Warning: I Could Turn Stupid Any Day Now

I have some ideas for longer posts I plan to write, but they’ll have to wait until I return from the low-carb cruise. I’m not giving a speech on this year’s cruise, but I will be showing what I hope is the final version of the Fat Head Kids film. I just finished the final task – mixing the sound – last night. Chareva and I will watch the whole thing a couple of times over the weekend and make notes on any final tweaks. When we’re happy with it, I’ll probably upload a couple of preview clips to YouTube.

I have other pre-cruise stuff to wrap up as well, so I may or may not squeeze in one more post before leaving. The Older Brother has already agreed to take over the Fat Head chair while I’m gone.

In the meantime, I felt I should warn you all that I could turn stupid any day now. I was informed of the possibility years ago by buddies who got married and had kids at a much younger age than I did. Prepare yourself, they said. When a daughter becomes a teenager, her dad goes from being one of the smartest men on the planet to one of dumbest.

My daughter Alana turns 13 today, so I’m at serious risk of seeing my intelligence take a nosedive.

I dodged that bullet when Sara turned 13. I warned her that I might become stupid when she entered her teens, just in case. She thought about it and replied, “I don’t think it’s possible for me to ever think of you as stupid. But I reserve the right to think you’re old and just don’t get it.”

My intelligence was probably protected in her case because we think so much alike. As Chareva has pointed out many times, Sara inherited my love of language, my appreciation for math and logic, my ability to memorize, my sense of humor, and many of my likes and dislikes. So if I turned stupid, it would reflect badly on her.

Alana is much more like Chareva. She inherited her mom’s artistic abilities, to name just one example. She already draws amazingly well.

Chareva has never thought of me as stupid as far as I know, but then she never knew me during her teen years. When she was 13, I was 27. She probably would have considered me stupid at the time. I didn’t have a low IQ or anything, but when I look back at the decisions I made at that age, there was some form of stupidity at work.

Anyway, the point is that Alana and I are different enough that I could turn stupid without posing any threat to her own sense of self-worth. I’m unprotected this time around.

If I do turn stupid, I hope some of you fine folks will set aside social niceties and call me on it. I’d want to know. In fact, do me a favor and keep an eye out for the warning signs:

If I ever slam a t-post hammer onto my own skull again, I may have gotten stupid.

If ever get stung on the arm again and assume that mysterious red patch spreading from the wound will just go away on its own, I’ve likely gotten stupid.

If our chickens ever start disappearing again from a chicken yard that’s been reinforced every which way and I don’t immediately conclude this means the predator is living inside the chicken yard, I’ve probably gotten stupid.

If I ever again try to lift a bridge that weighs more than I do without using my legs while spending a weekend doing heavy farm work despite a mysterious pain in my shoulder, I’ve almost certainly gotten stupid.

Okay, that should do it.  No, wait … one more:

If I conclude that humans should live on a diet of 63 servings of fruits and vegetables per day because it’s the equivalent of gorilla’s diet and lowers cholesterol, I’ve most definitely gotten stupid. But no point warning me in that case, because it means I’ve given up blogging to join the faculty at an Ivy-League university nutrition department.

Now I need to get home for Alana’s birthday. I hope I don’t turn stupid on the way and forget where we live.


37 thoughts on “Warning: I Could Turn Stupid Any Day Now

  1. Lynda

    Have fun on the cruise!! I emailed you but perhaps it went unnoticed. Could you remove the link on the side for LowCarb Cooking NZ? It was a friend’s website but closed and is now taken over by someone else and is not even related to low carb – in fact it promotes low fat food! Thanks 🙂

    1. Tom Naughton Post author

      I tend to fall behind on emails when I’m in production mode. Thanks for the reminder. It’s gone now.

  2. Elenor

    “If I conclude that humans should live on a diet of 63 servings of fruits and vegetables per day ”

    NO chance of that happening Tom. That’s not (just) stupid, it’s INSANE! The way you eat and live, no chance of you losing your sanity!

    Happy happy birthday to Alana — and not to worry, you’ll do fine!

    1. Tom Naughton Post author

      Stupid and insane would be a bad combination indeed. I’d have to go get a job with the federal government.

  3. John Sentiff

    My dad once told me the following:

    When a young man is 18 he thinks his father is the dumbest person on the planet.
    By the time he turns 25 he can’t believe how much the old man has learned in just 7 years.

    He told me that when I was 25 and I had to laugh because I knew exactly what he was talking about.

    Now days that process happens a little sooner.
    Good luck on your journey. They do come back to you.

    1. Tom Naughton Post author

      I never thought my dad was stupid, but he certainly became brilliant by the time I was 30.

  4. Mike

    I sure hope that you don’t turn stupid. I would miss your combo of smarts and wit as they relate to nutrition and the human condition in your commentary. Enjoy your cruise.

  5. Walter

    Whatever you do don’t go on the “Gorilla Diet”. By the way Dr. Walter Willet’s Gorilla diet is nothing like what gorillas actually eat. OK, they are both raw vegan unprocessed substance, but what the gorillas eat is mostly stuff that would make humans vomit if they could chew it. Think of eating grass.

  6. Tom Welsh

    “If our chickens ever start disappearing again from a chicken yard that’s been reinforced every which way and I don’t immediately conclude this means the predator is living inside the chicken yard, I’ve probably gotten stupid”.

    Even a stupid person would probably see that one if he watched enough TV thrillers. 😎

  7. Walter

    Benjamin Franklin — “Experience keeps a dear school, but a Fool will learn in no other.”

    If I understand correctly he prided himself on being a Fool. I assume he allowed for learning from other’s experiences.

    1. Tom Naughton Post author

      If I remember correctly, Franklin did learn a thing or two over the course of his long life.

  8. Laura

    Oh man, I recently turned stupid and only figured it out today. I gave up Facebook and Twitter months ago because all I did was argue with idiots and it was a waste of my time. And then I found myself leaving comments on a vegan Youtuber’s critique of “The Magic Pill!” WTH is wrong with me? Glutton for punishment, I guess. Btw, some of those people are really waaaay out there…maybe a little low in B12 and essential fatty acids or something. One of them told me that the reason I feel better eating animal products is because “those parasites you host will go utterly batshit unless you feed them compassion-less, they love blood and death, and therefore they make you believe that you do too.” Yikes.

  9. Lori Miller

    A wise old friend told me that he who never makes a mistake, never makes anything.

    But if you’re worried about your mind declining, you can give yourself a test for dementia. Whether you’d be able to grade it accurately if you had dementia is another matter.

    1. Tom Naughton Post author

      I’ve tried to instill in my girls the notion that if you never make mistakes, you’re not trying enough new things.

  10. SB

    The Jenkins paper can be downloaded here. The table describing the vegetarian diet is a real hoot. Each day the folks on this diet had to eat 11 lbs of fruits and vegetables!!!

    1. Tom Naughton Post author

      I think I’ll pass on that diet. I don’t believe I’d live any longer, and even if I did, I prefer to enjoy being alive.

    2. gallier2

      What’s the point of comparing 3 identical diets? Look the macros, they are essentially indistinguishable.

  11. Gerard

    Can’t believe your daughters are that old. Seems like yesterday I saw pictures of them and they were so young.

    I’m stuck in the new born phase – coming up week 8 for #2. I hate it. So jealous of every one who has come out the other end of the new born stage for all their offspring. Every week and day is accounted for when I think “how far through it I am” but I have no idea when the light of the tunnel is. Set a milestone of 12 weeks but have no idea if if it has any weighting.

    My two and a half year old is an utter dream and I love parenting. I never think “we are down another month” with him. One day it will be the same for #2. Just don’t know when.

    Anyways Congrats on having two children! Im really looking forward to it myself when it becomes easier.

    1. Tom Naughton Post author

      Trust me, it gets easier. Enjoy every minute with them, because you’ll blink twice and they’ll be in high school.

  12. Michael Cohen

    Our greatest expenses during our daughters teenage years were having an attorney present at the breakfast table to ascertain what she wanted to eat in the morning, and having an exorcist on retainer ..

    1. Tom Naughton Post author

      Okay, that genuinely made me laugh out loud. I can picture it.

      I hope it doesn’t occur to Alana to get an attorney. She’s already a fierce negotiator.

  13. Walter

    The reason that the other studies didn’t show a great reduction in lifespan with a vegan diet is obvious, the people weren’t eating enough tree bark like the gorillas.

  14. Bob

    ‘She thought about it and replied, “I don’t think it’s possible for me to ever think of you as stupid. But I reserve the right to think you’re old and just don’t get it.”’

    She might have been kidding, but even so, I think that was a very insightful comment. There’s also nothing that says it has to start at 13. The attitude can appear earlier or later. It just depends on the kid.

    My knee-jerk response to her comment might be, “What is it I don’t get” as a way of starting a conversation. I suspect that is sort of futile, because the main issue is, the kid is beginning to come of age and knows it and has an entirely new outlook on her relationship to adults (and her parents in particular) and her peers. She is likely to think her generation’s fads and fashions are “cool” and informed and those of prior generations are, well, “What WERE they thinking?” It’s all about “what’s happening NOW”, which we all know never possibly could have happened before and which is the driving force behind the charm of growing up.

    On the other hand, if you can keep the door open to an occasional dialog, you might get a chance to save her from herself should she approach doing something unbelievably stupid. Happens to an awful lot of us.

    1. Tom Naughton Post author

      Fortunately, Sara doesn’t concern herself with what other kids consider “cool.” She has kind of a Popeye attitude: I amsk what I amsk.

  15. Ulfric Douglas

    “Chareva … When she was 13, I was 27”
    14 years difference.
    You have me beat by two.
    I met my proper wife when she was 18, I was 31, just into my non-stupid phase.
    (Yes I know 31-18=13 but we’re really 12 years apart.)
    In other words : I approve.


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