Top Ten Things Not to Ask a Genius

Top Ten Things Not to Do


The inspiration for this post came after pondering a discussion with a brilliant person.  I just wondered what it would be like to be that smart. One thing led to another, and the list was born.

10 If you are talking to a genius, do not ask them how it feels to be so smart. If you do, at best you’ll get a laugh. At worst, you’ll be forcibly engaged in a Socratic analysis on what “smart” means. (Getting tired after a couple of hours are you, Dante?)

9 If you are talking to a genius, do not mention the weather. If you do, at best they’ll excuse themselves. At worst, you’ll be entertained by a recap of the correlation between black hole proximity and global warming. (You didn’t know that was the subject of the person’s doctoral dissertation did you, Deon?)

8 If you are talking to a genius, do not make any sudden moves. If you do, at best you’ll get a flinch. At worst, your genius will have Tiny the WWF champ as a best friend. (Tiny moves fast when he thinks there is a danger, Demetri. I think I would begin testing those Rockport shoes and see if they are a flexible as advertised.)

7 If you are talking to a genius, do not comment on their clothes. If you do, at best they won’t understand what you are saying. At worst, they will provide you the existential theory behind their choice of what to wear today. (Not only did it take two hours, but you still don’t understand how the stripes and checks go together relative to the world politic do you, Dixon?)

6 If you are talking to a genius, do not ask them what they want to eat. If you do, at best you will get an “anything,” response. At worst you will be taken down a probiotics path from which there is no return. (You’ll never look at a steak the same way again, Dacy.)

5 If you are talking to a genius, do not ask them about their favorite sport. If you do, at best they’ll  defer to asking you. At worst, after an hour you finally realize they are talking about a game that was played in ancient Macedonia. (The sad part is their team lost, and you now have a complete commentary on how the other team cheated with a deflated goat bladder and poisoned arrows.  Some fun huh, Daelan?)

4 If you are talking to a genius, do not ask what they watch on television. If you do, at best you’ll have to define the term “television.” At worst, you will be treated to watching the Nature Blog live feed of baby ants who were cloned from a prehistoric frozen egg hatching as viewed on an iPad. (Really glad you asked that one, aren’t you, Dagan? Wait! Is that an anteater?)

3 If you are talking to a genius, do not ask if they have a hobby. If you do, at best they’ll be too shy to share. At worst, before you know it you are hooked up to a worldwide XBox War of the World gaming competition. (So how many lives do you have left, Daileass? I think you better swing that broadsword at everything you see. Given the intensity of this game I have a feeling that once your lives are finished, you are too.)

2 If you are talking to a genius, do not ask if they belong to a club. If you do, at best you’ll get a stare before they walk away. At worst, you will have to defend the idea of having a high affiliation need as it relates to your own insecurities. (Makes you want to go to a cabin in the mountains doesn’t it, Daire? Then you can prove you are not intellectually weak and as a result, don’t need anyone.)

1 If you are talking to a genius, do not ask what they do for a living. If you do, at best you’ll get a one-word answer, “work.” At worst, you will have a detailed description of the job but will not understand what it is in a hundred years. (Did you get the opinion that they were speaking in a different language, Dalbert? What the hell is a Spectrographic Survey Specialist anyway?)


    1. Thank you so much for the reblog

  1. Don’t think I have met many genius in my time. Just as well, really, for I wouldn’t know what to talk about, not being even remotely in the same intelligence bracket…

    1. I think the best thing to do is ask, “How about them Eagles?”

  2. Tell me about it. I get it all the time!

    1. I can imagine. 😀

  3. Love #8. Makes me think geniuses are like rhinos or hippos. Don’t startle the smart people!

    1. So true. (Do not drop a tray of dishes at a Mensa event)

      1. Those genius stampedes are terrifying.

      2. Ha ha ha. They sure are.

  4. This was great! The Macedonia sport and cloned baby ants had me holding my sides laughing. Thanks, John.

    1. Thank you, Jennie. Glad you enjoyed it. 😀

      1. You’re welcome, John. 🙂

  5. LOL! Great list, John!

  6. The teachers in some public schools are so stressed these days they don’t like questions. I told my daughter that’s what the teacher was there for. She liked the chemistry class where the teacher blew things up with small explosions to keep their attention. (It was well before the bombs being set off these days.) It worked. One teacher had a softball bat he brought down on a desk to wake up sleeping students. My son had fallen asleep. My daughter thought it was hilarious but I didn’t. My husband and I asked the principal to arrange a meeting with us and the teacher in his office. My point was we were trying to avoid violence around children and a student could have a heart condition that couldn’t take a loud noise to wake him up. Another time we went over there when my son forgot to sign a book after coming back from a class in another building and they were going to punish him with a day out of school. We were directed to talk to the superintendent and it turned out every high school in the city had a different punishment. They finally gave him in-school detention which made more sense. I like the sign at the top. Tiny is a busy man. 😀 — Suzanne

    1. Thanks for sharing. I have to say I’ve had my share of in-school meetings , but for the most part I found teachers to be hard working and fair. (The exceptions were called out ) 😀

      1. Teachers these days have had more and more pushed on them almost to the breaking point. With those couple exceptions, I had no complaints. One teacher even gave up her own time to tutor her trigonometry class. My daughter thought a lot of her chemistry teacher and she liked Sayjal. Sayjal used the notebook from that class as a source book in a college chemistry class she took. 🙂 — Suzanne

      2. Wow. Some teacher. Thanks, Suzanne.

  7. Anyone getting ready to talk to President Trump should prepare themselves with this list.

    1. Ha ha ha. An excellent suggestion, Frank. Maybe the most excellent suggestion in the whole world. 😀

      1. Absolutely … wow … your post should be distributed to all the leaders of the world.

      2. Only one person to blame why it is not.

      3. Absolutely … his list is getting longer!

      4. Accountability is a bear. (I was going to say another word but needed to respect my G rating.)

  8. Gwen Plano · ·

    What a great list. I used to work with a true genius and learned very quickly that it’s best not to ask questions. 😀

    1. Ha ha ha. I think it is the safest way to go. Thanks, Gwen.

  9. Try some card tricks. I hear they love those.

    1. Take a card. Any card. Don’t show it to me.

      1. … remember it. Now tell me how many white squares are on the back of the card. You’re a genius, right?

      2. Um er ah. Wait a darn minute here. It was my trick.

      3. Sorry, didn’t mean to trick you.

  10. Thanks for the Monday morning giggles, John! 🙂 Have an awesome day!

    1. You are welcome, Natalie. 😀

  11. Yeah, genius and television don’t fit. They have better things to do with their time. They don’t waste their time on trivial junk. Want proof? Did you ever see Einstein take a selfie?

    1. Ha ha ha. Good point, Andrew.

  12. Hilarious! My fav is #5 😂 Thanks, John ❤️

    1. Thank you, Marie. Glad you liked it.

  13. Great list, John. I’ll have to take notes so I can recall your points if I ever run into a real genius!

    1. Ha ha ha. You’ll know when you ask one of these and get the response.

  14. Loved it! This list is one of my favorites, John. I’m still chuckling.😊

    1. You must be a genius. At least your writing is genius.

      1. 😊 If I were capable of blushing I would be. Thank you, John.

      2. Ha ha ha. I’ll bet you can blush. 😀

      3. Hush, John. That’s a secret! 😂

      4. :-D. My lips are sealed.

      5. Man, that makes it sooo difficult to talk.😊

      6. Mmmmmmm Mmmmmmmmmmm Mm

  15. Most of the geniuses I have met are broke and homeless.

    1. Hey buddy. Can you spare a polynomial?

  16. LOL… you knew I’d look up Spectrographic Survey… of course I did.
    Fun list, John. I don’t think I need to worry about running into any geniuses in DC… Adults stunted at preschool mentality aplenty, but not geniuses. 😉
    Have a wonderful new week. Hugs.

    1. Thank you, Teagan. Have a wonderful new week as well.

  17. Nice list, John, I’m going to print this off for the next time I am introduced to a genius at a Super Bowl party. Would it be okay if I offered them a Molson?

    1. Sure. He’ll wonder why though.

  18. D.L Finn, Author · ·

    What a great list…some truth in there, too. Brought a smile to my Monday!

    1. Thank you, Denise. 😀

  19. Ha ha, John, brilliant.

    1. Thank you, Robbie.

  20. Good list John. I will ask ‘how ‘bout them Eagles?’

    1. What a game. Totally outfoxed the Patriots and even the defense held up. Loved the Brady drop on the QB play. All in all a great win.

      1. That play, followed by Foles’s success with the same play was pure sweet. I’m so glad the defense didn’t fall off. I loved that forced fumble. All in all, a very good game for a non-NE-Fan

      2. I enjoyed the whole thing. 😀

  21. Reblogged this on Author Don Massenzio and commented:
    Check out another great top ten list from John Howell’s Fiction Favorites blog. This edition includes the top ten things not to ask a genius.

  22. I don’t think I’ve ever met a genius, John. Not in person, anyway. Even if I did meet one, I don’t think they’d want to speak to me. You’ll have to give me some tips on how to spot one. 😀

    1. It is the one talking to themselves over in the corner.

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