Dear Good Greatsby: How Do I Convince My Children I’m Smarter Than They Are?

Posted on August 17, 2011


Today’s guest panelist will be my time-wasting robot, Philo T-2000, who has been watching reruns of Oprah to enable him to understand human emotions and give applicable advice.

The first question comes from Jamie of The Life of Jamie.  Allow me to recommend Jamie by saying she’s displayed excellent taste by disliking all the same people I dislike.  Read her list of People Who Should Drop Off the Face of the Earth 

Dear Good Greatsby,

My children appear to be smarter than me already, and being that they are 2 and 3, I need some moves to outsmart them. Of course, I can do things they can’t like drive, brush my own teeth and wipe my own behind, but I really want to one-up them. Suggestions?

Sincerely, The Life of Jamie

Dear The Life of Jamie,

Paul: If your kids aren’t impressed by your ability to drive, brush your teeth, and wipe your own behind, might they be impressed if you did all three at the same time? 

If that doesn’t impress them, you must ask yourself how smart your children really are.  A few years ago my wife and I ordered pizza after the kids went to bed, and when they woke up the next morning and saw the pizza boxes, they complained about us having pizza without them.  This gave me the idea to hide the empty boxes under the couch during the day and every night before my wife and I went to bed, I placed the boxes back on the coffee table so the kids would see them in the morning.  My wife and I enjoyed a laugh when the kids got upset the first few mornings, but we began to worry about their level of intelligence when they never figured out the joke after three weeks. 

Now I can never eat pizza without tasting the bitter disappointment of raising unintelligent children.  All parents want to believe their kids are intelligent, but it’s actually very liberating and takes all the pressure off when you discover they’re not. 

If you really have your heart set on impressing your kids, allow me to suggest an accomplishment that should impress any child: discover a cure for cancer.  Note: This will also impress adults.

Philo T-2000: 0001001011011011100100100000101001010111010101

Paul: You’re embarrassing me.  Use human words!

Philo T-2000: 0100101000111010101010101

Paul: I feel I must apoligize for Philo T-2000 by admitting I am not an engineer and built the best robot I could with the materials and attention span available to me at the time.

The second question comes from 17-year-old blogger, Hannah-Elizabeth, of The Last Classic, who will make you feel old with her list of things she wants to do before she turns 20: 20 Before 20

Dear Good Greatsby,

I have an overweight cat. Abby Num-Nums. Ever since Abby was a kitten, she has had what is referred to at my house as ‘obesekitty’. And so, what with all the lectures from Michelle Obama about eating healthier, I have decided to put my cat on a diet. Apparently Abby Num-Nums no like this idea. She now sits by my bed and stares at me as I try to fall asleep. I’ve suspected a murder plot and hacked into her e-mail to discover disturbing e-cards to a local hitman. What do I do?


Dear Classic,

Paul: Many cats see no problem with gaining weight because media stereotypes reinforce the image of the lovable fat cat like Garfield.  You must make your cat realize that behind the laughter, Garfield is an intensely lonely cat and unlikely to ever find love.  Despite three decades of worldwide fame and immense fortune, Garfield is still single and likely to die alone.

The other challenge with pets is that animals are not as advanced as humans and therefore have not developed our complex body issues; they must be taught shame of their bodies just like we teach human children.  For this reason, you must treat Abby Num-Nums exactly like a human and teach her that your love is conditional upon the way she looks.  The easiest way to teach her is to get a slimmer, more attractive cat and shower it with love while Abby Num-Nums watches.  Dress the slim cat in flattering cat sweaters that complement her svelte figure then struggle to put these same sweaters on Abby Num-Nums, allowing her to understand the sweaters won’t fit because of her shameful girth. 

You should also place a mirror next to her bowl so she can watch herself eat and begin to connect eating with her obesity.  If you see her watching herself in the mirror, make eye contact with her and offer an expression of revulsion. 

If none of these methods work, the good news is that you can choose to permanently replace Abby Num-Nums with the new slim cat. 

Philo T-2000: What is this human emotion, love?

Paul: I apologize again.  

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