Archive for August, 2008

Playing it Cool with Sears Repair Service Stupidity

Saturday, August 30th, 2008

If the kitchen is the heart of the home, then the refrigerator is an artery. A rascally main artery. When such artery is clogged, the heart malfunctions. Let’s just say, my fridge is currently clogging up the heart.

During a recent heat wave, our three year-old refrigerator decided to take a sudden vacation. Perishable items be damned! Committed carnivores take a hike! We had too much frozen organic ground beef anyway.

Fortunately, Husband had invested in an extended warranty on repairs for the recalcitrant refrigerator. The Sears salesman had said,

“All you do is pick up the phone and call a technician. He’ll come to your home and fix the problem at no charge. Not that you’ll need to, of course.”

Husband called the Sears Repair Center. The first twenty-five minutes were spent explaining by Husband. We’d moved in the past two years and all hell broke loose at the Repair Center when they heard. Confusion, cries of frustration and a complete lack of direction ensued. Husband was transferred from person to person. They tried to switch our address. They really did. And finally, in the end, they were successful, but during their overzealous rejoicing, they cut Husband off. Husband then steadfastly refused to call them back and handed the phone to me.

With full knowledge that a calm, collected, cool mind accomplishes far more than an angry, embittered, vindictive one, I called Sears again. I decided to use the victimized-by-the-uncooperative refrigerator approach, which was the truth.

I spoke to Nexis, (his real name or so he said), a helpful fellow, who continuously apologized and attempted to walk me through do-it-yourself repairs. I know, we’d paid for a live technician, not an over the telephone, across the continent and the Pacific Ocean, then across another continent, pseudo repair person, but I felt it was worth a shot, if it cured my problem promptly.

It did not.

I then requested an appointment for a technician to come to our home. Nexis transferred me to Jay who stated,

“The soonest possible time will be in two weeks.”

This would be the part where I unleashed a slew of expletives, both the widely known kind along with a few rarely heard, particularly grueling on most human ears variety, just to give my speech added emphasis. But I did not. Instead, I inquired,

“How can Sears possibly expect me to go without a fridge for two weeks? I have a family to feed, pizzas to freeze, not to mention the frozen, custom-made dog food my mother-in-law generously hand makes for my canines.”

“I understand and I’m truly sorry,” Jay said. “Sears will give you up to $250 reimbursement towards spoiled items.”

“And who’s going to pay for all the restaurants we’ll have to frequent?”

Jay apologized yet again and transferred me to Carma who transferred me to Leo.

I asked why Sears didn’t hire more workers if demand was so great.

“Sears has plenty, but they are all so busy. It’s that time of year…”

And herein lies the utter stupidity, incompetence and greed of Sears. Do they honestly believe their customers are such idiots as to be blind to the fact that all that mattered was the $? More repair people would mean more pay-out by Sears.

I asked Leo where he was located.

“In the Sears Repair Center.”

“Where exactly is this Center?”

“We are not allowed to give out that information.”

Was I talking to the CIA? Or the Pentagon? Or the Kremlin? I spoke to four different people. All with the same accent. Yet another way for Sears to cut costs and deprive domestic workers of jobs. Sears fell headlong into the monumentally stupid category.

I’m one of the fortunate Sears’ customers; our fridge started working once I hung up the phone. I used Nexis’ tech tip – unplugging the fridge for a few minutes, then re-plugging – and it worked.

I hope you’ll notice, dear readers, that I wanted to get angry several times. I really did. But I realized that I would not maintain the proper presence of mind to best manage my problem, and I’d not nearly have as much fun. I tried the unplugging trick twice with Nexis; it didn’t work either time. Perhaps my anger would have prevented me from trying it again and having my issue ultimately resolved.

The person we fight with when angered is ourselves. We can be our own worst enemies. Your mind can be your best friend or your worst foe. It’s up to you.

Just think.


Stupidity Whilst in the Dental Chair

Wednesday, August 27th, 2008

After two years of providing me with blissful (as blissful as a trip to the dentist’s office can be, anyway), stress-free dental work, my hygienist, Dayle, left me. Actually, she moved away.

I had come to love her calm, gentle touch; the long, winding, soothing tales she told me in soft tones while she toiled. Dayle made what could have been an unpleasant experience more than tolerable; time passed swiftly and painlessly. Plus, I was mesmerized by the miner-style visor she wore sporting the bold, bright, blinding light, sitting dead center of her forehead, in order to better view my mouth’s intricacies.

Alas, my last experience was neither blissful nor stress-free. Dayle had been replaced by Sunny.

Sunny started out well enough. But slowly, I began to suspect the presence of a stuper (short, yet again, for a lamentably stupid person). In the end, her name was quite ill fitting.

She asked me questions while she worked on my wide-open mouth that I couldn’t possibly answer. These were not of the yes or no variety. I tried communicating using sign language, rapid eye movements and telepathically, but made no headway. Sunny grew impatient with me and proceeded complaining about her mother. Finally, she grew bored with that and began to hum. Loudly. Annoyingly. And in my captive ear.

Midway, the dentist came in to check on me; he pronounced that everything was fine. After he left, Sunny whispered gruffly in my ear that she disagreed.

“You need to have your wisdom teeth pulled. They’re only going to get worse. What are you waiting for?”

I nodded my head and then asked, “What days do you work again?”


Six months later, I called the dental office to schedule an appointment. Unfortunately, I had forgotten Sunny’s name. Or more likely, blocked it out. I asked who’d worked on my teeth the last time I’d been in. The receptionist informed me,

“That was Sunny. She’s really good. Everyone loves her!”

I thought that perhaps I’d been mistaken. Maybe she wasn’t as bad as I remembered. I decided to give Sunny a second chance, and made the appointment.

I called back an hour later to change the time. I spoke to a different receptionist. He too started singing Sunny’s praises. In a falsetto voice. These people were trying a bit too hard to close the deal.

“Does Sunny work on Wednesdays?”


I made my appointment on Wednesday… with Nancy.

Sunny displayed a disorderly mind. There existed no control, balance or poise when it came to revealing her thoughts. Telltale signs of stupidity. Mind training is essential if we want to live happily in this world. We can’t change the world into a better place to live, unless we ourselves change the contents of our minds.

Mind is the architect of our fate.



Stupidity Means Never Having to Say “I’m Sorry”

Saturday, August 23rd, 2008

There are two small words that roll off quite easily from most tongues, but manage to break down, even get stuck, in the ineffectual mouth of a stuper (short, once more, for an obtrusively stupid person). Stupers are unable to utter these basic, simple words: “I’m sorry.”

Many years ago, a dreadful relative, Mildred, made a point of telling me that she was sick and tired of hearing other relations say nice things about my children. She felt her own kids equally deserving. I listened, certain that she’d come to her senses and get to the real point of what was troubling her. She was a parent herself and certainly would understand that her mutterings were unkind. But Mildred finished rambling and left. She’d spoken things out loud that most authentic humans wouldn’t even think about. Thus began the end of a very iffy relationship.

Ten years later… and still no apology.

Meager minds don’t understand the concepts of courtesy and responsibility, both of which underlie an apology. Namely because idiots can’t, don’t and won’t think. If only people would say these two small words sooner than later, or say them at all, much discontentment and distress would be avoided.

Even my ten-year old Australian Shepherd, Rio, apologizes in his own way when he’s been a naughty dog. After he pulled out and ripped to shreds the drip line for my roses, Rio made amends by laying down, begging for mercy and offering an endless stream of licks. Yes, dogs are smarter and kinder than most stupers.

If one can lower him/herself to stuper status by the inability to apologize, a stuper may also elevate him/herself to non-stuper status by speaking the sometimes elusive two words.

I once overheard my friend, Leslie, speak in a derogatory fashion about some one I cared about. Leslie had a sending voice. The type that didn’t require a microphone in order to be heard on the opposite side of a cruise ship.

I confronted Leslie. She apologized profusely for her thoughtlessness and lack of candor, and thereby restored her status to authentic human.

Stupers are not part of some Master Plan for scattering annoyances and anger across the planet just to make life tough for the apple-eating race. They’re here so that the rest of us can spot unacceptable qualities and make sure we don’t harbor them ourselves. We may not be saintly enough to love the stupid among us, but for the sake of our health, happiness and sanity, we should forgive and forget them…immediately.

I have many regrets, and I’m sure everyone does. The stupid things you do, you regret…if you have any sense….And if you don’t regret them, maybe you’re stupid. ~ Katherine Hepburn

Thinking is a precious asset.


Stupidity and the Almost Attempted Suicide

Tuesday, August 19th, 2008

To Whom It May Concern:

I was asked to write this letter by this lady who tried to kill herself today. My name is Irv and I’m a gasoline tanker truck driver.

I was sweaty and tired. My itchy uniform didn’t help any. I was cursin’. My feet were about to explode outta my boots like in those Bugs Bunny cartoons. I coulda really used a cold beer. But I don’t drink on the job. Anyways, there I was, kneelin’ in front of Betty, she’s my truck, attachin’ the hose to an underground tank at the gas station when I looked up and see this good lookin’ woman about to fall into one of the holes toward the back of my vehicle. I’d placed cones all around that area that were so bright, you’d have to be blind to miss them. This lady was blind cuz she missed them. I yelled at her. She stopped, turned around, said she was sorry and asked me to write this note, describin’ what happened. She wanted to be sure she wouldn’t do it again, she said. I told her I was sorry for havin’ to yell at her. I’m just thankful she didn’t fall in or I’d be in big trouble.

Irv Steppenhouser
Okay, dear readers, I’m afraid I told a bit of a fib today. First of all, I added the vernacular to the above note, but more importantly, I asked Mr. Steppenhouser to write the note not for my benefit, but for yours. I wanted you to know and understand the person behind the stuper (short for an often deleteriously stupid person). Together, we are going to step inside the head of a random stuper and see what was going on. Here’s what really happened:

I left Son #2 at the gas pump and proceeded towards the mini-mart to make a rather large, mortgage style, payment to support the billion dollar oil companies; my tank was almost empty. This particular station swarmed with cars. At $4.07 per gallon, it was the cheapest gas in town.

In order to avoid being run down and plowed over by hyperventilating drivers, I briefly stepped into a coned off area as I made my way.

While walking, I paused for .0005 seconds to peer into a hole the size of a dinner plate. Said hole was not gaping open and in fact, the lid was on the part reserved for the oil hose. During that brief interlude, I heard,


It was Irv, the tanker truck driver. I turned around and was informed,

“You almost killed yourself, did you know that? You almost fell in!”

I stopped and looked around. I was a safe distance from the frenzied motorists, thanks to being within the cone perimeter. I consider myself slim, but even a two-year-old couldn’t fit down one of those gas tank holes, had it been open. And if I had wanted to commit suicide, wouldn’t I have chosen a more suitable method? I wouldn’t want to try to leave the world in such a manner so that all people could say about me was, “What an idiot! What was she thinking?”

I apologized to the concerned Irv. Perhaps from his vantage point, the hole appeared substantially bigger, and I much smaller. And maybe he’d not been certain whether he’d properly closed it. I said,

“I’m sorry!”

Then I asked him to write the note so that we could read through his words and attempt to understand from whence he came. He was hot and weary, not overly fond of his job and likely hallucinating from the noxious fumes. What he was really saying to me was,

“I feel like killin’ myself right now, and I’d rather be in a hammock somewhere, preferably out of the sun and this gosh dang uniform and sipping pina coladas.”

Okay, maybe not sipping, as Irv hardly resembled a sipper. Probably more like slurping. Nonetheless, even though at first I thought, “Yet another stuper has crossed my path,” I realized that under different, happier circumstances, Irv’s reaction could have been less off target.

Before deciding to get yourself upset or distressed over the antics or words of a stuper, dear readers, try to step into his/her shoes and understand whether the stupidity is momentary and/or a product of a certain situation. Also, remember, before you can step into another’s shoes, you have to take off your own.

Think about it.


Awards Time

Sunday, August 17th, 2008

I feel very beary special today and at the same time, ready to act like a kick ass blogger, thanks to Ferd of The Best Parts blog who kindly awarded me not one, but two thoughtful accolades, both of which are very much appreciated. Many thanks, Ferd!

Some of my favorite people are of the enthusiastic variety, including Husband, Arnold Schwarznegger (in a nonpolitical way) and Ferd. If you haven’t had a chance to visit Ferd’s blog, please do, as his enthusiasm is quite catchy. It’s hard not to leave without a smile, whether you’re reading about his Craigslist experience or his reliving his formative years with Earth, Wind and Fire (the band, not the elements).

I’d like to pass these awards on to all on my eclectic blogroll, each of whom is beary special and can definitely kick-ass!

Next time: How I almost committed suicide by falling in a hole the size of a dinner plate, according to a stuper (short for a brazenly stupid person).



Stupidity in Office

Wednesday, August 13th, 2008

There are stupers (short, yet again, for indefensibly stupid persons) in every profession. However, a few callings attract more than their fair share.

One profession draws in enough idiots to heavily populate the northern tip of the rapidly rotating planet Jupiter and a few of its sixty-three plus moons. Stupers flock to this occupation like drunks to fire water. Or was that monks to holy water?

The qualifications for this above-mentioned profession include: a singular talent for lying, total lack of compassion for others, including, but not limited to, close family members, a mid-range ability to deceive the public at large, and preferably, a meaningless ivy league degree. Good looks, integrity and discretion are optional, but open palms are a necessity. Here’s the real clincher: must appear somewhat sincere.

I know, most of my dear readers are thinking Keli must be referring to upper level management for the Infernal (sic) Revenue Service (IRS), or perhaps she’s speaking of an elite class of used car salesmen. I’m sorry, neither is quite correct, although these would make legitimate back-up jobs for the transgressors I’m referring to. I speak of politicians.

Not exactly the stuff of “everyday stupidity,” but I recently felt highly disenchanted for about fifteen minutes thanks to the latest sordid scandal regarding a former presidential contender. It made me question whether there currently even exists a single, solitary, intelligent, sincere, capable and charming political candidate?

With less than three months to go until the U.S. Presidential election, I do plan on voting, and I think I’ve found the perfect write-in to vote for: Keli Garson.

One vital issue that each and every candidate consistently fails to address is…stupidity. Is it not a well-known fact that stupidity is at the root of most, if not all, of our problems? And do I not address this wretched malady and do my very best to resolve irritating encounters with stupers on a regular basis, right here in this blog? If that’s not good enough for you, here are a few additional reasons to cast your vote for me:

  • I am not, nor have I ever been, a politician;
  • I promise not to criticize any of my opponents, but to keep the focus on my own plan of action and positive attributes which include:
  1. An uncanny knack for impulsively baking delicious, mouth-watering pies of any variety. Why, just last month, after returning home from a long, tiring day of carting around Husband and Son #2 in nearby Big City, I whipped up a delectable lemon meringue pie…from scratch! I even make my own crust, for heaven’s sake. I dare the other candidates to even try (if that doesn’t grab your vote, I don’t know what will);
  2. I have total self-control when in uncomfortable, conflict-filled situations. For instance, right now, as I sit in the public library typing away for my dearest readers, I’d really rather be strangling the child standing dead center of this facility where sound most fully reverberates and whining something about needing to immediately go to the bathroom. Actually, I’ve got a double dose of self-control because I’d like to strangle her mother too for not taking said child to the nearest restroom.
  • I think my vast experience as a stay-at-home parent would push me way past the other candidates because as most SAH parents know, there are days when super human strength is required in order to balance everyone’s needs without necessitating a trip to the local asylum.
  • I’m afraid I once practiced law and as such, spent all of my time negotiating and drafting agreements for barracudas who ran various departments of movie studios. And I worked for a company that handled labor disputes for the major entertainment industry labor unions! If that doesn’t rival negotiating with leaders of foreign countries, I don’t know what does.

There you have it! Remember, a vote for me and we’re all one step closer to wiping out stupidity.

Think for yourself.


Is Stupidity Contagious?

Saturday, August 9th, 2008

For the longest time, I felt certain that stupidity, unlike the common cold and ringworm, was not contagious. Alas, I was wrong. I’ve witnessed perfectly intelligent beings suddenly turn senseless, losing their wits and behaving like absolute nitwits after intermingling with idiots. But I needed proof. The scientific and medical communities have enough trouble accepting stupidity as an affliction, let alone a communicable disease.

I decided to place myself among the stupid for a short period of time and carefully monitor the after effects. Why did I volunteer? Because I tirelessly work alone and anonymously. Besides, there were no takers.

As some of my most fiercely loyal readers may recall, there is a stupermarket (compound noun referring to a large grocery store almost wholly occupied by enormously stupid persons) near my home. I donned my blackest sunglasses and khaki-colored raincoat, then went shopping. I made sure, prior to entering the store, that I was mentally sound, giving myself a series of small tests and watching the entire PBS series on The Secret Life of the Brain. I was ready.

I entered the store, smiling and narrowing my eyes. My defenses were up. There they were. A twenty-something-year-old buying cases of beer and brandishing a shaved head, tattoos, tank top and pants belted down mid-thigh. The only problem was, he’d forgotten his underwear. Then there was the older couple, in their sixties or so, searching for their super saver card. The woman, built like an army helicopter, got her pudgy hand stuck in the pocket of her jeans and loudly demanded the cashier call 9-1-1. Then there was the cashier. The automated sort, despite her humanesque form, who once shortchanged me eight dollars, then threatened to call security when I asked for a recount.

Walking through the place was like being inside a Mad magazine photo shoot, only with live people. I reminded myself to breathe and swallowed the bubble of hysteria gurgling in my throat. I grabbed a bunch of bananas and waited in line behind a woman with a cart so full, items randomly popped out as she read the Star. Behind me appeared a man with a big, toothy grin, cradling a gallon size bottle of Windex in his arms like an infant. The line next to us suddenly opened. The new cashier looked at me. I looked at him. Then he said to the gent behind me,

“Sir, I can help you right here.”

“What?” I stated in disbelief. “Am I not next in line?”

I might as well have addressed the oversize Windex bottle. Then I lost it. I pictured myself screaming, loudly, soundly, emptying all the air out of my body. I’d feel better, but would anyone care? Would I make the headlines of tomorrow’s local paper? How about the Opinion section? Realizing I’d had my fill, I abruptly left, without the bananas.

I felt mildly annoyed; my heart beat a bit faster, my face felt hot and my palms glistened. I’d contracted an acute case of annoyance, thanks to my intentional brush with stupidity.

I got into my car and approached a four-way intersection, which provided the exit for the shopping center. My way and the opposing direction each had stop signs.

I stopped at the exit and waited, still flummoxed from my stupermarket excursion. This was a tricky little intersection when busy, tending to be accident prone and requiring fully functioning mental faculties. Five minutes later, and I still waited, leaning toward the steering wheel, tapping my fingers on the dash. Suddenly, all traffic halted for two peds in the crosswalk. The peds crossed, but traffic still stopped. Were they waiting for me? I revved my engine. A moving van on my left started forward, then stopped. A car on my right sped through. Meanwhile, I was stuck. My brain stopped working after having been partially drained at the stupermarket. A line of cars formed behind me. I felt pressure to act.

I saw a vehicle approaching on my right. Then I did something that I never, ever, EVER do, aware and careful motorist that I typically am; I flew through the intersection, exactly like a sailor on the high seas, responding to the call of a Siren. Those sailors who plugged their ears with beeswax survived. The rest crashed. I made it, no doubt, thanks to divine intervention and a little bit of thought I keep on reserve for just such moments.

So here it is: a fully documented personal account, duly witnessed, demonstrating that stupidity is indeed contagious. Had I not been driven to the brink of lunacy in the stupermarket, I would have calmly made it across the intersection without incident, stress or strain. As it was, any one who witnessed my hurtling certainly branded me a stuper.

I should have relaxed in my car for a few minutes before attempting to drive, allowing the stupidity to vaporize. I vowed never to put myself intentionally in the useless presence of idiots again…unless I have beeswax handy. It’s important to keep fitful company, meaning to put yourself around those who behave well and most importantly, think. Otherwise, it’s better to go alone.

Keep thinking.


Home Loan Stupidity

Wednesday, August 6th, 2008

This very morning I came upon Husband, sitting in front of his computer, staring incredulously at the screen, slack-jawed and momentarily paralyzed. A few smelling salts later and he revived. I soon discovered the reason for his temporary paralysis: stupers (short, yet again, for relentlessly stupid persons). He’d been stuperfied!

Let me back up a moment. Just before I found him, Husband was going over his checking account to see which checks had been cashed by using online banking services. If any of my dear readers are fainthearted or have an aversion to financial institutions that seem hell-bent on robbing customers that they are supposed to be servicing, do not read on.

When I came upon Husband this morning, he’d discovered an error in his checking account. He’d written a $1700 check to pay for a mortgage to Countrywide Home Loans. In the second line on the check, Husband had printed out the words, one thousand seven hundred dollars and no cents. Take note, it was not written in Russian, Mandarin, Cuneiform or Hieroglyphics, but in plain English.

Guess what the mindless at Countrywide did with the check? Oh, they cashed it all right. But they decided that Husband didn’t really want to pay the paltry sum of $1700 on his mortgage, but rather the more substantial amount of $7700.

Is it possible the Countrywide representative(s) in Husband’s case was working with only one eye open or, more likely, .00002 percent of available brain power? Was this a simple, innocent mistake or stupidity? You decide. All I knew was that tendrils of steam escaped Husband’s ears. And that third graders could better read and understand a basic check then some Countrywide employees. But I also realized the importance of remaining calm and collected in order to promote clear thinking and rapid resolution of a situation.

I’m all for speaking softly and carrying a big stick except when dealing with undeniable idiots. Then one must speak firmly while wielding any reasonably threatening instrument, tool or average kitchen implement. A sturdy cane or a handy, but very large wrench would do; or perhaps an all purpose rolling pin (preferably with marble body and maple handles).

Husband stated that he was going to the bank in person and have them contact Countrywide. I suggested he use firmness with a dash of courtesy. I said in my best Obi-Wan Kenobi voice,

“When you go to the bank, don’t lose your temper. You can control any situation if you can control yourself.”

Husband went to the bank. He emerged even-tempered, unscathed and with a promise from the bank and Countrywide that the situation would be remedied quickly. And he didn’t even have to bring along the rolling pin.

Great minds like to think.


Walking Stupidity Time Bomb

Sunday, August 3rd, 2008

I’ve agreed to assist a class AAA, advanced stuper (short as you may guess, for an abominably absurd and asinine stupid person) only if he publicly declares his stupidity right here on my blog. He is a golf dad I see now and then who has a tendency to speak in rapid, run-on sentences for as long as thirty-three minutes, barely taking a breath, and blurting out ridiculous statements with the convoluted aim of a dysfunctional machine gun, startling and offending all within a ten foot range. His e-mail has been edited greatly. Here goes:

Dear Keli:

My name is Bertram Weidermeyer, and I am a recovering stuper, at least since last week. Okay, two days ago. So maybe it was this morning. You gotta believe me, I didn’t mean anything when I told the chubby kid on the driving range that he’d put on too much weight and should look into Sumo wrestling instead of golf. I quickly caught myself and told him I meant it in a good way.

I know. I like to talk, but it’s the New Yorker in me. What I said to the older kid on the putting green about his game being way better in the past, I meant that he probably still could get a golf scholarship to a college in Kalamazoo or Fargo. And when I asked Coach’s wife if she had a good time at her fortieth birthday party, how was I supposed to know she’d just turned thirty? Weren’t you flattered when I told you you’re pretty smart for a woman? Now stop practicing those Tae Kwon Do moves you’ve learned on me!

I promise will try not to act like a stuper, at least for a whole day. Or an afternoon or something. I can do it. Really I can. But I’m pretty sure I’m not even all that stupid. If at all.



Denial may be a good thing, as it means that a stuper is possibly exercising thought. But Bert is unfortunately delusional in stating the possibility of his not being an idiot, which makes him denusional.

I cannot recall ever seeing Bert’s mouth closed for longer than a few moments during daylight hours. Thankfully, I’ve never shared his company pre dawn or post dusk. He is indeed a walking stupidity time bomb. I can practically hear him ticking when he’s quiet for a second or two. I’ve heard his wife wears earplugs at night. But I’m not here to criticize. I told Bert I’d try to help him and would start talking to him again and stop using him for my Tae Kwon Do dummy if he took my suggestions.

I met Bert four summers ago. The first year, I tolerated him; summer #2, I ignored him. The following summer, I threw him dagger-like looks and, if he dared approach me, open-mouthed, I made sounds, mimicking the Madagascar Hissing Cockroach which my younger son had thoroughly studied in Biology that year. By this summer, I’d taken to practicing round-house kicks over his head, as well landing the reverse spinning hook kick to his backside any time he approached a youngster to make a pronouncement. Needless to say, I’m close to getting my black belt, thanks to Bert.

Another parent suggested he talk to me about his stupidity problem. Bert asked for my help. Hence, the e-mail.

For Bert and anyone who equates speaking without thinking on par with breathing: take careful note of what you are saying. Think about your words before you hurl them out of your mouth. Think before you speak simply means to slow the rate of talk so you know your own thought before it’s expressed. Whoa! How novel is that?

Thoughts controlled mean words controlled. The tongue is supposed to be your servant, not vice versa; it should be incapable of running off on its own. To do this, Bert must engage in quiet time, daily. He must give himself time-outs and keep his mouth closed. It’s okay to start out with five minutes, twice a day. Then extend the time.

I’ve found Bert a partner to help him with his daily quiet time. Remember the Sumo wrestler kid Bert befriended on the driving range? He’s agreed to stay on top of Bert.

Just think.