Late last night my Mom and I somehow got sucked into a TV show on the weather channel, of all things, about Mother Nature’s awesome powers and the places crushed and people almost killed when she experiences her little mood swings. At least that was the message they were trying to convey, what we got out of it was a little different. For us it was more of a series of demonstrations of human stupidity.
The first story wasn’t just one example of a total lack of common sense, but an entire series of decisions that made us embarrassed to be a part of the same species. A major storm had hit a small town in rapid order, one minute it was clear skies, the next it was torrential down pour. In under an hour the streets were flooded, fallen trees were floating by, and a particular underpass went from road to a lake that was over ten feet deep, over a hundred long, and four lanes wide. By some miracle no one was caught in the middle of the lake…when it appeared, anyhow.
Police were diverting traffic, seeing that the road was impassable people began to pull to the right and stop. All except one woman who pulled around the people in front of her, drove in the wrong lane (she is the kind of entitled jerk driver that uses the emergency lane during traffic), and, get this, when she saw said lake she didn’t stop. Instead she drove right into it! What on earth??? She was apparently under the delusion that she owned a magic car that would turn into a boat and escort her swiftly to the other side. Surprisingly, only to her really, this did not happen. Now the problem with doing something mind bogglingly stupid is that everyone that witnessed this feat of brainless do was so shocked that someone was that idiotic they just stood there watching in jaw dropping awe.
But wait! There is more. When she discovered her vehicle had no special powers, the tires left the road and the front end began to sink she sat in that sinking car still moving the steering wheel in an attempt to direct her car in the right direction. Again, onlookers were expecting her to, oh, I don’t know; get out of the sinking car? She makes no such move, nor is there any screaming for help, inside she appears still convinced that driving into a lake was a good course of action and would in fact still get her wherever she planned to go. Well, the hood is underwater; it is coming up her windshield, and closing in on the windows. At this point a few onlookers realize that this woman has no survival instincts of her own and jump into the ice cold lake to rescue her.
Maybe I’m a little heartless, maybe I’m just very pragmatic, but given the series of insanely stupid decisions this woman has and continues to make I think that removing her from the gene pool is actually a good thing. About five men, who did have the sense not to drive into a lake risk their lives for this woman. Again, five smart people may die to continue the life of one person who drove herself into a lake.
There is an underlying issue here; Darwinism can only work if we allow it. Americans spend an incredible amount of time and money making everything idiot proof, when in the end all we are really doing is building a better idiot. We are the butt of the rest of the world’s jokes. Who else needs to be informed to open a champagne bottle away from their face, to not use the hair dryer in the bath or shower, or that cruise control is not, in fact, auto pilot. Or in the case of this show, we risk lives and resources to save people who drive into hurricanes, people who refuse to evacuate and then are shocked when they nearly die, and people who refuse to evacuate during a wild fire, completely convinced that they can save their house with a couple of garden hoses.
As we watch these far too nice men risk their lives, I’m shaking my head in shame and shaking my fists in aggravation. The car is now fully submerged and these men are struggling to break a window while the woman on the other side has finally realized things aren’t working the way she planned and is hitting her side of the window with her palms. At one point, one of these men realizes that the windshield wipers are still going because they keep hitting him in the legs. That’s right, the vehicle still has power and she still hasn’t tried to roll down the window even as she watches them failing to break through. Her rescuers are now clinging to her roof rack and somehow one of them gets through, grabs her by the hair and pulls her free of the car. She breaks through the surface, takes a big breath and then…panics.
Apparently she can’t swim, so, as drowning people are prone to do, she tried to climb one of her rescuers and, as he was not, in fact, a ladder, pulled them both down into the icy murky water. Again, I shake my head and roll my eyes. I mean, really? On top of everything else she has done in the last hour she tries to drown her rescuer. At this point I’m thinking less than nice thoughts about the woman. Fortunately, the man she was trying to murder had water rescue experience. He was taught not to fight when a drowning person panicked and tried to drag them down to a watery grave. She let go, he popped up and was able to grab her from behind and get her to safety. Having endured this spectacle without throwing anything at the TV I laughed. What else was there to do?
Then I turned to my Mom and noted, “I was taught when rescuing someone who is drowning and panicked, you are supposed to push away from them if they try to pull you under and then grab them from the back and swim to safety. Not let them try to drown me and hope they give up before I actually die.”
Mom laughed and said, “I was trained to hit them. Hopefully knock them out and then grab them from behind and swim to safety.”
I let out a loud belly laugh and continued to giggle as I told her.
“Now THAT is pragmatic.”