His given name was Death. He was the kind of guy you couldn’t introduce. He had to be explained. That was the reason Crystal dumped him. She told Death that they weren’t ‘intellectually compatible’. She meant he was stupid.
Death took the break-up hard. The first thing he did was figure out what ‘intellectually compatible’ meant. He was surprised to learn he was stupid. It was an epiphany. If he wasn’t smart enough to know he was stupid, Death wondered what else he was too stupid to know.
The library was the place he instinctively turned for knowledge. Confronted by hundreds of thousands of books on topics he’d never heard of, Death got a massive headache. He quickly concluded it was impossible to know everything about everything.
The next strategy Death tried was stark self-examination. He discovered what occupied his brain on a daily basis. In descending order, he focused on women, hockey, fast food, assorted TV shows on the Comedy Network, and video games. Death suddenly realized, that, not only was he stupid, he was shallow.
The next thing he did was google the word ‘stupid’. He found thousands of videos of people doing stupid things. He wasted two hours laughing at other people’s expense.
It was then that he noticed that the titles of many of the videos included phrases like ‘dumbest ever’ or ‘stupidest’. He wondered how people could make that claim. Was there a way to quantify stupidity, like the way they issue grades at school?
The wheels in his head started turning. Actually getting smarter was simply beyond his grasp. He remembered something his grandpa said about ugly girls who wore make-up. “If the barn needs paintin’,” he had said. The memory was random, but inspired. If Death couldn’t be smart, then he should look smart. It was time to change his image.
Death started wearing glasses. He dressed well. He even started wearing cardigans. People started treating him differently. They asked his opinion about things. Unfortunately, Death still didn’t know anything, so when he spoke, all the time and effort put into his image were wasted.
Death brooded over his dilemma for months. It affected him at work. He stopped talking. He sat and listened when in groups. One night after work, Death sat at a coffee shop with his friends. He was approached by Estelle, a new girl at work.
“Death, I was wondering if you wanted to go out for dinner some time,” she said.
Death snapped out of his contemplations and looked at Estelle. For the first time he saw her beauty.
“Excuse me?” he asked.
Estelle bit her lip. “I was asking you to dinner Friday night,” she said. Her voice quivered.
Death shrugged his shoulders. “Sure, why not?”
Estelle giggled. “That’s great. I’ll email you.”
Estelle sauntered away. His friends teased him mercilessly. Death frowned. Something just happened, but he couldn’t figure out what.