Gullible

Part IV of the “You might need to go back to school if . . .” Series

Nothing in the world is more dangerous than sincere ignorance and conscientious stupidity.
Martin Luther King, Jr.

According to the Merriam-Webster Dictionary, gullible refers to a person who is easily duped, cheated, or quick to believe something that is not true. If that is the case, then every man, woman, and child is gullible; some are just better at hiding it than others. However, the upside to being gullible is that people do not have to practice being gullible to be good at it; novice or veteran, we are all experts. People are naturally born gullible and remain that way until they depart this world in a hand carved cherry wood box entombed in a water tight hermetically sealed vault that provides eternal comfort and peace of mind for the deceased. Like an astigmatism in the eye, gullible is a condition of the brain that clouds, muddies, or blurs rational thinking due either to an acute absence of common sense or a sincere devotion to ignorance.

Most people are quick to argue they are not gullible, but to argue that you are not gullible is like arguing that chickens do not have feathers; of course, chickens have feathers, and of course people are gullible. Television, with its high power infomercials that sell perfumed auto-wipe toilet paper dispensers to doting pet owners, and Facebook, with its constant parade of nonsense, conspiracies, and drama rich hearsay that its readers believe and rally around, are prime examples of the gullibility of people. If painted the right shade, people will believe anything they hear or read with no more thought than a pebble gives the hand that throws it. Shel Silverstein summed it up nicely when he said, “Teddy said it was a hat, So I put it on. Now dad is saying, “where the heck’s the toilet plunger gone?”

So, if you are one of us poor souls with a toilet plunger on your head, you might want to join us in the fall as we journey back to school to take refresher courses in Common Sense 101 and The Psychology of Ignorance. I hear the classes are filling up very quickly, so call your local school and register today to avoid the last minute rush. However, if you are not quite sure if these classes are for you, take the simple quiz printed below to a get a brief overview of your gullibility rating. If you believe any of the ten items in the quiz or need to think about any of them for more than five or ten seconds, I strongly advise you to enroll in the refresher classes ASAP.

You might need to go back to school if . . . .

  1. You believe a person when he/she tells you, ” I don’t mean to be critical, but . . .;”
  2. You believe everything your child tells you about school;
  3. You believe reality TV is real;
  4. You believe “fat free” won’t make you fat;
  5. You believe Albert Einstein failed mathematics in school;
  6. You believe ads that claim 9 out of 10 dentists, doctors, and sanitation directors recommend a product;
  7. You believe those beauty aids from ancient India and Galamastan endorsed by a gorgeous movie star will reverse aging, make wrinkles disappear, cure cancer, and change the oil in your car;
  8. You believe a Burger King Whopper actually looks like it does in TV commercials;
  9. You believe you can get all your news from Facebook; and
  10. You believe it is more important to know than to understand.

If you passed the quiz, that is fantastic, but don’t discard the quiz; file it for future use. Your gullibility rating is guaranteed to be challenged by the next telemarketer or phone donation solicitor call, email guaranteeing the National Bank of Nigeria has twenty million dollars waiting for you in an account in your name, or by a television evangelist promising the grace of God can be yours for a hundred dollar donation to his ministry. However, please do not feel bad if you didn’t do well on the quiz. Most Americans fail the test, and that is why the Gullible American Group (GAG) is sponsoring their most progressive and aggressive “Let’s Ditch Ignorance” campaign ever. “Back to School Degulliblizing” classes will take off across America this fall, and it is GAG’s goal to completely choke out gullibility by the turn of the century. GAG is out to take back America! My registration papers are in the mail; hopefully, I will see you in class.

JL

©Jack Linton, June 7, 2015

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