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The IQ Test

I’ve always believed Lucy was smarter than me. Always, unquestionably, no matter how dumbassy she sometimes behaves. Because, I know, when she actually takes the time to think something through, she’s really damn smart. Also, she beats me at Trivial Pursuit, which is the true measure of a man; seriously, it is. Even King Lear thinks so. It’s why he went crazy. Cordelia kept beating him at Trivial Pursuit. “NO LAND FOR THEE, HARLOT!” he often screamed after she got the final pie wedge. In those days, they played for actual wedges of pie, and Lear loved his desserts. His division of the kingdom into pie-like slices for his daughters came directly from his crippling Trivial Pursuit losses.

History, my friends, is a wonderful thing.

It surprised me a few weeks ago when Lucy started insisting I was “going places,” and I’d “be something great.” She clearly doesn’t read this blog thoroughly enough, but that’s neither here nor there. The point was, I started arguing that while it’s obvious that I’ll be the greatest television writer since Kevin Williamson, it’s not too late for her. Sure, she dropped out of school and is working at Lowe’s in Iowa City. Not the life any of us imagines at the outset, but she’s 22 damn years old.

This started an argument: who is smarter, her or me? She thought I was; I insisted she was, and then she, ironically, got upset with me for being such an idiot.

“What’s your IQ?” she asked after we remembered that we both got the same ACT score. (And as we all know, standardized testing is the true measure of a man. I was just joking earlier about that whole Trivial Pursuit thing.)

“How the fuck should I know?” I asked. I vaguely remembered taking an IQ test in high school and not being told how I did. I assumed from the suspicious glares from administrators that I did pretty badly, but I guess it could go either way. Perhaps they were frustrated by my intellectual capacity, or maybe they just thought I was secretly laughing at their ugly ties (I was). I also took one of those Internet IQ tests, but I couldn’t remember how I did, which meant it couldn’t be impressive.

“We’re taking one right now,” she said, and sent me a link to the same Internet IQ test I took years ago. I gotta say, I love living in this day and age because, much like in a cartoon, you can say, “We’re going to do [something] right now,” and you can magically do it, or at least get the ball rolling on it, immediately. Yay for instant gratification—it seems the ’80s did pay off for future generations.

Fifteen to 20 minutes later, our results came back. I got a 152; she got a 138 (down from 146, which she got the last time she took the test way back when). Since she was basing her entire “you’re smarter than me” argument on numbers and test results, this made it much more difficult to argue that she is, in fact, smarter than I am, despite the fact that I guessed on most of the math questions. Apparently they were educated guesses, but I didn’t know what the fuck most of them were talking about. Plus, I was trying to answer them as quickly as possible because the top of the test said something like “if you take more than 30 seconds answering a question, your score will be lower,” so it’s not like I had the time to Google the answers.

So does this mean I actually am smarter than Lucy? I guess, but why does that matter? And why does the fact that I’m 14 points smarter than her mean that she has to settle with a life in which she’s unhappy? According to the little breakdown, 133+ is Mensa-worthy, and 130+ means she’d be smart enough for law school or medical school. None of this made her feel better, because the 150+ column said I’m so smart I should only be working in the mysterious catacombs underneath the Pentagon, learning to solve a Rubik’s Cube in eight seconds or something.

Still, I don’t understand why it matters. Look at how stupid most people are, and look at how successful they can be. If anything, being smart has cursed me, because I spend 80% of my life wondering why everyone is so fucking stupid all the time GAAAAAAAAAH. Consequently, I find myself drawn to people who are as smart, or smarter, than I am, so I’m always feeling intellectually inferior. I’m stick in the middle, and it drives me crazy. CRAZY!

I tried explaining these things to Lucy. She thinks I’m just using that as an excuse for misanthropy. Maybe she’s right…

I finally distracted her with the idea that we could turn this blog into a graphic novel, a Harvey Pekar-esque romp through middle-class suburbia, featuring classic stories from this blog, from Lucy’s life, and from our hilarious adventures together. She got excited about that, but then insisted she can’t draw “cartoons.” We argued some more, but at least she stopped believing she’s an idiot.

Temporarily, anyway…

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