By: Wayne Brown
Most folks know that Albert Einstein was a bit of a genius eventually formulating the theory and the formula of relativity with regard to our universe. One incredible strength which Einstein possessed that goes unnoticed much of the time is his ability to watch people and form conclusions. Einstein once remarked, “Only two things are infinite, the universe and human stupidity, and I am not sure about the former.” Einstein was unique in that he exhibited a high level of intellectual intelligence, far beyond the common man, yet retained the ability to observe mankind in its natural environment and record the stupidity of deviating from the common sense path…a true genius, he was.
Some stupid things that I wonder about all the time are: How does one take two years of driver’s education only to come out mastering the inability to make a properly sequenced and executed left turn? Since when is a proper left turn made using the flat tangent technique employed by Formula One race car drivers? Is it stupid? Most certainly! Well, why is that smart guy? Because your attorney has probably never really read you the legal definition of “negligence” as it pertains to operating an automobile on public roads. Such turns cause the turning driver to temporarily or momentarily occupy the space of the driver at or approaching the intersection. In effect, such a move can cause a head-on collision which leaves you, acting as the person controlling the car through the turn, at risk of being declared negligent in your approach to driving, a factor which causes big liability pay outs to wreck-chasing lawyers and is directly proportional to the level of your future insurance rates…assuming you can get insurance. So rock on racecar driver…you will eventually arrive at the height of stupid…just keep making those left turns.
How is it that we, as human beings, are blessed with the ability to both remember and reason on the basis of that memory yet seemingly ignore the fact. For example, if you went into 7-Eleven yesterday morning and made yourself a large cup of coffee into which you had to empty five containers of creamer and ten small bags of sugar, then why on God’s green earth do you reason that the large cup of coffee you get today will not require the same amount of those same ingredients to acquire the taste level you desire? Do you not remember? Maybe you need to learn to count and write things down! Instead I have stand over in the corner while you empty all that crap in your coffee one container or bag at a time, then stir, then taste, then repeat the cycle until essence is reached. Duh! Look around Jack, it can’t be that hard!
Why is there seldom ever anyone in the meat market at the grocery store to wait on potential customers? I know you must be there for I see all those little shrimp arranged on beds of shaved ice ever so pretty…you are an artist with meat! But, you hide in the back and make me wait! How the hell do you think that meat is getting out of here if people like me don’t buy it? Your goal should be to end the day with empty cases so that you don’t have to put it all away. Then when you do show up to wait on me, you get that attitude that waiting on me is beneath your dignity; like you are on assignment and the time it takes to get me a half-pound of cooked shrimp is infringing on your true genius. Let the fantasy go, Hubert, and get my damn shrimp!
Then I go down to Home Depot or Lowes and walk into the paint department…nobody there either. I catch myself wondering if all the paint shop workers were once butchers down at Kroger…still on assignment, huh? After waiting for the patience to wear paper thin, here he come waltzing his butt from somewhere in the back. He asks me the ultimate stupid question, “How can I help you?” Guess what friend? I want to buy some friggin’ paint! Does that come as a surprise to you? Maybe paint ain’t your thing! So I tell him, “I want to buy some paint” and just when I think I cannot get madder, he replies, “Oh, you gonna paint somethin’?” Why hell yes I am going to paint something! You don’t really think I came down here to get two gallons of “Warm Eggshell White” semi-gloss so that the little wife and I can serve it with the main course at dinner tonight with our friends do you? Then I glance around trying to shed some of the anger this Einstein has brought upon me. Right away I notice that all around the paint shaking machine is years and years of signs of spilled paint on the floor. Look, I know the intellectual side of paint is in the mixing but how big of an idiot do you have to be not to secure the lid back on the can before you shake the living hell out of it! Then, amazingly, the paint has a chance to dry before he can clean it up sufficiently to remove the evidence of the blunder. Why not hang a sign that says, “Caution, We Spill A Hell Of A Lot Paint On the Floor Here”. Have you ever watched paint dry…do you know how long it takes? Are you blind? Ray Charles and Stevie Wonder working together would leave less paint on the floor.
This morning I turned on my computer and tuned into AOL as I normally do. There in one of the articles of interest which flashes continuously across the welcome screen is a picture of Princess Kate of England in one of her “skinny-minny” poses with her dark brunette locks coiffed to a tee. The headline of the story read…”It’s not that hard to get Kate’s look!” I’m going…”what?” You see, I ‘m a guy and the only look us guys would be looking for from Kate is a look that upstanding, young, married women should not be handing out in public…you know…the “come on look”. Well, after glancing at the article a bit, I find that it is not about that at all. No, it is about other women making themselves look like Kate. I have not seen anything like this since they wore those rubber disguises on the original Mission Impossible. Before you know it, some guy is saying, “Hey I thought I went home with Princess Kate last night…fooled me. Turned out it was Phyllis Diller wearing makeup. I guess you could say that I got fooled….sure glad it wasn’t a guy…you know what I mean?” Now, I’m startin’ to wonder if my wife is the woman that I married or some woman who got her look. They may be holding the real thing hostage somewhere while they play me like a fool. You can’t be too careful.
I was at the local 7-Eleven yesterday morning on my normal mission to secure a hot cup of Joe to take into the office. By now the clerks recognize me as “that famous writer who lives here in town.” I try not to impair their fantasies with any “aw shucks” routine and just go with it. They don’t mess with me much either because, even though they are young and totally out of touch with wisdom, they do grasp the power of the mighty pen. Anyway, we were making small talk as I brewed up my large coffee and I asked one of them if it was cold back there in that “Chuck Berry” cooler in the back of the store. He looked rather confused as if maybe he was not sure who Chuck Berry was this day and time. He paused then he asked me, “why would you call it a Chuck Berry cooler?” Well, I had to laugh and then I shot him the answer…”because it is filled with T.V. Dinners and Ginger Ale”….you know like that Chuck Berry song says “the coolerater was filled TV dinners and ginger ale”. This set off a round of laughter and placed me even higher on that pedestal of famous writers who are wise beyond their ears. They asked, “did you just make that up”….why hell yes I did! You don’t think I bought it somewhere do you? Pay attention! Simple minds are easily entertained!
Singer/Songwriter, Willie Nelson, sold the song “Night Life” for a whopping $150 back in the 50’s. The song went on to be a major hit and became one of the most recorded songs of all time. Willie never earned another nickel off of it. Now Willie could argue that the song was not a hit at the time thus the money looked real good. He could also point out that he got three times more for it than he did his first song, “Family Bible”. Could this be living proof that a bird in the hand is still worth two in the bush?
Actor, Gary Busey, crashed his Harley and almost killed himself coming away with massive head trauma. Busey was by choice not wearing a helmet. Now the question arises, “was that a stupid thing to do or would the helmet have made a difference in the end?” I guess we would have to run two crash test on ol’ Gary to really know. Sometimes “cool” is not what you think it is…remind yourself of that next time you are sliding down the asphalt watching your Harley tumble along behind you. The real test of crazy is whether you would go out and do it again expecting a different result. Somehow I kind of think that Busey would.
I’ll close this rambling piece with three quotes which I think really sums up where we have come to in the journey so far. The first is one by former President Dwight D. Eisenhower who remarked, “America is more like it is today than at any other time in its history.” I had to think about it a minute, then I decided that I had to agree, in fact, I wondered why he would point out the obvious, then I remembered that although he was a former General in the army, he was really a politician at heart. The Department of Social Services in Greenville SC, sent out a letter to an individual receiving food stamps which read, “Your food stamps will be stopped effective March 1992 because we received notice that you passed away. May God bless you. You may reapply if there is a change in your status.” It’s good to know that the dead folks are not on welfare. Then the icing on the cake comes via the former Chairman of the Federal Communications Commission, who remarked regarding a new electronic heart device, “If somebody has a bad heart, they can plug this jack in at night as they go to bed and it will monitor their heart throughout the night. And, the next morning, when they wake up dead, there’ll be a record. Well, at least we covered the important end of that transaction…we all need good records.
Americans can bask in the warmth of knowing that there is an endless supply of stupidity piling up out there every day…certainly more than enough to go around. I seriously doubt that it will be going away unless the government attempts to regulate it or tax it which is highly likely if anyone up there in Washington discovers that it has any value to the consuming public. But don’t be alarmed, I doubt that Congress has the guts to impose a tax on it because they will be hurt by the tax far more than anyone else in America. You see, it is a known fact that Washington is the world’s largest breeding ground for acts of stupidity. Chew on that a while. WB
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2 August 2012