Stupidity Happens

What’s this world coming to? Are the stupers (short again for uncontainable stupid persons) finally taking over, like the monkeys did in Planet of the Apes? For a few minutes yesterday, I was certain stupidity had staged a successful coup.

I’d ventured out of my home and into the supermarket, figuring that the rain and the Superbowl, would enable shopping to be stuper free. I was wrong.

My mission was to quickly buy four, 2.5-gallon size, water bottles. A simple enough task. The store had only four such bottles left. I heaved the rather bulky containers into my shopping cart. My sister then telephoned me, and I paused to chat.

As the conversation continued, I parked my cart at the foot of the water bottle aisle. I then walked over to take out some money from the nearby ATM, mere steps away. Alas, I’d neglected to place a lock on the cart or load it with heavy metal objects. Maybe I should have tied a chain around one wheel and secured the other end to my ankle. Go to fullsize image

While at the ATM and on the phone, I glanced over my shoulder at my cart and noticed it had vanished. Barely a minute had passed. Irritated (these were the last four bottles), I ended the call and left the machine. What I encountered was a trail of water bottles, haphazardly running along one side of the aisle. The very four bottles that had formerly been sitting in my cart.

A middle-aged woman pushing a cart approached me.

“Are you looking for the cart with the water bottles? Those four girls got rid of the bottles and took off with it,” she pointed to the end of the aisle.

I saw four indolent, scantily clad creatures in their late teens or so, strolling, just turning around the corner. I mention their clothing or lack thereof, because the temperature hovered around 48 degrees Fahrenheit. Perhaps the lack of warm attire had frozen what few remaining brain cells they had. Rather than walk fifteen feet to the cart corral, they’d confiscated one already in use.

Since I am a specialist in the psychology of stupidity, I took the cart kidnapping in stride. I only Go to fullsize imagebriefly considered attaching dynamite to the handle of their cart to make a statement about the hijacking. But this tale gets worse for me before it gets better.

I suddenly had a terrible realization: I’d never removed the cash I’d requested from the ATM. Irritation while talking on the cell phone and pushing buttons on the machine had distracted me to the tune of sixty dollars. I admit to hypocrisy in a weak moment, dear readers. Multi-tasking does not work when trying to have a meaningful conversation on the cell phone.

I raced back to the ATM. No $ in sight. I noticed a checker kept her head perpetually turned toward the machine. She knew something. I approached her.

“I don’t suppose some one turned in sixty dollars to you, found at the ATM?”

The checker nodded and barely opened the cash drawer. “Yes, some one did turn it in. She thought it was a malfunctioning machine. Here you go.”

It was a malfunction…in my head. Had I been paying proper attention, I would have maintained awareness. Instead, I focused on stupidity and became an amnesiac, leaving my money behind.

The fact that a person actually turned in the money instead of stuffing it in her wallet really made my day. And I was very grateful. It made the stupers look very small indeed. Ever since the ATM mishap, I’ve been exceptionally prudent in fostering present moment awareness so that I may continue to maintain my sanity.

Great minds think.


3 Responses to “Stupidity Happens”

  1. M.C. says:

    Running into stupidity can make anyone lose their head and money. That’s great news that a good Samaritan turned your’s in.

  2. Paulyn says:

    well, bless that checker, too, for turning the money back to you, Keli. I guess, sometimes when one wrong thing happens, we’ve got to be ready for the next one. I, too, do need to be reminded about the necessity of fostering present moment awarenes, every once in a while! Take care!

    ps. got something for you in my blog..=)


  3. Julianne says:

    I’d say the ATM money return was nothing short of a miracle. As for the scantily clad teenagers, dynamite may have taught them a valuable life lesson.

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