Archive for the ‘My very own stupidity’ Category

Hanging up on Stupidity

Monday, April 4th, 2011

I hung up on somebody the other day. On purpose. This is not my usual way of handling stupers (short for unimaginably stupid persons). I’ve been known to allow them to drive me to the brink of insanity and remain unaffected. I usually grin and bear it. Sometimes I even throw back my head and laugh out loud for no less than fifteen minutes. Even while drinking water. But my red punching bag was out for repairs (it was somewhat mangled after I hit it with a relentless left hook) and I lost my head.

 The caller sought the services of a lawyer, or so she claimed, but she was crazy. You’ve got to take my word for it. It wasn’t because she told me that $1 million was owed to her as the beneficiary of a will that was probated fifteen years ago. Or because she had no copy of the will or any supporting evidence or documents. Or that she told me she hated the aunt that left her the dough, but took care of her anyway for the money and because Aunty was a good cook. It was at that very moment when my index finger landed on the hang-up button.


I felt guilty for about five seconds, but I realized my fragile sanity was at issue. This caller was the last of a string of hazardous stuper callers, all in a span of three hours. I could not take anymore.

Five glorious minutes passed after I’d ended the call. Then she called again. I did not answer, but went to and marveled at the shoes and sat up in astonishment at the prices (sitting in this fashion is very good for one’s posture and the spine). Apparently, the caller left a message. Pangs of guilt still haunted me.

I buckled up and listened to the message. This is what she said:

 Hi, this is X. You were so nice in talking to me that I just wanted to apologize for hanging up on you. I didn’t mean to hang up on you, but I accidentally dropped the phone and then you weren’t there any longer. I’m sorry. You were so nice to talk to. Thank you. Can I call you again sometime? Bye.

Isn’t that lovely? Vindicated without even trying.

Please, PLEASE think.


Stupidity at the Bank…Again

Friday, December 24th, 2010

 I am nearsighted, and I am vain. Which means I don’t always wear my glasses, which means you may appear a blur to me from 10 feet or more away when viewed with my naked eye. But rest assured, I have 20-20 vision for all things close range. Stand within 3 or 4 feet of me, and I won’t miss a mole or a wink, should you generously aim one my way.

To satisfy my vanity and to avoid public outcry from those not properly and accurately greeted from afar, I sometimes wear contact lenses…which tend to blur my close range vision. Bifocals are not in my vocubulary. Neither is Lasik. Can you call me a stuper (short for a noticeably stupid person?) I’m afraid so.

 So while wearing my contacts last week, I strolled over to the bank to make a deposit. Because of my blurred upclose vision, I slightly reconfigured my bank account numbers on the deposit slip, switching a 2 with a 1. This is what I said to the teller, after handing her the slip:

Me: I’m sorry, but I think I switched two of the numbers around.

To assist her, I opened my checkbook, so she could view the account number.

Teller (after glancing at the slip): OMG! This is terrible! This is SO WRONG! 

Me: Really? (I knew I’d messed up, but really?)

Teller: COMPLETELY! Look at this! (She waved the slip in the air, above her square-shaped head, for all to see. Even an old lady shuffling along in the middle of the bank, hunched over her walker, stopped and straightened up to take notice.

With great flourish, the teller pulled out a fresh slip and rewrote the numbers, all the while rolling her eyes, shaking her head and muttering, “This is SO wrong.”

I had indeed switched the 1 and 2 around.

Lately, I’ve not found any of the employees, at the banks I frequent, helpful or very nice. I asked a different teller, days before, if it was too late for me to donate gifts to a charity the Bank sponsored for Christmas. 

Her response: I have NO idea.

I have this fantasy of marching into the bank and withdrawing all of my money at the slightest provocation.

Teller: Can I see your driver’s license?

Me: (slapping my palm on the glossy black countertop) That’s it! I’m closing my account!


Teller: You’ve got a little piece of a leaf in your hair.

Me: What? I’m closing my account! NOW!

In my fantasy, my account is rather significant in amount and so has a major impact. My reality is not so, at the moment.

But alas, I remind myself that for some one, even a stuper, to behave so irrationally, they must be suffering. Either from a total lack of brainpower (ie, lazy brain from complete lack of use) or some overriding problem which they are unable to set aside in order to enjoy life. 

 This holiday season, gift giving has been on most of our minds. I’d like to remind my dear readers to also hand out those gifts that are less tangible: kindness, courtesy, patience and understanding. Giving happiness to others is tremendously important to our own happiness. The benefits are immeasurable, as the satisfaction of helping another can be sheer bliss, and we make our journeys around the world a little easier.

Wishing you all the happiest of holidays!


Finding Peace and Avoiding Stupidity

Saturday, August 7th, 2010

I seek peace wherever I can find it. And I’m willing to try new avenues. So I made arrangements to attend a class in meditation. After all, meditation is touted as strengthening the mind; something which, as you all know, I’m all for, as a strong mind can easily combat and discard stupidity.

I took a few home study lessons which I enthusiastically embraced and deemed myself ready to practice in a group setting. A very large group setting. I know people travel to India to find peace. I like to think it exists in my own backyard and at no cost. Plus, after my course, I was feeling my heart swell with love for all humanity.

I arrived early with Husband in tow, who was happy to wait outside the Hall for me, as he had not taken the home study course and “aum” was not in his vocabulary. I took a seat off to one side, hoping to spend some time, at least initially, alone.

This brand of meditation requires inhaling quietly, then exhaling through the mouth, in two, audible breaths. However, in the Hall, a sign was posted requesting visitors breathe quietly, so as not to disturb others. I did so, as did the few others in the room. We closed our eyes and sat quietly, practicing our breathing.

Within minutes, a woman sat directly, touching distance, next to me. This despite the fact that I was surrounded by empty seats. I moved over, very nonchalantly, after accidentally throwing a pencil too far for me to easily reach. (I’m perpetually concerned about the feelings of others; even those who annoy me).

How I wish I’d brought earplugs! Her exhales could have come from a banshee just before the dreaded killer cry. In fact, I almost killed her. If anyone else in the room had opened their eyes and happened to gaze on me, they would have seen my head turned, not toward the front like it was supposed to be, but toward the woman next to me with an expression like this:

I stormed out of the room. Peace had eluded me yet again.

My husband listened to my complaint, and I debated leaving, as more peace lovers entered the Hall. Not a quitter, I went back in and took my seat, still empty due to the thunderous breather next to me. This time I gazed upon her with this expression:

Because of the rapid-fire, drastic change in my attitude, I no longer saw a stuper sitting next to me, but a weary looking, unhappy, somewhat desperate person wearing very unflattering rubbery sandals, that probably offered stupendous arch support, but were hard on the eyes.

With my revised, new-found attitude, I found that nothing disturbed me. I got through the meditation class without further incident. Her incredibly loud breathing had no effect on me. Really.

Attitude is everything.

Keep thinking.


Me, Myself and My Stupidity

Sunday, May 16th, 2010

Once again I found myself embroiled in an act of singular stupidity committed by yours truly. One that never should have happened in the first place or any place.

I stood by the back entrance of my office building after work, late Friday afternoon, waiting to be picked up by Husband. I spoke on the cellphone to my mother for a few minutes and continued waiting.

I carried my usual Rhode Island size handbag, along with a large satchel, which I carry instead of a briefcase because it’s far more fashionable and attractive than an ordinary briefcase filled with boring papers and colorless files. My satchel houses lip gloss, hairbrushes, coupons, post-its, a small book of quotations, my recyclable lunch bag, a reusable, 32 oz. water bottle, and a pair of running shoes and socks for those beautiful afternoons when one must stop working and take a walk. Oh yes, and a few files now and then.

I got off my phone, all the while standing in the same spot. Five minutes later, I decided to call Husband to tell him I was going to wait across the street for him. That’s when it happened. My stupid moment. Because suddenly, I discovered I’d lost my phone. Without having moved an inch.

Okay. I may have moved an inch or two, but not far enough to lose my phone.

I didn’t exactly lose it; I just couldn’t find it. I searched my purse and satchel. No phone.

While pondering the fate of my phone, I briefly considered the various missing sock theories.  These theories are based on the fact that a matched pair of socks goes into the laundry or maybe even into the sock drawer, and one of the mates disappears, often never to be seen again. I didn’t take any of the explanations seriously. Come on, the Black Hole? Aliens? Time travelers? Sand men? Besides, my phone did not undergo any type of wash and rinse cycle. I decided to cross the street while taking deep breaths (inhale for 7 seconds; hold for 7 seconds; exhale for 7 or whatever number suits your fancy and lungs) to ponder the fate of my phone.

Upon my arrival, I recommenced searching. Drawer socks typically get lost due to overcrowding and agitation. My phone likely got lost thanks to those same factors as well. My mind was cluttered and agitated with end of the week and end of the day office thoughts, and it didn’t help that my satchel and purse bulged with all of my so called necessities. Did I really need to carry around two hairbrushes? Couldn’t my Pumas remain in my office? And out of the shoe box? How about that curling iron?

As I uncluttered and calmed my mind and my satchel, I found my phone. Resting inside a running shoe. I’d dropped it in without a thought, hence effortlessly transforming myself into a stuper (short for a hopelessly stupid person). My ensuing frustration only enhanced my stupidity. That’s why it took so long to locate the gosh darn phone.

We must cast aside all mental burdens and unnecessary clutter to avoid self-inflicted stupidity.

Think first, last and always.


Stupidity and Blurting Out Phrases That Are Better Left Unsaid

Sunday, March 7th, 2010

Since my last post, my office has moved from a dismal and drab location to a near match for Fifth Avenue, and I’ve been busy packing, unpacking, organizing, working and suffering from a sudden attack of IM syndrome: Idiot Mouth syndrome. This commonplace malady strikes regular people, like you and me, especially me, and causes words to uncontrollably tumble out of our mouths before we realize we should have pulled the emergency brain brake and exercised thought prior to speaking. This idiotic impulse can potentially lead to disastrous consequences and/or immediate branding as a stuper (short for an unbelievably stupid person).

I attended a noon hour meeting, in a room full of attorneys. There were two problems: no lunch was being served, and I’d not eaten anything. Everyone who really knows me is aware that when I go hungry, say for a period of 90 minutes or more, my usual gentle, sweet demeanor peels away and the Attila the Hun in me is let loose. Arrrggghh! To add to my crabbiness during the meeting, my stomach growled so loudly, I shouted to be heard over the din; the hard-of-hearing didn’t stand a chance.

I was the new kid in town, thrown into a close-knit clan. After listening to idle gossip for ten minutes, I introduced myself and received a slew of non committal, disinterested stares which, along with my hunger, only enhanced my foul temper. I suddenly blurted out, “I haven’t practiced law in almost twenty years, and I’ve loved every minute of it.”

Those who placed high marks on honesty and candor might have applauded my statement. As you may imagine, the room fell silent… except for my growling stomach which competed with the ear shattering thunderstorm outside.

I immediately realized my gross error and tried to induce blindness and perhaps rapid onset amnesia with a dazzling smile. Alas, they didn’t fall for it.

I wiped away all traces of saliva that appeared after watching the fellow next to me devour his chicken pot pie, and forced myself to perk up. I re-focused, not on the roar of my empty middle section, demanding as it was; I ignored my Attila-like tendencies, and directed my energies on the issues being discussed. I tried really hard…and almost made it. I suddenly interrupted a discussion about judges with,

“When I was Business Affairs Counsel for XYZ Motion Picture Studio….”

Fortunately, I was able to switch direction quickly, realizing that these lawyers cared as much about what I did in a previous life as they did about my having had a super grand time staying at home, raising my family instead of working. I needed to focus on the here and now.

We all know that awareness is the first step to changing displeasing habits and/or characteristics. I am exceptionally aware of what hunger pangs do to my typically charming, mild-mannered personality, and I usually carry around a snack or two in my swimming pool-size handbag for that very reason. Except I forgot that day. Instead, I shoved a large slice of humble pie down my throat, reminding myself that I’m a whole lot happier when I find ways to help others instead of focusing on myself.



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.


Stupidity, UCLA, Seniors and Looking Upward

Saturday, January 9th, 2010

I love my Alma mater. It wasn’t always this way. It was touch and go over the past twenty-five, almost twenty, several years or so, but it’s been good between us ever since last Spring quarter when I accompanied Son #2 on his campus tour.

It wasn’t the tour that did the trick; it was what occurred afterward, but the tour was the catalyst. During the walk around north campus, I again discovered what I periodically suspect: I often, sometimes, once in a great while, behave like a stuper (short, as you all well know by now, for an embarrassingly stupid person).

 Our capable tour guide strolled us around the tree-lined walkways, paused in front of the inverted fountain where she genially relayed its history and use (dunking the heads of captured USC opponents usually in retribution for their attempts to defile the statue of the Bruin Bear). Meanwhile, I fondly gazed over at parking lot 2 and reminisced. Just how many parking tickets did I manage to gather from that one lot alone? 145? Or was it 245?

Humanities BuildingWe sauntered through the sculpture garden (I could have sworn it was located on the other side of the campus during my day), and finally stopped at the steps of the Music building. I took that opportunity to look up at an adjacent structure, and suddenly realized that I may have attended an entirely different campus or one perhaps located in a parallel universe. At the very top of the Humanities Building, facing the center of the campus, were etched these words by brilliant English physicist and chemist, Michael Faraday:

Nothing is too wonderful to be true if it be consistent with the laws of nature.

I could not believe I’d walked back and forth past the Humanities Building for four years, several times per day and never once bothered to look up to read that quote. Consequently, I yanked Son #2 away from the rest of the group and bid him look upward.  He read the quote, and then regarded me with  annoyance, a monumental dose of tolerance, as if he now knew for certain I’d lost all my faculties, great respect and said,

“That’s pretty good.”

“Forget about its profundity or philosophical implications. Can you believe I went to school here for four whole years and never once looked up?”

I spent the rest of the tour, chin pointing to the sky, staring upward. My son kept his distance.  But on the upside, I believe, I lost any appearance or hint of wrinkles that may have been creeping up on my neck. This spontaneous,  non-artificial, fast-acting, reverse aging process is what could have led to the incident that drove me to march into the UCLA Alumni Center a short time later.

As Son #2 and I ended our tour and walked to Parking Lot 8, we passed by several tables set up along the way helmed by students. Several of these intelligent students stopped me and asked if I’d like to wear the button they were offering.

“No, thank you,” I replied over and over again, never taking the time to read what the button said. Finally, just before we reached the Lot, I was asked again if I’d like to wear a button. I looked at one. It read,

Kiss Me, I’m a Senior

“You want me to wear this because…,” I started.

“Are you graduating this year?”

This is when my love affair with UCLA started. Granted, I was wearing dark shades. But in my short time there that day, I’d evidently shaved decades, a few years off my age. I looked at my son, who grinned widely. It took all my self-control not to tearfully embrace each student who offered me a button. Instead, I wound my way to the Alumni Center and joined. Money was no object.

AMERICA THE BEAUTIFUL Since this incident, I make it a point to always look upward. Ah, the sights I’ve seen. Wondrous birds I never knew existed. Marvelous, heavenly cloud formations. And the best part: no wrinkles or stupers .

Just think.


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 in All the Wrong Places

Thursday, August 13th, 2009

Americans are big on family reunions. Relatives converge at barbecues, parks and campgrounds; at my town’s last Fourth of July parade, one family created a huge float, displaying their reunion proudly and quite bravely.  Yesterday, I was forced to view two reunions of a different sort: stuper (short, yet again, for a predominantly stupid person) assemblies and not amid the safety of a parade or park.

The first took place while I drove on a busy highway. In my lane, on the right shoulder, a stuper family reunion was in progress. Not necessarily blogworthy on its own, except these moronic family members took it to the highway. Tearful embraces, Kool-Aid toasts and major back slapping all occurred in my lane, sandwiched between honking and obscene hand gestures. The idiot family was completely oblivious.

The next stuper reunion took place in Trader Joe’s market, smack in the middle of the dried fruit and nuts aisle (ironic, don’t you think?). I needed a package of raisins, but was prevented from grabbing one because an idiot family, spanning several generations,  parked themselves in the very spot I needed to be, while they feasted on samples of tiramisu and lemonade.

My pleas of  “Excuse me” soon upgraded to shouts of “Move it!” before I got my package. The reunionists gave me severely dirty looks for interrupting their joyful gathering.

Feeling rather flammable by this time, I decided to head home. Unfortunately, my car needed gas. I stepped into the Mini Mart in a huff to pay for the gas and was suddenly disarmed by a small, elf-like fellow, wearing little round glasses, sporting an indeterminate accent and being of an uncertain age. If Santa’s little helpers take jobs during the off season, then this certainly was one of them. All smiles and cheerfulness, he not only thanked me for coming in, but offered the following advice (Keep in mind, dear readers, that I was not the only customer in the Mart, but was singled out by this pixie for reasons I still haven’t quite figured out; I thought I hid my flammability fairly well):

“Remember, it’s okay to lose your money. You can always get it back. But never, ever allow yourself to lose your head. Getting that back…well, I’m not so sure.”

For a moment there, I wondered if this was a backward attempt at apologizing about taking money from me for pumping gas. Or perhaps he was offering me a refund in advance? The happy fellow watched so intently for my reaction, I suddenly felt transparent. I thought I appeared so calm and collected on the outside. Maybe, my irritation with the stuper family reunions showed.

I thanked him and left. While I pumped, a guy who’d witnessed the whole scene walked by me and laughed, circling his index finger, next to his temple. He said,

“The guy’s batty.”

I wasn’t so sure.

In our daily lives, there is much we have to endure. We bear all sorts of frustrations, worries and annoyances. By cultivating and developing patience, destructive emotional energies within us won’t have the chance to surface to take control and often misdirect us. I failed in the developing patience department on this day, or for at least part of the day. But thankfully, I was redirected by a few right words from a surprise source. Whether he was batty or not,  he was on to something.

Think first, last and always.


Costco Stupidity

Thursday, July 2nd, 2009

Out on a mission to Costco, I scoured the overstocked aisles for chopped garlic in a jar for a friend, when suddenly my cart runneth over with five pounds of honey, enough corkscrew pasta to feed a wedding party at the Son’s of Italy Grand Lodge, and a huge jar of kalamata olives that required a dolly before it would consider budging. But no chopped garlic.

I asked a passing employee about the garlic’s location. She replied,

“We don’t carry garlic.”

Costco offers every general food item known to humankind, as well as many foods instantly recognized by several animal species. To claim they didn’t carry garlic was preposterous. Unless, of course, said claim was made by a stuper (that’s right; short again for a haphazardly stupid person). Then it is to be expected and circumvented.

I paced the aisles on the lookout for an authentic human who worked at Costco. I passed a maintenance man scrubbing the Frozen Foods displays’ glass doors; of course, he wouldn’t know.  I happened upon a serious looking, mature woman wearing a Costco tag that said “manager.”

“Do you know where the garlic is?” I asked hopefully.

“If you don’t see it here,” she said, waving her arms vaguely in the air, “we don’t carry it.”

She left me open mouthed, trying to formulate the right stream of words in response. I shouted after her. “Oh, yes you do!”

I knew my statement to be true because the friend who’d sent me on this challenging expedition bought a jar of garlic a week earlier, but conveniently forget, in her Costco shopping daze, from which aisle. I asked another passing worker if she knew.

“No, but uh…,” she said while frantically looked around her. “You gotta find someone who works the section that it could be in.”

This time the worker didn’t abandon me, but bade me to follow her, leading me directly to….

“Mario, this lady has a question.”

Now the employee abandoned me, leaving me with Mario, the maintenance man still in the midst of rigorously scrubbing the glass display doors in the Frozen Foods Department. Within eight seconds, Mario whisked me a few aisles away to the garlic. There it was. All 4000 jars. Mario knew it all the time. Who better to ask than an employee in charge of cleaning all of the aisles? I handily dismissed him as a mere janitor when he held the key to what I wanted.

Who’s the real stuper here? The Costco employees who gave me the wrong answers or the stupidity specialist incapable of asking the right person? You decide.

Keep thinking.