Dumb and Dumber !

I was a dumb kid. Correction – I am STILL a dumb.. Err.. Kid !!Image

I was always intrigued with life. Well, the feeling would go through states of bafflement, bewilderment and in some days, utter confusion! My brain seemed to continuously process information and look to find answers. This nearly-total lack of a mental filter can cause increased stress. Things find their way to my brain, things that don’t belong there, just as things don’t belong in my lungs, like dust.  Being inquisitive, I would ask lot of questions.. And would often be tagged as being dumb..

“Why do you ask so many dumb questions?” – my friends would say

“Stop it Ari.. Sometimes, you ask really dumb questions.. GO NOW!” – my teachers would say.

Every time I asked a question, my self belief took a beating. During those turbulent days, my pillar of strength was my mother. She always supported me. She said everyone goes through this PTT syndrome (no it’s not Push-To-Talk, it is Pre-Teen Trouble). As you grow older, you gain more KNOWLEDGE, and you will find the answers yourself.

I imagined that in the distant future, the fog around my brain would dissipate, the smoke would clear, and I will be able to begin the satisfying task of gathering pieces of understanding and storing them in my mind.  I was convinced that just like every item in the food store came with an expiry date, my dumb-ness also will have an expiry date? The day will arrive when I will finally have the power of “insight”, the gift of “knowledge”.

I patiently waited for the moment to come…Through my teens, my twenties, thirties..

I am still waiting.

So, this state of bewilderment & confusion continued… what follows are few simple examples dumb questions…



Why do we have two ears and one mouth?

Maybe the Almighty wanted the relative proportion to suggest the relative levels of use. That sounded logical… But that does not seem to apply to most women – it did not apply to my mom, and now, not to my wife.


Why is the man who invests all your money called a broker?

A smartly dressed man by the name Sushil Kumar used to visit us occasionally. Dad said that he was a broker who took care of his investments. Investments helped him get some tax benefits. Teachers taught us that the person who did not have money was broke !

I advised my dad against using a broke-r for handling investments.. I feared Sushil was already broke, and would run away with all my dad’s investment money.


Why is ‘abbreviated’ such a long word?

When we were being taught abbreviations in school, I found it silly that something that meant a “shortened version of a phrase” would itself be so long. My question to Suneetha maa’m yielded another “Go NOW” look..


How many is umpteen?

When the teacher said “For the umpteenth time, I am telling you not talk in the class?”, how much do they actually mean. Considering that the “teen” is there, it should be more than 12.. I reasoned. But it sounds much larger. Why can’t people say “hundredth” or thousandth” to be more specific. . Umpteen will just make my mind wander

In fact, Wikipedia says that the Oxford dictionary reports its use in 1918, and offers the alternative spelling – umteen. It agrees that the derivation is from umpty, whose etymology is given as “A fanciful verbal repr. of the dash (—) in Morse code.”

How is that related to a large number? Am I totally missing it?


Where is the “Thinking Cap”?

ImageMy parents and teachers had a great way of confusing me. They would ask me to put my thinking cap on. This was yet another one of those things that must have been introduced on a day when I was home with fever. I wondered if I was the only one who didn’t have a thinking cap. Maybe that was the cause of my struggles. If I’d had one, I thought, I could relax and let my mind wander, because it was the cap that was doing the thinking.

ME: Dad, the cricket ball has got stuck behind the bed? How do I get it out?

Dad: Son, why don’t you put your thinking cap on?

ME: Where is the cap?

Dad : @&*(@&#(!

I am still searching !

Is it only me? Do the others already have the thinking cap? Can anyone help me find it?

Sounds like, I am getting dumber with each progressing day.


10 thoughts on “Dumb and Dumber !

  1. Very hilarious and eminently readable. You really are a gifted storyteller and a writer. No wonder you used to enthrall us with your wittiness at office.

  2. Really like those dumb questions you had put up, well am sure there are valid reasons for those dumb things…..isn’t being dumb in life really makes one light and happy 🙂

    Good one Ari….I guess you have better career here 😉

  3. LOL
    I like the idea of an expiry date on dumbness.
    And are you sure the buttons are different on men’s and women’s shirts?
    are you sure. I have not noticed.
    can’t help wonder how you noticed 🙂
    I iron his shirts as well as my shirts. And I never noticed a difference.

    and just now I went to the wardrobe to check out my husband’s shirts to compare it with the one I am wearing. AND eeeks. you are right.

    I feel dumb 😀

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