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.

Artist chains self, loses key

Trevor Corneliusien, 26, an artist, went camping in an abandoned mineshaft about five miles north of Baker, Calif., on Tuesday, wrapped a chain around his bare ankles and locked it, and proceeded to draw it. Then he realized he didn’t have the key.

So he hopped across the desert for 12 hours before finding help.

“It took him over 12 hours because he had to hop through boulders and sand,’ [San Bernardino County Sheriff's Deputy Ryan] Ford said. “He did put on his shoes before hopping.’

The artist, who is from the area, often sketched images inside mines in the Southwest. He had finished his drawing Tuesday when he realized he didn’t have the key.

Corneliusien finally made it to a gas station and called the sheriff’s department, which sent paramedics and deputies with bolt cutters. His legs were bruised but he was otherwise in good health, Ford said. — Associated Press

Ford also said that the artist’s drawing of the chain around his legs was “pretty good.’ But that doesn’t excuse Trevor Corneliusien, who is today’s Stupid Person of the Day.

Ramp worker dents plane, causes emergency landing

A foot-long hole in the fuselage of an Alaska Airlines jet caused the plane to lose cabin pressure, forcing the crew to make an emergency descent from 26,000 feet and return to Seattle-Tacoma International Airport, authorities said Tuesday.

“There was a bang and the oxygen masks fell down… and I knew at that point that something was wrong,’ [passenger Damon] Zwicker said.

The National Transportation Safety Board and the Federal Aviation Administration were investigating, along with the airline and the Port of Seattle.

A ramp worker has acknowledged he failed to immediately report striking the plane at the gate Monday with a baggage cart or baggage-belt machine, NTSB spokesman Jim Struhsaker said.

The worker told the agency that although the vehicle touched the plane, he was not aware he had dented it, Struhsaker said.

The bump created a crease in the plane’s aluminum skin, which opened up into a 12- by 6-inch gash as the plane came under increased pressure at 26,000 feet, Struhsaker said.

Alaska Flight 536 left the airport for Burbank just before 4 p.m. Monday. The flight crew reported a loss of cabin pressure about 20 minutes later, Boren said. Oxygen masks deployed for passengers and the plane made a rapid descent, landing at Sea-Tac just before 5 p.m., she said. — KOMO

The unnamed ramp worker is today’s stupid person of the day for causing fear, panic, an emergency landing, and repairs (and subsequently, passenger delays) all because he failed to do his job.

Florida’s dumbest of 2005

Each year the St. Petersburg Times scours the news archives to find the dumbest, craziest news stories of 2005, and they got some real doozies this year.

For the past 12 months, we scoured newspapers, magazines and the Internet for all the futile, inane and moronic news stories in Florida. And as usual, we came away overloaded.

Here’s the best of the best. Keep in mind that it’s people like these who make Florida what it is.

Scary thought, isn’t it? — St. Petersburg Times

Go read them all and laugh your ass off.

Woman swallows cell phone whole

In one episode of The Simpsons, Homer swallows a cell phone, and then has conversations on it while it’s in his stomach.

A Blue Springs, Mo., woman apparently tried to repeat the stunt, and it didn’t quite work out so well.

Police said they received a call at 4:52 a.m. from a Blue Springs man who said his girlfriend was having trouble breathing.

When they arrived at the house, they found the 24-year-old woman had a cell phone lodged in her throat.

“He wanted the phone, and she wouldn’t give it to him, so she attempted to swallow it,’ Detective Sgt. Steve Decker of the Blue Springs Police Department said. “She just put the entire phone in her mouth so he couldn’t get it.’

Police said an ambulance transported the woman to St. Mary’s Medical Center in Blue Springs. A hospital spokeswoman said she couldn’t give details about the woman’s health because police have not released her identity. — Associated Press

Police said they didn’t know if the phone was set to vibrate or not.

The woman, as yet unnamed, is today’s Stupid Person of the Day.

How the possum stole Christmas

In Englewood, Pa., the O’Connor family picked up a beautiful 8 foot (2.4m) Douglas fir for the family’s Christmas tree. The tree had already been cut and bundled and was just waiting for a loving family to take it home.

So they did. And they decorated their tree, stringing it with sparkling lights and ornaments and even a star at the top.

And very early Tuesday morning, it happened.

Mary Kathleen O’Connor, 16, doing some studying for school about 6 a.m. Tuesday, said she was the first to be startled by an apparent Christmas tree stowaway.

“I’m looking at the tree and the angel just pops off,’ she said. “And a second later, this head just popped up. The eyes were, like, glowing. I was thinking, ‘Oh my God!’ And I screamed.’

Other family members came running. “We looked at it and I thought it might have been a fake,’ said her father, Michael O’Connor, a Frackville attorney. “But then it moved its head. And I thought ‘Holy Jeez. We’re in trouble.” — Associated Press

Now if that were the end of the story, you wouldn’t be reading about it here. As it turns out, not only do the O’Connor family not know that the possum, which is native to their area, is quite harmless, they apparently had trouble recognizing one when it was staring them in the face.

So Dad was so confused, he didn’t know what to do! He called the police.

But while he was doing that, mom Patricia picked up the entire tree — stand and lights and all — and threw it outside into the front yard!

A game commissioner came up and took the possum a few miles away and released it.

And that is how a possum stole Christmas from the O’Connor family and helped Michael and Patricia O’Connor take their rightful place as Stupid People of the Day.

Woman tries to hire hitman for cheese

Jessica Sandy Booth, 18, of Memphis, Tenn., saw a block of queso fresco cheese at the house of four acquaintances when she got the bright idea to have them killed.

In an unusual case of mistaken identity, a woman who thought a block of white cheese was cocaine is charged with trying to hire a hit man to rob and kill four men. The woman also was mistaken about the hit man. He turned out to be an undercover police officer.

Jessica Sandy Booth, 18, was arrested over the weekend and remains in jail with bond set at $1 million on four charges of attempted murder and four counts of soliciting a murder.

According to police, Booth was in the Memphis home of the four intended victims last week when she mistook a block of queso fresco cheese for cocaine — inspiring the idea to hire someone to break into the home, take the drugs, and kill the men. . . .

A search of the home with the permission of the occupants revealed no drugs — only the white, crumbly cheese common in Mexican cuisine.

“Four men were going to lose their lives over some cheese,’ said Lt. Jeff Clark, who heads Project Safe Neighborhoods. — Associated Press

If you’re going to hatch a scheme like this, beware that most hitmen are actually undercover police officers. You aren’t likely to be able to afford a real hitman. And Jessica Sandy Booth, for mistaking cheese for cocaine, becomes today’s Stupid Person of the Day.

Swindlers take $6,000 from stupid person

[Editor's note: It seems the old tricks still work against new people. An unnamed person in Greenville, S.C., fell victim to one of the older tricks in the book.]

[Greenville County sheriff's deputies] said a woman was in the parking lot of Wal-Mart on Woodruff Road when she was approached by another woman, who told the victim that she had $8,000 in cash, but did not like the serial numbers on the money and wanted to exchange it with the victim.

The victim was asked to go to her bank with another man, withdraw $6,000 and give it to the suspect, and in turn she would receive the $8,000.

When the victim withdrew the money and gave it to the woman, the woman and the man left without giving the victim anything.

The victim was not hurt.

Investigators said people should take steps to avoid this situation, such as:

  • Never shop alone.
  • Do not speak to strangers.
  • Ask yourself why someone would give you more money than they will receive.

WYFF

Today’s unnamed Stupid Person of the Day forgot the basics, things that everyone should be taught while growing up.

The Lexicon of Stupidity

My mad-scientist girlfriend bought me this book for my birthday and now I’m sharing it with you.

The Lexicon of Stupidity is a 400 page pocket-size book with a vast collection of stupid quotations, signs, book titles, bank robbery holdup notes, and more.

I love this book. Consider the bank robber who handed the teller a note with his shopping list. Or this quote from a baseball sportscaster: “Winfield goes back to the wall. He hits his head on the wall and it rolls off! It’s rolling all the way back to second base!’

Definitely worth the read. I’m still laughing over it.

Woman tells firefighters cat stuck in sewer is baby

A woman in Houston, Texas, called the Houston Fire Department three times reporting that her cat was stuck in the sewer. After getting no response, she called back, and said her baby was stuck in the sewer. When firefighters arrived, they found out that “Baby’ was the cat’s name.

The firefighters arrived expecting to find a child, but rescued the feline from the sewer anyway. Police gave the woman a ticket for making a false report, a Class B misdemeanor.

“They said they were desperate, didn’t know what else to do,’ Houston Fire Department Capt. Keith Ellery told Houston television station KPRC. “They didn’t know who else to call so they called 911. It is not the type of rescue we normally do … but on this particular incident, we felt compelled to kind of help them out.’

Members of the woman’s family tried to rescue the cat themselves before calling for help. — Associated Press

I don’t even know how to file today’s unnamed Stupid Person of the Day, but I would advise her not to try to contest the ticket.