Archive for the ‘Religious stupidity’ Category

End of the World Stupidity

Thursday, May 19th, 2011

I’ve not been blogging regularly, but it’s not for want of subject matter. If anything, there is excess stupidity lately, and I don’t know which stuper (short for a horrendously stupid person) to tackle first.


I’m going to start with, what is certainly on most of our minds: the end of the world this Saturday, May 21st. It’s really a shame as the weather is supposed to be quite nice in Southern California this weekend, and I recently rescued a litter of tadpoles from certain death when their creekbed dried up. I don’t want my heroic efforts wasted.

Actually, it’s not the complete end, according to two well-known radio talk show sages,  Mark & Brian. But there will be major natural disasters, worldwide I presume, followed by five months of suffering, so that the actual end will occur in October. Shucks! my jack o’lantern pumpkin seeds are just sprouting.

I first heard about The End when I accidentally landed on a sketchy radio station a few months ago. I was captivated by the eerie, almost monstrous tone of the speaker. As I tried to figure out if modern science had taught a cockroach to talk, I learned the voice belonged to a stuper Preacher/radio show host. He took questions from listeners.  Keep in mind “took” does not mean “answer.” A caller asked how the good Preacher knew the date of The End. This was the Preacher’s reply:

“WHAT!? HOW DARE YOU ASK! I don’t have to answer that.” And he hung up on the caller.

At which point, I slipped in my Bad Company CD and forgot about The End.

But, as the media and the stupid among us do not permit us to maintain peace of mind for any great length of time, The End was brought to my attention again. I was asked by a gentleman passing by my office what would become of my animals when I went up to Heaven. Naturally, I was quite flattered that a stranger assumed my journey would be upwards, but nonetheless, I asked the reason for his concern, as I do love my chickens, dogs and newly acquired, object of affection: the tadpoles.

He identified himself as a member of HELLO -Help for Eternally Loved Lost Ones – an atheist group, exclusive to California, and dedicated to removing the burden of care of our precious pets as we begin the journey to the Pearly Gates.  How thoughtful, don’t you think?

Unfortunately, I was informed that due to high demand, the rates for such help had increased substantially. A small price to pay for peace of mind and security of our four legged and feathery friends (they’d not yet met my rabid, bantam rooster).  For $150, one pet at my residence would be saved. The rest would be saved at $50 per pet (keep in mind that I have about 70 tadpoles for which the generous atheist offered $20 per head or tail).

I sighed deeply at his offer, summoned up no less than forty truckloads of patience and gently informed him that he had three seconds to hightail it out before I picked up the large painting of a lovely pastoral scene behind my desk and smacked it over his hollow head (threats of violence do have their place, you know).

I haven’t seen him since. 

Think for yourself.


Stupidity is Intolerant

Saturday, December 20th, 2008

I’ve been blissfully enjoying stuper (short for an uncontrollably stupid person) free days lately. I’d like to believe it’s because I’ve become so expert, so fine-tuned to their inane ways and so staggeringly tolerant, that I have achieved the immunity that I’ve longed for. Then I received an e-mail from my cousin, Pauline, about an idiot relation. Immediately, my lukewarm blood boiled to molten lava temperatures. I virtually had to take an ice bath before I could sit and write this post, as a cool head and hand are required to be most effective (a cool hand to deter the possibility of strangulation of the stuper involved).

Pauline’s ten-year-old, Kara, is mildly autistic. Pauline has been beset by many trials in her life, so most of my authentic family members try to help her. Before I continue, please allow me to reiterate for new readers and my old, highly devoted readers who may need reminding: I consider religion to be a potentially wondrous and comforting guide to living life. However, in the hands of an idiot, it’s an open invitation for a sound whipping.

Aunt Hexaba is a well-known, much avoided, religious zealot. She is married to my uncle whose wealth is only surpassed by his wife’s miserliness and stupidity. Hexaba is avoided by most of our relatives, as her reputation is quite tarnished through every fault of her own. It’s impossible to converse with her and not be subjected to certain key terms: “sinner” “sins” and “sinful.” A broad vocabulary she has not. She’s has been doing jail ministries for years and gives numerous talks on how to help the downtrodden. Yet she perpetually leaves everyone who crosses her path feeling downtrodden in spirit if not outright enraged.

At a family gathering, Pauline’s daughter, Kara, wished to play with Hexaba’s granddaughter, Ruth-Esther, a sweet ten-year-old. After a few minutes of playing, Hexaba told Pauline that Kara was bothering Ruth-Esther and asked that she be taken away. I’ve witnessed their playing. Kara is a little loud. Ruth is quiet. Kara is excitable. Ruth is quiet. Kara is easily frightened. Ruth is quiet. For the remainder of the evening. Hexaba primly sat guard next to a silent Ruth. Kara sat nearby, rocking herself back and forth in distress. Pauline tried to coax her to play with other kids, but Kara wanted to stay near Ruth, much to Hexaba’s chagrin.

Hexaba puts up with prison inmates, atheists and an assorted variety of miserable sinners, yet she couldn’t manage to tolerate a little girl suffering from a legitimate intellectual impairment. I hold Hexaba up to the highest moral standards as she continually quotes from the Bible and reminds one and all that she is a Godly woman. She should set a superior example if she indeed wishes to convince others of the rightness of her beliefs. What is of importance is not mere faith, but a life of love, reason and justice based on good principles often found in the world’s religions. As it is, I personally contemplate atheism, paganism, communism and swift kickisms in the buttism whenever I’m in Hexaba’s presence. Even common houseflies hurriedly speed away when they catch wind of her.

If Ruth-Esther was bothered by Kara, the best course of action would have been for an intelligent adult (I use these terms strictly) to sit with the two little girls and gently monitor their behavior. At a past gathering, they’d played nicely together with an adult present. If Hexaba truly did not want Kara near her granddaughter, a white lie would have been appropriate.

“Ruth isn’t feeling too well today.”

That way Pauline’s feelings would have been spared and my blood pressure would have stayed at normal levels because I would not have received the e-mail from Pauline. Possibly too, at the hint of thought, Hexaba’s thimble size mind would have expanded just a tad, instilling hope in those around her.

I have tried being extra rude to Hexaba to get her mind to function; my sister has even been more insulting. I believe Hexaba has been subjected to a moderate dose of bodily harm. But alas! Her skin is as thick as the distance between Minneapolis and Lima, Peru. Nothing is able to penetrate.

I e-mailed Pauline back and suggested she keep her distance from Hexaba in the future as is customary among my thinking relatives. Hexaba’s unkind reaction to Kara was the result of Hexaba’s small mind. Intolerance shrinks the mind until there’s nothing left but a small, barely functioning remnant.

~ At least two thirds of our miseries spring from human stupidity. ~ Aldous Huxley

Why not think?


Stupidity and the Three Ds: Divorce, the Devil and the Derrière

Sunday, October 12th, 2008

Lord have mercy, I’m back.

Last week, when I watched a portion of the Presidential debate, I realized there was one question of vital importance that needed to be asked. This query, if answered well, could propel a candidate into a decisive lead and victory. Alas, this crucial question was not posed. Namely: what do you think of religious fanatics?

I define religious fanatics as interfering, uncontrollable, iron-tongued, meager-minded zealots who feel compelled to announce to all who cross their crooked paths that theirs is the only true religion. Their minds are not entirely empty, but rather stuck on one noisy track and one track only. They haphazardly scatter this skewed belief, guaranteeing that onlookers and unfortunate listeners will either be dumbfounded, scramble for cover, conduct a verbal assault and/or inflict bodily harm on said fanatic. This brand of stuper (short for a pungently stupid person) has promoted deafness and helped the earplug industry enormously.

When my beloved grandmother passed away two weeks ago, I wrote a eulogy that I knew I’d be unable to read aloud without choking up. So in a moment of weakness or madness or possibly both, I asked my religious fanatic, Class AAA++ stuper Aunt Iris, to read it for me. Iris is married to Grandma’s eldest.

Iris did an astonishingly fine job of reading a eulogy at my grandfather’s memorial service years earlier, meaning it occurred without incident or offense and actually came across sounding meaningful. I thought that although she lacked credibility in all areas imaginable, including, but not limited to, cooking, travel arrangements and gift giving, perhaps eulogy reading appeared on her extremely short list of actual and only slightly arguable, skills. Plus, Grandma always managed to get along with Iris. If Granny could do it, so could I, damn it!

My eulogy revealed how my grandparents provided a haven for the grandchildren (six of us) whose parents were divorced; how Grandma created a devil’s knot (a simple knot) on a handkerchief and managed to locate lost items (an old custom from the place where she grew up) and how she once kicked a servant in the posterior (when she was nine-years-old) for trying to physically punish Granny’s younger brother.

I e-mailed my eulogy to Iris. This was her response:

“I feel uncomfortable talking about divorce. I feel uncomfortable talking about the Devil. And I don’t know why, but I feel uncomfortable talking about the kick in the derrière. So I’m going to edit it.”

Ah, the nonsensical ways of stupidity! Yes, I did want to give Iris a kick in the rear to remind her that this was not about her. And that it wasn’t all that long ago when Iris herself was advocating divorce for her son and his wife to all with unplugged ears because she did not approve of her daughter-in-law.

If the practice of religion makes no improvement in a person’s outward talk and actions – if she continues to be just as greedy, spiteful or idiotic as before – then this practice is illusory. A great interest in religion is meaningless unless it spurs on better behavior and greater thought.

I revoked my request, in the nicest possible way, of Iris, and instead turned my eulogy into a memory book adding sentiments from my cousins. Meanwhile, I redirected my attention to the memorial service and devised a plan enabling me to effortlessly leap over the empty heads of my other abundant stuper relatives and get through it all while maintaining my sanity.

I focused only on those who’d made a positive difference in my grandmother’s life by giving her the gift of their time and kindness. I told each one how much they meant to her. I knew who Grandma’s favorites were, as I had the privilege of being on her inside track.

I made it. All it took was a little thought.


The Hours of Operation of Stupidity

Wednesday, September 3rd, 2008

One of my favorite childhood memories, besides being ignorant of the very existence of stupers (short, once more, for earnestly stupid persons) recalls visits to a breathtakingly beautiful and serene sanctuary. This Shangri-La showcased a swan-laden lake, flanked by soft pathways winding around lush green gardens sheltering fragrant, multi-hued flowers. Did I mention the quaint windmill chapel? The gurgling waterfalls?

The Self-Realization Fellowship and Lake Shrine is a haven that welcomes people of all faiths, promoting quiet introspection and appreciation, as well as escape from the raw frets of everyday life and exasperating bouts with stupidity. The Center is to seekers of harmony and tranquility what Las Vegas is to chain-smoking, whiskey-toting, greasy-pawed gamblers.

Fast-forward a few decades.

Husband, Son #2 and I happened to be in Los Angeles, near the Shrine. We paid a visit. It was even more stunningly picturesque than I remembered. I felt a major comforting, spiritual vibe.

A few months later, Husband and I once again paid the Shrine a visit. We arrived at 4:15 p.m. on a gorgeous Saturday.

“Sorry,” said the nice, droopy mustached, parking lot gatekeeper. “I can’t you let in. We close in fifteen minutes.”

“You close at 4:30 on a Saturday afternoon during the summer?” I asked just to make sure we understood each other.

“We close at 4:30 everyday,” the sweet, young man declared with a friendly grin.

Two days later, on Monday, we returned in the late morning hours. They were closed. The gates are locked every Monday.

Several months after that, I happened to be in the vicinity and tried again, persistent seeker of peace that I am, toting Mom and Son #2. I gingerly drove into the parking lot on a bright Saturday, around noon. The very pleasant gatekeeper waved one hand in greeting while the other displayed a large sign like this,

“We’re having a special event today,” he graciously announced.

“So you’re closed?” I asked, with little surprise and several tons of annoyance.

“Only the parking lot is closed. You’re still welcome to visit,” he laughingly explained. “Just go out the driveway, make a right, then make another left on the first street on your left and there should be parking two or three blocks down.”

This is the part where I tell my dear readers that I did a donut with my car in the freshly asphalted, ample-size Shrine parking lot, but alas, I did not. My highly impressionable teen for whom I must perpetually set a good example sat in my vehicle, as well as Mom, who probably would have enjoyed the amateur automotive theatrics. By the way, there were plenty of empty spaces in the lot.

For those of you unfamiliar with Southern California, permit me to explain why I would not and could not park up the street or anywhere outside of the Shrine grounds. The Shrine is located on Sunset Boulevard on a blind corner. Sunset, at times, is the rough equivalent of the German Autobahn. It’s true; I sought peace, but I did not want to rest in peace just yet. Crossing Sunset without benefit of traffic lights or police escort was on my never to do list.

A soothing mecca should be readily available to the spiritually needy. Otherwise, what’s the point? This slice of paradise in the city was not easily accessible by the proletariat or anyone overloaded by stress. But more importantly for now, what is my point?

In modern times and throughout human history, a struggle has existed between humans, their activities, desires and ambitions. Why the struggle? Because most of us seek answers outside of ourselves. Of course, stupers don’t even seek answers. But the rest of us do. I felt I needed to be in a particular setting to find harmony. But peace of mind is something that already exists within each of us.

Mental tranquility can’t be won over by brief or superficial efforts. We need to weed out bitter thoughts on a regular basis and plant loving ones instead. Then we create our own lush gardens that follow us wherever we go.

Think only the best thoughts.


Part 2 of “The True Meaning of No Trespassing”

Tuesday, May 13th, 2008

Be back shortly with a new episode – “Traveling Stupidity” (what else?). Now for the conclusion of last time’s story:

Back to my last question from Part 1: why open the front door when I know that there are iron-tongued sermonizers (no, I did not make up that word) on the other side? Those of you who are thinking that I’d be better off ignoring them are absolutely right. I could have ignored them. But I did not want to live a life of fear, avoidance or annoyance, for that matter.

I resided in a neighborhood. I opened the door to girl scouts and school kids selling candy. If a neighbor wanted to stop by for a chat, I was game. However, I did not want to be held hostage by those who insisted I was going to Hell if I did not agree with their tilted doctrine.

The question here is not, “Must all people think alike?” That question is rhetorical. The real question is, “Must all people think?” Yes! Unless a person has harnessed his or her power of intuition to the degree of having a workable sixth sense, we all must think.

Imagine for a moment, a world where everyone exercised thought before speaking or acting. Kindly, meaningful thought. Then the sign, “No trespassing” would actually have significance. It would make sense. Instead of opening a closed gate just to drive to a stranger’s home to tell them that the world is coming to an end, that there is only one true religion and that, unless I join up, I’m going to be obliterated at Armageddon, perhaps a proselytizer could take a different approach. They could leave their lighthearted (I couldn’t resist) pamphlets for me to read at my leisure with a note thanking me for my time and consideration. Then I might actually read and maybe even learn something.

My intent is not to belittle anyone’s religion. As stated in Part 1, I believe religion can provide a tremendous sense of comfort. It’s the aggressiveness associated with some faiths that I find needlessly offensive.

I responded fiercely to the gatecrashers because they took me by surprise, and I regressed to my old, intolerant self. Yes, even stupidity specialists have relapses. Once I stopped to assess the situation, I realized that I could have handled it in a positive manner.

Going door-to-door is a necessary prerequisite to living life for some people, however disagreeable I might find it. My resistance only made me upset. The periodic intrusion is acceptable; I needed to use a more compassionate reaction: to smile and say, “No, thank you.” This way we all live happily ever after, and stupidity slinks quietly away.



The True Meaning of “No Trespassing” to the Stupid Mind

Thursday, May 8th, 2008

I’ve been summoned to leave my post to study stupidity in sand and surf studded Southern California with sons and spouse, and to scrutinize the social significance of stupers (I really just wanted to test my powers of alliteration). Actually, I’m away for the next few days and leave you with a little something from the archives on religious stupidity:

Wouldn’t you agree that religion, spirituality, and a belief in the Divine can provide wondrous contentment? Religion has the potential to fortify the soul…and hopefully, the mind.

I believe spirituality is a private matter, to be discussed in a proper venue where one is voluntarily present or among friends who have chosen to engage in a conversation of a religious nature. My front doorstep does not constitute a proper venue. Never-before-seen people do not constitute friends.

Anytime anyone aggressively promotes their religion while invading the privacy of another, it’s highly probable that sheer stupidity is at work.

Last week, I was on an important phone call in my home, minding my own business. It was one of those glorious mornings, where I found myself alone for a few hours to do as I pleased; my husband and kids were away.

Some background on my home: my driveway has a gate which is closed. Said driveway is just under 200 feet long and wraps around my house. You cannot see the house from the street. I live in a community of 52 homes; the entrance sports a large sign stating, “No trespassing. Must have owner’s approval.” What exactly does “No Trespassing” mean?

My two dogs began to bark furiously. As I sat in my office, I saw a BMW SUV drive completely around my house and park somewhere near the front door. I figured a neighbor had an emergency of some kind. Placing my caller on hold, I stepped outside. Two people waited in the car while a woman stood next to the vehicle, held at bay by my extremely intelligent, nine-month-old German Shepherd, Barbie. Dog #2 had found the visitors boring and took a nap.

“The other dog is fine, but I don’t know about this one,” were her first words (the woman’s words, not Barbie’s).

No attempt to identify herself, explain why she needed to trespass or that she was in fact, a dreaded religious proselytizer. I pointed to the gate and said in my best Darth Vader voice, “GO!”

Forget about the fact that Barbie could have bitten her (if she was that type of dog, which she’s not) or that, for all these trespassers knew, I was waiting with a sawed-off shotgun. No one wants to be accosted in their home. How about that “No trespassing” sign? Were these religious intruders illiterate, foreign or blind? No, they just thought…whoops! No thought. Therein lies the problem. The sign meant something to the reasoning mind. The meager mind just saw a blank sign.

My one word sent them scuttling away so fast, they completely forgot to leave me a ubiquitous “End of the World” pamphlet. That was a first. In the past, these unannounced, headache-inducing-drop-bys truly disturbed my sense of equilibrium.

When I lived in Los Angeles, these gate-crashing worshipers appeared on my front porch nearly every time I opened the door. They came weekly; sometimes twice weekly. Word must have gotten out that I was in dire need of conversion. It got so bad that the mere sight of a neatly dressed, average looking person on my doorstep sent me sobbing into the depths of my home. One poor man rang my doorbell sending me into hysterics the moment I laid eyes on him. He calmed me by managing to convince me that he’d merely stopped by to tell me my front sprinkler was broken, spewing water onto the street.

You may be asking right about now, why open the door? The answer to this and more on Monday.

Keep thinking.


Recourse for When A Relative Acts Stupidly

Monday, February 25th, 2008

I received the following e-mail about a problem with a stuper (short once more, for an unflappably stupid person). This particular stuper was a relative whose stupidity showed no signs of diminishing:

Dear Keli,

I’m upset. I need relief from a dose of stupidity. I am a forty-year-old real estate agent. I have a thirty-five -year-old cousin, Darin, who’s a doctor. He moved to my area, and I sold him his home. Everything went smoothly. We’ve always been friends as well as family. We got together quite a bit. One year later, Darin decided to list his home for sale, but didn’t bother to mention it to me. I read about it in a mass e-mail to family and friends. I called him and asked if I could help him sell his house. I thought maybe he wanted to sell it on his own. He said his new “best friend” from Church was going to list it and sell it. I was not happy, and I told him. He did apologize, but I still feel hurt. He no longer sends me any e-mails. I rarely hear from him now. I’ve only known him his whole, entire life! I resent the fact that he went to some one else. How could he do this to me? I’d like to beat the cr*p out of him. I think that might make me feel better. Am I being bit**y or was he being stupid?

Mad as Hell

Readers, what one trait openly distinguishes human from beast? I ask because it’s a flaw that marks most stupers. Read on to find out: 

Dear Mad:

There is one obvious attribute that separates man from beast (and I’m not even sure if this is always a telltale sign): the ability to effectively communicate. You feel let down by Darin’s lack of communication with you as well as his unexpectedly shoddy behavior. But from your letter, it appears you’ve been harboring ill-will towards him for over a year. That’s at least 364 days too long. Ill-will is a scrubbing brush that wears away the hand and heart of the holder.

In order to maintain your sanity, you must take refuge in thoughts of good-will any time you think of Darin. Negative thoughts do more harm than good. And it does sound as if you have some pleasant memories to call forth. Granted, he let you down, but so what? People, especially those who subscribe to the minimalist school of thought, can behave contemptibly. It appears that you told Darin how you felt. That should have given you some satisfaction.  However, if you still feel remnants of hostility towards him, I have a suggestion. This is a tactic I’ve utilized myself, and it works. Here’s a list of the items you’ll need:

–  At least three clear photos of Darin, preferably showing him smiling;

–  A pair of recently sharpened, sewing scissors; and

–  One small wastepaper basket.

Find a quiet spot at home and make yourself comfortable with the above materials. Pick up a picture of Darin and commence to cut. Take your time. Start with the head, if you like, and snip away until Darin (pieces of his photo, that is) could fit neatly inside of an ant colony. Continue until you can find the humor in what you’re doing or until you become exhausted, whichever comes first. Laugh away or wear down the grudge you’ve been cultivating.

Don’t grudge the people who pushed you down. They could be the ones to help you up the next day ~ unknown


When Stupidity Gives Advice

Tuesday, January 29th, 2008

I’ve been receiving a recurring complaint from readers expressing their unmitigated frustration at presumptuous stupers (yet again, a term for uncontrollably stupid persons) who insist on giving unsolicited advice. These stupers believe there’s only one right way to live: their way. Here’s a sample e-mail (shortened for brevity):

Dear Keli,

My sister-in-law, Hortense, is a complete stuper. You see, we have boys the same age. Whatever activity her son, Herman, participates in, she insists mine do the same. Herman loves soccer. Hortense says that if I don’t enroll my child in soccer, I’ll be making a huge mistake. I keep telling her, we tried it and didn’t like it, but Hortense just shakes her head at me like I’m crazy. She does this with everything. She discovered religion three years ago and now her family goes to church every Sunday. We don’t. I’m constantly reminded that we’ll be going to Hell. She makes me feel like I’m a bad mom and a bad person. I’m so upset!


Can’t Take it Anymore in Cincinnati

Concern TrollStupidity can be annoyingly meddlesome. At the risk of causing offense, I believe some stupers have a knack of making going to hell sound like a pleasure trip. Mainly because they won’t be there. Hortense may have discovered Jesus a few years ago, but it appears she misplaces Him at her convenience. Tolerance is not part of stupidity’s itinerary.

This is my response:

Dear Can’t Take It:

I’m sorry to hear of your stuper troubles. I have a relevant question for you: What would you do if you’d just lay down to rest and from nowhere (as stupers are wont to do) appears a rough, itchy, heavy blanket that lands right atop your resting body? Would you continue to lie there or fling off the worthless burden, leap out of bed, and possibly, if so motivated, tear said blanket to bits? Of course, this can be done in a more placid manner as well, meaning you may calmly get up and remove the ponderous blankie, then return to your repose and more important matters.

If I may borrow a few words from a speech by Churchill, there’s no room for the “…weakling, for the shirker, or the sluggard” when it comes to stupidity. I feel certain Hortense empties the contents of her meager mind because you appear to be easy prey.

I suggest you use your words, and as few as possible, to tell Hortense to buzz off. You are at an advantage since you seem to know what to expect from her. If you don’t feel like speaking to her, nod your head and smile (smile is optional) when she offers her so-called advice. She’ll get bored and stop. If you give her a reaction, she’ll continue, as stupidity loves attention.

I’ve found most stupers really do talk too much. They are clueless about the power of their words. Even thinkers who take advantage of the telephone, the internet and other modern everyday luxuries, usually take the words they utter for granted. Why not take advantage of our words? Stupers don’t use them well which is all the more reason why the rest of us should. There is a great power behind words. They shape our circumstances – and our lives.

Watch your words. And watch out for Stupers giving advice.


Charitable Stupidity

Wednesday, December 19th, 2007

Are you familiar with the adage “if charity is worth doing, it should begin as far away from home as possible and preferably on the other side of the world where it can be combined with a little vacation time and fun?” (Excuse me while I take a breath). I sincerely hope you are not familiar with this saying. Otherwise, you’d fall into the undesirably dense category of stuper (short again for a deplorably stupid person).

My dear friend Becky, practices law. She manages to escape once per month for a week to visit her elderly father who lives eight hours away in a nursing home for veterans. As you may imagine, Becky is a generous, kindhearted person.

Becky’s older sister, Dana, also a lawyer, does not visit Dad more than once annually. Poor Dana has no time, gosh darn it. Her newfound religion requires her to take far-flung missions to spread the teachings of her faith. Last year, she traveled to China and got to see the Great Wall. And before that, a ski trip to the Swiss Alps was in order. She’s thinking of the Greek isles for next year. Although her father calls and tells her he misses her, Dana knows he understands. People who live on the other side of the earth are just as important as ailing Daddy. Actually, according to Dana, they’re more important.

Then there’s Melissa who lives ten minutes away from her grandparents. They see her at family gatherings every so often. They’d like to see more of her, but Melissa is very involved in her junior league charity work. It’s a wonderful organization that throws posh parties, proper teas and even arranges Caribbean cruises for members…when they’re not distributing cans and gathering scarves for the homeless, of course. Granny and Grandpa just aren’t as fun as Melissa’s charity group pals.

Stupers have a sort of brain fog when it comes to charity. To be meaningful, volunteer type activity for stupers must involve more than just helping others. And it’s far more interesting when aid involves people they don’t know.

If you keep your eyes and ears open (unlike stupers who have about as much awareness as a split pea), you’ll notice there are always people who need help: the older man without a cell phone who’d like to make a quick call, but isn’t allowed to use the store phone; the weary looking lady behind you in line at the market with only one or two items; or the forlorn faced person who could use a friendly smile. And for more formal charitable work, there’s the public library, local homeless shelter, the Humane Society, senior center, Boys and Girls’ Clubs…

Stop and think about what you’re doing…or not doing.


Stupidity Attempts Conversation During Dinner

Tuesday, December 11th, 2007

Ah! What an enormous pleasure it is to feast on a sumptuous meal in excellent company. Unfortunately, nothing can deflate a delectable dining experience faster than doleful, depressing subject matter, i.e., when a stuper (that’s right; short again for an egregiously stupid person) spills the measly contents of its meager mind on the table. The unintelligent excel in spreading rubbish, diminishing all flavor and appetite. Allow me to demonstrate:

I attended a dinner party and shared a table with eight wonderful family members. We discussed our children, the weather, pets, books we’ve skimmed, recipes we’ve altered and social encounters we wished we could have skimmed or altered.

In addition to the eight pleasing relations, there sat two seasoned, industrious and steadfast stupers among us: Iris (who’s been studying the Bible for over three decades and has made, I ‘m afraid, not a shred of progress), and Gil, a fifty-three-year old bachelor/trust fund recipient/atheist.

My cousin, Scott, discussed filming his surfing documentary when he unintentionally grabbed the ears of the hollow headed:

Scott: I filmed these huge waves in Pebble Beach last week and…

Gil: I heard about the surfer that got killed there on Tuesday. Is that when you were there?

Scott: Oh yes, that…

Iris: Someone was killed? (She poked her nose in, interrupting herself while in mid conversation with my aunt).

Gil (to Scott): Did you know him?

Scott: I was there because the waves were really high…

Iris: Did you see the body?

Gil: You think you could have saved him?

Iris: How did it make you feel?

Scott: Well…

Iris: Did you get it on film?

Scott: I didn’t even know anything happened ’til much later.

Iris: You can sell the film to a TV station.

Scott caught my eye.

Me: It’s not right to profit that way.

Scott: No, I don’t think so either.

I, stupidity specialist that I humbly am, had intuitively tuned out the beginning of this conversation until the very end when I heard Iris suggest selling the footage. Then I had to put my foot down. Unfortunately for Iris, I was wearing four-inch heels (the kind that needs to be sharpened with a file now and then), and she wore rubbery sandals. Thankfully, paramedics were not necessary.

Meal times, especially at festive affairs, should be mirthful, relaxing occasions. Conversations should lean toward the lightweight and harmonious.

There are three ways to handle those who wish to discuss distressing news at the dinner table:

  1. gently steer the conversation back to a different, more palatable topic;
  2. scold the stuper for his/her attempt at spoiling everyone’s appetite; or
  3. get up from your seat with your filled beverage glass, walk over to the stuper and pour out the liquid over the stuper’s head..accidentally, of course.

Common sense is not so common ~ Voltaire

Think for yourself.