Archive for the ‘Plain Old Fashioned Stupidity’ Category

Stupidity and the Cell Phone

Monday, October 5th, 2009

While attending a meeting in Los Angeles a few days ago, I sat in a comfortable leather chair around a huge round table. There were about fifty of us seated plus about thirty audience members. As is customary at such proceedings, all present were firmly advised to quiet down their cell phones to avoid unnecessary interruptions and to eliminate the need to waste time spotlighting stupers (short for unflappably stupid persons). Alas, stupers love the spotlight!

Sure enough, about eight minutes into the meeting, a cellular phone rang. Then another and several severely embarrassed audience members skulked out apologetically, red-faced,  heads hanging low and muttering,

“I could have sworn I turned the damn thing off…”  “I told Mom not to call…” and “Thank God Hugh Jackman’s not around…”

These interruptions were brief, without fanfare and quickly forgotten.

Then a stuper’s phone rang. In case there was any doubt as to whom this cell phone belonged, the unmoved idiot casually stood up and answered it loudly enough to drown out those around the table speaking.


The moderator stood up and asked the offender to step outside. Without missing a beat and still chatting loudly, the moron stepped through the open doorway, threw out her anchor and planted herself 2.2 inches just outside the room.  She continued her conversation. My chair allowed me a clear view of the stuper. I eyed her in mixed disgust and fascination.

She was slim and though likely in her sixties, dressed like a twenty-year-old (this was southern California after all) in stilettos, a tight-fitting, black and white, hounds-tooth pattern pants and…. my eyes suddenly skipped over her blouse and went straight to her hair. It was short, dyed in a shade of burnt to a crisp roasted chestnut, with two carefully curled and placed, possibly even glued, thick strands of hair in “C” or thin crescent shapes across the hollow of each cheek, curving up toward each eye. But that was not the strangest part; this was: the entire time she spoke, a jaw breaker type object rotated around the inside of her cheek. It was as if she housed a chubby gremlin in each cheek, circling the innards of one, and then the other. Needless to say, I was driven to distraction by this spectacle. It took every iota of my self-control to refocus on the meeting.

Meanwhile, the stuper was unstoppable. The moderator followed her outside, gesturing wildly to grab the idiot’s attention, but the stuper would have none of it. Finally, the conversation ended as did the display of idiocy and the counterfeit human retook her seat, to the moderator’s immense relief.

I suggest that instead of asking audience members to turn off cell phones, seats should be wired so that if any electronic devices emit a noise,(I certainly hope pacemakers are silent), the offender carrying the device will automatically receive an electric shock, say of about 50 milliampere (mA). Keep in mind 1mA is equal to the minimum current a human can feel and 100 mA is lethal if passed through sensitive portions of the body. 50 mA is a good compromise, don’t you think?

Think first, last and always.


Stupidity and Clients

Wednesday, September 30th, 2009

I have recently discovered that asking too many questions can turn a stuper (short for a disarmingly stupid person) away. And not a moment too soon.

I’m sure most of my readers are well aware of the reputation that many members of the legal profession shoulder: money grabbing, heartless, wily misanthropes who care nothing for the client. This may or may not be true, depending on the individual attorney, but I must remind you that for every idiot attorney, there is an idiot client.

I work for a charitable organization which attracts all sorts of people, including those that refuse to think. Nancy called me needing help with her landlord. A simple enough problem, no? Not when Nancy is a Class AAA+ stuper.

I try to get the facts out of my callers; directing them to dispense with the extraneous, ridiculous, cringeworthy details mostly of a derogatory nature. Nancy began her tale,

“I live in an eight unit apartment complex with a bunch of crackheads. And it isn’t even good crack.”

Which, of course, begs the question, how does Nancy know the crack’s no good? She continued,

 “I told the landlord I can’t take it anymore. The fumes sent me to the emergency room. And now I have asthma. And there’s banging on the walls. And the building is filled with gays. I’m the only female and I am constantly discriminated against. The Mexican gardeners make too much noise with their ()*#$*%& blowers. Why are all *&$&^*% Mexicans gardeners? The manager is a black homo and he’s the worst. Then there are the Asians and the Jews… I have it all on videotape.”

You get the gist of it. After about five minutes, there was no race, ethnicity, religion or gender that she failed to insult. Okay, she kept the Tibetans out of the equation. Meanwhile, I pondered hanging up on her, passing her on to some more deserving soul or breaking into song with the aim of encouraging her to grossly underestimate my abilities.

Instead, I asked her a few questions. How long she’d lived there, when did her troubles start, what does 1+1 equal, and finally,

“Do you have medical records of your visit to the Emergency Room?”

This was Nancy’s response,

“Lady, you ask too many questions! I’m going to Los Angeles to get me a real lawyer!”

Immensely relieved, I thanked her profusely, but she’d already hung up.

Now when a potentially whacked up client calls me (they are extremely easy to spot because they have zero self-control once they begin blabbering), I interrogate them to distraction. This way stupers are instantly revealed and shoved aside so I can focus on the clients that sincerely need help.

Keep thinking.


Stupidity and the Police

Sunday, September 20th, 2009

The police in my town have embarked on a sting operation. You know, the kind where a law enforcement officer poses as a cooperative member of the public so said officer may be victimized by lawbreakers who will then be immediately apprehended, possibly even wrestled to the ground, jolted with a stun gun and placed in shackles, to protect the real, wide-eyed public. Unfortunately, as you may have guessed, this operation was run by stupers (short, yet again, for unimaginatively stupid persons).

Keep in mind that the place where I live is not exactly a hotbed of criminal activity. The population hovers at around 4000, and the most heinous crime here (besides stupidity) consists of driving with a suspended license. Oh sure, there was that one alleged crime boss/racketeer/mafia kingpin, but the FBI caught him and put him away for life plus 120 years, and all of his crimes occurred in the Los Angeles area. No actual bodies were found anywhere on his spread in my town.

This highly complex decoy operation involved police in plainclothes strolling across a street using a crosswalk. The police cited six drivers in one day during this crackdown; villainous motorists who failed to yield to pretend pedestrians trying to cross the street.

“This is a disturbing number of potential tragedies…” stated Lt. Julie McCann, posing as the City Police Chief. Then she threatened, “We will have more of these covert operations in the future.”

First of all, once something is published in the newspaper, which is where I read the above quote, covert becomes overt. Secondly, when was the last time, intelligent readers may be wondering, that there occurred a tragedy on this road or any street for that matter in my town, concerning a pedestrian? Let’s see…there was that time a woman, using the crosswalk, fell out of her wheelchair after her Yorkshire terrier went haywire on his leash and chased after an unsuspecting postal worker using the same crosswalk. Yorkies can be ruthless that way.

I do so wish stupers were capable of focusing their attention on more important matters. Especially those idiots involved in law enforcement. How about trying to catch drunk drivers? Or speeders?

“Now that school is open again, we must protect those using the crosswalk…” stated Police Chief McCann.

Um, there were no schools near the targeted crosswalk. (Excuse me while I lay my head face down, but resting on a forearm, and bang one clenched fist on my desk).

Stupers have trouble focusing on the real issues or matters at hand. You know, the vital topics that actually require care, thought, focus and the utmost attention. Instead, morons prefer to waste time blithering and taking needless or nonsensical action. To make sure none of us fall into this idiotic category, make sure you focus on progress: progressing your mind to make yourself a better, more intelligent being every day. If you need tips on how to do this, please contact me.

Keep thinking.


Stupidity in Swarms

Thursday, September 3rd, 2009

Do you ever feel that you’re one of the last humans left on earth, or at least in your neighborhood, who actively uses his/her mind now and then? When you look around you in the post office or supermarket, do you feel surrounded by swarms* of stupers (short for concretely stupid persons)? I’m happy to report I haven’t felt this way lately. Perhaps I have finally reached the sunlit, always blue sky, summit where idiots no longer have any impact. I may have finally earned my Stupidity Specialist stripes.

Alas, such is not the case for local Pastor Ernie, who lives in my town. I caught him, chin resting forlornly on the Good Book, practically in tears the other day, thanks to the stupid among us. Pastor Ernie is usually a stalwart, jolly fellow, but not when he’s assaulted by a stuper swarm.

Pastor Ernie recently bought a home. A townhome to be exact. The place had a mailbox located among sixty-two other identical mailboxes in the subdivision, all numbered, with locks. The Pastor asked the Homeowners’ Association (HA) to provide him with a key to his box. It took them a few days, but they finally gave him a key. However, they neglected to inform him which of the boxes the key opened. Why? Because they didn’t know.  They rudely reminded the Pastor,

“That’s not our job.”

He continued asking the HA for help. They ignored him, claiming they did their part. They suggested he lay in wait for the Postal worker.

“But I work during the day.”

They shrugged and continued doing nothing.

Pastor Ernie called the Management Company. They said that they were located four hours away, and even if they did make the trip, it could take them days to arrive, as they were very busy. Plus, just what did the Pastor expect them to do? He told me,

“I just wanted to pick up my mail. I didn’t mind waiting, but everyone was so rude about it.”

Finally, Providence intervened in the form of the Pastor’s twenty-four-year old friend, Sam. Sam scanned the boxes and randomly pointed to one. Pastor Ernie inserted the key, and it opened, no thanks to stupidity.

What did the Pastor have to say about idiots?

“For the faults of the many, don’t judge the whole.”

I assured him that we never judge the whole. Just the tried and true idiots.

*Bees are not the only creatures to travel in swarms; locusts, flies and even earthquakes move in swarms. A swarm is an aggregation of insects, geological phenomena and stupers, usually in motion, that typically cause annoyance and irritation, according to Webster’s Dictionary.

Don’t stop thinking!


Stupidity and Pick-up Lines

Saturday, August 29th, 2009

I’ve been spending a lot of time at UCLA lately with Son #2, as he prepares to start college. I’m happy to report, we have yet to run into any stupers (short for mercilessly stupid persons).  That is…until yesterday.

As we canvassed the huge campus (I easily walked six miles from the residence hall to the book store; well, it was actually one mile, but it sure felt like six with the hills and valleys we crossed), I eyed a clean-cut fellow, a bit too old to be a student, as he appeared to be hovering around the ripe old age of thirty, dressed in a sport jacket and slacks roaming about. He looked quasi official, as if he might be capable of offering needed information. Feeling a bit frustrated, as we’d just circled the maze-like, Math Science building three times in search of Room 121 B, I was about to ask the fellow for directions when he suddenly approached two young women walking toward him.

“Hey! I know you,” He enthusiastically told one of the ladies.

“Really?” She smiled and waited for him to shed some light.

He finally said, “Do you have a friend called ‘Potato?'”

“Uh, no, ” she replied, made a face and started to walk away.

“Are you sure?” he insisted.

“I think I’d remember a friend named Potato.”

“Weren’t you at that party last Sunday night at Fran’s?” He called after her.

And so on, with Son, me and the woman’s companion the hapless audience members, as the guy continued to fumble along, insisting he knew the girl. If there is a Guinness World Book of Records for worst pick-up lines, this would make a strong entry.

I once knew a boy called “Cucumber,” but that was in the third grade, and his nickname was pinned on him thanks to a buzz haircut and a sallow complexion which made him resemble a freshly picked cucumber. Fortunately, “Cucumber” grew out of that name a short time later.

Pick-up lines do not work. Recent research backs this up. A study by psychologists at Scotland’s University of Edinburgh put a host of pickup lines to the test on 205 undergraduates, who rated whether they would be likely to continue the conversation. The results, as my intelligent readers may imagine, were unfavorable. According to this same study, the types of lines that do work are tinged with helpfulness, generosity, cultural literacy and sincerity. Any other varieties of lines are typically uttered by stupers.

Son and I ultimately found the classroom we sought in another smaller, unmarked structure across from the Math Science building. Clearly the configuration of classes at this University is designed to keep idiots away.

Just think.


Stupidity Holds Us Up

Wednesday, August 19th, 2009

Stupers (short for convincingly stupid persons) have an annoying knack for getting in our way. They trip us up; then, while we lay sprawled on our bellies, they plant a shoddy foot on our weary backs, trying to keep us from getting back up, as Erica demonstrates in her letter to me below:

Dear Keli:

I have a problem at work. It’s the customers. Not all of them. Only the really stupid ones. The shop I work in (it’s an antique store) closes daily at 5:30. Lately, right between 5:25 and 5:30, idiots arrive, act like they’re actually going to purchase something, spend about 30 minutes browsing, don’t buy anything and then leave. I’m fifty-four years old. I get tired after standing on my feet all day. Don’t they know we’re exhausted and want to go home? It’s not like I don’t tell them. I do. But these dumb customers just don’t care! I feel obligated to stay, mainly because I can’t get them out. What do I do? I want to keep my job, but I also want to keep the sanity. I would appreciate any suggestions.

Amanda F.

This is quite coincidental, as Husband (H) mentioned that his hair stylist/cutter had one appointment left at the end of the day (this was last Friday). This appointment was supposed to be right after H. But the client called at the end of H’s cut to say she was just leaving home, and she’d be a bit late. The problem was the client lived thirty-five minutes away. H left amid murmurs of mutiny and threats of sending menacing text messages to the client. I’m not sure if H’s hair handler actually sent the messages or waited, but I can tell you how my mother successfully gets stupers out of the store where she works…most of the time.

Mom has a similar job in a retail shop; she is on her feet daily. Come 7:55, the money in the store is counted, merchandise that needs to be put away is and the employees are ready to go. Sure enough, customers breeze in at about 7:57 and decide to leisurely look around. At 8:00 pm sharp, Mom shuts off the music and the lights, then stands at the door, keys rattling. This is usually successful, except when she is confronted by exceptionally stubborn stupers.

“Then we usually end up waiting,” she told me with a deep sigh.

Here’s what I suggest: Be a stuper yourself. I don’t mean give in and stop all trace of thought, especially while operating a motor vehicle. I mean imitate a stuper. Since idiots do suffer from ROA (Rapid Onset Amnesia), you must also. Forget that the customers are in the store. Lock up the doors…with the customers inside. Make a big show of it (i.e., “I’m going to turn on the alarm now and set the guard dogs loose because I’m outta here!” for starters), and leave. Go to the nearest coffee shop and enjoy a latte or a cup of green tea and a giant snickerdoodle (you don’t have to eat it all at once).

Then return to the shop. Unlock the door. Act really surprised to find customers lurking about in there. Ignore the one who claims she is having a panic attack or, if that’s not your style, throw her the paper bag your cookie came in. Threaten to call the cops, but do be kind and allow the idiot customers to beg their way out of it. They should be really ready to leave by this time.



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.


The Silver Lining in the Current Economy or Doing Away with Stupidity

Tuesday, July 28th, 2009

We read and hear daily about the cheerless state of our nation’s economy. What we’re not told is that there is a silver lining. I know because I’ve been the recipient of this recent benefit not once, not twice, but three times this past weekend. And as you may have guessed, this silver lining has to do with stupers (short, yet again, for significantly stupid persons).

As most of you well know, Home Depot has been adamant in its refusal to provide customer service. Trying to find an employee, let alone a helpful, thinking employee is like trying to locate the Batcave (Batman’s sought after secret headquarters). It ain’t gonna happen. I’m happy to report that to remain competitively in business, Home Depot has initiated a policy of not hiring idiots. I believe their corporate headquarters contain these very, if not similar, words in their instructions to the Human Resources Department: “THE HIRING OF STUPERS IS NO LONGER CONDONED.”

I strolled into a Home Depot to check out their potted plant selection.

The moment I stepped into the store, four helpful, happy employees greeted me, begging to be of service.

“How can we help you?’

“Thank you, but I see the orchids right over there…” I pointed to a spot about twenty feet away.

Nevertheless, one employee accompanied me in case I had questions; she helped me lift various pots and tried desperately to recall the instructions for the proper care of these delicate exotics.

Stunned, I next went to the bank; Wells Fargo, to be precise. Once again, upon entry, an overjoyed greeting committee welcomed me. I swear one of them looked to be the Bank President. They fervently thanked me for my business. I muttered,

“Um, I’m just withdrawing thirty dollars…”

They continued to thank me.

The teller was extremely helpful. He didn’t ask the usual idiotic questions, such as,

“Don’t you want to upgrade your account to executive level? Don’t you want another ATM card? Don’t you want…?” This is usually where they stop after I holler a resounding, “NO!”

As I left, the Bank President shook my hand; I swear he wanted to slip me a twenty just for coming in.

Finally, I went to Macy’s, the hit or miss store. Once again, not even a hint of stupidity. I found a worker to help me in record time. Before I could utter…

“Is there someone who…”

I heard,

“Here I am!” by a delighted employee.

To be successful in any venture, it is of utmost importance not to behave stupidly and to actively utilize one’s mind. Taking this one necessary step further, the same goes for employees, who act as extensions of the store management. If management wants to be regarded as intelligent, useful beings, they must hire the same. Then success is practically guaranteed.

Why not think?


When Stupidity Gives Advice, Find the Nearest Exit

Thursday, July 9th, 2009

If you live in the big city, I suggest carrying around earplugs or beeswax to promptly stick in your ears because chances are astronomical that you’ll encounter a talking stuper (short, as you all know, for a glaringly stupid person).

If you’ve forgotten to pack the plugs or wax, use your fingers. Believe me, you’ll be grateful you did. If your fingers are painstakingly manicured like mine, and you’re not particularly keen on sticking any fingers in your ears, or if your hands are otherwise occupied with squeezing a tomato, rummaging through a caboose-size handbag or beating up calming a hysterical tot in the midst of his fourth tantrum of the day, then I highly suggest wearing a sign, button or t-shirt that says,

“If you’re stupid, speak to me at your own risk.”

Intelligent, authentic humans reading these words will wink and nod at you in total  understanding. Idiots will hopefully pause their inane chatter long enough to attempt to read your warning, which means that you’ll be long gone before they open their mouths. This is why I can often be spotted walking at a brisk pace when my hands are full.

Alas, my dear friend, V, did not heed this advice when she decided to take her French Bulldog, Lulu, out for a walk. V lives in the big city, in a twelve story tall condo complex, which sits on a street frequented by about 200,000,000 vehicles daily.

Lulu was on a leash as they entered the building’s lobby. Four small dogs, also in the lobby, were unleashed. Two of them were well trained and belonged to V’s friend, Harvey. Those dogs sat and awaited orders. But the other pooches were frantically jumping around on their hind legs in a desperate attempt to imitate canine pogo sticks. Meanwhile, Lulu went crazy. She wanted off the leash to play with or possibly tear apart the two circus dogs. The owner of the circus dogs admonished V,

“You should never have your dog on a leash.”

Keep in mind, these words were uttered in a setting where the welcoming, wide-open lobby doors beckoning misbehaving, not too bright, off the leash, ADD dogs into chaotic midday traffic, were a mere ten feet away. This should have been a red flag for V to break out the earplugs or the beautifully embroidered lace handkerchief, perfect for gagging the stuper mouth; however, she made the mistake of lingering too long because in the next instant, the idiot dog owner parted her lips to open her mouth to spurt yet another dose of idiocy when V and Lulu made a beeline for the elevator.

That was a close call.

If there is any way to avoid having to listen to the unsound advice of a stuper, I highly recommend taking it. Otherwise, a fit of irritation, annoyance and general malaise is to be expected.

Think for yourself.


iPhone Stupidity

Monday, July 6th, 2009

I finally decided to buy an iPhone. The clincher was that I could purchase the phone for substantially less than the usual staggering mid three figure price tag by making use of my beloved upgrade.

When I entered the local AT&T store, Christina, a dead ringer for a younger Sarah Silverman if Sarah had a heavy Cuban accent and spent her formative years in a convent school, assisted me.

When all was said and done, Christina apologetically informed me that I would be taxed, not at the delightfully discounted price, but at the highly elevated and loathsome original price for the phone.

“What?” said I. “Why do I have to pay tax at the $400 price?”

Christina crossed herself, Catholic style, then leaned toward me and whispered. “Ask for a discount.”

You may have heard the term “haggling” bandied about quite frequently lately. It is suggested, in the current climate, that haggling be used freely at the time of most purchases.

“Hey,” Christina continued, apparently reading my hesitant mind. “If the baby don’t cry when it’s hungry, no one’s gonna feed it.”

I stared long and hard at Christina. She added,

“It sounds better in Spanish. Want me to get the manager?”

I nodded.

Unfortunately, I did not properly weigh my options. Haggling works only when the seller suffers from competition. AT&T and the latest iPhone have no competition, especially at the current bargain basement price. I could not threaten to go elsewhere if my demands were not met. I couldn’t even threaten to keep my old phone unless I enjoyed the loud buzzing noise it emitted when I attempted conversation. My only hope was that the manager would feel instant pity for me.

Violet, the amazonian manager, resembled a bouncer at a swanky Sunset Strip club who fearlessly arrived to work nightly on her Harley, sans skullcap and in high heels. Despite my doe eyed looks, Violet said no before I even asked. She explained,

“Look, here’s what I tell my customers about the tax on the iPhone. When you buy a blouse from Macy’s for $100, you’re taxed on $100.”

I was with her on that one.

“But when the blouse is on sale at $50, you’re taxed on the $50 dollar price. Get me? Same as your iPhone.”

Violet puffed out her chest and swaggered away, practically beaming at the cleverness of her explanation. The problem was I was getting a $50 sale blouse, but being taxed on the $100 price.

Violet was a stuper (short for a determinedly stupid person), and a large, muscular one at that. Although she made no sense whatsoever, if I attempted argument, I’d risk being tossed out through a window or worse. Picking out shards of glass from my bare arms and gently windblown hair was not an appealing prospect.

Violet achieved stuper status for her inability to explain the reason for the high tax, which, in case you were wondering, was in the fine print.  The low iPhone price was like getting a rebate, only instantly.

Clearly an unambiguous case all around.

Think first, last and always.