This is a safe place to talk about stupid people. Because if you’re reading this, then, ipso facto, you’re smart. And anyway, I have license to talk about dimwits and mouth-breathers, because I are one. For the past 10 weeks or so, I’ve been living la vida dum-dum.
Here’s what happened: I was out in my garage, working on the awesome street-legal golf cart that I bought from a military surplus auction, as one does. Abruptly, I felt woozy, and I staggered inside to the kitchen, where I sat down on the floor with the room spinning. It felt like I’d been tapped by a magic wand that made me instantly drunk, which isn’t as cool as it sounds. The spins quickly subsided, but ever since then—late September—I’ve been a little bit off-kilter, balance-wise. When I turn my head, there’s a subtle delay on the vestibular adjustment. It’s like I’ve stepped through a portal and I’m experiencing the world from the perspective of Wiz Khalifa after a lengthy bong sesh. Which, again, isn’t as cool as it sounds.
The verdict is that I’ve got some sort of inner-ear infection or disorder, and apparently the way you deal with those is to take a handful of motion-sickness pills and wait it out. After a while, your brain is supposed to recognize the bad signal and compensate for it automatically. In the meantime, you look normal but feel like a Nebraskan dropped onto the deck of the Andrea Gail during The Perfect Storm. Billy, can ya hear me? You’re headed right for the middle of the monstah!
The dizziness is unpleasant on its own, but it also comes with an insidious side effect: It’s made me dumb. Or at least, dumber. Look, I was never getting the invite for Mensa in the first place, but this balance problem seems to have eroded my cognitive capabilities, too. The mental horsepower that I’m devoting to staying upright has to come from somewhere, and I feel like most of the people featured in Making a Murderer probably have a few IQ points on me right now. Perhaps I could move to Wisconsin, steer clear of the Manitowoc police and just run a nice junkyard or something. People around there would refer to me as “Smart Ez” because when I yell wrong answers during Jeopardy! I remember to put them in the form of a question.
The unfortunate fact is that smart people are a minority and the evidence is everywhere. Remember a couple of months ago when that plane was burning on the runway at O’Hare and a video showed some of the passengers just casually walking away? Hey, it’s only a few thousand gallons of jet fuel raging into an all-consuming inferno right behind you—no need to hurry. Not that you really could anyway, since you took the time to grab your wheelie bag. When faced with the choice between Joan of Arc-style immolation or losing your travel-sized Colgate, you gotta wrestle that carry-on out of the overhead bin and saunter to safety.
There are more examples. Endless ones, really. If you want to question the primacy of mankind, just go take a drive somewhere. It’ll be less than 10 minutes before you witness a maneuver that prompts you to conclude that we’d be better off if evolution had gone in a different direction and humans were the stars of Land World, a theme park built by the dolphins. I recently met a friend of Neil deGrasse Tyson, and I said, “Tell Neil that he’s lucky his parents didn’t name him Maurice. Because then his name would be Mo deGrasse.” Get it? Like a lawnmower! I don’t understand why people in Australia don’t fall off the earth.
If you’re none too bright, then you’d better be friendly and attractive, and I’m afraid I’m striking out there, too. Exercise is highly unpleasant on shaky sea legs, so I haven’t been working out as often. And the general feeling of crappiness instills a short temper. For example, I recently installed a doorstop in a bathroom, and I positioned it too far down the wall to prevent the door from hitting a towel rack (see: dumbness, thorough). Somehow, both my mother-in-law and my sister-in-law’s boyfriend ended up in the bathroom with me, critiquing my doorstop position. Under normal circumstances, I’d laugh at the absurdity of this situation and perhaps make a wry comment about practical applications of the Pythagorean theorem. Instead, I said, “Thanks for the advice, construction experts!” and stormed out in a tantrum. Life is hard when you’re fat, dumb and angry.
I’m hoping that my condition is temporary and I’ll soon return to being a prime specimen of humanity. But in case I don’t, I’m ready to embrace my new normal. I’ll LOL at Kevin Can Wait and uncritically believe every story that gets shared on Facebook. You know, like millions and millions of other people. I might be dumb, but at least I won’t be lonely.