I don’t consider myself as a very smart person. More times than not I never feel like the smartest person in the room. I’m not dumb by any means, but being super smart is something I don’t really consider. Until yesterday.
I walked into a local Valero gas station needing my daily dose of sugar-free Monster Energy drinks and Fudge Rounds, the breakfast of champions. Placing them on the counter, I reached into my back pocket for my wallet. The cashier rang the items up and quietly requested $6.48 for the damages. I handed her a crisp $20 bill, and without hesitation, told her I would like $13.52 in gas on pump number one. She keyed that in, and with a blank look on her face, looked up at me as if I had just backed over her puppy.
“How did you know it would be $13.52, you didn’t even use your phone,” she questioned me.
I didn’t know how to answer her and just looked back at her with a surprised facial expression. She continued to look at me as if I were a witch in the 1500’s and needed to be burned at the stake, Joan of Arc style. All because “I can math.”
I turned around headed to the gas pump, Monsters and fudge cakes in tow, and could only wonder how someone in this day and age couldn’t add or subtract on the fly. Especially simple numbers. Has our educational system gotten that bad? My junior high and high school wasn’t the top of the line when it came to learning, but we managed just fine.
Her look of amazement immediately made me think of how those of old were treated when they “could math.” Women looked at like witches, men shoved in asylums because they “thought different.” Maybe our society is traveling on that path again, and the smart ones that can think for themselves will be cast out into the fire. I guess it does pay to be dumb sometimes.