Stupidity, Gullibility and Liars

 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?


8 Responses to “Stupidity, Gullibility and Liars”

  1. Katherine says:

    Oh, this is too much! Like that 60 minutes episode where insurance scammers claimed they were injured and then caught on film mowing the lawn. I don’t know how you do it!

  2. Ferd says:

    My kids used to say, “I hate this,” and “I hate that.” I used to tell them, “Hate is a strong word.”
    I HATE scammers! When they scam the system, they cost all of us money.

  3. Mad Woman says:

    I think we all experience moments of incredible gullibility. It’s just a shame that people scam us into it. I don’t know how you manage with folks like that!

  4. omawarisan says:

    But the difference is that your gullibility, if it is that, is part of your desire to help.

    Mrs. P and Big John will go home, get an email that they won the Nigerian lottery (which they never bought a ticket for) and mail off a money order. Greed and stupidity based gullibility gets them in the end.

    Can I get an amen for decency based gullibility being a positive trait?

  5. I agree with omawarisan. Being gullible due to a desire to help isn’t that bad. I have a tendency to exhibit this trait. In addition to feeling like I always need to help people, I think it’s partly because of my Minnesota upbringing and the “Minnesota nice” effect. I’m sure there are regional differences for levels of gullibility in people.

  6. Jenny says:

    LOLOLOL sounds like half my depos! Except usually in there somewhere they complain of not being able to rake leaves anymore. Like that’s the end of the world …

    Merry Christmas, Keli!

  7. Keli says:

    Katherine: I’m not sure how I do it either! It’s touch and go at times.
    Ferd: I don’t like to use the word HATE… in fact I don’t remember using it in a long while. Yet those stupers….
    Mad Woman: I think I may have my gullibility under control; thanks to stupers, I do pause now before believing.
    Oma: That is a very kindly way to look at my handicap. You get an amen and a hallelujah!
    Conditional Cog: I’m sure you’re right about regional differences. Somehow, I may be suffering from the Minnesota nice effect without ever having stepped foot there.
    Jenny: Hope you had a Merry Christmas too, Jenny! The vast majority of those I speak with truly think there issues are in fact the end of the world… They are stupers, after all.

  8. That is a great, thanks a lot to post this.

Leave a Reply

You must be logged in to post a comment.