Nov 19, 2009

Are You Stupid?

All Rights Reserved © 2006 Thomas W. Day

Last January, outside my kitchen window, I watched three typically spoiled, unskilled, good ole' boys on ATVs bombing around our backyard lake. Normally, I'd be happy to see the lake in use, since it's barely considered a lake by the county and state and any attention is better than none. This wasn't normally.

Our lake boarders the freeway, so noise isn't much of an issue. We have a little mud island in the middle of the lake that's surrounded by Russian Loosestrife, an invasive weed, cattails, and snowmobilers usually plow it flat every winter in their search for a little uneven terrain to explore. That's no problem, either. When I bought the house, there was a collection of "No Snowmobiles" signs in the garage. My wife painted flowers over the signs and we used them as corner posts for our compost pit. I like owning a place that people can use as a path to recreation. I've told all of our neighbors that, if they own snowmobiles, our path is the route to the lake, no questions asked or permission needed. As of this morning I'm reconsidering all of that. Three morons on three and four wheel ATVs have almost changed my attitude about my property and recreational vehicles. These clowns, not content to bomb around a twenty acre lake, unimpeded and unnoticed,. decided it was more fun to add a few backyards, including mine, to their winter race track.

We've been cultivating cattails and native plants along our shoreline. The ATV'rs tore that up more effectively than I could have done with a John Deere diesel and a plow. My wife has built a wildflower garden on the hillside which, apparently, is a moron magnet, because one of the morons felt the need to rip up the hillside with his girlyman four-wheel lawn tractor. Yeah, I'm not impressed with Suzuki, Honda, or Yamaha's latest motorized wheelchairs. Let's face it, four wheels are not better than two. Four wheels are two too many wheels. Simple as that. In my opinion, ATVs are as interesting as unequipped, low-torque garden tractors.

The hill these goofballs tore up is a mild challenge for my 25-year-old Toro riding lawnmower. If that mound gets your rocks off, you'd be stimulated by the sound of a nylon zipper. As for ATVs, anyone who needs a freakin' stable platform to go off-road ought to consider bridge, canasta, or a seat in front of a Treasure Island slot machine, instead of a slow moving lawn tractor without a grass-cutting blade. Especially when that unbalanced doofus feels the urge to tear up my yard with the damn thing. Yeah, I'll admit that I'm generalizing. But I'm generalizing about a specific trio of overgrown kiddies on specific vehicles.

This is a question I often ask people who are doing unbelievably dumb things, "Are you stupid?" I really want to know the answer, so don't consider this a debate tactic or a rhetorical vehicle. If you're stupid, you have an excuse. If you're not, maybe you should consider a lobotomy so that you will have an excuse.

Any parent knows that the thing kids do is push against boundaries. Teenaged children are constantly shoving against anything resembling boundaries, and that's natural. Stupid, but natural. Sometimes, a wall is the only thing between you and a thousand foot drop. I guess my yard was a boundary and my wife's gardens were the walls.

Watching these guys pout, and shred the edge of my yard, as I ran them off of my property, I was reminded of all the vandals on vehicles I've known in my life. I'm talking about folks like the dirt bikers who couldn't be contained to ORV park trails. They waved their freedom flag high by tearing up all the private land and pristine public land possible and got the rest of us banned from hard-won ORV parks and most of the American Desert. I mean those loud pipe folks who are doing their part to get bikes banned from neighborhoods and public roads. I mean those rough-tough biker dudes who get together in gangs to torment "citizens" and rape and pillage like Viking stormtroupers, then, whine like little babies when the non-riding public stereotypes "bikers" as gangsters and works to outlaw motorcycles from society.

Most likely, all of this crowd is just starved for attention and love. Sons and daughters of distracted, workaholic parents and such. I suspect that all the terrain shredding, loud pipe, bad freeway mannered, rebels-without-a-clue types are all just overgrown teenagers looking for love. Sorry, I can't help you. If you're parents didn't like your sorry ass enough to pay attention when you tried to stand on your head, I'm absolutely the wrong shoulder for you to cry on. And if you don't get that damn ATV off of my yard, I'm going to litter the trail with shingle nails and wait for you at the top of the hill with a Sheriff's deputy. I don't like you any more than your daddy did.


  1. So eloquently put. My father would say "they don't have the common sense God gave a piss ant". It's to bad the few always ruin it for the rest of us. GAW

  2. You never know when an irate householder may reach his limit of tolerance. His next action could be straight out of TV - stepping onto the back porch with a deer rifle and methodically killing the idiots on four-wheelers, then phoning police to give himself up. One craziness begets another.


  3. Yet another good reason not to own a gun. I don't think being a moron is a worthwhile excuse for murder, but I'm not that bothered when someone else wipes out an idiot.

  4. Back in the 70s, when I was backroading Nebraska "limited access" roads, every time I'd confront a farmer I'd stop and talk to them and listen to their complaints about kids on motorcycles and the damaged they caused. I got into the habit of stopping at a farm to let them know a fence was down, cattle were on the road, or whatever else I might see while I buzzed along those trails. Eventually, some farmers trusted me to herd their cattle back into the field so I occasionally did that on my rusty Rickman. Fun, actually.

    When I crashed in the boondocks, busted a rack of ribs, and straggled back to my car unable to even ride the bike onto the trailer, let alone tie it down. I settled into my car seat to rest and hope that I'd get my strength back. Some local cowboys came along, stopped to help load my bike up and turn my car around for me. They even offered to drive me home, but I was still arrogant enough to think "I can do it." I might still be out there if they hadn't rescued me.

  5. And the fellow who moved away after reading that 75% of fatal accidents occur within 25 miles of home.

    Someone in my family made quite a bit of money, then married a nurse and spent the last 20 years of his life in bed.

    There are a lot of ways to be a person, but these days people seem determined to make either themselves or their children into R&D projects. Don't we have natures of some kind, which we bend or break at our peril? My experience is that it's taken a long time for me to get to know rudimentary things about myself.



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