Thursday, July 19, 2012

Playing Dumb is Dumb

     And I will not do it. Not just in scenes, but ever. Not even when I'm trying to get along with a large group of people who I don't know all that well. Sometimes it can be attractive to just go along with the stupid thing someone just said and let them have their shining moment of stupidity. And as I type that sentence I see how un-supportive it can seem, but it's not because I was honoring the reality of the stupid person by calling out "uh, that sounds dumb."
     Gertrude (not her real name) is afraid of most modes of transportation. "Hm, ok. Why?" I was expecting a heartfelt story of fear and heartbreak about horrific plane crashes and auto accidents and dead puppies and parents. Nope. "It just doesn't make sense that something that big and heavy can stay in the air. Also, it weirds me out that something can be going one way while you walk the opposite way on it." No, that's not an explanation I can let go.
     First, I attacked the first part, like you do. It's science. Airplanes are designed to stay in the air. In its simplest form, the shape of an airfoil creates differences in air pressure--I drew an airfoil in the air with my non-beer hand to demonstrate--so there's low pressure up here and high pressure down here and then LIFT! The small circle of people agreed and all chimed in with "lift!" at the same time.
     Then our friend Johnny NewBoots (not his real name) attacked the second part. What about cars? You ride in cars, don't you? She conceded she rides in cars but that you don't walk backwards in a car. Well, have you ever had to climb from the front seat to the backseat while the car was moving? No, she had not. Well, can you imagine it? Let's say you left your charger in your bag in the backseat. You'd have to climb back to get it. She shook her head at us. What about bikes? If it was a really long bike--like a three person bike--and you had to climb from the font to the back, that would also violate your theory. "Hey Jerry, you take control, I'm just going to climb over you and grab something from the back of the bike." And well, from then on we just made jokes about people on weird bikes getting things from the back and let Gertrude continue to be afraid of science.

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