Questions that drive you mental

Everyone has something about them that makes them different to other people. This is great and marvellous, but it also leads to the individuals having to put up with the same questions again and again. My question is:** What’s special about you and what questions do have to put up with as a result of this?**

One of the things that sets me apart from a lot of people is the fact that both my parents are profoundly deaf. Over the years i have answered questions about them a thousand times over, to the point where i have a perfectly rehearsed answer from memory :rolleyes:

  • Can they speak? Yes, it just doesn’t sound like “normal” speech (well, it does to me, but not to anyone else).
  • Isn’t sign language the same all over the world? No, each country has it’s own language (although of course there are similarities, just like spoken languages), each with their own grammar and syntax.
  • Can they drive? :rolleyes: Yes, they have eyes.
  • Isn’t it lucky they had you and you can hear! No, not really. They managed fine before i was born, they’ve never exploited me, and they’re sane adults perfectly capable of running their own lives. The vast majority of children born of deaf parents are hearing.

So… tell us your questions and answers and maybe we can learn and avoid driving other people mental :smiley:


After my son was born (5 years ago) until this day people still ask me “When are you going to have another one?”. My reply wants to be “Whenever the F*** I decide to” but usually comes out as “right after you do”.

I hate going to weddings. I inevitably get asked “So, when will it be YOUR turn?” I usually tell them I’m gay (which is true) and that usually stuns them long enough for me to make a getaway to the bar.

As an Aussie who has been living in the UK and travelling in the US during the last year or two, I’ve had to answer loads of questions about being Australian - more so while in America than in Britain. (The lucky Brits get our classy soap operas and so already know What Life In Australia Is Really Like.)

Here are some answers I have had to give to:

Yes, we have colour TV.
Yes, we have Nintendo.
No, I don’t have a kangaroo.
Yes, many of us are descended from convicts.
No, I’m not ashamed of it.
Yes, I do speak English very well.
No, Paul Hogan is not our Prime Minister.

Of course, there are plenty of good questions that people ask. What is the culture like? [sub][sup](We don’y have any)[/sup][/sub] How does the government work? [sub][sup](Mostly by hurling insults at each other)[/sup][/sub] Why on earth do we still have a Queen? [sub][sup](Your guess is as good as mine)[/sup][/sub], etc etc, and those are fun to answer. In fact it’s half the fun of being in a foreign country and talking to people. But the innane questions become tiresome after the third or fourth time.

The kangaroo question was the most common. Eventually I just had to say “Yes, I do have a kangaroo. I ride him to work. I tame him with Vegemite”. Yes, people believed me.

People ask me questions about being gay all the time, and I don’t mind at all - and people will ask about the most intimate things. I usually have no problems and will happily talk about anything. There is just one very specific question which always gets on my goat. I know it shouldn’t - people ask questions because they don’t know the answer and are trying to learn, so how can I be annoyed by someone trying to be less ignorant? - but it does. So please, please, please don’t ask me, “Who is the male and who is the female?”

I’m always tempted to answer with “Here. Let me to show you.” But that probably wouldn’t be helpful.

While at work, I often listen to classical music (usually J. S. Bach). People always hear the music and immediately ask “That’s Mozart, right?”. I understand that they may just be trying to show some interest, but please, Mozart is not the only composer. I would be happy to answer their question, if only they would ask “Who is that?” rather than ‘acting’ as if they already knew.

I have an unusual piercing in my left ear that always prompts questions. Complete strangers ask: Is it real? Does it go all the way through? And always, always, always - Did it hurt?

Yes, it’s real. Yes, it goes all the way through. And, of course it hurt, but prolly not as much as giving birth to a child.

And people who know me always ask why. Well, I like it.

Nicko, is Foster’s really Australian for beer? :wink:

I’m a native of Atlanta, Georgia, but I have no discernible accent. People always want to know why. “You don’t sound like you’re from Georgia!” they say.

“Oh yeah? You don’t look like you’re about to get punched in the nose!” is how I’d respond, only I’m a Southern gentleman.

Also, I am a vegetarian. When people learn this, their first question is invariably (VegetarianDopers, all together now):

“How do you get your protein?”

If I didn’t know if your parents wore hearing aids or not, I would ask about their legal ability to drive, too. Why? I’d want to know how they would know to stop at an intersection with a green light giving them the right of way but that also has a patrol car going code one down the intersecting road if they can’t hear the sirens.

Having survived a brief marriage to a man who became physically violent, I field a number of inane (and sometimes rude) questions. A surprising percentage of them come from people in professional capacities who ought to know better.

  1. “Why didn’t you just leave as soon as it started?”
    I did.

  2. “How come he’s still bothering you two years later?”
    I dunno. Ask him.

  3. “Why don’t you get a restraining order?”
    I already have two of them, civil and criminal.

  4. “You mean that doesn’t stop him?”
    Not really.

  5. “Why don’t you go to the police?”
    I do. And to the city attorney. And to advocacy groups. It takes a lot of effort to make the system function. Spousal abuse is the one crime where it’s still socially acceptable to blame the victim.

  6. “Has he been to jail?”

  7. “Are you an alcoholic?”
    No. Are you?

  8. “Has anyone else ever beaten you?”

  9. “How could you let this happen?”
    I was already Mrs. Jekyll before Mr. Hyde showed up.

  10. “Are you afraid?”
    No. I may make adjustments in order to stay safe, but I refuse to live in fear. I won’t give him that power.

I sell knives. In a well-lit, uptown, security and police patrolled mall. My most common question:

“Hey, are these things legal?”

No, of course they’re not. I’m special, you see, in that when the police see that I’m openly selling illegal items, they will continue to walk past. Sometimes they’ll even greet me cheerfully!

This isnt a back alley downtown. This isnt your weed-smoking friend’s basement. This is a place of buisness. All my stuff is on display. (I can, in some small ways, understand why some people would ask if I sell anything “under the counter”. I dont, but it makes more sense.) There is no WAY I could sell illegal knives so openly and remain in buisness/out of jail. So EAT me, you monkey.

I’m a native Coloradan living in the DC area. Upon learning this, I’m asked:
[li]“You ski, don’t you?” Well, yes, but many of the 3,000,000 people there don’t.[/li][li]If they introduce me to someone, they say I’m from Denver. No, I said I was from Grand Junction, a town as far from Denver as DC is from New York City.[/li][li]“Do you know so-and-so?” Yes, I knew every other of the 3 million Coloradans.[/li][/ul]

On behalf of the Better Half, I will pass along the one question that drives every letter carrier totally mental.

It’s a beautiful spring or fall day, and every single office worker a letter carrier encounters, every receptionist or secretary to whom he hands the mail, every file clerk taking a cigarette break outside by the front door, will say the same thing to him:

“Boy, you must be glad you’ve got such a great job, you get to walk around outside all day!”

To which the Better Half, being a Nice Guy, does NOT respond, “Yes, I LOVE trudging around at a steady 1/2 mile per hour, and it’s even better in the winter, when it’s 30 below and snowing!”

He just smiles noncommittally and moves on.

I feel your pain, Fiver. I spent several years living in the Midwest, where people seemed continually amazed to meet a Southerner who didn’t sound like someone from the cast of either 1) “Gone with the Wind” or 2) “Hee-Haw”.

“Gosh, you don’t sound Southern!” they would say. “How did you lose your accent?”

“I owe it all to Professor Henry Higgins,” was my usual response. I don’t think anyone ever got it.

Is your hair naturally curly? Oh, you’re so lucky! Oh, yeah? Nice to have big piles of frizzed out bushy hair that I must wash every day before going out or I look like I stuck my finger in a light socket? (OK, it’s not that bad.)

I dated a guy in college who was 6’5" tall. People constantly asked him if he played basketball - he didn’t. His response to the question? “No. Are you a jockey?”

That always amused me.

I have a date with this boy from Minnesota; I was telling my mother and her first question was, “Does he ice fish?” I’m sure his parents are saying to him, “She’s from South Carolina!? Does she play banjo? Is she missing a toe? Is she stupid?” Except, I do actually play banjo, so I hope his parents does ask him that.
And I also get the “Is your hair really curly” question, and the the “How do you get your protein?” question constantly.

I love the questions that prove the questioner hasn’t been listening to you.

I work in the billing department for a major insurance company and have a set spiel I must answer the phone with that includes my name as well as the name of the company and which department they reached.

Almost without fail these callers first words are:

What is your name?

Which company is this? (yes i actually get this)

What department are you in?

I’ve got a question about my bill, can you direct my call?

I’m from Winnipeg, Manitoba.

  1. Is it really cold there now? (well if it’s winter, yes, summer, no)

  2. Do you know my cousin Sara in Vancouver? (Oh, yeah, Sara, in Vancouver!)

My oldest sister is deaf, I get the same questions about her driving or speaking. Also, do you sign? (no, I just chose not to talk to my sister over the 23 years we lived together)

When I mention I was in the army: Was basic training hard? (no, it’s a cinch, they just make it look hard so not everyone will join)

Not really a question but…I look Chinese and I often get people who feel they have to slow down their speech when they speak to me. Just for fun I like to break into one of my numerous foreign accent impersonations (French, Irish, Italian, you get the picture). That usually stuns them long enough for me to make a getaway to the bar.

As an English Montrealer I get pretty annoyed when people ask me why I don’t have a French accent. But even more than that I hate it when people online find out where I am from and just start answering in French. It’s not even my mother tongue. If I ask a question in English then answer me in English. Quit trying to impress me.

My tattoo: “Did it hurt?” and “What are you gonna do when you’re a grandmother?” Yes, it did (they do it with needles you know) and I guess I’ll be a grandmother with a tattoo(and I’ll bet that by that time there will be a shitload of other grandparents with tattoos as well)

My studio: “Can you please sign our band?” If you want to make it this business you should at least learn the difference between a recording studio and a record label.

My video collection: “Wow…have you watched all these movies?” No, I bought them because I thought the boxes were pretty.

My Star Wars memorabilia infested apartment: “Do you like Star Wars or something?”