Make Stupidity History suspended

In case you all haven’t noticed, I haven’t really had sufficient time to keep up with maintaining this site. Believe it or not, it’s actually hard to find stupid people in the news!

I haven’t yet decided what to do with the site, but the archives will remain up and accessible indefinitely.

If you’re jonesing for some stupidity, though, you can visit my main site, Homeland Stupidity.

And if you think you can maintain this Web site, want to take it over, purchase it, or just post bits of stupidity to it from time to time, feel free to contact me.

They’re trying to take our licenses away!

Margaret Riley, 80, of Burlington, N.C., got in her car last Tuesday to drive to a doctor’s appointment. Then, more than 70 people called 911 to report Riley’s car driving on the wrong side of Interstates 85 and 40.

She made it 14 miles before police finally managed to get her to stop.

During the entire trip, other drivers weaved and honked, but managed to steer clear.

She pulled over when she saw all the police lights. . . .

Police did not ticket Riley, but her driver’s license is being re-evaluated. — WTSP

Watch the video from the police dashboard cam, too. No word on whether today’s Stupid Person of the Day ever made it to the doctor, or whether she has an eye exam scheduled now.

Woman tries to buy dope from police

We’re back.

Grace Sium, 20, a student at North Dakota State University, called a West Fargo, N.D., police station, asking the police dispatcher where she could buy some drugs. The dispatcher told her that not only was it illegal, the police weren’t going to sell her any drugs. After she persisted, the dispatcher told her to come down to the police station and someone would hook her up. You can imagine what happened next.

Officer Ken Zeeb — who arrived for work at 3.45am — recalled: “The dispatcher got on the intercom and said, ‘You know what? She’s here. She just handed me $3 for marijuana.” Zeeb quickly moved to cuff the master criminal, and later explained: “She didn’t seem like she was really under the influence of drugs or alcohol. She understood what was going on and articulated herself well.’

Zeeb, who has worked narcotics for over seven years and “and has arrested people for trying to buy drugs at a house as it was being searched by police,’ admitted the bust was “about the craziest thing I’ve ever come across.’ He rightly concluded: “This is something that you couldn’t even make up.’ — The Register

Today’s Stupid Person of the Day was, perhaps, not quite in her right mind. Grace Sium didn’t get any dope, but she did get a trip to the Cass County Jail.

Drunken yobs post hamster

David Jordan and James Cole, undergraduates at Cambridge University in the U.K., have been fined for posting a live hamster.

The pair put the hamster in a standard A5 envelope and posted it in Market Street, Cambridge, on 22 June.

Michael Taylor, prosecuting for the RSPCA, said: “The hamster had been posted in a sealed, addressed envelope which contained no food and no source of fluid.

“The postman who emptied the box made the discovery because it was trying to chew its way out of the envelope. A veterinary surgeon who examined the hamster said, had it ended up in the sorting office and its mechanical sorting drum, the creature could have been killed.’ — Cambridge Evening News

Jordan was fined £750 and Cole £500, and both become today’s Stupid People of the Day.

(More information available from Daily Telegraph and from BBC: What can’t you send through the post?)

Man kills self, fails to burn down house after death

David Moore, 47, of Belmont, N.H., committed suicide sometime after Thanksgiving using a homemade guillotine. But his plans for his death went far beyond that. He had placed homemade Molotov cocktails in the walls of his home, and wired them up to electric power on a timer, set to go off shortly after he killed himself, to burn down his house.

The two bomb squad officers who came determined that they weren’t exactly bombs – they were Molotov cocktails made out of 12-oz. Aquafina water bottles that each contained about two ounces of gasoline. Whereas a bomb would cause an explosion, Molotov cocktails are simply incendiary, [state police bomb squad Sgt. Andy] Parsons said. Instead of blowing up, they would ignite with a loud pop or boom and start a fire, probably destroying the man’s house but not endangering any neighbors. . . .

“He had literally punched holes in the Sheetrock walls of his house and stuffed the bottles in there, but he had also punched holes in the bottom portion of the walls and stuffed them with newspaper,’ he said.

The bottles were connected to wires that were plugged into an electric device timer, Parsons said. The timer was plugged into a power strip, like many people use for their computers. The power strip was plugged into an outlet, but the devices never ignited because the power strip was switched off. — Concord Monitor

That’s right, Moore’s plan for a posthumous house fire, which I can only speculate would be to cover up his suicide, failed, all due to not checking one simple little detail. And for that, Moore posthumously becomes today’s Stupid Person of the Day.

If you have regular thoughts of committing suicide, please call someone first. Even if you think they can’t understand what you’re going through. There is someone out there who does understand because they’ve been through something like it before. Everybody has problems, and suicide doesn’t make the problems go away; it makes you go away, which — even if you can’t see it — is going to hurt someone very much.

Reports of death greatly exaggerated

The Waterloo-Cedar Falls (Iowa) Courier ran an obituary last week for Daniel “D.J.’ Reddout, 17, saying that he had died from complications from surgery Dec. 24, after receiving the information from a man who said he was the teenager’s father. The only problem is, D.J. was quite alive and well.

His mother, Mary Jo Jensen, had “jokingly’ told her boyfriend, James Snyder, that Reddout had died.

She said it was a case of bad communication.

“I had let my boyfriend know he was doing very, very badly at the hospital, and jokingly I said that he had passed away, and he took upon himself to put the obituary in,’ Jensen said.

“It was a mistake, and I apologize for that,’ she said. — Waterloo-Cedar Falls Courier

There’s humor, and then there’s stupidity. Mary Jo Jensen doesn’t seem to have figured out the difference, and thus becomes today’s Stupid Person of the Day.

Couple raised kids in garbage, animal feces, pornography

Wendy and Byron Ruff, of Warner, N.H., were convicted Monday of 10 counts of child endangerment, for keeping their five children in a home filled with animal feces, rotting garbage, loose insulation, and pornography on the walls.

“It is not a difficult matter to keep a home free of non-domesticated and non-house-trained animals,’ [Henniker District Court Judge Brackett] Scheffy wrote in his ruling Monday. “It does not require even an ordinary level of intelligence to know that the waste products of a variety of animals, many of which were in poor and diseased condition, are dangerous to the well-being of children and adults.

“The display of pornography on the walls of a home in which young children, one of them a pre-teen girl, reside, shows a callousness to their welfare that fails to meet any rational standard of behavior,’ Scheffy added.

The Ruffs are scheduled to be sentenced on Thursday. They face up to a year in jail or a $2,000 fine for each count.

The couple plan to appeal. They were charged in August after the town’s health inspector condemned their home, finding it full of garbage and animal waste, with no food for the children. The state veterinarian seized 37 animals, including pigs, chickens, goats, geese, rabbits, dogs and cats from the property. — WMUR

When the judge calls you stupid, then there’s a good chance you, like Byron and Wendy Ruff, will become the Stupid People of the Day.

Coroner rules death caused by gambling addiction

Andre Baril, 62, of Montreal, Quebec, Canada, liked playing the lottery. He was a big fan of Loto-Quebec’s Banco game, from which he won $25,000 a few years ago. But since then he spent his entire life savings, over $50,000, trying to hit the jackpot again.

Last summer, Baril fatally shot himself. But he’s not the Stupid Person of the Day.

The coroner announced this week that Baril’s death was caused by gambling addiction, and called for new laws regulating the sale of lottery tickets.

Coroner Jean-Francois Dorval says people who sell lottery tickets have to take some responsibility, “like someone who sells alcohol.’

He says lotto retailers should be licensed and should be trained to recognize gambling addicts. Those who sell tickets to addicts should lose their licenses, he says.

Loto-Quebec spokesman Jean-Pierre Roy says the agency will consider the idea, but that it may be difficult to implement. — CBC News

I suspect that he died from a bullet wound, rather than a gambling addiction. And for that, Jean-Francois Dorval becomes today’s Stupid Person of the Day.

If you have a gambling addiction, help is available. Call +1-800-522-4700 in the U.S.

Robber caught by hole in bag

Sharife Doorah, 23, of Indianapolis, Ind., allegedly robbed a bar late Friday night, and put the money in a bag. He ran off, and police took off after him. So far, about normal. But Doorah couldn’t possibly have gotten away that night.

“Upon arrival, they were told the suspect just went out the backdoor. In fact, he was getting into a vehicle carrying a bag of money with him,’ said Indianapolis police Sgt. Don Weilhammer.

Police chased Doorah around the neighborhood before he bailed out of his vehicle and took off on foot.

A police canine chased Doorah and that’s when police said the chase took a peculiar turn.

“As he was running, the bag had a hole in it. So there was money going everywhere in the neighborhood as he was running,’ Weilhammer said. — WMAQ

That’s right, he stuffed the money into a bag with a hole in it. Police eventually recovered nearly all of it, maybe missing some loose change. And Sharife Doorah becomes today’s Stupid Person of the Day.

Town supervisor signs hundreds of payroll checks

Satish B. Mohan has hardly been on the job as an Amherst, N.Y., town supervisor for a week, and already he’s made hundreds of enemies.

One of Mohan’s campaign promises was that he would personally review and sign all checks pertaining to town business, and that included payroll checks. So, when he did, the payroll wasn’t available on time last Friday, as Mohan spent “hours’ reviewing each and every check.

In a letter attached to each payroll check Friday, Mohan reiterated his pledge from his election campaign in which he promised “to personally review and sign all checks pertaining to Town of Amherst business.’

“If this has created any unanticipated inconvenience, I apologize,’ the letter continued. “I am sure you understand the critical importance of the Chief Fiscal Officer taking an active role in managing Town finances.’

[Amherst Police Club president Edward] Guzdek said there are other ways for the supervisor to cross-reference payroll checks with payroll records. “I don’t have a problem if he wants to sign all those checks. If he thinks that’s an effective utilization of his time, that’s up to him,’ Guzdek said. “But there’s a detailed report issued to every department that details every employee’s pay, line-by-line.’

“If Dr. Mohan wanted to find and check, he could have checked and audited it that way with no disruption to employees,’ he added. — Buffalo News

On rare occasions, breaking a campaign promise might actually be a good thing. For not using a quite obvious and better way of reviewing the town’s expenditures, Satish Mohan is today’s Stupid Person of the Day. Hopefully he’ll not do this again in two weeks…