Tell us about a time you felt like an idiot.

I’ve done the “admit your ignorance” thread before, but now I want some anecdotes of moment in your life where your “dumbness” on a topic was exposed.

Yesterday, I had a physical. No big deal, just a routine annual thing. Anyway, the doctor only had me use a finger-prick blood check instead of sending me down to the lab to actually draw a vial. I’m fine with that. I’m healthy and I don’t need a full lab test done, anyway.

He comes back into the room and says, "Well, your hemoglobin is a bit low. Not sure if it is the inaccuracy of the test or if your hemoglobin is actually low. It’s not dangerously low, but we should have you go to the lab in about a month and do a proper check. "

He tells me my hemoglobin levels and what the proper levels should be.

I said, “So, what does that actually mean?”

He looks at me. “It means your hemoglobin could be a bit low…”

I realize that while I’m intelligent, I don’t exactly know if I can explain/define hemoglobin and how being a bit low in it would affect my body/life. I stare at him a bit.

He says, “It’s measured in grams over deciliters. Is that what you are asking?”

I stare at him. “Um, OK. Thanks.”

I was too embarrassed to literally ask, “What exactly is hemoglobin and if I don’t have enough, will I die?” OR, “How will I feel if my hemoglobin is low?”

I realize…he just assumes that every intelligent adult knows the basics of blood and so forth. In fact, I begin to realize that I probably should know this information and to ask him any more will reveal my idiocy to him and I’ll become a funny anecdote for him to tell later.

I went home and Googled it. Well, first I told my wife about the hemoglobin level being a bit low.

She looked at me.

“What’s hemoglobin again?”

I’m glad I married her. :smiley:

I’m fine, by the way. The doctor didn’t seem significantly concerned and when I googled later, I figured out that I had been told this once before and a full test showed I was fine.

Sounds like the doc didn’t know how to explain this issue. I would have asked the same thing, so I guess we can be idiots together. :slight_smile:

Shopkeeper: [Homer has agreed to purchase a Krusty doll for Bart’s birthday] Take this object, but beware it carries a terrible curse!
Homer: Ooh, that’s bad.
Shopkeeper: But it comes with a free frogurt!
Homer: That’s good.
Shopkeeper: The frogurt is also cursed.
Homer: That’s bad.
Shopkeeper: But you get your choice of toppings.
Homer: That’s good!
Shopkeeper: The toppings contain potassium benzoate. (And your hemoglobin is low)
[Homer looks puzzled]
Shopkeeper: …That’s bad.

I was riding my bike home from work (I wish I could still do that - how I hate having a leg injury). Anyway, as I was coming up my street, I saw a group of teenage girls walking from the other direction. Naturally, all side-by-side, walking in the street (nobody in my town uses the sidewalk for some reason).

One of them was holding her phone out in front of her, seeming to be texting or something. As they got closer I heard one of them say “hi.” I thought, they can’t be talking to me, so I said nothing.

Just as we passed each other, the girl said “hi” again, a bit louder. I thought maybe she was talking to me after all, and now I was being rude by ignoring it, so I called out “hi” back - just at the same time she said “Hey, what’s up? Where are you?” into her phone.

For whatever reason, she was holding her phone out in front of her like a walkie-talkie as she spoke into it, but I had thought she was texting. I pedalled faster and didn’t look back.

My shower/tub drain has been extremely slow-draining for the last 2 months. I figured it was clogged with a hairball or something. (I have waist-length hair.) A couple of days ago I decided to take a bath, so I stuck the little rubber stopper thingie into the drain. While soaking, I noticed that the little valve below the spigot–you know, the one that looks like a nose?–was in the up position.

After I was done with the bath, I yanked out the rubber stopper and put the valve in the down position. Instant draining of water!

(What I can’t figure out is how the heck the valve got stuck in the up position in the first place…invisible shower elves?)

Yes. And they are watching you as you bathe. And giggling. :smiley:

When I was young, I was way, way ahead of other kids, intellectually. I thought I knew everything. In first or second grade, the teacher had a student read a story in front of the class, while the rest of us read along. At some point, the story involved a man buying a dog, and it read “…so my Dad pulled out his billfold…” I sighed really loudly and said, out loud, “It’s BLINDFOLD!!” I had never heard the word “billfold,” and didn’t consider that “blindfold” made no sense in context. Of course, the person reading was right, and I wanted to fucking kill myself.

Also, to the OP, if the Dr. thought that every intelligent person should understand the basics of blood, he/she was an ass.


8th grade marching band. 4th of July parade. I carried a bass drum. The snap on my pants failed early on and I spent the rest of the parade holding up my pants with one hand and drumming with the other.

Everyone laughed. I felt like an idiot.

Oh, shit. I was in the second grade Christmas play, as Santa. My pants fell down, on stage. I had jeans on underneath, but damn, that was awful.


I meant more like embarrassed due to lack of knowledge of something, but that is funny.

At least you didn’t call a plumber.

Heh, I remember when I argued with the teacher in high school that Israel has only existed since 1948 and certainly wasn’t around in ancient times.

A little knowledge can be dangerous.

First, to the OP: if that is the time where you most felt like an idiot, I say you’re doing pretty well. :stuck_out_tongue:

For me, I have a very recent occurrence that did more than make me blush a little. I was at the gym (duh) and I was sitting on an incline bench underneath a Smith machine barbell rack.

Now my lower body, including my hips and butt, is extremely skinny and atrophied. The gym-pants I had on fit fairly loosely around my waist, only becoming tight if I tied the waist-band ties (which were untied as I sat on the incline bench). Well as I was between sets, I went to transfer from the bench I had been in to my wheelchair sitting right next to it.

The design and positioning of the incline bench combined with the positioning of my chair made it somewhat awkward to make a clean transfer, and as I began my transfer, the right-side pocket of my gym-pants became hooked on the adjuster-pin below the seat of the bench. As I swung through the air into the seat of my chair, my pants were simultaneously stripped off to below my knees.

I landed (almost) perfectly in an undressed state. People acted like they didn’t notice, but of course they did. I hurriedly pulled up my fucking pants and tried to forget about it, but the rest of that workout was pretty much spoiled. :frowning:

And I’m just now realizing this isn’t really what you are looking for, but hey still chuckle-worthy.

One time I asked this dermatologist that I worked for, “So what do you think, maybe about 1 in 15 “bug bites” are actually bug bites?” He said, “Less than that.” I said, “One in 10?” Him: :dubious: Me: :smack: I know I’m bad at math, but WTF? I’m not that dumb, why did I say that??

I know a guy who went into a stall in a public restroom. As he sat down, the guy in the next stall said “how you doin’?” My acquaintance said, “pretty good.”

Yeah, the guy was making a call on his cell phone.

An exchange student from Germany who I was very attracted to had a cat named Bergson and I said…

“Henri Bergson.”
“Who’s that?”
“You don’t know Philosopher Bergson?”

European education system vs American…

A couple of years ago, in the dead of winter, I began experiencing problems starting my truck on occasion. Figuring it was the battery (it was the original battery and 5-6 years old at the time), I took it in for a new one.

Two days later, as I got out early in the morning, it wouldn’t start. A neighbor jump started me and I called the garage to get an appointment for diagnosis that afternoon. In my mind, I could see my hard earned $$$ going to an expensive repair.

The mechanics at the shop had the truck on the machine for an hour and found nothing. Jason, my favorite mechanic, kept poking around and finally came into the waiting room with a lightbulb look on his face.

Turned out that it was :ahem: an operator error.

The floor mat had bunched up just a little bit underneath the clutch and it sometimes couldn’t be depressed enough to start the vehicle.

Considering that I’d been driving stick for ~30 years at the time, I was a bit embarrassed not to have even thought it was somthing on the inside of the truck.:smack:

LOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOL! I came in to post that exact same thing. Though to be fair it was my first morning in a new apartment not realising the hired cleaning crew must’ve closed the drain to scrub out the tub or something. I called the manager and did the Draino and everything.

That thread made my day.

Everyone has those moments where they have their ignorance embarrassingly revealed, but it’s worse when you’re a teacher. Before a physics lab I told my students the theoretical result they should expect to get, and it wasn’t until afterward that I realized that what I said was completely wrong. Fortunately, most students got the actual correct result when doing the lab experiment anyway. Unfortunately, during class one student wasn’t convinced and tried to argue with me, and I managed to fake my way through an explanation that convinced him. I felt really stupid after that one, and next week had to sheepishly apologize to my students for lying to them.

Worse? or AWESOME! (I’m looking at you English teacher Mr. Cebra who hired me to babysit and then when I got there said “Oh BTW all the kids have the flu and they’re not supposed to take the rabbit out of its cage,” so they did and it CRAPPED ALL OVER THE HOUSE.)

Anyway, one day Mr. Cebra* was fixin’ up the VCR to play us Romeo & Juliet or something and he CANNOT get it to work. We’re all shouting out suggestions like: “Is the channel on three?” and whatnot. [I’ve totally lost any 16 year-olds on the board at this point] and he was all “I know what I’m doing!” So he called down to the A/V (audio/visual) guy for help and he walked in, stared at the machine, then the wall, and said “Well, first of all it helps if you plug it in.”

The LOLOLOLOLs were neverending.

*Real name because he was a dick who had a “mysterious” story about how he “lost” his wedding ring while gardening. :rolleyes::rolleyes::rolleyes: