Archive for December, 2009

Stupidity and Waiting in Line after Christmas

Saturday, December 26th, 2009

Waiting in line at a department store on the day after Christmas is as natural an occurrence as quills on a porcupine. It is to be expected. Stupers (short, yet again, for unflinchingly stupid persons) do not comprehend this. They regard it as highly irregular and an affront to their unwavering sense of impatience.

Yesterday, I returned seven items in the men’s section of a store. When my turn arrived to be assisted, two marvelously capable workers helped me. My entire transaction took no more than four minutes. During this period, I glanced behind me. A queue of five people had formed consisting of:

  1. A small, quiet, resigned fellow who exuded enough patience for the entire city of Buffalo, New York;
  2. Two large ladies, one of whom favored the size and shape of a small elephant (think Babar, without the jaunty crown); and the other resembled a cross between a candy cane and cement truck; and

3. A foreign couple whose accent was indeterminate.

My focus remained mostly on the completion of my transaction, but I managed to catch a smattering of chatter between the foreign couple. As you well know, “striped” is a one syllable word. However, this couple pronounced it as two syllables – “stri-ped.”

“There’s a nice stri-ped shirt over there.” “Do you like those stri-ped pants?” and so on.

I barely noticed this quaint chitchat until the cement truck-like woman interrupted them and announced, “It’s not stri-ped. It’s striped!”

Silence ensued, long enough to tie a sneaker. Then the woman continued,

“You should know that you’ve been saying it all wrong. It’s striped! Not stri-ped.”

Silence again ensued, long enough to tie the other shoe.

Then the couple continued their conversation, “Do you like stri-ped pants?” “I prefer a stri-ped shirt.”

I chose that very moment to turn and face the group behind me. I apologized, saying,

“I’m very sorry to be taking so long.”

The responses were,

“No problem.”

“It can’t be helped.”

“Do not worry. It gives us a chance to browse the selection of stri-ped clothing.”


This last comment came out in one great huff from the cement truck-size lady, who, as you may have guessed, was a stuper. That one word indicated that I had no business returning so many items (to which I heartily agreed; but the men in my life are exasperatingly fickle when it comes to wardrobe).

In a span of a few short minutes, stupidity revealed itself. Take note of how the chatty couple dealt with the stuper. They refused to acknowledge her existence, continued their quest for stri-ped clothes and maintained their sense of well-being. They regarded stupidity as they would a pothole in the road. It existed for barely a moment. Once passed, it was readily forgotten.

Think first, last and always.


Stupidity, Gullibility and Liars

Friday, December 18th, 2009

 I’ve recently noticed that I exhibit a stuper (short, as you well know, for a wickedly stupid person) trait, particularly in weak moments: gullibility. Though I find this appalling, I’d like to think it’s because I so want to believe that people are telling me the truth, that I fall for outright lies. I’m not talking about the Santa Claus fib or when an acquaintance says, “I’ll call you” and never does. I carry a healthy skepticism both about Santa and acquaintances. But I fall for a sob story every time. The only reason I haven’t invested in swampland yet is because the salespeople don’t bother shedding a tear or two before hobbling away and groaning in pain.
Kind, elderly Mrs. P entered my office seeking legal help. Her husband, Big John, pushed her wheelchair. Mrs P cried out in pain when a wheel ran over a pen that had fallen on the floor. She had undergone hip surgery and ended up with a host of other problems, thanks to a Dr. G., so she said.

“I can’t even walk no more because of what he did to me, ” she told me in frustration, dabbing her wet eyes with a Kleenex. I pictured her winning the Boston Marathon. “I’m in pain all of the time. I don’t want Dr. G to do this to no one else.”

“I understand,” I sympathized, as my heart swelled up to the size of a bowling ball and felt equally heavy. “So you never used a wheelchair before the surgery?” It was all I could do to keep from bursting into tears.

“No ma’am. No painkillers neither. Now I gotta take them the rest of my life.”

Leaning toward me, she explained that she believed so strongly in her case, she’d filed her own lawsuit, had a court date in one month and needed an attorney by her side. “I want you,” she quietly added.

Had I not been so gullible, I would have suspected that she filed her own case because no attorney in his/her right mind would take her case. But the wheels in my momentarily stuper, if I may be so humble, head had stopped turning.

Big John leaned down to whisper in his wife’s ear. She continued,

“He says I don’t even bake him gingersnaps no more and can’t provide him no conjugal services. It’s terrible.” Tears streamed down her wrinkled cheeks.

“I am truly sorry,” I told them, then effortlessly segued into some routine questions such as, “Do you have your medical records?”

“I do.” Big John leaned down and whispered in her ear again. “He says, do you think they’re taking pictures of me?”

My heart shrunk to normal size and my tears suddenly dried up. “Who?”

“You know. Them. The doctor’s lawyers.”

The wheels in my head were now properly oiled and turning. “Anything is possible.”

Big John gave her a frightened look and opened his mouth, but Mrs. P threw him a nasty look, and he closed it again.  I asked,

“Did you place a complaint with the State Medical Board?”

“No!” she snapped, annoyed with my question.  “Then I won’t get any money.”

I shoved Big John aside, pushed Mrs P’s wheelchair out of my office, none too gently. I avoided the temptation to tilt the chair forward and command her to walk, preacher style, as I am a person of great self-control, except when it comes to chocolate and lemon meringue pie. Instead, I thanked her for coming and suggested she try physical and mental therapy, the latter of which is a course of action all stupers should undertake.

How about thinking?


Stupidity and the Bicyclist

Saturday, December 12th, 2009

When we view an act of remarkable stupidity, should we take action? Unfortunately, this is not possible because stupidity typically strikes instantly, dashing any hope of defense or prevention. Yet another reason why we must always be alert and on the lookout for the stupid among us.

  As I drove on a city street at the speed limit of 35 mph, I approached a garbage truck, quietly stopped on the shoulder. This was not cause for alarm. If I stayed in my lane and continued driving, all could be well. But throw in a variable, say an earthquake registering 6.9 on the Richter scale or a violent twister drifting off course some 1500 miles from Kansas City or a stuper (short for a heinously stupid person) on a bicycle, pulling a wagon that may or may not contain a child, who swerves in my lane just as I  pass, and suddenly, a mini Armageddon potentially swings into action.

When most of us approach a stopped vehicle, we hopefully stop, or if safe, pass the car using the passing lane. Stupers, being defective in brain capacity by habit and nature, are unable to stop. They are incapable of safely passing. They just continue and either run smack into the stopped vehicle or make a sudden turn in a different direction without assessing the situation.

The moron on the bike did not hit the stopped garbage truck as she approached it. Instead, she continued at the same speed, directly into my lane, not after I’d passed her or even before, but while I drove side by side with her. Perhaps, she was making an exceedingly feeble attempt to enter through my open window or trying to attach herself to the side of my vehicle, as she was tired of pedaling the bike and the wagon. I’ll never know for sure.

Thankfully, no other cars drove in the lane next to me, so I moved quickly away and then back into my lane upon passing her, but not before I carefully observed the sanitation engineers (notice that I am not only politically correct in using job titles, but handy with euphemisms as well- Omawarisan, please take special note; I realize you are carefully examining applicants for your administration) gasp in horror at her insane maneuver. I also viewed the stuper’s expression. It was blank, as usual. Please take note again, that I maneuvered and observed simultaneously.

Daily, I am inundated by those who have a working mind, but who abstain from using it. The group is growing larger. I am thinking of buying a large van, possibly even a retired double-decker tourist bus, collecting stuper specimens and setting up the lab I’ve always dreamed of (“always” is a relative term. For me it refers to when I began writing this post).  In my lab, after obtaining a large government grant, I’d tirelessly try different means of awakening the dormant mind, such as surgery (it’s true, I’ve no surgical experience, yet I’m a hands-on person who is a quick study, and I do have an undergraduate degree in science…political science, but nonetheless, I feel I could make a difference after a few tries) and therapy, such as electric  shock (sooner or later, stupers would have to realize the pain will continue, unless they think first before speaking and/or acting).

Also, think of the giant petri dish factories that would have to be built in order to hold the stuper specimens. That would certainly stimulate our sluggish economy.

We make up our world with our thoughts. Why not think?


Stupidity, Tiger Woods and Young Fans

Saturday, December 5th, 2009

I usually focus on everyday stupidity, the type we come across in banks, gas stations, public libraries and bathroom fixture outlets. But I’m afraid the Tiger Woods’ scandal has seeped into my everyday life. I’ve always regarded him as an extraordinary, supernatural golfer; possibly even a supernatural human. Although he is still the incredible golfing phenomenon, with the recent events, he is also a stuper (short for a rambunctiously stupid person).

I recently spoke to a junior golfer; my eighteen-year-old who is away at college. I mentioned that I felt distressed hearing about the Tiger woes. His response:

“You’re distressed? I’m extremely upset about it. I never expected this from Tiger.”

We, as fans, all hoped Tiger was above the sordid and seedy in life. He appeared able to manage fame and extreme wealth and talent while maintaining esteemed values, without acting moronically. At least that was what he and his business team wanted us to believe. But yet again, like many famous stupers before him, politicians and athletes alike, he lied and acted without thinking of the impact not only on those close to him, but on the general public and fans who adored him.

I like to think that with fame, fortune and/or intelligence comes responsibility. In fact, skip the first two and with mere intelligence comes great responsibility: to operate your motor vehicle with diligence, to treat others (unless their stupidity screams out at you) with courtesy, and to promise to love and respect the ones you’re voluntarily hanging out with on a regular basis.

Yes, Tiger achieved fame and fortune at a tender age; he possibly lacked wise and loving guidance, and consequently lost his head and at least a portion of his reputation and possibly in the near future some of his wealth as well. But, dear readers,  yours truly promises that will never happen to her.

Firstly, I’m a bit older than Tiger (just a little, mind you), and I have something he does not: years of carefully studying and analyzing the complete and utter idiots among us, thereby seriously learning how not to look, act or remotely resemble a stuper. Plus, I’ve get a large, ongoing  dose of experience with regular people (I shop at Costco periodically for that very reason, although I draw the line at Walmart). Therefore, I will always stay in touch with reality.

To top things off, I carry around a quote originally uttered by ancient Greek playwright, Euripides:  “There is one thing alone that stands the brunt of life throughout its course: a quiet conscience.”

Keep thinking.