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Smarty Pants

by Stephen Lautens


September 15, 2000

Last week the town of New London, Connecticut decided Robert Jordan was too smart to be a cop, and the US Federal District Court in New York agreed.

To back up, three years ago Jordan applied to be a cop in New London, Connecticut, but was refused a chance to serve and protect because he scored too high on his intelligence test. He scored 33 out of a possible 50, and the brainpower cutoff is 27.

So he did what any smart guy would do - he took them to court. He said that he couldn't help it that he had been born with the natural handicap of being deficient in the stupid department.

God made him smart, and that, he argued, shouldn't be held against him.

Maybe the US Federal District Court has a similar hiring policy. After all, the average score for lawyers on the same test is only 29. We had a saying at law school: the "A" students end up working for the "B" students, and the "C" students end up as judges.

Regardless, last week the US Federal District Court still managed to come up with a dumb decision, and sided with the police against Jordan's excess brain cells. They agreed that refusing to hire smart people was not discrimination, as long as you were consistent in not hiring any smart people - no exceptions.

That would be unfair.

A police spokesman said smart recruits get bored too fast and quit, leaving the town to pick up the tab for training.

Apparently he then went back to his "Where's Waldo" book.

There may be a more simple explanation for the policy. Presumably if you work hard as a police officer in New London you can look forward to being promoted. Soon you might even be Chief of Police. But if you don't hire really smart people to begin with, that means anyone you promote to be Chief

Wait a minute. I'm starting to see a pattern.

Of course there are benefits to a police force that doesn't hire really smart people. When you get pulled over for speeding you can stick your thumb between your fingers and pretend you have the officer's nose in your hand. Say you won't give it back unless they let you go.

Or when they catch you for doing something bad, claim it was your evil twin brother who has just returned from South America to wreak his revenge for being adopted out to Brazilian jungle dwellers.

It seems to me Mr. Jordan may have missed his true calling. He should apply to be a cab driver. They are clearly the smartest people on earth. I've yet to meet a cabbie who doesn't have an opinion and answer to every problem under the sun.

Every time I get in a cab I get a lecture on the law, politics, the economy, immigration, or how Freemasons are poised to take over the world. They seem to have all the answers, so it seems to be a natural for someone with a high IQ.

But then again, how smart can Mr. Jordan be? Maybe anyone not smart enough to cheat doesn't deserve to get the job.


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