1. You’re not actually intelligent. You think you’re really smart, but just wait. One day soon you’ll be driving down the road, then all of a sudden you’ll get the feeling you forgot something. You’ll check your pockets — wallet, phone — and it’ll occur to you: “I forgot my car keys!” Then you’ll turn around and drive home to find them because, really, you’re not that bright.
2. You’re depressed. Intelligent people are statistically much more likely to be depressed. It’s true what they say, ignorance is bliss. You, on the other hand, realize how terrible other people are, how terrible you yourself are, how royally screwed the world is, how quickly you’re dying, how little any of that matters. Yes, your life is interspersed with moments of joy, but you can’t reason yourself into retaining happiness. That’s like telling your brain to enjoy the cookie you ate yesterday while currently eating your way out of the world’s largest jar of Vegemite. It’s not logical.
3. You’re the IT guy. Why are smart people so good with computers? Because computers aren’t that hard. Alas, your uncle is never going to figure out how to update his firmware, so that’s on you for as long as computers are a thing.
4. Your intelligence is wasted. Growing up, people said you could do anything. You got into a great college, made the Dean’s List a semester or two, and finally managed to land a coveted job at the Acme Corporation. Now you answer phones and fill out spreadsheets. Sadly that A- in calculus does little to keep you warm at night.
5. Your intelligence is ignored. One night you and a group of friends are looking up at the sky when one of them points to a bright point of light. “Look,” he says, “It’s a satellite.” Looking up, you realize he’s pointing at Venus, and you say so. But then this girl (who thinks you’re arrogant for some reason) agrees it is definitely a satellite, adding, “Sorry, but you’re wrong.” The next day, you email them a link to a site that explains satellites in geosynchronous orbit are usually too far away to be seen by the naked eye. “He’s still on about that?” they whisper when you turn your back. “What a douche.”
6. Your ignorance is magnified. Soon after the Venus/satellite incident, you let it slip that you think Desmond Tutu is a jazz musician, and suddenly your knowledge (or lack thereof) is all anyone wants to talk about. And now you have a reputation for being both arrogant and ignorant.
7. You’re not smarter than a smart phone. It used to be enough for smart people to be right 80% of the time — who was going to take the time to look up your errors in a book?! But now that every person with a smart phone has instant access to every bit of human knowledge, not only do you have to be right 100% of the time, you have to be right with stunning accuracy. Unfortunately for you, Google has better sources than “something I’m pretty sure my ninth-grade teacher said one time.”
8. You can’t think about politics without your head exploding. If you’re a fan of intelligent debate, genuinely interested in discussing the best way to govern our country, the political process should be your American Idol. The only problem is: our elections aren’t decided by the intelligentsia — they’re decided by people who watch American Idol. So get ready for another remark full of rhetoric and lacking substance, prepare for another shouting match over an irrelevant topic, and enjoy living in a world in which Sarah Palin is a formidable contender for supreme political power.
9. You have to live a respectable life. Being smart will give you access to certain opportunities, like high-paying jobs with a level of prestige. But almost all of these opportunities carry the additional requirement that you be “respectable,” meaning they’ll disappear if you go out and get a neck tattoo, drop out of society to hitchhike through Mexico, or continually update your Facebook with posts about Gossip Girl. Yes, the kid from Heavy Weights is all grown up and playing the elevator operator. Keep that revelation to yourself and go buy some slacks.
10. You should know better. If there’s one thing the “smart” characters on every TV show have in common, it’s that they’re the spoilsports. As the person in the glasses who is capable of looking at this situation from multiple angles, you are the one whose job it is to say, “Maybe this isn’t such a good idea,” and then ultimately lament, “I knew I should have stayed home today.” Your only hope is that the charismatic guy in the baseball cap will save you from this sticky situation — and maybe teach you a lesson about life along the way.
11. Your entertainment options are limited. Face it: you’re part of a very small demographic. Enjoy those Arrested Development DVDs.