Saturday, April 17, 2010

The Army of the Oblivious

[Originally posted at]

It seemed like every day at the pool, someone had to ask, "Are you the lifeguard?" It would take nearly every ounce of my being to restrain myself from responding, "No. I just really love the apparel, and this floating safety tube is kind of like a stuffed animal to me. I bring it everywhere I go. Especially to swimming pools.  However, I'm not the lifeguard here. If I find him, I'll let you know." With a shirt emblazoned with the word, LIFEGUARD, red shorts and a large red tube stating the same, what the hell else could I possibly be?

I suppose I could be mistaken for one of the regular freaks that came into the Health Club. After seeing a guy bring FULL SCUBA GEAR AND A SAMURAI SWORD (I wish I was making that up), to a health club's 50 foot long indoor swimming pool, pretty much anything is possible. I could just be a guy who likes to pretend to lifeguard. Heck, Pointy-Breasted Karate Guy thought, despite his rotund figure, that he was a kung fu master. Why couldn't I just be another poser? So they had to ask the obvious.

It didn't end there. They'd point to the clearly labled steam room and say, "Steam room?" No, Mr. Tumnus, it's the doorway to Narnia. Be sure to grab a winter coat before you go in there.

Then they'd stand there looking at you like a dumb barnyard animal until you verbally satisfied their curiosity by saying, "Yes. Steam room." But that wasn't enough. It was never enough. They had to go and open the door and see the steam in the room. This was the only thing that could have slaked their inability to read or comprehend English and it was this that made me loathe and despise the entire human race; why the hell did you need to ask me your inane little question if you weren't going to believe me no matter what I said? You knew damned well what that little room was! And you knew damned well you were going to look anyway! I know damned well that I hate you for making me think less of myself for being the same species as you.

The Army of the Oblivious are a stubborn bunch and they are everywhere. They refuse to engage their brains in any given situation, dismissing the possibility of figuring things out on their own, preferring instead to be told where they are, what objects are nearby and whether or not they can eat those objects.

Please note that I'm not talking about STUPID people. We had our share of those at the Health Club. One such moronic patron, a bearded gentleman pushing fifty years of age, came down to swim in a collared polo shirt and his tighty-whities. When informed he needed to wear a bathing suit, he responded, "I have to wear something?" He trudged back up to the locker room dejected but determined, and the following day he came to the pool in khaki shorts which was close enough for me. Not knowing how to swim but really wanting to, he experimented with different kinds of helpful floatation devices until he finally settled on the neckbrace for the backboard. It was an odd choice being that the neckbrace itself did not float, but he tried tying it to his head to keep his nose and mouth above water and nearly drowned. I didn't see him much after that.

But the Army of the Oblivious are not stupid people. They are capable of figuring things out for themselves but choose not to. They are so lazy that they make everyone else do their thinking for them and as such, they should have most of their privileges taken away. They are a burden on society. They shouldn't drive, go out unaccompanied by a social worker or feed themselves. Asking questions as easy to self-answer as they do, The Army of the Oblivious should be in a home for their ilk and stay there, leaving the rest of us to go about our business unencumbered by their defiance of basic cognition.

If you know a card-carrying soldier in the Army of the Oblivious we'd love to hear about it. Post a comment with your story, and please feel free to subscribe to this blog if you like what you read.


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