Sometimes Playing Dumb is the Smartest Thing to Do

Let’s be honest. Playing dumb is neither fun nor easy. However we all have to do it for the sake of something. We all gotta work. We all gotta eat. And we all need some form of spiritual healing.

Take a look for yourself:

Office Fight

Your work family dishes out a different set of VIP rules for your colleague, who happens to have the same title as you and the same pay as you, but you’re not supposed to know that you’re given the short end of the stick.  You aren’t paid to think for yourself. That’s not expected nor written in your employee handbook, so what do you do? Simple. You play dumb until you find a new job or secretly manage to beat some [employment ] ethics and equality into your colleague and every suite mate that leads that colleague to believe their shit doesn’t stink. Violence succeeds where Human Resources fail.


Your church family writes notes about your colorfully tainted life while you’re singing a solo with the choir. You can’t condemn them to hell because somewhere in the bible that’s written to be frowned upon, so what do you do? You play dumb and wait until it’s time for the congregational prayer. Then while everybody’s eyes are closed, pour a few dozen Ex-Lax pills into the communion wine. At that point you can stop playing dumb and instead sit back and wait for the magic to happen. The magic will more than likely happen just before the devil’s personal chauffeurs arrive to carry your sinful ass to hell.  If you’re a little smarter, you’ll wait until church is over to cuss everybody the hell out, but noooooooooo. You’re not that smart. You have to play dumb and shit. At least this way you only indirectly interrupt the church service. That’ll prolong your trip to purgatory.

Pay up

What if someone confronts you about money you’ve owed them since elementary school? Remember that day you borrowed $.50 from someone to buy a Whatchamacallit some umpteen years ago? When you sunk your front teeth into that crunchy caramel nougat, you had no idea that thirty years later those same two front teeth would rot and fall out on the day you’d run into the then most popular girl in all of the 6th grade. What do you do now? Smile and play dumb, pretending you have a full set of teeth in your mouth. Wait. I take that back. Smiling would in fact be dumb. Not playing dumb. You’d be the talk of your 6th grade class, provided everyone in your 6th grade class is still alive, and remembers you, or care(s)/(ed) about you, or don’t have teeth of their own. What would be the chances of that? What do you care? You’re still playing dumb, right? Or is that a dumb question?


Your supervisor asks you if the color of her dress brings out the color of her eyes. Even though her eyes on a normal day are a soul-less black and her pupils completely disappear when it’s her time of the month, if you want to continue receiving paychecks with cute little smiley faces over each “i” in your name, you’d better play dumb and lie like hell when you tell her “yes, that beautiful dress almost hides the hatred in your eyes. I feel like I could smack you and actually get away with it.”

WARNING: Do not try this at home or in your wildest dreams. 

To tell you the truth, I could continue with this list of appropriate times to play dumb, but there is someone banging on my door, no doubt with a reason to question the paper bag full of dog poop that someone left sitting on their front door step. I may know the person that left the shit there. I may be the person that left the shit there.  But for the sake of my health and physical ability to walk – ahem RUN FOR MY LIFE – should a shitty situation arise, I’d better play dumb and act like none of this, this post or the bag of puppy poo, ever happened.

I swear, sometimes playing dumb is the smartest thing you can do.