Archive for the ‘Positive stupidity’ Category

Overlooking Postal and other Varieties of Stupidity

Saturday, January 10th, 2009

The small, bucolic, yet highly sophisticated valley (population 5000) where I live, boasts three post offices, all of which are practically registered epicenters of stupidity. During the holidays in particular, the amount of idiocy engaged in by postal workers is akin to the energy necessary to operate 23 cell phones on the planet Pluto. That’s no small feat. Postal employees make it a habit to keep one worker behind the counter per every twelve patrons in line, keeping employee #2 within view, reading the local paper or braiding her hair. By the time I reach the counter, I’m ready to pull the safety pin out of the nearest hand grenade.

Much to my surprise, I encountered an entirely different post office last week.

I entered our main branch (I know it’s the main one because it’s open for limited hours on Saturday, and it sports its own parking lot with four whole parking spaces). The moment I stepped inside, I was immediately sucked into a Hallmark film.

The place seemed brighter, out of the ordinarily cheerful, surprisingly welcoming. I looked around. There was a glow about the room despite the same drab walls, same dull interior cement floor. Granted, I was pleased that only one customer stood between the postal worker and me, but not pleased enough to hallucinate. Then it hit me. It was Chris, the jolly and exultant, late twenties or so, government issue employee.

His smile was so bright that he could have lit all the candles on an octogenarian’s birthday cake. He looked so happy, so ecstatically jovial, that he’d made the place come alive.

My turn came early because the lady before me kindly offered to step aside to an empty counter to properly lick the hundred or so envelopes she planned to mail. Typically, post office patrons do no such stepping aside, but do all their licking, lamenting or labeling right there at the counter making all behind them wait. I knew it had something to do with Chris and his luminous smile. I do not exaggerate. His winning grin and benevolent words could have made the moon weep for joy.

At the counter, I told Chris that I needed postage for my oversize envelope #1 as well as the self addressed large envelope #2 folded inside #1 which was to be sent back to me by the recipient. Proper procedure is to weigh each separately because envelope #2 usually weighs less on the return trip. Chris only weighed envelope #1, holding his smile of contentment and sheer delight the whole time and muttering sweet sayings. How could I quibble over a quarter or two with the very personification of bliss? It was easy to overlook his negligence and mild stupidity. I dared not rain on his happiness.

When I returned to my car, I told Husband about Chris. Husband asked,

“You mean that big, fat guy?”

“Was he fat? Maybe pleasantly plump…”

Chris’ cheery demeanor blinded me to his physical and/or mental imperfections. He encouraged me to overlook and treat stupidity with patience. If every person in our society was benevolent and grateful or ready to, in a small way, reciprocate the kind feelings shown him or her, then this place would be quite pleasant for all of us.

Just think.


Stupidity and New Year’s Resolutions

Thursday, January 1st, 2009

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Happy New Year!


Slipping In and Out of Stupidity

Sunday, December 28th, 2008

Some of us thinkers, despite valiant efforts to the contrary, may periodically slip into temporary states of stupidity. Inadvertent stupidity, one might call it, where we may say and do things that could immediately demote us to stuper (short, once more, for a dreadfully stupid person) status. Even me. Mind you, such bouts are increasingly rare for me, thanks to my herculean efforts to remain perpetually aware of all my actions and words.

If any of my dear readers should find themselves the accidental perpetrator of an inane word or deed, I can assure and reassure you that there is help. Here are a few simple tips for lifting yourself out of a stuper funk:

  • Apologize without hesitation for your guffaw. This creates unhesitating sympathy in your victim, making it clear to all that you are not a repeat offender since you caught yourself, if not on time, at least quickly thereafter and tried to make amends.
  • If it’s too late for apologies (meaning you left the scene of your idiocy and afterward realized you behaved like an imbecile), befriend an intelligent person. Study after study shows the company we keep impacts us greatly. If you hang out with a smart crowd, one whose members continuously use their minds in a positive fashion, some of it’s likely to rub off on you.
  • Take thinking up as a hobby. If you treat thinking as a hobby, like knitting or turning PCs into miniature greenhouses to better understand global warming, you can gradually expand thinking time so that it overtakes all else and soon is so ingrained that it becomes a natural occurrence. Second nature, if you will, which is as it should be. Stupidity will cease to exist for you.

  • If you missed out on making the world a better place by behaving stupidly, worry not. Transcend your dumb deed or words by doing good for some one else, thereby continuing to improve the human condition and making up for your idiocy. It’s a balancing act of sorts.

In this way, bona fide thinkers may continue with their mission of ridding the world of stupers (or at least ignoring them).

Just think.


No Stupidity in Sight

Saturday, December 13th, 2008

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

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

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

“I’d like a pair of socks.”

Herbert looked astonished and asked, “What else?”

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

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

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

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

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

We are formed by our thoughts.


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

Traveling Stupidity or Stupidity Does Not Make a Good Eyewitness

Wednesday, May 14th, 2008

It was pointed out to me that I seem to have a flair for finding stupidity wherever I go. It’s true. I’m always on the lookout for stupers (short, once more, for fundamentally stupid persons), but I do it for the sole purpose of assisting others, as well as myself, to avoid the commonplace annoyance and often overwhelming irritation resulting from inane encounters. After all, many illnesses and mental disorders are, I believe, an offshoot of persistent, unwelcome contact with complete and utter idiots. I sincerely hope I am helpful to my dear readers.

Over the past few days, the family and I traveled to Palm Springs as Son participated in a junior golf tournament. The hotel itself was wonderful, but the food….Lord have mercy!

Meals are important to me. Yes, I am demanding. I have this irrational desire that my food taste good, and that it meet certain specifications. Namely, to be cooked, if it’s not a fruit or vegetable or an entree that’s meant to be consumed raw. Hello? Do I look like a large, carnivores jungle cat to you? Trust me, I don’t.

I like my burgers, medium to medium-well done. Same with my steak. And I said exactly that to our server. Very courteously, of course. Here’s what I got:

My mother made the mistake of ordering a plain, old medium cooked steak.

Her order practically ambled across the table. She had it sent back to the kitchen three times. Finally, it came back looking like this:

When she complained to the server, the server said, “I stood by the chef while he cooked it.”

Stupers do not make reliable eyewitnesses.

Alas, both the cook and each one of our servers were part of an intricate plot to serve up the worst food imaginable and contrary to the customers’ orders. Maybe they were celebrating “Opposite Day,” part of some strange stuper ritual, yet to be made public.

We quietly made our grievances known to the kindly hotel staff who eyed us sympathetically, but without remorse.

On the way back home, I stopped at a bakery for a loaf of bread. Being in a hurry, I forgot to ask the person assisting me to slice the loaf before handing it to me. When I did so, she looked at me as if I’d insisted she set the place on fire.

“You didn’t ask to have it sliced,” she responded testily.

“Yes, I know,” I replied. “Would you please slice it now?”

While I waited for her to slice the freaking bread, and watched her huff and puff over it, I remembered something. Please humor me, as I wax philosophical-like. I recalled an ancient parable about an elderly monk who slowly made his way along a dirt road. Suddenly a large man, in a huge hurry, pushed past the monk and knocked the old man down as he raced by, without a glance back. As a younger monk helped the elder one up, the old monk shouted after the man, “May you be happy all the days of your life!”

The young monk said, “What are you saying? Didn’t you see what he just did to you?”

The older monk replied, “Do you think he’d have done that if he’d been happy?”

Which brings me to my question of the day: do you think stupers are happy? I say true happiness comes from helping others, nurturing a grateful heart and using the enormous power of thought and consideration, all of which surpass stupers’ capabilities.

I ignored the rudeness of the miserable bakery worker, realizing unhappiness created her attitude. Once again, stupers serve as fine examples of how not to behave.

Think first, last and always.


How to Avoid Resembling the Epitome of Stupidity (Or How Not to Act Like a Stuper)

Saturday, March 1st, 2008

In order to avoid acting like a stuper (yes, short again, for a decidedly stupid person), I’ve developed guidelines or commandments which, if followed vigilantly, will aid one and all in at least appearing somewhat intelligent. Here are a small sampling:

  1. Thou shall not babble on aimlessly when talking to others or to thyself;
  2. Thou shall diligently use thy turn signal when changing lanes in traffic;
  3. Thou shall not talk loudly on the cell phone while sitting in a stall in a public restroom, standing in line at the grocery store or while riding thy bicycle in the street;
  4. Thou shall not be annoyingly nosy about the affairs of others;
  5. Thou shall not relentlessly whine and complain about thy problems to everyone who crosses thy path;
  6. Thou shall not readily dispense medical advice unless thou art a licensed physician (being married to one does not count);
  7. Thou shall not allow thy dog to run loose all over the neighborhood and/or use neighbors’ front lawns or porch steps to deposit their duty;
  8. Thou shall not form a human wall while strolling on the busy sidewalk so that no one may pass around thee;
  9. Thou shall not lock thy lips on the bumper of the car in front of thee, thereby tailgating; and

10. Thou shall not allow thy gaping mouth to resemble a fly trap by leaving it partially open while maintaining a blank expression on thy face so thee looks like the epitome of stupidity.

This is only a partial list, but I think it’s a start. Should you catch yourselves, dear readers, engaged in any of the foregoing, please remember what category you may fall in.

There are only two races on this planet-the intelligent and the stupid. – John Fowles

Great minds think.


Stupidity Makes My Day

Monday, January 7th, 2008

I tip my hat to all who believe everything they see and hear. Thanks to them, I enjoyed a stuper (short for an assiduously stupid person) free day on Saturday.

When it rains in Southern California, the majority of people (and practically, every single stuper) stay indoors or, if stuck outside, frantically hunt out a dry spot, where they remain glued till blue is restored to the sky. This works out beautifully for all involved because stupidity + rain can = disaster. I’m afraid I’ve witnessed stupers discard what little caution they wielded to speed up on puddle strewn highways during storms; I’ve been the victim of carelessly brandished umbrellas with metal dagger-like points hovering at eye level on sidewalks. Rain befuddles and brings out the worst in them.

On Friday, we had one full, incessant day of pouring rain which was enough for most Southern Californians to start drawing plans for the Ark. A 100% chance of rain was predicted for Saturday. Meanwhile, I plotted to make my pilgrimage to the semi-annual Blue Bee Boutique sale, an extravaganza bargain event that takes place in a neighboring city. Every piece of trendy, super-hip clothing is marked at a 50-70% discount. Blue Bee Luxury - a new storeThis cottage size store draws hundreds of the sale-hungry along with the fire department who nobly attempts to tame the smitten and spellbound. These sale-seekers patiently wait in a queue normally reserved for a first-come, first-serve U-2 type concert.

Saturday came and though storm clouds filled the sky, rain was absent. As I approached the store, I anticipated the crowd. However, the sidewalk was empty. Not a sale fanatic in sight.

My heart beat a little faster when I realized there was no line. Then I noticed there were only eight customers in the entire store and all six dressing rooms were empty! The racks were bathed in a rosy hue and a heavenly choir began to sing. Could it be true?

I asked the nearest salesperson to pinch me.

“People keep calling and asking if it’s raining. I tell them no, but they still don’t show,” he helpfully explained.

I bought three super-chic items for under $100; my receipt told me that I’d saved almost two hundred dollars! I felt safe and warm and happy, roaming the two foot-wide aisles lined with carefully folded “Made in the USA” jeans and t-shirts. No stupers to fend-off or play tug-of-war with over the last cashmere sweater. A sales person actually found my sizes for me, unheard of during their typical, sunny, bring in the crowd sale day. All because the rain kept the stupers away.



Stupidity Gawks

Tuesday, October 23rd, 2007

Where there’s smoke, there’s a stuper (short for a conspicuously stupid person).

As you may know, fires have turned the blue skies of Southern California into a murky brown. Haze creeps along the hillsides and the air reeks of stale smoke. Thankfully, the fire near my home is under control. But there are many who are not as fortunate. Reports of the fires are all over the news, but what you may not hear about are the stupers.

Anytime there’s news of a disastrous situation, stupers feel a compelling urge to converge at the site of the calamity. They are irresistibly drawn to where they are least desired. The privacy of others becomes nonexistent.

I have a family member who lives near one of these fires. He had this to report,

“I can see flames as close as a mile away. We’re just waiting for word to evacuate. It’s getting dark and people are standing around. People I’ve never seen before. Looking for a place to park. Then getting out and just watching the flames. Our streets are usually quiet. Now they’re jammed. All I see is light from the fire and lights from cell phones. It looks like the Martians have landed.”

Stupers congregate to satisfy their insatiable curiosity and fascination with another’s misfortune. Plus, it gives them something to discuss for weeks, possibly in perpetuity.

There is only one cure for gawking stupers and that is, to put these meager minds to work. Give them axes, shovels and trays with water bottles and food to pass out to the hard-working fire fighters. Provide a portable blood donation vehicle and round up these stupers for donors (their brains may be deficient, but I feel confidant their blood is useable).

Potential spur-of-the-moment volunteerism would either deter stupers from rushing to disaster scenes or if they insist upon coming, it would make them useful. Even stupers like to be asked to help. It promotes a sense of self-importance, which they desperately need. It would also create productivity out of stupidity.



MMS or Stupidity?

Tuesday, October 16th, 2007

You’ve probably heard of experts who sometimes cross over to the other side. Police officers, whose job it is to apprehend criminals, become corrupt. Scientists, studying a disease, become infected. Stupidity specialists become stupid. I’d been wondering if the latter had happened to me. It had been hinted at quite often by a few of my close confidantes. Here’s what they’ve stated:

“You just don’t get it.” “That’s not what I said.” “Don’t you understand?”

These pronouncements were usually accompanied by shaking of the heads and looks of pity and annoyance. Sometimes, these remarks were even made to me while I’d been sitting silently for an hour, reading. Is it possible to be inactive and still act stupidly? Yes, according to my children.

Who are these confidantes? My very own teenagers.

I know the trials of having teens are temporary, like one long bout of indigestion, but who needs it? For instance, I commented to my younger son, Michael, about how nice it was that he was invited by a friend to be a guest at a private golf club. My son’s response,

“I’m not his guest!”

Obviously, a case of wrong word usage by me.

I asked my older son, James, if he’d like to take a mini ice chest to the beach with him to keep his drinks cool.

“What kind of question is that?”

Once again, I’d failed the I.Q. test.

I don’t really believe I was stupid all that often. But I do think I suffered from MMS – Mistreated Mom Syndrome – a condition thrust upon unsuspecting mothers with children who had entered the double-digit age bracket. Symptoms ranged from momentary displeasure to snarling fury. Moms often felt as if they were living the life of a serf in Teendom. I am convinced that a bleary, dreamy-eyed mother of teenagers wrote the escapist fairy tale, Cinderella.

I must add that despite being an MMS sufferer, I really do consider myself lucky. Teen torment didn’t start until my older son turned sixteen. And Michael only aggravated me intermittently. Those were the times that I was most stupid. Amazingly however, I received constant compliments on my kids’ behavior…outside of the home.

My stupidity appeared to be triggered by frustration, theirs and mine. I once advised my children that in order to work out a frustration, they should write a candid letter to the source, pouring out all that needed to be said. Afterwards, the undelivered note should be destroyed. Michael informed me that he was going to write just such a missive…to me. Only instead of tearing it up, he would graciously allow me to read it.

The letter went like this:

Dear Mom:

You think you have all the answers. (I try)

You need to be more laid back. (I probably would be a bit more relaxed if my kids were not teens who constantly kneaded me into a pliable dough).

You need to be nicer to me. (This demand was so ridiculous, it was scandalous).

You talk on the phone to Grandma way too much. (Hello? She is my official MMS complaint hotline).

You only think you have too much to do when in reality, you have plenty of time.  (This coming from a kid who once advised me to get a night job. That way I could make money and not cut into the time when he required my services).

Love, Michael

My son generously invited me to write him a letter in kind. So I sat down to write. My immediate reaction was to list his unappealing traits. But I didn’t. Instead, I re-read his note more closely. In a moment of sudden clarity, I realized what he was really saying:

Dear Mom,

You really do know a lot. That’s why it’s important to me to follow all the things you’ve taught me. I carry you around with me everywhere I go. I don’t always behave my best at home because sometimes, I need to test your love. I like it when all of your attention is on me.

Love, Michael

Okay, maybe I read a little too much between the lines, but basically I do not doubt that my children love me. The way they conduct themselves in public makes me proud. After all, if they cannot act like utter, immature fools at home, where can they?

In my letter to Michael, I decided to implement another piece of advice that I’d given them: nurture the good, so the good will grow. My letter went like this:

Dear Michael,

You are an outstanding young man whom I love dearly, and of whom I am very proud. Forgive my impatience with you sometimes, as I am still learning how to be the best mom.

Love, Mom

Let me tell you, I had him eating out of the palms of my hands for weeks afterwards. But truly, I realized that if I focused on their positive traits, all else would fall by the wayside.

Eventually, anyway.

Meanwhile, an impromptu shopping spree does wonders for MMS.

Think first.



Misunderstood Stupidity

Thursday, September 27th, 2007

I was recently rejected after an interview. Not a job interview or a                               magazine interview profiling bizarre writers claiming to be stupidity experts,  but a different sort of interview. Being of a resilient nature, I did what any semi-intelligent reject would do: changed my identity. But not without permission, of course.

It started when I’d filled out a four-page online adoption questionnaire. Canine adoption, that is, from a dog rescue group. I had one dog already; I decided it was time for another as our Aussie Shepherd, Rio, seemed lonely.

The adoption questions started out as standard fare, such as: “Do you have other pets?” and “Will you take your new dog for walks?”

But then they started getting a tad tricky with questions like, “Where will your new dog sleep?”

I answered that Rio sleeps wherever he likes. Sometimes inside and sometimes outdoors. The same will hold true for our new addition. This resulted in my immediate failure.

Unbeknownst to me, dogs from this rescue organization were not permitted to sleep outside, meaning anywhere not contained within the four walls of what was deemed human living quarters. I sent an e-mail, explaining that we leave it up to Rio to decide where to sleep. Sometimes he prefers to nestle down in my son’s bedroom and other times, he prefers to sleep outside. I received a response, asking me to define “outside.”

I explained, “Under the stars, or on the cool, green grass ‘neath the sweet-scented Magnolia tree, or in his fashionable, igloo style dog house.”

I received no further communication. I tried again, “If my new canine friend prefers to sleep inside, she is more than welcome.” “My bed is large and cozy.” “We live on fully fenced acreage, perfect for frolicking animals.” “I’m a good dog owner, I am!”

I had to face facts. I had been blackballed by the Dog Rescue Organization.

The fifty canines or so awaiting adoption at this organization were kept indoors, all together, in a room the size of a three car garage. I had heard that dogfights erupted now and then as the animals tousled for control. I could not believe that any dog would be happier there than in my home.  I called my mother.

“Do you want to adopt a dog?” I asked her.

“Not really.”

“Do you mind if I borrow your name and address and pretend to be you adopting a dog?”

“Go right ahead, dear.” 

Using my mother’s email address, I again filled out a questionnaire. This time I was successful because nowhere did I use the frowned upon “O” word. I was granted a personal interview.

Please do not think for a moment that I have a penchant for impersonating my mother. I merely felt I had been grossly misunderstood, and Mom was the only one who would allow me to borrow her identity, no strings attached. Once at the Rescue Headquarters, I was going to fess up.

When Rio and I arrived, (his presence was required so he could have a say in picking his new buddy), a very nice, exhausted looking young man named Kevin helped us. He never asked my name, merely wanting to know if I’d filled out the online questionnaire. Then he picked out a candidate to take for a walk with Rio and me. I said,

“I’m not sure if I’d make a good dog parent. There are things I need to explain.”

Kindly Kevin responded, “I can tell by the way you treat Rio that you’ll be very good.” 

Four dogs later, we hadn’t found the right fit. I had to reject the first one since the enthusiastic creature excelled in knocking me flat on my back; the next one kept giving Rio the evil eye; Rio displayed an exceptional loathing for the third one; and the last pooch kept mistaking Kevin for a fire hydrant. 

When Kevin went inside to change his pants, another representative came over to me. She narrowed her eyes and said, “I’ve been watching you.”

“Then…you know?”


“Should I leave?”

“You wait right there!” She went back into the shelter.

They’d figured it out. They were probably in a group huddle, deciding what to do with me. Rio looked at me as if to say, “Let’s make a run for it.” But I couldn’t. I had to state my case and face the consequences. 

The woman returned. At the end of her leash was a very sweet, young German Shepherd.  Rio made no objections. I said,

“About the application…”

 “I’m glad you reminded me. Will you take two dogs?”

At this point, I realized that no one here cared who the hell I was or where my dog slept at night. My confessing became irrelevant. This was a case of positive stupidity as we both came out better off after our contact. I learned never to borrow my mom’s identity again. The guilt of “fixing” the application was not worth repeating. And they found a good home for a needy pet.

Make thinking a habit!