It's Not Nice To Be Smarter Than Other People

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Vol 39 Issue 25

Security Guard Makes Passing Women Feel Unsafe

DALLAS—The presence of security guard Frank Basso, 45, at the Lane Bryant store in Dallas' Valley View Mall makes female shoppers feel significantly less safe, sources reported Monday. "He just stands there by the door, staring at you while you shop," said customer Tracy Farr, 23. "Then he'll decide to wander around the store a bit, but he'll always wind up hovering somewhere around the lingerie section." Farr said Basso also has a creepy habit of tapping his club whenever an attractive woman passes by.

Soldier Hoping We Invade Someplace Tropical Next

BAGHDAD, IRAQ—Sgt. Daniel Marshall, a member of the Army National Guard's 501st Infantry, is hoping that the next place he is ordered to invade has a tropical climate. "I'm proud to have served my country here in the Iraqi desert, but it sure would be nice if we got into a conflict with someplace nice," Marshall said Tuesday. "With any luck, President Bush is thinking about shocking-and-awing Cuba next—a little deep-sea fishing would really boost the morale of my men." Marshall said he is "so jealous" of his uncle Stephen, who got to invade Grenada in 1983.

Man Who Hasn't Moved In Six Hours Repeatedly Welcomed Back By TV

PADUCAH, KY—Despite not moving from his couch for more than six hours, Randy Kresge, 26, was repeatedly welcomed back by his television Monday. "Welcome back to Blind Date," said show host Roger Lodge, one of 12 different TV personalities to herald the return of the inert Kresge. "So glad you could join us." Kresge's obvious intention to remain seated did not keep the television from repeatedly urging him to "stick around."

Newsweek Editors Argue Over What To Make Readers Fear Next

NEW YORK—Having devoted cover stories to the threats of Hepatitis C, identity theft, and airport security, the editors of Newsweek spent Monday arguing over what they should stoke fears of next. "We could do the dangers of caffeine—that'd get people pretty worked up," managing editor Jon Meacham said. "Or how about daycare workers? There must be some alarming new study revealing just how few of them undergo background checks." Among the other ideas the editors proposed: the possible link between laptop computers and stomach cancer, the potential threat of water-supply poisoning by terrorists, and stunning new Biblical evidence pointing to April 4, 2004, as the date of the apocalypse.

Pottermania Yet Again

With first-day sales of five million, Harry Potter And The Order Of The Phoenix is a publishing phenomenon. Why are people buying it?

Minister Constantly Mentioning Teenage Son's Virginity

PENSACOLA, FL—Much to his son Paul's chagrin, minister Donald Genzler takes every possible opportunity to proudly inform members of Faith United Presbyterian Church that the 16-year-old is still a virgin, "unspoiled by sins of the flesh," sources reported Tuesday.
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Little League Pitcher Just Getting Fucking Shelled

RED BANK, NJ—After watching the 11-year-old give up the fourth straight double that inning, sources confirmed Sunday afternoon that local Little League pitcher Dustin Bauer is getting absolutely fucking shelled out there.

It's Not Nice To Be Smarter Than Other People

I can't think of anything ruder than people who have to be all brainy and intelligent. As my mother used to say, if you can't say anything mundane, don't say anything at all. She was right: It's not nice to be smarter than other people.

Why did you have to say all that stuff about that book you're reading? Would it have been so hard to keep your love of literature to yourself? When you display your intelligence to the people you're talking to, you're really just telling them that you don't have enough respect for them to keep your smarts to yourself.

Reeling off a list of your favorite jazz artists may make you a good parrot, but it doesn't make you a good person. Good people hold their tongues, knowing they could hurt someone's feelings if they show knowledge the other person doesn't have.

I'm sorry to have to set you straight, but most people don't speak because they want to be educational. They speak because they want to be nice. They have an interest in interacting with other people in a non-confrontational manner that doesn't make them feel like dummies.

In other words, they just want to be friendly. What's friendly about bringing up some article about the Mideast crisis you read in The New York Times? Not much, that's for certain. No, it's friendlier to say unchallenging things and let everyone feel like they know as much as you do.

There's more to life than being well-informed and cultured. There's good graces, good manners, and good old-fashioned horse sense—especially when it comes to knowing when to talk and when to keep your mouth shut. And, let me tell you, you may know something about astronomy, but you could certainly stand to learn a thing or two about politeness.

Do you think people want to hear your views on abstract art or the First Amendment? No one wants to hear things they don't already know, because that just makes them feel dumb.

I don't think it's your goal to try to make people feel stupid, but you seem to have this fixation with sharing your intelligence with others. That doesn't make any sense to me. Do you know how you sound when you do that? When you say something like "I'm a big Kubrick fan," what people hear is, "Look at me! I know things!" And nobody likes to hear that.

I don't know why you want to come off all smart and well-read, anyway. Sure, with your head full of facts, you may seem to have the world at your feet, but if you keep it up, you'll soon have no one to share it with. Smart people are the loneliest people in the world. They don't have anyone to talk to except other smart people, and who wants to join a conversation between two smart people? No one I know.

So, if you want to keep the friends you have and maybe even make some new ones, try being a little less of a know-it-all and a little more of a know-it-some. I mean, would it really kill you to think the capital of Illinois is Chicago? It could only help. Trust me.

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