Archive for the ‘My very own stupidity’ Category

It’s Stupidity, You Know?

Sunday, July 27th, 2008

I’ve developed an irritating habit. One that lowers me right into the bubbling bowels of stupidity. I tried going cold turkey; that lasted about eight minutes before my relapse. Consequently, I’m feeling edgy and wringing my hands. No, it’s not nail biting, smoking, excessive spitting or obsessive-compulsive yawning. It’s unthinkingly inserting the words, “you know” in every three to four sentences I speak for no apparent reason. I’m driving me nuts.

Much happiness and pain in life is caused by the words we choose to speak. Words define our experience and create emotions, you know? Yet we often insert unnecessary and worthless words. Or we speak in an abbreviated fashion. I believe there’s a happy middle ground. One devoid of redundancy.

Since I’ve been away on various golf courses the past few days accompanying my younger son on tournaments, I figured it’s prime time to rid myself of my newly discovered, annoying habit. On the first day, I caught myself uttering those errant words six times before seven am (I’d gotten up at 6:45). There was a dry spell for the next two hours, then it started again. By the end of the day, I’d lost count.

On day two, I decided to forgo all speaking and enter my own personal detox program, at least during the morning. I exercised silence. I was amazed at the number of habits that could successfully be wiped out by keeping our mouths closed – smoking, nail biting, alcohol abuse, overeating, thumb sucking, gum cracking, incoherence as well as excessive use of pointless words.

Unfortunately, during my quiet time, a golf dad tagged alongside me, talking all the while. He badly wanted me to ask what he did for a living. First, he told me he worked in an office, then explained where (a Los Angeles high-rise) practically drawing me a map in the sand trap. Next, he talked breathlessly of his client√®le (talent agents, actors, musicians etc.), never once noticing that all I did was nod and smile indulgently. I felt like saying, Buzz off, dude! Can’t you see I’m freakin’ busy?

I tried sending him away with a polite wave of my hand and a few deep sighs, but that only made him talk more. It was like he’d tied a rope to his waist, attaching the other end to me. I broke my vow of silence and said,

“You’re a lawyer.”

“How did you know?”

Well, first of all, most physicians and CPAs don’t gab so tirelessly; in fact, few professionals enjoy hearing themselves speak more. My cursed spell of aimlessly uttering “you know” continued as I spoke, though to a slightly lesser degree.

Husband suggested I speak more slowly (I do have a tendency to get excited when conversing) and pause now and then to exercise better control. It worked.

Yesterday, I uttered only a handful of “you knows” during the entire day. I slowed everything down from my walking to my talking. This promoted more deliberate speech, preventing words tumbling out of my mouth and hitting the ground hard.

Remember, the tongue should be our servant and rendered incapable of running off on its own, as it has a tendency to do, particularly with stupers (short once more, for indisputably stupid persons). Slowing speech down gives us a chance to think before we speak.

Think first.


Stupidity Be Gone!

Monday, July 14th, 2008

Plenty of time and space is given in this blog to stupers (short, once again, for mischievously stupid persons) in order to understand and help prevent these mindless intruders from wrecking havoc and causing the rest of us annoyance, irritation and anger. However today, I’d like to acknowledge and thank a few of the thinkers I’ve come across who admirably utilize their brain power, setting positive examples for everyone.

We all (and I exclude no one from this solar system size category) have said something or acted in such a way, as to place us in the stuper category, at least momentarily. Take me, for instance. Yesterday as I drove, I heard a clunk in the backseat of my car. The handles from my rather large handbag had fallen to one side; my whole purse teetered ominously toward a dainty orchid plant I’d just purchased, threatening to decapitate its delicate single stem. It was a life or death situation for the orchid.

I drove on a one-way street. A quick glance in the rearview mirror confirmed that no cars were around me. I slowed down and reached one arm behind me to grab the purse and move it away from potential violence.

My car weaved slightly between the two lanes. As I struggled to save the orchid, I took another look at the rearview mirror and, lo and behold, an SUV appeared close behind. I listened, but heard no sound. This motorist patiently drove without honking, racing and swerving to get around me, gesturing with one finger or uttering profanities that I rightly deserved. I stopped hogging the road and returned to my own lane. Resuming proper driving, I felt grateful to be followed by a thinker. And I felt quite foolish for driving like a stuper.

My local Blockbuster video store does not exactly hire capable employees. Never mind the fact that each and every one uncannily resembles an escaped convict and rarely uses words with two or more syllables. I once asked a worker if he knew of any good Hugh Grant comedies, to which he replied,

“Who’s Hugh Grant?”

Typical response from one who’d been in the slammer too long.

But recently, one of these so called ex-con looking types not only stepped out from behind the counter to assist Husband and myself, but actually referred us to several, high quality, family type films. And he did so with a smile while using complete sentences, including some with semi-colons and question marks. His efficiency and thought so impressed us that Husband wrote a letter to the corporate headquarters about the merits of this employee. And in hopes that they exercise care in choosing workers that can and do think.

Finally, I’d like to acknowledge the kindly and thoughtful Dr. Paula Creamer whom my ninety-one-year old grandma sees when she has a mind to, which is about every other month.

Do you know of any physicians today who make house calls (and I don’t mean Dr. Pepper)? Or who telephone after your visit to see how you’re doing? Or who hold your hand during the visit and tell you how much they appreciate your coming in? And who make time to see you no matter how busy they may be? I rest my case. Dr. Creamer does all these things and more. No stuper would even consider doing any of the above without some direct, immediate benefit.

Wherever a praiseworthy quality is found, it’s something creditable to all humanity. Therefore, it’s important that we take a moment to acknowledge it in others and in ourselves. Authentic humans make the world a nicer place to live in.

We become what we think.


Stupidity Creates a Funk

Thursday, June 19th, 2008

I not only woke up on the wrong side of the bed this morning, but on the other side of the room. In fact, on the other side of the house, next to the side door where the spiders and sow bugs and beetles patiently wait to stampede outside, first thing in the morning.

I need eight hours of sleep at night like a tortoise needs its shell… or else, I spend most of the day doing a fine impersonation of a stuper (short again for an unpleasantly stupid person). Last night, I didn’t get my required amount.

This morning I yelled at my mother; I yelled at my husband who had the audacity to ask why I acted “low key,” (my apologies to both), but thankfully, I spared the children. A bowling ball had replaced my head, sitting wobbly and heavy between my shoulders. It didn’t help my cause when today’s temperature soared to an undignified 110 degrees.

I puttered around the house in a sort of brain fog. Oh, I know that’s now a recognized medical state (as stupidity will hopefully be one day) and describes a mind hindered by stress, anxiety or worry. Confusion or forgetfulness characterize brain fog. My state was different. It was more of a lightweight madness where tiny, virtually nonexistent obstacles seemed magnified. Mine was more like brain smog; useless, frustrated, blurry thoughts cluttered my mind, leaving no room for any light to seep in.

I was in a funk. The best cure for such a turbulent state or for depression, fear, stupidity or practically any unsteady frame of mind is to try doing something for someone else. Take the focus off yourself. Which is why I decided to go out among the public.

Since I am a sporadic library volunteer, this was the perfect opportunity to assist the denizens of almost all things literary and hopefully jump-start my mood into something better and more promising.

I went. I helped. I conquered. I stayed longer than usual and didn’t leave until I heard voices. The voices of an eight-year- old girl and her grandma.

Grandma asked me where books should be returned. I showed her. She dropped them in. Girl hollered that she needed the books, and Granny made a big mistake in returning them. At one end, Grandma kept telling me, “Don’t listen to her,” and at the other, the girl insisted that she needed to keep them a little longer for a book club report at the library. This went on for quite some time. Grandma and Girl might as well have been in two different buildings. No communication took place at all. Remember, this is a small library. Pleasantly plump people cannot squeeze past each other in the aisles.

The girl was right. She gave her report, the books were returned and peace was restored.

After they left, one of the librarians whispered to me, “Have you ever felt like grabbing a kid by her ear and pulling her outside?”

I realized then that the frustrated voices I heard merely echoed my own. “I think the little girl was feeling a little overwhelmed and underheard, that’s all. I’m sure this was not her usual behavior.”

One set of thoughts always drives the other out. Of course, stupers don’t harbor thoughts, but I know, my dear readers do. By changing direction and attempting to help others, anyone can, in effect, stamp out less desirable states of mind and, in my case, forget about sleep deprivation. Okay, so I wasn’t exactly the most proficient volunteer today. I didn’t always shelve the books in perfect alphabetical order, but I caught most of my mistakes and corrected them.

Don’t allow your mind to accommodate anything less than the best thoughts.


Stupidity of the Telemarketer Variety

Wednesday, May 28th, 2008

I’m surprised I haven’t been asked to donate my telephone to the Museum of Local Artifacts. It’s hardly antiquated, but it lacks a vital, modern day feature that’s become a staple of most American households: Caller ID.

I do not cherish the element of surprise. It’s just that our main callers at home are close friends and relatives. Not the stuper (short, as you know, for a distinctively stupid person) variety, but people to whom we’ve willingly provided our number. Then there are the others, consisting of (and this is what makes caller ID priceless) telemarketers of the most terrifyingly annoying kind.

In the beginning, I was tolerant, patient, even mildly pleasant to such intrusive, irritating tele-terrorists. Then things changed.

I began receiving a pre-recorded message advising me, in tones reserved for the IRS and the Pentagon, that this was my final chance to lower the interest rate on my credit card. The words “final” and “last chance” were threateningly repeated. I received this same message several times over the next six months. Then early one morning, at the pre, pre-dawn hour of 1:37 am, the telephone rang, causing my heart to pound with great ferocity. I expected the worst. I groggily picked up the phone only to hear the same damn pre-recorded message. I hung up. Did someone forget to shut off the freaking auto-dial?

I tracked down that caller and made sure they didn’t call again, by using a few choice words. But thereafter, I became intolerant, belligerent…whenever the phone rang, I found myself hunching my shoulders so that my tee shirt ripped vertically down my back as it rapidly shrunk in size. My skin turned an unappealing shade of asparagus green and my usually shiny locks became dry and brittle.

Here’s an actual transcript (I swear these were the callous caller’s exact words) from my communication with yet another dreaded telemarketer:

Me: Hello?

TM: Ms. Kimmy Carson? (Never, never have they gotten my name right) This is Toby Elias calling on behalf of Blind and Disabled Firefighters who want to build a children’s hospital…

Me: Please. Remove. Me. From. Your List. Now!

TM: Don’t you care about burnt children?

Me: (hollering) No!

TM: I will only be too HAPPY to remove some one like YOU from our list.

America is the land of the free and home of the brave, but did you know it’s also the place where there’s enough telemarketing power to place 560 calls per second? I’ve briefly considered moving to Germany where telemarketing is illegal and businesses may not call on customers without prior consent.

I treated these agents of telephone torment as Class A stupers… until I read an article profiling the life of a random telemarketer. A sensitive chord resounded from somewhere deep, really deep, inside of me. This caller was no stuper. He suffered from Down’s Syndrome and was unable to maintain any other kind of job. Moreover, calling people on the phone and getting people to talk to him made him very happy whether they sent money or not. In fact, he looked forward to doing his job.

This may well have been telemarketing propaganda and me all the more a sucker for falling for it, but still. How difficult was it for me to politely say, “No, thank you,” simultaneously promoting peace and tranquility and not permitting stupidity into my life? Or how about not answering the phone and waiting to find out whom was calling?

This very morning, I received a typical telemarketer call. Two seconds of dead silence, then:

“This is Destiny Adams. I’m calling on behalf of Verizon,” and so on, in the most robotic, monotone, unhappy of voices. I heard between her words and recognized a reluctant, miserable marketer who likely felt enslaved in her job and who’d rather be anywhere than where she was.

I listened and said as kindly as I could muster, “No, thank you,” and was none the worse for it.

Registering on the National Do-Not-Call Registry did me about as much good as asking my dog to answer the phone. Telemarketers still call, only a little less. I rely solely on courtesy when I answer the phone. I do sometimes say my “No, thanks” a little more abruptly than I should, but it’s better than losing my sanity.

Keep thinking.


Stupid Habits Are Made to be Broken

Saturday, May 24th, 2008

Every other month or so, I pick a messy kitchen drawer and clean it out. Okay, maybe it’s every six months to a year or when it becomes so crammed that letters and extra wall calendars start sneaking out the back end and relocating into lower level drawers that offer more breathing space.

Don’t get me wrong. These are not cutlery drawers or those housing kitchen towels or spices. These are the ones specifically set aside for loose AA batteries, notes to myself covering all subjects from reminding Son to return a library book to writing down snippets of great lines I’ve snatched from eighties’ sitcoms, as well as renegade paper clips, rubber bands and anything else without a proper resting place. I believe these items may be of future use, however indeterminate. I shove them in the drawer so I can think about them later.

Why am I sharing this with you? To embarrass myself into stopping this stupid little habit of cramming nonsensical items into drawers that otherwise could appear tidy.

I am also partial to clutter. However, I pile my clutter knee-high, hoping these little towers of chaos will give off the impression of neat, carefully planned disorder.

I believe that these commonplace habits are not exclusive to stupers (short once again, for unavoidably stupid persons). And that they can easily be broken, provided there’s a willing participant.

Ways to break unruly habits:

  1. Acknowledge the habit, realizing that if it didn’t exist, you’d be one step closer to taking control over your life;
  2. Convince yourself that change is good. Ask: after the clutter is gone, will I honestly miss it? Or will I appreciate the fact that spiders and earwigs no longer have a multitude of hiding places inside my home?
  3. Visualize what your life would be like without the habit. For instance, I could open a drawer and actually find a pen when I needed to write down a phone number instead of frantically dashing about searching for a long lost writing utensil. And when guests come over and open a drawer in hopes of finding a notepad, they actually will. They shouldn’t fear misplacing a hand when searching;
  4. Join a support group or elicit the support of loved ones. Surround yourself by others who’ve successfully broken habits; and
  5. Pay attention. Know your triggers. Most of our habits come about when we’re not thinking clearly. I reach out to chocolate chip walnut cookies when my mind is cloudy with stress or otherwise preoccupied. And I don’t mean one or two morsels. A muddled mind also triggers my robotic penchant for picking up unharnessed objects and dropping them in random drawers.

Thinking is something we all have at our disposal. Use it or lose it.

We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence then, is not an act, but a habit. – Aristotle


An Acute Attack of Stupidity at the Mailbox or Aimless Stupidity

Thursday, March 13th, 2008

Yesterday, this stupidity specialist found herself in a foul temper. Blame it on a series of small, but unfortunate events. My sweet listening skills, which I have finely tuned, in order to more carefully observe, record, research and analyze the ludicrous and annoying antics of stupers (short for inexcusably stupid persons) got me into trouble.

The final such event sent me over the edge. Roving stupidity grabbed me by the scruff of the neck and demanded my attention, as I innocently walked out to my mailbox.

Spying a ready-made audience, a neighbor stopped by in his car to chat and rapidly proceeded to unload enough personal rubbish to qualify my front yard as a landfill large enough to accommodate four states. I was bombarded by his parents’ health issues, his very own derogatory remarks and truckloads of downright sniveling. This aimless, rambling stupidity drained all semblance of patience out of me within an incredibly short time span.

I not only became increasingly impatient as this neighbor spoke, but angered by the sheer volume of his complaints and irrelevant personal opinions. My dear readers may have learned by now, that patience is an antidote to stupidity as well as to anger, irritation and a minor bout with walking pneumonia. But I momentarily forgot this.

We are all searching for peace of mind. We try to buy this elusive commodity through multitasking, streamlining, scheduling, and purchasing products to rev up our lives, as well as going out of our way to avoid idiots. Often this search does the opposite. It deflates our ability to handle situations that require cool thinking and self-control.

Once in a while (a great while, mind you), when I crave attention, I bemoan living an interrupted life. For instance, when I’m writing an article, the phone rings, the religious proselytizers perch on my doorstep for the winter, a neighbor decides to test his new chainsaw right outside my window, and images left over from encounters with stupers return to pester me. I finally put off working until I can find a more suitable time.

My point? Our patience is perpetually tested. If we’re going to experience the seemingly elusive peace of mind, patience is a necessity. It’s a vital component to living a sane, stuper-free life.

By patience, I don’t mean putting up with infuriating things or annoying persons, but rather controlling our irritation, rage or other unpleasant emotion. If we can hone patience, stuper situations would occur less frequently and without annoyance.

With patience, comes clarity of thought; with clarity of thought, comes self-control; with self-control, we function more effectively. With all these things, comes peace of mind.

Treat stupidity as scenery along the road of life, not always pleasing to the senses, and sometimes downright stinky, not unlike a mile high manure pile, but still entertaining.

Patience serves as a protection against wrongs as clothes do against cold. ~ Leonardo da Vinci

Think first, last and always.


Does Forgetfulness = Stupidity?

Saturday, March 8th, 2008

Well, folks, I think it’s finally happened. I’ve crossed over to the other side. Just like a good cop gone bad or a shrink who turns loonier than her patients, or even a Jedi Knight who joins the dark side, a la Darth Vader. This stupidity specialist may have officially earned stuper (that’s right; short for a miserably stupid person) status.

We’re all forgetful at times. We forget to buy milk when milk was the reason for going to the grocery store in the first place. We forget to remove the keys from the ignition before locking the doors of the pick-up truck. We rent movies only to discover upon viewing that we’ve watched them before… and not even that long ago. We forget people’s names. We may even forget people. And how about that cell phone? Ever leave one behind or think you did, when in fact, it was buried deep within the confines of your swimming pool size handbag?

Does this kind of general forgetfulness automatically give a person complimentary membership to the minimalist school of thought? Are we stupers when we are routinely forgetful? If so, count me in.

My personal, troubling foray deep into the ranks of stupidity occurred when I was asked to read a book. I am a voracious reader. But sometimes, even as I read, I start to forget what I have read. For instance: take a chemistry or trigonometry textbook. My sixteen-year-old asked me to read a page from his chemistry book, and then explain it to him. I read a paragraph and found myself immediately forgetting what I read. The words and content were systematically erased, vanishing from my memory as quickly as they entered. I tried again and the same thing happened. Stupidity had raised its empty head. And that head belonged to me. I became frightened of becoming that which I found most offensive.

But it wasn’t my fault. The text was so wretchedly tedious, my mind refused to process it. I believe this manner of forgetting is to be expected sometimes, particularly when reading books of little wit and even less interest.

We live busy lives. And forgetting happens. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve placed various objects in what I thought were secure, but obvious places, and then completely forgotten the location of this obvious place. I misplaced a pair of large (Ritz cracker size) earrings that I hid when moving. I finally located them… seven months later, in a shoebox with similar missing items. I hide things so well, that even I can’t find them.

If forgetfulness is a character flaw of stupers, than stupers would rule the earth. I know it seems that way sometimes anyway, especially when driving on highways or shopping at huge warehouse type chain stores, but a poor memory does not a stuper make.

The process of forgetting is inevitable among stupers and non-stupers alike. The difference between the two is, non-stupers generally remember that they forgot. Not so for the diligent dolts.

Exercise care. Stupers are out there.



Do Not Be Ashamed of Your Own Stupidity

Saturday, February 23rd, 2008

We all slip up once in a while by either saying or doing something stupid. This is nothing to be ashamed of. I say this, recalling that when I was a neophyte attorney, I once asked a seasoned lawyer an irregular question. The mere recollection of my query still makes me wince; it was so prodigiously stupid of me. Don’t ask me to repeat it because I won’t. (However, rest assured, that for a small fee, I can be convinced).

The more we speak and act without thinking, the greater the risk of appearing, and actually becoming, stupid. Sometimes, words or situations escape our grasp. We may be distracted, tired, naive (as in the case of my own wayward question) or otherwise mentally distraught, causing us to act like stupers (short, again, for soberingly stupid persons).

Authentic humans should acknowledge their own stupidity. But we rarely see this practice in action because of the fear of being permanently branded a stuper under the rules of polite society. Being viewed by others as a stuper can imperil our self-image as well as the image we convey to others. I plummeted several feet in the eyes of the seasoned attorney upon posing my idiotic question, and never again regained my footing in his eyes. I know what I’m talking about.

Words and actions depict us, furnishing the elements of our personalities. These same words and actions can also deform us, if not properly presented. I experienced a near miss yesterday while volunteering at the library. I was placed in charge of tracing missing books, a task for which I seemed to have an uncanny knack. The head librarian gleefully patted me on the back because I’d located books they’d been seeking for weeks.¬† I became known as the Book Hunter.

Soon after, I found yet another missing tome, and then did something that could have smirched my reputation. I put the damn book down somewhere and suddenly found myself a victim of ROA (Rapid Onset Amnesia). I retraced my steps (or what I thought could have been my steps), and thankfully, the matter of my stupidity remained private; I’d inadvertently shelved the book while pausing to skim a few paragraphs of another. I do that sometimes; just enough to give me an opinion of the book so I can converse intelligently about it. Anyway, I emerged untarnished.

Stupidity happens. But if we train ourselves to learn from stuper moments and not repeat ludicrous actions, we have nothing to be ashamed of.

Think first, last and always.


How Not To Appear Stupid When Subjected to Severe Boredom During Lengthy Meetings

Tuesday, February 19th, 2008

Confrontations with stupidity often occur in the workplace, one of the most vexing being the times we’re expected to stay awake during meetings of questionable merit and interminable length. Long and boring. But, there are ways to appear intelligent even while nodding off.

I’ve sat on several boards of directors for minuscule, but nonetheless worthy, organizations, as well as for my place of business. At one of these board (or is it bored?) meetings, I was once asked to give my opinion of the topic being bandied about. The subject matter was so absurdly tedious, that to this day, I am clueless as to what everyone was discussing. I’d tuned out.

“What do you think, Keli?” asked the President who sat, without blinking, in her high-back, leather, throne-like chair, giving me the feeling that she was rarely wrong.

She didn’t have to ask twice. Upon hearing my name, my pulse raced and little beads of perspiration formed on my forehead (fortunately, I wore wispy bangs at the time so without close examination, the sweat remained hidden beneath my hair). I don’t like to be caught unprepared. Especially when no one’s to blame, but myself. The setting suddenly appeared unreal, possessed of its own laws. I paused, as if carefully pondering, then replied, “I think this matter should be given greater thought before any decisions are made.”

The President nodded her head in approval; I had successfully extricated myself at no great cost, by a somewhat vague, non-committal response.

Changing the subject would have worked also, but that must be handled with greater skill as it could get out of hand should anyone suspect the true purpose behind the abrupt shift. Not easy to do in front of a weary audience eager for some real action.

I could have confessed that I’d drifted off into faraway mental frontiers, but that may have led to undesirable consequences as well as to my embarrassment, even though it was what I deserved. Or was it? For heaven’s sake, if these meetings moved along at a proper pace and were accompanied by palatable eats, who wouldn’t gladly give greater attention? Serving M&Ms or donuts does not promote good health or alertness. Delicately prepared hors d’oeuvres would keep me happily occupied and awake. Such meetings should not scrimp on sustenance.

In order to emerge unscathed from these situations, it’s important to carry an unfailing sense of self-assurance around, or at least appear to, as in my case. Had I folded, I surely would have been branded a stuper (short for an openly stupid person). Not being mentally present at a meeting should not be an impediment to being a successful participant.

Why not think?


Winners Stave Off Stupidity

Saturday, February 16th, 2008

Some of the greatest lessons I’ve learned about managing stupidity have been while out on the golf course. Lessons on how not to behave like a stuper (short once again, for an unsparingly stupid person). And I don’t even play golf. Thanks to child #2 (in birth order), I’ve spent many hours watching the game and its notables.

Yesterday was spent in Los Angeles, with my teen, observing the world’s greats play at the LA open. Even when these stellar athletes make stupid mistakes, they handle themselves winningly.

The #4 player in the world, Australia’s Adam Scott, hit a ball into the lake. How would the average stuper have reacted to such a displeasing, distorted performance? Probably by laying down in the grass, kicking and screaming bloody murder, and thereby throwing a certifiable tantrum. Or perhaps by hurling a club into the gallery while yelling expletives. Or possibly by breaking a club over the head of his caddie. Adam Scott, however, displayed no such menial reaction. He demonstrated coolness of mind and incredible self-restraint. Remaining calm enabled him to make a remarkable putt on the green.

Great Britain’s Luke Donald hit a tepid chip shot that fell woefully short of the target. Disgraceful for a world class player. His second shot was equally depressing. Yet Luke reacted with pleasant humor and kindness and spoke to his caddie with the utmost courtesy. He went on to shoot a phenomenal round of golf.

How would America’s stupidity specialist, Keli Garson, have reacted while waiting on the tee box in front of a stuper who insisted on spitting out his sunflower seed shells over her shoulder, converting his mouth into a veritable cannon, complete with sound effects, if she’d been a meager mind herself? Slugged the idiot, then taped his mouth shut with a handy roll of duct tape? No, no, no. That would be too much even for the most hollow of heads. As it was, I turned and gave him Look #1. This consists of a kindly stare, (think Mona Lisa), indicating great tolerance and just a touch of exasperation. I usually get successful results with this gaze. And the spitting stuper was no exception, for he quickly apologized and halted his seed assault immediately.

Had Look #1 been fruitless, I would have utilized Look #2, a stern, reproachful gaze; one that subtly promises at least a pinch of action if the stupid activity is not stopped.

Keeping one’s mind in the proper place and state is indispensable to one’s happiness and well being. Losing one’s mind by reacting poorly to a person or situation is a guarantee of distress. Remember: our reactions define our character.