Is stupidity catching?

I keep my head in the sand…

It is hard to believe, but evidence is pointing to this direction. The stupidity virus (StuVi20) has proven to be highly contagious and difficult to contain.

Unlike the Covid bug though, it does not physically hinder those affected. It is rarely lethal, but those contaminated by it usually experience a net slow-down of their mental faculties. It takes noticeably longer for them to process and absorb new facts and figures.

“The two most common elements in the world are hydrogen and stupidity.” Anonymous

Unlike Covid-19, the stupidity bug seems to affect the intellect rather than any other parts of the human body. This disorder seems to be a tribal phenomenon that strikes some families, political and religious affiliations groups, or people living in small, isolated communities.

Covid-19 has proven to be beatable for people whose brain has been spared by the stupidity virus; but for the so-called “dissenters”, it will be a long arduous road ahead. It is difficult to get rid of some thoughts when everybody around you seems to share the same beliefs.

“Obstinacy and vehemency in opinion are the surest proof of stupidity.” Bernard Barton

For some people, fellowship is very important and breaking away from the pack is always difficult. It probably feels like an Amish youngster trying to escape from his rigid environment.

It takes pluck to disagree with your clan, and few people have the nerves to do that. But some children, not yet contaminated by the stupidity virus, used their brains to think for themselves and opted to throw in their lot with doctors and scientists.  They might in turn convince their parents to abandon the church of ignorance and join the cult of reason.

But no matter what, virus or no virus, some people are born stupid and will remain stupid until the Saint-Glinglin.

“Feeling pretty proud of myself. The puzzle I bought said 3-5 years, but I finished it in 18 months.”

I told you so!


Happy day are here again…


The day after the atmospheric river cyclone left town, I took a quick ride to our pétanque field to assess the damage. It looked impressively bad…

Initially I saw large pools of water everywhere and tons of dead leaves littering the entire field. At first glance, it looked like it would take weeks to clean up the mess… but today, I proclaim that happy day are here again… yesterday, under a bright springlike sunshine the field looked pristine and eminently inviting. And about 10 or 12 pétanque devotees were already taking advantage of this development.

Some good fairies no doubt took pity on us and came during the night to clean up the mess. This is what I have been telling our grandchildren, but I am not entirely sure that they believe me. And the little munchkins are right…The truth is that under the impulse of our Commander in Chief (Christine C), some dedicated volunteers tackled the problem almost immediately after the storm decamped.

I didn’t help, sorry. My back is still uncooperative and does not allow me to do any manual labor. I keep hoping that this problem is just temporary and will eventually be resolved. I am not one bit religious (my denomination is non-Delusional) but I have faith in my doctor, his magic injections, and his anti-spasm medication. Time will tell.

My undercover agents are telling me though that Mike O’Leary, Sandra and Mark Shirkey, Christopher,  Christine Cragg, Charlie, Jacques Gautier, Colin, Loel, Abby and Shama were instrumental in restoring the field to its present status. Thanks and kudos to all of them!

Yes, happy day are here again…


Our next tournament of the year (November 14) is fast approaching, and weather permitting, it should be well attended. Personally, I always enjoyed playing in the winter; I almost prefer it rather than playing under a scorching sun. Those of us who went to Napa a few weeks ago will surely agree…

If you intend to play on Saturday or Sunday (Halloween), don’t dress up too scarily. Some players have a weak heart and might not be able to stand the stress. Thinking about it… some people are naturally scary…

George M. Cohan said: “Always Leave Them Laughing When You Say Goodbye.”
So here goes:

“What did Dracula say when the witch and the warlock started kissing? Get a broom!”

Happy Halloween boys and girls! Happy days are here again!


Am I an Influencer?

Lately, the word “influencer” has been bandied about in the news, in movies, in the social media… So, please tell, what exactly is an influencer? Could it be your wife? Your boss? The pope? The IRS?

Not exactly… even though (if you are astute) your wife’s opinion should be carefully considered before making an important decision. She might not have the title, but she certainly has the pull. In my eyes, she qualifies as an influencer.

But let see what the pros are saying. According to the Influencer Marketing Hub:

“An influencer is someone who has: the power to affect the purchasing decisions of others because of his or her authority, knowledge, position, or relationship with his or her audience.”

 There also are different categories of influencers. Digital Marketing is dividing these people in 5 distinct groups:

“Mega-influencers with more than a million followers (think celebrities)
Macro-influencers with 500K to 1 million followers
Mid-tier influencers with 50K to 500K followers
Micro-influencers with 10K to 50K followers
Nano-influencers with 1K to 10K followers”

Interesting, very interesting… So, what’s under nano? Because that’s where I belong. According to my friends at Wikipedia, this prefix derives from the Greek νᾶνος (Latin nanus), meaning “dwarf”. With an audience under 1K, I cannot even qualify as a dwarf influencer… This my friends, is a heavy blow to my ego!

I understand that an influencer has got to have a niche and be an expert on some subject. Well, I have no niche and I am no expert on any subject… but as French luminary Michel Audiard once said: “C’est pas parce qu’on a rien à dire qu’Il faut fermer sa gueule. » (Just because you have nothing to say doesn’t mean that we have to shut your trap.)

I am not an isolated case. There are legions of people around me who have really nothing to say but who keep on talking. It is almost an American institution, like the Senate.

In movies, an influencer is usually pictured as a young woman constantly preening and talking to her cellphone. This is probably the main reason why I don’t qualify as an influencer. As an old bald guy using a walkie-talkie to communicate with my friends, I don’t fit the image.

But don’t let this blatant ageist prejudice stop you from seeking my advice… I might be low on the Richter scale, but I have an answer for everything.