Albert Einstein noted, “Two things are infinite: the universe and human stupidity, and I’m not sure about the universe.” Given the many people with whom I come into direct during my work week, I have to say that Mr. Einstein’s theory concerning the dim-witted was dead on.
Recently, for instance, one of my regular customers found himself short a few pennies for his purchase. He mumbled, “Well, I should be okay, since I left some pennies in the ‘give a penny, take a penny’ cup the other day.” A reality check would have asked the guy if his name had been chiseled onto the coins, marking them as his personal property, and if he really thought that another customer did not use the pennies since his last visit. Other little interactions occur when customers attempt to get credit without using a credit card, wheedling, “Can you spot me a pack of cigarettes until tomorrow?” In the interest of continued commerce, I d0 not tell them what I’d so dearly wish to quip: ” We are running a business, not a charity or playing Lets Make A Deal!”
And then there is the matter of personal identification. A photo ID, for example, is pretty much standard equipment when one becomes an adult. Without this essential piece of documentation, your life can be hell, as can the person’s you are trying to get over on. Proper Identification is required to board a plane, rent a car, buy cigarettes and liquor, and enter age-restricted venues, such as certain films and concerts. So why is it that when people have their drivers’ license suspended, they never bother to go to the DMV to get a standard picture ID? Bringing a birth certificate without an ID is useless, as some of my younger customers trying to buy cigarettes illegally have done. They must have thought I was born yesterday for them to tell me that their mothers were outside the store and could vouch for them. Yeah, right!
Another situation involving the brainless occurs when someone enters the store to buy a lottery ticket and says, “Make sure to give me the winning ticket!” “Moron!” I sorely want to say. “If I were psychic, I would have already bought the ticket!”
Lack of common sense is not limited to my workplace. It is universal and extends into the critical task of choosing a name that a child will carry for the rest of his or her life. The consequences of weird names should be carefully weighed before inking them indelibly onto birth certificates. Children are notoriously cruel and will poke fun of any peer who seems to be slightly out of step with the norm. Imagine the deteriorating self-esteem that might be suffered by a school kid with a strange moniker. He might even get stuck with a derogatory nickname throughout the entire school term and beyond.
Celebrities are some of the worst culprits when it comes to saddling their offspring with ridiculous names. Musician Frank Zappa named his son Dweezil, and his daughters, Moon Unit and Diva Muffin. Sean Penn’s son is named Hopper; Forest Whitaker’s son is Ocean. Other off-the-wall names given by famous parents are Zola Ivy (Eddie Murphy), Satchel (Spike Lee), Tu Morrow (Rob Morrow), Sailor Lee (Christine Brinkley), and Sage Moon Blood (Sylvester Stallone). Nicholas Cage named his son Kal-el, which happens to be the birth name of a comic book character gone Hollywood: Superman. I wonder what these parents were smoking when they bestowed such gems upon the fruit of their loins? And I would be remiss to leave Gwyneth Paltrow out of the mix. She named her daughter Apple and her son Moses. Maybe she was getting ready to take a stroll through the Garden of Eden or part the Red Sea.
It’s also pretty idiotic when someone driving an expensive car runs out of gas and gets bent out of shape having to walk a few blocks, acting as if they have no clue as to how to handle the situation. Have they never heard of Triple A or perhaps checking the gas gauge before polishing the trim on their $50K coupes?
Saving money with a coupon is great, provided the coupon is valid and applicable. But some fools don’t read the fine print … or so they claim. They try to use two coupons for one purchase, when it is clearly stated that the coupon cannot be combined with any other offer or “one coupon per customer.” Where money is involved, idiots don’t care; they protest even though the restrictions appear in black and white, right there on the coupon! To save a few cents, they’ll argue until the cows come home. Since the requirements are printed on the coupon and not chiseled in stone, I guess it does not count to these cretins.
The many distractions of our busy lives can make us all a bit scatter-brained at times, and that is a forgivable offense. But, those who act like airheads on a regular basis can sure sap me of my patience. I suppose it may not always be someone’s fault when they act so silly. But when I see some of this behavior, I have to wonder how these people handle the more important aspects of their lives, such as getting dressed in the morning. No wonder the world is having so many problems!