March 1, 2007

Smarter Than a 5th Grader …

When I was real little, I remember thinking that my folks were the smartest people in the world. They could read. They could write. They were potty trained. It was everything I aspired to be. Of course, I abandoned this theory in high school and adopted one that made much more sense: I am the smartest person in the world.

Jeff Foxworthy seems to disagree.

Last night I was channel surfing and landed on this new FOX show, “Are You Smarter Than a 5th Grader?” (hosted by Mr. Foxworthy). The brilliant premise: Contestants (adults) must correctly answer questions taken directly from the textbooks of first-through-fifth graders to win money. If that’s not enough, a group of 5th graders openly mock the contestant for wrong answers. And, if you walk away with less than the $1 million grand prize, you must say, “I am not smarter than a 5th grader.”

God I love television.

After my initial euphoria, I realized how embarrassing it would be to get outsmarted by kids—especially ones who have celebrated fewer birthdays than my driver’s license. I’ve always felt bad for tykes whose parents’ were morons, but luckily for BK3 I’m brilliant. Or am I? What if I’m not as smart as I advertise? What if I had been kidding myself? What if my child has a stupid parent? BK3’s entire future rests in my hands, so I must find out.

Enter Mr. Foxworthy and my new favorite game show. I figure it should take only five questions. If I get them all correct, there’s nothing to worry about. If I miss even one, BK3 should prepare for a budding career as 40-year-old who lives with his parents.

Game on.

First question: When you mix equal amounts of red and yellow paint, what color do you get?

That’s an easy one. Orange.

Survey says: Brian the Brain 1, Brian the Bozo 0

Second question: What country has the longest border with the U.S.?

Now they’re lobbing them up there, and I’m swinging for the fences. Canada.

Survey says: Brian the Brain 2, Brian the Bozo 0 (Note: Contestant says Mexico. Contestant may not be smarter than Play-Doh—the jury is still out.)

Third question: In astronomy, what star is closest to Earth?

I know what you’re thinking—George Clooney, right? Well you would be wrong, my friend, as the star closest to Earth is The Sun.

Survey says: Brian the Brain 3, Brian the Bozo 0 (BOOYAH!)

Fourth question: True or False: Fiction books are not assigned numbers in the Dewey Decimal system.

The Dewey Decimal system still exists? I bet Brittany’s librarian sister Allison knows this. Of course, she probably wouldn’t help me after the whole “You’re the second favorite aunt” debacle of ‘06. I think both use numbers, so I’m going to say False.

Survey says: Brian the Brain 4, Brian the Bozo 0

Fifth, and final, Question: How many sides are there on a trapezoid?

A trapezoid? What the hell is a trapezoid? The fate of my child rests on a shape? Take a deep breath. Let’s examine what we do know: An octagon has eight sides. A hexagon has six sides. Four sides is called a square. Wait a minute! What’s the funny looking square that’s shaped like a hat? It’s a trapezoid! Two parallel, two nonparallel. It’s Four, the correct answer is Four!

Survey says: Brian the Brain 5, Brian the Bozo 0

Turns out I am a genius—at least, a genius on a 5th-grade level. Every dad hopes to teach his child everything he knows to help him (or her) build a better life. That’s exactly what I intend to—teach BK3 about the lessons of life, the value of love and, most important, the dimensions of a trapezoid.


january said...

oh man!
i am obsessed with this train wreck of a show!
kevin bill and i have been dukin' it out all week.

why don't these mo-rons do the hard questions first while they have the kids there to help them and then save the easy ones for the end?

i guess they didn't teach end-game stra-tee-gery until somewhere in 6th grade.

Mike Haord said...

That's right! You can teach you child many important things. Some skills, like reading and summarizing the book will be just beneficial.