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The Complete Idiots Guide to Idiots

 

Warning: If you are reading this, it does not necessarily mean that you are not an idiot.

 

 Of course it does not altogether disqualify you from being one either. Of most native readers of the English language, the ability to read and understand complete sentences like this one is actually attained at quite a young age and it can actually be said with some certainty that this ability does not make one any more or any less of an idiot. There are still many idiots with us after the completion of elementary school. Strangely enough, there are far more idiots in the world after receiving a high school diploma than there were before. Stranger still, there exist quite a good many idiots out there in the world with a college degree. Shockingly, even the possession of a masters or doctorate does not exclude one from this very real and grave possibility.

 

The sad truth is that no amount of education in the world can stifle or prevent idiot tendencies completely. This is because idiot tendencies by their very nature are inborn, making them utterly and horribly inescapable. From the time of conception on up till when death locks us in its icy jaws we are all imprinted with the genetic material to say or do things of incredible stupidity. This is called “higher intelligence”.

 

Animals do not have higher intelligence, so clearly they must have “lower intelligence”. They also have very few things in their life to juggle, mainly just eating and sleeping and looking out for anyone bigger than them who might want to eat them. Additionally their comprehension skills are severely limited, so not only do they not know what they are looking at most of the time, it never crosses their mind to wonder what it might be anyway.

 

These are just some of the reasons why animals are seldom seen engaging in random acts of idiocy. Squirrels falling out of trees, and birds running into windowpanes would be among the few examples. Animals have such a limited scope of things to do that they very seldom screw up in an obvious way that makes them look ridiculous to onlookers. People on the other hand with their “higher intelligence” have such a broad scope of tasks to perform in life because of what they should know, and because of the capacity they have for performing tasks, that the chances of them doing something ridiculous at any given moment are incredibly high.

 

This is basically what defines an idiot; it is someone who screws up in either small or monumentally large ways. Normally there have to be other people around to notice it and think to themselves, “God what an idiot.”

 

It kind of reminds me of the old adage if an accountant screws up in a small office by himself and no one sees it, is he an idiot?

 

Can you be an idiot with no one watching?

 

How much of an idiot can you be with other people watching you?

 

This is what this book is about.  It’s about people doing dumb, ridiculous things when they should know how to do those things.

 

A lot of you reading this right now might say that this book can’t possibly be about you. After all, you have a good job with a steady source of income, providing you with enough free time to read a book as ridiculous as this one. Also, you are very smart and always know what you’re doing at all times, and you always fill out the right forms, and dot all your t’s and cross all your I’s.

 

If this is indeed the case, then I might hazard a guess that this book may be very helpful to you indeed, because after all, if you’re reading this, then you just may be an idiot.

 

Chapter 1: Idiots in the Grocery Store

 

What with confusing prices on the sale of 4 items for a certain cost, closeout sales on discontinued boxes of canned avocados, store discount cards, and little old Jewish ladies trying to haggle on fixed prices; it should come as no surprise that there are a lot of idiots at the grocery store with a variety of annoying habits which help to waste the time of the people around them.

 

There are several broad categories of ways to be an idiot that can be broken down in order at the grocery store. Due to this widespread problem, it is quite possible that you may recognize yourself on one of these lists, but at least you can’t say that I didn’t warn you.

 

1)      The limited amount of items line, commonly referred to as the “10 items or less line

Sometime before my grocery shopping experiences began, we shall assume that all lines were considered equal and shoppers could cram as many items into their carts as they wanted at any given time during normal shopping hours in any line they wanted. This was all well and good; grocery stores were making money, shoppers for the first time had a wide variety of auxiliary items they could purchase (like light bulbs and batteries) without having to go to a specialty store, and the same people who now complain that Wal-Mart is destroying America by crushing small competitors and paying their workers low wages were making the same complaints about the first grocery stores and how they were destroying the picturesque “Mom and Pop” stores where along with your Moon pie, Coca-Cola, and head of lettuce you could catch up on the “local color” and find out how Maggie’s case of the mumps is doing.

 

It was at this time that grocery store owners began receiving a lot of complaints from shoppers who just came in to buy milk and eggs that they had to wait in line for 15 minutes behind people who were stocking up their bomb shelters, snapping up all “survival items” because of an impending hurricane, or just simply buying out the store to prepare for their son’s bar mitzvah. So the wise store owners instituted the “10 items or less line” to alleviate waiting times for people who theoretically wanted to purchase “10 items or less.” This was a great decision on their part and it was universally hailed by all as a victory for management and a triumph for the American consumer.

 

Naturally of course it wasn’t long before idiots screwed it up for everyone. Shoppers began to take notice of the fact that people didn’t have to wait 30 minutes anymore for their beer run for the under-aged kids in the parking lot who were paying them. Given the choice behind waiting for old grandmothers to fish out their double coupons and pay for all the items in their loaded down grocery carts or simply sneaking into “the express line” (as it was now commonly known) shoppers with between 11 and 20 or so items simply chose the latter. This caused a great deal of frustration for people who actually had “10 items or less” because now they once again had to wait a long time behind people with a lot of things to buy. But what could the storeowners do about this situation? They couldn’t remove the “10 items or less” line as this would cause a shopper revolt, and chances are it would have been a lot more trouble than it was worth to police the “10 items or less line” Mothers with bad attitudes and screaming kids would no doubt bully the “policeman” and tell them that their 37 cans of soup counted as 1 item and that they should “get out of their way because their kids have to eat”.

 

No one ever said that idiots were considerate of other people.

 

2)      Abandoned Grocery Cart Syndrome

 

This activity is actually more common than you might think despite the fact that it doesn’t really make a lot of sense. However for idiots, it makes perfect sense to leave your cart behind as a trip hazard to little kids and people who read while strolling the aisles. If you need a bag of wheat on aisle 7 and you can see that there are a few obstacles on the way to getting that Cream of Wheat that you need, why bother trying to navigate a difficult path when you can literally and figuratively drop what you’re doing and just head on over there? This habit has come at a high cost of life for old people and others with vision problems who can’t possibly see anything in front of them that is not directly at eye level. Abandoned grocery carts provide yet another reason for not running in the supermarket as well as more work for teenaged stock-boys who have no idea if the cart’s owner will ever return to reclaim their precious goods.

 

3)      Price Haggling in Line

 

This has probably happened to everyone reading this. Picture yourself after having waited at least 10 minutes in line to go home and unpack your groceries when the person at the front of the line is suddenly convinced that they’re being overcharged for an item. They just go ballistic and despite all the best efforts of the cashier to assuage their fears that they are being charged the right price for the item, they will demand to see the manager to save that dollar and 21 cents. Usually this person is a mother with bad hair, a bad attitude and has 2 bratty kids who are playing in line and knocking over Snickers bars while singing off-key. The manager will approach the scene slowly and in as nice a tone as possible essentially rehash to the mother what the clerk already explained – that they are very sorry that the item may have been mislabeled or the tag confusing but still the price that came up in the computer is the price you have to pay for the item and so once again they are very sorry about that. The probably will probably frown, snarl, raise her eyebrows and repeat an oft-used, and quite frankly terrible cliché, “This is America. I don’t have to take this! I get to pay 5 bucks for this toaster just like the ad says because of customer satisfaction. Otherwise, I’m leaving!” The last part of the sentence really isn’t much of a threat to the poor manager who at this point would love for the woman to leave the store and leave the possibly mislabeled toaster behind.

 

So the moral of the story is, if you’re at the end of the line and you think you’re being charged like a buck too much for an item or 2, don’t be an idiot. Suck it up, pay for your junk and go home. It’s just not worth causing a scene over, and it probably won’t make any difference anyway.

 

Chapter 2: Idiots on the Road

 

Ah the thrill of the open road. Just you, your car, miles of freeway, and all the idiots surrounding you who insist on going either too fast or too slow to suit you at nearly all times. If there was such a thing as a breeding ground for idiots, then it would likely be somewhere else, because that particular metaphor doesn’t quite apply on the paved gravel, where idiots don’t as much seem to breed like rabbits as they seem to be manufactured. All right, now we’ve got our metaphor! The open road is the assembly line where idiots are mass-produced in bulk and swarm like locusts.

 

Given the challenge of driving from Point A to Point B, it’s a proven fact that no 2 people will get there at exactly the same time, or follow exactly the same path. There’s just too much freedom involved in putting people behind the wheel of an automobile. But fortunately, there is a finite category of idiots on the road, and in this chapter we will take a closer look at them without getting all greasy.

 

1)      The Driving too Slow Idiot Driver

The driving too slow idiot driver, or dsid for short is a constant lurking threat to any motorist who dares leave his driveway. Their driving patterns consist heavily of discovering whatever the posted speed limit is, and then driving 2 miles an hour underneath that speed limit much to the derision of anyone on the road around them, who unlike this person, actually has somewhere to go, and an appointed or expected time to be at that location. The too slow driver also possesses the unnerving ability to drive for long stretches of time in the left lane, which according to urban folklore and most state DMV manuals, is intended to be used primarily for passing, whereas by contrast, the dsid primarily uses it for not passing. As a rule, dsid don’t pass anything except for speed limit signs, and the occasional turtle. Go is entirely out of the question, as are stop signs and anything traveling at the speed limit; yield signs however, are still up for debate.

 

For obvious reasons, senior citizens possessing obnoxiously huge sunglasses make up a disproportionately large percentage of too slow drivers since many of them no longer have a job, or more than 3 friends alive, and the only reason they’re out on the road is to eat cheesecake at the cafe, buy new drapes from Target, and have lunch at one of those restaurants in town where all the other senior citizens eat at and they’re on a first name basis with everyone who works there.

 

2)      The Driving Way too Fast Driver

The driving way too fast driver or dwfd for short is never able to depart his place of residence with enough leave time to get wherever it is that he is going way too fast to get to on time, this forces the dwfd to drive at excessive rates of speed and swerve erratically all over the road thumbing their collective noses at other motorists who drive “normally”.

 

The dwfd must rule the road, and by this I mean that they must drive in excess of 80 or 90 miles per hour, whilst constantly revving their rpm’s, letting you losers know how powerful their engine is, and how they could totally dog you in a drag race if you ever dared to show your face at one. But you wouldn’t be able to because your face would be totally blackened from their exhaust fumes that they would kick up in all your faces.

 

The dwfd is characterized by their extreme lack of patience and tact on the road. If the dwfd feels that another car is blocking their path to “ruling the road” then they will personally declare war on that car and do all that they can do to intimidate, force, harass, or otherwise forcibly remove the obstruction from their path so that they aren’t forced to drive an embarrassing 5 miles over the speed limit.

 

This of course assumes that the dwfd is traveling on a highway. If so, then you are relatively safe, for rest assured that your car will be passed in short order one way or the other and you will be safely out of harm’s way and eating his dust. He may have to drive on the shoulder to do it, and almost hit that guy who’s trying to change his tire but his goal will be accomplished.

 

Despite all outward appearances to the contrary the dwfd is usually not intoxicated while driving on the road, otherwise how else would he able to pull of those death defying maneuvers that involve swerving around an old lady, a ford bronco, and a chicken truck in less than 3 seconds?

 

3)      The unable to merge idiot driver

The unable to merge idiot driver or umid for short is remarkably similar to the driving too slow idiot driver and in fact exhibits some of those exact same tendencies, except in addition to being without the capacity to drive more than 3 miles above the speed limit they also freeze up with fright at the prospect of merging into traffic and following the pack so to speak. This is a particularly troublesome problem to all traffic following behind them going into a highway entrance where the merge ramp comes to a stop and the lane merges into oncoming traffic. At times the umid will watch literally dozens of cars pass by while waiting for the exact right moment when they can zoom out safely at 12 miles per hour without hitting any other oncoming vehicles.

 

It’s not necessarily true that the umid has nowhere in particular to go like a large number of dsid’s, its just that they’ve seen way too many statistics on highway fatalities and have no desire to add to that number.

 

Even after entering the flow of traffic on the highway, the umid may find himself stuck behind a lane of traffic that is just not moving in which case quite often they will simply give up and stay behind the large tractor trailer, refusing to yield their precious spot on the road. It’s not that they don’t notice that 85% of the other drivers on the road are looking for any available spot or crevice to maneuver around everyone else, it’s just often that they don’t think there’s any point in getting to their destination any quicker, resigning themselves to statistics of how much actual time you gain by passing other vehicles. Besides which, they probably left 20 minutes early anyway.

 

Although this hasn’t been tested as such, it’s also highly likely that dsid’s have a weak clammy handshake. There is something to be said of confidence, whether on the road or when meeting someone for the first time. Either way you shake it, umid’s just don’t have it.

 

4)      The won’t merge until the last possible second idiot driver

The won’t merge until the last possible second idiot driver is likely the worst and most headache inducing idiot on the road. Unlike the previous type of driver mentioned, this driver is perfectly capable of merging with traffic; it just so happens that they choose not to for a variety of reasons, most of which center around the fact that they are a selfish prig.

 

The particular type of idiot tendency as described above usually requires a certain situation in order to fully manifest itself. This situation often occurs when for whatever inexplicable reason, one lane of a road which previously allowed cars to drive over it, no longer allows cars to drive over it, and a sign is placed on the side of the road in order to alert oncoming traffic to the fact that the road they have been traveling on has been shortened by one lane at a time very soon in the future and it would be highly advisable for them to merge to a different lane so everyone can pass along in the one lane smoothly.

 

Naturally this sage advice goes right over their heads. As per their name, the preferred method of merging for the won’t merge until the last possible second idiot driver is to not merge until the last possible second. In the short run this may save them a few minutes of driving time, but when enough of these idiots converge on the road at the same time during a lane closure what happens is that the lane which is due to be closed and should be free of traffic except to allow people to merge is filled with these idiot drivers who will pass everyone else who is now “stuck” in traffic and happily gallivant to a spot several cars ahead, thus insuring that the whole process of speeding everyone to their appointed destination quickly, which I might add was the reason for the induction of the highway system in the first place, is now fouled up and everyone waiting for the line of cars to move now has to wait a lot longer because of the idiots slowing the whole process down just to save themselves a few minutes which they actually lose since they are making everything slower to save themselves time.

 

You may be asking yourself a question right about now. Namely, don’t these idiots realize that by that by trying to squeeze into a space in between a yugo and behind a mack truck that they are making it worse for everyone who is actually trying to get somewhere? One can only guess that if they turned their rap music down and got off their cellphones, then they might come dangerously close

 

5)      Rubberneckers

Rubberneckers are the glue that holds this great country together. If it wasn’t for people stopping and staring at things instead of moving on and minding their own business, then we wouldn’t be able to come together today and unite over our great twin American ideals of not minding our own business and voyeurism.

 

Yes indeed, Rubberneckers hold a cherished place in our society. Whenever there’s an auto accident, a policeman writing someone a ticket, or just a man aimlessly walking down the side of the road, you can be sure that Rubberneckers will slow down their vehicles in order to observe this earth shaking event more closely.

 

While it may be true that rubbernecking slows traffic down to a crawl for what is often the most mundane of events like changing a tire, it should be remembered that they are merely participating in America’s largest spectator sport – people watching. In fact, Rubberneckers were officially given a TV show of their own, when in 1988 the television station Fox introduced a new show called “Cops” where Rubberneckers could sit around in the comfort of their own trailer parks and watch cops arresting people to their hearts content. While it may be true that the action wasn’t depicted live, so it could be said that it wasn’t as exciting; however, Rubberneckers could now drink beer and rubberneck at the same time, which helped bring idiocy to new and dizzying heights heretofore unseen.

 

Chapter 3: Great Historical Idiots

 

Just like you and I, many great men and women of history despite their often-illustrious accomplishments make many boneheaded decisions simply because they didn’t have the mental capacity at all times to effectively exercise wise judgment at all times which would have shielded them from the great mistakes that many of them are better known for. So what follows is a short list of some of the many great people of all time who when everything was counting on them, came up a little short in the math department.

 

1)      Adam (no known last name)

According to the Bible, Adam really had it made. He had a paradise to walk around in all day, and all the food he wanted was almost foisted on him; this was a little bit before cars, home loans, credit cards, and electric bills, so he really didn’t have a lot of worries. Did I forget to mention that he had a hot wife and they walked around naked all day?

 

As a matter of fact, he was even informed at this time of the only thing he could possibly screw up which was to eat of the fruit of the one tree in the whole place that was off limits. Due to his limited range of tasks, which mainly involved looking after the garden, which practically looked after itself, and presumably to love his wife which shouldn’t have been that hard either since she probably brought him sweet nectar and sang to him a lot, he should have been infallible.

 

He should have been, except lest we forget he was a human being, which if you remember the definition, also makes him an idiot. His wife Eve was deceived into eating the fruit by a serpent that lied to her. Liars are enablers of idiots and get the ball rolling on too many idiotic activities to name so Eve’s idiotic moment was halfway understandable, while what happened next with Adam was a classic, dumb, stupid mistake of the kind that only idiots can make.

 

Eve asked Adam to eat the fruit of the tree that he knew he was supposed to steer clear of by the God who instituted the whole place to begin with. At this time he probably should have been aware of the fact that he was either going to make his boss angry or his wife angry. Now if you understand that your wife can make you sleep on the couch but your boss can take your couch and your whole house away from you, and you know that one of them is going to be mad at you, which one would you choose to offend? Most people prefer sleeping on a couch instead of outside if given the choice, but always remember - most people are idiots.

 

2)      Christopher Columbus

Yes, that Christopher Columbus, everyone’s favorite explorer was a loveable idiot. God bless him. If it wasn’t for Christopher Columbus, there would be no Columbus, Ohio, and think about what a shame that would be.

 

As the story goes, in 1492 Christopher Columbus sailed off on his epic voyage to discover a shorter trade route to the West Indies and become rich and famous. The trouble is, that what he actually “found” was a whole new continent and despite numerous voyages back to “the West Indies” and subsequent trips there by vastly inferior explorer Amerigo Vespucci he remained convinced that it was not a new land. Perhaps he hadn’t actually read anything on what the West Indies actually looked like, or else he may have had some clue.

 

A quick study of his thinking may lend some light on the subject. Here’s what he knew about the West Indies: Indians live there, and they have fabulous riches. “Well hey”, he may have thought, “They’re definitely Indians, and although these trite bead necklaces don’t look like much, I bet they would go for a ton back in Portugal.” With visionary thinking like that, it’s no wonder why the whole place was named after the other guy that went tripping along the coast in a small ship full of scurvy infested sailors 5 years after he first went there.

 

Chapter 4: Common Types of Idiots

 

It is a well-known fact that idiots generally fall into several meaningless groups, so that once recognized as being such, they can be marginalized and more shame can be heaped upon them.

 

1)      The gawker

The gawker is really just a rubbernecker on foot, so if you’ve followed along this far then you probably have a good idea of some common characteristics of a gawker. Who knows, you may even have seen one before in real life!

 

The gawker is constantly amazed by everyday events that he himself is not personally involved with. To differentiate from a casual onlooker who may chance to spot something of unusual interest, note it, and move on, a gawker will continue to stare at these events far past the point where it is normal, or comfortable for all parties involved. Some of these events may include, but are not limited to, the following: fistfights, acts of romantic entanglement (kissing), people with a physical deformity or otherwise garish outward appearance to include clothing and hairstyles,

 

2)      The Trip-Hazard