Everyone has gaps in their knowledge. It’s only human! There are some occasions when you discover that someone in your circle has a gap that is a little bit of a head scratcher, though. Here, people share the most ridiculous things they’ve had to explain to another adult, and the answers are oh-so-hilarious. Enjoy!
If you would like to read more of these stories, check out the source on the last page. Comments have been edited for clarity.
Let me set the scene: on top of a mountain in Maui with a tour group, watching the sunset, and I hear the guy behind me telling his kids that “the sun sets in the west so that’s the Pacific ocean, so that side over there is the Atlantic.” I laugh and turn around and acknowledge his hilarious joke. He was not joking, to which I reply, “You know this is all the Pacific ocean, 360 degrees around.” He then rolled his eyes and kept talking to his kids. Poor things don’t stand a chance.
“Why doesn’t the kite just fly away?”
Um, the string?
I had to tell a guy that his false advertisement suit vs Time Warner wouldn’t hold up, because they’re not the ones that told him he was the millionth viewer to a website and promised him a prize.
I had to explain to someone on our flight that there wasn’t another littler plane trailing us with our luggage when they looked out the window looking for said little plane.
One of my best friends was 21, gorgeous girl, not new to the dating scene at all. One day she was complaining about her boyfriend to me.
Her: “I really like him, but he keeps pressuring me for doggy and I’m just not ready for that.”
Me: “Doggy? What’s wrong with doggy? Doggy style is great.”
Her: “You’ve done DOGGY?!”
Me: “…. yeah, I’m not sure what the big deal is.”
Her: “You let him stick it up your…???”
And that’s the day I had to explain to my best friend that doggy style is not anal. I don’t let her forget.
I had a renter who was 19 and it was her first time living on her own. She didn’t understand that when you send a letter in the mail, you had to put stamps on the letter. It came back due to no postage…
I basically had to confirm to her that she had to do this. Her response: “It must be a Canada thing because I never had to do that back home”…She is Canadian, from Quebec, but her parents sheltered her so much that she couldn’t function on her own and thought Quebec and Canada were 2 different countries.
I was twenty years old, and covering the reception desk at a mid-sized law firm on maybe the 14th or 15th floor of a high-rise building. This attorney was apparently good at her job (from what I understood of her reputation; I didnt know her well), but this story often makes me wonder about smart and smart. On this day, as she exited the elevator on her return from lunch, she decided to voice what seemed to be a puzzle that stumped her for a very long time. I dont understand this building. Why is it, when I enter the elevator facing away from the lobby, I exit facing the lobby on the floor above? Its like the elevator turns around!
I stared at her for a few seconds, contemplating time, space, creation, and the giant salary differential between our two positions, before I spoke the last words Id ever say to her. Maam, you turn around to face the doors once you get into the elevator. Youre facing the lobby when the elevator starts to move.
She went out of her way to avoid me after that.
I had to explain that you should not wear your eclipse glasses while driving around during the solar eclipse.
How a loan works. Customers are sitting in my office trying to buy a vehicle and can’t understand why their 120 payments of X add up to more than the cost of the vehicle. It took about an hour to get them through it. They had bought things before: cars, a house, and somehow in their mid-50s had no idea how interest worked.
I have repeatedly tried and failed to explain to my coworker to not eat rotting meat.
She’ll a) leave chicken out on the counter all day to defrost.
b) cook the chicken and then leave the cooked chicken out on the counter for a week and “pick at it” here and there.
She is out with food poisoning at least once a week. I’ve never met someone who throws up as much as her and wasn’t suffering from a serious medical condition. She will eat her breakfast at 4pm after it’s sitting on her desk all day. Eggs with cheese and mayo that she picked up at 7 in the morning. Then she’ll call in sick the next day. I have shown her youtube videos of bacteria growing, sent her articles about the dangers of ecoli. She won’t listen. She ate potato salad that was sitting in a hot trunk for 24 hours. She said it was liquidy and tasted weird but she doesn’t like how refrigerated foods taste. One day, when she is paralyzed from botulism, I guess I can say I told you so?
I had to explain that human babies aren’t born with their eyes stuck shut like kittens. He asked me if my 3-week-old daughter’s eyes had opened yet.
To an office junior post-graduate in Engineering, after checking his work:
Me: “In the English language, if a word starts with a ‘Q’, it is almost always followed with a ‘U’.”
Him: “Oh yeah?!……What about Croissant?!!!” (Defiant smug stare)
I had to explain that, contrary to her belief, islands are in fact not floating like big Rubber boats (she was asking how with the wind and currents the islands still maintained their position without roaming the Oceans like rocky Icebergs.)
How a telephone works.
Customer “Hey, I need this, this and this”
Me “You need what?”
Customer “This thing right here, this thing here and here”
Me “Excuse me, do you have a part #”
Customer “Man, Im staring right at it, the part “
Me “Sir, I can’t see what you’re seeing…”
My boss hired an assistant for me from a gentlemen’s club he had attended the previous weekend. He told her that she needed to pay attention to everything I did and then he would replace me with her. The things I had to explain/show her how to do: address an envelope, write a business email, read a contract before signing it, stay for the entirety of a client event, show up to work on time, not drink at work, not gossip at work, not have her boyfriend hang out at work all day, and more. Finally she became so upset at how much work my job entailed (and she hadn’t touched the surface) that she quit.
I had to explain to my MATHS teacher that you use ‘both’ when referring to 2 things. If she was talking about a hundred things she would say ‘both of them’ and wouldn’t take no for an answer.
That hurricanes are not named according to whether they are male or female, it is just an arbitrary name, HURRICANES DO NOT HAVE A GENDER IDENTITY!
There was this girl in my French class. I had to explain that France no longer has a monarchy, that England and France are different countries, and that England and France do not share a land border.
A couple of bonus stories about her: One time I was sick and missed school for a couple of days. When I came back she asked if I had the zombie flu. She tried to convince me zombies are real and that it is spread through the flu vaccine. Her “evidence” was a theory about the walking dead. Another time she said she wanted to be a heart surgeon. I asked her if she was taking biology, because our school offers college level bio. She did not know what biology was.
I had to explain to a lady how sliced bread works.
I used to work in a bakery that pretty much only did bread and a lady came in and this conversation happened:
Her: points at a bread Do you have that but like…in a bag of slices?
Me: trying to be polite Oh yeah..we slice the bread…
Her: Oh okay. But do you have it in a bag of slices??
Me: Um…yes we bag it after we slice it..
Her: Okay, but I really need this in a bag of slices…
Me: We put the bread in a machine that cuts it into slices and then we put those slices in a bag.
Her: Okay but do you sell this same bread in a bag of slices?
Me: … Let me show you.
I take the bread and slice it for her and bring the sliced bagged bread back to her. She looked so excited you’d think she’d never seen sliced bread before.
Her: Yes! That’s exactly what I wanted!
I had to explain that if you want baby chicks, your hens will need to get together with a rooster.
This guy was married with one child, I thought he would have figured some things out.
That if they eat a large quantity of fast food it’s not unreasonable for them to feel full and bloated and that this doesn’t constitute a medical complaint requiring a doctors review.
Back in college, my girlfriend said, “I don’t understand how you can find me so sexy first thing in the morning.”
I asked, “What do you mean?”
“Well, whenever you wake up next to me, you’re so… you know… down there…”
Apparently she had no idea what morning wood was, or that it had nothing to do with her.
That “natural” medicines and supplements are not necessarily safe or healthy, especially in huge quantities. Rattlesnake venom is natural, anthrax is natural, e-coli is natural, bubonic plague is natural…
That Tanzania and Tasmania are separate places and that our native Tasmanian Devils don’t actually look like Taz from Looney Tunes.
Sort of twisted on its head, but my husband had to explain to me relatively recently that South Africa is not, in fact, just the South of Africa. It’s a whole other country by itself.
I call it my awakening.
Steve Jobs did not single-highhandedly invent the home computer, GUI, the iPod, iPhone and iPad–he had Steve Wozniak, Xerox and teams of engineers do that for him.
I lived in Asia for a while. There were multiple people in both Asia and the US who thought that the Western and Eastern hemispheres experience opposite seasons (like the Northern and Southern hemispheres do). More than once, I’ve grabbed the nearest round object and started saying “Pretend this grapefruit is the earth and this lamp is the sun….”
My friend: “What is Mick Jagger’s first name?
Me: “… Mick”
Friend: “His name is Mick McJagger?”
Mom: What’s happening?
Me: The movies starting. *5 minutes into movie
Mom: Who is that?
Me: I don’t know mom, he never said anything yet.
Mom: I don’t like this movie, I don’t get it.
The concept of progressive taxes. The number of people repeating that meme of “you get taxed more if you make more, so it’s better to earn less” is frightening.
Yeah, I acknowledge the welfare argument, I’m referring to the false idea that if you make more, the entirety of your income is taxed at a higher percentage when it’s only the amount made past the previous bracket cutoff. And yeah, marginal tax rates, I get it. While it’s not a “progressive tax,” it can still be considered progressive by the dictionary definition in the sense that it’s not flat.
My casually racist mother asked why a Black family in line ahead of us didn’t go to “their Starbucks?”
I had to explain to her, slowly and quietly, that this was their Starbucks. They live here. We’re working on it…
That a 1000 metre high mountain wasn’t man made. This guy legitimately believed that people piled up all this dirt and rock for no reason, just because the mountain is nicknamed the pyramid because of its shape.
The mountain is Walshs Pyramid in Cairns, Australia for those curious as to the scale of this guys ignorance.
You can open the photocopier to get blank paper out of it, you know.
You don’t have to keep photocopying that one blank page you keep carrying around with you.
To a 28 yo female native Californian whose first (and only) language is English…
It’s a vagina and not a vergina.