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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4 thoughts on “Stupid Question, Stupid Answer”

  1. Thank you for the smile and memories.
    My mother passed this last year at the age of 101. Every time I questioned or complained about anything her reply was the same, ” Better than being hung with a new rope.” What? Huh? She would smile and walk away. I did ask too many questions and often life made little sense to me. I’m guessing I was a frustrating child for a common sense woman. After years of being left confused I asked her what my other choice was? An old rope? How can being hung be better than any other choice?
    My Mom did not say that to me again. What was strange was after one of my complaints I longed for ” better than getting hung with a new rope.” I missed the comfort of her sarcasm.


    1. Funny how we miss things we never thought we would miss. My mom died pretty young, way too soon for me. It was more than 30 years ago and I still, when something happens, I want to call and tell her about it. Those odd old sayings … I wonder where they come from? There are so many of them and none of them makes any sense if you stop and think about them. I guess we aren’t supposed to think about them.


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