Proving the Theory of Mass Stupidity

Do I have a good reason? No. Does anyone ever have a good reason? No. But did I do it anyway? Yes.

Why am I answering my own questions? I don?t know.

The point is that I did do it, and that it probably wasn?t the smartest thing I could have done.

But there comes a point in every teenager?s life, in my case Monday, when one just has to say, ?Enough is enough! I?m tired of complying to social standards and conforming to what everyone tells me to do. I?m going to rebel. I?m going to be a unique individual. I?m going to poke an extra hole in my head!?

This is ironic, because by going against the flow, I was actually going with the flow because everyone was telling me to do it.

But did I really do it to rebel? Not particularly.

I learned a long time ago that if I wanted attention, there were lots of things I could do to stand out, such as saying really bad puns. Bodily mutilation isn?t completely necessary.

I did it mainly so I could take a picture and write a column about it.

I do lots of things just so I can write a column about it. For example, last year I joined the track team, even though I think I ran faster getting to the bus before the snacks ran out than when I was actually competing.

If I remember correctly, I actually attempted to get the flu last winter, because I figured I could make an easy 800 words out of being sick.

On the other hand, I generally don?t stoop quite this low just for a writing topic. But there were two factors that made conditions exactly right: (1) there were a bunch of teenagers at a hotel and (2) there was very little adult supervision at the time.

My dad, a choir director by choice, has come up with a concept called the Theory of Mass Stupidity. The Theory of Mass Stupidity states that for every bright individual in a group of people, the overall intelligence of the group drops severely.

I saw a very blatant example of this theory in February when I and five other Hillsboro High School students sang in the all-state honor choir.

There were more than 200 high school students in formal wear, crammed up on risers waiting for the photographer to take our picture. But, this may come as a shock to you, it wasn?t us teenagers who were causing problems.

Despite the fact that our shoulders were overlapping and our tuxedo pants were beginning to bunch, we were all waiting patiently for our photo.

But there was one problem. Every time someone in the audience took a picture using their flash, it would mess up the professional photographer?s equipment. This meant he had to keep resetting it.

Finally, they announced that people should stop taking flash photographs, and they did. For about 30 seconds.

You would not believe the mass stupidity of this crowd. Several more announcements were made, and several hundred more flash photographs were taken.

Teenagers are generally known to be unorganized, but some were forming structured units and yelling, ?Stop taking pictures!?

This did little to no good. The crowd, ironically made up entirely of parents and teachers, could not quite process this little piece of information.

I?m not completely sure if we ever actually got our picture taken. My guess is that the photographer is still there, with a small group of parents sitting behind him, taking flash pictures of empty bleachers.

Anyway, the Theory of Mass Stupidity is very applicable in my situation.

Everyone involved preferred to remain anonymous, mainly because they have more dignity than I do.

The general progression of events goes like this: I numbed my ear with ice, my friend thoroughly cleaned the piercing stud, she tried to get it through my earlobe, but because it was wet from the ice, she couldn?t.

?I can?t get it through,? she said.

?That?s encouraging,? I said through a clenched jaw.

I will admit right up front that when it comes to sharp objects entering me, I?m basically a big wimp. I have to count individual ceiling tile pores when I give blood, just so I don?t fall off the medical lawn chair when the nurse pokes the needle into my arm.

So needless to say, I was very shocked when I actually heard the stud go?this still makes me queezy?through my skin.

?I heard penetration,? I said, right before I died from a blood disease. Of course, I?m kidding. I didn?t die.

This little rebellious stage lasted about two days, which is how long it took in between me getting the earring to my parents seeing it. I don?t miss it too much. There?s a freckle on my other ear that is constantly being mistaken for a piercing.

I guess for now, I?ll just stick to saying really bad puns and trying to get the flu, both of which are ill-advised. Get it?

Never mind.

* * *

UFO: Talk about thick skin! The bark of a sequoia tree can be up to 2 feet thick!

Don?t ask why.

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