Free Kentucky column: What’s What?

What’s What?
Barry Bright
July 12, 2015

The following isn’t ‘dirty’ but borders on it. Those who are ‘offended’ by such can avert their eyes… or roll them, I don’t really care.

Once there was a really smart high school senior, Beta Club president, Valedictorian, ad nauseam, the ‘smartest’ kid in his school. He decided he wanted to attend a very prestigious university so he went to visit the school’s dean.

He told the dean, “Sir I want to attend your very prestigious university.”

“Well young sir,” the dean replied, “Before being admitted to our school you must past our test. I suggest you go home and study and return when you feel you are ready.”

So the kid went home and studied, everything he could get his hands on, everything in the school library, all his old textbooks, read the local newspapers religiously, watched the ‘news,’ had conversations with any and all local big shots who would grant him the time.

So after several weeks he went and took the test. He breezed through it. It was the easiest test he ever took in his life, until he came to the last question: “What’s what?”

He sat, scratched his head, thought and thought, and finally went up to dean and said “Sir, I can’t answer this last question.”

“Well, son,” the dean replied, “Go home and study another year.”

So the kid, slightly disheartened, went home and began to visit all the university and local libraries in the lower 48 states and devour their content, spend time with all the ‘educated’ people who would put up with him, got involved in charities, political parties, religions, listened to endless lectures and even watched ‘educational television.’

Finally he felt he was ready once again. So he went back, took the test, breezed through it, and came to the final question: “What’s what?”

Once more he went up to the Dean with a quizzical look on his face and once more the dean told him, “Go home and study for another year.”

So this time he dipped into his college savings, bought a plane ticket, and went to Europe. He read every bit of ancient history he could get his hands on, learned every ancient language, studied all the forms of ancient governance, eventually visited every other country in the world, tearing through their libraries.

Finally his quest led him to the ‘esoterica’ as it is sometimes called. So in this new effort he climbed every mountain, inquired of every sage, joined every ‘secret’ organization he could find out about, to learn their hidden knowledge, and finally, felt he was ready to take the test again.

Same results: “Go back and study another year.”

At this point he was a bit perplexed and started to re-cover all his original material, convinced he had missed out on something basic, day and night, with little rest or relaxation or recreation he toiled, until finally nearly dead with mental and physical exhaustion he decided to take a break. So he called up his girlfriend, where he found time for a girlfriend in all this isn’t explained, and suggested a picnic in the park and day on the lake.

So as they were reclining opposite one another in a rowboat, his mind still filled with millions of details, numbers, statistics, formulas, he noticed a slight breeze begin to flutter his girlfriend’s dress and finally a gust lifted it high into the air.

“What’s that?” He nearly shouted, pointing under her dress.

With her eyebrows raised in anticipation and with a slight knowing smile she demurely answered, “What’s what?”

“Damn,” he blurted out, “If I’d have known that three years ago, I’d be a junior in college.”

The only moral to this story is that sometimes we don’t learn things until we are truly ready to, and sometimes not even then…

This is a slightly enhanced version of a joke told by my high school freshman year science teacher, who was also the football coach. It was a ‘general’ science class and thus not obviously deemed that important for it was probably filled by not-college bound kids. Our teacher spent most of his time telling stories and just generally ‘BSing.’