Prying Stupidity

The most obvious means of dodging the distress stemming from encounters with stupers (short yet again, for brazenly stupid persons) is to stay at home, alone, locking all means of entry and treating the phone like a rabid raccoon. Alas, this is as possible as boarding the Titanic.

During the holiday season, there’s a surge in brushes with stupers, especially when attending soirĂ©es, and positively if relatives of the seldom seen variety are present. These are the ones who, though infrequent visitors, expect to be regarded as priests in the confessional. They want to hear all. Consequently, I’m offering a quick refresher course on ways to maintain sanity when asked Questions from Hell. Of course, a sign may be worn around the neck, which reads: Do Not Disturb. But it’s unlikely, no, improbable, that stupers would get the message.

A close cousin of mine, Alice, recently got a divorce. Hence, she avoided all family gatherings in order to bypass an inquest by relatives. Queries were directed to me instead.

Stuper: Why did Alice and Ted break up?

Me: I don’t know.

When a stuper asks a question that is none of her business and/or one you do not wish to discuss, it’s okay to play the part of a stuper yourself. Merely look wide-eyed and slowly trail the end of your response upwards two or three octaves; then bring it suddenly back down at the last possible second, while slightly shaking your head in obvious wonder. The different tones along with the head motion can cause a slightly hypnotic effect on the stuper, rendering them (hopefully) speechless. During this interval, tiptoe to safety.

Stuper: How much does your husband make?

Me: Oh that reminds me. My kids’ 4-H club is having a See’s Candy fundraiser. How many boxes would you like to buy?

This defense response somewhat resembles an eye for an eye. Should a stuper put you on the spot, don’t be afraid to do the same to them. That should keep them from approaching you for awhile (at least twelve-fifteen minutes).

Stuper: How come you’re not practicing law anymore? (I can never escape a function without being subjected to this weary query.)

Me: I’ve become really good at borrowing money from family members and friends to keep me afloat. Can you loan me ten grand?

Use this last one in an emergency. Attempting to borrow money works like a charm for getting rid of a stuper in a hurry.

I don’t mind questions. But those of a personal or intimate nature should come only from close, loved ones. Not sporadic, stuper relatives/acquaintances.

You can’t teach a person to think. But you can find ways to distract them during probing questioning without being rude, using the above techniques.

If none of the tips for deflecting relentless prying suits your style, you might choose a simpler response: “I’ll get back to you on that later.” This provides a polite and speedy escape.

Think first, last and always!


3 Responses to “Prying Stupidity”

  1. Sarah says:

    I get questions like this from relatives the minute I step into the house, during parties. It makes me want to go right back out again. Good tips! I’m gonna try the act like a stuper one so I can have some fun while I’m at it.

  2. Agnes Mildew says:

    Such razor sharp retorts there, Keli! I now feel capable of attending the Christmas lunch forewarned and fore-armed.

  3. Reilly says:

    Have you come up with a way for warding off stupers for good? Like garlic for vampires?

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