Archive for January, 2008

Stupidity Makes My Day

Monday, January 7th, 2008

I tip my hat to all who believe everything they see and hear. Thanks to them, I enjoyed a stuper (short for an assiduously stupid person) free day on Saturday.

When it rains in Southern California, the majority of people (and practically, every single stuper) stay indoors or, if stuck outside, frantically hunt out a dry spot, where they remain glued till blue is restored to the sky. This works out beautifully for all involved because stupidity + rain can = disaster. I’m afraid I’ve witnessed stupers discard what little caution they wielded to speed up on puddle strewn highways during storms; I’ve been the victim of carelessly brandished umbrellas with metal dagger-like points hovering at eye level on sidewalks. Rain befuddles and brings out the worst in them.

On Friday, we had one full, incessant day of pouring rain which was enough for most Southern Californians to start drawing plans for the Ark. A 100% chance of rain was predicted for Saturday. Meanwhile, I plotted to make my pilgrimage to the semi-annual Blue Bee Boutique sale, an extravaganza bargain event that takes place in a neighboring city. Every piece of trendy, super-hip clothing is marked at a 50-70% discount. Blue Bee Luxury - a new storeThis cottage size store draws hundreds of the sale-hungry along with the fire department who nobly attempts to tame the smitten and spellbound. These sale-seekers patiently wait in a queue normally reserved for a first-come, first-serve U-2 type concert.

Saturday came and though storm clouds filled the sky, rain was absent. As I approached the store, I anticipated the crowd. However, the sidewalk was empty. Not a sale fanatic in sight.

My heart beat a little faster when I realized there was no line. Then I noticed there were only eight customers in the entire store and all six dressing rooms were empty! The racks were bathed in a rosy hue and a heavenly choir began to sing. Could it be true?

I asked the nearest salesperson to pinch me.

“People keep calling and asking if it’s raining. I tell them no, but they still don’t show,” he helpfully explained.

I bought three super-chic items for under $100; my receipt told me that I’d saved almost two hundred dollars! I felt safe and warm and happy, roaming the two foot-wide aisles lined with carefully folded “Made in the USA” jeans and t-shirts. No stupers to fend-off or play tug-of-war with over the last cashmere sweater. A sales person actually found my sizes for me, unheard of during their typical, sunny, bring in the crowd sale day. All because the rain kept the stupers away.



I Compare Stupidity to Walking Pneumonia

Friday, January 4th, 2008

I’d been rummaging through my e-mails and noticed a common, slightly hysterical query: “What if I’m a stuper (that’s right; short again for an incontestably stupid person) and don’t know it?” Here are two samples:

Dear Ms. Garson:

…yesterday during my a.m. shower, I suddenly couldn’t remember if I’d washed my hair. My hair falls down to my waist (I usually braid it) so it’s not easy to miss. You’ve heard of “The Lost Weekend?” Well, I lost four minutes and no alcohol or illegal substance was involved. I completely blanked out. Would you call me a stuper?

Herbert C.

Hi Keli!

…I was driving in the slow lane of the freeway. No cars in front or behind me. Without warning, I wandered into the next lane. Again, no vehicles were in front of me, but I’d cut off a car coming up from behind, for no good reason! I don’t even know why I changed lanes. It just happened! Is there a Stupers Anonymous? I’ve never done anything like this before! Am I a stuper?

Embarrassed in Portland

Isolated or infrequent incidents of stupidity are allowable such as the ones illustrated above. Both Herb and Embarrassed became aware of their guffaws. I think it’s safe to assume that neither will readily commit such inattentive acts again. It’s perfectly okay to be absent-minded now and then.

Stupers are classified as such because of unwelcome, redundant stupidity. They lack awareness most of the time. Case in point: My sixty-five-year-old Aunt Iris suffers from a complete inability to make small talk. Instead of “How are the kids?” or “How’s the new home?” she asks, “Did you get a nose-job?” or “How did you lose your baby?” I’m not even certain I’ve ever heard her say, “Hello,” before she delivers these uncompanionable greetings.

Stupidity is an ongoing malady that is not formally recognized by the medical profession (or any profession), though I believe it could be. I will now compare it to walking pneumonia, a recognized and treatable illness. The latter is a medical condition in which the patient does not have to be bedridden or hospitalized (just like stupidity). Unlike normal pneumonia, a walking pneumonia patient can move around even when he/she is suffering from the disease (just like stupidity). Almost 2 million people in the United States suffer from walking pneumonia every year (again, just like stupidity).

Although walking pneumonia does not require bed rest, it still can be very annoying and severe (almost like stupidity; stupidity does not irritate the stuper, whereas walking pneumonia annoys the patient). Worst of all, walking pneumonia is contagious. It spreads from a patient to healthy person if a healthy person stays in contact with the patient for too long a time (sound familiar?).

Like walking pneumonia, stupidity can get complicated if given improper attention. An outbreak of such pneumonia can be controlled if the patient covers his/her mouth and nose with a mask till cured. Wouldn’t it be lovely if stupers would wear masks over their mouths, thereby muffling any semblance of unnecessary and unpleasing chatter? It would also enable the rest of us to more easily recognize and avoid the stupid among us.

Think first, last and always!