Archive for May, 2008

As Stupidity Turns or The Stupidity Zone

Monday, May 5th, 2008

Placing a simple ad in the classified section of a small town newspaper should be as easy as tying a shoelace, pumping gas, buying eggs at the market, ordering fries from a fast food chain….let’s face it: nothing is easy when a stuper (short once again, for a bewilderingly stupid person) is involved. The most minute task becomes convoluted and muddled when an idiot raises his empty head.

Once upon a time, five years ago to be exact, a quaint, little newspaper reported in my drowsy country town. This paper was chock full of grammatical errors and erroneous information, but such mistakes merely added to its charm in this day and age of spell-check and re-check. Townspeople gently shook their heads, smiled and sighed; after all there were worse things in life.

When residents wished to place ads, often a donation of a dozen food cans to a local charity sufficed as payment. Life was good.

Fast forward to current day. A conglomerate purchased said paper. Husband (H) wishes to place, what he mistakenly believes to be, a simple ad. He comes to rue the day.

H enters reception area of newspaper office.

H: Good morning! I’d like to place an ad for an unfurnished house for rent, please.

Receptionist: (rapidly blinks her eyes, presumably in a feeble effort to jump start the brain) We don’t have ads like that here.

H: (quickly realizes that he needs to speak in plain English) I’d like to place an ad under “Houses for rent.”

Receptionist: (shuffling through a mass of paperwork) I don’t have any forms here…

H:(ever efficient) No problem. I typed it all out for you, along with my personal info.

Receptionist: Well, the person who handles these ads isn’t here.

H either looks severely crestfallen or explosively maniacal because Receptionist quickly picks up the phone and calls Crappyanna. (Dear readers: the beauty of writing one’s own blog is that one may name and rename characters as one pleases as well as speak in the third person at will). Crappyanna (C) was in charge of classified advertising.

H explains his request to C and asks what the best rate would be for such an ad. Don’t blame H for asking these complex questions. He tends to err on the intellectual side. Naturally, C was stumped by the question. H asks how much an ad for one day would cost.

C: Fifty dollars.

H: FIFTY DOLLARS! My last ad cost $8.95!

C: That was a long time ago.

H: Please look it up on your records. My last ad was recent.

C: It was way back in ’07.

H: That’s right. It was six months ago. Why is it so high now?

C: We’ve had a few increases. Plus, you’re a real estate broker.

H: Does it cost more if I’m in real estate?

C: (dumbfounded by the gravity of the question, is mute at the other end).

H: I know exactly what we should do…..

My dear, intelligent readers, please tune in on Wednesday for the conclusion of As Stupidity Turns.

Great minds like to think.


Take Cover When Stupidity Tries to Habla Español

Friday, May 2nd, 2008

Today while shopping at Macy’s, I noticed a nice, young employee, very professional looking, ably assisting a couple (in their sixties or so) in the housewares department.

The employee calmly explained about the many different brands of pots and pans the store carried. He spoke English with just a hint of a Spanish accent. He appeared as though he could have originated from a Latin American country.

I happened to be in the same department and paid scant attention until I heard the lady that he was assisting speak loudly in her very own version of Spanish,

“Necisitoe comprarey uno…. ser-vice….. plat-ter,” (Translation: I’d like to buy a service platter)

I spelled the Spanish words phonetically so that you, dear readers (especially those of you who speak Spanish), can appreciate how off her pronunciation was. When she said “service platter,” she enunciated the words very slowly and with great relish. Did I mention that she spoke in decibels reserved for those standing on an auditorium stage, speaking to a large crowd without benefit of a microphone? The young employee was not deaf. And we were the only people in that section.

“Por favoray, donday estaw uno forko setto.” (Translation: please give me a set of forks)

At this point, she suddenly decided to end all remotely English words with a vowel sound, preferably the long o. What fascinated me was that although the employee continued to respond to her in perfect English and in a perfectly relaxed manner, the woman persisted in her irritating imitation of Spanish enhanced with smatterings of broken English.

“Tu conocey where-o the knife-os are-o?” (Translation: where are the knives?)

My own Spanish is halting and I wouldn’t dare try it on a Spanish speaking person without at least an apology, an explanation or a paper bag over my head. After all, I’ve got a reputation. But this lady wouldn’t give up. This stuper (short for an unstoppably stupid person) had plenty of spunk.

“Donday estaw any pop-corn-o ma-kers-o?” (Translation: Do you sell popcorn makers?)

As I left the department, the conversation continued with the employee, totally laid-back in his responses, and the woman, bent on brutalizing two of the country’s most popular languages, again leaving me with the age-old question that one must ask whenever encountering a nonsensical scene of stupidity: why?

Please think.