Friday, February 1, 2008

A Common Lie

"There's no such thing as a stupid question."

It's not true, but well-intentioned people say it all the time, usually to reassure people who are somewhat insecure about their intelligence. It's a nice gesture, really, especially with kids. But it'd be more honest to say, "If you don't understand something, please ask. I promise not to make fun of you" — that's really what people are worried about, anyway. It's like Mark Twain said, "It's better to keep your mouth closed and let people think you are a fool than to open it and remove all doubt." Wise words. Most people get the concept. Other people violate it with fanfare. Like the clean-cut, intelligent-looking young man at Starbucks last night who ordered a hot chocolate. "Tall hot chocolate!" I call out as I place his drink on the bar, next to an iced tall black tea lemonade that the customer before him hadn't picked up yet. Looking at the two drinks, he hesitates and asks, "Which one's the hot chocolate?" I stood speechless for a moment, simultaneously amused and horrified by the idiot mind behind such a question. I forced myself to bite off the billions of snarky responses that flooded my mind. "See the fruity-looking drink with ice cubes in it? That's your hot chocolate" I wanted to say, honestly curious to see if he'd believe me. "That one," I said instead, pointing to the steaming cup. "Have a nice night." What else could I do? I couldn't let the poor kid walk off sipping some girl's iced black tea lemonade thinking it was surprisingly cold hot chocolate with a very unusual flavor. I mean, people say "ignorance is bliss" but, seriously, it's just sad.


Heather Colletto said...

I told my family to visit your little blog, and now you sound like a superevil barista! Haha. Who orders an iced tea in January is what I want to know!? I'm on his side.

Kylen said...

I order an iced tea in January. Its my only vice.

That I admit to.

And I just ended a sentence with a preposition. And started a sentence with and.

Take that, Michael Colletto.

Kylen said...
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