Eyewitness to stupidity

By Kris Ferrazza | Nov 05, 2019

Lately, I feel like an eyewitness to stupidity.

All around us, people are doing really stupid things, and I am no exception.

The other night I went to let my dog out before bed. When I opened the inside door, I noticed a large spider on the screen of the second door.

“Watch this,” I said to the dog. She sat and watched with interest as I flicked the screen with my finger.

“Doink!” I said, laughing.

Naturally, I expected the spider to sail across the porch and land on the front lawn. So imagine my surprise when it shot straight at me instead. I quickly realized my mistake - it was on the inside of the screen. I ducked and karate chopped at the air as the eight-legged freak disappeared into my boot box.

Bella just tilted her head, as collies do, and calmly observed as I flapped around and berated myself. It was downright undignified, I tell you.

In that case, she was an eyewitness to stupidity.

When I related the story to my family the next morning, I blamed my mistake on the late hour and the fact I wasn’t wearing my glasses. But truth be told, I sometimes do idiotic things. It seems I always need to have a witness.

Years ago, I was doing chores when I discovered the pony’s water bucket in the pasture was partially frozen.

“Hey, Teddy! Watch and learn…” I announced. He stopped munching in order to catch the show. Then I ran up to the oversized plastic water bucket and karate kicked it like I was one of “Charlie’s Angels.”

Instead of breaking up the ice jam, my boot went straight through the cold, brittle plastic and got soaked. Water poured out of the large boot-sized opening in the side of the bucket. Teddy just looked at me, blinked a few times, and went back to grazing.

He was another eyewitness to idiocy, and clearly was not impressed.

Apparently I’m not the only one in my clan who says and does ridiculous things. When my grandmother died, we had a small family service to celebrate her life. The urn sat next to an old framed photograph of her in her youth. I was sitting in silence, listening to the music and remembering her when my sister leaned in close.

“Kris,” she whispered into my ear.

“Yes,” I said.

“Who is that?” she asked, gesturing toward the old photograph.

I looked at her for a long moment then decided to take the direct route.

“It’s Nan,” I said.

Oh,” she answered. “I thought so.”

When my mother heard the exchange, it struck her so funny that she sat with her shoulders shaking, tears streaming from her eyes. I think the people around us just assumed she was upset by the loss of her mother.

At my bridal shower, I had a wedding registry and received a dozen place settings of Mikasa china. I sat and opened these gifts for a long time, then thanked all of my family and friends for their kindness and generosity.

My sister immediately approached me and said, “Wow, I have to hand it to you. I don’t know how you were so good at pretending to be happy when you kept getting the same thing over and over again.”

I explained that was the china pattern I had registered for, so they all matched.

Oh,” came her reply.

We are not stupid people, but sometimes I guess we just say and do stupid things.

Take my husband, for example, who sat for hours at the wedding reception of his niece and eventually picked up the monogrammed centerpiece.

“Did anybody ever figure out what the A and G stood for?” he asked.

“Ashley and Garrett,” I said.

Oh,” he said. “That makes sense.”

But lest you think I’m the smart one, don’t be fooled. One afternoon, I pulled back the shower curtain in our bathroom to discover a large spider on the bath mat. Feeling brave, I summoned my daughter. (After all, I need a witness to these things.)

“See this spider?” I asked.

“Yes,” she said, cowering behind the door.

“This is how you get rid of it,” I said. “Observe!”

I opened the nearby window, raised the shade and pulled back the curtains. Then I carefully picked up the entire bath mat and carried it to the window, spider and all. Victory. Once I had reached through the window to the great outdoors,” I announced, “Bye-bye, buddy!” and with a great flourish, I snapped the bath mat to send the spider flying.

Oh, he flew alright. Right back at me like a boomerang. He sailed into the house and landed on the left shoulder of my sweatshirt. I let out a blood-curdling scream and ripped the sweatshirt off over my head. I threw the whole thing out the window and ran around the house ranting like a lunatic.

My daughter observed the spider on the sweatshirt outside, so at least we knew we had gotten rid of him. I tried to wear the sweatshirt after it came out of the laundry, but never could quite get past the incident, so it went into the rag bag.

That time, Elizabeth was the eyewitness.

After the birth of our daughter, we took a trip to Boston. We made a quick pit stop so I could feed the baby and then walked around the city.

I remember being happy and excited to be among people, instead of holed up at home with my infant. It was a beautiful day and I couldn’t help but notice everyone seemed to be looking at us as I carried her down the street.

“People are so friendly when they see you have a baby,” I said to my husband. “Everyone keeps smiling at me.”

He glanced over at me and I saw his expression change.

“Uh, honey?” he said, and gestured toward the buttons on the front of his shirt. I looked down at my blouse & it was wide open. Oops.

Eyewitnesses all.

And the beat goes on.

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