We're better off not knowing about some things
By John Norberg, humor columnist
We are the most informed people in history. In fact, with the Internet, TV, radio, newspapers, magazines -not to mention gossip and rumors - we actually are over informed.
I have hit information overload.
It's reached the point that before I receive another piece of information I want to know if it is: (a) important to staying alive, (b) important to my job, or (c) will have any impact on the Chicago Cubs learning how to play baseball.
If it doesn't hit one of these, I don't want to know about it.
Years ago my wife told me we would not know everything our children do.
"And that's not necessarily a bad thing," she said.
She's a very smart woman.
For example, a couple of weeks ago our adult children got together and planned a skydiving trip.
This is information I did not need to know. Just tell me about things like this when they're finished.
Here is option one:
Adult child: "Dad, we're going skydiving."
Dad: "What are you crazy! You'll kill yourself. Can't you just get a computer game that will simulate skydiving?"
Here is option two:
Adult child: "Dad. We went skydiving last weekend."
Dad: "Great! I want to hear all about it. I'm so glad you did that. I'm so glad you didn't tell me in advance causing me to lose sleep and get ulcers."
There are actually some things I don't even want to learn about after the fact. For example: Learning that our children used to jump off the roof when we weren't home.
Why do adult children have a need to tell parents the insane things they did as kids? Can't they leave us in our clueless bliss?
There are a lot of things I don't want to know.
I don't want to know the cost of the gasoline. I need my car and my car needs gas. Any further information is just heartburn.
Friend: "It cost me $60 to fill my tank last night! What are you spending?"
Me: "I don't know and I don't want to know."
I don't want to know the ingredients in hotdogs. I know there's bad stuff in hotdogs. I don't eat hotdogs for nutrition or weight control. I eat them because I like them.
Why do they try and spoil it by telling me what's in them?
Our bathroom scale gives me way more information than I want to know. Everything else in our house breaks. But the bathroom scale never breaks - and I've dropped it from the second floor and run over it with the car.
There are many evenings I don't want to know the news. TV newscasts should start with a warning: "Caution, tonight's news contains explicit information about economic collapse, natural disasters, bird flu, war and disease. Viewer discretion is advised."
When I hear that, I'm switching to "Everybody Loves Raymond."
I not only have to be careful about information I receive. I have to be careful about information other people receive.
Jake: "Granddad, will you take us again to that really special golf course where you bought those new clubs? We can get more new golf balls, new gloves, caps and we can ride the cart. We can buy all kinds of stuff from those women who drive around selling snacks! How much do you tip them again?"
Grandmother: "And just how much are we spending on a round of golf these days, Jake?"
Granddad: "Jake - you know, there are some things that some people just don't need to know."
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