Dumb Questions — October 18, 2011


Occasionally at one of my gigs, I will be asked by a proficient sponsor if I am willing to take some questions from the audience–Q and A.  I’m always willing to do it, but honestly, it rarely is as productive as the well-intentioned promoter desires. Nevertheless, I pursue it–often ending up with some nervous silence and mutual staring between myself and the congregated–who are desperately trying to think of something intelligent about which to inquire.

Eventually a daring soul will raise his hand, beginning with the disclaimer: “This could be a dumb question …”

I immediately interrupt and glibly pipe in with, “There are no dumb questions, just dumb answers from me.” Obligatory chuckles ensue, and the question, which is normally neither dumb nor intelligent–just rather personal. I have been asked how it feels to be bald. Someone once posed the question of what I did when I ran out of ideas for stories and I was trying to meet a deadline. And I’ll never forget the college student at a university in Alabama, who coyly asked me if I had ever been tempted to commit adultery. (All of his friends giggled, thinking their pal had just invented the light bulb, or had truly stumped the guest speaker. Without missing a beat, I piped back, “Tempted? No.  Committed? Yes.”  I waited for a moment, and then laughed at them myself. I explained that I was joking, but I do think some of them were never quite sure.)

Back to the issue of dumb questions. Even though I insist to all  comers and goers that there is no such thing, there actually ARE two dumb questions in life, and every time we ask them, we end up feeling very inadequate, which lends itself to aggravation and a bit of despair. I learned a long time ago that being smart is not an attempt to eliminate dumb.  Being smart is recognizing what’s really dumb for you and understanding why it is and setting your feet in a different direction.

So I’d like to take the next couple of days to talk to you about what I think are the only two dumb questions. I would not do this except for the fact that unfortunately, they are asked all the time and each one of us is guilty of entering their spider web of deceit.

So on the morrow we shall discuss question one.  I don’t even plan on giving you a teaser, because … well, because to me? That would be dumb.


Jonathan sings “Let”

Jonathan Sings “Spent This Time”

Jonathan and his partner, Janet Clazzy, play “The Call”

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