Archive for the ‘Holiday Stupidity’ Category

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.”

“Well!”

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.

Keli

Keli@Counterfeithumans.com

Stupidity and New Year’s Resolutions

Thursday, January 1st, 2009

Tradition dictates that many of us make New Year’s resolutions. As your resident stupidity specialist, I encourage you to add one vital and surprisingly reasonable, goal to your list to ensure that none of my dear, intelligent readers accidentally fall into the stuper (short, as you may know, for a plausibly stupid person) category.

Here it is: Clear out your clutter. Fairly simple, eh? No, I don’t mean the clutter sitting haphazardly in the top of your closet created when you toss your sweaters, hats, t-shirts and random belts, or the books, paperwork and notes you shove and pile under your bed…oops; that’s my personal junk I’m talking about. The clutter I refer to is housed in the same small space for all of us: the six or so incredible inches between our ears.

When our garbage cans are full, we non-stupers empty them. When our puppies need to learn proper manners, we train them. So why not do the same with our minds? It is a bit more difficult because we can’t physically view the content of our minds as we do the overflowing rubbish and the doggy poop deposited beneath the kitchen sink poised to be stepped on with, hopefully, a slippered shoe. It takes effort to decipher the makeup of our minds.

When I notice my thoughts, I am sometimes appalled by useless and trivial content. Why was I thinking about how I longed to strangle or at least soundly pinch the idiot bagger at the neighborhood grocery store after she placed my crisp tortilla chips at the bottom of the shopping bag followed by the egg carton and two large glass bottles of juice thereby crushing the chips and a few eggs to smithereens? Such negative thinking makes us irritated which makes us vulnerable to acting stupidly ourselves. I should have focused upon how grateful I am to have such a valuable little market so close to my home and vowed to patiently assist the misbegotten bagger or taken over the bagging responsibilities completely myself after kindly elbowing said bagger aside. That would have replaced the unattractive scowl dimming my face with the beauty that only contentment can bring.

I had (note the past tense) an irksome habit of worrying about every little thing. “What ifs?” cluttered my mind immeasurably, leaving little space for the “how wonderfuls.” Worry is a state of mind, popping up, at least for me, most often, in the dead of night. The moment I notice such thoughts I switch gears and immediately attempt to replace troublesome thoughts with the kinds that bring me happiness. I imagine myself, my loved ones, my home, my sociopathic Australian Shepherd, all as I’d like them to be, sketching in the little details and providing plenty of adjectives to describe my feelings.

Clutter prevents progress. Imagine trying to walk across a room stacked with piles of chairs, boxes and spare tires. You’ll be in a sweat and sporting a few bruises before you make it through. And so it is with the messy mind. But it doesn’t have to be when we take control.

Remember, we can’t keep two opposing thoughts in the mind at once. One set always drives the other out. If your mind is completely occupied with an unselfish desire to help another, for instance, you can’t harbor worry at the same time. It takes a bit of practice to unclutter the mind, but think of all the space you’ll have to arrange and fill with excellent thoughts.

Whatever things are beautiful, whatever things are of value, if there is any virtue and if there is any praise, give thought to these things.

Happy New Year!

Keli

Keli@counterfeithumans.com

Merry Christmas and No Stupidity

Wednesday, December 24th, 2008

I’d like to wish all of my dear readers the Merriest Christmas and the happiest of holidays!

Please take the time to acknowledge the thinking, non-stupers (short for persons who actually exercise thought prior to speaking or acting) in your lives, for without them, well, you know what kind of world we’d live in.

May you exercise only clear, calm, positive, happy thoughts each of your days so that together we can stifle the stupid among us and maintain our collective sanity. We have so much potential and such a powerful tool in the machinery of our incredible minds, it would be a pity to squander any of it.

~ Rogues are preferable to imbeciles because they sometimes take a rest. ~ Alexander Dumas

Keli

Keli@counterfeithumans.com

No Stupidity in Sight

Saturday, December 13th, 2008

‘Twas a fortnight before Christmas when all through the city, lots of people were stirring with no sign of stupidity….

It’s rare, but true. Sometimes this happens. Like the Perseid meteor shower, a Pitt-Jolie-Aniston-free headline day, a clearance sale on last season’s Louis Vuitton wallets or my successfully writing poetry. I went out among the masses, or at least among a scattered, but determined crowd, without any run-ins with stupers (short as you know, for unfalteringly stupid persons). And I liked what I found.

As many of my long term and especially dear readers know, I am an errant public library volunteer. I really do want to help. Really. However, I have trouble getting myself in there to nobly display my willingness. So today I did triple time to make up for my absences. Each and every time the wonderful librarians see me (none of whom is a spinster or even remotely spinster-like), they act wholeheartedly delighted, making me feel like they’d been awaiting my arrival with bated breath and fingers crossed. As I helped with the check-in of books (I am not allowed to check-out; that requires sweeter, more specialized skills), I overheard the young (twenty-three-year old) librarian, Marcia, conversing with an elderly, friendly chap, Herbert, who asked her what she wanted for Christmas. She hesitated a moment and replied,

“I’d like a pair of socks.”

Herbert looked astonished and asked, “What else?”

Marcia explained that was all. When pressed, she added that two pairs would be nice. She said she felt like she had everything she needed already. Marcia does not come from a wealthy family. She lives with her parents (yes, she still lives at home and yes, I am still slightly bitter over my last post) who work on a large ranch.

In this day of excess, superficiality and perpetual need, it was sobering and comforting to find a person in her twenties not longing for the latest designer purse or diamond earrings to show off to her friends (note to self: do you really need to have that Ferrari Scaglietti?). The best part about Marcia is that every time I see her, she looks and acts like the happiest person on earth. This is not to say that wanting things is wrong or makes for unhappiness. It’s imperative not to be consumed by wanting or we may become shortsighted, even blinded, missing opportunities to seize happiness.

I assisted also in the library book sale, where everyone gladly, enthusiastically insisted on overpaying for books in order to help the library. I didn’t come across one stuper attempting to stiff the library or argue that they were being overcharged. I was overwhelmed by the kindness and generosity of all buyers, no matter their ages, shapes or sizes.

When we intentionally set out to do good works by helping others, we not only help ourselves become better persons, but we set the stage for our personal happiness. If ever we feel overwhelmed by obstacles, I suggest finding a person or organization who could use some assistance and chipping in. It revives and clarifies our purpose in life and provides tremendous satisfaction. Most importantly, it ensures the virtual absence of stupidity.

Happiness is a perfume you cannot pour on others without getting a few drops on yourself ~ Emerson

We are formed by our thoughts.

Keli

Keli@counterfeithumans.com

Stupidity is a thief to the mind, robbing it of careful thought.

Stupidity, Thanksgiving and the Disinvited

Wednesday, November 26th, 2008

I have two sisters-in-law. Denice is thoughtful, kind and generous. Then there’s Naomi.

Naomi invited Denice, her husband and adult daughter to Thanksgiving dinner. Then just as quickly, Naomi dissed them. By “dissed” I mean disinvited them. Why? Because Naomi is a card-carrying stuper (short for a noxiously stupid person), and the brain of an idiot, as most of my dear readers have learned, is corroded, filled with selfish, contaminated thoughts. Naomi told Denice she decided to have a “low key” gathering including only her own parents. Naomi was unable to put her foot down without putting it in her mouth, a defect of most stupid minds.

Denice, being quite resourceful, did what any authentic human would do: invited some of her favorite people to share and enjoy her own Thanksgiving.

To ensure a stuper free holiday where we can focus on grateful, warm and loving thoughts, here are a few suggestions to keep stupers at bay when you can’t keep them away:

1.  According to a study conducted by US researchers at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, dietary nutrients found in a wide range of foods from infant formula to eggs increase brain synapses and improve cognitive abilities. Provide foods at your holiday feast that boost intelligence in hopes of instant mental stimulation for any idiots at your table. Toss in some infant formula in the gravy in lieu of butter or cream. No one needs to know. Throw in a trout and some beets and you can’t go wrong. Tell the stuper this is exactly what Madonna eats at her Thanksgiving table.

2. Bring pictures of your trip to the Rainforest to keep the stuper occupied for a period of time. Let them view the photos while watching Paris Hilton’s My New BFF and I guarantee you won’t see or hear the fascinated dimwit at all.

3. A bottle of red wine does wonders for keeping stupers under control. If wine seems to have little effect, try bourbon (making sure, of course, that the stuper does not operate a motor vehicle or any vehicle with wheels or springs).

4. Be thoughtful to counteract the negative waves of stupidity.

Happy Thanksgiving to all!

Keli

Keli@counterfeithumans.com

Announcement of New Holiday Dishonoring Stupidity

Tuesday, November 11th, 2008

Patriotic Americans, unite! Let us ‘rally round the Flag, recognizing today as Veteran’s Day. (Dear readers, please stand during the remainder of this paragraph). Our veterans have earned the right to be recognized and praised. Their sacrifices are deeply appreciated. That said, Veteran’s Day is mere background for today’s somewhat thought-provoking, yet highly practical post.

There is a petition currently being circulated in remote parts of the U.S. decrying the fact that we have an abundance of holidays. This petition contends that students, especially those attending public institutions, are given far too many days off of school. Today, schools are closed to observe Veteran’s Day, but how do you explain yesterday? Many public schools bolted their doors yesterday to psyche themselves up for today.

Citizens are frustrated and angered. Particularly those who did not get yesterday off. No one likes to be left behind. These forgotten, pitiful denizens contend that we should not attach ordinary days to legit holidays thereby creating megaholidays for no apparent reason. This is only acceptable on Thanksgiving and periodically on the Fourth of July when four day weekends are de riguer during the casual summer season, when most people are not really too productive anyway.

This month, November boasts two, four day weekends. In fact, some schools take the entire week of Thanksgiving off. No wonder everyone wants to move to the USA! (Waving of the flags please).

So what does all this have to do with stupidity? Plenty. Namely that I have discovered a means of legitimizing these ordinary, common days that latch themselves for dear life to holidays. They deserve recognition. I submit “Stuper-Free Day” (stuper being short for indubitably stupid persons).

I believe in efficiency. I declare any day appearing before or after a legit. holiday to be a Stuper-Free Day where we spend time thanking the authentic humans in our lives. No, this is nothing like Thanksgiving. No pilgrims, turkey or stuffing is involved at all. No need for family get-togethers. This holiday simply requires a bit of private time. We toss idiocy aside and focus instead on those friends and strangers who’ve treated us thoughtfully and kindly with no strings attached, personifying unselfishness. We take a moment or two to remember and thank them.

Yesterday, with a grateful heart, I recalled Patrick, a landlord we fortuitously had in the early days. Money was scarce; consequently, our rent sometimes arrived late, though always with Patrick’s prior knowledge. Instead of complaining, he bought us Christmas gifts. He personified generosity and understanding.

When my kids were in grade school, I enrolled them in a private academy. We forked over a steep tuition the first few years. Then our money situation tightened, and I informed the Headmaster we’d be leaving. She asked why, and when I explained, she insisted we stay. I looked puzzled and she whispered,

“You don’t have to pay anything.”

Not one to accept a gift without offering something in return, I became the Writer’s Workshop teacher and my children continued to attend the school.

Why would these two virtual strangers step out of their way to help us? This is what authentic humans do. Whereas those of the counterfeit variety turn their heads and fix their gaze elsewhere or stomp their feet to let us know what trouble we cause, those that think know that helping one helps all.

If you were not part of the Stuper-free day yesterday, don’t worry. Pick your own day and just take a few moments to acknowledge a wonderful, heart soaring act of kindness. In this way we create peace within ourselves.

Everyday choose the right thoughts!

Keli

Keli@counterfeithumans.com

Stupidity Waits in Line

Thursday, December 27th, 2007

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); 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 my 3.5 readers 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.”

“Well!”

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.

Keli

Keli@Counterfeithumans.com

Holiday Stupidity

Saturday, December 22nd, 2007

I’d like to acknowledge just a small sampling of thinking, non-stupers (short for persons who actually exercise thought prior to speaking or acting) that I come across over the course of a day lest you think I only tango with the inane:

  1. I just love my hairdresser, Brad. My hair had gotten a bit longer than usual, just past shoulder length when I saw him today. His first words to me: “You look like a nineteen year-old!” If you’ve read my “about” page, you know I passed nineteen a few years ago. Brad’s second words to me: “And look how slim you’ve gotten!” Need I say more?
  2. I had to develop my digital photo disk at the local drug store. I’d never done so as it is my older son’s job, so I felt a bit grumpy about doing it myself (though I am usually exceptionally good-natured). I waited for the customer in front of me to finish – she must have developed over 7000 prints – and at long last, it was my turn. While I examined the directions for operating the machine, a store employee materialized next to me. “I’m here to help you,” she said, softly. I had just been thinking I wish I had help (Why couldn’t I have wished to win the lottery instead?). I very much appreciated her thoughtful aid.
  3. At the local deli today, the crowd seemed a little unruly. One of the workers behind the counter yelled, “Who’s next?” When no one stepped forward, yours truly raised her hand. The worker came to my assistance when I suddenly noticed that the other customers had taken numbers and were waiting their turns. “I didn’t take a number,” I informed the man helping me. A gentleman (and I use this term in the strictest possible sense) stepped forward from the crowd and said, “You can have mine. I’ll just wait.” What unselfish thought! What chivalry!

Such examples are plentiful. I could easily carry on, but it’s not acts of kindness we need help in managing; it’s the stupid among us.

Several times today, I heard people making excuses for rude, thoughtless behavior by saying, “It’s just that time of year.” I disagree. I think stupidity is stupidity all year long, anytime, anyplace. It’s just more noticeable when the rest of us are rushing about, harried and anxious.

The grocery store was crowded, and I myself was guilty of dashing to and fro, somersaulting from aisle to aisle (that maneuver may explain my current lower back ache), leaping over freestanding, waist-high, cardboard ads in order to gather items I needed so I could hurry up and get the hell out of there. As I strolled over to the cashier, I noticed Woman #1 walk in front of a shopping cart pushed by Woman #2. #2 looked like an overinflated balloon, ready to burst any moment.

As #2 braked to a halt, #1 said very nicely,

“Excuse me,”

“Forget it. I saw you zig zagging all over the place,” #2 said loud and clear. Then as an afterthought (I mean an additional piece of nonsense) she added, “It’s just that time of year.”

Stupers readily make idiotic (as opposed to intelligent) excuses for their own ridiculous behavior. They’ve yet to learn that it’s easier to be kind and much less wearing than acting stupidly.

Thinking brings satisfaction to all.

Keli

Keli@Counterfeithumans.com