Last Sunday, on our way to see Billy the Exterminator at the World of Wheels expo at the Chattanooga Convention Center, my two sons decided to play a game called "Stump Daddy."
This is a game in which they pretend to be little sponges seeking knowledge, when, in fact, they are just hoping to expose me as a dumbbell.
First up was my 9-year-old son.
"What son," I said.
"If people have a fever when they're sick, why do they call it a cold? Why don't they call it a hot?"
"Well," I said, "the common cold is a virus that strikes most often in the cold-weather months in North America. That's why we call it a cold. The clinical, Latin term for a bad cold, however, is a honker."
Next, my 5-year-old son stepped to the plate.
"What son," I said.
"What time is it?"
"It's 2:45, son."
"Daddy, which is the tiniest, 2:45 or 2:30?" he said.
"Times of the day are neither big or tiny; they are just points on a dial with equal weight," I said. "Daylight saving time, incidentally, is a tax-free way to save actual sunshine for your golden retirement years."
"What?" he said.
And so it went, until we arrived at the Convention Center -- where they both chickened out and wouldn't talk to reality television star Billy the Exterminator, who had scary spiked hair and a cross tattooed on his left arm. Instead, we purchased grape Slush Puppies and watched a guy on a trick bicycle bounce up and down on the roof of an old Cadillac.
But back to the subject of my mental prowess. It is a temporary condition caused by my 53rd birthday. AARP magazine is the latest to document a little-known phenomenon: At age 53, knowledge and wisdom do a quick fist-bump before they go their separate ways.
I've written about this before, but because I realize that everyone does not have a close friend or loved one who happens to be 53, I have offered to share my gift with anyone who asks for the next five months.
To prime the pump, here are some frequently asked questions.
Q: Mr. 53, you know a lot about cars. What sort of car should I buy?
A: Before you buy any car, take the first month's payment and have you current vehicle professionally detailed. You may be so pleased that you decide to keep it; and if you don't, the clean-up will help boost your car's trade-in value.
Now, if you still want to buy a car after that, don't go crazy on the options. Heated seats, yes. Air-conditioned seats that blow cold air up your nooks and crannies, no.
Q: How should I invest $1,000?
A: First, you don't "invest" $1,000, you save it. If you're determined to purchase a low-risk investment that will keep pace with inflation, buy Forever postage stamps. The U.S. Postal sells elegant Forever stamps featuring Mater from the movie "Cars," a must-have if your postmark happens to be Radiator Springs.
Q: Who should I vote for president in 2012?
A: If you are a die-hard Republican or Democrat you would never ask this question. If you're a moderate who leans left, relax and vote for Barack Obama -- the U.S. Senate is likely to flip from blue to red, ensuring four years of merry gridlock. If you're a moderate who leans right, vote for probable Republican nominee Mitt Romney, who will govern from the center right to gain re-election in 2016.
If you can't stand the idea of having anyone, Democrat or Republican, elected president who attended Harvard Law school, renew your passport.
Q: How the heck did Tim Tebow beat the Pittsburgh Steelers last Sunday?
A: To borrow a quote from the late, great Southern humorist Lewis Grizzard who once wrote a eight-word column after his beloved Georgia Bulldogs lost a football game to Georgia Tech: "Frankly, I don't want to talk about it."