Stupid Question

Vince raised his hand and waited.

The teacher, droning on as she did, scanned her eyes across the students. She saw Vince. He saw her see him. But still she kept talking. Oblivious. Ignoring. Ugh, Vince thought.

“And that’s the French Revolution, in a nutshell. Yes Vince?” she said.

“Umm, teacher, so like, where did this take place?” Vince said.

“The French Revolution?”


“It was largely centred in Paris, but extended out to most of the country.”

“Right, but like, which country?”

“Which country was the French Revolution in?”


The teacher looked at him for a moment, trying to gauge if he was being a smartass, and trying to figure out the best lesson if he wasn’t. “Think about it for a minute, and see if you can figure it out.”

“Umm,” Vince said. “Canada?”

“A good guess, Canada does have a French population. Of course, Canada didn’t exist in the late 1700s, so there’s that.”

“Oh. Umm. I dunno. Russia?”

“Why would Russia have a French revolution?”

“Because the French don’t speak Russian?”

“Hm. Tell me, Vince, where do ‘the French’ live?”

Vince grunted. “That’s a stupid question, Ms. Myers.”

“Is it?”

“Yeah. The French live in France. Duh.”

“So, then, Vince, who has now judged me for asking him a leading question about where the French live. If the French live in France, where do you think the French Revolution happened? And where do you think Paris is?”

“Uhh…oh. Right. Okay. France?”

“Very good, Vince. Gold star.”

Vince blushed, and the class moved on to the next topic of conversation.


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