Ever wonder why we’ve become so frustrated with people who take an illogical stand and refuse to recognize it regardless of age, profession, or its disastrous results? The dictionary defines such human beings as being “stupid,” and they show up all around us. Let’s examine a few of them and laugh to keep from sighing in frustration:
— I was in a car dealership recently, when a large brand new motor home was towed into the garage; it sported a badly mashed front. I asked the manager what had happened. He told me the driver had set the cruise control, then went in back to make a sandwich.
— I rented a movie from Blockbuster Video. Before the movie began, a message came on the screen saying, “This movie has been altered to fit your TV screen.” My partner looked puzzled, asking, “How do they know what size screen you have?”
— We had an intern who was none too swift. One day she was typing and turned to a secretary and asked, “I’m almost out of typing paper; what should I do?” “Just use copy machine paper,” the secretary said. With that, the intern took the last remaining blank paper and put it on the photocopier and proceeded to make five blank copies.
— I was signing the receipt for my credit card purchase when the clerk noticed that I had not signed my name on the back of the credit card. He informed me that he could not complete the transaction unless the card was signed. He explained that it was necessary to compare the signature on the credit card with the signature I just signed on the receipt. So I signed the credit card in front of him; he carefully compared that signature to the one I signed on the receipt. And as luck would have it, they matched.
– My friend went to a local Taco Bell and ordered a taco. She asked the fellow behind the counter for “minimal lettuce.” He said he was sorry, but they only had iceberg.
— I worked with an individual who worked next to me, plugged her power strip back into itself, and for the life of her could not understand why the system could not work.
— When I arrived at an automobile dealership to pick up our car, I was told that the keys had been accidentally locked in it. I went to the service department to find a mechanic working feverishly to unlock the driver’s side door. As I waited on the passenger’s side, I instinctively tried the door and found it open. “Hey, I announced, “it’s open!” “I know,” answered the young guy; “I already got that side.”
— The stoplight on the corner buzzes when it is safe to cross the street. I was crossing with an intellectually challenge co-worker on mine, when she asked if I knew what the buzzer was for. I replied that it signals to blind people when the light is red. She responded in horror: “What on earth are blind people doing driving?” she asked.
— And, finally, is this statement from a congressional candidate in Texas: “That lowdown scoundrel deserves to be kicked to death by a jackass, and I’m just the one to do it.”
Tangential to the above is the following, voted last year as the funniest joke by the British Association for the advancement of science:
Sherlock Holmes and Dr. Watson are going camping. They pitch their tent under the stars and go to sleep. Sometime in the middle of the night Holmes wakes Watson up. Holmes: “Watson, look up at the stars and tell me what you deduce.” Watson: “I see millions and millions of stars, and if there are millions of stars even a few of those have planets; it is quite likely that here are some planets like our Earth, and if there are a few planets like Earth out there, there might also be life.” Holmes: “Watson, you idiot, somebody stole our tent!”
Ultimately, I might mention in passing that the most famous satirist of all times, Jonathan Swift, who lived in Dublin, Ireland, during the 18th century, saw the horrors of stupidity around him and claimed that he wrote humorously to prevent crying. Wisely, he also mentioned that “The latter part of a wise person’s life is occupied with curing the follies, prejudices and also opinions that were contracted earlier.”
We could learn a great deal from that brilliant man, and if we laugh at the stupidity of others around us, be humbled by that final remark.