Check out the guy in the picture. He’s an idiot.
Not for wearing a silly hat. But for gluing it to his head. With superglue. He had to go to an emergency room (one with pointless dolphins painted on the wall) to have it removed.
I’m sure everyone asked the guy, “What were you thinking?” And he probably said, “I wasn’t.”
But I can tell you what he was really thinking:
“This probably isn’t a good idea. Oops, I’m doing it anyway.”
Isn’t that what you think when you do something idiotic? It’s exactly what I think. I have a flash of recognition that this is not a wise thing to do, and then I override it.
Here’s an example:
The summer at camp when I wanted to prove to Julie, an especially gullible girl in my cabin, that I had green earwax. I scooped up some peas from my plate when she had her head turned, and shoved them deep into my ear canal.
For a nanosecond, as I was about to do it, I remembered, “you’re never supposed to put anything in your ear but your elbow.”
I recognized that green peas were not my elbow, but I jammed them up there anyway.
Then, I turned to Julie, with my pinky in my ear, and said, “Don’t believe me? Look.”
But instead of pulling out a finger full of evidence, I came up empty. My pinky had just pushed the peas deeper into my ear, and now they were out of reach.
Julie had the last laugh. Literally. She said, “Ha, ha! You don’t have green earwax.” And then I had to go to the nurse, who had a senior camper hold a flashlight while she dug into my ear with what I remember as a knitting needle. It probably wasn’t a knitting needle, but it definitely wasn’t her elbow.
The whole time she was excavating my ear, I sat there wondering why I hadn’t listened to the “Don’t do it” voice. The instinct to not be an idiot.
Was it because the “don’t do it” section of the brain isn’t fully formed in a 10-year-old?
Maybe. But if that’s the case, then that part of my brain is still developing. Or, the part of the brain that answers, “Aw, quit nagging, you boring bitch” is stronger. I’ve done so many moronic things that I knew I shouldn’t do. But not for any good reason.
I’m trying to get better at following the “Don’t be an idiot” voice.
I’m not talking about the inner chickenshit who tells me not to take risks that might pay off — the one who says, “Don’t go up to that person and introduce yourself. She’s more important than you and will therefore laugh — or maybe spit — in your face.”
No. I’m talking about the inner genius who says,
- “Maybe you shouldn’t mention that amazing New Year’s party to your friend who wasn’t invited.”
- “Don’t try to carry four full drinks in your two hands. It won’t kill your lazy ass to make a second trip.”
- “How about, instead of cutting your own bangs, you wait the three days till your hair appointment?”
- “Want to let that venomous email sit for a little before you hit ‘send’?”
- “You’re going to leave your wallet sticking out of your bag like that? On the subway? When you KNOW it’s sticking out? Why not just hand it over to that junky and save everyone some time?”
- “Hey, dildo, put on your seatbelt. Or are you going to wait till the cab driver crashes into another car and slams your face right into the plexiglass? Think people really use that hinged pass-through for money? It serves no purpose other than to destroy faces.”
Right. That voice.
Do you listen to yours? Tell me in the comments.
What I mean is, tell me about the times you didn’t.
I want to hear your green-pea moments.
Oh, and if you ever think you might want to superglue a hat to your head, remember the old commercial for Krazy Glue.