George Carlin once said, “Some people see things that are and ask, why? Some people dream of things that never were and ask, why not? Some people have to go to work and don’t have time for all that.” Well, I am one of them. I am too busy searching stupidity.
Since my childhood, I don’t know why, but I have always been attracted to people less intelligent than me. No I don’t call them stupid or dumb directly. I call them the eternal-he-who-gets-kicked. Now you may think that I am a prejudiced person. Well let me clear this out: I am free of all prejudices and biases. I hate everyone equally.*
Except of course, the ‘Stupidest’ person that I have been searching for day and night- the person who personifies stupidity, the person who will do the wackiest and dumbest thing ever done on this planet. I have been searching for that person, even before Google.
Well, to tell you the truth this quest started when I heard these valuable words of William Blake: “If a fool persists in his folly he would become wise.” Since then I have spent half of my life searching for a wise fool. The other side of the story is that I don’t have even the faintest idea what Blake actually meant.
Now my search for this stupid person started with great excitement. One day, I was loitering around in the streets when a pathetic and disgusting noise broke out like hell. Trust me on this- it was the most annoying sound you can ever hear. The only thing that struck my mind is that no one other than the ‘Stupidest’ man I was searching for could make such an irritating noise. I knew he was somewhere around. Suddenly I felt a strange thing moving in my trousers. Like a true gladiator, I inserted my hands into the deadly pockets of my trouser. It was my mobile phone ringing and vibrating, for the first time ever.
I picked up the phone. Since I had bought my mobile phone, two years back, this was the first time someone had really called me. The rest all just missed-called me. It was a lousy religious missionary on the phone. Even before I had said hello, he had given me a quick way of finding God. I didn’t need that. So I said “It seems that you read the wrong cards to me sweetie. I am not looking for God; I am looking for the stupidest person on the earth. Any idea about that?”
The priest sounded angry. “Dear child,” he began, “Don’t you say that. You may land up in hell, which is a pit full of burning fire. I am sure you don’t want to land in hell. So tell me what must you do to avoid going to hell?”
I thought a bit and then replied confidently: “I must keep myself hale and hearty and not die at any cost.”
And then the priest violently ended the first received call on my phone. But not before he had blurted out this message: P.S. I bless you. And as I stood there in the middle of the street, a crumbled paper came out from nowhere and started flying around my nose. I leapt up to catch the flying paper and fell down on my face, breaking my nose in the process. But when I read the paper I knew the missionaries blessings had worked. The paper contained the fundamental laws of stupidity. I read them one by one:
1. The number of stupid individuals farting in the same atmosphere in which we breathe is large.
2. Stupid people can be seen as a group. They are more powerful than major organizations such as the Mafia. And what is more, even without regulations, leaders or manifesto this group manages to operate to great effect and with incredible coordination.
3. A stupid person causes damage to others without experiencing any personal gain. Generally, the stupid person causes damage to himself in the process.
This was a revelation. And I felt as jubilant as a prophet. This was a real breakthrough.
And thus armed with these laws I searched everywhere for that stupid individual. I searched for him in parliaments, public toilets, universities, engineering colleges, marriage halls. In the dead of the night as I would pass by some odd street, my instincts would tell me that the stupid person that I am searching for is hiding in the bushes. And so in the darkness I would start calling him very affectionately ‘Fool’, ‘Hey Fool’, ‘Stupid’, ‘Dumbo’, ‘Imbecile’, ‘Jerk’, ‘Blockhead’, ‘Dimwit’, ‘Dork’, ‘Ass’, ‘Dumbbell’, ‘Tom fool’, ‘Moron’. But there would be no answer except sometimes a litter of angry dogs coming out from behind the trees growling and barking and I had to run for life.
And soon I learnt this bitter truth/ the stupidest man must be hiding somewhere, I could not even think of. And hence I started searching for this stupid man in drawers, post-boxes, chips packet, wardrobes, bookshelves, suitcases, nappy pads, phenyl bottles, etc etc. Night and day I searched.
I was searching for this stupid man one dark night, when the thing happened. In the darkness I held a lighter steady searching for the stupid man in the utensils and the cookeries. And then when I opened the mouth of the big cylinder placed near me, opened its huge mouth and peered into its depths with my faithful lighter, it happened all at once. The cylinder was an LPG cylinder. A huge blast shook me and then it was all light and light.
And as my ghost speaks writes this for you, I want you to see what they have written on my tomb-stone:
“Here lies the body of an ass,
Who searched for himself in a cylinder of gas.”
P.S. * I second W.C. Fields in this case who had said: I am free of all prejudices. I hate everyone equally.