Stupid Question contest

They say there’s no such thing as a stupid question? I dunno; give it your best shot here.

“Why didn’t the people on the Titanic stay in the watertight compartments and save themselves?” <-- (Supposedly true!)

“How do buffalos fly with such small wings?” - true…heard it myself firsthand.

“What is the industry standard click-through rate for online ad banners?”

Oops. Sorry. I thought the thread was “Stupidest questions you get asked at work.”

How 'bout “Are you a cop?” - A drug dealer once asked my friend this question in mid-transaction.

Sitting at my desk working late, and someone comes by and asks: “Are you still here?”

My response is always the same: “No, I left two hours ago.”

I always liked the quote, “There are no stupid questions, just stupid people.”

“How come a bird can fly but a fly can’t bird?”


One of the people staying here at the college for an astrology conference (already not a good sign there…) couldn’t open the front gate. She asked me: “How do you unlock this gate?” Er, just a guess, but, with a KEY???

"How do you type the Roman numeral “four”?

Heard a lot in the office: Do you have a bathroom?

No, I’m here 8 to 10 hours a day. I just hold it in.

“Will you promise not to be mad if I tell you something?”

“So, who REALLY wrote Shakespeare?” (It’s always phrased like that, by the way … not that “Who really wrote Shakespeare’s works?” is all that much better.)

And in the good ol’ days when I worked at a toy store…

“Which of these Beanie Babies is the most valuable?” (They all have price tags, and they all cost $7. If you think they are worth more than $7, you are fooling yourself.)

“Which is your favorite Beanie Baby?” (None of 'em. I would like to decapitate every last one of those fuzzy little emissaries of Satan and fling handfuls of PE pellets all over the floor in great glee, but I can’t afford to.)

“What kind of toy do you recommend for a boy?” (Usually it would turn out that the customer had no idea what the child’s age or interests were. You mean not ALL boys are alike?)

(While I was working in a bookstore, a young blonde chippie comes up to me).

“I’m having a little trouble in the religion section. Is it in alphabetical order?”

“Yes, ma’am. What author were you looking for?”

“Well, whoever wrote the Bible.”

I have to admit, the question stumped me for a moment, and then I led her to the ENTIRE FREAKING AISLE STUFFED WITH BIBLES. :cool:

Asked by my new IT supervisor in a pure NT environment:

I have this really big download going… It won’t stop if I shutoff my monitor will it?

My personal favorite.
Said to me by my then one-time acquaintance Iris.

“I can’t remember your name…I can’t remember you name, help me Katya, what is your name?”

One of my roommates works as an animator at the Citadel (an historic fort which dominates downtown Halifax). He claims that the question he is most frequently asked by tourists is: “What time is the noon gun fired?”

When I worked at a bookstore, a woman came in asking for a book. The only thing she remembered about it was that it had a blue cover. Then she got angry at me for not being able to help her.


Then, when I worked at the ice cream store: “Do you have chicken ice cream?”

It is Delaware, but come on…

Well, I’m gonna have to start by remarking DUH because I don’t see what’s so dumb about a lot of these questions. Things like “do you have a bathroom?” are common colloquial English ways of asking “where’s the bathroom before I piss on your desk, smartass?” Geez. Are you one of those people who, when someone asks if you know what time it is, says “yes” and walks away? And what’s wrong with “What is the industry standard click-through rate for online ad banners?” (I assume by “rate” they are asking for the price charged, not the actual number of click-throughs). Why isn’t that a reasonable question?

My candidate is (paraphrased) “How much overseas postage do I need to send a package to New Mexico?”

JosephFinn: You should have told her to look under “G”. BTW, do you have a brother named Michael? I think he hangs around this bar I frequent.

Sorry. It’s just a pet peeve of mine. Marketers ask me for the industry standard click rate all the time. Click rate equals your number of banner clicks divided by the number of banner impressions and is sometimes a metric for determining success of online ad campaigns. Here is the problem I have with that question: Depending on your product or service, the sites you advertise on, the formats of the banners used, etc. your click rate can vary from 0.01% to 25%. Thus, comparing click rates with everyone else who is advertising online is pretty meaningless.

Aha! Not a stupid question if you’re sending from somewhere other than North America.

Now, how about this one: “How many women have you slept with?”

There is no good answer, but no answer is not a good one. (read that as "not to answer is…)

I was visiting a friend in Chicago once, and she took me along to a large group dinner she and her friends were having. Someone else invited their coworker along. He was from Italy. One woman in the group, Cathy, was sweet as could be but so stupid it made me want to put my head in my hands and cry.

Scout’s honor, she was asking him things like:

"Do they really all speak Italian over there? Do you speak it? "

“So people really like pasta in Italy, huh? Does your mom cook spaghetti a lot, for dinner?”

I wish I could remember more, but trust me, they were all like that.

And no, she wasn’t 10 years old, she was in her twenties. I nearly pulled my hair out listening to this. And I wish I had a video camera (or at least a tape recorder) because her ignorance was beyond credibility unless you were hearing it first hand.

I’m going to have to plaigarize myself from a previous post.

I asked, when i was 18 years old-

“Aren’t pickles weird? Where do they come from? I mean, do they grow on vines or trees or somthing?”

Don’t laugh, it’s not funny.

My roommate’s friend was over helping us clean house. I put an old pillowcase on a broom, handed it to him, and asked him to sweep all the cobwebs off the ceiling.

He asked, "Isn’t in a coincidence that cobwebs are in the shape of spider webs? Is that why they’re called cobwebs?"

“No, it’s because they’re old spider webs that are just dusty,” I replied.

The look on his face was if I’d turned on a 10,000 watt bulb over his head.