STUPID ON THE NEWS – Marilyn Armstrong

The first day, a family at a Dutch safari park gets out of their car to get a better look at a bunch of cheetahs. The cheetahs act a bit threatening. In fact, one of them gets into the car, sits next to the driver, and sniffs around. Fortunately, the driver sat there quietly. No screaming, sudden movements. Nothing that told the cheetah he was “prey.”

After that, the rest of the family got back in the car. The family had a conference. Lord knows what they talked about, but next thing you know, they get back OUT of the car — carrying the baby — I’m assuming to get a selfie with the big cats.

This time, the cats said “Hmm. Lunch? Dinner?” and they started to circle. By now, Garry and I are rooting for the cats. This family is too stupid to be allowed to live. They are far better off feeding some of our rarest large cats.

Garry is still muttering about them getting back OUT of the car the second time. How stupid were these people? Even the news people looking at the video were baffled. This was really, exceptionally, wildly stupid.

A day late and today, it’s Mother’s Day. Lots of films of deadly car accidents. Apparently there’s a lot of drinking on Mother’s Day. “Is Mother’s Day a drinking day?” asks Garry.

“Every day is drinking day, ” I comment. Hard to argue the point there.

Up comes video of Hawaii’s Kilauea volcano which is pouring lava, ash, and poisonous gas all over the place. Half the island has been evacuated … but they are still need to ask rental areas to please close down because there is a shortage of water.

That’s not one stupid person. That’s a lot of stupid people.

They are still renting vacation spaces? On Kilauea? Where lava is rolling down the street and there is a very good chance that there will be  massive steam explosion. That is the exact type of explosion that took out the island of Krakatoa. In case you didn’t know that.

So they are interviewing someone from the island and she says “I am beginning to worry that maybe I’m not safe.”

You are on an island on which a large, multi-faceted volcano is actively pouring out lava, poisonous gas, and possibly going to explode. Just like Krakatoa. Boom! Giant rocks spewing into the sky.

And she wants to know if she is safe.

I am here to tell you a basic, but critical fact: living on an island that is on top of an active volcano is not safe EVEN if there is currently no lava in the streets and no one is predicting poisonous gases or an explosion that might eliminate the island entirely. I understand that it is a lovely part of the world, but it’s an active volcano. Of course you aren’t safe.

Safe is a hilltop in my neighborhood. The weather may be dicey, but the ground isn’t going to move. Moreover, there is minimal likelihood of mudslides, tornadoes, full throttle hurricanes (not impossible, but unlikely) —  and no volcano has exploded in several million years.

That’s about as safe as it gets.

Allow me to reiterate:

1 – Do NOT get out of your car in the safari park.
2 – If you are lucky enough to survive doing it once, don’t do again.
3 – Don’t build your dream house on top of an active volcano or earthquake fault.
4 – Avoid building on a flood plain or in places frequently buried by mudslides. Or turned to ash by massive wildfires.

The world throws all kinds of stuff at us anyway, no matter how hard you try to be safe. Personally, I think you should NOT help it along.

38 thoughts on “STUPID ON THE NEWS – Marilyn Armstrong

  1. I am amazed that people are still being asked (not commanded) to leave what might just be a potential threat in a few hours, and they ask if they can go back ‘real fast’ and get Aunt Grace’s photo album…I told my husband, at the first smoke from the first eruption I would be leaving for nice safe California.

    But these people LIVE with this, they take it for granted that NIMBY is real, and oh, well, lookit that, hon, the volcano just exploded. think we should leave yet? Nahhh. Not yet.

    And anyone who holds up a little kid to pat the zoo gorilla or tries to get a photo of themselves draped over a cheetah, frankly, deserves what they get. Darwin is working overtime.


  2. Human beings really believe they are bigger than Nature. When the first fissures appeared in the streets of Leilani Estates they showed residents sticking their fingers into the fissures. Like they just knew there was no chance of hot lava bubbling up. Or maybe they should have been packing up to leave. Shaking my head (smh).


    • I think it’s possible that many brains were already fried and all they needed to prove it was a phone. I mean … they had to already BE stupid. The rest of us seem to manage to use various technology without showing immediate outward signs of idiocy … don’t we?

      Liked by 1 person

  3. It is hard to believe that in this day and age people could be so dumb . The other week we read a story about a man in India who was killed because he got out of his car to take a selfie with a bear. I mean really, who does that? Maybe the stories about mobile phones being bad for your health are true, they are frying people’s brains.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Wow — those are the best volcano photos I’ve seen! I do agree that it’s rather stupid to wonder how safe one is when there are fissures opening around you. Having lived on Oahu for a while, though, I can tell you that Kilauea, on the island of Hawai’i has been in some level of eruption since 1968. It is a shield volcano, which means that under normal conditions it doesn’t explode like cone volcanoes, but rather bubbles inside its crater like a pot of porridge, sometimes overflowing and sending rivers of lava toward the sea. It is unusual for fissures to open, and even more unusual for it to explode. I can’t help but wonder if the geothermal power plant has something to do with this change. Also, we have had increasing quakes here and around the “ring of fire.” Something is going on in the center of the earth!

    Are any of us safe? Probably not, and there is renewed concern about Mts. Baker, Rainier, Adams, Hood, St. Helens, Shasta, Lassen, and others that I may have forgotten in the 3 western states. Lassen was the last in California to erupt, a century or so ago, and it has been mentioned as having the potential to blow again. I don’t think I’d want to live on the side of any of the above-mentioned mountains right now!


    • I’m sure that’s how the folks in Pompei and Herculaneum felt. Not to mention Krakatoa. Everyone said “Oh, it rumbles and grumbles, but it’s not going to really DO anything … ” They were wrong. Like REALLY wrong. Personally, love the beauty of locations thought I do, I could live with a vacation, but I would NEVER live there. Trouble comes to us all, but why issue an invitation?

      Liked by 1 person

      • I have a major problem with people who are asked to leave, for their own safety and that of others, and do not. This came to the forefront here earlier this year with wildfires and mudslides — fortunately the fires turned, but the mud did not, and 22 people who defied mandatory evacuation died. Volcanic eruptions can be predicted these days — they are preceded by many earthquakes, and, in the case or Kilauea, by smaller eruptions — there is plenty of time to remove oneself from danger.


    • But you FELL. These people got out of their car — TWICE — with a baby, no less. And didn’t get back into the car until the cats began to circle. You had an accident. They were just too stupid to be allowed to walk around. Garry is STILL shaking his head in wonderment. How could they BE that stupid?

      Liked by 3 people

      • Hey, I covered so many STOOOPID people in my professional life. If it wasn’t for their stoopidity, we wouldn’t have had all those nice crime stories to cover. I always loved it when I asked a doofus, “So, why did you do it?”
        Many first asked, “Am I gonna be on TV?” before answering. The answer usually was underwhelming. Sometimes I made them look badder than they were. Professional courtesy.

        The Cheetah Family: My jaw is still hanging on these idiots. Bad sniffin’ glue?

        Volcano victims: Sheer idiocy. Betcha some WANT to get up close for selfies. They’re like the tidal storm victims I used to cover. They always told me “We’re not going. Gonna rebuild” even before I asked the question. STOOPID.


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