When I speak to people cleverer than I am, I get a little intimidated and nervous and try to cover it by using idioms like A bird in the hand is worth 2 in the bush. Trouble is I use them in an untimely fashion thus evoking a look from the other person. I call that look the look of realisation that he’s an idiot.
It’s because I hate it that they’re cleverer than me. And I hate that they know it and I hate that they wouldn’t know it if only i had kept my mouth shut.
” So Brin that’s my take on the current political environment in Syria. What do you think?” says John.
” Well John, he who laughs last laughs longest!” replies Brin.
This tends to go on for 2 or 3 minutes.
There’s a tipping point though where I can sense that they are noticing and rather than stop while there’s still a slim chance of redemption, I up the ante. Now I don’t only draw on more meaningless cliches but (you guessed it) I proceed to mix similar ones together!
” I must say Brin, you have a lovely place here.” exclaims Mary with a smile.
” Thanks Mary and as the crow flies it’s worth 2 in the bush.” Brin replies to a look of confusion.
Conversations with these people don’t often last long because as they’re speaking to me I’m frantically trying to think of my next idiotic pearl of wisdom. I must say that speaking with smart people is exhausting!
The pain doesn’t last long as they usually walk away. But if they stay long enough they start to notice my pattern, and their look of realisation evolves into an irritating I’m amused at this guy now smirk. It’s subtle but it’s there.
I’ve become very good at anticipating this and sometimes find myself in an empty, darkened room where I feign I had to go to urgently get something.
On one such occasion the person I was speaking to followed me into the house so I unplugged a lamp and took it outside to the bbq area.
I feel so sorry for my wife because I’m sure she thought I was really smart when we first met and over the years she seems to have become much cleverer.
Lately I’ve been detecting the look of realisation from her also. She began a conversation with me the other day about the ramifications of the new government’s policies on immigration.
Now there’s no lamp in the dining room either.