Gary Conkling Life Notes

Mostly whimsical reflections on life

Adults Do the Dumbest Things

Art Linkletter made a career proving “kids say the darndest things.” Nowadays you could fill a reality TV network schedule showing “adults do the dumbest things.”

Man in a Lawn ChairA man launches himself with balloons while sitting in a lawn chair. A man cuts off his penis to stop masturbating. A man is discovered in a bathroom pleasuring himself with a pig. A woman leaves her infant in a steaming car for 45 minutes while she shops at Wal-Mart.

Linkletter wouldn’t have been surprised at the idiocy of some adults. He started his career on radio with a show called “People are Funny.” Later,  his daughter committed suicide after experimenting with LSD.

LinkletterEven Linkletter, if alive, would gasp at some of the reckless, mindless gambits of people who are chronologically adults.

For example, the guy who cut off his penis said it was the only way he could stop indulging in a habit he knew was sinful. His mother verified that her son masturbated as often as 10 times a day. Neither son nor mother imagined a far deeper problem than his genitalia’s relative proximity to his hand.

Penis-chopping evidently isn’t all that rare, especially in cases where sons and mothers have trouble separating. There have been a number of reported incidents of sons stabbing their mothers, then repenting by severing their penises. Apparently moving into their own apartment never occurred to these guys.

Crime is often a setting for weird behavior. A man suspected of a crime serenaded a squadron of police officers surrounding his house by playing a few tunes on his banjo. A robber disdained traditional weapons such as a gun and used hornets and a rattlesnake to intimidate his victims. Another thief thwarted his own getaway when he stopped to take a selfie video to document his caper.

Bud-and-Breakfast-Logo-232x300Other times, people just do dumb stuff. Like the Maryjane Group in Colorado that opened a chain of bud and breakfasts featuring “high-end” rooms. Or the Texas man who fired at an armadillo and had to duck when the billet ricocheted back at him. Or the woman who tried to eat crack cocaine in front of drug agents.

Good intentions also produce oddities. Such as bacon-flavored seaweed health food. Or cosmologists who concluded that extraterrestrial creatures would be the size of bears. And that fascinating experiment of recreating the dino chicken with no beak.

The man who launched himself in a lawn chair using 100 large helium balloons was arrested by Calgary police for violating Canadian airspace regulations. The human drone isn’t a loony; he’s a businessman who thought the stunt would be great marketing for his start-up company, All Clean Natural.

This wasn’t a spur-of-the-moment prank. The guy went to the United States to study skydiving. He gave up on that notion when he couldn’t find a pilot willing to lose his license to drop him in regulated airspace.

Next, he explored hiring a Mexican immigrant to fly the plane. That idea went by the boards when he pondered the possibility of dying on takeoff.

Dan Boria

Balloon man Dan Boria

Then he remembered high school chemistry and the unique properties of helium. He decided to invest thousands of Canadian dollars in his gravity-defying adventure. Luckily, he also invested in a parachute, which enabled him to land with only a slight injury to his foot – and a potential injury to his pride in the form of a criminal charge.

“Sometimes you’ve got to live life on a limb if you truly believe in your company,” he told a reporter.

At least he didn’t cut off his penis.


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