One of the things that is wrong with this world is people who are incapable of thinking outside the box. Some call this a lack of common sense. When discussing this topic, I like to refer to Mark 2:27 in which Jesus says to the Pharisees, “The sabbath was made for man, and not man for the sabbath.” I’ve also heard people say a derivative of this: “The law was made for man, not man for the law.” Sadly, there are way too many people out there who have never heard this before.
You know the kind of person I’m talking about. The slow guy who goes 50 miles per hour on the interstate amidst a steady flow of traffic traveling at 70. The bargain guy who drives 3,000 miles instead of taking a flight – not because he loves road trips or hates airports – but because he wants to save money. The republican guy that votes for an extreme right-wing candidate just because he technically falls into the same party, even though the candidate may have insane political views. The Christian guy who thinks he’s going to heaven no matter how he lives the rest of his life, as long as he’s been saved at one point in time.
Boy that escalated quickly. Sorry about that. Basically I’m talking about people that haven’t learned to think for themselves, reason, make exceptions, etc.
So, we all have someone in mind? Good, now let me blow all of your examples away with this little nugget of pure joy. By “little” I mean “tremendously large”, and by “pure joy” I mean “the downfall of humanity”.
Recently, I was recollecting this anecdote to a few of my friends and as they were all staring at me with their jaws on the floor I realized again how truly stupid this story is. It’s just so stupid. I can’t wait till you read the next few paragraphs. Hurry up, go.
About six months ago is when I met Her, but I saw Her again a week ago – by mistake mind you. Out of my own, larger-than-average amount of stupidity, I wandered too close to Her nest. Her den of destruction. Her dark, sorrowful, evil lair. She was there. She’s always there. Watching, waiting, yearning for me to fall for Her traps and become entangled, once again, in Her clutches.
I was driving to the neighborhood of West Indianapolis for a miscellaneous errand. I noticed I was low on gas, so I stopped for a fill up and decided that my brain could use a fill up too – of Red Bull, not gasoline. So I just walked right into Her nest. I didn’t even realize it until I had the sugar-free Red Bull in my hand and I was almost to the cash register (yes, I’m on a diet – I’ve been on one for 5 years and I’ll be on one until the day I die, except the days that I eat at Taco Bell). She had me. I was done for and there was nothing I could do.
In case you haven’t realized by now, She is the cashier at the Village Pantry on the corner of Morris and Harding on the southwest side of Indianapolis, Indiana, USA. Heed my warning, stay away! So what had happened nigh half a year ago to cause me to freeze in my footsteps at this moment? It wasn’t actually a frightening experience in itself, but the more I thought about it over the next six months the more fearful I became due to how absolutely stupid, common sense-less, and unable to think outside of the box this girl was. I thought to myself, if she is capable of something like this, she is surely a danger to society and must be stopped.
Here’s what went down. It was a night just like a week ago, but it was six months ago at a time when I was much younger and more innocent, and instead of a Red Bull it was a pack of Backwoods cigars. Same establishment, same cashier. I’m 25 years of age at this point, and if you have ever seen me you know that I look every bit of my age. I’m not one of those baby face, clean cut, hairless kids (I wish I was every morning when I have to shave) – in which case I could maybe, just maaaaaaaybe see the first part of this 3-part doozy being somewhat acceptable.
Part I: The Carding. Yeah, she cards me for cigars. I haven’t just turned 18. I’m not even a teenager. Heck, I don’t even get carded for alcohol half the time. I’m seven (7) years past the legal age of buying tobacco products in the state of Indiana. Now, like I said, I could maybe see this happening since they’re supposed to card people who look as old as 29 or whatever, but having grown up in the surrounding neighborhood I happen to know this particular gas station has frequently sold cigarettes (and probably liquor) to 14 year old kids. So it’s not like they run a tight ship and obey every letter of the law to begin with.
Anger level: annoyed.
Part II: The License. Upon handing her my identification, she promptly informs me that my driver’s license is expired by 2 days. Cool, no problem. They’ve let me into bars and nightclubs with an expired license before. I’ve even been pulled over with an expired license and not been harassed by the cop at all. Besides, what genius makes a fake ID and puts an expired date on it? It’s not like I have expired. Your age doesn’t reset when your license expires. I don’t know for sure, but I’ve heard your license is valid for 30 days after it expires anyway. I’m not sure if that’s really true, but let’s use our common sense and assume it is and save both of ourselves time by just selling me the cigars and letting me escape with my life.
“I ain’t gonna accept this ID ‘cuz it’s expired.”
Anger level: seething with hatred.
Part III: The Birth Certificate. I had two choices at this point: 1) gear up and do battle with this mightiest of foes or 2) retreat with my tail between my legs and find the next gas station. I had fight left in me yet, so I decided to un-sheath my broadsword of fury and strike her down for good. I don’t know what I was thinking, but I decided to scour my wallet for some other piece of ID that could prove my age. If a driver’s license had already been rejected, what was I trying to find? A student ID? A library card? An Andrew Jackson? No, I’m not bribing this foe – she’ll just double-cross me.
It must’ve been divine inspiration because I came across a weapon so potent that I knew she would all but curl up into a little ball on the floor. The corners of my mouth started to form a victorious smile and I shed a tear from my gleaming eyes for all things that are worth saving in this fallen world. I thought about pure pastures of green and gold, blue skies above bluer oceans, the glory of creation, and most importantly, enjoying my simple cigar with a nice refreshing lager on a screened-in porch with people I love, occasionally hearing that rustic “screeeech… bang!” of the screen door, listening to the crickets and tree frogs on this fine July evening, and discussing how there really was still good in this world after all and how everything just might end up OK in the end. I was giddy. I was even about to forget what had happened between me and my adversary and start our relationship over anew. I couldn’t wait to show her the birth certificate. I could smell the cigar smoke. I could taste the beer –
“Can’t accept a birth certificate. It ain’t a acceptable form of ID.”
I had been defeated.
Don’t ask me what I was doing with my birth certificate in my wallet. I know it’s not a good idea to carry such an important document around in your wallet, and I can’t even remember why I had put it in there. Nevertheless, I had it. A genuine copy, too. She defended against my potent weapon with the most potent weapon of all – stupidity. And she wouldn’t accept it.
I mean, let’s just think about the purpose of a birth certificate. It tells what day you were born on, where you were born, and who your parents are. That’s it. That’s the purpose. Information about your birth. When people want to prove their age without a shadow of a doubt, they turn to the ultimate source: their birth certificate. But she wouldn’t accept it.
Anger level: none. All anger has turned to fear at this point.
That’s it. There was nothing left to say. I slowly put my wallet back together and managed to desperately mutter “are… are you sure?”
“Can’t accept it.”
With that we parted ways. I was dumbfounded and awestruck as I drove off, vowing that I would never return as long as there was breath left in my lungs (which I was really hoping would be replaced with cigar smoke at this point).
So there you have it. It’s the stupidest thing that has ever happened. I don’t care what stories you have, what crazy things have happened to you, what evil minions of creatures you’ve defeated or been defeated by, what complicated, intricate stories of absolute absurdities you can conjure. None of them can match the simple stupidity of this tale.
Godspeed in your journeys, and I advise you to stay away at all costs from the nest of the One Who Is Stupid. I may have to love her, but I don’t have to like her.