Driving home today I saw an individual exhibiting some amazingly asinine behavior and I realized that there are things in this world that I simply do not comprehend. This is not a case of shrouding myself in ignorance … a trait I abhor … it is about why people do some of the stupid things they do. Here are a mere ten examples of things I do not understand. Let me half-heartedly apologize in advance if you take offense. I am sure you will soon get over it.
- Those who answer rhetorical questions and think they are the wittiest person of my acquaintance. When will the general public learn that inquiries of the rhetorical nature are not meant to be answered?
"Please don't interrupt me when I'm asking rhetorical questions."
~Mission Impossible III, Film (2006)
- Small town police officers who park their squad cars semi-hidden in the same spot every day in an effort to catch speeding motorists. The words “small town” bear repeating here. C'mon, Barney Fife, we all know you are there!
“The backbone of surprise is fusing speed with secrecy.” ~Karl von Clausewitz
- Brainless individuals who smoke cigarettes or cigars while filling up their preferred mode of transportation with gas/petrol/fuel (whatever it is called in your part of the world). Do you read the signs? You are aware that petrol is FLAMMABLE, right? One would think I would take this opportunity to also point out the brilliance of someone who chooses to smoke in the first place. However, having once been a smoker myself, I understand there are a million reasons not to quit such a foul habit … such as stress, boredom, the utter joy of having a mouth that tastes like an ash tray, the belief that nicotine curbs ones appetite and you will stay skinnier, or the desire to commit suicide in a most prolonged and painful manner. Good reasons, don’t you think?
“It's a hundred and six miles to Chicago, we've got a full tank of gas, half a pack of cigarettes, it's dark, and we're wearing sunglasses. Hit it.” ~The Blues Brothers, Film (1980)
- People who continuously pound on my door because they “know I’m in there” even though the door has remained closed. Take the hint! I’m not going to answer. I may be in the bath. I could be stirring my risotto. I may know you are here to play with one of my children and they are visiting their father this week and I have already told you this more than once in the last day or two. I may be writing. I may be asleep or (more likely when alone) I am in some state of undress or just plain naked. Knock. By all means – keep knocking. I am not Jesus. The door shall not be opened.
“However much you knock at nature's door, she will never answer you in comprehensible words.” ~Ivan Turgenev
- Whining. My children get nothing out of a whine. I don’t even acknowledge it. They have learned. For all the peace in the world – this reality needs to be taught to every child in order to one day eliminate the phenomenon that is a whining adult.
“When you face adversity, you don't whine or complain. You've got to move on.” ~Paul Barnes
- Drunkenness. Why? I am not opposed to social drinking in moderation, but do people truly enjoy having no control over their own mind, body and tongue? People do and say the most moronic things while intoxicated: passing out on restroom floors, spontaneous marriages, telling secrets given to one in confidence … or driving, for instance. Duh!
“One reason why I don't drink is because I wish to know when I am having a good time.” ~Nancy Witcher Astor
- Women who willingly and eagerly kiss a man that chews tobacco or dips snuff completely baffle me. That … is … just … foul, disgusting, gross – I can’t find a strong enough adjective. It’s nasty.
This is what a kiss should be:
“She lifted her face to him, and he bent forward and kissed her on the mouth, gently, with the one kiss that is an eternal pledge. And as he kissed her his heart strained again in his breast. He never intended to love her. But now it was over. He had crossed over the gulf to her, and all that he had left behind had shriveled and become void.” ~D.H. Lawrence, The Horse Dealer’s Daughter
- Spending endless amounts of money and time in a tanning bed – Hello? We have this fabulous orb in the sky that shows up every day without fail. It’s called the Sun. A little tanning for a supposed healthy glow I do understand – somewhat. Me? I am white. We’re talking Nicole Kidman white. WHITE! My theory is that I subjected my poor epidermal covering to an astounding amount of sun damage as a kid and teenager growing up on the equator … enough to last a lifetime. I don’t want my face looking like something that came out of a leather tannery.
“Sunburn is very becoming, but only when it is even - one must be careful not to look like a mixed grill.” ~Noel Coward
- Eating disorders. Fine, I could stand to lose a few pounds … or a lot … but I could never, ever, ever, ever stop eating or intentionally force regurgitation multiple times a day. As a sufferer of mental illness I should be able to empathize. Yet, I can’t.
“No diet will remove all the fat from your body because the brain is entirely fat. Without a brain, you might look good, but all you could do is run for public office.” ~George Bernard Shaw
- Complacency in the workplace. Is it too much to ask for people to take some sort of pride in their work? I may not absolutely adore what I am doing for a living. It is a job not a passion. It pays the bills. Still – I take pride in what I do and I accomplish it to the best of my ability. This is why I do not get fired and why I can always find a new job if necessary. My work ethic is all the recommendation I need. I can not comprehend the mental thought processes of individuals who arrive to work chronically late, dress in a sloppy manner and exhibit even sloppier work. Do these people actually expect to succeed in this world? My garbage men take pride in their work. They arrive promptly at the same time twice a week. They wave and greet me cheerfully if I am outside my apartment as they come by. If garbage men can be happy in their jobs than anyone can. They are garbage men. They have my respect.
“Every man's work, whether it be literature or music or pictures or architecture or anything else, is always a portrait of himself . . .” ~Samuel Butler, The Way of All Flesh
There are, I am sure, many other things in this world that befuddle me. There are those that confuse and anger me – like racism – but that is a topic for another day. Oh! The stupid behavior I witnessed on my way home this afternoon was the idiot smoking at the gas pump. I am thankful I did not need to fill up my little truck and I am more thankful that the moron is not someone of my own acquaintance.
“It's too bad that stupidity isn't painful.” ~Anton LaVey