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This is a question Pure Ignorance

What astonishingly stupid stuff have you overheard people saying? Tell us, and tell the world.

(, Thu 6 Jan 2005, 22:51)
Pages: Latest, 35, 34, 33, 32, 31, ... 1

This question is now closed.

South American Iconography Mix-Up
"I like your teeshirt!" my friend's sister says to me. "thank you" I reply.

The teeshirt in question is a black Rage Againt The Machine one, with Che Guevara's face stamped accross it.

"I love his music" she adds. I was genuinely surprised, not thinking she'd like RATM. "really?" I enquire

"yeah!" she says enthusiastically "especially 'No Woman No Cry'"
(, Thu 13 Jan 2005, 16:48, Reply)
Ahoy Dr. Zoidberg
I hear what you're saying but, technically, Cruithne isn't a moon. It's an asteroid in an eliptical orbit round the sun which occasionally intersects with ...

... sorry, got to stop there as I'm boring even myself.

As a matter of fact, yes, people do avoid me at parties.
(, Thu 13 Jan 2005, 16:48, Reply)
An American in Venice
Whilst staying in a lovely convent/hostel (don't ask - scary nuns) in Venice I overheard the following from an American girl in the next bed over:

'Well, I hate it here cos my hair is so frizzy cos I don't have a hairdryer. I didn't bring it cos do they even have electricity in Europe?'
(, Thu 13 Jan 2005, 16:45, Reply)
Who's In the Bag?
Sorrry for banging on, but I just remembered a "Who's In the Bag?" classic from a friend of mine:

Him: Hitler's mistress.
Us: Eva Braun?
Him: Er, no.

It transpired that he was trying to describe Anne Frank.
(, Thu 13 Jan 2005, 16:42, Reply)
Oi, spida
The U2 song doesn't begin with "Uno", it begins with "Unos" which isn't evena fucking spenish word. Silly U2.
(, Thu 13 Jan 2005, 16:36, Reply)
One more...
A mate of mine was once asked what he would do if the earth was just about to explode, his reply...get in a submarine and hide in the sea, well ask a silly question.
This mate now actually serves aboard a nuclear submarine in the navy, looks like the earth exploding question wasnt so silly after all.
(, Thu 13 Jan 2005, 16:34, Reply)
you could cite my post as overheard ignorance then ;)
(, Thu 13 Jan 2005, 16:30, Reply)
Some fella wot I werked wif
'What's oxtail made from ?'
'Ox Tails' (although sometimes beef tails)

'If we eat turkey at christmas, what do they eat in Turkey ?'
(Turkey, mostly although it is called 'India'!)
(, Thu 13 Jan 2005, 16:29, Reply)
An old friend of mine
Trying to describe an ethnic group from somewhere around the Mediterranean. She wanted to give the impression that they were oppressed and put-upon by their neighbours. "They're the Jews of the Eastern Med," she said. We pointed out that the Israelis were probably the Jews of the Eastern Med. And then mocked her a bit.

And I'm sure that somebody else has already pointed it out, but nappies were originally called napkins. My grandparents' generation (and possibly a few of my parrents' generation) called them napkins.

(Not that I'm saying Israel is oppressed rather than an oppressor. It was her point, not mine.)

Edit: That's the trouble with this "mocking stupid people" question of the week. There's been a lot of bashing Yanks for not knowing the geography of Europe, but how much do we know about the geography of the States? I remember being acutely embarrassed while reading the coverage of the last US election when I realised that I couldn't accurately point out where North Carolina was (other than being above South Carolina, which I also couldn't place).
(, Thu 13 Jan 2005, 16:28, Reply)
Sorry but...
We *do* have more than one moon, don't you watch QI?

And nappy is an abbreviation of napkin which is what posh people still call nappies. Honestly.
(, Thu 13 Jan 2005, 16:24, Reply)
Mystery Woo Yay Boy
Nappy is a contraction of napkin. My grandmother still calls them napkins, because she remembers the time before it was changed to nappy.

(, Thu 13 Jan 2005, 16:22, Reply)
Men Of Valor
Me and one of my mates booted up Men Of Valor (The new Vietnam War game) on my xbox. I told him it was supposed to be really realistic, and that we had to use stealth as opposed to out and out gunning. He took all this in, and then asked..

"What are we fighting then? Robots?"

hmm... curse those Vietcong Robots...
(, Thu 13 Jan 2005, 16:16, Reply)
@ c u d d l e s
I had exactly that message when trying to sort out a problem with my modem in windows. I went through the troubleshooter without resolving the problem, and then when it had run out of ideas it said "if your problem persists, try our support website". Well duh!
(, Thu 13 Jan 2005, 16:15, Reply)
my ex's father was american
he believed that in england, the day after christmas was called "boxer day" and we called diapers "napkins"

what a genius
(, Thu 13 Jan 2005, 16:14, Reply)
Oh yeh and once..
I managed to convince some poor american dimwit in a chatroom that wales was the capital of england and he was confused about it being london much in the same way most people think sydney is the capital of australia....It kinda backfired as i then had to explain that sydney wasnt the capital
(, Thu 13 Jan 2005, 16:12, Reply)
Oh yeh and this one..
I was walking out of my house in the morning with my brother on the way to school one day, it was a clear day so the moon could still be seen in the early daylight, so being evil a conversation went as follows:
ME: Ah i see the second moon is out then
BROTHER: what?
Me: You know, the second moon, theres the one you can see early in the morning and the one that comes up at night, you do know earth has two moons, dont you?
BROTHER: Oh yeh yeh i remember
ME (in my head): HAHAHAHA

he belived this for weeks until i gave in and told him, he was 15 at the time
(, Thu 13 Jan 2005, 16:07, Reply)
Horse eggs
My stepson convinced his (13 yr old) friend that horses have eggs.

That's it!
(, Thu 13 Jan 2005, 15:59, Reply)
Actually Overheard (Rare)
Little history. Dan Murphy's is a chain of bottle shops (off licence, liquour store, etc) in Australia. Apparently there was an actual Dan Murphy about a hundred years ago, he had a few stores, and somewhere down the line, Woolworths bought the lot, and now run the brand as a "boutique" bottle shop ("boutique" meaning to look quite highbrow, but be fucking enormous and drive the competition out of town).

So, I'm on a tram heading from Melbournes delightful northern suburbs into the city, and hear some old bloke (talking to the tram driver) say, "Geez, that Dan Murphy must be worth a few bob. Looks to be doin' pretty well for himself".
(, Thu 13 Jan 2005, 15:37, Reply)
A friend of my brothers (let's call him Craig) had phoned the house looking for him, and my Mum answered the phone to say he wasn't in.

Craig: Ah, I need some information for this application I'm filling out for him.
Mum: Can I help at all?
Craig: Oh, maybe. Do you know what his date of birth is?
Mum: As it happens I do. I was there.

The poor guy hung up in embarassment.

F x
(, Thu 13 Jan 2005, 15:30, Reply)
This one was me,
and it happened many years ago. I must have been about 13, and I was over at a mates house. (Lets call him David). David had a phone in his room, and I asked him if I could use it to arrange myself a lift home. He said yes, so I picked up the phone and heard two people talking. Now, I was clearly NOT thinking, because for some reason I assumed that there was some kind of fault and I was listening to a conversation on a crossed line. "Who the fuck is this?" I asked loudly down the phone.

It was at this moment that I realised what I had just done, slammed the phone down in horror, and sat there wanting the world to suck me into a large bottomless black pit.

Needless to say my friend was mortified when his mother burst into the room and dragged him out for a good shouting at/kicking. Nothing was ever said to me, but it took a few weeks for the guilt to wear off.....
(, Thu 13 Jan 2005, 15:21, Reply)
Whilst working as a home insurance quote monkey
I had the misfortune to deal with some astonishingly stupid members of the public, eg:

Me: Has your property ever suffered from subsidence?
Posh old woman: Certainly not! This is a very respectable area!

Me: Is your house detached, semi-detached or terraced?
Scouser: Errrm - I don't understand
Me: (explained the difference)
Scouser: Hold on mate, I'll pop outside and have a look

Me: Is your title Mrs, Miss or Ms?
Young woman: I don't know. What is it when you're not married?

And these people are allowed to vote. Fuck me.
(, Thu 13 Jan 2005, 15:05, Reply)
My housemate is a legend.
"If there was a shark behind me I wouldn't want to miss it"

"I can hear the silence better with my hat off"

Looking out a window in a ski resort - "Its snowing" "Where?"

And the best error message I've ever had trying to install a program, although sadly I can't remeber what it was "This program is having trouble connecting to the internet - click here to visit our techinical support website."
(, Thu 13 Jan 2005, 14:53, Reply)
How we chortled....
It used to be my job to run Restart courses (for any non-Brits reading this, the Restart course is - or used to be - another name for; 'come along to this one week course, and we'll try to figure out why you don't have a job after at least two years of unemployment, and we'll also try to help you review your options with regards to getting you off the dole, you scum. P.S. If you don't attend, we'll be stopping your benefit. Love, Employment Services xxx')

As you can guess, most of the attendees didn't REALLY want to be there, but were laughingly cajoled by the powers that be, by the threat of having their unemployment benefits rescinded. In truth, only about half of those 'invited' ever turned up (go figure) and most of those that DID had probably had to have a week off work to be there, such is the black economy.... (it means working illegally whist claiming benefits, OK?)
Anyway, I digress...... One of the exercises we had to perform as course leaders was a little thing called "What's Stopping Me Getting Back To Work?", in which we had to get the group (did I mention there was group? Oh yes.....ususally of about 15.....!) to brainstorm some or all of the factors preventing them from getting gainful (No, Gaz....dealing on the estate DOESN'T really count...) employment. These we would then write onto a flipchart to be examined, discussed and hopefully overcome by the group as a whole, at their leisure (no pun intended)...
Such barriers to employment would include things like 'lack of qualifications', 'there are no jobs' (always a favourite), and 'I get more in benefits than I can earn in a job'....
One particular week the exercise was progressing fairly normally until the following interchange......

Me: Anybody think of any more?
Doley Scum #1: Literacy! That's a barrier!
Me: Yep, well done! Any more?
Doley Scum #2: Numeracy! That's one!
Me: Great! That's another....any more?
Doley Scum #3: Er, what's numeracy?
Doley Scum #2: It's when you can't count...
Doley Scum #3: Hey, that's me that is! That's me! I'm illiterate with numbers.....

Before I could correct him, one of his colleagues saved me the trouble, and, putting it far more succinctly than I ever could....

Doley Scum #2: No you're not.....you're INNUMERATE........you illiterate b*stard....!

Absolutely no apologies for length or height....although I AM secretly quite proud of the spelling and punctuation......
(, Thu 13 Jan 2005, 14:35, Reply)
apeloverage says:
'Chav' is the name of a type of behaviour and is not aimed at a particular social group.

'Pikey' is a mildly derogatory term for a social group.

I say:

"apeloverage" is a boring twat.
(, Thu 13 Jan 2005, 14:30, Reply)
A girl on a date sometime last year
Somehow conversation turned to current affairs, and I mentioned how sad the situation in the Middle East was, with Israel and all that.

She said:"Yeah, I don't know what their problem is, they're so far away from each other. I mean, PAKISTAN is like several countries away. What is that about?"

I (kindly) corrected her: "Palestine, dear. The Gaza strip?"
She insisted she was right. "Pakistan!"
Oh dear.
I never saw her again.
(, Thu 13 Jan 2005, 14:08, Reply)
During the board game version of the Weakest Link at a mate's house over Christmas...
... and I still can't get over it.

Question Master: What type of animal is a finch?
Contestant: Erm ... dunno ... a squirrel?
QM: Well, the answer says bird, so I'll give you that. Next question ...
Me: Hang on a second - you can't give him that.
QM: Yeah, but a squirrel is a type of bird, so I thought I'd be generous.
Me: Oh my god. You're not joking are you?
QM: Well come off it, a squirrel is a type of bird.
Me: Of course it fucking isn't.
QM: Well how come they can fly then?
Me: What?
QM: And they have feathers.
Me: I can't believe this. Have you ever seen a squirrel?
Contestant: Well … they do have beaks.

The group actually had to vote in order to prove to the two that squirrels were not members of the bird family.

They still couldn’t accept it.

As I walked out of the room in disbelief to get a vodka, I heard a scream of,
“Well how come they live in fucking trees, then, eh?”
(, Thu 13 Jan 2005, 14:08, Reply)
Sexual orifices
Not so long ago, I overheard a couple (in their late teens) talking in the street.

Her: "See my fanny hole, the one you shag me in? That's not the one I pee out of."

Him: "Oh, right."

And we wonder why teenage pregnancy is so rife.
(, Thu 13 Jan 2005, 14:04, Reply)
Solar Eclipse
Not long before the 1999 solar Eclipse a colleage of mine who was about to go on holiday to Australia asked if she could see the Solar Eclipse at night!!
(, Thu 13 Jan 2005, 14:02, Reply)
Hong Kong
When on holiday in Greece, met an American girl at the hotel (I have a knack for talking to American girls at hotels) who couldn't get it into her head that Hong Kong was:
1) In China
2) Belonged to England (this was pre-97 handover)

She kept telling me that no, I was wrong, Hong Kong was in Japan and was owned by the US. Her reasoning behind this? They had McDonald's in Hong Kong.

Dispite the fact that I lived there, and that It was, in fact, possible to take the KCR train (Kowloon Canton Railway) to Mainland China, all of which I explained using small words, she still insisted that I was in error, because only countries owned by the US had McDonald's in them.

I then pointed out that the US didn't "own" any countries. To my utter amazement, she began to spout off a long list of countries that she thought were owned by the US, including Wales, Iceland and Africa.

I could have argued all day, but I went sailing instead.
(, Thu 13 Jan 2005, 13:54, Reply)
mostly ignorance on my part...
me to a german:
"so, you do celebrate christmas in germany, right?"

In reference to the Jubilee in 2002 (being a "celebration" of the death of the King, not the queens Coronation) I said the queen was "coronated" in 1953.

A kid in my yr9 Biology class asked why blokes get erections and was deadly serious. I think it was because he was a seriously naive christian.

Overheard someone in a pub asking if Scampi Fries really were scampi... someone else was talking loudly to friends about not understanding why everyone who works in an opticians wears glasses or contacts...

My gran saw a P.Y.O. sign (pick-your-own) and said "whats pie-oh strawberries mean?"

there are probably more...
(, Thu 13 Jan 2005, 13:47, Reply)

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