Archive for February, 2010

Stupidity, Crowds and Swearing

Monday, February 15th, 2010

I attended the Northern Trust Open last weekend, and as you may imagine, Sunday’s crowd was overflowing. Some of you may be thinking, (those of you who do think), this could mean the stupers (short for ceaselessly stupid persons) were out in full force. You’d be right.

The weather was so perfect, the grounds immaculate, the company ideal, that I completely forgot about idiots until my son and I hatched a plan. We had trouble viewing the tee shots because of the crowd, so we forged two holes ahead of the lead group and patiently waited their arrival at the tee box. Brilliant, no? Son wanted to watch the swings, ball flights, etc. of the big guns, or clubs, in this case.

We waited. Others began to join us. Son said,

“I wish I could get a drink of water.”

Ever obliging, I remarked, “Go right ahead. I’ll save your spot.”

“There’s no way you can save it; way too many people are coming.”

“I’ll just use my famous space saver maneuver like this. Works every time.”

I placed my hands on my hips, elbows threateningly jutting outward, and began to rapidly rotate my upper body (lower half kept perfectly stationary). Unfortunately, I was thwarted by a stuper.

The second I turned sideways, she slipped in and next to me. I threw her my dirtiest look because I do not appreciate when one entire side of my body is needlessly and involuntarily pressed against that of another. She looked right back at me. Every time I looked at her, she stared blankly back.

For the next ten minutes, her shoulder was glued to my arm, the top of which she periodically laid her head to rest.  This, of course, occurred when she wasn’t blowing her nose or coughing in my direction. Any time I turned to look down at her, she stared back. No mercy.

When the fellow on the other side of Son left, Son took one step sideways to restore my space; I rejoiced and praised the Lord. However, the second I moved over, so did she, glued to my side as she was.

For those of you who are motivated to watch this in action, please play the video below. Forward to the 45 seconds mark, and watch the next ten seconds. You won’t see me due to the dedicated plump chap in the lime green shirt holding a microphone just behind golfer, Steve Stricker. The chap preserved my anonymity while entirely blocking my view. But you may witness the stuper of whom I speak. She is the one you can see clearly, next to the lime green shirt, bobbing her body to her right, where I was standing. Pay particular attention to her head action, as she routinely buffeted her head sideways to slam my shoulder. Alas, the video doesn’t show the actual lengthy series of head snappings which I was subjected to.

My remedy for this type of behavior is quite satisfying. In these situations, I swear quite freely… in a different, lesser known language; it’s liberating, no one is offended, it’s highly entertaining for myself and I won’t be removed from the premises. I periodically cried out,

“Goh! Borow gome sho! etc.”

All I got from these magical words was the same blank stare from the stuper. But I felt profoundly better. Works every time. Unless, of course, the stuper happens to originate from the country whose curse words you are borrowing.

Just think.


Stupidity, Super Bowl Sunday and the ATM

Saturday, February 6th, 2010

My dear readers, today’s post is a blast from my blog past, as I am away at the Northern Trust Open Golf Tournament.  I leave you, once again, in hopes that you will be inspired to think:

What’s this world coming to? Are the stupers (short again for uncontainable stupid persons) finally taking over, like the monkeys did in Planet of the Apes? For a few minutes, I was certain stupidity had staged a successful coup.

I’d ventured out of my home and into the supermarket, figuring that the rain and the Super Bowl, would enable shopping to be stuper free. I was wrong.

My mission was to quickly buy four, 2.5-gallon size, water bottles. A simple enough task. The store had only four such bottles left. I heaved the rather bulky containers into my shopping cart. My sister then telephoned me, and I paused to chat.

As the conversation continued, I parked my cart at the foot of the water bottle aisle. I then walked over to the nearby ATM, mere steps away. Alas, I’d neglected to place a lock on the cart or load it with heavy metal objects. Maybe I should have tied a chain around one wheel and secured the other end to my ankle.

While at the ATM and on the phone, I glanced over my shoulder at my cart. It had disappeared. Barely a minute had passed. Irritated (after all, those were the last four bottles), I ended the call and left the machine. What I encountered was a trail of water bottles, haphazardly running along one side of the aisle. The very four bottles that had formerly been sitting in my cart.

A middle-aged woman pushing a cart approached me.

“Are you looking for the cart with the water bottles? Those four girls got rid of the bottles and took off with it,” she pointed to the end of the aisle.

I saw four indolent, scantily clad creatures in their late teens or so, just turning ’round the corner. I mention their clothing or lack thereof, because the temperature hovered around 48 degrees Fahrenheit. Perhaps the lack of warm attire had frozen what few remaining brain cells they had. Rather than walk fifteen feet to the cart corral, they’d confiscated one already in use.

Since I am a specialist in the psychology of stupidity, I considered attaching dynamite to the handle of their cart took the cartjacking in stride. But this tale gets worse for me before it gets better.

I suddenly had a terrible realization: I’d never removed the cash I’d requested from the ATM. Irritation while talking on the cell phone and simultaneously pushing buttons on the machine had distracted me to the tune of sixty dollars. I admit to hypocrisy in a weak moment, dear readers. Multi-tasking does not work when trying to have a meaningful conversation on the cell phone.

I raced back to the ATM. No $ in sight. I noticed a checker kept her head perpetually turned toward the machine. She knew something. I approached her.

“I don’t suppose some one turned in sixty dollars to you, found at the ATM?”

The checker nodded and barely opened the cash drawer. “Yes, some one did turn it in. A lady thought it was a malfunctioning machine. Here you go.”

It was a malfunction…in my head. Had I been paying proper attention, I would have maintained awareness. Instead, I focused on stupidity and became an amnesiac, leaving my money behind.

The fact that a person actually turned in the money instead of stuffing it in her wallet really warmed my formerly irritated heart. I was truly grateful. It made the stupers look very small indeed. Ever since the ATM mishap, I’ve been exceptionally prudent in fostering present moment awareness. It’s the only way to maintain sanity.

Great minds think.