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On the Mark, Episode 6: The Truth Suddenly Becomes Self Evident

May 14, 2009

Hi everybody!

I've got several things I could write about this week, but for this time I'd like to share an epiphany I experienced on Tuesday. It was one of those moments of total mental clarity, where you have finally figured out exactly how things work in the universe, what your place is in the grand scheme of things, and how they get the toothpaste in the tube. I'm talking about a life changing moment. At 41 years old, it just suddenly dawned on me. And my life will never be the same . . .

I bet you just can't wait to hear this profound revelation . . . but here goes:








People are idiots.

Yes, I know it's a good thing that you were sitting down when you read that. Now I'm guessing half of you are thinking, "Oh Mark, don't be so negative." And the other half are thinking, "What an idiot, what took him so long to figure that out?"

Now please realize that when I'm calling people an idiot, yes that means you . . . but it also means me. I'm just as guilty.

Monday night I accidentally put a regular battery in a battery charger, and left the house for a couple of hours. When I got home it smelled funny and I found ashes all over the place. The battery exploded. I could have burnt my house down.

So yes, this makes me an idiot.

Then the next day I realized that there must be some sort of club for idiots. Because everyone who called me on the phone in my work was welcoming me to the club. And to do one better, they needed to one-up me in demonstrating that they are more of an idiot than me . . . .

First there was the guy who was shopping the Internet for a cheap, simple part -- an o-ring. We didn't have this particular one in stock, and he just did not seem to understand what I was saying. He insisted that I research the matter more thoroughly and find one for him. I told him maybe he ought to just contact the manufacturer, because he could get one from them. He said that he already had talked to them at length, and had already gotten a price from them to buy it directly. And that he also had called other places, but they were all more expensive than he thought the part should be.

Are we talking about a $1,000 or $100 or even a $10 part? No, we're talking about a dollar part.

In a nice and patient way, I told him to just save himself the trouble and order it from one of those places since they had the part (and we didn't), because surely the item can't be more than a buck or two at the most. He said he didn't want to, on principal. No, he insisted that he thought he should get it cheaper, and he wanted me to explore all options to see if I could get it ordered in special at a better price.

The dude was taking all day and making people all over the county to jump through hoops over a stinking o-ring! To save a few cents!

I finally had to say good bye and in the nicest way possible end the phone conversation, because he just would not stop or listen to what I was saying. I felt kind of guilty about it, but after I told him for the fourth time that I'm not going to be able to help him out, he just wasn't getting the message.

Then I called back the woman in California who wanted me to come out and fix her leaky toilet. Somehow it has never crossed my mind to call a business located in another state to provide a service that they don't even provide. But that's just me, what do I know. After all, I'm an idiot . . .

I guess I can take comfort in this revelation that truly there is a God, because evolution surely doesn't work like this. It's supposed to be that the stronger and smarter survive. But it might just be me, but it seems every year people are getting dumber. I guess it's because there are no more saber tooth tigers running around to make lunch on some idiot walking around the jungle trying to find an o-ring.

There might be something to this notion that evolution is not in play here. Because you can watch a nature program, you rarely see an animal make a boneheaded decision. No, he might be too old or two slow to survive, but they are pretty smart about how to go about their business.

But only humans will realize that a certain behavior is not a smart thing to do, but then do it anyway. Surely that is not an indication of some evolutionary intelligence at work in the species. Because all the rest of the animals won't do something they know they shouldn't do.

But humans have free will. And they decide to join the Idiot Club like me and everyone else I come into contact with. It's our choice.

Or, maybe we're so smart about a lot of things, that our minds are distracted when it comes to those trivial things. Because it's usually the trivial matters where we best demonstrate our idiocy. A rocket scientist can prove the theory of relativity, and then walk into someone's house with white carpet without taking off his muddy shoes. His mental energy was working on something on a higher level, so it slipped up on the common sense level.

Or, maybe he's just an idiot.

Here's some fun game show moments, proving that the gene pool has definitely gotten watered down:


Until next time, just remember not to eat yellow snow. It's not a lemon slushy.




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