanne had to explain to me that the one ACDC song wasn’t “Dirty Deeds and the Thunder Jeep.” ;p

      December 8, 2010 at 9:29 pm

      • You’re not dumb, Ian…the fact that a lot of rockers have trouble enunciating is not your fault!


        December 9, 2010 at 10:50 am

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