Often you hear the phrase “Stop acting like an idiot,” or “You sound like an idiot,” or “You look like an idiot.” If you’re not an idiot then these phrases serve as friendly warning signs that you may be drifting into idiot real estate and should immediately cease and desist.
If you are an idiot, however, you may not know what the word desist means. What idiot would? (We’re assuming here that even an idiot knows what cease means. If not, see Quick moron* check.) In fact, both cease and desist mean “to stop.” So when you’re told to cease and desist you’re being told to stop and to stop.
Some idiots may find this perplexing — although, only those idiots who know what perplexing means. Other idiots will wonder why the phrase “cease and desist” even exists when it would be so much more efficient to say “Stop, or I’m telling my Mom.”
Here’s a quick look at the three most common idiot–provoked responses. If you see yourself in any of these scenarios stop and stop you idiot.
“Stop acting like an idiot.”
• In the theatrical sense this is what a director might say to a temperamental actor cast as Abraham Lincoln with an interpretation of the role that borrows heavily from Daffy Duck with a brogue.
• You ring the neighbor’s doorbell at 3 a.m. and ask to borrow his lawn mower. You’re acting like an idiot because you live in a fourth floor condo and your neighbor already has a restraining order against you.
• You climb up onto the edge of your cubicle at work and try to set a new world record for the number of cube edges you can cross without falling or getting fired. You’re acting like an idiot because you already own the world’s record (three) and you left your thirty foot balancing pole at the unemployment office.
“You sound like an idiot.”
• At a party, the conversation turns to politics but a guy with cheese curls in his ears mistakenly thinks it’s about pollen and ticks. When he starts talking about the time he had to remove a deer tick from his nether lands, the conversation stops. You sound like an idiot when you say “Dude, where’d you find the cheese curls?”
• To impress your friends while at a major league baseball game, you buy a round of drinks for all 22,000 fans there. They don’t accept your Sears card for the $165,000 tab but, coincidentally, one of your friends has exactly $165,000 in quarters and dimes. You sound like an idiot when you say “Can you spot me five bucks for some nachos?”
“You look like an idiot.”
• You show up anywhere, any time dressed as a mime. You look like an idiot.
• You’re running late and don’t have time to change, so you arrive at work wearing your pajamas with fluffy white sheep against a powder blue sky. By chance it happens to be dress down day. But with your unclipped big toe poking through a hole in one of your pajama feet, you look like an idiot.
• It’s Halloween and you’re invited to a costume party. You and your wife decide to dress up as each other. Your wife does such a good job impersonating you that she looks like an idiot.
*Moron and idiot are measures of stupidity. Basically, an idiot is too stupid to come in out of the rain; a moron is too stupid to know it’s raining. In contrast, a fool and a ninny are both too stupid to know that the internet is not a bag for hauling in a lot of fish on a ship called Inter.
©Patrick A. McGuire and A Hint of Light 2013-2014, all rights reserved.