Get smart

Dear Ace: Is there anything you don’t know?—Harry Stottle
Harry: Ace does not walk blindly through life. He keeps his eyes peeled, his ears open and his hands to himself (unless encouraged otherwise, of course). This acute awareness prevents him from missing much and, consequently, he’s acquired a goodly amount of useful (and less-than-useful, natch) knowledge. Thus, it should come as no surprise that upon receiving this question, your faithful investigative reporter was temporarily stumped.

But then! Ace realized, how could he possibly articulate what he does not know? Just the simple fact of not knowing what he does not know prevents Ace from expressing it, you know? What’s more, not knowing what he does not know is perhaps the answer to your question, Harry.

But, alas, brevity has never been one of Ace’s (many) talents, and he feels that leaving your question at this particular stage would be a disservice not only to you, but all of his readers (not to mention his waxing philosophic is a bit taxing on the old noggin). So he started to brainstorm.

After a few hours of said brainstorming (and a draining Google search for “famous questions” that he hoped might jog his imagination), Ace came up with a humbling answer. He realizes your question was meant to admire his wisdom, but it also led Ace to this conclusion: Though he’s best known around these parts for his superior intelligence and biting wit, perhaps what Ace knows best, more than the answers themselves, is simply where to get them.

Ace doesn’t have all the answers, but he can get all the answers. In fact, was that not the first requirement listed on his Super Extra Awesome Investigative Reporter Extraordinaire job application? (Yes, Ace is responsible for the title change.) If he claimed to know everything, he’d be no better than your average 16-year-old. In fact, the great Chinese philosopher Lao-tzu once said, “To know that you do not know is the best. To pretend to know when you do not know is a disease.” Consider Ace one healthy boy.

You can ask Ace yourself. Intrepid investigative reporter Ace Atkins has been chasing readers’ leads for 19 years. If you have a question for Ace, e-mail it to

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