The News Courier in Athens, Alabama

March 24, 2012

If you’re stupid and you know it, clap your hands

By Kelly Kazek
kelly@athensnews-courier.com

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Most of you are aware of my strict policy against making fun of stupid people.

But since they are usually too stupid to realize I am talking about them, I do it anyway.

Why?

It amuses me.

The reason it’s not nice to make fun of the people I mention below is because they really didn’t know they were being stupid.

And as the saying goes, “Ignorance of your own stupidity is probably a good thing,” or something like that.

So rather than make fun, I am merely doing what any good journalist would do: Reporting the facts.

If you choose to laugh in the privacy of your own home, well, it’s not like I instigated it.

The first case I am writing about today concerns a Colorado woman who showed mad deceptive powers when she came up with a scheme to avoid jury duty.

A woman I’ll call Susan Cole, mainly because that’s her name, was called to Denver County Court for jury duty last summer, where she planned to seem “mentally unstable” by wearing “mismatched shoes, reindeer socks … and a shirt that bore the caption ‘Ask me about my best seller.’”

She also said she had been diagnosed with post-traumatic stress disorder resulting from domestic abuse she experienced while in the military.

Her evil plan worked. Judge Anne Mansfield decided anyone who didn’t know reindeer socks should only be worn in December should not be deciding the fate ofDenverites accused of criminal activity. Cole was excused and that would have been the end of it, except ….

Susan was so tickled with her ownself she decided she needed a public pat on the back. Last week, she called a local radio program, the Dave Logan Show, during a discussion of ways to avoid jury duty. Identifying herself as “Char from Denver,” Susan gave Dave the details of her charade, even describing how clients at her hair styling business were so amused they cried from laughing.

Funny thing is, other people were listening to the show, especially those who might be interested in the topic of jury duty, such as Judge Anne Mansfield.

The judge recognized the description and guess what? Judges are not terribly forgiving about being made a fool. In fact, judges can get downright ornery, as did Mansfield, who had Susan arrested for perjury.

Funny thing, it looks as if Susan were wearing her “crazy person” disguise in her mug shot with her hair all disheveled and her eyebrows gone all Gargomel-wonky.

Maybe it’s part of another evil plot, although she did admit to being embarrassed for discussing the fraud on the radio. I can’t imagine why.

Perhaps Susan is not as red-faced as Bonnie Miller of Benton Harbor, Mich., who last week was walking along, minding her own business, when tragedy occurred. Of course, her “business” was texting while walking without watching where she was going, and she walked smack dab off a pier and into Lake Michigan. Bet that was a chilly surprise.

Fortunately, another woman, Rebecca Van Zant, was not texting and thus witnessed Miller’s unexpected dive. The woman jumped in to rescue Miller just as police arrived on the scene.

Personally, I do not know how Miller could be expected to accept all the shame for this. With all those new phones that keep you from drunk-dialing or sleep texting, you’d think someone at Apple would have developed a phone smart enough to warn a person when she is about to take a dip.

I’m just sayin.’

Today’s last recipient of a “Bless your stupid little heart” goes to someone in Chaska, Minn. I am not sure which person and here’s why: A man whose name was thankfully not revealed was arrested last week for that most dastardly of deeds, cursing out his cat. Neighbors called police complaining that the man was loudly shouting obscenities at the poor cat.

Here’s my question: Would you feel more embarrassed if you are the person who cursed your cat so loudly that neighbors complained, or if you had to be the arresting officer who filled out a report listing a variety of colorful expletives befitting a feline?

Apparently, police had justifiable cause, though, as the man had been previously charged with disorderly conduct and was known for being unruly.

However, it seems the man had his own defense, saying he’s only “human.”

I’m betting that’s exactly what his cat was thinking.

You can reach Kelly Kazek by email at kelly@athensnews-courier.com or by phone at 256-232-2720.