Dealing with Miss Know-It-All

Published 9:17 am Tuesday, December 26, 2017

I am surrounded by brats (my grandchildren) who think that the old man is mentally deficient. However, it is the opinion of the old man that they don’t know what they are talking about as “they have not been there and done that.” They pull out their little metal boxes and scribble on them text messages  to find out where Shock Jock got his tattoo. They can tell you the name of all the actors in the ridiculous planetary scenes of Star Wars. What they really need to think about is WHO is going to pay their college tuition.

Some time ago I traveled down to Tallahassee with some of the family to attend one the brat’s high school graduation. I relished the opportunity to show the “know-it-alls” how stupid they really are. Unfortunately, it did not work out too well for the old man as to his intellectual superiority.

My  granddaughter, who was 11 years old at that time, wanted to test my knowledge of geography. I was delighted at the opportunity to show off my years of travel to places outside of Buffalo, Alabama.  She asked me what city was the capital of Illinois. I replied that everybody, unless he was a dummy, knew that Chicago was the capital of Illinois. Wrong! Miss Know-It-All said that it is Springfield. I did not believe it but my daughter confirmed that she was correct. Then Miss Know-It-All asked what city was the capital of Oregon. I knew that it was Portland as I had been there in person. Wrong! It is Salem according to the brat.

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I saw where this was going so I suggested that we do a math quiz. I knew that I could easily outwit her in this field of knowledge as this is a man’s forte. She asked me to solve an algebraic problem as follows: A x B = A + B + 39. I was not to be outwitted and drove the next 100 miles doing calculations in my head (much to my wife’s concern about attention to my driving). But to Miss Know-It-All’s surprise, I came up with the right answer. Now you go figure and I will tell you the correct answer at the end of this rambling discourse of mental superiority.

In order to salvage a little of my pride after being embarrassed by a brat, I asked her a simple brain teaser. If Ray’s mother has 3 children and one was named April and one was named May, what was the name of the third child? She answered June. Of course, the old coot knew that the third child was named Ray. (Don’t tell anybody but I had already been caught on this one.)  At least I got some of my ego restored. I then asked her, “If you were in a race and you passed the last person, what place would you then be?”  But that is impossible as there is nobody behind the last person in the race. Let the thought sink in for a minute. The old man is beginning to look like a genius. (Don’t tell Miss Know-It-All, but I had heard this before as well.)

I had forgotten to take my camera with me on the trip and commented about the lack of being able to photograph the high school grad that we went to honor. Miss Know-It-All then informed me that I need to get a phone so that I could take pictures and email them to family members. My reply was “that I was too old to cut the mustard.”  Of course the brat wanted to know what that meant. Miss Know-It-All has got me again as I could not reply with a sensible explanation. What kind of mustard did people cut in the past?  All I could think of was to cut mustard greens but that makes no sense. My answer was that “sometimes the old fellows have to be put out to pasture.” Of course, that was another stupid reply that made no sense to her.

The 3 hour trip was made a lot shorter by having to educate Miss Know-It-All. I am amazed at the younger generation’s knowledge as today’s educational standards are much higher than when I graduated from LaFayette High in 1947. Let me give you a tip! If you don’t want to be embarrassed, do not play brain teasers with the brats.

Oh, the answer to the algebraic quiz is 54 (6 x 9 = 6 + 9 + 39).