You heard it here first—they let dumb sluts into Mensa now, and I’m living proof.
Two weeks ago on this very website we had a frank discussion about the Mensa test I signed up for at the end of a long night of drinking shandies with my writing partner and her rabbit (very cool), and the long morning in Pasadena that ensued. It was not an easy test and I doubt one especially indicative of skill, because I passed it even when my test proctor Charlie wouldn’t shut up about the organs he fixed in his spare time.
And yet. Ten days later I am at a Forever 21 in the worst city in the world trying to figure out what sunglasses most closely resemble Matthew Lillard’s in 1995’s Hackers when I get the email: I, a dumb slut, have been admitted to Mensa, a virginal organization created by English barristers for people who only want to hang out with other virgins. I make the decision immediately before purchasing my seven dollar spoils: I am going to ruin the Los Angeles Mensa chapter by dragging my dumb little ass around on their boring, elitist carpet if it’s the last thing I do.
And so, to quote Lillard in that same frosty-tipped film, “I’m in. Whoa. I’m in.” Mensa has been hacked by an idiot, and now it is my cursed duty to investigate what goes on in the remains of what was once maybe possibly a trendy organization but currently stands in stunningly low membership and, as many fully erect commenters on message boards have postulated, ever-lowering standards for admission (hi, bitch). So what do you actually do once you’ve hacked into the mainframe of Mensa?
Here’s what you get, besides the new worst thing about yourself being that you are in Mensa and it is something you did voluntarily and the thought of the amount of money it took for you to do so makes your ass clench. You get a discount on Hertz car rentals. There’s a link to the Geico website, but it’s unclear why. There is a dating vertical called Mensa Match that triggered my entire body but I will absolutely participate in because I believe in stealing from the rich and socially awkward. You get an email address. A cardboard membership card is mailed to your home. And you get access to The Events, an array of outings you can make with other people insecure enough to join Mensa that sport titles like “Brunch Davidians” and the baffling “Tooth Tuesday.”
Moving through the world as a Mensa member is briefly thrilling, even as our world is an active hell of which there is little hope for escape. The first time I shoplift a lip gloss from CVS as a Mensa member, I tremble. The first time I send a thirst trap to a romantic prospect who could be loosely described as “a magician,” I think about how smart and also great I am. When I receive a call from my dad asking why his Father’s Day present hasn’t arrived in the mail yet because I am a bad daughter and forgot to both purchase and ship it because I am a selfish sack of shit, I think, “Hey, wow. A Mensan icon. An unassailable force.” When I get back to my apartment and consider that I have been unable to commit out of fear and self-loathing for over two years, completely paralyzed by fear of rejection and obsessively comparing myself to everyone and everything in the world that I can in an attempt to contextualize myself in a meaningful way when it’s like Jamie you could have actually gotten a degree in something useful like your cousin did and then sit down and make a Google doc listing the valuable contributions your cousin has made to society versus your own bullshit and then realize the day is over and you have to go perform at a show that you will maybe be compensated for in french fries, I remember that I am better than everyone and also smart. I text my cousin that I love her and sit in my room and wonder if I will die as I have lived, an internet dirt freak who is paid more often in french fries than in human money.
To quote Fisher Stevens in Hackers, “Computers.”
I responded to the email in which I was desperately trying to get Charlie to show me the organ at Disney Symphony Hall (embarrassing) and he said no (more embarrassing). This time I say “Charlie I got in omg” and he says “Great!” and suddenly I’m the pathetic one.
The world is both big and small and full of problems that get worse all the time. In the past several weeks, we’ve received further confirmation of what has been clear for years—that the rights of immigrants don’t matter to the powerful, and the bodies of women don’t matter to the powerful, and the future of children don’t matter to the powerful. Now is, quite possibly, the stupidest time for Mensa to exist. It’s not like we need more elitist groups that get off on their own love of themselves to be encouraged—we’re actively being stripped of our rights by one.
But, to quote Angelina Jolie in the brilliant veneer-laden Hackers, “there’s a glitch in the mainframe.” The Mensans let my dumb ass in and made the critical mistake of inviting me to Tooth Tuesdays, whatever the fuck that is, and before they know it they will be hacked by me, the hacker who codes and is smart, and all of American Mensa will become a bunch of dumb sluts, too. The world does not need more rich assholes who think they’re smarter than everyone. The world always needs dumb sluts.
But what do I know, I am just a dumb slut who also happens to be in Mensa. Let the hack begin, and send your nudes to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Jamie Loftus is a comedian, writer and social media victim of the International Olympic Committee. She’s the creator and star of the Comedy Central online original series Irrational Fears. You can find her some of the time, most days at @jamieloftusHELP or jamieloftusisinnocent.com.