People Share The Absolutely Dumb Things They’ve Heard Others Say

Phillip Hamilton

Sometimes, you hear something so mind-numbingly dumb it makes you think, “Wow, how does that person even survive?” These Redditors shared the stupidest things they’ve ever heard someone say, and the stories are unbelievable and hilarious. If you’ve ever felt like you say dumb things sometimes, rest assured: It can’t be as bad as these. Here are 50 of the dumbest things people have ever said.

1. Lightning in a Bottle

We were in a summer camp, and when I opened a flashlight during a stormit was also nighthe started yelling at me to shut it off because, apparently, light attracts lightning…


2. The Salty Sea

I taught scuba diving in Vancouver for a few years. After the two-week Open Water course (beginner course) covering all the basics of dive theory and skills development in the local pool, we finally went to the ocean to do our first two open water dives. In the OCEAN. The Pacific…it’s always been there…just to the west of us…

I had a student that I heard say while they were putting on their fins for the first time, “HEY! This Ocean is SALTY!” Same class, I had a student that thought the pool water was blue and was surprised that it was clear when he went under the water for the first time with a mask on. I had to explain, that it was the walls of the pool that had blue tiles on them and that is the color he was seeing.

It was quite a group.


3. Bird, Not Meat

I worked at Wendy’s and two girls came in to order. They wanted to order off the dollar menu. One girl says, “Do you want a burger?” The other says, “Ew I don’t eat animals! … Can I have a crispy chicken sandwich instead?”


4. Pics or it Didn’t Happen

“Wait… so you are trying to tell me that our sun is a star? What are all those other things?” I proceed to show her an observable universe’s size comparison video. “Humans can’t look that far; I can’t even see the moon sometimes.” This is my friend, an 18-year-old female.


5. It’s Pretzel Day

My girlfriend had this roommate for a single semester. She did all sorts of weird stuff and was just not a great person to be around. It got to the point that my girlfriend would just ignore unless it was something immediately dangerous to her or others. One of the dumbest things she ever did was eat an entire barrel of those peanut butter filled pretzels in one sitting because they were “low calorie.”

When my girlfriend investigated this claim, it seems this girl didn’t know how to read nutrition labels and thought the calorie count was for the entire barrel. Girlfriend did the math. She ingested about 5,000 calories in under an hour.


6. Mortally Confused

In an ethics class, a girl decked out in a horrible clash of designer name brands on every article of clothing and personal possession raised her hand and said, “The difference between rich people and poor people is that rich people know how to say thank you.” We were discussing the differences between wealthy and poverty level treatment in a courtroom.

Also, in a final exam for a Criminal Procedure class, there was a typo. I forget what it said, but it was supposed to say “mortal” as in “mortal wound.” Everyone pretty much made out what it was supposed to say through the context of the sentence, except this one girl. She went up to ask the teacher what the misspelled word meant, and he announced to the class the correct spelling.

She stood there and asked him what mortal meant. He just looked at her and said in the dead silence of a final exam, “You’re a 4th-year Criminal Justice major in a Criminal Procedure class. I am NOT going to explain to you what a mortal wound is.”


7. Darwin’s Favorite

Her: “I think the law that requires you to wear a seatbelt is sooooo stupid. My body, my choice.” Me: “Well what about your five-year-old son? You wouldn’t want to hurt him if he was riding with you, right?” Her: (shrugs) “When it’s your time to go, it’s your time to go.” Me: “Really? That’s how you feel about that? I mean…why even look before crossing the street, if ‘When it’s your time to go, it’s your time to go’?”

Her: “Actually, I usually don’t look when I cross the street…” She is under 30, but already has terrible knees. Why? Get ready…she was hit by a car in her teens while she was crossing the street.


8. Tattoo Far

When I did tattoos, I had a guy come into the shop who wanted “Mr. 113” on his wrist. Not really all that out of the ordinary. We get it drawn up, my coworker placed it and she starts to do the tattoo. As soon as she starts, the guy screams in pain and jumps up. “What the heck is in that thing?! Is there a needle in there?! That freaking hurts!”

….what?! This guy was in his 30s or 40s. How do you not know how tattoos are done?! He said, “I don’t know. Just thought it was some permanent ink or something.” The guy went outside for almost an hour to smoke and I guess hype himself up. He got the outline done at least but couldn’t take the pain anymore and didn’t get it filled.

Still can’t believe he didn’t know tattoos were done with a needle.


9. Stapled Up

This guy I know told me that he honestly thought that Jesus was attached to the cross with a stapler. Like, I’m not even religious, but jeez.


10. Caught Red Handed

Actually, a week ago. We had just gotten out of our final exam for the year, and this girl is making her way to the door. Before she even reaches it, she says to her friend: “Yeah, I had to copy a few parts of my book to reach the word count.” You ever hear a record scratch in real life, and that 90s meme following it? That pretty much happened.

The teacher called the girl up to the front and silently, without a word, began to go into the paper logs and saw that Turnitin had a 75% plagiarism rate. It was…well, for her? It probably sucked. But for the rest of us? Golden city of how do you screw up this bad.


11. The Seven Dwarves

Had a boy ask if I was from the Seven Dwarves (there was a British reality TV show following seven people with dwarfism called The Seven Dwarves on at the time) I said no. He said, puzzled, “But there are only seven dwarves?” I had to tell him there were many more than seven dwarves in the world, he looked deeply concerned after this revelation.

What I find even more puzzling about his understanding in hindsight is that more than seven dwarfs appear in The Seven Dwarves—family members, friends and the like. Weird kid…


12. Totem Tree

I was walking in a very popular, touristy park in the city I live in. There is a totem pole at the edge of the park that is very nice. While walking past I was asked by someone “Where can I buy seeds to grow one of these trees?” (person points to the totem pole). I said “It’s a totem pole…they’re carved from a tree. You can’t grow them yourself.”

The person was flabbergasted. The park in question was Beacon Hill Park in Victoria, BC. Every May, thousands of people come to the city during cruise ship season and ask locals ridiculous questions for no apparent reason. The person asking was a middle-aged woman. At the time I was in my early 20s and, for reference, I’m also a woman.

It was definitely not a joke; she was visibly shaken by the news.


13. A Minor In History

That I can’t be Jewish and German at the same time. I told this girl that from my mom’s side I am Jewish (we’re not that religious though and my dad is Catholic) and that my mom was born in and is from Germany. Then she said that I and my mom can’t be German and Jewish because the Holocaust wiped every Jewish person from Germany and Europe out. Every single Jewish person.

I was thinking, has she never seen or heard a video from a Holocaust survivor? Bruh… Also, to top it all off so to say, this girl was Jewish.


14. Fractionally Dumb

A girl in math class didn’t understand fractions. We got down to this because the teacher was explaining something else pretty simple that she didn’t understand. So, broke it down and figured out she didn’t get fractions. Well, that’s a little odd, but with a minute of explanation, she should get it. Nope. Teacher asked, “What is larger, 1/2 or 1/3?” The girl said three is more than two so 1/3 is larger.

Teacher drew two circles on the board, divided one in two and the other in three parts. “Which is bigger?” Girl gave the same answer. Teacher erased both circles, grabbed two pieces of paper, ripped one in half, one in thirds. Held up a piece of both “Which one is larger?” Girl pointed out the 1/3 piece. “Forget that there are more pieces” and he tossed out the rest, holding up the initial two pieces again. “Just look at the size. Which one is larger?” Girl pointed out the smaller one again.

Defeated, teacher lowered his arms and walked back to his desk. “Please take no offense in this…but are you familiar with the words and concepts of ‘smaller’ and ‘larger’?” He asked, as this class turned more Sesame Street-y by the second. The girl said she did. Teacher pointed outside. “See those trees? Which is larger, right or left?” “Left,” girl said, and she was right. The left tree was about five meters taller. “Then which piece of paper is larger?” Holding them up again.

Girl pointed out the smaller piece and the teacher walked out of the classroom.


15. It’s Flat, Trust Me

NASA makes up everything about space in order to convince us the earth is round, so the world governments can keep the hidden civilizations at the edge of the world a secret. Not even kidding with that, my friend 100% believes that


16. Facebook People

Recently my relative told me he got a bunch of credit cards and maxed them out, he plans on paying them back with next year’s tax refund. He then quit his job. Same relative always makes fun of me for having “book smarts” but not “street smarts,” but the older I get the more I realize being able to look at my finances, live within my means and squirrel some away is a form of “street smarts” that a lot of people seem to be lacking.

Also, pretty much any comment on my local news Facebook page. A recent one was about a renovated gas station. One person commented complaining that they spent all that money and took away gas pumps, someone else commented that they actually had added several, the only reason the line was longer was that it was new and everyone was going there to see the improvements.

The lady’s reply was truly insane. Really nastily, she said she had a J-O-B and didn’t have time to count gas pumps, unlike some other “lowlifes,” completely oblivious that she looked like an idiot. The article even mentioned that they added more pumps, but again, she has to work for a living to pay taxes for the welfare bums, she doesn’t got time for reading that either.

A simple “Oh dang, I must have been mistaken” or better yet not commenting at all would have sufficed. This situation is not uncommon at all.


17. The Magic of the Internet

Two girls. Business majors. Very stereotype-y. Around 2010. “We should start a website, where anyone can sign up and simply pay a fee to charge their laptops over the internet.” “Oh yeah! That’s a good idea!” No mention of peripherals, so I can only assume: the website hacks into the router you’re connected to, turns it into a tesla coil, and arcs a surge of electricity from the device to your laptop battery.


18. The Autism Conspiracy

One of my friends’ moms unironically said that autism was invented by women to suppress intelligent men because “think about it have you ever heard of a woman with autism.” Her son has been diagnosed with autism.


19. Hacked Through the Tube

Overheard some lady saying her daughter isn’t allowed to watch YouTube anymore because that’s how people track you. She got this information from Facebook. The lady believed that a stranger would track down her daughter through YouTube and kidnap her. The daughter just watched things, no posting videos or commenting on stuff.


20. Pensions: The Biggest Scam There Is

Back when I was in college, I knew a mutual “friend” who once told me that pensions for old people should be completely removed (so this was not only dumb, but also completely mean and thoughtless). He argued (with a straight face) that most people save up and can live off their finances anyway, and if there are any retirees that didn’t have enough to live on—then they were just “irresponsible” and made “poor career choices.”

When asked why he’d think the government would ever go along with it, since most retirees vote and support the government—his response was to smirk and say that the retirees would definitely be mad about it, but “they won’t be around for much longer anyway” so it would be of no consequence to the government. The guy was a proud self-professed “fascist” back in 2008.

He thought it was a good comeback but joke’s on him—we all thought he was a jerk.


21. A True Believer

In a literature class:

Girl: “So, all those Greek Gods and Goddesses, what happened to them?”

Professor, confused: “You mean in the story?”

Girl: “No, like, WHAT HAPPENED to them?”

Professor: “I…I’m not sure I understand what you’re asking…”

Girl: “Like, why are they not around anymore? Did they all die?”

The whole class was just stunned silence. The professor gave her a very vague answer like, “Well that’s open to your own interpretation.” I could tell she was trying not to sound condescending. She handled that way better than I would’ve.


22. The Wicked Witch Method

Her: Oh my gosh you spray your cat with water? Me: I don’t want her on the counter. Just a light spray. Her: Why?! Do you know that water actually hurts them right?” She then went on to explain that pure H2O actually really agitates the skin and it is very painful for the cat. I started chuckling because I thought she was trying to be funny, but she kept a straight face.


23. I’m A Licensed Astrologer

I went on a date about six months ago with a girl who was really into astrology. I had asked if she wanted to eat at a certain restaurant and she said no because of something in her horoscope. I explained to her that some guy that works for the local newspaper wrote that, or at best some guy writes for a ton of newspapers. She got really mad and we had my favorite conversation to think about:

Her: “That isn’t true only an astrologist can write horoscopes.”

Me: “It’s not like every publication has an astrologist on their payroll.”

Her: “It probably comes from a group of astrologists. It’s science and it’s not lawful to lie about science, they would revoke that astrologist’s license.”

Me: “His what?”

No second date.


24. The Mayflower on Wheels

7th-grade history class, two kids were arguing if there were 50 or 51 states. Another classmate cleared it up for them: “52, The 50 and Alaska and Hawaii.” Same class, different person when asked a name of a US colony answered Wyoming. So, the teacher had a good laugh about the Mayflower getting over the great plains.


25. Alternating Sunrise

A roommate was leaving early in the morning with his girlfriend. “Where ya going?” “My girlfriend and I are going to watch the sunrise over the ocean.” “[chuckle] Okay, have fun…” So for clarification, this is the WEST coast we are talking about. The guy comes back later really mad. “You knew it wasn’t going to rise over the ocean, DIDN’T YOU?!?!” “Maybe…” I thought that was the end of it—not a chance.

He pauses…”Well, which days does it rise over the ocean?” “[trying not to laugh] Try tomorrow…”


26. Lifehack: How To Live Forever

Talking to a guy. He asked me something about God and I answered quickly, “I don’t believe in God.” Long pause…”Wow for an educated woman I’m surprised you believe you are immortal.” I was very confused, but he explained that because I don’t believe in God, I’m saying I don’t believe in an end because God decides who lives and who dies. I was honestly speechless.


27. It’s Gump!

Years ago, in a screenwriting class, we had the pleasure of having Budd Schulberg come to speak to our class because his son was also a student there. If you are not familiar with him, he wrote the screenplays for On The Waterfront and A Face in the Crowd, as well as a book called What Makes Sammy Run?, which is widely regarded as one of the best novels written about Hollywood.

He was talking about being a studio scriptwriter during the golden age of Hollywood, working for the studio moguls, working with the legends, and other topics that had me completely enthralled. He talked about a scene where he had two actors sitting on a bench, and a kid in the class says, “You mean Forrest Gump?” He said no and tried to return to the story.

The kid kept interrupting and asking about Forrest Gump and the bench. Keep in mind he was talking about a script written 40 years before Gump came out. Then he talked about On the Waterfront and the character Brando played, a former prizefighter. He talked about writing that famous “I could have been a contender” line. That kid asked him if it was for Mike Tyson.

At the time we snickered at this kid’s stupidity, but in hindsight, it was pretty insulting to make fun of one of Hollywood’s greatest writers.


28. Dinosaurs Aren’t Dragons?

I worked at a museum and had to let a girl go because she was going around telling everyone that dinosaurs weren’t real because no animals can breathe fire. She was a law student.


29. Dr. Ebola

This was while the whole Ebola crisis happened not too long ago. I was in high school and got on the bus at the end of the day just in time to hear this gem of a conversation:

Guy opens a can of Dr. Pepper.

Girl: You ain’t supposed to be drinking those on here.

Guy: You just jealous. Here you want a sip?

Girl: Oh no, I ain’t tryna get Ebola.

Guy: Ebola? Ebola comes from bodily fluids…this is a CAN, stupid.

She had nothing more to say after that.


30. The Real Michael Scott

In my boyfriend’s speech communication class a guy got up to give his speech. It was obvious he didn’t have one prepared. He started with, “All right; ladies raise your hand if you are single.” “So the reason you ladies are single is you need to lower your standards.” He then called a super athletic, good looking classmate to the front and said, “You keep going for these guys when you should be going for” and proceeds to call the super-obese guy in the class to the front. I can’t make this stuff up.


31. North Star Was Like: Aight, I’mma Head Out

Camping in the Ozarks with my geophysicist boyfriend, it’s nighttime and we are staring up at the night sky looking for shooting stars. Me: “How would we navigate at night if the North Star became a shooting star?” BF: “What!?!” He then had to explain to me that shooting stars are not “stars” but meteors.


32. The Mysteries of the Universe

Not so much dumb, but uneducated/ignorant. I have a friend who was almost 30 years old at the time and we were talking about the moon, must have been a bright night or something. I can’t remember what he said, but it made me do a double-take. I think I ended up pausing and asking, “Wait a second, what do you think causes the moon to glow?”

It turns out he did not know, and he did not know how the solar system worked. At all. As in, he didn’t know the earth orbited the sun, the moon orbited the earth, etc. Not even a basic understanding. He had simply never been taught it (his early education was a mess thanks to a few things I won’t get into, and that sort of extended on for the most part) nor had he ever inquired about it as an adult.

I ended up drawing him a rather terrible yet effective diagram of the solar system and going over all the basics with him. He caught on right away obviously. “No one ever told me all of this,” he said. It wasn’t that he was stupid—he simply had never learned something we all take for granted as knowledge.


33. Body Heat

“The sun doesn’t heat the earth; people heat the earth.”—My sister’s 8th-grade science teacher.


34. Just Keep Partying

A friend of mine moved into a new place at the start of his second year, and threw a big house party to celebrate. It was great, it was wild, fun was had. While nothing got broken, his living room got messed up quite a bit. Pillows all over the place, chair tipped over…I think someone made a fort out of pizza boxes.

Anyway, I go around this dude’s house about five months later, and the living room is largely in the same state I last saw it in at that party. In fact, so was lots of the house. It had barely been cleaned, mold was on a ton of their dishes, and there was a mushroom growing out of the wall in the bathroom.

I asked him why the heck hadn’t they tidied any of it up, and he said: “We figured we’d have another party again soon, so why bother cleaning up?” Five. Months.


35. Color Blind Bob

I drive a black Volvo. In the mornings I drive to the bus stop, park on the street, and take the bus to work. While looking for an empty spot, I drove past fellow bus-taker “Bob” parking his car. I find a spot, park, get out of my car and start walking back down the street towards the bus stop. After walking past several cars, I see Bob just finish up parallel parking his car and get out.

He waves me down, gestures to the golden Volvo directly in front of him, and asks, “Is this your car? I bumped it when I was parking.” I don’t even know where to start with all that was wrong with that. He saw me drive past him in a different car. And fun fact, Bob and I have been taking the bus together for a year. This is also the same individual that walked up to the bus stop one day, saw me standing there, and asked me if the bus had come yet…


36. It’s All Asia

Just thought of one! A girl when I was in elementary school was trying to convince me I was Japanese (I’m adopted and Chinese). Even when I told her I had paper proof from China, she was convinced I was Japanese. Later in my last year of high school, my French teacher told me I was Japanese because of my nose. I was like “?” I know it does resemble the Japanese trait like the smaller nose and higher arch and everything, but jeez, I got paper proof from China, my dude.

And it’s not like I was from somewhere close to Japan, my hometown is 12 hours from Xi’an which is in the freaking middle of China.


37. Birth… Day… Wait a Minute…

I was on a family vacation with my cousins and grandparents, as we would often do when we were all still kids. My oldest cousin, who was 12 at the time, interrupted the various conversations in the van so that she could share the miraculous revelation she had just come upon. When we asked her what it was, she said, with the straightest face you can imagine, “I was born…on my birthday!”

Needless to say, laughter and ridicule erupted, and to this day we tease her about it.


38. God Will Guide Me

Me: “What’s your major?”

Guy: “It was Aerospace Engineering.”

Me: “Whoa! That’s cool but what do you mean ‘was’?”

Guy: “I’m on academic probation with the university because my GPA is too low. So, I’m switching majors.”

Me: “Okay I’m sorry to hear that. What are you switching to?”

Guy: “Religious studies. I can get a job as a pastor.”

Me: “All right, so you are big into church?”

Guy: “No, I rarely go but I can worry about that later.”

Oh my god…


39. Nikelear Strike

So this was September/October 2016. Me and some friends are eating lunch and joking about nuclear war for whatever reason. Our other friend says, not as a joke, that a nuclear conflict would be good. So, I ask why, and he says (paraphrasing) that it would be good because it would cause all the Nike stores in the states to move to Canada (where we live), which means we wouldn’t have to pay as much for Nike products.

Now, up until this point, we were just joking around, but this guy was completely serious. We tried explaining to him that that probably isn’t how it would work but he just didn’t believe us. It was really bizarre.


40. Bat Country

We’re in the Midwest. While watching a bat fly in front of his car, my ex told me, “You know, there are no bats in Terre Haut where my grandparents are.” When I prompted him on why he thought that, he said, “Well, I’ve never seen one there at my grandparent’s house! Also, most people haven’t seen a bat in person before because they only come out at night and, ya know, they’re black and they fly really fast.” I had to explain to him that he’s wrong, there are bats in Terre Haut.

Somewhere during the same convo, he tried to convince me that, “All humans originated from China. Huh, I wonder if that’s the reason for their overpopulation?” He then tried to convince me the reason I was breaking up with him was that I was on my period and, “all girls overreact in their periods.” Let’s just say, he didn’t help the case for why I was breaking up with him.


41. The Best Part…Celebrities!

So, at university, I got quite involved with the radio station and the campus nightclub. This connection led to me putting on a lot of concerts/club nights for the radio station at the nightclub, and I had a few people wanting to get involved. One always sticks out. A friend of mine has this idea that he’s going to raise a million pounds to build a school in Africa.

I can’t remember precisely what part of Africa, but I think it was going to be in a part where you can build a decent school for a lot less than a million pounds. I was the man he approached to partner with him. We had a venue that held 1,600 people. So, you can do your own math on how much we’d need to get out of each attendee (students, on limited funds, who already had three regular club nights every week to choose from) in order to hit his target. And that’s ignoring the litany of overheads that such an event would incur.

As the conversation wore on, it became clear that he needed me to do…near enough everything. His role was more of a visionary, a figurehead, and someone to invite a lot of people to a Facebook event (to his credit, he had clout there). But all of that…I suppose I can overlook as a result of eagerness, ambition, and naivety.

What really made my head hit the desk was what he said next: “The first thing we need to think about…is celebrities!” It all unraveled in that moment. I realized that his interest in building a school in Africa was only a portion of his motivation, the big driving force was that he wanted to meet Beyoncé and that I was supposed to somehow organize it.

Guess what, that event never happened.


42. The Myth of Science

I was having a very involved conversation with my step-dad about why I’m an atheist and all this stuff I’d learned about space and the Big Bang from these books I’d read over the years and how it had changed my viewpoint of there being a creator and all that. I was going into vivid detail describing key concepts about it and all that. The whole time he was quiet and nodding like he was listening.

When I was done, he just looks at me and grins and says, matter-of-factly, “How do we know science is even real?”


43. Dumber and Dumber and Dumber

I hope it’s okay if they’re all from the same person, a coworker I had a couple years ago. Strap in. No, seriously. Let’s begin: There’s water under all the land. Like, all of the land basically on the surface of one ocean. If you drill down almost anywhere, you can find water. Mining companies have special technology that scans the ground to show them where to dig so they can navigate around the water, allowing them to dig a straight tunnel to the core and access whatever resources they’re after. This is because the earth’s composition is 70/30 water to land.

The moon doesn’t have any gravity because it doesn’t spin. Alternatively, the Earth is the only celestial body that produces gravity, as it is the only one that spins. Another gravity fact: The Dead Sea is the lowest point on the earth (430m below sea level), so the gravity is lower there, which enables you to float effortlessly.

On the other hand, gravity is much higher at the north and south pole, which is why planes can’t fly over the poles. Planes simply cannot displace that much extra gravity to stay in the air. Planes and helicopters are able to fly because their rotors spin so quickly that the atmospheric particles around it are pulled in and gravity is displaced out of the way, making the aircraft lighter and enabling it to fly. This can be verified by the fact that if a helicopter’s rotor stops spinning in the air, it will fall it is no longer displacing gravity.

To walk on the moon, NASA developed magnetic boots to keep astronauts grounded. Otherwise, if you jump on the moon, you’ll fly off into space uncontrolled. It’s impossible to survive in space more than 1 km out from the earth because at that point you’re too close to the sun and would suffer the effects of its radiation. That’s why the focus is on colonizing Mars, because it’s in the safe zone and therefore safer.

It’s impossible to measure the distance between the earth and planets because the other planets are constantly moving around the earth (Yeah, you read that right).


44. Geographic Inception

In my previous job, I was working for a consulting firm and this job required a good bit of travel. While in St. Petersburg, FL, I was waiting to be seen by one of our clients and the receptionist started making small talk and she started off asking “Where are you from?” I replied, “Virginia Beach.” She then asks, “Where’s that at, New Jersey?”

Befuddled, I say “No, Virginia.” She then proceeds to say, “Oh, I thought it was in New Jersey.” I go, “Nope, but I used to go to New Jersey as a kid on vacations.” Then, she says, “You’re lucky you got to vacation in New York.” I was thoroughly confused at this point. I said, “No, I went to New Jersey to the beaches for vacation, not New York.” She then proceeds to say, “I thought New Jersey was in New York?

To recap, she thought Virginia Beach was in New Jersey, but she also thought New Jersey was in New York. It was some inception level geography stuff.


45. Most Memorable Name

Not necessarily a dumb thing, just more inconsiderate. First semester freshman year, I was in an Intro to Democratic Theory class, and it’s one of the first classes government majors have to take (my school’s known for their government program, so there’s a LOT of government students). It’s syllabus week, so pretty much everyone enrolled in the class is there, which is about 150-200.

The professor asks a question and this guy sitting behind me is called on to answer it, but the professor first asks his name. He says his name (I think Joe?) and then I hear him whisper under his breath, “It’s not that hard of a name…” It’s the SECOND DAY OF CLASS in a 150 PERSON LECTURE and you expect the professor to have YOUR NAME MEMORIZED.

TBH he’s probably forgotten about that, but I still think about it every once in awhile, two years later.


46. The Watermelon Tree

When a customer asked me, when I worked in the produce dept of a grocery store, why the watermelons were flat and kinda dirty on one side. I said, “Because that’s the side they grew on.” She asked, “What do you mean?” She thought watermelons grew on trees. Now…keep in mind that this was 20 years ago…way before today, where seeming the only watermelons you tend to find anymore are small round seedless ones…no, this was when a watermelon was the size of a child’s torso, and you cradled it with both arms when you carried it.

I’m just picturing that famous(ly inaccurate) scene of Isaac Newton, sitting under a watermelon tree, and just getting clobbered when a 20lb watermelon fell from above, cracking his skull and breaking his neck.


47. The Name Game Gone Wrong

Not a single comment but this dude was a constant stream of stupid. Irrelevant questions all the time. Attempts at volunteering analogies to help himself or the class understand a topic that he clearly didn’t grasp. Staring, his brow furrowed in vain, as the professor struggled to quickly explain the most basic concepts of computer science to this guy because we were in the middle of a senior-level class on AI and this guy didn’t understand recursion.

He simply bogged down every class he was in. He probably wasted a solid five minutes of every class. I know for a fact that one professor pulled him aside and asked him not to make comments in class, but to save all his questions and come to office hours. How noble; I can only imagine how long those sessions lasted…

My problem was that this dude had the same name as me. Not just “John” or “Chris,” oh no. We both had a very uncommon name that is nonetheless very recognizable because of a famous person. Imagine being named “Thelonious” or “Adolf” or “Napoleon” or “Charlemagne” or “Geronimo.” So of course, word got around that Charlemagne is a total downer and will ruin any class you’re in and GOD SAVE YOU if you end up being assigned group work with him because he’s going to need hand-holding for hours just to get to the point where he can laboriously write some convoluted, buggy, barely usable garbage code to contribute. I seriously don’t know how he hadn’t already flunked out.

What did this mean for me? At the beginning of each term for about five terms I went through the same routine multiple times in three or four classes each term. I’d sit next to someone, they’d introduce themselves, and I’d have to introduce myself, “Hi, I’m Charlemagne” and they’d get a look of terror in their eyes and I would have to quietly say, “No…not that Charlemagne, there are two of us,” and hope they believed me and didn’t run screaming from my vicinity.

Seriously Charlemagne-namesake-dude, couldn’t you have been born a year or two later so I could have made it through the major without this burden you cast upon me with your dullard ways and feeble wits?


48. The Electric Man is Here

When I first moved into a house off-campus, I shared the top floor with a surprisingly slow-witted guy. He was quiet and had an overnight job, so I really only saw him when we were all drinking or hosting a party. Over Christmas, and old friend was hard-up for cash, so I bought his childhood NES and game collection, probably overpaying since half my purpose was to help this guy out.

It was a hit on our tiny TV. Most afternoons, a few people would be gathered around for some Tecmo Bowl or RC Pro-Am. Over spring break when I had the place to myself, I beat the original Metroid. Good times! Then, near the end of the semester, just before dawn in the haze after a huge party, some strangers walk in and start hauling off our TV, stereo, etc. When I heard what happened next, my jaw hit the floor.

My upstairs floormate confronts them, and one of these shady intruders says, “We’re with the electronics repair service. We’ll have these back to you right away.” This guy proceeds to hold the door and help them with our old VCR (most of the house had theater majors, so studying particular performances was legitimate homework) and then my NES. They even got the cartridges, but when they started hauling out CDs, he finally became suspicious.

The specific dumbest thing, regarding strangers who show up ~5:00 a.m. and start hauling off the most valuable items from our front room was, “they told me they were the electronics repair crew, so I helped them get everything out to their van.” We had someone else living in that room the following year.


49. Early Morn Delight

My mother-in-law told me that if I want to have a son (as opposed to a daughter) I should sleep with my wife in the morning and not in the evening. My wife overheard this and asked why in exactly she would think this to be true and she responded that she had two daughters, and both times they were conceived by doing it at night. And so, by that logic, if they had done it in the morning, she probably would have had a boy.

My mother-in-law is not a smart woman and she does not have an understanding of logic.


50. Let’s Call a Square a Square

About a year into our marriage, my wife and I bought a dining table and chairs. It was our first “real” furniture! My wife was so happy, she posted pictures on Facebook and wanted her mom to look. Well, her mom commented on the phone that it was a nice “oval table.” Wife is immediately upset. “You didn’t look,” she says. “Yes I did!” her mom insists.

“It’s not oval, it’s rectangular.” “No, it’s an oval, I looked.” Wife finally gets her mom to actually go look for real. Her mom sees that she is incorrect, and then it gets even worse. She creates this gem: “Well that’s what I call it!” “Um, you call rectangles ovals?” This has become a running gag for us. Whenever we lose an argument, we always end it with, “Well, that’s what I call it!”


Sources: 1, 2, 3, 4

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