I think we've all heard that there are no dumb questions -- only dumb answers.
Well, when we wax philosophically, I suppose we do allow for a large handicap in that regard.
But through the years, we've all heard some dumb questions. Oops! With reverence to political correctness, we have noted a number of rhetorical absurdities.
Rhetorical simply means that there is no real answer. These kinds of questions often come out of frustration or maybe even extreme boredom. Example: Will this speech ever end?
Some questions are not only ridiculous but they are dangerous as well. How many times have you heard, "Does this dress make me look big?"
The only viable answer there is a very quick, "no." If you pause at all before answering, you might as well say, "No dear, it's your hips that do that."
Here's my second favorite dumb question: "Are you asleep?'
"No. I'm trying a new form of yoga. You can lie on your back, and you don't have to cross your legs. Instead of humming, you can make loud noises through your nose. Pajamas are optional."
And here's one we hear every day: "Gotta second?"
I've often wondered where that one came from. Could have been from some guy on his first hot date, I suppose.
Moving on down the list I have this one which might mean well but mostly is a declaration of the obvious.
"Having car trouble?"
Of course there actually may be a time and place for this question. I suppose there is some guy out there who stops every 100 miles, pops the hood, and marvels at how they got all that stuff packed under there. He's the same guy who would put a camera inside his refrigerator to catch the light going off.
Here's a question that I think is universal, relative to do-it-yourselfers and their lost screwdrivers or perhaps even in the case of congressmen and their interns: "Where did you have it last?"
And I'm sure we've all been asked, "Did that hurt?"
I would be prone to say, "No, it didn't hurt. But at the very moment you jabbed me with the needle, I realized my lotto ticket was sent to the laundry and that my mother-in-law is going to stay an extra week."
Perhaps a more current dumb question is, "Anything on TV tonight?"
"Sure. Lot's of educational stuff. You never know when you'll need to know how to tell a female crocodile from the male."
Some questions I think classify as classics of dumb inquiry. How about, "Am I bothering you?"
"Certainly not. I contort my face this way occasionally just because I miss passing kidney stones."
And how about: "What would you do with a million dollars?"
I'm pretty sure we have all thought about being that rich but when you're put on the spot right in the middle of changing your sparkplugs, specifics kind of abandon you.
"Duh, I dunno. Maybe I would put a new bumper on my truck."
The real kicker in all of this is that not only have we heard these questions, we've also asked them -- even to ourselves.
And if we stop and think about it, these kinds of questions go way back.
I give you: "Who am I? And what am I doing here?" (No pun intended toward Congress.)
Dwain Walden is editor/publisher of The Moultrie Observer. You can call him at 985-4545, ext. 214. E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org.