Archive for February, 2009

Insulting Stupidity

Wednesday, February 25th, 2009

I failed the bar exam my first try. I mistakenly thought I was such a genius, I didn’t need to study. Plus, I was paranoid that some undeserving law student would slip in and takeover my first real, highly important and much coveted job in the movie industry if I took time off to study.

I worked for a company boasting a solid group of Stanford Law School graduates who were oh-how-they-knew-it smart. I’d attended a small, private law school. I felt not so smart. The very day the bar exam results were unveiled, this is what I heard in the company conference room, when all were present, coming from a nasally, whiny voice befitting a dwarfish, three legged, blind rat with a cane, dark shades and thinning fur, limping around in search of her next morsel. The voice, if one can call it that, was completely devoid of warmth or charm, and belonged to a witchy attorney, Rodent, Rhoda, who was one of the Stanford grads (no, I am not bitter),

“So. Did you pass?”

I considered raising my dejected self up and lying through my clenched teeth, but I couldn’t do it. I blurted out the truth to which she responded with a hideous, I-knew-it smile.

I received many apologies for Rhoda’s behavior that day, from all the attorneys except Rhoda. I did pass the exam the second time after I took a short leave and was promised by my angelic boss that she would place her foot in the door until my return.

Revenge came later when two very agreeable, pleasant lawyers (not an oxymoron) and myself went to an ultra hip restaurant for lunch, as entertainment attorneys are wont to do now and then. Rhoda, at the last minute, invited herself to tag along. As you may imagine, inviting herself was Rhoda’s only means of leaving the office now and then, short of business meetings when her presence was absolutely required. At twenty-seven, Rhoda was only a year or so older than the rest of us, but you’d never know it. I don’t want to say that she was unattractive, because it was more than that. Misery, greed, selfishness and unbridled ambition can twist around a person’s features.

Rhoda may have made a point of using me as her subject of humiliation, but on our lunch day, it was her turn. And I didn’t lift a finger or say a word.  While the rest of us were carded as we entered the restaurant (you ladies out there can especially appreciate the significance of this small, but enormously complimentary action), the Maitre d’ told Rhoda that he didn’t need to see her ID. She was obviously older than the rest of us. Rhoda was none too happy.

Don’t believe for a minute that stupers ever get away with their sometimes cruel and always idiotic deeds and words. It always returns to hit them smack in the back of the head.  The proper response to insulting stupidity depends on you. If you should offer an insult in exchange for one, how would it make you feel afterward? Small, like your head is where your ankles used to be? In that case, an insult is not in order. However, if you feel the insult will put a stop to future acts of stupidity or possibly jolt the dolt into thinking, then by all means, indulge.

We shouldn’t expect too much from the meager mind. In fact, we shouldn’t expect anything. This would make it far easier to accept the presence of stupidity.

Keep thinking.


Stupidity, Bulk Bins and Dirty Hands

Sunday, February 22nd, 2009

Dear Moms of toddlers, preschoolers and all children waist high and shorter with grubby hands:

Yes, your kids are cute for the most part, particularly when they’re walking demurely by your side or are out cold in the stroller; but, they are not even remotely cute when they are running their sticky hands and grimy fingers through a barrel full of rolled oats, or licking and tasting gummy bears in a bulk bin of a grocery store. It’s true these bins are a highly appealing attraction for the toddler crowd, especially with the loosely attached plastic ladle for easy scooping, but really, as a parent, it’s your job to take control of your tot. Otherwise, you’ll promptly be labeled a stuper (short for a preposterously stupid person). Not an easy label to remove once it’s pinned on securely.

I watched one slobbery moppet on bended knees stretch out his arms, in unabashed glee, and plant them, elbow deep, into the bin, then quickly lift them out, spreading a dust storm of pre-sifted, organic, whole wheat pastry flour all over himself and those within an eight foot radius. The mother responded with,

“Beckett, watch out!”

Meanwhile, shoppers witnessing the spectacle contemplated clearly cut homicidal thoughts, as is customary when in the presence of a stuper. The mom was forced to grab the kid and skulk away.

As a rule, stupers should not be allowed in the bulk section of the supermarket. This goes for all idiot customers who brazenly dine out from the bulk bin, never thinking considering that their hands could be unclean.

Until such sections are outlawed or restricted, I suggest to my dear readers who feel compelled to exercise their God given rights to shop in the bulk section, to stick with the gravity dispensers and those bins out of the reach of the offspring of stupers. Gravity bins are sometimes too complex for stupers to manage. But perhaps it would be wisest to avoid the bulk section altogether, as this venue attracts the meager minded who view it as a barbarian smorgasbord of sorts – all the grains, dried fruits, candy and nuts you can eat with your filthy hands, gloriously free!

Keep thinking.


Stupidity, Wise Sayings and Environmenal Pollutants

Wednesday, February 18th, 2009

Most of my dear readers are familiar with at least a few famous quotes, adages, proverbs and all around pieces of everyday wisdom generally attributed to philosophers, scientists, statesman and old wives. But how many of you realize the wretched source of oh-so-many of these sayings? That’s right. Stupers (short, yet again, for detrimentally stupid persons).

Murphy of Murphy’s Law fame coined, If anything can go wrong, it will, thanks to an idiot engineer whose faulty wiring caused an accident in Murphy’s air force project.

Good fences make good neighbors came about when a stuper neighbor got on Robert Frost’s last, already rapidly fraying nerve, forcing him to erect a semi-permanent stone barrier to keep the neighbor and his ilk out and then trudge home and pen a poem about it.

Two heads are better than one emanated from a thinker who realized that the chances that one of those heads will be empty were a whole lot higher than ever finding the location of Jimmy Hoffa’s last resting place.

You can’t teach an old dog new tricks. Fools rush in where angels fear to tread. A closed mouth catches no flies. Every time he opens his mouth, he puts his foot in it. Yes, a stuper seeped under the skin of the originator of each of these sayings.

A connection to an intelligent person can be akin to a transcendental experience. But the sad truth is that being an active member of society does not require mental or emotional intelligence, thoughtfulness, consideration for others or a fabulous wardrobe.

It grieves me to know that there is an environmental pollutant that is grossly overlooked by all and far more hazardous than global warming. Forget CO2 emissions, Brittney Spears’ perfume or oil spills. The biggest environmental pollutant is stupidity. And there currently exist no regulations regarding the restriction of idiocy (or the perfume). All the more reason for us thinking, breathing humans to vigilantly keep our wits about us.

Poor, limping Benjamin Franklin coined this phrase after a stuper stepped on Ben’s bunion ridden foot without so much as a “sorry, old chap” before running off: We are all born ignorant, but one must work hard to remain stupid.



Stupidity and Negative People

Saturday, February 14th, 2009

How many of us need to be reminded that our current economy is shaky? If you don’t listen to the news or read the headlines, all you have to do is hit the streets to hear: “bleak,” “…despite the economy…” “tough times,”  “gloomy,” “colossal waste of money,” “unemployment high,” and “Paris Hilton is to blame.”

Yet, there are stupers (short for militantly stupid persons) out there who think believe persist in telling us about the state of the economy, like we don’t know. I am reminded, “…it’s because of the economy that no one came to the Farmer’s Market last week.” (Never mind the heavy rains or that the week before, the Farmer’s Market was packed). I am also told, “Things are going to get worse.”

Stupers excel in spreading doom and gloom stories. In fact, they were busy spreading such woeful tales even before the current economic downturn.  Oh, how I wish these idiots who abstain from thought would do the same with words! Since they don’t, I offer my dear readers this example of an authentic human who put a moron and the economy into proper perspective:

Husband (H) is a member of a service club; an organization of business and professional people who provide humanitarian service to help build goodwill and peace on earth. Consequently, they raise money to distribute where most needed. This club annually holds a fundraiser where guests purchase tickets to a Monte Carlo type affair. This year, the Club President, a successful businessman, made this announcement in serious, quavery tones, to a rather large membership meeting:

“The economy is terrible, and we’re going to have trouble getting people to attend Monte Carlo night this year. We’ve lowered ticket prices, but things look grim. They’re not going to get better anytime soon. Don’t get discouraged if no one comes….”

You get the dreary picture. Once the Club President finished, deep sighs, downtrodden expressions and a few frozen, panic-stricken stares filled the room.

This Club invites guest speakers; this meeting happened to have the Director of an International Film Festival present, Javier Valdez. Javier had gratefully moved to the United States from the bowels of South America, leaving an impoverished life and stupers behind, or so he thought. After the Club President ended his mournful speech, Javier stood. He announced,

“We live in the greatest nation in the world. I know because I came from a country that had nothing. I came here with no education, no money, no grasp of the English language. Look at me! I am Director of a huge Film Festival. My life is a fairy tale because this is the land of opportunity. We’ve all been through hard times. We will persevere. You must believe and know that your Monte Carlo night will be a great success! Your fundraiser will be a great hit! It is up to you! Be positive and it will be so!”

Javier was met with a resounding round of applause.

We can’t control forces outside of ourselves. Witness the economy or any run-in with an idiot stuper (redundant for added emphasis). But we can control our attitudes and reactions. Have you noticed that, often, when you feel, I mean deeply feel, enthusiastic, upbeat, and/or happy, you’re met with more of the same? Anything else is a waste of our precious energy. Don’t give in to the stupid among us. Don’t allow them to dictate how you should feel. And yes, Paris Hilton is to blame.

Keep thinking.


Stupidity and the Neighbor’s Dog Poop

Wednesday, February 11th, 2009

I have a friendly neighbor, Sandy, who’s displayed no regular, outward signs of stupidity. When we see each other, she always offers a cheerful smile and a wave. She’s capable of carrying on discussions with no hint of idiocy. Sandy’s even returned our mail every time  it’s mistakenly delivered to her by a moronic postal worker. Unfortunately, it has come to my attention that Sandy is a stuper (short, yet again, for a haplessly stupid person). Or at least a semi-stuper when it comes to one particular situation.

Every morning, Sandy walks her large, black Labrador, unleashed, to the edge of our property where the driveway is located; then they both do a U-turn and return home. We live five houses away, so it’s not really a long enough walk to qualify as “exercise.”  But it is precisely long enough for the Lab to do its doody, a massive pile of #2, right at the foot of our driveway. Right underfoot, if you will.

Our driveway is hemmed in by a gate. A manual gate, that requires us to get out of the car to unlatch, open and latch again. Must we be on the lookout for dog poop every time we exit our home? Yes, thanks to Sandy and her gargantuan Lab.

In the past, when I walked our dogs, I cleaned up all poop, often to the sound of applause from the home owner. One grateful lady, obviously watching from the window, raced out to the street early one morning, half-dressed, just to shake my gloved hand in appreciation.

Granted, it’s not easy picking up poop.  Sometimes, we can be forgetful or just lack the proper frame of mind or discipline for cleaning up after active doody. But every day? In the same spot?

When I lived in Los Angeles, I remember walking past a home that displayed a prominent, almost billboard-like sign in the front yard, detailing the dire consequences of not picking up dog poop. Near the front door of said house sat an axe, darts and other assorted subtle, yet potential weaponry. Consequently, all dog walkers steered clear of that place and the lawn looked quite stunning.

I knew that if I mentioned this messy problem to Sandy, she’d take offense. She is an older lady (about seventy or so) who prides herself on being a good neighbor; she’d be angry with me for pointing out her failing. She actually is a model neighbor, except for this recurring, stinkin’ behavior. Redepositing poop (a la an eye for an eye) is really not my style, much to Husband’s dismay. So I opted for the next best thing.

Sandy walks her dog around seven every morning. Early one morning, I wrapped myself tightly in coat, scarf and hat, and headed to the bottom of the driveway, carrying a garden shovel and a bag. I watched the Lab approaching. I proceeded to kneel down on bended knee to clean up the dog’s latest poop pile. Just as I hoped, Sandy apologized, leashed her dog and did not allow #2 to happen again.

It’s surprising how many people are completely unaware that their actions profoundly annoy others. But that’s what makes them stupers.

Unfortunately, not all neighborhood dog pooping cases are resolved so easily as this one. If you don’t plan on living in your home long and have no qualms with making enemies, there are many, many more alternatives. But if you wish to maintain a mostly peaceful existence, it’s important to choose your words and actions more carefully.

Always start out with courteous communication. Try and set an example for the stuper; something to jump-start the drowsy mind. If that doesn’t work, redepositing the poop in the path of the dog’s owner may be in order to properly assist the stuper in becoming fully aware of the problem.

Just think.


Stupidity When it Rains in California

Friday, February 6th, 2009

We’ve suffered heavy rains in California over the past few days. This triggers a particularly faulty mechanism in the already empty, mental echo chamber, otherwise known as the mind, of a stuper (short, as many of you know, for an effortlessly stupid person), causing remarkably, never-before-seen and foolhardy driving techniques. Consequently, accidents increase during even a slight drizzle. A cloudy day alone is enough to make some stupers swerve and brake more unnecessarily than usual.

Thinkers, such as the vast majority of my dear readers, realize the need to exercise additional caution on slick roads and highways. They take extra measures to ensure safety. Alas, stupers do not.

Here’s a short list detailing the idiocy of meager minds when roads are wet:

– They speed, especially around corners and on freeways. Speed limits be damned during inclement weather!;

– They disregard traffic lights, wrongly believing these signals cease to have meaning during storms. The same goes for stop signs. When stupers do stop, it’s often too late;

– They excel in tailgating the unfortunate vehicle in front closely enough to make other motorists believe the stuper driver is being towed by the front car’s driver. This is prevalent when rain is accompanied by fog;

–  They relentlessly persist in changing lanes without turn signals. TSDD (Turn Signal Deficit Disorder) is at fever pitch during California’s rainy season;

– They think spinning is what you do with your car when it rains, not what you do on a stationary bike for aerobic exercise;

– Although driving while cell phone chatting is currently illegal in California, stupers feel making calls to let everyone know it’s raining is mandatory; and

– Idiots believe a new law takes effect during the rainy season: turning one’s head when making lane changes is prohibited. All eyes must face forward. Hence, stupers randomly float in and out of lanes without looking around.

These statistics came my way courtesy of a tow truck driver who stated that even during a slight drizzle, he is so inundated by towing cars involved in accidents, that he can’t even take a simple bathroom break, thanks to the stupers-at-large.

Remember, there very well could be a stuper operating the motor vehicle(s) next to you.

Just think.


Stupidity Means Not Returning Phone Calls

Monday, February 2nd, 2009

While rocket scientists ponder space and time travel, this stupidity specialist ponders yet another terrifyingly common character trait of the stuper (short, yet again, for a revoltingly stupid person). Namely, the woeful inability to return phone calls.

This is particularly aggravating when the idiot-in-question is the high school principal who assured me that she will definitely return my call the first thing the following morning, and I naively believed her because I had no reason not to and patiently waited to hear from the misbegotten, mindless, counterfeit being. Two weeks passed. I called her and left a message. No freaking return call…again.

There are always a few, random adequate excuses for not calling back. For example, the telephone transgressor may be a sought-after celebrity or United States President. Perhaps the dimwit is suffering from some ailment, say amnesia, that occurred after promising to call back.

If she is bound and gagged for any length of time, therein lies another valid reason not to make the call. A blow on the head is a good one too, as is a coma.

Otherwise, inability to pick up a telephone and dial your number, say within a liberal period of 72 hours from the original call, constitutes Class AAA+++…+   stupidity.  Forgetfulness by the stuper is not an option especially when the call is of a formal nature.  Action is required under such odious circumstances.

How to manage such flagrant violations by stupers of the Code of Human Decency? There are several choices:

1.  Do nothing. This works if you really don’t give a damn whether you receive a call back, or if you feel the stress from the call would overcome any potential benefits;

2. Pick up the phone and call the hollow head. If she provides no valid excuse, feel free to yell, curse, shriek at glass shattering decibels or just restate the original reason for the call and demand an immediate answer;

3. Create an effigy of the person and proceed to apply needles in appropriate, highly sensitive places (one of my personal favorites); or

4. Write a detailed letter.

I took the latter course of action. I’ve read that writing letters to alleviate frustration, rage, turmoil or any other unpleasant emotion is quite helpful. Some experts state it’s best to rip said letter to shreds afterward, or send it, depending on the situation. I wrote my letter; two fun, fact-filled, action-packed pages, and gleefully mailed it. It felt liberatingly wonderful! So wonderful that I sent copies to the school stuperintendent as well as each member of the school board.

Why didn’t the idiot principal think of returning my telephone call? Because day by day, fewer and fewer people are thinking at all. Period. I’ve noticed that this gross neglect has made many members of our society forget how to think. Do you know what this means? That those of us who can think and do, will eventually rule the world.

Think first, last and always.