Chummy Stupidity or Stupidity and Space

You’re standing in line at the grocery store. Unfortunately, it’s early evening; peak shopping time for the tired, the hungry and the stuper (there it is again; short for a habitually stupid person). While you wait, you browse the always amusing cover of the nearest tabloid (“World War II Bomb Found in Chicago Bathtub”).

Then it happens.

First, you hear it close to your ear. Loud, shallow breaths in even tempo. Then you feel it. A slight jab, a vague push, maybe even an insignificant shove. You turn around. Inches away from your being stands a stuper, gazing blankly out into yonder places, completely heedless of the fact that he/she is invading your personal sanctum. If you lean toward the oblivious offender, just a bit, you’d probably bump noses.

I think it’s fair to state that most of us do not like people, outside of those personally invited, to enter a diameter of say, two feet, within our physical presence. Especially when standing in line. I move forward when this happens. Quite often, so does the stuper behind me, even though there’s no need to crowd. Most grocery stores have ample space.

I carry a large handbag and deliberately place it between me and the zone violator. This helps maintain a certain distance. But still, I almost hold my breath, feeling self-conscious about the unwanted proximity. I keep moving forward and eventually bump smack into the poor, unsuspecting shopper in front of me, who turns and gives me a look that could shrivel a potato.

Space and stupidity cannot coexist. To the stuper, space has no meaning and little value. This is further proven in the following examples:

  • My husband likes to keep our vehicles in mint condition. I’ve been politely requested by him to park my car far from those of the maddening crowd. So when parking spaces in a lot are too narrow and packed together, i.e., think sardine can-type lot, I seek out a prime spot. I find an uninhabited section and leave my vehicle. By the time I return, my car regularly amasses a following. Not a congregation of other well kept autos, but an assortment of those types of cars whose drivers mindlessly follow where others have gone before them. Door dings are considered state-of-the-art.
  • As I walk up the stairs in a department store, a woman follows me so closely that she places the toe of her shoe at the heel of my sandal and pins my foot to the ground. Does she notice? No. She just rushes past me.

What’s the remedy for this overly friendly, yet displeasing form of stupidity? I have two potential routes to stave off this brand of idiocy.

The first way requires using one’s elbows as a shield or space saver of sorts. By placing the hands on the hips, elbows jutting threateningly outwards, and rapidly twisting and turning in place, a human space protector is formed. Not to mention it’s excellent exercise. How do you think I maintain my twenty-four inch waistline?

My second method was utilized today when I stood in line to buy coffee at the local java shop; I suddenly became aware of the fellow behind me. I sensed he was trying to bury his chin in my hair. I did a quick maneuver, falling backwards, practically hurling myself onto him, while flinging my arms unsteadily upward. I caught myself just prior to contact. I let him know, in no uncertain manner, that I was inherently unstable. After that, he quite willingly stood several feet behind me. The space between us was happily restored.

Keep thinking!


6 Responses to “Chummy Stupidity or Stupidity and Space”

  1. hands on hips works a treat, yes! doing mock warm ups also works, e.g. pulling your foot to your arse etc.

    i lived in poland for nine months last year and they have no concept of personal space. i think it’s more of a keeping warm thing for them though. don’t quote me however 🙂

  2. lotusflower says:


    It could have been worse if he had bad breath!!!


  3. Agnes Mildew says:

    You could always advise anyone invading your personal space that you have just contracted a highly infectious illness and they ought to keep away ‘just in case’. Strangely, a very camp chap who managed to lure me into getting a store card from him yesterday was almost sitting in my arms while I filled in his forms. And he had pyscho killer eyes…I suspect he is finding out the income of women and then coming to bump us off in our beds…or have I been watching too many silly films?

  4. Keli says:


    One can never be too sure. I suggest you write a letter to yourself and hide it under your mattress so the police will have evidence…just in case.

  5. Mary says:

    Or you could pick your nose. That will make anyone back off in disgust. (Always worked for me in the bars.)

  6. Elaine says:

    What a great blog! I wish I had the nerve to write about everyday stupidity but I would probably piss off a lot of people. So I sneak it in every once and awhile.

Leave a Reply

You must be logged in to post a comment.