Matt Heath: Being called a stupid moron has been enlightening


Have you noticed how stupid you are? Last week people from all over the country came together to point out my idiocy. Being called a moron has made me a brighter, more knowledgeable and better-smelling person.

New Zealanders have a lot on. We’re often too busy to see what’s right in front of us. Take the word fortnight. I’ve been using it my whole life. It wasn’t until last Tuesday it dawned on me – fortnight is just “fourteen nights” shortened into one word. I’d been on the planet 35 years before I realised the Guinness Book of World Records is run by the beer company. I only noticed two days ago that the “alphabet” gets its name from the Greek letters “alpha” and “beta”. Yesterday my mate Banger blew my mind by pointing out that “cigarettes” are small cigars. Cigar-ettes.

Growing up, adults would ask for my “Christian Name”; I thought that just meant “first name”. It never crossed my mind I was named after the titular character in Matthew, the first book of the New Testament. I thought Matt was just a noise assigned to me by my parents. You have to be pretty dumb not to work out that “Christian Name” means “Christian Name”.

It’s not just everyday words, names and sayings that reveal idiocy. I was talking on my radio show the other morning about shower gel.

“Why do so many people use shower gel when the water just washes it off your hand?” I ranted. “You need one pump for each armpit, one down the front, one round back, one for each leg. Shower gel is impractical and expensive.”

The text machine exploded with abuse. “Get a loofah – stupid” – analysed Steve from Papanui, “use a loofah you moron” added Issac from Beachhaven, “Matt, you imbecile, haven’t you heard of a loofah?” wrote Gemma from Hataitai.

They were right. For some moronic reason I had never heard of a loofah. I now know that loofahs — sometimes spelt luffas — are popular shower accessories used to clean and exfoliate your skin. Squirting gel on a loofah is a game-changer. I’ve never been so clean. With a loofah in my hand, one pump of gel is enough to scrub my entire beautiful shapely body. I’m so grateful for the brutal abuse I received that day. I would’ve continued pumping away in the shower, wasting gel, if the good people of New Zealand hadn’t pointed out my stupidity.

Discussions around loofahs raise another bathroom mistake many Kiwis make. I don’t want to go too deep into the sordid details here but let’s just say I had never thought to line up my biological waste release valve with the water in the middle of the bowl. If you don’t account for the varying slopes on the front and back of different sanitation utilities, you end up with impacts outside the splash zone. Take the time to check your position on the seat, and you can significantly reduce the need for the brush and the duck. Some setups require further forward, some right at the back. When you get it right, a push of the button is all you need. Get it wrong, and you enter a world of caking and scrubbing.

As I write this, my son is watching the 2007 movie I Am Legend, starring Will Smith. His character Dr Robert Neville just held up a CD and called it “the best album ever made”. The album was Bob Marley’s Legend, a greatest hits compilation released after Marley’s death. Will Smith, you idiot. Legend can’t be the greatest album ever made as it was compiled, not made. Idiocy is everywhere.

Here are some other things you might be getting wrong. It’s One “and” the same — not one “in” the same. It’s “should have, could have, would have”, “not should of, could of, would of”. It’s the “Armed Offenders Squad”, not the “Armed Defenders”.

Do yourself a favour and keep an eye out for idiocy in your life. It’s a gift to be told you are stupid. Anyone who believes they are getting everything right has “another think coming”.

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