Everybody has a right to look dumb sometime in their lives. While some may have a higher propensity to make a fool of themselves at every opporuntity presented to them, others exhibit this ability in spurts.
As always , I will exhibit my systematic thinking and analytical bent of mind by categorizing the human species into three broad sub categories
1. Dodos: These are people who have transgressed all boundaries of intelligence and have permanently taken abode in the land of the dumb. Born to be extinct, Dodos can seldom attribute their asinine behavior to an external factor and almost always find themselves to be the chief perpetrator of the dumbest act that has happened in their vicinity. Dodos are an onlooker’s delight and a nightmare for any person even remotely associated with them.
Percentage share in human population: 30%
2. Nincompoops: This category has people who are usually mistaken to be normal human beings but when struck by a fit of Nincompoopia , they exhibit a fatuous behavior of the highest order to put even the Dodos to shame. For the uninitiated, Nincompoopia is a common disease and often strikes when there is a possibility of maximum damage which translates into a situation where a maximum number of onlookers can get to watch a fool in action. The disease is highly contagious and one can expect an average of 6 in every 10 people to be infected.
Nincompoops carry themselves with great dignity and seriousness and usually blame an act of stupidity to sheer bad luck and Mr. Murphy.
Percentage share in human population: 60%
3. Super Heroes: This is the most exciting of all categories . Super heroes have special powers which make them superbeings but for some strange reason they prefer to wear their underwear over their pants.
Percentage share in human population: 10%
While I am it, let me make a confession that I fall into the category of Nincompoops.
I grew up like any normal child without showing any symptoms of being a Nincompoop during my pre -teen years. I would do well in school and at sports but somehow never enjoyed quizzing and mind stimulating games. This was probably a sign of things to come. As I moved into my teens, I started exhibiting traits of what I was going to be for the rest of my life.
I still remember the first time I felt I was one of them. It started like a usual school day; the morning assembly, the Lord’s Prayer and a small lecture on discipline by our principal. Once back into our classes we were checked for our conformance to the school uniform.
The law of the school was that any student caught for nonconformance would be taken to the school playground where they would be put to picking up stones and preparing the field for the evening football match. It sounded barbaric but it was quite a fun for the ‘punished’ students. No student ever worked in the field and everybody enjoyed the winter sun as they chatted and rejoiced over the legitimate status to their playing a truant .Often they would split into teams and have a small football match as well. In short, punishment for non conformance in school uniform was everybody’s dream.
In my case, it was no longer a dream. It was an aspiration.
As the prefects walked into the classroom to pick out the lucky ones, I suddenly had an urge to achieve my aspirations on that very day. I checked my uniform – it was prim and proper. I cursed myself for getting it right again which was largely because my mom would never falter. However, since I had made up my mind, I started exploring other options. Whoever said that “A friend in need is a friend indeed” had probably been through a similar situation before because just as I was about to give up all hope I saw my best friend from school. He grinned as he showed his Red socks to me. He had definitely done his homework well by ensuring that he had all the chance of getting caught and in style.
My first reaction was that of envy for I knew that he would soon have the prerogative of the punishment while I would sit through a boring lesson of History. And then, almost out of nowhere, my devilish mind produced an idea. At this moment, I am reminded of a famous Hindi proverb which says - Jab kutte ki maut aati hai to woh shahar ki taraf bhagta hai (When a dog is about to meet his end, he runs towards the city). No points for guessing that I was going to play the proverbial dog here.
The idea was simple and followed the basic management principle of working within ones resources-
The Situation: Two friends seeking the opportunity of bunking a lecture
The Resource: A pair of red socks
The Solution: Share the pair!
So, we did it. I put on one of his socks and he put on one of mine. In effect, my friend had a black sock in one and a red one in the other foot and so did I.
As expected, we were caught and asked to line up in front of the class. I walked out with my chest puffed up with pride and chuckled to myself for having pulled it off so neatly. As we pranced across the corridors, I could see other students peeping out of their classrooms to catch a glimpse of the lucky **** of the day. I wanted to scream out - Sorry guys, it just isn’t your day.. better luck next time!!
The parade of the nonconformists marched across the length of the school and just when I was getting ready to turn left towards the football field, I saw the entire queue turning to the right.
It is important for me to explain the significance of this right turn at this point. The right turn led straight to the only operational room in southern part of the school building. The room belonged to the most loathed creature in the school – The physical training instructor – Mr. L. I asked a few others about the possible reason behind our changed course of path but they were as clueless. For the first time in my life, I felt like a bolt getting ready to be screwed.
As it turned out, Mr. L had decided to change the nature of the punishment. It was no more about cleaning up the field and picking stones. The new punishment was 5 canes each on the butt.
The only person who seemed delighted by the change in punishment was my friend. He started laughing hysterically while pointing at me and I surely knew why.
I was at the end of the 7 member line and hence the last one to get my share of five. I heard about 25 screams of Ahs and Ouchs before I heard five ‘Haiys’ sandwiched between sputters of laughter from the 6th person who of course, was my friend. And then it was my turn.
For the rest of the day I walked in an awkward manner and refused to sit on a chair in the classroom. Back at home in the afternoon, I sulked till evening before my fatigue drowned me into a deep dog-like sleep.
So that’s how it all started. What followed was a string of preposterous incidents that was to last a lifetime. I have already scripted a few here and promise to script many more as and when they happen and I get over with my initial bouts of humiliation to eventually laugh at them with others.