Thursday, February 14, 2008

Questionably Stupid

I am astounded by the benchmark of stupidity that people around me set; and just when I begin to sense that rock bottom has been reached, someone always seems to dig down further. Particularly so is the case with the dim-witted questions which chorus Frank Zappa’s conjecture that there is more stupidity than hydrogen in the universe, and stupidity has a longer shelf life.

Another thing that fascinates me is that stupidity is driving the world - evident from where the world is headed with Dubya chauffeuring us. Nonetheless, in this piece, committed to proving Zappa’s hypothesis, I shant borrow from oft-repeated anecdotes or resort to bush-whacking. I merely state the inane questions that have been posed to me by random someones in my humble lifetime. Also, I have deliberately chosen to quote dialogues verbatim to retain their succinctness. I begin.

Contrary to popular belief, airplanes aren’t a safe way to travel; and coming from the survivor of a horrific crash landing, I do lend a certain amount of credibility to the statement. Brought up on a strict regiment of three-law theories of viz. Newton, thermodynamics and common sense, it is hard for me to imagine an airline course - piloting, air-stewarding or otherwise - without the same. Unfortunately for hapless passengers, flying schools underestimate the ingenuity of complete fools and refrain from stating Notgogol’s three laws of basic airline intelligence:

  • If the tarmac is damper than the diaper of a toddler being forced to watch The Exorcist, do not attempt to land, particularly on the gravel beside the runway
  • When the crash-landed aircraft is tip-toed on one broken wheel alike a helplessly inebriated ballerina, the air-stewardess can give the routine of vigorously flailing her arms, shrieking “Emergency, emergency!” a pass
  • The emergency protocol of deploying an ambulance to the landing site, bearing only a strapping young driver with the therapeutic dexterity of a chipmunk, should be reconsidered

To prove Zappa’s hypothesis, the icing was spread on cake by the Reuters anxiously awaiting the ‘survivors’ at the arrival terminus. A reporter, whom I had presumed to be rational and intelligent, unexpectedly turned out to be unquestionably stupid when she enquired in earnest, “When can we expect the aircraft to take off again?” I smiled and asked her to wait for the day pigs have flown.

Spending life as a pseudo-cynic has rendered me incapable of enjoying joyous occasions like weddings as well. But sacrificing this pleasure hasn’t been futile. Economist Carlo Cipolla stated that the probability that a person is stupid is independent of any other characteristic possessed by that person, particularly beauty. Chancing upon living manifestations of Cipolla’s statement at weddings is a reward befitting the sacrifice.

Mother has always used weddings to her advantage, trying to introduce me to many unimaginably beautiful women in the hope that I might fall for one. I almost did but for two impossibly obtuse queries posed by the lady. Upon learning that her name was Camay, pronto came my quip – “How’s your sister Lux doing?” I had presumed that the experience of a lifetime with a name like Camay would have placed such ‘soapy’ remarks right up her alley. But she was befuddled silly by it and queried – “Are you sure you have the right person? My sister is Lovely” No pun-intended, her sister IS named Lovely.

Discussing banalities, like education and work, would help skirting away from the debacle of an introduction I thought. However, extremely disturbed to discover that only firms like McKinsey and P&G had chosen to offer me a position, she opined – “Oh! Why not Infosys?” I smiled and replied by blaming it on the system. She seemed content.

Student life in Mumbai was dotted with college festivals and it was as much annoyance, as pleasure to attend them. As if waiting for three hours in line to enter a ridiculous fest wasn’t torture enough, the organizers deemed it obligatory to discipline me as well. When warned against throwing paper-planes in the air, I requested to be granted permission for making paper-submarines. Emerging, from what appeared to be an emergency huddle of organizers to tackle the voice of dissent, a volunteer quizzed – “But how can you make the paper submarine fly?” I smiled and echoed Asok from Dilbert - “I’m from IIT. We can make anything fly.”

Considering the fact that nature limited man’s intelligence, it seems highly unjust that it did not limit his stupidity because I am gravely bothered by stupid questions bobbing their heads up in the least expected places. Stupidity is running the world; stupidity is ruining the world. Why do we seek answers to artificial intelligence when natural stupidity still eludes us? The blind are leading the blind. E.T watches us from outer space; he’s having a good laugh.

To end, the most half-witted question in the history of television from the series Blackadder. A dialogue between two officers about to set out to war:

George: If we should happen to tread on a mine, what do we do?

Blackadder: Well, normal procedure is to jump 200 feet into the air and scatter yourself over a wide area.

40 comments:

Anonymous said...

One word, brilliant!!
Witty, sarcastic and cynical - all in one. How u find humor in a plane crash landing, I'll never know.

-nilo

PS: H.V.D.

Vira said...

Dude!! You made my day. Bloody splendid piece.

Those of you commenting without reading the whole piece - pity you fools.

When can us lesser mortals expect to see you in town?

Phemonoe said...

Hah! I loved the matter of fact tone. :P

And by the way thanks for comemnting. Do visit again:-)

notgogol said...

@nilo, vira: :) Prolly fly in next weekend

@phemonoe: will drop by again :)

Rijula said...

im sorry what i have to write is not about this post, but its just that i had no other means of telling this to you: thanks for reading and liking "a city of ghosts", its a personal favourite, both as experience and literature. i cant tell you how grateful i am. i really cant.

Rijula said...

and im back again:

" Economist Carlo Cipolla stated that the probability that a person is stupid is independent of any other characteristic possessed by that person, particularly beauty."

did he mention anything about inverse proportions?

'camay'????!@#$%^^^!!!wtf.

i wish priyanka chopra had brains enough to flush both lux and her.

cheers
nymph.

ram said...

Why are you throwing away energy on a blog? I don't think you read my last comment.

notgogol said...

@ rijula: I'm a little dense with poetry, else definitely would have read more on your blog :)

Camay psyched you out! Ha! If you're interested, I'll give you a good 3 hour talk on bad names come across in a single lifetime.

@ ram bhai: I gather that you liked the piece. Thank you ;) Blogging ain't no time waste dude. It be my 'pravachan outlet'

Anoushka said...

You obnoxious little IITian. No girl is ever good enough for you na, not even Camay Devi herself. Also, I can think of at least ten other befitting incidents you haven't mentioned. Sequel post being churned? Awesome post :*

Nymph said...

oh i would love that talk on bad names. they sometimes make my day.

thanks for coming to my blog. hope to see more of you there.all is NOT poetry there :-)

Aditi Subbiah said...

Hmmm...I somehow havent been hit with the arranged marriage dilemma, despite being close to the expiry date at all of 26!
Re: being a runner - to echo Descartes - if you think, therefore you are. Something like that :-)
And finally re: why do I run...I dont know what else to do. I teach history at the University and after dealing with 20yr olds - you get the drift:-)

notgogol said...

@anu: another post.. ? lesse ;)
Who says no girl is good enough 4 me? Jab tu hai to kya gam hai. Tu hi dhoondh de :)

@nymph: Ha. I'm thinking of penning a dictionary of horrendous names. co-authors invited :P
Been a tad busy; will definitely visit soon

Nymph said...

hey hey hey, im sorry for barging in again, but do check out the comment after yours.. you'll know what i was talking about.

that weed story was waaaaaaay too good.i wish we could have a thorough conversation on sucky names and drunk dorks somewhere other than the comment pages:-) we are almost treating this like a chaatroom!

and WHY ARENT U WRITING ANYMORE?? im coming ten times a day to read more of your stuff.

cheers
Rij

Anoushka said...

I will find you one. But, in all probability you'll just label her a dumb blonde and walk away as usual.

notgogol said...

@nymph: ROTFLMAO! Pity the poor cabbie.

Sure, sure would love to have that conversation. Post-drunkenness syndrome has always been one helluva conversation piece. Do add on Gtalk.

As for writing more - have been busy with wrapping up last semester in college, IIM interviews et al. :(

@anu: I promise I wont. *Halo appears around head*

Anonymous said...

Good stuff on your blog man. But tell me why do you look at EVERYTHING in such a satirical fashion?

Vivek

notgogol said...

Surely you're joking Mr. Vivek!! :)

Anonymous said...

lazy
Lazy
LAzy
LAZy
LAZY
LAZY MO.FO.
write, write, write!!!

-nilo

panu said...

Like The Great Zappa Said... "Watch out where the Huskies go... And don't you eat that yellow snow".... is pretty important at some places.

notgogol said...

@ nilo: a lil busy these days darling. Will post something soon :)

@panu: Agreed, it's important. But after I heard the song for the first time, I was certain that Zappa's intelligence was debatable :P Pure, utter unadulterated gibberish.

panu said...

of course. it was... as he mentioned ---"Strictly Commercial."

BrokenFace said...

"Stupidity is running the world; stupidity is ruining the world. Why do we seek answers to artificial intelligence when natural stupidity still eludes us? " - Ha ha. You poor little smart kid. My empathies.

notgogol said...

Now that I've started working, I'm convinced that the case is so. Or else, my boss wouldn't be my boss :|

BrokenFace said...

Ahaha..tell me about it..mine came from the country of Dumbonia where only the currency of asskissing works.so go figure. and how i hate working under creatively handicapped people. sigh.

surabhi said...

Camay and lovely... Are u serious??

notgogol said...

Yeah! Completely. I could go on. I just met a "Charming" at the airport. And my cousin got married into a family with names like Candy, Cookie and Honey! I cover my face in shame!

notgogol said...

@brokenface: Likewise. Btw, its creatively CHALLENGED (not handicapped); you know being politically correct and all :)

surabhi said...

hahahahaha.. the names can't get better than this...

notgogol said...

@surabhi: actually they can. I could write a book on them. i met a punjabi called sunshine, and i thought all punjus, like me, are mad. then I met a chinky called MoonSun Wang and concluded that punjus aren't the only stupid ones around :P

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Sowmya said...

Brilliant Satire!

notgogol said...

:)

Basically Blah said...

Right back at ya! :) Wit and satire par excellence!

After the customary 'return bloghop', I'm hooked! Will be back as soon as I'm alerted about a new post!

notgogol said...

That would be quite a while lady. I am one of those lazy bloggers you see. :)

Basically Blah said...

Aww *bleep*...Well, I'll go through the archive at a snail-like pace until then (tough as that's gonna be)..sigh!