Stupidity’s Greatest Love

A surefire way to make a stuper (short again, for a ceaselessly stupid person) your bff (best friend forever) is to show him/her your money. As long as there’s plenty of it. You’ll have your very own, newly found, totally devoted stuper buddy, not only eating out of the palm of your hand, but licking it clean and giving it a manicure followed by an exfoliating scrub and moisturizing paraffin bath with toasty mitts. It’s not just celebs who’ve got a following. Stupers follow the money.

In my formative, late teen years, I recall an exalted presence revered by quite a few of my relations. (Remember, I have enough kin to rival the number of residents in Crawford County, Arkansas, population 280).

Kenny T was his name, spoken only in the most awed tones. He started out as a friend of one of my mother’s cousins; then, once word of his net worth leaked out, many of my relatives scrambled and tripped over themselves to become Kenny’s T closest and bestest pal. It was quite a tangled mess.

Kenny was much admired for….I’m not exactly sure for what, outside of his bank account. But tried and true stupers don’t require much in order to lavish their limited attention and unending, but highly superficial admiration upon a person; just plenty of dough. And a dash of celebrity doesn’t hurt either, which Kenny T cultivated by inviting occasional celebs to his parties.

Kenny lived in a mansion, drove the requisite cars, but seemed to me to have one small defect: zero personality. He didn’t talk much, but then again, he didn’t have to. His money did the talking for him.

I remember well the time when Kenny attended a party at the home of a cousin’s mother in-law. I happened to be there too. The hostess was practically in tears the whole night since she had Kenny T lounging on her leather recliner in the living room. There was a restless hysteria in the air, thanks to Kenny’s presence. People fawned over him, smiling fondly when he yawned and blinked his eyes. Those sitting near him feared leaving their seats lest someone else take over the coveted spot. Kenny T was a brightly shining neon light in the middle of a blackout.

So he continued to amass a large stuper following until one day he woke up to find…he’d lost all of his money. Guess what else he lost?

Many years passed and I forgot all about Kenny T as did my relatives. Then I attended the funeral of one of my great uncles. During the eulogy, I glanced over and noticed a lone man standing off to one side, behind the rest of the mourners. He looked vaguely familiar. Grayer, older, smaller. Just to be sure, I asked an uncle to confirm that it was indeed, the formerly beloved, Kenny T.

“Oh yeah! That’s him.”

Kenny T got into an older Volvo and drove away without having exchanged a word with anyone. I saw people glance his way…and ignore him. Quite a contrast to his bygone glorious, hallowed, monied days.

Stupers are opportunistic acquaintances. Fair weather friends. They choose people to befriend who can provide some sort of gain to themselves. A true friend doesn’t expect anything in return, and should not be interested in your bank account.

Keep thinking.


7 Responses to “Stupidity’s Greatest Love”

  1. Sarah says:

    Ah, this is sad! Wasn’t there even one stuper relative who stayed friends with Kenny T. even after he lost everything? I guess if they did they wouldn’t be a stuper. I learn something everytime I read one of your posts!

  2. M.C. says:

    This reminds me of the Great Gatsby. When Gatsby threw the parties everyone came. When he died in disgrace, he had two people at his funeral. Obviously, Gatsby surrounded himself with stupers.

  3. dawn says:

    My daughter has an acquaintance in school… her friends are bought on a daily basis. It is sad and happens too often.

  4. Jennifer says:

    One thing is for sure, and for this I am oddly thankful: no one will ever love me for my money.

    Re: your excellent and insightful post, as my son would say … “Word to your Mother.”

  5. BurntMaze says:

    People really are horrific, aren’t they? The ability to judge the appropriateness of one’s behaviour is utterly absent in most people. It’s a wonder we are able to operate as societies at all. Great post….but now I feel sad.

  6. FerdC says:

    Yep, fair weather friends.
    I found a lot of them during my divorce 5 years ago. You find out who your true friends are. They are the ones that still love BOTH you and your ex.

  7. Keli says:

    It was sad! But that’s what you get for not choosing your so-called friends a bit more carefully. And thanks!
    I read The Great Gatsby and do remember it well. I don’t recall anyone not being a stuper in that tale.
    That is sad! I guess some think that’s the only way to get friends.
    Well, that’s a good point! But I bet even if you had the dough, you would not surround yourself with stupers!
    Thank you for the compliment!
    They certainly can be. I certainly did not mean anyone to feel sad. I think Kenny T learned from his experience and in fact, gained a more satisfying life with real friends.
    That is for sure! Good point!

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