Of gasoline and golf balls

-A A +A
By John Pawlak

At the gas station, the customer tried to squeeze a few more drops into his tank and in doing so, some gas spurted out onto the pavement. And a little onto his pants.
He screwed the gas cap back on, patted down his pants, and then demonstrated why there should be a test given to people before letting them vote.  He lit up a cigarette.
I readied my cell phone for video mode. You know, just in case the police asked about the ball of fire running down the road. Either that, or to make a few bucks by selling the video to CNN.
Yeah, you guessed it. I’m talking once more about the epidemic of stupid in this country.
But who am I to hurl the S-word around so casually? Believe me, I’ve done some pretty not-so-intelligent things in my life. For instance, I can say with absolute certainty that one should never punch a window when one is mad. Yes, I’m pretty sure that I can testify that this would be what one might call stupid.
Well, in my own self defense, I have learned from my mistakes.
Really, I have. It’s been months since I’ve punched any windows.
The question is, why don’t some people ever learn?
Take for example the high school parking lot.  When school lets out, dozens of students and parents alike seem to forget that cars weigh more than people. They forget that speeding or using a cell phone while driving through a parking lot full of people is slightly less intelligent than a drunken dung beetle.
Does it really take having an accident to “learn” that a moving car in a crowded parking lot is a weapon of mechanical destruction?
Or is it just that stupid is as stupid drives? Take it from a window puncher: get smart, put away the cell phone and slow down.
However, you don’t need to dodge cars at the high school to witness rivers of stupid in this world. The evening news brings plenty to our doorsteps.
I was reading about a woman in San Francisco who regularly injects her eight-year old daughter with Botox. The little girl told reporters, “My friends think it’s cool I have all the treatments and they want to be like me. I check every night for wrinkles, when I see some I want more injections. They used to hurt, but now I don’t cry that much.”
And so once again, I ask my patented question: “How much stupid can people fit into one small head?” There really should be a law against some people breeding.
But as usual, I digress.
My real issue is mondo-expensive golf balls. Yes, this is old news, but worth repeating (or screaming).
The Los Alamos County Council approved a $5.3 million makeover of the golf course. Over the past three years, Los Alamos taxpayers have shouldered $3.4 million in losses at the golf course, so obviously a $5.3 million renovation (at no additional fee cost whatsoever to golfers) makes perfect sense.
So how many people even play golf in Los Alamos? If it were a thousand people, we’ve paid $8,700 per person! Playing golf in a desert is stupid enough, but my having to pay for it makes me feel like I’m the one who’s stupid.
I can see those taxes now at the gas pump, sprinkled nicely with gasoline, and the council standing there lighting up that cigarette. Funny how easy it is for some people to spend money, especially when it’s not their own.
But I’m not frowning. My Botox treatments won’t let those muscles work anymore.
So as they say (in a roundabout fashion): “Stupid is as Council does.”  Or is it “Spending money is as Council does?”
Burdening the taxpayers with millions of dollars in debt for a golf course in the desert is like stupid without strawberry or peach or banana.  It’s like stupid without any flavoring at all.  Its just plain stupid.

John Pawlak
Los Alamos columnist