Friday, 24 April 2020 17:26

COLUMN: Dealing with the dumb

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Often in this column, I have commented on some of the ridiculous things I notice on a daily basis. Some things are mildly amusing. Others are perplexing. Some are ironic and others are, well, truly weird. 

I am not sure if you are as entertained by them as I am, but I like to share them with each of you. I know we all don't have the same sense of humor, as I am reminded by the comments on social media about the column. I'll take those over the rotten fruit and such thrown at me. I like peaches, but only when they are fresh and not pitched at me by someone who thinks he's Nolan Ryan.

The other night, I was watching television and heard one of those commercials for a pain reliever. I can't remember which one, but it had an animated figure on it with lightning bolts pointing to where the pain was on the body. I don't know what that has to do with pain other than I certainly would be in pain if I had lighting striking me at five different spots on my body. A friend of mine was struck by lightning, but it was only once and she has assured me it's not high on her list of things to do on a regular basis. 

The announcer guy, who said he was not a doctor, asked the viewers if they needed a pain reliever that worked. Well, of course we do, Einstein. He went on to ask if we wanted a pain reliever that was tested to be faster and more effective than the top-selling over-the-counter pain reliever. Again, Doctor Kildare, this is a question that really doesn't need to be asked. I think if I had pounded my thumb with a hammer, I would, after a colorful string of profanities, want the most effective and quick-acting pain reliever this side of morphine. Don't bother me with dumb questions. 

This morning, as I was driving to work, I noticed a dream catcher hanging from the rear view mirror of the car next to me. Allow me to repeat that. I'll go slowly for those of you who didn't catch it the first time.

 In the car next to me, I saw, hanging from the mirror, a dream catcher. A dream catcher. Something that catches dreams. In a car. Dreams happen when you sleep. Sleep happens when you are at home. You should not be sleeping while going 70 mph. 

I think in my car, I am going to hang an old squash racquet and cover it with glitter and call it a jackass catcher. This way, when I see someone with a dream catcher in their car, I can look at them through my jackass catcher and they probably won't look so dumb. Well, at least not as dumb as a guy with a glittery squash racquet. 

The girl at the fast food drive-thru this morning asked me if my breakfast was “for here or to go.” Let's take a minute and digest that, folks. I am at the drive-thru and there are 10 cars stacked up behind me. I order a breakfast sandwich and a coffee. I am asked if this is for here, meaning at the head of the line of cars, or to go, meaning back at the office. I'm sure the van load of house painters behind me won't really mind if I just put the car into park and eat breakfast and read the paper. I told her it was to go and I paid, got my food and drove off.

A few weeks ago, a guy asked me for directions. I gave him explicit driving directions and even drew him a little map on a piece of paper with a red Sharpie. He repeated the directions back to me correctly, consulted the map and asked me if I was sure this was the correct way to go. You asked me for directions, Magellan. I gave you wrong directions on purpose because I like to. Of course, I thought, if he didn't know where he was going, he probably should have let his partner drive the ambulance. 

I'm not saying I am immune to doing anything dumb. I've certainly done my share. However, I try not to do dumb things when people are watching me. It doesn't work out that way. When you do dumb things, everyone is always looking. Just ask politicians. 

Joe Weaver, a native of Baltimore, is a husband, father, pawnbroker and gun collector. From his home in New Bern, he writes on the lighter side of family life.