The difference between stupidity and genius is that genius has its limits.
Do animals do stupid things? Would an animal commit an act of utter idiocy and then sit down (if it’s an animal with a bottom and not say, a snake,) and have a word with itself saying, “Well, that sure was dumb.”?
I’m going to say “no”. This means that what really separates us from the beasts is our ability to be utterly, gloriously stupid. I like that.
Take the time I put my hair in the mangle. I thought I would have hair all smooth and sleek, like a dark glassy lake but instead I had a mangle attached to my head. Similarly, there was the time I attempted to give myself curls after swimming by rolling a comb up in my hair and then had to sit all the way through “The Adventures of Sinbad” with a comb protruding from my ear like an unexploded doodlebug.
Sometimes we would take turns at putting on my Mum’s shiny nylon housecoat and launch ourselves head first onto an old mattress we had chucked onto the stairs. It was a kind of 70’s homespun version of the skeleton luge, one where the competitors wore Wranglers and gave each other Chinese burns while waiting to compete. Anyway, one time I decided to freestyle a forward roll at the top. We learnt an important lesson about momentum that day. Also minor concussion.
Once I was drunk in a pub when a friend of mine, inspired by the movie Le Hussard Sur Le Toit” (go to 1.46), started to dip his finger in his whisky and then set light to it. Emboldened by our inebriated admiration, he decided to try it with his nose whereupon his nasal hair went up like a forgotten hedgehog on Bonfire Night. He awoke the next morning a dead ringer for WC Fields.
So many stupid things. Stripping to your pants and vest and rolling yourself in fibreglass loft insulation in the gang hut, “hiding” a Meri Mate bottle of cola in 4th year arithmetic by pouring the contents on the classroom floor, using two plastic bags as makeshift oven gloves. I could go on.
Good fun, stupid stuff, as long as you don’t kill yourself in the process. I don’t seem to be so stupid these days. No more tying tin cans to life’s tail, instead I sit quietly while it pads around me and settles in my lap.