You know those people who always ask dumb, common sense stuff, the kind of questions that are easy to google? These people drive me crazy; it's like they're either too stupid to realize how dumb they are or they're oddly proud of their effete intellectual prowess. It's one thing to be ignorant - I grew up in a place that was on the light side of cosmopolitan and, as a result, had a lot to learn in my late teens and early twenties - but there's a certain subset of people who just seem perpetually incapable of absorbing information from their environment and are forever doomed to be oblivious 'tards for the remainder of their cocooned life.
In spite of these seemingly massive limitations, sometimes these people get into college. Occasionally they get into very good colleges. And this produces a truly horrifying species: an idiot with an Ivy League degree.
I used to work with a recent graduate of Northwestern whose fake name is Terry. During his final years in school, he lived with a girl roommate (fake name: Alicia) who was also a Northwestern student.
Terry graduated and got a job. Alicia graduated and became a dog walker. Lest you think I'm shitting on dog walkers (I know there's a joke in there somewhere), allow me one caveat: this girl WORKED FOR a dog-walking service. In other words, the fairly-decent idea that she might put up a few fliers, obtain a list of clients and arrange her schedule so she could walk four dogs simultaneously (at $20 a pop) just flew right by this girl's head. Instead, she became the work-bitch that accepted $11 an hour to cheerlead a puggle into taking a prompt dump.
Northwestern is ranked number twelve in US News and World Reports' college rankings. It costs about $70K to go there for full tuition. Alicia's loans grew and grew as her deferral period shrank. While many of her peers were landing solid jobs in the recovering economy, Alicia was in reverse. Once, she informed Terry that she'd recently eaten a piece of salmon that one of her clients left as a snack for their dog.
Terry pointed out the inanity of what she was doing and suggested she get, you know, a better gig. But the information just bounced off Alicia, and she resumed her maddening course of idiocy punctuated by the occasional burst of idiotic hilarity.
Since more anecdotes will strengthen the case that Alicia is an imbecile, let's do another Alicia story: She said that someone told her that an actor (Regan) later became president. Alicia, for reasons that were never made clear, assumed that Obama was the thespian-politician. How or why she came to this conclusion wasn't made clear.
When Terry mentioned this, I suggested he show Alicia some of Obama's early acting work. Terry, being too lazy to select an Obama lookalike, showed Alicia a few episodes of The Wire and challenged her to spot the future president. As far as I know, Alicia still believes that our 44th president was Bubbles. Not once did she look at the credits or consult Google (or realize instantly that this was all a big crock of shit).
Thus began a most dangerous game to exercise our morbid curiosity: just how obvious a lie can you make the bumpkin believe?
To be clear, this is not a game for children or the elderly. It might seem mean spirited, but come one: Northwestern has an undergraduate acceptance rate of about 9%. They have campuses in Doha, Qatar, as well as San Francisco and Washington, DC. Faculty include 11 former Nobel laureates. A grad should be able to determine that there's no such thing as pimple cancer.
There was something more to the exercise than just comedy. As a logical person, Alicia's flailing was maddening, the psychological equivalent of having an itch under a cast. I viewed our efforts as a gentle reminder that a major overhaul was needed in the shit-together department.
Terry had evidently come to the same conclusion, as he had no compunction whatsoever about giving Alicia bad information.
We had unwritten rules. For example, Alicia had to open the door for each game to begin. She once asked Terry how far the moon was from earth. "Scientists estimate it's roughly seventeen miles," Terry replied.
The tiny vestige of common sense in Alicia pulsed weakly. "Is it really that close? Shouldn't it be... bigger?"
Terry shook his head. "No - Evanston [location of Northwestern U., where they lived] is less than seventeen miles from Chicago, isn't it? The moon would be much further away."
Alicia's credulity hit rock bottom about a month later, when the conversation turned to sex. Alicia was sexually inexperienced and was just getting into things with her new boyfriend. Nothing remarkable there, but she made the mistake of asking Terry what sort of things guys liked. Terry informed her that many gentlemen found the ear the most erogenous part of the female anatomy, and that contact between ear and penis was the height of sexual ecstasy for a man.
"Really?" Alicia replied earnestly.
"Absolutely," Terry assured her. "Just put your ear down there and see what happens."
Alicia was dubious at this seemingly (OK - actually) impossible revelation. "Is that really a thing?" she asked, after incubating the advice for a day.
"Sure," Terry replied. Fortunately he'd consulted me on these goings-on in the interim and was thus prepared with my contribution to the ongoing dialogue. "Where did you think the phrase 'play it by ear' came from? It's sexual."
"Ooohhh," Alicia breathed. 'So that's what that means." One day later, she reported back on how it went. She said the first one started well. "He was really excited when I put my head in his lap, but then he seemed confused by what I was doing."
Terry assured her he was probably just nervous and that she should continue to pleasure his member with her tympanic membranes. He gave her some moves ("Can you wiggle your ears? Good - you lock him up and then wiggle 'em like they stole something!") and sent her back.
This gets depressing real quick. Alicia managed a total of three attempted earjobs before the guy (presumably) set her straight. Even so, Terry managed to convince her that the erogenous ear fetish was alive and well - her beau must have some sort of sexual repression.
I've long since lost track of Alicia, but if you ever meet a girl from Northwestern who goes to the ear when things get frisky, let me know you found her.
Noah's Inner Monologue
Scribblings of a man who can barely operate an idiotproof website.