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Posted by | Posted in Stupidity | Posted on 18-09-2008

I’ll see your IQ, and raise you some common sense.

People, I find, are strange creatures. We’re capable of many things, both good and bad. You often hear stories about how heroic mums manage to save their children from a burning house (they obviously dont have my annoying smoke detectors installed) or how people with incurable diseases help so many others through charity work or fundraising events, despite being on their last legs themselves.

So how is it, then, that there are people who sit quite comfortably on the opposite end of the scale? I was under the impression that natural selection, along with Darwin’s Theory Of Evolution, would ensure that as each generation of people passes, we’d get gradually more intelligent and more capable.

But the ever popular BBC News website had an entertaining story that not only made me chuckle, but also made me realise that for all the good there is in the world, there is just as much stupidity. (I would say ‘evil’, but to be fair it actually takes some intellect to be as evil as some people are good, which isn’t all that common these days). Let’s think about that story for a moment, shall we? You buy a rabbit from someone who’s advertised it being for sale in the local paper. You visit their house, inspect the rabbit, and decide to buy it. Upon bringing it home, you decide that it’s ears aren’t quite floppy enough for your liking, so what do you do?

a) Phone the original owners to make sure everything is as it should be;
b) Phone the local vets to make sure everything is as it should be;
c) Look it up on Googlepedia; or
d) Phone 999

You dial 999, obviously. Vetenary practices are an often-underused facility offered by the emergency services. Honestly, how many kinds of silly can you be?

There I times when I’m actually thankful that we’ve got the kind of people in the Government that we have. Fair enough, Gordon Brown might have the charm, charisma and willing audience of an empty car park, but at least he knows how floppy his bunny’s ears should be. I’ve often thought how much better (or worse) the country might be if I were to become Prime Minister. I’d like to think that people would approve new laws legalising the slaughter of thousands of good-for-nothing chavs, but then I remember that the country mostly consists of good-for-nothing chavs.

Another thing that bewilders me about people, particulary homeless people, is the sheer cheek of most of them. I’d like to think that despite being brought up in your typical London overspill town, that I turned out alright. My family was never rich or particularly well-educated, but we were always taught that manners and respect for other people are the most valuable things you could have.

So you can imagine my amazement while growing up, and even to this day, that I experience whenever a self-made homeless junkie asks me for money on the street. It happened to me recently, in fact, but what bothered me more is the absolute tosh that they come out with to try and pry your hard-earned cash from you. I can understand that some people in that situation are desperate, and a lot of them would do some rather alarming things for the smallest amounts of money but for some reason, I’ve got no sympathy for them.

I’m a fan of old sayings and proverbs, and as one old saying goes, “manners cost nothing”. So where were this guy’s manners while he was explaining to me how he needed to “borrow a pound to visit his brother as he gets out of prison, so that they can visit their grandmother’s grave and put flowers on it”? Firstly, he didn’t want to “borrow” a pound at all. When he asked for it, I’m pretty sure he wasn’t exactly thinking about when he might give it back. Secondly, I think we both know he doesn’t want to be getting a bus to visit his nan’s grave. I’d be surprised if he knew who his nan was, let alone where she was buried.

But the thing that really bothers me when passers-by are hassled on the streets by these people, is that they’ve clearly been thinking about how best to guilt-trip you into giving them money. They’re excellent at coming up with (completely ridiculous) sob stories to try and make you feel guilty about their situation, but they clearly dont feel guilty enough about lying to you to stop doing it. Now I’m no expert in being homeless, what with me bothering to get a job and all, but I would imagine that people would be a little more positive towards the homeless beggers if they just came clean and admitted that they need the money for booze.

As another old saying goes, “honesty is the best policy”, yet many beggers have none whatsoever. In my example, the guy first caught my attention by asking me when the next bus to [so-and-so] was, despite having spent a good three years of his life at that very bus stop, and must know the bus timetables inside out. But not only are they dishonest, they seem to think that people are stupid. As the floppy-bunny-ears story proved, a lot of people probably are, but then again a lot of people aren’t. And it’s those people who will remember being asked for money by the same guy repeatedly. I’m one of them. I know for a fact that the guy had nowhere to go, because he’s spent a good three years of his life going nowhere. But his assumption that I’m so stupid so as to not even remember when he’s asked me for money before just enraged me all the more.

I’d like to think that I’d help someone in need. But in this day an age, with people being how they are, how do you know if someone really is in need?

This post was brought to you by… the intertubes.

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