CXLIII – The Idiotocracy

According to Murphy’s Law, if you make something idiot-proof, someone will build a better idiot. As with the part about how anything that can go wrong, this holds so true in twenty-first century America.

So true in 21st Century America

All it takes is one news story for people to blow everything out of proportion and go do ridiculous, stupid shit. For example, at the beginning of the coronavirus pandemic in early 2020, the whole shit show of getting infected and having to possibly quarantine/lockdown put people into panic mode. Not unlike Chicken Little, people proverbially ran around in circles claiming the sky was falling. People began to panic-buy everything they possibly could. Store shelves wound up empty due to the panic. From hand sanitizer, bleach, soap and other cleaning supplies to unnecessary things like toilet paper were being hoarded. People would wait as freight trucks were unloaded and just take straight from the pallet. Thinking back, if coronavirus is a respiratory disease, why do people need thousands of rolls of toilet paper? Or, why did people need to buy hundreds of pounds of flour and yeast? I’m sure some of these people imagined the apocalypse and they’d be stuck at home for years on end. I still laugh at the guy in Tennessee that went to every store within hundreds of miles and bought nearly 18,000 bottles of hand sanitizer, to try to scalp on eBay and Amazon to make a fortune. Turns out that the joke was on that guy, as he was found out and required to donate all the sanitizer. What a dumbass.

Circa March 2020, a Tennessee man who bought 18,000 bottles of hand sanitizer at the beginning of the coronavirus pandemic. Attempting to scalp them online, he was forced by officials to donate the cache.

Fast forward to May 2021. The pandemic seems to be winding down, but now there’s a new batch of morons on the loose. Colonial Pipeline was the target of a ransomware computer hack, which shut their production down temporarily. The problem is that this company provides roughly 45% of the fuel consumed along the East Coast. With that in mind, imbeciles go out and hoard all the gas they can. Some people wait hours to fill up, only to see a $20 limit, or prices in the neighborhood of $7 per gallon. Gas is always high in California, and I remember seeing a Facebook post where someone paid $95.00 for 15 gallons of gas ($5/gallon). Imagine paying $140 to fill your 20-gallon tank🤯.

Amidst stations running out of fuel in a buying and hoarding panic caused by a ransomware attack on Colonial Pipeline, a gas station in Richmond, VA, gouges their customers, charging $7.00/gallon for regular and $8.00 a gallon for mid-grade

Now, people in this panic run on gas are filling anything they can, from thousand-gallon tanks to jerry cans. Hell, some people are desperately filling plastic grocery bags with gas. How stupid is that? Trying to fill a so-called “single use” plastic bag (found most everywhere, except where California has banned them) with gas🤦‍♂️. At the very least, those bags are easily pierced, and even a pinhole will cause the fuel to leak all over their trunks. Good luck getting that gasoline stench out of your trunk carpeting! At the worst, leaking gas can ignite💥. Anyone care to roast marshmallows?

Screenshot of a tweet depicting a couple hoarding gas in as many jerry cans as possible
Putting gas in plastic bags is stupid and dangerous. So much so that the CPSC had to post the tweet in this screenshot

Let’s see, what other forms of mental deficiency can I think of? Oh, how about would-be ATM thieves? About a mile from my house, last February, someone tried to use a backhoe on a stolen truck to steal the Wells Fargo drive-up ATM. They were unsuccessful, and the truck was crashed a few blocks away. Eventually, several people were arrested in connection with the incident. Other low-IQ nitwits have tried to steal an ATM by hooking up a chain to it, using a pickup truck to try to dislodge it. Turns out, the ATM stood solid and the thieves took off in a panic, leaving behind the chain and bumper, with attached license plate, which was used to trace and arrest the vehicle’s owner🙄.

Damage caused by a failed ATM heist at Wells Fargo in Hurricane, UT, in February 2020. Photo courtesy St George News

Have you ever been in a restaurant, and some customer has absolutely no clue about anything? Oh, wait, that describes way too many people! One time, a vegan went into a Subway and ordered their sandwich. They were very specific to request the employee change their gloves, as they’d previously touched meat. Things go as well as can be expected, until the customer (mind you, they’re vegan) asks for mayo on their sandwich. The employee, puzzled, double-checks, and the customer insists. “You know that mayo has eggs in it,” states the clerk. The vegan denies, saying she gets it all the time. The clerk replies that mayo contains eggs. The customer had their world shattered at that moment. If someone is really a vegan, wouldn’t they check to see what they are able to eat, that aligns with their dietary restrictions?

I will never understand how someone goes into a Cracker Barrel and asks what is healthy there. The short answer is: nothing. Cracker Barrel is Southern-style food, which is usually prepared with lots of oil, margarine and gravy. Perhaps a salad with just tomatoes and cucumbers, and maybe a little vinegar and oil. According to their nutrition guide, just a side order of dumplings has 210 calories, but a whopping 940mg of sodium. The worst thing health-wise is the Barrel Cut Sugar Cured Ham. It’s a monstrous 24-ounce slice of ham that, by itself clocks in at 1,020 calories—half the recommended daily intake—and a staggering 5,450mg of sodium. Let’s go crazy for a second. Say you order the Barrel Cut Ham, a loaded baked potato, dumplings and Loaded Hashbrown Casserole Tots with ranch. You don’t care about price due to the upcharges. This meal, without the drink or bread service, totals out to an astounding 2,380 calories and an artery-hardening 10,500mg sodium. I wish that were a typo, but it really is ten and one-half grams of sodium. Just that one meal contains more than a day’s calorie consumption, along with more sodium than is recommended over five days. Now, I work for Cracker Barrel, and I’m not trying to discourage anyone from eating there. Just don’t expect to find anything health-conscious or vegan.

You can find stupidity anywhere you look. It’s all you can do to keep from being infected with it yourself. On the road, in the store, everywhere. I own a shirt that simply says on it, “Stand back. I’m allergic to stupid”. Just go on YouTube and look up “fail videos” and you’ll get some laughs and/or cringe from people’s never-ending supply of dumbfuckery. What are some examples of the dumdums out there that you’ve seen? Put a comment, and perhaps we can laugh or sigh together, or just plain commiserate. Weird Al may have sang to “Dare to Be Stupid”, but please don’t. Remember that the collective IQ of the world is a constant, yet the population is increasing. Until the next post, my wise friends, please be safe and be well.

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