An Idiot's Guide To Dummies
By Stanley Bing

(FORTUNE Magazine) – In the beginning, there were Dummies. Dummies who needed instruction in everything, from anthropology to cooking to philosophy to zoology. Dummies who were convinced of their insufficiency in the face of the demands of civilization--and they were right! Thus, books for Dummies were born.

But the story doesn't end there. Because right behind those Dummies were folks who were just as vague, uninformed, uneducable, and rightfully insecure as Dummies, but who were reluctant to admit they were part of that populous group. These, of course, were Idiots. And it came to pass that a whole other series of books was necessary to help these Idiots face the rigors of daily life.

So here they are, Idiots and Dummies, hungry for information that will aid them in the job of living less stupidly. But what is the biggest problem that faces every Idiot, every day? That's right! What to do about Dummies. For Dummies are everywhere. And we Idiots need to know how to deal with them.

Now, to fill a clear gap, and in the space of one short page, I would like to offer perhaps the most necessary guide in the world of business today, a concept so compelling and essential that it will be the last reading both Idiots and Dummies ever need, which will be quite a relief to them. Yes, today we offer The Idiot's Guide to Dummies, the first instruction for stupid people on how to deal with other stupid people.

Still concentrating? Good for you! Let's get started.

First, let's talk about Dummies at work. Sometimes they're people who work for you. Other times they are people for whom you work--a grammatical construction only an Idiot would use to distinguish himself from a Dummy, but there you have it.

The key to dealing with Dummies is to recognize that because they are Dummies they don't know they are Dummies. Being an Idiot, you are smarter and can explain things to them politely. Explaining things politely and slowly is the best way to bring Dummies up to speed. See? Very slowly. And politely. Pretty soon they'll get what you're aiming at. And more important, do what you want them to do.

Dummies also like examples, and as an Idiot, you need to be able to offer as many as they need to "get" things. This being autumn, say you're in a budget review, and you're trying to get a bunch of Dummies to understand what you need to keep things going. All they know is that your department is costing a lot of money, and they want it to cost less. Dummies!

You need to give them a document that, in very large type with extremely clear bullets, explains why you need every bit of money dedicated to you and possibly even a little bit more. Like this:

--I need all my money to keep stuff going the way you like it to;

--I need more, actually, for a lot of good reasons;

--Please give me more right away so you don't have to listen to too many of them and get all bored and sweaty;

--Thank you. You're a beautiful audience.

Those four points are the heart of every decent budget review that any Idiot has ever presented to any Dummy. Master them. They work! If they don't, try them again. Dummies like repetition. They do. Repetition. They like it.

Finally, big or small, old or young, Dummies like jokes. Being an Idiot, it's often hard for you to remember entire jokes. I know these things fly from my brain like wind from a goose the minute I stop laughing at them. So here is one you can clip and take with you.

A man walks into a psychiatrist's office with a duck on his head. The psychiatrist says, "How can I help you?" And the duck says, "I don't know how you can help him, Doc, but could you please help me get his head out of my rear end?"

Good, huh? Use it any way you like. Don't worry. It's in the public domain.

The need to deal with Dummies doesn't stop at the door of your office building. Many Dummies you'll deal with are friends and family members and are therefore more aggravating than other people. Like an Idiot, I haven't left enough room to deal with this issue, but as a beginning, I'll just say that Dummies really like lunch.

So wouldn't this be an outstanding book? It could be short, with really big type and all kinds of charts, boxes, and the occasional light bulb or dancing gremlin or whatever to help Dummies and Idiots deal with factual information in tiny chunks.

But you know what? I pitched my publishers on it, but they thought it was a stupid idea. I said, "Exactly!" but I guess they really meant "No." So if you'd like to see An Idiot's Guide to Dummies in a bookstore near you, call them now and tell them so! I'd really appreciate it! Right now! Do it! And the next time you're in town, let's have lunch!