New Rule: When you don’t know something, there is no need to announce your ignorance to the world, because it might just be something that everyone else knows, making you look even stupider than you probably are.
Case in point: I was grabbing dinner in Sbarro last week. I was standing in line behind a woman and her two female friends. We were all examining the menu posted above the counter.
Sbarro’s menu divides its food choices into combination meals, but you can also order each item separately and these items are listed under the phrase Al la cart on the far right hand side of the board. A moment after I had begun looking at the menu, the female patron closest to me turned to her friends and said in a voice that carried throughout the restaurant, “What does al la cart mean? Do I have to be a Frenchy to eat here or something?”
Like I said, I’m not complaining that the woman didn’t know the meaning of the phrase. We all those the occasional word or phrase that we missed learning about somewhere in life. I’m simply advising that she refrain from announcing her ignorance to the entire restaurant in a voice loud enough for the stage. Considering the public placement of the phrase and the fact that we were in a fast food restaurant, she should have deemed it likely that the phrase was more universally known than she might have expected.
Her friend responded with almost the same volume. “Michelle, could you be any more stupid?”
I nearly said, “I second that,” but for once, I managed to control my mouth before it got me into trouble.