Undercover Genius Here

I took an online IQ test a few days ago. It was a link I stumbled across on Facebook so, you know, totally legit. I ended up scoring in the Genius category, so I naturally assumed the whole thing was rigged. Mama didn’t raise no dummies, but she also didn’t raise no Einsteins, know what I’m saying? A couple of months ago I found an online grammar test and decided to have my team take it. I got suspicious when we all ended up with perfect scores, so I had some other random people in the office take it, too. Folks who aren’t writers. And wouldn’t you know it, every single person scored a perfect 100 percent. No way, I thought, so I retook the test, intentionally choosing the wrong answers. My result? A perfect 25/25.

Hence, my skepticism over the IQ test. But this time, when I shared it with my coworkers, they did not all get perfect scores. I took it again, missing questions on purpose like I did with the last test, and according to my results the second time around, it was a bit of a miracle that I had been able to dress myself that morning. The IQ test, it turned out, wasn’t fake. Which begs the question: am I a genius?!

I dunno. Maybe I just got lucky. My mom has told me she had our IQs tested when my brother and I were young, but always refused to share the results. Based on her response, I’ve operated under the assumption that I did either really poorly or really well, and she didn’t want to burden us with that knowledge, or Scott’s score was so vastly different from mine that she didn’t want to hurt anybody’s feelings. Like, if he tested at a genius level and I was actually an imbecile, the kind thing to do would be to spare our feelings, right? Now I’m not so sure. Maybe my whole life I’ve been an unwitting genius completely unaware of my mental superpowers! If that’s the case…well, sorry, Scott.

If I am a genius, talk about a wasted talent. I still can’t figure out how to unravel Saran Wrap without having it bunch up and stick to everything. Mostly me.

We were up north this past weekend, helping Anne move.

Now, I’m the type of person who never volunteers to help out when it comes to moving. Not only do I avoid it like the plague, I actually think I’d prefer coming down with a case of the plague. In fact, if I so much as hear the “m” word I usually walk away from the conversation as quickly as my feet will carry me, pretending not to hear a word of what is being said. If I had to rank helping somebody move on a list, it would look something like this, in order from worst to best:

  1. Dying a slow and painful death.
  2. Dying a quick death.
  3. Speaking in public.
  4. Helping somebody move.
  5. Paying taxes.
  6. Listening to rap music.

If I should inadvertently not scoot out of earshot quickly enough and somebody does end up asking me for help, I usually come up with a fake excuse of some sort. I’m sorry, I’ll tell them. I have a bar mitzvah to attend. Or, Aww, shucks – I’m having my gall bladder removed that day. You know, something believable-ish. The more difficult to confirm, the better. But Anne is family, and I felt I couldn’t very well say no this time.

Plus, she knows I’ve already had my gall bladder removed.

Annoyingly, Tara was much more chipper about the whole thing. “Think of all the Karma points you’ll rack up!” she declared. I wanted to respond by letting her know that ‘Karma points’ are not an acceptable currency in any store where I shop, but didn’t have the heart to break this news to her. So I gamely agreed, even though she did let me off the hook by saying I could stay home instead if I wished. Fortunately, I’ve been in enough relationships to recognize this as a trap. Sure, I could have remained behind, sitting on the couch watching a mind-numbing, endless parade of television instead of lugging heavy furniture and boxes, but I’d have been paying the price for that decision for weeks to come. It doesn’t take a genius (ha!) to see that the Benefit-Cost Ratio would have landed firmly in the negative column, for all my accounting friends out there. So of course, I went and helped.

And really, it wasn’t that bad. At least there were no stairs to contend with, and Anne was getting rid of a lot of stuff, so we didn’t have to pack up the contents of her entire apartment. Plus, my gall bladder never once flared up. On the downside, it rained. But now Anne is all moved into a nice little house that is all hers, and I have banked a shitload of Karma points.

I’ll try not to spend them all in one place.


Published by Mark Petruska

I'm a professional writer and editor living my best life in south central Wisconsin.

9 thoughts on “Undercover Genius Here

  1. You know Mark, I have never taken an IQ Test, so I’m not even sure what mine is?!? I’m sure it wouldn’t be high because I did very poorly in school. However, I consider myself very “street smart” and “intuitive smart.” But as far as being “book smart” no way.

    HA! Love your worst to best list!!! “Listening to rap music.” Mine as well! HATE rap!!!

    However, (and I know this sounds strange) I love to help people move, honest! I love to lift things, so I’m always telling friends and people I work with, “If you ever need someone to help you move, just let me know…I’ll be there!”

    I think I must have been a “professional mover” in one of my past lives. HA!


    1. I’m surprised to hear how many people don’t actually mind helping others move. I guess the good thing is, I’ve got plenty of people to call when I move next year! You’ll hop on over from Philly to lend a hand, right?!


  2. I really did LOL on the karma points currency! Haha! I’m a weirdo who likes moving and cleaning out crap. There’s something fulfilling about packing boxes just right or hauling trash bags to the curb.

    Then again, I liked taking standardized/ IQ (remember Iowa tests?) in school, too. I liked the break from listening to teacher lectures and taking notes.


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