John Mulaney
I Am Very Small And I Have No Money
Your opinion doesn’t matter in elementary school either. It matters in college. College is just your opinion. Just you raising your hand and being like, “I think Emily Dickinson’s a lesbian.” And they’re like, “Partial credit.” And that’s a whole thing. But in elementary school, it doesn’t matter what you think, it just matters what you know. You have to have answers to questions. And if you say, “I don’t know,” you get an X on your test, and you get it wrong and that’s not fair, ’cause your brain has never been smaller. Also, that’s not how life works. I’m in my 30s now. If you came to me now and you were like, “Hey, John, name three things that the Stamp Act of 1775 accomplished.” I’d go, “I don’t know. Get out of my apartment,” you know? But when you’re a little kid, you can’t say, “I don’t know.” You should be able to. That should be an acceptable answer on a test. You should be able to write in, “I don’t know. I know you told me. But I have had a very long day. I am very small. And I have no money. So you can imagine the kind of stress that I am under.” Or if it’s one of those true or false questions, you should be able to add a third option which is, “Who’s to say?” Kids are much more supervised now, but also, they have a lot of rights. Like, that’s the biggest civil rights increase I’ve seen in my lifetime. The rights of children have gone through the roof. I had no rights when I was a little kid. I remember, one time, I walked into a supermarket by myself, and I walked in through the double doors, and the woman behind the register just looked at me and she went, “No!” And I went, “All right.” And I turned around and left. That’s how broken I was.