Stupid statements can make your head spin – try this one


By Russ De Maris
It’s a good thing the Grand Creator made my neck to readily swivel. These days, there are things that make my head spin, and if my neck didn’t keep up, well, I just don’t know where I’d end up. Like tonight, in the Dollar General Store in little old Quartzsite, Arizona. It was the final stop of a long evening, trying to get ready to pull out of the well-above 100-degree temperatures common for this time of year.

I’d already filled up the diesel tanks at one of the town’s truck stops. With dually tires, it’s hard to find a place where you can put wind in them because, of course, a dually tire requires a special double-headed tire chuck. You won’t find them at just any old gas station – no, sir – only at truck stops. Well, most truck stops.

When I pulled in to fuel, I cranked my head around to find where the air fills were. There goes that swivel. Swivel to the right, swivel to the left, and, hey, guess what? No air hoses. It makes my head hurt to think of the damage that an 80,000-pound semi-truck can do if, for want of the proper air in its tires, it crashes into some hapless RVer or other motorists. Oh, well, there are two more truck stops in town.

I know from bitter experience, Loves is NOT the place to go for air in QZ. They “pulled” the freebie air hoses and replaced them with a “Speed Lane,” where you can pull your rig in and somebody else puts pneuma in your tires – for a fat fee. Sorry, I was born back in the day when most of us did what he had to do ourselves. So I wandered over to Pilot. About four of the bays were open, so I pulled into a likely one, and sure enough – no air hose. But wait! Down on the last bay, there was a hose.

I cautiously backed up and jockeyed the old Ford into the last bay. Grabbing my carpet scrap that I can kneel on, and my tire gauge, I flipped the valve open on the air line – only to hear a hiss reminiscent of an upset rattlesnake. Never heard a rattlesnake hiss? Oh, but they do! That’s another personal experience story for another day. What that hiss meant was that one-half of the double-header chuck was leaking like mad. Put that on your tire valve and you’ll deflate it, rather than inflate. I finally did find a working air line, and after rolling around on the HOT pavement, I was looking forward to getting home to a cool drink. Just one last errand – to Dollar General.

Sometime back we’d bought some sort of Quaker Oats product that was decidedly not up to par. A quick call to their hotline brought an apology on the phone and a $3 “product(s) of your choice” coupon in the mail. Of course, items had to be from the company’s brands, but no problem. I masked up to go inside. Not only do I personally feel it’s my responsibility to look out for my neighbor by keeping any germs I may have to myself, but also the sign on the door read: “Face masks required.” It didn’t take long to see that better than half the customers somehow figured that “required” statement somehow didn’t apply to them, and I stood well back when any headed my direction.

I found myself two boxes of Rice-a-Roni and a box of pancake mix, all in the company brands printed on the coupon. I’d be “out” $1.50, but, hey, I like a bargain, so I’m willing to spend $1.50 on $4.50 worth of products. At the register, I noticed the solitary cashier was NOT wearing a mask. Happily, there was a plexiglass shield between us. But while she was starting to ring my purchases, another Dollar General employee came within about three feet of me. No mask. I couldn’t run, nor could I hide. Oh, well.

Meantime, the cashier was scrutinizing my coupon. “I just can’t believe they’d give you this stuff for free,” she says. “I mean, I’m sure you have to buy something.” I explain how and why I got the coupon, and point out the store will get their $3 back, along with a processing fee. “Well, no. I mean, I just can’t believe it. I don’t think this will work,” she says, scanning the coupon. No response. So she enters the coupon code. No soap. “Well, I’d have to have someone higher up than me make this work. So, do you still want the stuff?” No, I don’t want the stuff, but I will take my coupon back, thank you.

Was it some inner “bad guy” that made me ask the obvious question? I point in the direction of one of the “Face masks required” signs and ask, “I take it that doesn’t apply here?” The cashier looks at me like I’m some sort of desert bug that crawled in under the door. “Of course it applies here. Face masks are required. But they’re not mandatory,” she declares.

Here’s where that universal swivel in your neck comes back into play. The statement caught me so off-guard, I swear, that my eyeballs got carried around about 720 degrees, as my head spun around twice. My mouth opened and out rolled the statement, “Face masks are required – they’re just not mandatory?” “That’s right!” asserted my unmasked cashier. “Required. Mandatory. I think I’ll have to look that up in my dictionary,” I replied.

“You do that! Feel free to look that up in your dictionary!” was the last statement she made as I stumbled dizzily out of the store. I wonder if Dollar General sells dictionaries.


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1 day ago

Best to laugh at this behavior but its also fun to point out stupidity in all its forms and let it know that it has been identified so it can’t act oblivious. It’s a full time job but since parents and educators have failed on such a massive level, its incumbent on the rest of us to restore sanity and common sense. So make a game of it. The arrows in the grocery store are another great way to identify the stupid and when I see someone coming the wrong way, I continue down the aisle but walk backwards just to get them thinking. Or as they pass by, just giggle and say “arrows are funny”. It’s also best not to take yourself too seriously, I don’t.

1 day ago

If the politicians were honest with anybody (meaning they were not politicians), people might take things more seriously.

I just returned from a trip to a rural area in central PA. Of course signs were on doors requiring masks. I don’t have a problem with that however very few people were wearing them. I said to an employee, I guess these are optional and he stated most don’t wear them but I could if I wanted to. After several similar conversations like this we stumbled on a county visitors center and after asking, they said there was only one case of hospitalization due to covid in the county.

Although I am not denying that covid is a serious issue in many places, it doesn’t constitute crisis mode everywhere, especially where politicians have killed the majority of the victims with their stupid mandates and decisions. Credibility is easily lost.

Michelle Smedley
2 days ago

And that’s why our state is considered a hot spot. It’s not just QZ, unfortunately.

Carson Axtell
2 days ago

Evolution is still hard at work. COVID-19 is just the latest challenge to the masses to adapt to reality or fall to evolution’s culling… I say, let people do what they want and let the chips fall where they may. So far, it’s been claiming the weak and the stupid.

RV Staff (@rvstaff)
2 days ago
Reply to  Carson Axtell

Unfortunately, it also takes innocent lives with them, like our beloved Gary Bunzer, as well as others who are needlessly exposed because some insist on seeing this as a “political” or “constitutional” issue. 🙁 —Diane at

1 day ago
Reply to  RV Staff

The problem, as I see it, is that ASTONISHING malpractice in medical terms has forced this into being a Constitutional issue. I suspect if representatives had remembered they are NOT “leaders” and said “real doctors recommend gatherings of less than 10,000, and masks might help and by the way, if you do get it, the rest of the world has already PROVEN that Zithro and HydroxyC clean this right up and are both perfectly safe” — then we would never have had the kickback against police states enforcing ineffective masks by law and shutting down 90% of businesses and all the other Constitutional violations that have occurred. I really think most would comply out of good will, instead of rebelling because they are being starved out first and foremost. You can’t tell people they are too stupid to run their own lives before they resist the bullies — even if the bullies were right — which remains counter-indicated as well.

Vanessa Simmons
2 days ago
Reply to  Carson Axtell

Unfortunately it is taking the older and wiser humans and bypassing the stupid millennials and gen xers. The movie “Idiocracy” is right on.

2 days ago
Reply to  Carson Axtell

So far, it’s been claiming the weak and the stupid.

That’s got to be one of the most insensitive comments I’ve ever read. Pray one of your loved one’s isn’t among the “weak and the stupid” to succumb. But, you have excellent role models and company in Washington, D.C.–so don’t feel alone in that harsh lack of empathy.

1 day ago
Reply to  Carson Axtell

“Claiming the weak,” YES, although that’s not their “fault.” I didn’t ask to grow old or have a heart condition. When I get C19, it’s a much bigger threat than it would be to 99.9% of the population.

“Claiming the stupid,” sadly NOT. The stupid (and I’ll use that word) are the young and healthy who are happily collecting in the 100s of thousands and spreading C19 like wildfire to the above “weak” group. I am NOT a zero-spread idiot myself — it HAS to spread at a maximum-reasonable (not insane) rate and then be overcome for herd immunity to kick in, which IS our only way out of the current suicide of America by quarantine. But it doesn’t need to be spread en masse in huge waves that encourage government overreach to control the IRresponsible. The rest of us NEED to work, and have responsible social contacts, and idiots are trashing America and encouraging the Nanny State.

As far as evolution, you ARE right that this IS no more deadly than normal flu, but that’s plenty deadly.

Al Buckner
2 days ago

I think your discussion with the clerk might give you a clue why your coupon didn’t work!

2 days ago

Here in Michigan, our “wonderful” governor has declared that business has to enforce the mask rules or risk losing their licence. So they put a youthful employee at the entrance to tell patrons they have to wear a mask to enter. Some of the people they have to deal with would put fear of bodily harm in almost anyone. Not to mention a security guard at a Dollar General was shot and killed over a mask dispute. The lady tried to enter the store without a mask and was told by the guard that she needed a mask to enter. She went ballistic. She left and returned later with her husband and son. All three confronted the guard and in the heat of the confrontation the son pulled a gun and shot the guard. After a brief chase the three were captured and face murder charges, all over a face mask! This took place in the area of Flint, Mi.

2 days ago

Yesterday, while at the local grocery, the produce guy had his mask way below his nose. I took out my smartphone and took a picture with flash. Told him the picture was just for management and the corporate office to see how their employees follow the rules.

Diane Mc
2 days ago

Write to corporate headquarters. I’m sure the intention was for every employee to wear masks, as well as customers, except those with a medical condition. If anyone objects to masks shop elsewhere. If corporate thinks the same, then don’t shop there.

2 days ago

This is only my opinion & I get my reasoning from a prior position I was working in, which was policies (I wrote after hundreds of mindless, bureaucratic “meetings” on the topic at hand)……& in the boring world of policy/procedures, it’s the following:
Required: Yes, you need to be there, however. there are exceptions & at times, altercations may be expected;
Mandatory: No exceptions. You are to be there as this is part of this particular regulation.

Captn John
2 days ago

Get a compressor and stay away from Dollar General, Walmart, and other places of that type. I’m betting some people will wear a mask forever now.

2 days ago

I’m not the vocabulary police, but in common usage the two are interchangeable… In THIS case, the difference is actually relevant.

“Required” – mandated by a rule, which may have exceptions. If you have a heart/lung condition that exempts you, you DON’T have to wear a mask. “Workers are required to use the stairs, except those in wheelchairs.” Etc…

“Mandatory” – absolutely necessary, period. You drive on the right in the US, period, no matter how much you like British cars.

2 days ago

In the words of Forrest Gump, ” Stupid is as stupid does. “

Steve A Mangrum
2 days ago

And you really don’t have anything to work with when dealing with these individuals. As my dear old daddy used to say, “You can’t outpuke a buzzard.”

2 days ago

Our state is so full of people with conditions that exclude them from wearing a mask it is sad. So many suffering folks……..

2 days ago

Can’t Fix Stupid people that won’t wear a mask.

2 days ago

The “other” Pandemic this country needs to worry about is the Stupid Infection. As the saying goes “Ya can’t fix stupid.”

Bob Zagami
2 days ago

What good would a dictionary do? They can’t read either!

Lance Craig
2 days ago

You need to invest in a portable air compressor, like Viair, to avoid having to deal with truck stop air for your tires. It would pay for itself after you quit burning diesel to go from place to place looking for operable air hoses.

2 days ago

I avoid Dollar Generals like the plague.

8 days ago

I suspect Mandatory means it won’t be enforced if you don’t. That’s how it is here in IN. Private stores can require them and if you don’t wear one kick you out. But statewide they are required (except when outside not in a crowd) but not enforced (hence not mandatory?). It’s as confusing as the fact that we are told they work and they don’t work by the same agency over a period of a week. If you figure that one out, let me know.

2 days ago
Reply to  Cindy

Those who say masks don’t work probably haven’t contracted the disease yet–with the possible exception of “Slow Gohmert” from Texas who complained publicly that he got infected from touching his mask and inhaling the virus. That’s the same logic as “if we don’t test, we’ve got no cases to report.”