As I write this, many of us are holed up at home to stop or at least slow the spread of the Covid19 virus. Trips out, we are advised, should be kept to a minimum as any social contact risks exposure to latest threat to our wellbeing. In fact, for many people, the only contact with the outside world is when they go out to purchase enough hand sanitizer, dried/tinned food, and toilet paper to keep a thousand diarrhea infested hygiene obsessives content for the next 15 years, and stick it the back of their two bedroomed bungalow.
Yes, this virus, whist it probably won’t do much harm to most of us, is a serious problem, and we all need to do our bit to spoil its fun. Scientists, doctors, nurses, politicians, and the general public are all pulling together to fight this threat in a way that I have found truly impressive. The stupidity that has been highlighted by the situation though… well, we all gave up on trying to fight that years ago. Civilisation has achieved some remarkable things, but we all know that you can’t cure stupid.
Panic buying in response to the pandemic has been utterly remarkable and more entertainingly newsworthy than the virus itself. We have seen normally rational(ish) people fighting over packs of bog roll, boxes of pasta, and bottles of hand sanitizer as though their life depended on it. So, what is it that is making people behave like such fuckwombles?
Psychologists, who are always looking for new ways to get funded, have been on this like a tramp on a chip, and have offered some very plausible explanations. It seems that what we have been seeing is as a result of perfectly natural, but largely irrational impulses. Urges that we have even though they make no rational sense. Urges that if followed, do no good and are potentially harmful. Urges that the deeply shitwitted find it impossible to resist.
- People feel out of control.
Whist the more mentally able among us are able to realise that there is very little within our control at the best of times, the knuckle draggers have recently been confronted with the fact. A world which revolves around which reality TV show to watch and what sort of sandwich spread to have is a world that feels very much under control. Introducing an undeniable uncertainty into the fetid burrows of stupid people is like shoving your finger up their arses. They will respond by reflex and little more.
Having spent all their lives believing that the accumulation of material goods is the sole aim of being, they go into a mode of panic buying. What do they buy? They buy the stuff that they see other people buying.
- Certain goods begin to feel scarce and therefore more valuable.
So, Captain Fucktard and his adorable wife Doreen are pelting down the supermarket isle with a trolley brimming with tiny paper squares with which to polish their shit pipes. Oh no, thinks Blunder Woman, if this carries on, my shit pipe my go uncleansed and then there’s no way that Darren on till 9 will want to do me. Doing the only thing she can, she rams her own trolley full of butt buffers. Very soon the shelves are looking a little sparse, and it’s a free for all to grab whatever is remaining. Hearing what has been going on, the mouth breathing community will ensure that the shelves are cleared the following day as well. After a while, there really is a toilet paper problem. There isn’t a shortage as such. People are shitting no more frequently or messily than they did the previous week. It’s just that the still plentiful supply of ring rubbers is now locked in the back rooms of a small number of arse wipes.
- People (especially stupid people) like to feel smart.
Let’s face it, we all like to feel appreciated for our cleverness. Sad as it is though, the people who most appreciate their own cleverness are the terminally dimwitted. Sadder still is that they have a tendency to measure their mental aptitude by the degree to which they can get one over on other people. If Captain Jizzbiscuit sees hand sanitizer in stock he will buy it all. The win for him is threefold. First off, he can walk out of the shop looking at all the other ‘losers’ who will fail to get what they want. He was ‘smart’ enough to get it all. 2. He assures himself that he is doing well enough to take care of himself and his family in a crisis situation. After all, he’s just spent 150 notes on something that he doesn’t really need. He’s done it ‘just in case’. He can afford it. He’s doing well. He must be very smart. 3. If he’s a proper lowlife, he might even be able to sell it on at a profit. The boy’s a genius.
What he misses of course, is that he needs everyone to avoid the virus for it to die out and end the crisis. But for now, he’s golden.
Every cloud, though, has a silver lining, and in this case, we are provided an easy scale upon which to measure the stupidity of an individual. Do the following test to find out how stupid you are:
In your home, do you have:
a. Slightly more loo roll than usual?
b. The usual amount of loo roll?
c. Enough loo roll to last your family for a year?
d. No loo roll?
Now check your answers and get your results:
a. The cynic. You are a smart and functioning individual with an eye on the future. You know that there is no shortage of toilet paper, but are making preparations to keep on wiping until the next thing comes on the telly to distract all the panic buying morons into doing something else. You are the top of the tree (and will remain there until it gets cut down to make more bog roll).
b. The optimist. You believe in the goodness of people. You are smart enough to resist your irrational urges but seem to underestimate the stupidity of others. Wise up. You are great. The others are all shit.
c. The fuckwit. Toilet paper will be readily available again well before you have used your supply, so you have done yourself no good. In the short term, however, you have inconvenienced others. This is the very definition of stupidity. It would be customary to say something along the lines of ‘I hope you’re proud of yourself’, but in your dimly lit little mind, you probably are.
d. The cowboy. You will be walking with your legs slightly apart for a while. Don’t worry. All of this will pass.
Minister of Stuff.