Thursday, June 01, 2006

How Dumb Can People Be?

"We salute the improvement of the human genome by honoring those who remove themselves from it. Of necessity, this honor is generally bestowed posthumously." Darwin Awards

I had mouth surgery yesterday. I'll spare you the grisly details -- just the highlights: root extraction, bone graft, multiple stitches. Trust me, you don't want to know any more. I don't even want to know any more.

They used anesthesia, so the surgery was painless. The doctor injected a hefty dose of long-lasting Novocain before I left, which kept the real pain at bay until 4 am this morning. But I've got some pretty good drugs to dull it. Which, unfortunately dull me too.

It's hard to think clearly. Or write succinctly. So I rooted around in the emergency topic grab bag. And thought, hmm... Tuesday I asked and answered How Smart Is This Blog?.

So what better choice for the Last Minute Subject category than the just released 2006 Darwin Awards -- dedicated to the dumbest people on earth.

And just to add to the kismet, I got two emails about dumb things people do. The first is called Idiot Sightings. Items about stupid human actions submitted to a local Southern newspaper. Here are the best of the bunch:

In the Neighborhood: I live in a semi-rural area. We recently had a new neighbor call the local township administrative office to request the removal of the Deer Crossing sign on our road. The reason: "too many deer were being hit by cars" and he didn't want them to cross there anymore.

In Food Service: My daughter went to a local Taco Bell and ordered a taco. She asked the person behind the counter for "minimal lettuce." He said he was sorry, but they only had iceberg.

At the Airport: I was at the airport checking in when an airport employee asked, "Has anyone put anything in your baggage without your knowledge?" To which I replied, "If it was without my knowledge, how would I know?" He smiled condescendingly. "That's why we ask."

On the Corner: The stoplight on the corner buzzes when it's safe to cross the street. I was crossing with a coworker who asked what the buzzer was for. I explained that it signals blind people when the light is red. Appalled, she responded, "What on earth are blind people doing driving?!"

At Work: At a good-bye luncheon for an old and dear coworker who was leaving the company due to "downsizing," our manager commented cheerfully, "This is fun. We should do this more often!"

At the Car Dealer: When I arrived at an auto dealership to pick up my car, I was told the keys had been locked in it. At the service department I found a mechanic working feverishly to unlock the driver's side door. As I watched from the passenger side, I instinctively tried the door handle and discovered that it was unlocked. "Hey," I said to the technician, "It's open!" To which he replied, "I know - I already got that side."

The second email is my favorite. Supposedly compiled from local police videos around the country, it's a list of Traffic Cop Responses to Dumb Questions from various miscreants trying to avoid jail or tickets.

Even if the lines are apocryphal, we can only wish they were said.

"Relax, the handcuffs are tight because they're new. They'll stretch out after you wear them a while."

"Take your hands off the car, and I'll make your birth certificate a worthless document."

"If you run, you'll only go to jail tired."

"Can you run faster than 1,200 feet per second? In case you didn't know, that's the average speed of a 9 mm. bullet fired from my gun."

"So you don't know how fast you were going. I guess that means I can write anything I want on the ticket, huh?"

"Yes, Sir, you can talk to the shift supervisor, but I don't think it will help. Oh... did I mention that I am the shift supervisor?"

"Warning! You want a warning? Okay, I'm warning you not to do that again or I'll give you another ticket."

"The answer to this last question will determine whether you are drunk or not. Was Mickey Mouse a cat or a dog?"

"Just how big were those two beers?"

"No sir we don't have quotas anymore. We used to have quotas but now we're allowed to write as many tickets as we want."

"I'm glad to hear the Chief of Police is a close personal friend of yours. At least you know someone who can post your bail."

"You didn't think we gave pretty women tickets? You're right, we don't. Sign here."
Going back to bed now. See you tomorrow. Don't do anything too stupid til then.



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