Saturday 24 February 2018

Paddy: covering both ends of the intellectual spectrum

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Tallafornia: Lowered country's IQ.
Tallafornia: Lowered country's IQ.

Christopher Jackson

What do you do if an Irishman throws a grenade at you? Take the pin out and throw it back. When we're not mocked for drinking, fighting and subsisting entirely on potatoes, we Irish are mocked for being a bit thick, the kind of people who wouldn't know their arse from their elbow.

Of course, as with most stereotypes, there's some truth to it. Such was the 'numbskullery' on show in Tallafornia that the country's collective IQ fell by several points. Were the show to have continued we would have been put in the EU's remedial class for sure.

Things aren't helped by the fact that many Irish men suffer from a condition called 'dumbface', the symptoms of which are an open mouth and a lolled bottom lip which causes its sufferers to appear dumber than they are.

But then Ireland is also known as the island of saints and scholars and there are quite a few from this country that give some truth to it, well the scholar part at least.For example the soon-to-air US TV show Scorpions was inspired by Irishman Walter O'Brien, who has the fourth highest IQ ever recorded.

A hacker turned IT entrepreneur, O'Brien has an IQ of 197, which is all the more impressive when you consider that he was born in Wexford. Fortunately for him, like me he was raised in Kilkenny, a county more conducive to genius than its eastern neighbour.

We shouldn't be surprised though that there are Irishmen like O'Brien. Robert Boyle is the father of chemistry, William Hamilton of quantum physics, and Ernest Walton split the atom; while Oscar Wilde and James Joyce taught English to the English, who as it happens don't have anyone with an IQ higher than O'Brien, and to whom I say 'suck it, you big Sasanach thickos!!'

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