What do you do when you encounter stupidity in public?
Do you ignore it or do you confront it? Generally I try to be a polite Canadian and just work around it and then later on I write a passive aggressive email to all my friends about the stupidity of others so they can commiserate with me. Usually that’s what I do, but this weekend things were different; this weekend I was at Wonderland!
Don’t get me wrong, Wonderland is good fun, but it also seems to gather together the stupidest of the stupids, and then highlights their stupidity by shoving them close together in a line and making them wait for things which only seems to wear off their stupid patience (I think I just hit my record for most amount of times I can use the term ‘stupid’ in one sentence). And when people run out of patience, stupid or not, they make rash decisions, often at the expense of others.
In this particular instance I had to put my polite Canadian ways aside and show stupidity who’s boss *cue game face*. My group and I were standing in line to ride on The Bat when it happened. The Bat is probably one of the most popular rides at Wonderland so it usually has a 45 minute wait time. As we approached the line we saw people line-jumping, which irked us all. As most polite and decent people do, we view line jumping as very disrespectful to all the other people standing in line. After all, every one of us had to pay to be there that day and I’m sure no one paid to waste their time having others butt ahead of them. After discussing this point with my group another group came up behind us. When the people in front of us saw the new arrivals they started calling their names and beckoning for them to jump ahead of us and join them. The new arrivals, being stupid and thinking that this was acceptable, started to breeze their way past my group… until they reached me. I stepped out in front of their leader, put my hand up in front of the guy's face a la crossing guard style and said in my sternest voice “no way man! Don’t even think about it.” He backed up and he resumed his spot in line, but then I had to wait amidst a divided group of idiots for an hour to get on the ride. The half of the group who were behind me spent the hour glaring at me for stopping their line jumping plot and the half of the group in front of me continued for a good 20 minutes to try and convince their friends to join them. I couldn’t help but think “how stupid can you be? I already showed you that I won’t stand for this disrespect! Why do you continue to try and egg your friends on when I’m standing right here and can hear everything you’re saying?!” I began planning what I would say to park officials if these people tried to butt in front of me again. There are clearly marked signs around every ride that say line jumping is not permitted and will be dealt with severely, they will even throw you out of the park if they have to. I was getting ready to make this argument at any moment, but the group never tried to butt again… I guess my game face did the trick.
I wanted to share this story with you so that if you encounter such common idiocy in your travels you will know that sometimes just putting your foot down and saying no will stop people. I often hold back out of fear. I’m afraid that I’ll in turn be seen as rude if I make a scene. But I’m starting to think this is the wrong way to go about things. If you think of the world in Wonderland terms: if everyone stopped line jumpers from getting away with screwing everyone over then maybe they’d stop. It’s when people don’t say anything that makes what they’re doing seem okay. So speak up and stand up in the face of stupidity next time you see it! I’ve got your back.