Point of No Return — Finding comfort in others doing dumb things

Date Published: 
Nov. 3, 2107

Finding comfort in others doing dumb things


Is it petty to take joy in someone else’s suffering when you’re having a bad day yourself?

We’ll leave that one for the philosophers to debate, as different degrees of “bad day” could extend to wishing varying degrees of suffering on other people. I mean, stubbing my toe on the leg of my desk could consistute a bad day, as could a horrific tragedy involving a loved one, so the corresponding suffering on someone else that would cause me some semblance of relief would fluctuate, causing...

But I digress.

Let’s start with this basic premise instead: I do dumb things. I do dumb things in the morning, I do dumb things in the afternoon and I do dumb things in the evening. This is not stated with anything resembling pride in my heart, mind you, but it is a rock-solid fact. For as long as I have been making decisions, I have done dumb things.

But you know what? There is always someone out there doing something even more stupid and without thought. So, going back to our original idea here and transfering it to people’s dumb actions, I can say that I do find joy in seeing other people do things that are even more dumb than things done by yours truly.

Still petty, I know, but at least it doesn’t wish tragedy on someone else — just stupid activity.

And there are plenty of places to look for stupid activity to make one feel better about their own insipid adventures in life. Politicians? Yeah, that’s pretty fertile ground. Media? Sure, we own lots and lots of stupid stuff. Celebrities? Have you ever stood at a cash register at a grocery store? Celebrities, and aliens, do plenty of dumb things, according to the fine publications hovering above the chewing gum.

Still, let’s focus our attention on criminals for this particular exercise. Though often portrayed in movies, television and books as ingenious masterminds, that rarely rings true in real life.

Now, don’t get me wrong — law enforcement does an amazing job catching bad guys, and new advances in technology and the sharing of information amongst agencies helps them even more. But the good guys also get a lot of help from the bad guys in solving many cases.

The New York Post had an article on Sunday, Oct. 29, about a marijuana bust that took place in a Brooklyn apartment last Friday night. According to the story, investigators from the Jersey City Police Department asked the NYPD to aid them in a search for an individual who was believed to be staying in a particular Brooklyn apartment.

When the officers arrived, a different man reportedly answered the door and allowed the officers to come in, even though there was a pretty significant amount of pot sitting around the apartment. So much pot, in fact, that the police officers arrested the man and two others, obtained a search warrant and discovered 97 pounds of marijuana and $931,000 in cash, according to the story.

I’m not Scarface, but it would seem to me that if you were in the business of harboring nearly 100 pounds of pot and a million buckaroos, well, you might want to hide it in a safe or enormous Folger’s can or something, right?

And since the New York tabloids love to compete with one another, let’s give equal time to the New York Daily News, which reported on a Long Island woman who reportedly robbed a bank last week.

According to the story, Diana Marini passed a note demanding cash to a teller inside a Chase bank in Islandia, per police reports. The woman then allegedly grabbed her ill-gotten booty, ran out of the bank and hopped into a waiting taxi.

Alas, there would be no cinematic car chase through the streets of New York as police found the cab close by, surrounded it and arrested Marini, who allegedly robbed the bank while her 6-year-old daughter waited outside in the getaway cab.

Now, here’s what gets me about this story: It goes on to say that Marini was charged with robbery and endangering the welfare of a child, and that her daughter was released to family members. Couldn’t Marini have dropped off her daughter with family members before she, you know, commited a federal offense? Im guessing she’ll be put on ice for a while for this crime.

You know who else was put on ice? Jeremy Van Ert, that’s who.

Van Ert, according to a UPI article, found himself locked overnight inside a Wisconsin store’s beer cooler last week. Police said that Van Ert told them he was shopping at the store and somehow got trapped in the cooler when employees locked it for the night at 11:50 p.m.

A customer reportedly told a Kwik Trip manager the next morning, at 5:50 a.m., that there appeared to be a man locked in the cooler. When employees opened the door, according to the manager, Van Ert left the store in a hurry (as one might expect from someone who was freezing in a cooler for an evening).

But the manager told police that Van Ert consumed an 18-ounce bottle of Icehouse Beer and three cans of malt beverage, in addition to knocking over a stack of boxes and destroying three cans of beer. Van Ert was cited for retail theft for not paying for the beverages, which seems like kind of a raw deal for spending six hours locked in a cooler.

I would guess — and my guesses are about as valuable as 6-cent coins if you see how my fantasy football teams are doing — that video showed Van Ert climbing into that cooler if the result was a citation and not a lawsuit.

Either way, I feel better. You?