Objective: Many sayings are stated as fact and yet these have never been placed under the rigor of the scientific process. It is not clear whether certain phrases merely add to the senseless dribble that is American dialogue i.e. “It just entered my brain. I must say it”. Or, does actual harm occur in the receiver(s) of said logorrhea (verbal diarrhea). To this end, our research seeks to prove or disprove the idiom “There are no stupid questions!”
Methods: Data are obtained in random encounters with known and unknown subjects happening upon a given family. This family is composed of 12 kids from 4 continents, one deaf dog, seven chickens and two exhausted parents all living under one roof. We record questions asked of and replies given by this family over a 20-year period.
Results: Bivariate illogical regression models confirm that there are indeed stupid questions!
Conclusions: The idiom “Think before you speak” is a statement that is both valid and reliable in not cramming ones metatarsals deep into ones oropharyngeal cavity!
I present a top 10 list of questions asked by various subject matters. Random answers by the study family members are expressed following each inquiry.
- “Are they all yours?”
“No, they just keep following as I play my magic pipe. There seems to be a new one following me each time I turn around. I’m not sure why they keep saying ‘Dad, Dad, Dad’. Can you help me?”
Special Mention: The waitress whose follow up question was “Even the black ones?” soared to new heights of offense!
- “Are they adopted?”
“No, every other child born in the world is Asian, every third child is African. You’re looking at child #2, #3 and #4”
- “They from a group home?”
“No, I enjoy the lost talent of cat herding. I am practicing this art by bringing children with sensory disorders, intellectual disabilities and those needing wheelchairs to my local grocery store. I’ve randomly collected these children to show off my skills.”
- “Which kids are your real ones!”
“Which ones appear fake?” (Sometimes a question to a question is the only option.) The questioners statement “You know what I mean” is said 87% of the time in response.
- “How much do you get paid for them?”
“Hold on! You can get paid for being a parent?”
- “Does your wife work?”
“Not at all, unless you consider making 42 meals/day, laundering clothes for 14 people, vacuuming 4000 square feet, grocery shopping for an army, scheduling over 100 physician/dentist/therapist appointments annually, etc. work. Then no I cannot say she works.”
- “Do you have to pay full price to adopt a handicap kid”
“SPECIAL NEEDS!!! And no, there is no Scratch & Dent when it comes to adoption!”
- “Do you drive a bus?”
“No, we drive an airport shuttle.”
- “Are you getting a Reality TV show?”
“I really hope so! Seeing the triumph of the Jon & Kate, the Duggars, the Big World, Little People families, why wouldn’t I want that “success” for myself?”
- “Are you like, um, really religious?”
“Oh you bet I am. There’s no atheists in foxholes and there ain’t none parenting a large family.”
The fact is, I love talking about my family and how they have changed my life. I never mind answering well-intended questions and inquiries. Our skin is thicker now than at the start; I now consider myself more of an educator than someone easily offended.
I hope you take this post for the fun that’s intended.
Be warned though, you never know when Dad Just Happened – you might end up on this page!