Stupid is as stupid does

For some unknown reason, I rarely get sick. My joints often ache as if they’ve been turned inside out, but as far as colds and the ’flu bug goes, I elude the gondola of germs 99 percent of the time.
When I was a kid, I believed in the super powers of my bicycle. I also thought well water prevented cavities (because I never had any) and seagulls were messengers from somewhere smarter than here.
Today, I still believe my blue Supercycle bike was all that. And my choppers I chock up to an over-charged immune system. But seagulls are definitely stupid. Yet, I can’t say I’ve not taken a spin on the stupid side, as well.
In my computer, I’ve got a list a mile long to help spark ideas for my weekly column—stupid things I’ve done included. And if I had to put them in order, top spot being the queen of “duh,” then thinking I could fix my stove would be it.
Even to this day, the potential in that action still shocks me into shaking my head.
First off, I don’t think I’ve ever owned an oven that heats to the temperature I set it to on the dial. But then, I’ve never owned a brand new oven.
Back in the late 1980s, when I was fed up with dickering with the oven heat setting, I decided to fix it. I bought the part, made sure all the oven dials were in the “off” position, and got in behind the stove with a metal screwdriver to where all the knobs made their connections to the wiring.
No sooner did I start unscrewing screws did the panel spark and backfire. In hindsight it wasn’t THAT many sparks, but back then I phoned the fire department.
I lived on a small, quiet street in Thunder Bay until the fire truck came lights flashing with all those firemen dressed in high gear. And all I’d said was “There are sparks coming out of the back of my stove.”
Seems I hadn’t turned off the main breaker first. An explanation from my new best friends of how far across the room I could have been chucked had I caught a jolt while holding a metal screwdriver gave me a new appreciation for electricians.
Maybe that’s part of the reason why I married one several years later.
I also used to drink cod liver oil mixed with milk. That stupid idea was passed on to me by my brother, who claimed the cod liver oil was good for my arthritis and the milk helped stave off the disgusting taste.
I was to put the tablespoon of cod liver oil in a half cup of milk and leave the mixture in a glass on the counter overnight.
The compound always went down fine in the summer time. But Jay failed to divulge how nasty milk and oil taste in cooler temperatures when the two do not mix at all. “Gross” is putting it mildly.
And I’ve also learned from the stupid side of life that when the charcoal has been lit and is not yet gray in colour, it’s still too hot to pick up with your fingers.
But in no way have I ever said anything as stupid as a psychic once did to me on a city radio station when I called in to get my future predicted. He asked me what my name was.
I answered “Beth,” and he then told me to tie a big rock around it and throw it in Lake Superior—that name would always bring me bad luck.
Granted, he gave me that advice before I stuck a screwdriver in my stove but hey, I ended up with Pete, didn’t I?
And nothing I’ve ever done nor stumble into tomorrow will match the action of a city-born salesman who paid a recent visit to Pete’s work site up north.
When walking along a path from the mine to the camp, the saleman saw a can of bear spray used to deter the roaming rogues. He then proceeded to cover himself with it thinking this would keep the bears away.
That, my friends, is the real definition of stupid.

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