Bliss on tap

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By John Pawlak

“Ignorance is bliss,” they say. Well, if this is really true, we have a lot of happy people in this world.
 When using a credit card at a grocery store last month, the clerk handed it back and said she couldn’t accept it because it wasn’t signed. That was very responsible on her part. Cards are signed to provide security.
 So I took out a pen and signed the card. Then she accepted it and ran it through for the purchase.
Ah yes, I do love security procedures.
A few weeks ago, we celebrated Pi Day. I was telling someone about how one can estimate pi by tossing rods across a set of parallel lines and counting the percentage of times they cross the lines. I then mentioned how the Otowi bookstore did this last year by having children toss hot dogs across a grid.
The man asked me, “So, is that how they compute pi?”
Uh, yeah. Yes, that’s right. They do it with hot dogs. Lots of hot dogs.
Like I said. A lot of very happy people out there.
Rudolph Zallinger’s classic picture of the ascent of man shows an early primate walking, standing more and more erect, his head lifting ever higher toward the heavens. My theory is that as man’s head was elevated, the increased altitude reduced the oxygen level to the brain.
 Hey, there’s got to be some logical explanation for the ascent of stupidity, right?
 Whatever the reason, we seem to be ascending more each day.
 The White House maintains a “We The People” website on which citizens can petition the government (for anything). Once a quota of signatures is received, the government is obligated to respond.
 And so once again, stupidity reigned and over 34,000 signatures petitioned the United States government to “Begin construction of a Death Star by 2016.”
 The White House’s response was surprising intelligent. “This isn’t the petition response you’re looking for.” The White House denied the petition, citing that it would cost $850 Quadrillion, that the U.S. government does not support blowing up other planets, and that we’re not yet able to do the Kessel Run in less than 12 parsecs.
 Of course, if Darth Vader ever gets elected President, things could change.
 Bliss, bliss, bliss. If ignorance generated even a little static electricity, we’d have no energy crisis in this country.
 In Ipswitch, Mass., a middle-school principal canceled the school’s annual honors assembly because it would be too upsetting for those students who didn’t win an award. Principal David Fabrizio said that it was “unfair to reward good grades.”
 Awwww, did little Davey not do that well when he was in middle school? I think someone needs a hug!
Well, that’s not allowed. At least not in Cliffwood, New Jersey. Matawan-Aberdeen Middle School has joined a growing number of schools that have banned “hugging”. Superintendent David Healy said, “We have a responsibility to teach children about appropriate interactions and about having a structured, academically focused environment.”
 Yes, we certainly wouldn’t want 12-year old kids hugging. That would ruin their chances of ever learning the quadratic formula.
 You don’t have to look far these days to find happy people.
 In Pennsylvania, where bliss seems to be on tap, school officials interrogated a five-year old girl for three hours for bringing a gun to school. The girl was subsequently suspended for being “a terrorist threat.”
 The gun was a pink “Hello Kitty Hubble-Bubble” soap bubble shooting gun. Very dangerous.
 It’s just like a terrorist to try to get soap in your eyes, isn’t it? Next thing you know, they’ll threaten to stab you with a crayon!
 My favorite recent report of unbridled ignorance comes from Michigan. A sixth grader brought $20,000 into school. The report stated, “School officials became suspicious when the girl was seen handing out stacks of $100 bills to her classmates.”
 Suspicious. Yes, yes. Very suspicious indeed.
 Can’t you just smell the bliss?
 I probably shouldn’t be so harsh on people. While laughing about the Death Star petition, a very “happy” person confronted me and warned, “I find your lack of faith — disturbing.”