I wrote this on April 15, 1994, same day as the CD-i infomercial story. This was around the time Usenet was being flooded with requests by desperate teenagers for a complete set of all four nude photos of that funny-accented chick for "Star Trek: The Next Generation". As a result of posting this story, I was accepted into the Masons.

Spot Joins Mensa

James "Kibo" Parry

Poor Spot! He was tired of being thought of as stupid. "I'm gonna join Mensa," he said to myself, "and then I'll be legally permitted to wear the society's insignia--a tattoo of a little map pin pushed into my flesh--and then everyone'll know that I'm not dumb at all!"

So, Spot started boning up by reading intellectual magazines like Omni, Reader's Digest, Mondo 2000, and the National Enquirer. He bought subscriptions to all of them, but had to cancel the National Enquirer when he got tired of articles by James Randi and Martin Gardner. Spot read and read and read, until one day he saw a sample Mensa entrance exam in Reader's Digest!

He took a couple minutes to fill it out (never once turning the page to look at the answers) and sent it in. He picked up his latest issue of Omni and flipped it open. What a stroke of luck! It had an entrance exam for an even more elite secret society of double-domes, the Mega Society! Unlike Mensa, which only admitted people with IQs above average, the Mega Society only accepted those with IQs over 300! Spot also took their test and mailed it in.

With a hopeful sigh, Spot settled down on his couch to watch some TV while waiting for the results and membership kits to be mailed back in 4-6 weeks. He stared at the wall for a while before realizing that the TV wasn't there--he had sold it to pay the Mensa application fee. Thump! Spot fell off the telephone book which was sitting where his couch used to be. He'd sold the couch, and the telephone, and the coffee table, and his collection of Fabergé eggs to pay the Mega Society application fee.

Spot looked around and realized that all that was left was his Yellow Pages. Well, technically, they were originally White Pages, but Spot's apartment wasn't the cleanest, with him being a dog and all. Spot took note of that fact and thought it was a rather witty comment on the state of life in these United States, and made a mental note to send it to Reader's Digest, and to tell all his new friends in Mensa that he'd written a joke which was actually submitted to Reader's Digest. Of course, he forgot a few moments later, when his stomach growled.

Poor Spot! He'd been concentrating so hard on the matchstick-removal puzzles in the tests that he'd forgotten to eat!

All that was left in the freezer was an On-Cor® two-pound family size Doggie Dinner. He couldn't quite make out the expiration date through the heavy layer of dust and frost and limestone stalactites, but he assumed it would still be good--after all, it had been frozen all this time, except for those power outages during the last six heat waves. He peeled back the asbestos-lined lead foil, which was so brittle it shattered into fragments, and put the celluloid-and-bakelite tray into his microwave.

Boom! The entree exploded, spraying boiling dog food through the door of Spot's microwave and across the room, where it left grease stains all over Spot's autographed topless photo of Marina Sirtis! Spot cried while his stomach growled and Marina got soggy. He did his best to lick her off, not realizing that she'd signed her name with one of those new laxative-based inks. Poor, poor Spot! This day was such a bummer that he really needed the "pick-me-up" that only joining a secret society open to all comers brings.

Gratuitously, the doorbell rang. Spot trotted over and opened the little flap to look out. He saw a pair of wing-tip Oxfords. Oxfords! Mensa members wore Oxfords! Spot yanked open the door and beheld: his friendly local Mensa deliveryman with an enormous package marked SECRET COOL PRIZES & GAMES FOR MENSA MEMBERS.

"Mr. Spot Paraphernalia?" the man asked.

"Oh, please, Mr. Mensa Man, call me 'Spot'. I don't use my other name because it sounds stupid. If 'Spot' is too formal you can call me 'Spotty-Wotty'."

"Okay, Spotty-Wotty. This elaborate computerized report says that you scored 20 out of 1000 on our test from Reader's Digest. This qualifies you to take the actual test."

Spot gasped. "What? You mean the quiz in Reader's Digest was only a practice test?"

The man smiled knowingly. "Yes, Spotty-Wotty. It said so in three-point ITC Fat Face Cyrillic in faint beige on fluorescent orange in Swedish. You see, we can only print practice tests because people might cheat on them by thinking about the questions for longer than the twenty-four hours allowed for each. Your official test will be administered under highly-scientific conditions to ensure absolute accuracy." He took out a pencil and his stainless-steel clipboard. "Okay, how do you spell your first name?"

"Ess pee oh tee. And the other one, pee ay ahr ay pee aitch ee en--"

"You don't have to spell the last name, Spot, it's too difficult to be scientifically valid. The other question is--"

"Yes?" yapped Spot, drooling with eagerness to show his stuff.

"--do you have the testing fee?"

"What? I already paid you my application fee!"

"This is the testing fee, Spotty-Wotty. The application fee just covers me coming over here to collect the testing fee. It's six hundred dollars and sixty-six cents, plus sales tax and mandatory gratuity."

Spot's mind went blank--he'd always had trouble calculating ten-percent tips. "What's the total?"

"As we like to say in Mensa, 'It's exactly the square root of beryllium trineutron zeta plus the opposite of phase force seven'! Ho ho! That's science humor, Spotty-Wotty. I'm glad I don't need to translate it for a smart puppy such as yourself! It would be a waste of time."

Spot's mind reeled. Where was he going to get... uh... some amount of money? Tears welled up in his eyes and his tongue dragged on the floor as he worried about the prospect of never being in a room filled with hundreds of people as smart as he was!

"Hey!" said the Mensa guy upon seeing Spot's tongue, "That's an incredibly-rare backwards Marina Sirtis autograph! She's only been known to autograph a tongue once before, and she did it forwards! I'll pay you a million dollars!"

"Wow! Thank you, Mensa Man! Please just deduct the testing fee from it."

"Sold!" The man carefully peeled the dried ink off Spot's tongue and stuck it on his own. "Here's your nickel!"

"Am I am Mensa member yet? Do I get free stuff now that I've paid the $999,999.95 fee?"

"Why, sure, Spotty-Wotty. Just place your right hand on this pentagram and swear to never divulge the secret blood rituals of--wait, that's not a hand, it's a paw! You can't join Mensa, you're just a dog!"

The man dropped the box of free stuff, which went crunch, and ran away. Spot shook the box and heard glass breaking. He carefully carried it into his apartment and closed the door.

Opening the box, he found that the official Mensa bowling ball had crushed all the official Mensa glass unicorn statuettes! Also, the bowling ball had five holes, so Spot could never use it with his three-toed paws! Spot sobbed.

The doorbell rang again. Spot peeked out through the little flap again. It was someone wearing moon boots. Only Mega Society members wore moon boots! (Everyone knew that! It was their secret symbol.) Spot threw the door open.

"Hi, Spot. My name is Doctor Albert Richard Steven Einfeynking, six-time Nobel prize winner in physics and currently official spokesman for the Mega Society. We hear you'd like to become a member, and frankly, we'd like to have you... if you're qualified." The man hugged Spot.

"Sorry, Dr. Einfeynking," Spot sobbed, "but I'm flat broke and frankly, I don't think I'm good enough for Mega. After all, Mensa rejected me!"

"Aww, that's okay, little Spot. You don't have to qualify for Mensa to get into the Mega Society, you just have to be smart! Okay, Spot, we can do the free official entrance test now--it'll only take a second. All you have to do is walk across the room!"

Spot walked across the room. Dr. Einfeynking burst into hysterical laughter!

"Ha! Ha! Spot, that's the stupidest walk I've ever seen! Do it again! Do it again!"

"No," said Spot from across the room.

"Well, sorry, Spot, but, looks like we won't be seeing you at any Mega Society meetings, ha-ha!" Spot started to walk back to close the door, but Dr. Einfeynking started laughing again, and Spot stopped. Even Spot's slightest movement was funny to one so above his level as Dr. Einfeynking was, so he tried holding perfectly still, but Spot also held still in a really dorky way! The good doctor laughed and laughed. Spot's nerves turned to dotted lines needing years of therapy as the man, who was as advanced relative to him as he would be to half an ameba, had the only good laugh he'd had since that classic Fred Basset strip in 1958.

After about six hours, the rusty automatic-door-closer on Spot's door eased it shut, and Spot was left in peace. He was broke, he had been laughed at, and he was certified stupid! He vowed never to admit to anyone that he'd been rejected by Mensa and the Mega Society. After all, who would know?

The door burst open and the Mensa guy ran in brusquely. "Sorry, Spotty-Wotty, but I forgot to give you this!" He whacked Spot in the forehead with a large rubber stamp soaked in indelible dog dye, giggled, and ran out again. Spot trotted over to his warped bathroom mirror and looked at his forehead.

He saw an hourglass-shaped head looking back at him across a twisted zone of space. On the forehead of the distorted dog, it said:


Spot cried! They were taunting him by giving him this anagram that he was too stupid to unscramble. He worried about what it could say for the next six weeks, and then he decided to sneak into a Mensa meeting (after all, how would they know he'd been rejected?) to ask some smart people.

After scraping off most of the tar and feathers (they'd politely left the area of Spot's anagram clean) Spot went to bed, crying himself to sleep. He'd never know what "ASNEM YB DETCEJER" meant now! In the bitter and hopeless night, he dreamed of a girl named Sitris Aniram.


James "Kibo" Parry
last revised Mar. 14, '98

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