Break a leg nitwit


By Al Vinikour   

Few things make me happier than somebody actually being held accountable for stupidity.
There are many scenarios I can think of, like somebody looking down to either send or retrieve a text message and looking up just in time to realize he’s about to become the ultimate tree hugger.

Or some drunk who has been riding the tail of an 18-wheeler for five miles — flashing his bright lights and honking his horn in the hopes the trucker will move out of the way…never once considering they’re traveling on a two-lane road. The trucker finally stops his rig, walks back to the drunk and proceeds to practice Eye, Ear, Nose and Throat medicine without a license by cleaning out the alky’s sinuses with a Smith & Wesson .44 Magnum. 

I’m thinking of something a little tamer today because I’ve polished off three bottles of Diet Peach Snapple and I’m mellowing out as I write this diatribe. I’m talking about these dunderhead front-seat passengers who find it enjoyable to sit back and prop both legs on top of the dashboard. Or stick said legs out the passenger door window.

I’m sure the former feels good to get the kinks out and the latter feels good to have a nice breeze blowing up your pant legs. To quote that master of subtleties, Forrest Gump, “Stupid is as stupid does.” Let’s analyze each plan and see which one poses the bigger threat.

Let’s say you’re riding back from the ball game with your drinking buddy Marc Louis. You had 11 brewskis to his eight at the game so he’s the designated driver. As you’re weaving in and out of your freeway lane your legs get cramped up because the rows in the upper bleachers where you have season tickets have as much leg room as a Japan Air Lines 747 economy seat. So you slide your seat back all the way and stretch your legs out atop the dashboard. What the hell…it’s padded, isn’t it?

Must be why it was made that way. As you sit there thinking life couldn’t get much sweeter you light up your unfiltered Camel to show the world you’re a man of distinction. All of a sudden an out-of-control ¾-ton pickup crosses the median and runs into Marc Louis’s 83 Chrysler head on…killing Mr. Louis instantly. You, on the other hand, didn’t quite get off so easy.

Because the driver’s side took the brunt of the impact, for the most part the passenger side held up rather well, structurally. But…and I say this with all possible sympathy…because your legs were touching the windshield from the full stretch you put on them they now are in the odd position of stepping on top of your own shoulders. Everybody except the curator staff of Ripley’s Believe It Or Not Museum is stopping to see this phenomenon first-hand. Besides the demise of your own self-propulsion you’re also responsible for the projectile vomiting of dozens of rubber-neckers.

The second possibility can be just as disastrous. Again, you’re driving home with Marc Louis from the ball game and because it’s 97-degrees and his air-conditioning isn’t working you decide to cool off by sticking your legs out the window. A few miles down the road you mentally pat yourself on the back for the wonderful breeze you’re able to cool yourself off with; that nice wind whipping between your toes.

All of a sudden Marc goes to pass a line of slow-moving cars. As he gets even with the second car from the front the rear door window opens up and a ganja-smoking Caribbean Islander who is higher than the International Space Station sees your legs hanging out the window. Except to his long-since-burned-out brain it looks like two bananas hanging off a tree. He seems to recall that he either works at, or once worked at a banana plantation and his job is or was to take his pearl-handled machete that’s been passed down through 17 generations of banana wranglers and cut the fruits as high up the vines as he can. He just happens to have his machete with him so he figures he must be on the clock. You see what’s coming next, don’t you Gideon?

That’s right...whack!!!!! Off the tree come the cleanly-sliced bananas. But look nitwit it’s not a tree and there’s no bananas…it’s your legs, Jocko!!!!!  Nice going!!! You’re now not only cooler…you’re lighter since you’ve had the dead weight of your former legs removed from your torso. Of course you could have lost them to that 18-wheeler who was passing on the right. Wonder what hurts more?

I don’t know what the odds are of any of these events occurring; but why take a chance? If it can be thought of it could happen.

The next time you want to do something as stupid as those leggy things I’ve mentioned…don’t! Just think of this because it’s apparent you haven’t been thinking of anything else…it’s awfully damned hard to walk away from an accident when you don’t have any legs.