My kids have asked me many questions over the years. After a while, I realized that for almost every question they could ask me, the answer at some level would boil down to the same thing: “The world is full of stupid people.” Anymore, when they ask me a question, I just look at them, and they say, “I know. The world is full of stupid people.”
So let’s prove it. Here’s some typical questions a kid might ask:
- “Why did that car almost run us down in the crosswalk?” I think I’ve blogged about this before. We have a shopping center in town with a lot of crosswalks, and a significant number of cars seem to think hitting someone in a crosswalk will get them more points in some cyber game in which killing people is the goal. I was once half-way across the street when this woman blazed through the crosswalk in front of me — and my three small children. Her car door was inches from my children’s faces. So I figured, if you’re close enough to me in a crosswalk that I could stretch out my foot and kick in your car door, why, that’s what I’ll do. I didn’t actually dent her door, but not for lack of trying. She kept driving, which was probably a smart move. She probably thought anyone who would kick a car door is crazy, and she would be right. Another time, a woman almost hit my son and me as we stepped into a crosswalk. I yanked my son back onto the sidewalk, and she screeched to a halt and angrily gestured for us to cross. After we had passed and she started forward, I said to my son, “What a dumb b****.” Her window was down, and she stopped the car to admonish me, “I really don’t think it’s necessary for you to call me a ‘dumb b****.'” No shrinking violet I, I answered, “I really don’t think it’s necessary for you to almost mow down my 8-year-old son with your car in a crosswalk.” She yelled, “Well, I didn’t notice him!” and I yelled back, “Well, pay better attention before you kill someone!” I mean, how dumb is that, to invite me to insult her to her face? See, the world truly is full of stupid people.
- “Why is the traffic so slow today?” Well, Darling, as the boy on the radio just said, “When we have a dusting of snow, everyone starts driving LIKE THEY’VE LOST THEIR DAMN MINDS.” Okay, it was slick this morning, but surely there’s a happy medium between “Banzai! Damn the torpedos!” and crawling along like a dog on his belly. We had less than a quarter of an inch of snow this morning. It took me half an hour to drive the 15-minute run to school. Stupid.
- “Why doesn’t McDonald’s put catsup in your bag anymore?” Because they’re cheap bastards, Darling. I mean, how much does a packet of catsup really cost? They’ve gotten stingy with the straws too, and forget about napkins. And have you noticed that a lot of nice restaurants don’t put catsup bottles on the tables anymore? Did you think it was because they’re always empty anyway? No, they do it because when a server brings a tiny paper cup of catsup, even though it’s not enough, most people won’t ask for more. How much does this really save, especially when you just paid $20 for a steak dinner? Stupid.
- “Why do they have so many commercials?” We watched the first episode of “Teen Mom 2” the other night, and I swear, there was more time spent on commercials than the actual show. What I really hate is when they put all the commercials in the last 15 minutes. Dr. Phil, I’m talking about you. Stupid.
- “Why do kids bully?” Well, Darling, I could say it’s because deep down inside they’re scared little wussies who don’t want anyone to guess, so they pick on kids they know won’t fight back. You might have noticed that bullies never pick on anyone who could kick their butts. But it’s easier to just answer, “Because the world is full of stupid people, and stupid kids.”
- “Why are the popular kids always so mean?” That’s more complicated, Darling. Doesn’t it seem like the mean kids get popular once you hit, oh, sixth grade? Before that, everyone hates the mean kids, so I guess littler kids are smarter than bigger kids. Why would mean kids be popular? People act like mean kids are funny, but really, everyone is just scared of them, so they suck up to them hoping the mean kids won’t be mean to them. But mean kids are eventually mean to everyone. I would imagine being popular must be kind of exhausting, always walking that razor edge between staying in the popular group and getting kicked out. So why does anyone want it? Stupid.
- “Why do people steal?” Especially Ipods and phones. We’ve had five Ipods stolen from our family over the years. What’s with the thieving little boogers in this generation?
- “Why do people smoke?” I truly don’t know, Darling. Maybe because they haven’t watched someone suffocate in a hospital bed, gasping for breath so hard their chests cave in toward their spines, like Grandpa did. It’s a horrible way to die, so I guess the world is really full of stupid people, because God knows no one younger than 55 can say they didn’t know smoking caused cancer and emphysema before they started smoking.
- “Why do people try drugs the first time when they know how ____ in their own family turned out?”
- “Why is there so much trash alongside the road?”
- “Why do the neighbors let their dog bark all the time?”
- “Why do people honk their car horns in the driveway at 7:00 on a Saturday morning?”
- “Why don’t companies make things better, especially when little kids play with them, especially when it’s Christmas and you open your present and you want the toy to work or it’s going to ruin your whole Christmas day?”
- “Why do people hurt little kids? Don’t they know we’re little?” How could anyone hurt a kid? It’s crazy. Those little faces, those munchkin voices, the innocence. The joy they feel when you give them anything, even a box of Oreos or new crayons. The delight they experience in the simplest things, like going over a hill in the car too fast and feeling “tickly” in their stomachs. The way they always love you even when you’re stressed and impatient. The way they forgive almost anything, even the horrible people who hurt them. According to everychildmatters.org, “715,760 children [were] confirmed abused and neglected in 2008,” although “the actual occurrences of maltreatment may be three times greater.” Yeah, the world is definitely full of stupid people.