Stupid Question, Stupid Answer

“Would you rather lose all of your old memories, or never be able to make new ones? Why?”

Although I have heard it said that there are no stupid questions, I believe this question proves conclusively that there are stupid questions because this is a genuine card-carrying stupid question. To compound the idiocy, someone spent the time to formulate the question proving that someone has way too much time on his or her hands. Then they took the time to ask me write about it.

I am baffled. I had no problem figuring out my answer but I was and continue to be puzzled by why anyone would ask the question in the first place and furthermore, what in the world anyone might think they would learn from my answer. Is there some conceivable illumination or knowledge to be gained? If there is, I can’t see it. Ask a stupid question, you get a stupid answer.

© Mula Eshet/Robert Harding World Imagery/Corbis

© Mula Eshet/Robert Harding World Imagery/Corbis

Lately, there seems to be an world-wide epidemic of stupid going around. Perhaps this is yet one more symptom of this disease that is claiming victims faster than the plague ever did. So, in the spirit of comradely stupidity, I have formulated an appropriate non-answer.

This question reminds me of the saying: “It’s better than a poke in the eye with a sharp stick.” This is something that people say when whatever just happened is nominally better than nothing. It presupposes that under some circumstance, someone — like me, say — might find myself in a situation in which a poke in the eye with a sharp stick would be preferable to something else. Really? Ya’ think?

Well, on initial examination, I feel obliged to point out there are very few things I can imagine that are not better than a poke in the eye with a sharp stick. What might be worse? Prolonged torture? Evisceration? Mutilation with hot knives? Being starved to death in a dark, dank dungeon? The rack? Burning at the stake? How about being eaten slowly by rats?

So, back to the original question: Would I prefer to lose all my memories — otherwise known as my identity and self — or be brain-dead?

Come to think of it, I’ll take that poke in the eye now. Make sure the stick is really sharp, okay?

Let me know if anyone finds this response enlightening. And why.

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Why oh why …

How come I never notice that my glass is empty until I’ve gone and gotten my medications and settled down in front of the television?

Why don’t I realize I have to go to the bathroom until after I settle into the sofa with the dogs? For that matter, how come you don’t notice you have to go until you’ve just passed the last rest stop for the next 40 miles?

Why doesn’t the GPS work in the middle of town or in mall parking lots where you really need it most?

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Why don’t I realize I forgot something I want to take on vacation until we are just far enough away from home to make it really inconvenient to go back and get it?

Why don’t I remember why I’m standing in the kitchen at all?

How come the dogs need to sing the hallelujah chorus on the only morning all week I can sleep late?

Why can I only think of a good witticism the day after the party?

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Why don’t I check to make sure I have enough eggs before I mix the rest of the cake batter? Why didn’t my granddaughter mention she’d used all the eggs? And most of the milk? And the sugar?

Why doesn’t anyone but me ever wash the measuring spoons?

Why do you always find that thing you were looking for after you’ve replaced it?

Why does everyone’s back go out at the same time?

Why are all the bills due on the first of the month?

Life is full of questions without answers.

So many questions, so little time …