Stupid Human Tricks: Vol. XXVII

The vacuous behavior of human beings never ceases to amaze … and I’m not even talking politics.

In a recent example, proof was provided during a drive to and from the Junior College National Championship Wrestling Tournament in neighboring Council Bluffs, Iowa.

The mind-numbing stupidities of which I am about to speak took place on the 3 ½ hour round-trip drive to and from Council Bluffs.

It was championship Saturday and the day’s action was to begin at 9:30 a.m. There being not one but two Cracker Barrels en route, it was certain I’d grab a hearty (read carb-loaded, diabetic unfriendly) Mama’s Pancake Breakfast at one or the other.

Thus, I left early … and was met immediately at the end of the driveway by a blanket of fog.

The lousy visibility was troublesome in York, but not impassable. It worsened as I trekked east, slogging through the cloud on I-80 to the Missouri River, across the bridge and onto a Mid-America Center parking lot.

This Stupid Human Tricks saga quickly made itself obvious right away as I met car after car after car in the opposing lanes displaying no lights whatsoever, not even those silly little, useless-in-the-fog parking lights.

This specific highway idiocy has tortured me for decades. The difference this time, I believe, is that all was made worse by the fact I, a person facing birthday 75 in July, have been rendered intolerant, grouchy and generally miserable as a direct result of outliving my usefulness on earth.

So, there I was, meeting all these dim-witted humans while muttering to myself like Popeye the whole way.

At first, I endeavored to count them in case my disgust might inspire a column one day; which, as you now know, it did. That initial plan circled the drain in short order when reality dawned just how daunting this task would be with that kind of volume over so much distance.

Then I scaled back to just taking inventory of the white and gray vehicles alone. It requires a full-blown, slack-jawed ruminant to intentionally make their own car invisible in fog.

But again, too many to record while driving safely myself. Whatever the number, it would have to be doubled to account for what logic promises would be just as many mouth breathers in my own eastbound lanes.

Now, toss in the special Darwin Award finalists who granted themselves permission to maintain the posted limit of 75 mph … in fog-hued cars … with no lights. Perhaps now you gain a sense of the vulnerability and irritation I felt that morning.

Folks, it’s not only whether you can see to drive, it’s equally as much about giving the rest of us the small courtesy of half a chance to see. and thus avoid ramming into, you. Not so difficult to comprehend one would think, but clearly not everyone is capable to wrap their tiny mind around the concept.

At the meet’s end late that evening, it was time to saddle up the faithful Canyon pickup and point it west into Nebraska.

Then, chapter two of Steve’s Endless Annoyances.

We have suffered relentless, devil winds day and night for weeks now on top of exceptional drought the last couple years. If not for the Ogallala Aquifer we would all be destitute or dead. Thousands of acres of grass and cropland have burned at the cost of millions of dollars and a devoted fire chief’s life. Anybody with at least one eye open and a single remaining brain cell understands the unique danger at this time and in this place of fire.

So, what do I see several times on the return drive? Cigarette butts cavalierly tossed from car windows in front of me, each one bursting into a mini explosion of sparks, instantly swept by the howling south gale toward bone-dry vegetation at the highway’s northern edge. Geez, people!

Now, we’ll examine what grinds my grits most about politics. Then again, let’s not.

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