When I was growing up, my teacher would always say that there is no such thing as a stupid question.
It was nice to know that no matter how stupid I felt when I asked the question, that I wouldn’t be judged for it.
But as I got older, I’ve learnt that that is a lie.
There are such a thing as stupid questions.
Here are just some of the stupidest questions people have been asked.
In my high school history class in the 90’s, the teacher showed a picture of Columbus’ 3 ships. 15 year old girl asked, “What are those white things on top of the ship?” The teacher explained that they are sails, used to catch the wind, and move the ships. Girl replied, “That’s stupid! Why didn’t they just use motors???” The teacher and most everyone in the class proceeded to face palm.
The Pacific is salt water
Was on a whitewater rafting trip in Massachusetts with a friend. Chatty woman sitting behind us struck up a conversation during a calm stretch and asked where we were from. Told her Vancouver, BC. She said it must be nice for us to be spending time on the water because “you probably don’t have beaches or anything like this in Vancouver, do you?”
Us: “Uh…well, actually we’re on the Pacific coast, so beaches are practically our backyard.”
Her: “Oh. The Pacific…is that salt water?”
I caught a glimpse of her husband’s face as I tried to answer without laughing. He looked like he was rethinking all his life decisions.
About 1 mile into a cave system when a group of friends and I stop to take a break. It was around 10 pm at night, so very dark when we entered the cave. Once stopped, the youngest of us (23 year old guy, college degree) asks quite seriously, if we can leave and come back in the morning so we can see better.
The Moon is not on fire…
Colleague: “When you can see the Sun and the Moon at the same time, is it the reflection from the sea in space?”
After some investigating I realised that she thought the sun & the moon were the same thing, but the moon was just not “On fire” at night.
Where in Africa?!
Mine is a series of questions.
Co-Worker: “I have to send this envelope to Africa do you know how much it will cost?”
Me: “Sure I’ll look into it, what country are you sending it to?”
Me: “What country in Africa?”
Co-Worker: “I don’t understand what you are asking, it’s going to Africa!”
Me: “But what particular country? Africa is a continent.”
Co-Worker: “I’LL JUST FIGURE IT OUT MYSELF!”
10 minutes later
Co-Worker: “All I could find is pricing for South Africa. Is that the same as Africa?”
Me: “South Africa is a country in Africa, is it going to South Africa?”
Co-Worker: “I don’t know, it is supposed to go to Africa.”
The Beatles man
“Joseph Stalin, is that that Beatles guy?”
The entire class just went dead silent for five seconds and we all stared at her. The teacher finally says “no.”
That was a junior/senior class…
We were on vacation at the seashore, doing some cardio training on the beach.
One of the guys got kind of winded and asked, “Damn, I wonder what the altitude is here?”
Pregnant woman and the dolphin
In 9th grade bio after learning about stem cells and how unborn fetuses have a lot of them. “So if a pregnant woman ate a dolphin, would her baby come out as a dolphin?” I seriously wish I was joking.
In high school, junior year, during a group project. I’ve cut a silhouette of the American continent and I asked a team mate to glue it to the center of a blue piece of cardboard. She asked “which way is up?” I laugh loudly and reply “Good one!” She becomes visibly upset and says “not everyone can be as smart as you!” Then I stopped laughing and said “wait, you’re serious?” Then she stormed off and slammed the classroom door.
I made a joke about hitchhiking to Alaska. My manager: “Oh that’ll work. What, are you gonna take a ferry?” Me:”… there’s a major highway that goes there.” M:”Did they build a bridge?” Me:”What are you talking about, dude?” M:”Is Alaska not an island next to Hawaii?”
“IS ALASKA NOT AN ISLAND NEXT TO HAWAII?”
Same guy also thought a trapezoid was a Pokémon, and shouted “Jimi Hendrix!” When we were talking about our favorite presidents.
Twins with different ages
Some lady asked my friend about her kids ages. My friend replied, “This one is 8 and this one is 5.” Then the lady proceeded to ask,”Are they twins?”
To serve and protect
“What do you mean 911 can’t lookup the number to Walmart on main street for me? That’s what 911 is for! To SERVE and protect me! I pay your salary!”
Um.. No. Google it, you jerk!
Broke 2 bones in my back playing football. WALKING down the hall at school the next week with a brace. Girl: What happened? Me: Ohh I broke 2 bones in my back Girl: “Are you paralyzed?”
I work in a nursery in Canada and a customer was looking at a maple tree. I walked up and she asked me, “What happens to the leaves in the winter?” I stared at her for a moment before saying, “Well, ma’am, it’s a deciduous tree, so the leaves fall off each winter and grow back in the spring.” She considered this for a moment before saying, “Sounds like there’s not much to look at for half the year, then. Do you have any other trees with nice big leaves like this that don’t fall off?” I started to suggest some evergreens but she cut me off with, “No, not Christmas trees, I hate those ugly needles, I want big leaves like the maple that don’t fall off.”
She was completely serious and had no accent or anything about her that would indicate she wasn’t from the region. Unfortunately, she is only one of many, many customers who have been surprised to learn that deciduous trees lose their leaves in the fall and there’s nothing you can do about it.
“If I’m not allowed to drive there, then why is there a left side of the road?”
This acquaintance of mine was outraged that she had to appear in court for a driving citation that she didn’t think she deserved.
I noticed that gas prices were going up rapidly, and so I told me girlfriend that she should go ahead and fill up her tank because she would get more fuel for her money than if she waited a couple days. Her reply was, “Oh, is that because of the power of the gasoline?”
I still don’t know what she meant by that.
True Canadian citizen
I was crossing the Canada/US border and the guard asked me if I was a Canadian citizen. I said yes and handed him my passport. He then looked at my license plate and asked:
“If you’re from Canada, why does your license plate say Manitoba?”
It took me a minute to realize he was being serious, told him that Manitoba was a province in Canada, silently marveled at his stupidity, and moved on.
Shades of blue
Working on a beach in Grand Cayman (my brother).
The question itself, maybe not so stupid “Can I please have three cups”… the reason — She liked the various shades of blue in the water, and wanted a cup for each color to fill and take home.
He gave her the cups.
Why even think?
“Why do you think about everything? That is the difference between me and you, you think about everything, I just do.”
Later on, this same individual had to join the Army (no disrespect to the military) because he dropped out of Community College, was $15,000 dollars in credit card, had a daughter with his ex-girlfriend, and has spent so much time in retail that he had no applicable job skills outside of customer service.
A little backstory first – In my country, when we talk about traveling, especially to warmer countries, we call it “going south.”
A girl I knew once asked “but is the south open in the winter?” I left, and once I was out of earshot I laughed so hard my ribs were sore for the rest of the day.
A very odd answer
In 7th grade we had this girl who was just one of those dumb girls. One day she was just on a roll in our Social Studies class. She asked if Martin Luther King Jr. was killed. Then went on to, “Why was the Cold War called that? Was it really cold?” and then, “When will WWIII happen?” This was back in 03. Fast Forward a few years and now we are reading A Catcher in the Rye in Sophomore year and there is a line about some “snowing someone” our teacher asked, “What do you guys think snowing someone is?” She raised her hand and with her most serious face asked, “Is that like… when a guy ejaculates on a girls face?” The teacher had to do like a mental double take, she replied with just no, then you could see that her mind realized what exactly this girl just said and burst out in the most uncomfortable laugh.
“I want a refund for my plasma, can I drink it?”
“I had hepatitis C in the 70’s can I still donate?”
“I didn’t know I had HIV still?!?!
“Period blood comes from my body?”
All have been heard from donors at my job.
How long have they known each other
The other night at Dinner. My family and their friends were all discussing how long they have known each other. When my uncle (married to my aunt for 15 years) asked my Aunt how long she had known my mother. They are 18 months apart, grew up together, went to the same college and live within 15 miles of each other to this day.
The sleeping guy
I was sitting in a lecture when one of the people listening fell asleep. Lecturer then goes into this 20 minute VERY detailed and technical explanation on topic X. After he’s done he asks if anyone has any questions. Sleeping guy woke up right then and says “Yeah, can you talk about topic X?” Lecturer has this priceless look and just says “Are you messing with me right now?”
Her (while on the phone) : “It’s telling me to hit pound. Which button is pound?!”
Me: “The number sign.”
Her (increasingly frustrated) : “What the heck is a number sign?!”
Me: “… the hashtag…”
Her: “Oh!!! Thanks!!!!”
Sitting in history class learning about WWII.
The teacher is talking about The Battle of Hong Kong. Mentions how on the 25th of December 1941 the Canadian garrison there surrendered.
Some dumb girl raises her hand
She asks, “Is that why it’s called Christmas?”
We all just kinda sat there for a minute in silence.
When I was in culinary school, the chef was showing us how to cut up a chicken and he explains that the inner part of the breast is typically used to make chicken strips. Then this one guy asks, completely serious, “If that’s the chicken strip, which part is the chicken nugget?” Everyone just went quiet and stared at him until the chef tried to explain to him that there is no part of the chicken called the nugget.
I don’t watch the news
Just had a coworker ask us if she was the only one not excited about the eclipse. Nothing out of the ordinary about that I guess… So we asked her if she knew what it was. After a brief pause she says “Well… No. I don’t watch the news.” She also didn’t know the North Korea conflict was a thing until last week.
Working the brick oven at a restaurant, a server approaches:
S- “What Kind of wood does the oven burn?”
Me- “This is a gas oven.”
S- “Yeah, but what kind of wood does it burn?”
Me- “It burns natural gas logs from the gas forests of Missouri.”
She told that to the customers…
Also, this was the owner’s daughter…
When I was in bootcamp another recruit asked if veterans with no legs were required to stand for the national anthem. Being that we were in class for the entire subject of saluting etiquette the company commander had to answer the question. (“What, of course not you!”). You could tell that he wanted to kick the recruits butt but couldn’t because again, we were in class and allowed to ask questions.
The men’s clothing section
Worked at Walmart. Someone once asked me where the men’s clothing was, as I was standing beside the men’s clothing, after they had to walk straight past (and parallel to) the men’s clothing to get to me. It took up a good quarter of the center of the store and was clearly labeled. Had they turned 45 degrees to their left prior to asking, they would’ve seen it.
I’m a college student, and took a geometry class over the summer. There was one girl who asked stupid questions almost every class period. The worst was on day one, though. The Professor said we would need a compass. The girl says, “I have a protractor, that’s the same thing, right?” The Prof explains that no, no it isn’t, and we will need a compass. So then the girl says, “You mean the round ones that show directions? Can I just use the GPS on my phone?” The Prof had to physically show her a compass before she understood what was going on.
Did I mention this was a class for education majors?
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