Albert Einstein reportedly said that “Only two things are infinite; the universe and human stupidity, and I’m not sure about the former”.

 I am no genius but I know for certain that nothing bad and irritating ever happened in this world without the help of some stupid human being. Even our daily travails and irritations are caused by that curse – Humanis Stupiditis or HS! as it is generally known in my alternative medical circles. Stop it now – Stupidity is going to get kill us all in the end!

Let’s get one thing straight. Human stupidity is a unique hereditary phenomenon. It cannot be learned, practiced, or qualified for. It cannot even be improved on. It is something you just suffer from, and the worst is that you are always the last person on earth to know it. Stupid people however can often see other stupid people from an epic distance. Sometimes they end up in a group, and sometimes they deliberately avoid other HS! sufferers, mainly to avoid competition.

Examples of stupidity in everyday life abound. We see it, hear it, experience it, and we will all finally drown in it.

But one place to see it in action is a visit to any mid-city traffic intersection. An intersection is a place where incredibly stupid pedestrians and stupid drivers meet. Every second of the day.  All over the place. Yes, that place on your way to somewhere where you are expected to stop at the red (and God forbid, also the amber) lights, whether you’re walking or driving, to allow others to move in their intended direction relatively freely, and when the light turns green, affording you the opportunity to move on, yourself.

What happens at these places of communal gathering and human interaction sometimes reminds me of no-go areas in war zones. You enter at your own risk, no visible rule but assertiveness applies, and no-one takes prisoners. Just hordes crossing and double-crossing on foot and in vehicles as the seconds run out before the light changes. First the pedestrians get their opportunity to move in droves, six-abreast despite the white lines like SS soldiers at a Nazi rally in Dortmund before the War – unstoppable and without time limit. A minute or so after the light had changed to red for the walkers, some irate HS! sufferer-driver honks and attempts to intimidate the jaywalking menace to let him go through. The body language war is something to behold. Once the driver has broken through the ranks of red light loitering pedestrians, intent on going against the light (and oncoming cars) increase, as they cannot wait for the next light changing in their favour – Carpe Diem!

In the mean-time, stupid drivers, knowing that they could have made it first time if it wasn’t for the stupid pedestrians do exactly the same as the stupid pedestrians did – only in their cars – keep on, keeping on. They continue forward despite the lights changing against them. As the first pedestrians of the second wave now enters the arena, showing drivers with their purposeful walking that “enough is enough” they again, invade the playing area. Any alien studying this daily occurrence will by now realise that everything has returned to “normal”, except that everyone, in their quest to cross the street, is now walking and driving AGAINST the lights. It is then when some unsuspecting
mobile-talking-on-the-phone-driver sees the light out the corner of his eye changing in his favour, shoots forward and run down another “innocent” pedestrian. Traffic cops called out to these scenes normally cannot make an assessment as only the much older ones can remember on which light you cross safely, and on which you must wait…

The problem is that HS! disease unfortunately is not limited to traffic intersections. It has found its way into every nook and cranny where human beings exist. We are not safe anywhere anymore!

What causes HS!? We all have a vague idea about what human means, so let’s look at stupid in isolation – Collins dictionary synonyms for stupid informs us that the word means brainless; dim-witted; dumb; silly; witless; wretched; asinine; barmy; clueless; daft, dense; fatuous, foolish, idiotic; imbecilic (my personal favourite); moronic; senseless and many more.

Assorted human minders and carers tell us that educating people may help. The English Oxford Dictionary defines the word educate as “…Give intellectual, moral, and social instruction to (someone), typically at a school or university.”

After so many centuries of education and training, people seem to be more affected and afflicted by HS! than during the Dark Ages – FAILURE! BIG TIME!

My witch doctor suggests sex is the problem. She says that sex result in people, and people are stupid! You go girl!

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Johan van Zyl

I was born on 6 June 1961, six days into the new Republic of South Africa and the 17th anniversary of D-Day. For the moment I am employed in the private Sector as a Logistics professional, residing in Johannesburg – where I was born and bred. Apparently there are only two types of people in the world: those who make things happen and those who wonder what the hell just happened. I am an aspiring novelist – aren’t we all – and love to wonder about the simplicity as well as complicity that make us human, although I sometimes wonder if we have really evolved from being single cell organisms. I love life as well as a handful of people. Next to being outdoors, reading and writing are high on my priority list. I love company, even my own – sometimes.