By Richard Peterson
You won’t find Dave Barry’s column in the Farmers Press anymore. Barry hasn’t written a weekly column for several years and the syndicate which has been selling his old columns has quit sending them.
Barry’s column has appeared in the Farmers Press since April 17, 1991 when he was engaged to replace the late great Wayne Lubenow, who also had a long relationship with the Farmers Press. Barry was with us almost
19 years and Lubenow was with us almost 20 years.
This column, incidently, has appeared in this newspaper for at least 45 years.
I get help with this column, though. The rest of it, concerning human stupidity, came in an e-mail from a reader:
New York City resident Kathy Evans brought humiliation to her friends and family when she set a new standard for stupidity with her appearance on the popular TV show, "Who Wants To Be A Millionaire."
Evans, a 32-year-old wife and mother of two, got stuck on the first question and proceeded to make what fans of the show are dubbing "the absolute worst use of lifelines ever." After being introduced to the show’s host Meredith Vieira, Evans was posed with a typically easy initial $100 question.
The question was: "Which of the following is the largest?"
a) A Peanut
b) An Elephant
c) The Moon
d) Hey, who you calling large?
Immediately Mrs. Evans was struck with an all consuming panic as she did not readily know the answer. "Hmm, oh boy, that’s a toughie," said Evans, as Vieira did her level best to hide her disbelief.
"I mean, I’m sure I’ve heard of some of these things before, but I have no idea how large they would be."
Evans made the decision to use the first of her three lifelines, the 50/50. Answers a and d were removed, leaving her to decide which was bigger, an elephant or the moon. However, faced with an incredibly easy question, Evans still remained unsure.
"Oh! It removed the two I was leaning towards!" exclaimed Evans.
"Darn. I think I better phone a friend."
Mrs. Evans asked to be connected with her friend Betsy, who is an office assistant.
"Hi Betsy! How are you? This is Kathy! I’m on TV!" said Evans, wasting the first seven seconds of her call.
"Ok, I got an important question. Which of the following is the largest?
An elephant or the moon. Fifteen seconds hun."
Betsy quickly replied that the answer was the moon.
Evans proceeded to argue with her friend for the remaining 10 seconds.
"Betsy, are you sure?" said Evans. "How sure are you? Duh, that can’t be it."
To everyone’s astonishment, the moronic Evans declined to take her friend’s advice. "I just don’t know if I can trust Betsy. She’s not all that bright. So I think I’d like to ask the audience," said Evans.
Asked to vote on the correct answer, the audience returned 98% in favor of answer c, "The Moon." Having used up all her lifelines, Evans then made the dumbest choice of her life.
"Wow, seems like everybody is against what I’m thinking," said the too-stupid-to-live Evans. "But you know, sometimes you just got to go with your gut. So, let’s see . . . I’m going to have to go with b, an elephant. Final answer."
Evans sat before the dumbfounded audience, the only one waiting with bated breath — and was told that she was wrong, and that the answer was in fact, c, "The Moon."
Some guy bought a new fridge for his house. To get rid of his old fridge, he put it in his front yard and hung a sign on it saying: "Free to good home. You want it, you take it."
For three days the fridge sat there without anyone looking twice.
He eventually decided that people were too mistrustful of this deal.
So he changed the sign to read: "Fridge for sale $50."
The next day someone stole it!
One day I was walking down the beach with some friends when someone shouted, "Look at that dead bird!"
Someone looked up at the sky and asked, "Where?"
While looking at a house, my brother teasingly asked the real estate agent which direction was north because he didn’t want the sun waking him up every morning.
She asked, "Does the sun rise in the north?"
My brother explained that the sun rises in the east and has for some time. She shook her head and said, "Oh, I don’t keep up with all that stuff . . ."
My colleague and I were eating lunch in our cafeteria when we overheard an girl talking about the sunburn she got on her weekend drive to the beach.
She drove down in a convertible, but said she ". . . didn’t think she’d get sunburned because the car was moving."
My sister has a lifesaving tool in her car which is designed to cut through a seat belt if she gets trapped. She keeps it in the car trunk.
I was hanging out with a friend when we saw a woman with a nose ring attached to an earring by a chain.
My friend said, "Ouch! The chain must rip out every time she turns her head!"
I had to explain that a person’s nose and ear remain the same distance apart no matter which way the head is turned.
I couldn’t find my luggage at the airport baggage area and went to the lost luggage office and reported the loss.
The woman there smiled and told me not to worry because she was a trained professional and said I was in good hands. "Now," she asked me, "has your plane arrived yet?"
While working at a pizza parlor I observed a man ordering a small pizza to go. He appeared to be alone and the cook asked him if he would like it cut into four pieces or six pieces. He thought about it for some time then said "Just cut it into four pieces; I don’t think I’m hungry enough to eat six pieces."