Archive for September, 2007

Totally Fabulous

Wednesday, September 12th, 2007

Pushing stupidity aside for a few moments, I’d like to thank the brilliant Twisted Sisters for including me as a recipient of the Totally Fabulous Award. It is indeed an honor to be acknowledged by them. They are positively fabulous!

Stupid Pet Owners

Monday, September 10th, 2007

I like to indulge myself in early morning walks when the world is quiet and the sky is rosy. I breathe in the fresh scents, eye the multi-tinted flowers until…Roaming Rover bounds threateningly towards me. I faced a cavalier Border Collie a few days ago, off the leash. The oblivious owner followed 150 paces back.

The dog commenced barking and circling, closer and closer. All us humans resembled sheep to him.

I briefly considered the ramifications of biting him first. Or making a mad dash for the nearest tree. Then I heard the owner call out,

“Come here, boy!” Then to me, “Don’t worry! He won’t bite.”

But I was worried.  Being bitten by a dog was not on my list of ten things I’d like to experience before I die. Sure enough, Rover nipped me in my posterior. I decided to utilize Mark Twain’s sage advice: When angry, count four. When very angry, swear. Swearing felt good.

There was no pain or broken skin; just an annoying interruption of my peace of mind, underscored by the indignity of being mistaken for a farm animal who lived in a corral and wore a woolen coat. If only the unenlightened owner used the leash for its intended purpose instead of slinging it over his shoulder.

Said owner cornered and leashed the four-legged ruffian. The idiot babbled, “He’s never done that before.” And continued on his stroll.

“What if I’d been an elderly person or a child?” I yelled after him.

No apology was offered. How can stupers (again abbreviated for insufferably stupid persons) apologize when they are incapable of realizing that a wrong occurred?

A similar episode took place one Thanksgiving morning when my then twelve-year-old son and I walked our dog, Rio, on the leash. Rio has been known to possess certain…psychotic tendencies. Hence, he is never unleashed outside the home.

We passed through the local high school where people gathered for a baseball game. A cattle dog, off leash, entered the premises. His owner, walking behind him, assured us,

“Don’t worry! He’s friendly!”

My son’s arm sported numerous cuts and scratches from trying to pull Rio and the genial, free-range dog apart.

Unless your dog is Lassie or a reasonable facsimile, or one whom you are absolutely certain lacks aggressive tendencies, it should be leashed in public.  Binky the dog, walks leashless in my street, but he’s fourteen and has a slight limp. Greta, the German Shepherd, also runs loose; she looks menacing, but her wagging tail gives her away. However, some dogs are not off-the-leash material.

Stupers fail to understand this last point. They think…ouch! I bit my tongue on that slip. All right already – they don’t think! They’re not the brightest crayons in the box. There exists a barrier in the mind that shuts out awareness and any sense of responsibility.   

Watching another act in a half-witted manner should be a strong deterrent to behaving stupidly yourself. 

Beware of the stuper who says, “Don’t worry.”


Stupidity in Action

Sunday, September 9th, 2007

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.


Stupid Pedestrian Pursuits

Thursday, September 6th, 2007

Just when I thought I was granted a reprieve from writing about idiots on our nation’s highways, yet another fantastic feat of lunacy took place right before my eyes. This time however, cars and drivers were not the featured fools. The spotlight was on the walking witless.

I’ve noticed that there are two kinds of pedestrians: The Trusting and the Cautious. 

The Trusting have complete and utter faith in drivers. Not unlike the kamikaze squirrels of country roads who dodge across mere seconds before tire tramples tail. I’m certain that if I asked a pedestrian of the Trusting variety if I could borrow his/her credit card for a little while to buy my sick brother a hot water bottle, my request would be readily granted, no questions asked. The idle minded are the ones who feel there’s no need to look before crossing. No worries. The driver will see me.

The Cautious perpetually glance around to make sure danger is nonexistent. Traffic is checked and re-checked before action is taken. They may even chastise drivers who fail to follow proper rules. Pedestrian pursuits are followed only after safety is ensured.

Yesterday, I drove on a highway that flaunts colorful fields of zinnias, marigolds and sunflowers along one side. Tourists often stop and take photographs of this picturesque stretch. 

I proceeded at fifty-nine mph (slightly above the speed limit of fifty-five), when onto the busy highway, about one hundred yards in front of me, stepped a figure in a broad rimmed straw hat. At no time did I see this person’s face;  her head was turned in the opposite direction, which meant that she hadn’t bothered to look for me either. Watching her easy, carefree gait, I slammed on my brakes, as did the line of cars behind me.

Should I have anticipated her little foray into traffic? One minute she was hugging a sunflower and the next, she was on the road. I study people’s minds (or the vacancy therein); I am not a fortuneteller.

While I waited for her to move, (she’d paused to admire a weed inhabiting the asphalt), I glanced across to the opposite side of the highway. Parked on the shoulder, a companion awaited the return of the lady. An indulgent smile played on his lips, head half-cocked. He seemed unaware that traffic swerved to avoid his lady friend’s saunter back to the vehicle. I’ve always believed like attracts like. This case provided evidence. Meager minds attract meager minds.

I’d like to say that I got out of my car, kicked the stuper (short for an exasperatingly stupid person) in the butt, knocking off her straw hat while hastening her toward  her nearby destination. My only purpose would be to see if there was a gaping hole beneath the straw hat where her brain should be. 

The rest of the way home I wondered why this hollow head crossed the highway without looking. Was she suffering from a crick in the neck that made it painful to turn her head? Was her simple-minded companion watching out for her? Or was she just plain old-fashioned stupid?

A few days prior, a similar incident occurred just before I drove straight across an intersection during a green light. A ped decided to exercise his freedom of expression by diagonal crossing directly in front of me. Since I was the first car out, I saw him coming and waited. He never once glanced in my direction. I shook my head for so long, I made myself dizzy.

I’ve read that role models are sorely lacking in today’s society. I disagree. I think there are role models everywhere. Though not necessarily all positive ones.

Stupers provide us with compelling instances of how not to behave. I believe I’ve learned at least as much from people who’ve caused me frustration and pain as from the ones who’ve provided me with stellar examples. Stupers exist to remind us of the importance of thinking.

Don’t stop thinking!


Where Stupidity Grows Obese

Tuesday, September 4th, 2007

Nowhere on earth is there displayed a greater amount of human stupidity vying for notice than on the roadways. Our highway system is tainted by stupers (yet again, short for unquestionably stupid persons).

I read that we utilize only about five percent of our brainpower. I did some research and discovered that stupers, on the road, utilize only .0000000000001% of such brainpower. A large part of the mind is in hibernation.

Example One:

A car enters the freeway. However, instead of carefully merging into the nearest lane when safe to do so, the driver performs a sideways maneuver, in a fairly flawless horizontal line, across three lanes and into the highly coveted fast lane. Undoubtedly, he does this with eyes closed, as he pays no heed whatsoever to other vehicles. I am very grateful that no one is adversely affected. Amused maybe. Possibly clenching their teeth in frustration. But thankfully, unharmed.

Once this new arrival reaches the speed-soaked fast lane, he proceeds to take up knitting. Of course, I have no way to prove this other than by observing that while other cars drive at speeds exceeding seventy-five mph, this self-proclaimed, misbegotten leader of an immediately disgruntled pack, slows to fifty-five mph. A long line of cars forms behind him. But does he notice? No, for that would require awareness and thought, both of which are blatantly missing.

Do you agree that the fast lane is for drivers in a hurry? And who choose to drive with quickness and alacrity? It’s also for those who may wish to do a quick pass and resume in the second lane. If you disagree, please do not read the next example.

Example Two:

I am in the second lane behind an SUV. All vehicles in surrounding lanes easily pass me. Why does the SUV insist on demonstrating his sluggardly skills?

When safe, I pass him on the left. As I do, I notice the car in front of the SUV: a pile of hastily taped together, discarded-automobile-parts has virtually dropped anchor, driving at a whopping speed of forty mph.  And he manages to maintain a perpetually blinking left turn signal. What a multi-tasking jokester! Meanwhile, the SUV locks lips on the junker’s fender.

After I pass, I notice an astonishing phenomenon: the clunker with the blinking light is serious. He moves into the fast lane, at forty mph….and just about parks his car.

Is the fast lane for cruisers? Is it for sightseers who want to ensure they miss no action on the opposing side? Is it for the injured, damaged or carelessly looked after cars? Should vehicles with dysfunctional engines sit in the fast lane to garner attention to their plight? NO! (I apologize if you were accosted by a sudden gust of wind emitting from my yell).

It is not possible for me to explain the mental workings (or lack thereof) of a stuper sitting unabashedly in the fast lane in the space provided here. Instead, I suggest that each one of us authentic, thinking beings, treat every such obstacle with the patience and perseverance of the caterpillar climbing the mountain. And if subjected to the abruptly amusing, yet disheartening displeasure of witnessing such a profoundly stupid spectacle, laugh. Then laugh again. It is truly hilarious. If necessary, use soothing language to calm any disturbances to your psyche or soul.

Thoughts rule the world.


A Case of Mistaken Stupidity?

Sunday, September 2nd, 2007

“Lawyers are soulless, bloodsucking fiends,” I was recently told. “I pity anyone who has to deal with them.”

So began the light-hearted banter at a recent family and friends’ charitable event I attended.  This occurred after initial greetings of “Hi!” and “How are you?” were exhausted. Roughly seventeen seconds into the conversation. However, I was not offended. I nodded politely and turned my attention to the members of the Hell’s Angels group sitting at the next table. At this event, there were people I knew, sort of knew and some I’d never want to know.

In case you haven’t read my “About” section, I am a vampire. I haven’t actively practiced in many years, but still.  As such, I think if anyone should refer to attorneys as bloodsuckers, it should be me.

If you had a friend or relative that worked say, as a taxidermist, would you approach him/her and announce, “What kind of morbid freak sucks out the innards of poor innocent creatures, then stuffs and mounts them for pitiful display?”

Not unless a taxidermist had stuffed and mounted your little Fluffy after running the poor mite down.

“Have you ever had any legal dealings?” I asked, returning my attention to the conversation.

“No, but I may need your services soon.”

Okay, obviously not an encounter involving a stuper (conveniently shortened and combined to indicate an incorrigibly stupid person). Although his first remark was insensitive and inappropriate, his second statement indicated that he was really trying to say, “I need help from a lawyer I can trust.”

Once again, there are decent and indecent persons in all professions. The shark-filled legal field has more than its share of the latter. But clumping all into one category reeks of stereotyping which, you may recall, provides opinions for stupers who otherwise would be unable to formulate one.

In the above example, I believe the speaker merely tried to relate to what he believed was my probable ideology concerning attorneys. Thinking carefully before making his first statement would have enabled him to say what he meant in a more positive way like, “Most attorneys seem soulless. I know you’re not, so can you help me?”

It’s not a good idea to bulldoze over a person you’re attempting to engage in meaningful conversation. You may find yourself hanging from a hook on a door, dangling feet and all. It was a good thing he wasn’t sitting at the Hell’s Angels’ table. 

Even though this instance appeared to involve a stuper, I believe he just came across wrong. The next encounter was no mistake:

As I said my good-byes that evening, I ran into Beryl. I hadn’t seen her since my college days. Usually, if there is someone you’ve not seen in a great while, it’s with good cause. Way back, Beryl diplayed clear and present stupidity. Just when I thought I was going to escape with only minor cuts and scratches, I heard,

Her: “You only have two kids?” (She had five)

Me: “Yes.” (Duh! Sons were standing right next to me)

Her: “Only boys? Didn’t you want a little girl?” 

If there was a chalkboard nearby, I would gladly have run my carefully manicured fingernails slowly across from top to bottom. Can you imagine the loud echoing in a hollow head?

When you have no children, they ask when are you having one? When you have one child, they ask, when are you having two? When you have two, should kids happen to be the same sex, they ask, don’t you want what you don’t have?  Is it so difficult for stupers to comprehend that you can be happy with what you do have? 

I briefly pondered going over to the Hell’s Angels’ table and telling them Beryl thought (oops, there I go again. Sorry! Stupers don’t think!), I meant, Beryl wants to borrow your bandana to wipe her baby’s butt. Instead, I responded charmingly to Beryl,

“Two is the perfect number for me.”

When a stuper asks a highly personal question, the best response is brief, leaving no room for further entanglement with the lamebrain-at-large. Do not take it personally. Remember, they know not what they speak.

It’s likely that we will come in contact with the intellectually impoverished. Being around dolts could be hazardous to our health. It’s our choice. But really, I was grateful for Beryl’s obsolete wit. Without her, I wouldn’t be here talking to my brilliant readers. It’s important to maintain clear, calm thoughts during such encounters. That way nothing can disturb us.

Choose to think!


Sojourn for Stupidity

Saturday, September 1st, 2007

Alas! I’ve been summoned to study stupidity in sand and surf studded Southern California with sons and spouse, and to scrutinize the social and statistical significance of sound repetition. In short, I’m away today and will return speedily with A Case of Mistaken Stupidity.

May I recommend one of my earliest posts and favorites – my first entry under “Religious Stupidity” for those brilliant readers who haven’t yet read.

Genius may have its limitations, but stupidity is not thus handicapped.                    Elbert Hubbard

Just think!