If there's one thing I do well, it's stupid stuff. I'm a bit of an expert.
For example, anyone could clear the table after a family meal. You don't even have to be smart.
I, of course, will clear the table in one trip, stacking plates, salad bowls, forks, leftover spaghetti, cups, garlic bread and the gallon milk jug missing the lid into one easy-to-manage mountain of peril. This not only clears the table all at once, it clears a lot of cupboard space, too. Especially after that one trip.
Stupid stuff. It's more difficult to master than one may think.
I write this through the pain of experience (eased by the benefit of ibuprofen).
We stayed at my parents' house a couple nights ago. At 3 in the morning, I sensed an urge to roll out of bed and head downstairs.
Feeling my way in the dark with my toes, I finally thought I made it all the way down to the bottom. I wasn't. Then suddenly, decisively, I was. In a twisted, moaning heap.
"Why didn't you turn on the stairwell light so you could see?" Dad asked.
Because that would have been smart. I am not an expert at smart. I do stupid stuff.
Besides, it's his fault. Dad is a neatnik. A place for everything and everything in its place. One isn't tensed against danger in that kind of environment. Messy people become adept at maneuverability. We lose that edge in a neat person's house.
Therefore, organizing things is doing stupid stuff. It stifles the element of surprise.
Stupid knows no bounds.
I picked up a wraparound desk for my office. I slid the first unbolted section into the back of a pickup truck. I flipped the second section upside down and slid it on top of the first, forgetting about the bolts. I gouged a bolt canyon through the full length of my shiny new desktop.
That was stupid enough. But I didn't notice that. What I thought instead was, "Hey, this would fit better if I pulled it out and slid the other end in first." Which I did, gouging a complete second set of bolt canyons the full length of the shiny new desktop.
I used to back out of the garage without checking my side mirrors. I ripped the side mirror right off the car. Had I looked, I probably would have seen the door frame coming.
Doing stupid stuff can be hereditary. My daughter, Melissa, once tried to back out without using any mirrors. Had she looked, she probably would have noticed that the garage door was still closed. She did thunk an opening through the closed garage door.
Sorry about that, Melissa. But maybe there's hope for you. I haven't ridden in the basket of a shopping cart since I was 4. I never mounted a plastic lawn chair to a bicycle fender as a second seat.
I never lit a gas oven with a match after leaving the gas turned on for a full minute. Well, not a second time, anyway. The first fireball was enough to satisfy my curiosity.
The other day, I saw a sign that read, "Drink coffee. Do stupid stuff faster with more energy."
No, thanks. If there's anything I don't need, it's help doing stupid stuff. So pass the milk instead, please, the gallon jug missing the lid. Throw it I'll catch it.
Yeah, stupid stuff.
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