Albert Einstein in shorts and sandals.

When his swimsuit modeling career failed to launch, Einstein turned to science and math instead.

“Hi! Dr. Phillips, right?” I said recognizing a woman at the grocery self check-out. Growing up with a forgettable name, (and face for that matter) I’ve always been good with remembering other people’s names. I had met Dr. Phillips a couple of months ago at a local event.  She’s a prestigious forensics expert or something.

“Ever notice how really smart people have no common sense?” Dr. Phillips said, apparently in the middle of a conversation with herself.

“I think I read Einstein sometimes forgot to put on his pants. But that could have been fake news.” I said laughing, but inwardly cringing as she put a six pack of Dr. Pepper on top of her bread.

“I’m sure it’s true. Take my husband for instance. He’s a rocket scientist but he has no-” She was saying as she attempted to swipe her driver’s license through the credit card reader.

“That’s your driver’s lice-” I began, but she caught her mistake and began swiping the credit card, upside down at first, before flipping it right.

“So, Dave is really a rocket scientist?” I asked starting to scan my groceries at the next checkout. “I thought that was just a joke.”

“What’s funny about being a rocket scientist?” She asked seriously.

“Well, nothing if you are one. I just thought it was, you know, one of those kinds of jokes where you say you’re something you’re not.”

“That’s not how jokes work.” She said looking at me like I was a complete idiot. “There are rules of comedy. Just like there are rules of science. To laugh is to cry.”

“Yeah, I’ve heard that somewhere.” I agreed.

“I read it in your blog.”

“Oh, you read my blog?” I asked, flattered.

“I was told it was going to be funny.” She responded irritably.

“My comedy writing is rather tragic.” I said hoping she would throw me a bone of encouragement.

“You should try ESL stories. Those don’t have to be good.” She suggested instead.

“What were you saying about your husband not having common sense?” I said innocently bringing her back to the original conversation.

“Must not have been important. I try only to remember useful information. Goodbye.” She said taking her receipt and pushing her empty cart towards the exit, her groceries still at the checkout.

I couldn’t believe it.  She didn’t remember what knuckle headed thing her husband had done, but she remembered something I’d written in a blog!  I walked out of the store encouraged that my education as a college drop out had gleaned me common sense and an ability to write memorable content. At least until I got to my car and realized I left my purse at the checkout.

Dad at school crossing with genius son that forgot his shirt, shoes and one sock.

Lord, couldn’t we trade some of that IQ for a little common sense?

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