Let me ask you a dumb question. How many times have you heard someone say, “There’s no such thing as a dumb question.”?
That’s the dumbest thing I’ve ever heard. I’m pretty sure that remark was originated by some third grade teacher who wanted to encourage her kids to ask questions. Nothing is worse for a teacher than to have a whole class of non-responding kids – especially when you strongly suspect that “they’re not getting it.” But of course there are dumb questions. Are you ready for a few?
Who’s buried in Grant’s tomb?
How long is the Minute Waltz?
Who wrote Handel’s Messiah? (That was asked by Jay Leno once on one of his “Jaywalks.” The answer he got? “I don’t know. I don’t read any books.”)
What color is the blue Danube? (actually it’s a muddy brown.)
Does daylight savings time really save time?
Are we there yet?
What country invented Swiss cheese?
Do you know how fast you were going? “I think it was 55 miles per hour officer.”
How do you get to Carnegie Hall? “Practice, practice, practice.”
Do you believe in Santa Claus? the Tooth fairy? the Easter Bunny? honest politicians?
Those are the usual dumb questions that we’ve all heard. But I was remembering a few that have been asked of me from time to time – and my “regretorts” – the retorts that I thought of three days later that I wish I had thought of at the time and regret that I didn’t.
Dumb question #1 – I had an item for sale on Craig’s List. The price I listed was $85.00. Some guy called me and asked, “What’s the least you’ll take for it?”
Regretort #1 – “What’s the most you’ll pay for it?”
Regretort #2 – “If I tell you that, will you still pay me what I’m asking for it?”
Dumb question #2 – I dialed a number and asked for Frank. The person who answered asked, “Who’s calling?”
Regretort #1 – “Who’s answering?”
Regretort #2 – “Sorry, you’ve got the wrong number.”
Dumb question #3 – My wife was looking in the refrigerator. She said, “This cheese looks moldy. Do you want to eat it or should I throw it away?”
Regretort #1 – I wish I hadn’t said anything.
Dumb question #4 – I was riding in the New York subway reading the newspaper. When I was finished, I put it on the seat under me. Some guy walked up and asked, “Are you reading that paper you’re sitting on?”
Regretort #1 – “Yes, but I’m a speed reader and you can have it when I’m finished.”
Regretort #2 – “Some of my students say I also have eyes in the back of my head.”
Dumb question #5 – I was visiting the French Quarter in New Orleans. There is one section where there are psychics lined up one after the other next to each other trying to attract the tourists. (Apparently all you need to be a psychic is a card table, a deck of tarot cards and a few fancy crystals.) As we walked by, one of them asked me, “How are you?”
Once again I was proud that I had a ready answer. I said, “You’re the psychic. Shouldn’t you know how I am?”
And one last dumb question – Does this dress make me look fat? Is that a dumb question or are you just dumb if you answer it?