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 mens 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:
- A small, quiet, resigned fellow who exuded enough patience for the entire city of Buffalo, New York;
- 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.
Theres 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, Its not stri-ped. Its striped!
Silence ensued, long enough to tie a sneaker. Then the woman continued,
You should know that youve been saying it all wrong. Its 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,
Im very sorry to be taking so long.
The responses were,
It cant 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.