When I was in grade school I was sure I knew everything.
I knew the multiplication table, I knew the map of the city I lived in. I knew all the names of the important Soviet leaders. (They were all important). What else was there?
My teacher hated me. Hated. It pissed him off even more that I was a good student, always eager to show off my knowledge.
And I hated him right back.
So much so that before the Navy SEALs even dreamt of taking out Bin Laden I was planning on doing the same to my teacher.
I just didn’t want to clean up the mess.
So I thought, if I could, I would just make bad people disappear. Poof and they would be gone. No blood, no corpse, no trace. Like the Wicked Witch in Wizard of Oz. Except for the screaming and the melting.
The only thing left would be their shoes. I’d collect all the shoes and lock them up, so no one would be tempted to fill them.
Naturally, now that I am a semi grown up I have revisited this idea and designed an exhibition around it. I will post pictures as soon as my co-designer agrees they are good enough to show to public. Your comments will be appreciated in the future. I said in the future. Not today.
Anyway, I knew everything.
Sometimes I would raise my hand before my teacher even asked me the question. Yes, I was that kid.
One day he decided to get even. He was a gambling man, you see.
‘Lets switch this up’, he said, ‘why don’t you ask me a question, and if I answer it correctly you can’t raise your hand for the rest of the month.’
Gulp. What could I ask him that he wouldn’t know? When I was in grade school, I thought grownups knew everything. Everything grownupy that is. I had to give him something hard, something worth my upcoming punishment. So I resorted to the question philosophers have been asking themselves for decades, if not centuries.
I learned a valuable lesson that day…
Always question authority, but at your own risk.