Stupidity Waits in Line

Waiting in line at a department store on the day after Christmas is as natural an occurrence as quills on a porcupine. It is to be expected. Stupers (short, yet again, for unflinchingly stupid persons) do not comprehend this. They regard it as highly irregular and an affront to their unwavering sense of impatience.

Yesterday, I returned seven items in the men’s section of a store. When my turn arrived to be assisted, two marvelously capable workers helped me. My entire transaction took no more than four minutes. During this period, I glanced behind me. A queue of five people had formed consisting of:

  1. A small, quiet, resigned fellow who exuded enough patience for the entire city of Buffalo, New York;
  2. Two large ladies, one of whom favored the size and shape of a small elephant (think Babar, without the jaunty crown); the other resembled a cross between a candy cane and cement truck; and

3. A foreign couple whose accent was indeterminate.

My focus remained mostly on the completion of my transaction, but I managed to catch a smattering of chatter between the foreign couple. As my 3.5 readers know, “striped” is a one- syllable word. However, this couple pronounced it as two syllables – “stri-ped.”

“There’s a nice stri-ped shirt over there.” “Do you like those stri-ped pants?” and so on.

I barely noticed this quaint chitchat until the cement truck-like woman interrupted them and announced, “It’s not stri-ped. It’s striped!”

Silence ensued, long enough to tie a sneaker. Then the woman continued,

“You should know that you’ve been saying it all wrong. It’s striped! Not stri-ped.”

Silence again ensued, long enough to tie the other shoe.

Then the couple continued their conversation, “Do you like stri-ped pants?” “I prefer a stri-ped shirt.”

I chose that very moment to turn and face the group behind me. I apologized, saying,

“I’m very sorry to be taking so long.”

The responses were,

“No problem.”

“It can’t be helped.”

“Do not worry. It gives us a chance to browse the selection of stri-ped clothing.”


This last comment came out in one great huff from the cement truck-size lady, who, as you may have guessed, was a stuper. That one word indicated that I had no business returning so many items (to which I heartily agreed; but the men in my life are exasperatingly fickle when it comes to wardrobe).

In a span of a few short minutes, stupidity revealed itself. Take note of how the chatty couple dealt with the stuper. They refused to acknowledge her existence, continued their quest for stri-ped clothes and maintained their sense of well-being. They regarded stupidity as they would a pothole in the road. It existed for barely a moment. Once passed, it was readily forgotten.

Think first, last and always.


6 Responses to “Stupidity Waits in Line”

  1. Suzie says:

    So many stupers, they are every where, especially in lines.
    A few years ago, when my two girls were little, we waited in line for ice cream. For some reason, my turn took extra long. I noticed this couple behind me. I smiled at them, and the man said “you damn Polish.” I have never even been to Poland. I should have asked him , what is wrong with polish people? Obviously, a stuper.

  2. Sarah says:

    I think that it’s gre-ate that the couple did not pay any attention to the stuper. It was none of her business.

  3. Agnes Mildew says:

    When she exclaimed ‘Well!’ to you, you should have replied, ‘Well! Where? I could do wih some water…’ She appears to surpass the typical stuper with her utter rudeness.
    I have not had to return anything for anyone. My present-buying skills are obviously vastly superior to yours Keli. Then again, you can’t go wrong with vouchers and a box of beers can you?

  4. footiam says:

    Come here to see your Jaclyn Smith’s photos. Won’t mind waiting in queue to see that. (Stupid right?) Never mind,So, I think I tagged you with a meme instead at

  5. Keli says:

    I am sorry to hear you too were accosted while waiting in line. Your stuper probably believed he was relying on some nonsensical inside information. Unfortunately, such info in an empty head is even more meaningless than humanly possible.
    I’m afraid if I had replied, “Well!..” I would have still been standing there as she would have believed it was some sort of bizarre battle of words. I am envious of your keen gift-giving skills.
    I can’t publish my celebrity photos on my blog if I’m included in the picture (which I was with Jackie). I write incognito and don’t want to start a riot should anyone recognize themselves here. But I will be happy to check out your meme!

  6. Julianne says:

    Good for the stri-ped couple. I think I might start saying, “stri-ped” in their honor in the New Year. I’ll add it to my resolution list.

Leave a Reply

You must be logged in to post a comment.