I like to think I'm a person of above average intelligence. I look around the ocean of idiocy that I swim in and think 'Damn, considering the competition, I'm a fucking genius!'
And you know what? I'm usually right! I am smarter than the average person, but that says more about the average person than it says about me. I don't know what the average IQ for the American public is right now, but it has to be in the 80s, right? Here is the scale from Lewis Terman:
Over 140 - Genius or near genius
120 - 140 - Very superior intelligence
110 - 119 - Superior intelligence
90 - 109 - Normal or average intelligence
80 - 89 - Dullness
70 - 79 - Borderline deficiency
Under 70 - Definite feeble-mindedness
Just the fact that 'According to Jim' is still on the air and Paris Hilton is still getting acting work points to the Dullness range in our country. Or maybe that's just Hollywood.
I think we can all agree the intelligence of the average American hovers somewhere between Normal and Fucking Retarded (which isn't on the scale, but really should be). For fuck's sake, one guy just conned people out of more than $10 million dollars by sending mass emails telling people they had won money and he needed their banking codes and ATM PINs in order to deposit their winnings. This was last year!! Sorry, but if you send out that kind of info to some stranger through an email, then you deserve to lose your life savings.
I bring this up not to bash our declining intelligence, but because I was put in my place yesterday. Turns out I'm not as smart as I thought.
It started innocently enough. A friend of mine was bored and it has become my responsibility in life to make sure she is entertained enough not to kill everyone in her immediate area. I do it for the good of the country because her immediate area could be considered the entire east coast if she were feeling frisky. She instant messaged me and we started up a nice, friendly game of 20 Questions.
Below are portions of the exact chat we had while playing this so called 'game'! As you will see, it quit being a game and became a new form of torture for me. I will be interjecting my train of thought in red while I pass along the actual chat, so you know where my head's at. I've edited parts of the chat as well to take it more streamlined and coherent.
Also, take a note of the time frame. This thing starts at 10:36 and goes past lunch. There are some work interruptions, but not too many.
Me: let's play 20 questions
Me: think of someone and I'll ask
Her: k, hold on
Me: ok, this is a person?
Her: you said think of someone
is that a question already?
Me: I know, just wanted to make sure.
You could have been fucking with me.
Me: is this person male?
Me: 3: (I'll save you the trouble) is he an athlete?
Me: 4: actor?
Me: 5: (damn you already!!) is he involved in movies or television?
Me: 6: is he famous for his work?
Her: i guess
Me: hmmm. 7: he involved in music?
Usually by this point I've got some general theme to work with. Nothing yet and already my frustration is showing. Don't worry, it gets worse.
Me: 8: is he a household name?
Me: 9: is he rich?
Me: 10: is he in politics?
Her: i don't know
Quick note, this question was the point where things really started going south for me. I should have asked one relevant question right after this one, but my mind tends to block out certain things. This was one of those times, as you'll soon see.
Me: ok, he's very famous, not an athlete, not an actor, not a politician, not musician.
Her: i said i don't know about the politics thing
Me: but he's not known for that
Her: no, i say not
This was a very important clarification, by the way and she is correct with the answer. In fact, if she had said this person was involved in politics, I would still never have guess him.
Me: 11: is he famous for something he's done?
Her: i don't think so
Me: 12: is this motherfucker still alive?
I'm kind of pissed at myself by this point, because this should have been an early question. Is it obvious I'm getting more frustrated?
Me: 13: does he hold a prominant position?
Me: 14: Is he involved in the corporate world?
Another critical point in this game. I was ready to head towards Bill Gates, but the no corporate world threw me again.
Her: i thought you were on the right track
Me: I did too
wait: 15: Is he involved in sports?
Her: hee hee
You'll notice the glee she takes in tormenting my inferior intelligence. I noticed. Oh did I notice!!
Me: Ok, male, alive, prominant position, household name, not business, not sports.
Me: don't know what else to ask....I hate you
Her: this is fun
you can ask more than 20 questions
Me: I know, but I want to win!
Me:16: Has he invented anything?
Her: i don't think so
Me: 17: Is he the owner of something?
Her: probably, but he's not known for that...and i don't know what he owns
Yes, I realize this was a wasted question. Everybody owns something, but I was heading towards a Mark Cuban or George Steinbrenner type.
Me: so he's a household name, not known for politics, holds a prominant position, not known for being rich or owning anything. He's also not well known for something he has done. This is a good one.
no movies or TV
not an athlete
Her: he's not an actor, i'm sure he's been on tv
Me: you know, you got me with Woody Allen last time I don't want to lose this one too. You suck
Her: i picked woody allen?
i totally don't remember that
Me: 18: Is he known for law?
Her: kind of
This answer threw me, too. I was heading for a Supreme Court Justice or some famous lawyer like F. Lee Bailey or something. Technically neither are involved in politics or business.
Me: 19: Is he in the news alot?
Her: i don't watch the news, but probably
Me: for the record, I have done zero work today
Her: me too!
Me: Fuck. I can't think of anything or anybody.
Her: really? i keep thinking you're asking questions cause you already know who i'm talking about
Me: the prominant position thing is throwing me off. no politics, no corporation, no sports....no clue
Me: no you aren't.
Me: thinking of some brilliant question that will give me the answer. This may be a while.
Her: take your time
i may be wrong about the politics thing but thats not his main role, you know?
Me: Yeah. I'm just trying to think what else would make someone become a household name.
Me: 20: Do people associate this person with a specific event?
Her: event? no
Bowen: fuckin' A. I was going to guess Osama Bin Laden
Me: I give. Tell me
Her: no, more questions
This is probably a good time to note that this is the same girl who has recently quit her job and knows her last day is this Friday. So she's in the last week of a job that didn't have much work associated with it anyway.
Me: damn you
Her: just ask lots of stuff
Me: 21: Is he older than me?
Me: 22: is he involved in finance?
Me: 23: Is he American?
Me: Oooo, should have asked that earlier
Me: 24: Is he British?
Me: shit, I was heading towards the royal family.
This was the crusher for me. I could have sworn it would be the Prince someone or another. By the way if you know the question I was missing at this point, keep it to yourself.
Me: 25: Is he French?
Me: 26: Does he live in Europe?
Me: holy crap
I actually thought something much, much worse than this.
Me: 27: Is he the leader of a country?
Not sure why I asked this since I knew he wasn't involved in politics, but that was a gray area at the time and I was spinning my mental wheels.
Me: I feel like I'm missing a crucial question to ask
Her: you are
Me: 28: Is he royalty?
Her: i don't think so
Me: so he's basically famous for being famous. 29: is that what you're telling me?
Me: 30: Has he ever been involved in a major scandal?
Her: i don't know how to answer that
Me: ok, scratch that
Her: i don't think he's done anything scandalous
Me: ok, European man, holds prominant position, not british, not french, household name who seems to be famous for being famous, not political (?), not actor, not athlete, not royalty, not leader of any country.
Her: maybe he is the leader of a country
This may be a point of contention for some folks reading this when the answer is revealed, but it wouldn't have helped me either way she answered.
Me: 31: did I already ask if he was a musician?
Her: he's not
32: Is he Irish?
Me: I need his country, I think. 33: Spanish?
Do you all have the mental image of me clinging to the last board of a sinking ship? Good, cause that's how I felt. We're approaching the hour mark and all I have done is eliminate who it couldn't be.
Her: i had to google his country
Me: Oh great. So he's famous, but not necessarily because he's from a certain country? wait, is he well known in America?
Me: ok, so internationally well known. This might be a hall of fame 20 question topic.
Note: I wasn't kidding.
Me: what question we on? 35: Will I bash my head against the desk when I find out who this is?
This was the best question I asked in this entire game.
Me: 36: has he caused any sort of social change?
Her: i don't think so
Me: 37: Has he dealt with Bush on a regular basis?
Her: i know they've met but i don't know if they spend a lot of time together
Me: 38: Is he veiwed in a postive way? by the general public, I mean
Her: i'd say yes
Me: I'm only going to 40 then you have to tell me. This is infuriating, which I know entertains you no end
this might help, but i don't view him in a positive way
Note, that didn't help at all.
Her: the general public probably does but i don't
Me: that trims it down to about 30 million people
39: Does he also have a famous wife?
Me: shit, I just realized that wouldn't have worked anyway.....
Me: I can't think of a single question. give me a hint
Her: he's not married
Me: Gee thanks
I actually thought she was being a wise ass, but this would have been a very helpful hint if my mind was in the right place. Which it wasn't. And never would be.
Me: was this guy ever married? or is he known for being a single guy and dating many famous women?
Her: he's never been married
and is not known for dating
Me: Is he gay?
Her: probably, but no
This answer is funnier when you find out who she's talking about.
Me: I fucking give up. you have to tell me before I break my monitor
Her: you're really giving up?
Me: I actually gave up 15 questions ago
Her: i'm going to pick up lunch and if you haven't come up with any good questions by the time i get back i'll tell you
That's right. She goes to lunch before she'll tell me the answer. She sucks.
Me: You suck! (See?)
give me one more hint before you go
Me: what country is he from. give me that
Her: he is from Germany
As you'll soon see, this information is absolutely the most meaningless piece of information I could have about this guy. I really am an idiot.
Me: ok, that doesn't help me at all
And I know it....
Her: ok, well i'll be back in a bit
Yes, you read that right. She went to lunch and left me hanging for an entire hour. I even did web searches on German men in positions of power and came up with nobody you would consider a household name. I finally went to lunch myself in frustration.
Me: I'm back. Tell who this bastard is!!!
Her: i forgot
Ain't she so fucking funny. I was in no mood!! NONE!!!
Me: bite me. I need to know!!!!!!!!!
Her: you didn't think of any other questions?
Me: none. I'm completely blank.
Her: you suck
This is true. I do suck. Royally and totally.
Me: no YOU SUCK. for coming up with this diabolical person
This was purely a defense mechanism and outright anger. She does suck, but not because of this.
Now, before I give you the answer (if you didn't guess it already) here is the question I should have asked and didn't: Is he involved in religion?
See, I have a block when it comes to organized religion and she played me perfectly. I respect her for it, but I also hate her for it.
The answer would have been yes, which points to one person: The Pope. When I read the answer I actually groaned out loud. The Pope. Fuck me!
Me: It was genius and I don't ever want to play this game with you again. My head hurts
Her: haha, thanks!
i might have answered a question wrong
i don't know much about him
So there you go. A three hour 20 question game that turned into a 40 question game and I still couldn't figure it out. To top this all off, this girl just happens to be French's girlfriend and if you've seen pictures of her, you'll know I just got outsmarted by a beautiful, blonde 20 something girl.
Time to drink. I'll always have you, beer. You'll never outsmart me.
Today's distraction: Play 20 Questions online. My seven year old has that hand held game and he likes to answer all the questions it asks him in a random pattern to see what it comes up with. One time he was playing and he suddenly says 'A zebra! Dad, it was talking about a zebra!' I don't think he gets the point of the game.