Stupidity and the Almost Attempted Suicide

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.


8 Responses to “Stupidity and the Almost Attempted Suicide”

  1. Sarah says:

    This is very funny! It’s nice you took the time to try and understand why Irv was acting like a stuper. It’s a good reminder for me to do that during my day.

  2. Suzie says:

    I love this! You are the best. I always enjoy reading
    your blog.

  3. Elaine says:

    Poor ole Irv….maybe he was just tired, saw a pretty lady and was watching out for her safety. I think you’re right too about his vantage point. You handled it with grace though and didn’t belittle him like many would have. Kudos to you.

  4. dawn says:

    Keli I love this post… you’ve got a knack of making me think from someone else’s point of view!

  5. Keli says:

    At first, I wrote Irv off, but thankfully gathered my wits about me and realized where he was coming from. Thanks!
    Thank you very much!
    Thank you, Elaine! I may think unkind thoughts, but belittling is below me and most unbecoming.
    Thanks! I try!

  6. Ferd says:

    Keli, you’re more than a stuper-spotter, you’re a freakin’ stuper-magnet!!!

    Okay, I’m trying to picture getting out of my own shoes, and into yours! But I’m not very good at wearing heels yet. In any event, I’m not ready to jump into the mind of a stuper yet. I’m still thinking and learning. I’ll leave it to the experts. Thank you.

    Have a great weekend!

  7. Jenny says:

    Often easier said than done, but excellent advice nonetheless!

    I really do have an award for you, Keli. I’ve got a houseful of company now but when the tide ebbs, I’ll post it!

  8. Keli says:

    I’d like to think I’m not a stuper magnet, but I do keep a sharp eye out for stupers so that I may explain and hopefully, lessen the impact, of their behavior for my dear readers.
    I don’t recommend heels above four inches, Ferd, for novices such as yourself(;
    So true!
    Take your sweet time, Jenny. I’m a bit slow in responding myself. Have fun with your company!

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