Tag Archives: Stupidity

An Ode To Fall

The air is getting a little bite to it.

Sure, it’s a bite in the same way that a nonagenarian gums at his smushed prunes every morning, but it’s still a bite. The cool air is beginning to make its way down the jet stream and heading South.

And I love it.

My two favorite seasons here at Casa de Dude in Charlotte, NC (as if there is a Casa de Dude anywhere else. Not like we can barely afford this place or anything.) are fall and spring.

They’re why we moved north from Florida, after all. Both my wife, known to one and all as She Who Must Be Optimally Thermo-Regulated Through External Means, and I lived in Florida for a long while. And we got used to the slight temperature variation of the Sunshine State.

Sure, there are four seasons in Florida. There’s Summer. Late Summer. Three Days of Winter and Early Summer. See? Four seasons.

We just wanted a place where you could actually tell the seasons apart via a means somewhat more intuitive than flipping through a calendar. Hence the move north, where we ran into a great number of people who made the move south to Charlotte because they were sick of the cold weather. I guess we learned to meet in the middle.

While I have come to love fall and spring, it wasn’t an easy transition. About fourteen years ago this month, during our first October up north, I stood at the back window washing dishes. Looking out in our backyard, I started getting really depressed.

We’d only just moved and purchased the house, partly because it had a wonderful back yard, full of trees. Now, gosh darn it, all the trees were dying. I’d have to call an arborist and have them all cut down, hauled to the front street and then disposed of. Which would mean saying good bye to the wonderful mini woods there in the back yard.

*sigh*

At which point I realized what was actually going on: It was fall. The leaves were turning brown and falling off. Just like they were supposed to do.

I’d lived in Florida so long I’d forgotten that trees turned brown and went dormant during winter.

I did eventually manage to get over the bout of intense stupidity. Well, according to me I got over it. Not so much others.

Now, though. . . Now I look forward to the fall, dudes. I enjoy watching the sun set a little later every night. Not so much having to get up when it’s still very, very dark out, but it’s a nice change up from what we normally have.

The cooler air. The annual return of the jackets to being strewn-o round everywhere. The annual frantic search for a warm hat to put on a bald head for an early morning dog walk.

Ah, yes. This is the best time of all.

And then I get to dress up and pig out on candy.

What’s not to love?

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Olympic-Level Stupidity

by Richard

There’s talk that the Olympics, held alternating two years between winter and summer, are the epitome of sport, the highest echelon of sport in both skill and conduct. Yeah, well, so much for that.

As of this week, we’ve got some serious issues to discuss in, of all places, women’s badmitten.

Yeah, badmitten, dudes. Badmitten. That sport with the long rackets and the little plastic ball attached to a plastic feathering to make it hang in the air. The little ball thingy is called a birdie or a shuttlecock or something like that. Really. Too lazy to look it up so you know that’s pretty lazy. You’ve probably only seen it in movies about old-time rich dudes in their backyard parties. Or played it when you were really young. Hardly anyone plays it now.

Which doesn’t mean it’s not taken seriously.

In the final competitions of the group round, which determines the seeding for the single-elimination finals round, three teams were accused of trying to throw a game to get a better seeding. A late-breaking bit of good news: Those three teams were sent home for trying to deliberately throw the game.

China and Indonesia have one team involved, along with two from South Korea. The way it worked out was that all four teams were trying to lose so they wouldn’t play a very good China team during the first game of the medal round. All eight ladies on those four teams were sent home.

These teams played like nobody wanted to win. There were serves straight into the net. Often. Horrible misses. Just bloody obvious play showing the teams were throwing the games.

When I think about this, I’m saddened but not surprised. I’m sad that it’s come to this, when the Olympics really are supposed to be the last bastion of pure sport. We know that’s not the case, witness professional basketball players bulking up the teams for every country playing the sport. Still, there was hope that the smaller sports might actually have some integrity left.

I mean, what’s the point of watching synchronized diving if we’re not watching it for the pure, unadulterated joy of watching a bunch of folks compete at a goofy sport that is totally made up just for the heck of it? Seeing people bring the non-ethics of cheating into the whole thing, looking for a better seeding rather than playing who’s in front of you so you play and beat the best. . .

That’s just sad.

But, again, not surprising. It’s the inevitable endpoint of the 24-hour news cycle, where every person who stands out can become famous, at least for a little while, and can leverage that fame into money and prestige. That’s a lot riding on the swing of a raquet.

Now, even when the players hit it over the net, it might as well be a miss as far as the spectators are concerned.

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. . . And Shove It!

by Richard

So Zippy the Monkey Boy is now Zippy the Delivery Boy. He finally listened to his mom and me and went out and got a job. He’s a delivery boy for a local Chinese restaurant.

Actually, for all that we worry about him driving around out there on the city streets at night, in a hurry to get where he needs to go, this is a pretty good fit to his skill sets. He’s gregarious, likes to talk to new people, and is willing to smile a lot. One of his major shortcomings is an unwillingness to tolerate stupidity (in others) silently.

I figured that would be a major problem for him in that he’d certainly have customers who would have forgotten they’d ordered food, didn’t have the money or way to pay, that sort of thing. And he wouldn’t deal well with it. Turns out, it’s been a good thing for him as he’s learned ways to deal. It was either that or not get a tip and he loves the tips.

No, the major problem with this job actually comes from a difference in our definitions of reasonable safety. Zippy the Delivery Boy, being a 17-year-old, is convinced of his own immortality and his own invulnerability. Even then, though, he wants to take what he considers to be reasonable precautions. He wants to carry around a really big knife (read machete) in the car under his seat to protect himself and to make sure he can out-threaten anyone who tries to rob him.

A concern for safety is a good thing, especially for a young dude on delivery runs. However, I’d rather he be unarmed and more than willing to hand over the money. See, my concern is that he’ll  be confronted and will then pull the knife to which the robber will respond by pulling a gun. Escalation isn’t just to get upstairs, you know. The way I see it, no amount of money is worth Zippy the Delivery Boy’s life. I’d rather he just give it all up and live to drive another day.

He doesn’t see it that way. He’s convinced he can’t be hurt and the merest sight of his dangerous and vicious self wielding a large knife will be enough to set any reprobate back on the straight and narrow.

For now, he’s willing to give my idea a try. And I’m willing to just sneakily search the car before each shift instead of doing it right in front of him. I like to think of it as trust, but verify.

Now if only he’ll listen to me about speeding.

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