Stupidity in Action

Was God stingy when it came time to pass out brains to certain people? No. The choice is ours. We can either be mentally lazy and ignore thought or exercise vigilant intelligence simply by thinking first. Apparently, thinking can be a great challenge.

As a 4-H parent, I volunteered to judge club record books, which are a cross between creative journals and tax returns.  Judges examine books to ensure they’re properly assembled in order to compete at higher levels.

As I sat in a group of seven parents, one new member, Judy, provided a running commentary on the books she perused. She didn’t even pause to breathe. I tuned her out…until I noticed that she was checking out my son’s book.

“What an overachiever!” Judy announced, none-too-kindly.

Judy did not know my kids or me. But she did know that everyone present had at least one child in 4-H whose record book was now being scrutinized. I responded with a smile,

“That’s my overachiever.”

“Oh!” Judy cleverly replied. Then she laughed nervously. “What a good book!”

Was Judy a stuper (short yet again for a disarmingly stupid person)? I’ll let you decide, dear readers, but here’s a hint: I coined the term “stuper” after meeting Judy.

A month after record book judging, my son and I watched a teen get kicked out of a local carnival…twice. I wondered out loud,

“What’s going on?”

From behind a nearby tree, out popped Judy; she brushed the leaves off her hair and proceeded to give me a detailed account:

“He’s the son from a bad first marriage, lives with dad who ignores him and pays more attention to new wife who is pregnant…”

If my family was experiencing difficulties, I’d hope for privacy and understanding rather than gossip. But such noxious prattle inflated Judy. She excelled in exercising her tongue. 

When the young daughter of an actress joined the 4-H group, Judy took delight in pointing out the girl to one and all, saying, “Her mother is so ditzy!”

That got me thinking: was Judy talking of the actress or herself?

In studying Judy, I also noticed that those who don’t exercise proper thought are paranoid by nature. Judy constantly stated that nobody liked her. I’d run into her at the market and she’d stop me to announce,

“Carly is mad at me,” or “Maggie won’t talk to me.”

What a surprise!

Unbeknownst to Judy, she became my first experiment in stupidity. I donned a lab coat and shoved her under the microscope. Believe me, it wasn’t easy.

I learned that stupers love gossip, are ditzy and paranoid, and when they think they’re criticizing others, they’re really just describing themselves. Remember, those who relentlessly talk have no opportunity to think as silence doesn’t last long enough. 

How did I manage Judy? In the beginning, I listened to her, then realized I felt drained after each encounter. So I limited our talk to greetings and farewells.

We all gossip once in a while; hopefully once in a rare while. I’ve read that gossip is akin to halitosis (bad breath) of the mind. Gargling with a little thought can do wonders.

Think quietly.


5 Responses to “Stupidity in Action”

  1. Suzie says:

    Every place you look, when you hear people talk, if you listen, you see so many of them like Judy. They get pleasure out of gossip.

  2. Julianne says:

    So Judy is the original Stuper. I try not to profit from other people’s misery so I try to gossip about celebrities rather than people I know. It takes the edge off.

  3. Keli says:

    Yes, many get pleasure our of gossip – it induces forgetfulness about a self that is not in proper working order anyway.

    I think celebrities are acceptable fodder for gossip.

  4. dawn says:

    I know a Judy… and yes it can be downright draining after awhile.

  5. I too know a Judy, to the power of ten though, if you can believe that! She doesn’t even come up for air. I have done the same as you Keli, I am cordial with her but nothing more. If I run into her some place I pass pleasantries and go on my merry way. Anything more would cause my brain to malfunction with too much useless information!

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