How does one measure achievement when it is such a deeply personal concept? One way is to determine whether that which you hope to achieve is truly worth pursuing or is instead one of your patented exercises in stupidity. We all want recognition and praise for our actions, but if not careful we end up exposing ourselves to physical harm or what’s worse, scorn and derision from our closest friends and loved ones. Here are some examples of achievements that Dr. Larry considers to fall on the decidedly stupid end of the stupidity scale.
You’ve realized a state of pure and absolute blessedness, ecstasy, and bliss. Now what?
Appear on cable-access television.
You must have a particularly stupid personal agenda if cable access is the only media vehicle that will have you. Channeling Mother Earth at 3 A.M. on channel 76b is not something you should be proud of.
Be featured on America’s Most Wanted.
I would not consider being featured on this particular show a personal victory, despite the accepted tenet that any publicity is good publicity.
Bend spoons with your mind.
You can barely bend spoons with your hands, and you want to bend them with that head of cauliflower you call a brain? Do not attempt mind over matter when matter is clearly superior to your mind.
Burp at will.
Doing one thing and doing it very well is wise in most cases, but this is not one of them. This might have curried you favor as a youngster but will fail to win over many new acquaintances as an adult.
Have an all-you-can-eat buffet named after you.
While you should be proud of this at some level, your primary takeaway should be that you are consuming more food than most Third World countries.
Have your fifteen minutes of fame.
Knowing it will not be at the Oscars but rather on your front lawn, where you are engaged in some sort of drunken domestic dispute.
Invent the cotton gin.
Been there, done that.
Join the Flying Wallendas.
Even the Wallendas probably wish they had a different last name so they wouldn’t have to fall hundreds of feet to their premature deaths.
Make the “10 Most Wanted” list.
Your glee from being named best among your peers will instantly disappear when you realize you can’t buy stamps or mail letters at the post office.
Predict the future.
If you could really do this, I trust you’d be spending your time in a much more constructive way than you are right now.
Reach a higher level of consciousness.
Put your quest for enlightenment on hold and just try not to lock yourself out of the house once a month or have to call the bank repeatedly because you forgot your ATM number.
Ride a unicycle.
Ooh! Look at me, everyone! I’m riding a bicycle with only one tire! Big whoop.
Run a marathon.
A classic case of doing something just to prove to yourself and others that you can do it regardless of how stupid it is. Choosing to undergo pain for 26.2 miles should be considered grounds for undergoing a CAT scan.
See someone’s aura.
If you truly have the ability to see someone’s aura or field of energy, why do you go out with such losers?
563 STUPID THINGS PEOPLE DO TO MESS UP THEIR LIVES. Copyright © 2000 by Larry Samuel. All rights reserved. Printed in the United States of America. No part of this book may be used or reproduced in any manner whatsoever without written permission except in the case of brief quotations embodied in critical articles or reviews. For information, address St. Martin’s Press, 175 Fifth Avenue, New York, N.Y. 10010.