You Can’t Teach Common Sense

For nearly seventeen years I have worked in and around the security industry, dealing with people from all walks of life and protecting them from themselves, and I can tell you this: Wisdom and intelligence have their limits, but stupidity knows no bounds.

Here is a short list of the stupid people I have encountered in my professional life.

The dry-cleaner who managed to hook ten fully loaded coat-hangers onto the sprinkler head on the fire suppression system before the whole thing popped off and spewed many gallons of water, at 150 pounds per square inch pressure, into his store.
The horny teenager who stole a three-pack of condoms from the Dollar Store.
The senior citizen, arrested for masturbating in a public washroom, whose main concern after being caught was whether it would effect his pension.
The electrical contractors who ignored the growing lake of water after their friend, the carpenter, had whacked a sprinkler head with a hammer. They just kept right on working with the live wires.
The drunk without a seat-belt who fell out of a Jeep during a left and executed a graceful but damaging three-point landing on both knees and his forehead.
The confused old lady who thought that the fire alarm pull station would open the automatic door.
The Batman-wannabe who slid down a thirty foot lamppost from a multi-level parking garage.
The farmer at the agricultural fair who decided to wash his prize-winning cow with the fire hose, resulting in a broken hip for the cow and a $5000.00 fine for the farmer.
Several different variations on the "cramming a too-big truck into a too-small garage" scenario.
The drug dealer fleeing on foot, who ran, face first, directly into the one-foot wide concrete pillar which was painted bright yellow, instead of the forty-foot wide big open space with no obstructions whatsoever.

So, you see, I’ve have had a great deal of experience in dealing with stupid people and their random acts of inanity. I understand fully that idiots are everywhere. Stupid people outnumber us smart folk by at least ten to one. On occasion one aspect of my job has been to anticipate particularly dangerous or harmful acts of stupidity and develop plans and processes to either prevent them or minimize the damage if they occur.

Today, I found a new one. This one caught me by surprise. I am somewhat embarrassed to admit that I have never even considered the possibility of some yahoo using a barbecue in the living room of his eighth floor apartment. I’m not talking about something intended for indoor use, like the George Forman Grill or a case of Zippo lighters. I’m talking about a Hibachi. In the living room. On carpet.

Apparently this was a new idea for the guys from the Fire Department, too.

We should put all of the stupid people in one place. That way, their stupidity will only affect other stupid people, who will be too dumb to notice anyway. We could put a fence around Manitoba and put them all in there. It could be renamed "Stupidia." Of course, to be fair, we would have to relocate all of the smart people currently living in Manitoba. Not a big problem. I’m sure the three of them won’t mind.

That’s my two cents worth, anyway.



Back to main menu