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Barbara Walking in the Valley
A bi-weekly column, featuring one Christian's (a)musings on life's journey

by Barbara Dahlgren

Where Can I Buy Some Stupid Pills?
Column for the weeks of February 16-28, 2007

Scientists at the Max Planck Institute for Molecular Genetics in Germany have come up with a pill to combat stupidity. This drug has improved attentiveness and short term memory in fruit flies and mice. Although I’m not really in favor of smarter fruit flies and mice, I’d like to slip this pill into the coffee of a few people I know.

My intention is not to put down those who are slow to learn – that’s only one small meaning of the word. Other meanings are: acting in an unintelligent manner, careless, brutish, dulled in feeling, senseless, dense, or thick headed. This is different than ignorance. Ignorance is being unknowledgeable about a certain subject; stupid is trying to sound knowledgeable when you aren’t. Stupidity spills over into thoughtless words spoken, illogical decisions being made, careless actions, and so on. It surrounds us!

Stupid things some famous people have said:

George Bush said that because of frivolous lawsuits, “too many OB-GYNs aren’t able to practice their love with women all across this country.”

“We've got to pause and ask ourselves: How much clean air do we need?" – Lee Iacocca

"If you're killed, you've lost a very important part of your life." – Brooke Shields

“If you take out the killings, Washington actually has a very low crime rate.” – Marion Barry, mayor of WashingtonD.C.

“Those who survived the San Francisco earthquake said, ‘Thank God, I’m still alive.’ But of course, those who died, their lives will never be the same.” – Senator Barbara Boxer of CA

“The word ‘genius’ isn’t applicable in football. A genius is a guy like Norman Einstein.” – Joe Theisman, quarterback and sports analyst

“I get to go to lots of overseas places, like Canada.” Brittany Spears

“I love California; I practically grew up in Phoenix.” – Dan Quayle

Insincere apologies about stupid things said:

“I made a very unfortunate and insensitive remark…” – Senator John McCain apologizing for saying at a Republican fundraiser that the reason Chelsea Clinton is “so ugly” is that “she’s the child of Janet Reno and Hilary Clinton”

“I apologize to all Christians for my comment about Catholics wearing ashes on their foreheads on Ash Wednesday. I do not believe in any form of prejudice or discrimination, especially religious intolerance…” – CNN founder Ted Turner, apologizing for referring to those network employees who showed up to work with smudged foreheads as “Jesus freaks”

“I really, from the bottom of my heart, want to apologize for statements I made about Christianity.” – Ted Turner, again, apologizing for repeatedly calling Christianity “a religion for losers”

“We regret the insensitive tone of the statement and apologize to anyone who was offended by it.” – Joe Angio, editor of Time Out New York, apologizing for his magazine’s description of a recently deceased Cardinal John O’Connor as a “pious creep [who] was a stuck-in-the-1950s anti-gay menace. Good riddance!”

Stupid laws still on the books in some counties of California:

No vehicle without a driver should exceed 60 miles per hour.

Nobody can ride a bicycle in a swimming pool.

Bowling on the sidewalk is illegal.

You are not permitted to wear cowboy boots unless you already own at least two cows.

Stupid decisions:

A 24 hour suicide hot line in Canada announced it would only be open between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m.

Seven people attending a self-help seminar in Austria were encouraged to walk over a bed of red-hot embers. All seven ended up in the hospital for severe burns on their feet.

Stupid criminals:

A bank robber in Minnesota handed the teller a note that began, “Hi, I’m Thomas Mason…” He also said in the note that he didn’t have a gun on him at the moment, but he knew where he could get one!

In Indiana, a man walked up to a cashier at a grocery store and demanded all the money in the register. The cashier handed him the loot and he fled – leaving his wallet on the counter.

In Kentucky, two men tried to pull the front off a cash machine by running a chain from the machine to the bumper of their pickup truck. Instead of pulling the front panel off the machine, they pulled the bumper off their truck. They fled the scene with the chain attached to the machine and their bumper still attached to the chain – with their vehicles license plate still attached to the bumper.

Stupid warning labels:

Found on a Batman and Superman costume: Warning: Wearing of this garment does not enable user to fly.

On a child’s scooter: This product moves when used.

On Sainsbury’s peanuts: Warning: Contains nuts.

On hotel provided shower cap: Fits one head.

On Nytol Nightime Sleep-Aid: Warning: May cause drowsiness.

On an American Airlines packet of nuts: Instructions – open packet, eat nuts.

Stupid lawsuits:

A West Virginia convenience store worker was awarded $2.2 million in punitive damages after she injured her back opening a pickle jar.

A Los Angeles based trial lawyer has filed three class action lawsuits asserting that sport trading card companies are inducing kids to gamble.

Norman Mayo suffered a stroke and blamed his clogged arteries on the milk industry. He sued them for not carrying a label warning about the fat and cholesterol milk contains.

A teenager sued her softball coach for $700,000 claiming his incorrect teaching style ruined her chances for an athletic scholarship.

Caesar Barber sued the fast food industry for his weight gain and poor health.

Stupid mistake:

An Indiana coroner shot himself in the leg during a gun-safety demonstration.

Maybe Einstein (Albert – not Norman) was right when he said, “Two things are infinite: the universe and human stupidity: and I’m not sure about the universe.”

The Bible says that fools die for the want of wisdom (Proverbs 10:21). Well, they aren’t dead yet!

I’ll have a bottle of those stupid pills, please – and better super-size it!


Be sure to visit this page often to read the next edition of Walking in the Valley. You can write to the author at



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