Some people would argue that there really are stupid questions. Angela Henshall, in her excellent article for the BBC, Yes, There Really Are Stupid Questions, for instance. Her article reminds me of the question I’ve heard at the Dollar Store: “How much is this dish towel?” And the answer: “It’s a dollar.” But I digress. Already.
People Need Entertainment
I am reminded of the time that my bestie and I attended a civil war reenactment. She asked the dude-in-charge, “Who do you think is going to win?” And he said: It’s a re-enactment.” And she repeated her question. To which he replied, again, “It’s a re-enactment.” So at that point, she had to pretend not to understand what a re-enactment was, lest he feel insulted. He was just so, well, earnest.
There Are Naive Questions
Carl Sagan says there are no dumb questions, only naive ones. And who doesn’t believe everything Carl Sagan said? Or is that naive, too?
“There are naive questions, tedious questions, ill-phrased questions, questions put after inadequate self-criticism. But every question is a cry to understand the world. There is no such thing as a dumb question.”
You’re Developing Your Bravado
A bunch of other people are thinking the same thing, but you’re the only one who says it out loud. You’re always the first one to ask: Are these sandwiches free? And sometimes people are so shocked at the question that the sandwiches are free.
You Really Want to Know
Sure, everyone wants to know why Pluto isn’t a planet any more. But you have more curiosity than the average cat, so you keep asking. (Pluto is a dwarf planet, as if that clear anything up.) Without asking, how would you ever know?
No post about stupid questions would be complete without a reference to Dilbert. Without stupid questions, there would be no pointy-headed boss. Speaking of Dilbert, here are ten ways to demotivate employees.
Your Sole Purpose on Earth is to Make Other People Feel Better about Themselves
When I play golf, other people feel better about their own golf games. Is there some way you cheer up other people by your own bad example? Just kidding. Everyone knows you’re perfect!
If Not You, Then Who?
Someone has to ask! And you’re right there, sitting in the front row with your hand up. That slacker in the back isn’t going to ask! So the pressure’s on you. And speaking of weird segues, have you read the one about Darth Vader and why it’s easier to be him than a social media manager? No, of course not!
The Emperor Is Wearing No Clothes
Sometimes stating the obvious takes someone who isn’t afraid to ask a stupid question. That someone could be you!
Is That Ten?