Proof People are Stupid (Weekly Inspiration #11)


I used to collect evidence that people are stupid.  I had two large file folders of stories about stupid people doing stupid things.  This was in the early 90’s when I first started teaching.  Then came youtube and the need to collect any more evidence vanished.

Youtube is the world’s largest collection of evidence that people are stupid..  Just type in “people falling”  or “stupid people”  and enjoy hours of amusement.  I recommend watching these videos with small children and saying “Never do that!”  every 2 minutes or so.  Great lessons for them to learn!

Several years ago, I made a video worthy of my own collection.  If people are stupid, and, if I am a person……then……

Here is what happened.  It was the Fourth of July.  My friend Erik just go off call from the hospital and came over to my suburban house to celebrate the holiday.  It seemed everyone in my neighborhood was lighting off fireworks (it is illegal to do this in my state but that does not stop too may people).  I decided to get my video camera out to film the stupid people being reckless as they set off small explosions.

We were just about to call it a night, when my phone rang.  It was Owen and Kristen, two of my former runners, who had liberated a large box of fireworks from the Kristen’s dad.  They asked if they could come over and set them off at my house.  What a silly question!

It was so much fun!  We had Roman candles, and these amazing mortars that launched out of a tube high in the air where they made three big bright explosions.  Then we decided to do something stupid.  As Erik always says, “This is fun…….but you know what would make it better?”

Instead of launching a single mortar from the tube we thought it would be more fun to launch three at a time.  So we brought out our homemade cannons made by taping soup cans together.  I set up the camera on a tripod while Erik leaned two cannons up against the original launching tube and twisted the fuses of three mortars together.

As he backed away, he says with disappointment, “I only got one”  He only managed to light the fuse for one of the mortars in one of the  cannons.  This turned out to be lucky for us (and perhaps the neighborhood).  The mortar is supposed to launch hundreds of feet into the air, but instead it barely made it out the end of the cannon.  It fell on the ground and we knew it was trouble.

The explosions lit up the street all around us as we laughed and counted our lucky stars.  To get a real appreciation for what happened check out the video I just added to youtube’s collection:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8cD8GHZiUH8

Now, you might be asking yourself, “Self, how it is inspirational?”  Good question.  Most of the inspirations I post here tell us what to do, how to live, what kind of attitude to have, etc.  This one tells us what not to do!

Watch the video with small children and say, “Never do that!”  This story and video also teaches us that when we do something stupid and get away with it, we should be thankful no one got hurt.

Happy 4TH of July everyone!  Play safely!

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    • Anonymous
    • July 4th, 2010

    It’s too bad you don’t have a video of me doing the 20 doughnut challenge in your Economics class… That was one of the dumbest things I’ve ever done… I was sick for days…

    I’m not sure which is dumber, the fact that I tried to eat 20 doughnuts at one time, or the fact that somehow a whole classroom full of high schoolers believed that trying to eat 20 doughnuts is somehow related to Economics.

    Catalano 1, Me 0

    Well done.

    • Amazing day! Classic! Oh, and this IS ECONOMICS! This illustrated the “law of diminishing marginal utility”. That is for each donut you ate you gained less satisfaction. Remember you gave the first couple donuts 10 out of 10 but by the time you were on number 6 you were giving it like a 3 and by 7 it was zero. I remember you didn’t even make 10 out of 20 and failed the challenge in grand fashion! You were probably sick from the humiliation of it all! Ha ha! If there is one thing you can count on in life it is the over confidence of a teenager and you fell right into the trap!
      Good memories! Now go back and study your econ!

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