by Mad Dog
It turned out his teeth were fine, he just happened to have
a four-inch nail embedded in his skull. And had for six days without the
slightest idea it was there.
||A lot of people, it seems,
are completely oblivious. I’m not talking about a president who
doesn’t pay attention to what 65 percent of the country wants and does
whatever he likes, a CEO who fires thousands of employees in a
cost-cutting measure yet gives himself a bonus that’s larger than many
countries’ gross domestic product, or Britney Spears, who made her
post-rehab comeback on the MTV Video Music Awards but apparently forgot
that you’re supposed to rehearse and, at the least, memorize the
lyrics — “Gimme gimme more, gimme more” — so you can put the
sync back in lip sync. Oops! She did it again!
No, I’m talking about people who
are truly and completely oblivious to what goes on around them. Like
Patrick Lawler, the Colorado man who a couple of years ago went to the
dentist complaining of a toothache. It turned out his teeth were fine,
he just happened to have a four-inch nail embedded in his skull. And had
for six days without the slightest idea it was there. It seems his nail
gun backfired while on a carpentry job, shooting a nail into the roof of
his mouth and into his brain. Without him knowing it. In his defense, he
never claimed to be a sensitive guy.
More recently, a West Virginia man
went to sleep in his mobile home after a night out on the town. When he
awoke the next morning he noticed blood on his pillow. He went to the
hospital where doctors discovered that he had a bullet in his head.
Apparently someone drove by during the night and shot up the man’s
trailer and truck, with one bullet going through the trailer wall and
into his head. Even though he didn’t wake up or feel it, at least now
he knows what those strange dreams were all about.
The people who appear on the “Jaywalking” segment of The
Tonight Show who say Saddam Hussein is the capital of South Dakota are
clueless when they answer. Once they sign the release form so their
performance can air on national TV they’ve crossed the line.
He deserves some credit. Even though it took four hours and a cup
of coffee before he realized something happened, that’s better than
the woman in China who spent 64 years suffering from headaches, foaming
at the mouth, and spells where she spouted nonsense before doctors
discovered she had a 1-inch-long bullet lodged in her skull. And no, it
didn’t match the one in West Virginia, though that would have made for
a pretty good story to tell her grandchildren. It turns out the woman
wasn’t totally oblivious. She did know that she’d been shot by
Japanese soldiers during World War II, she just didn’t know there was
still a bullet in her head.
It’s not easy being that oblivious
— it takes a special talent that’s probably genetic in origin —
but that doesn’t mean there’s not an awful lot of everyday oblivion
surrounding us. Take cell phones. There’s something about a cell phone
that makes people oblivious. They become oblivious to how loud they’re
talking, how little anyone around them wants to hear about their
colonoscopy, and the fact that there are other cars on the road,
especially the ones desperately trying to get out of the way of a
swerving, slowing, weaving car that’s cutting across three lanes
because someone’s trying to send a text message while driving.
There’s a difference between being
oblivious and clueless. The people who appear on the “Jaywalking”
segment of The Tonight Show who say Saddam Hussein is the capital
of South Dakota are clueless when they answer. Once they sign the
release form so their performance can air on national TV they’ve
crossed the line, being oblivious to how they’ll look to anyone other
than their beer-soaked friends who think being on TV is more important
than having to explain to a future employer that you were kidding and
knew all along that Pierre Salinger is the capital of South Dakota. Or
was until he died.
was clueless. The judges, on the other hand, were oblivious. After all,
they’re the ones who chose her to be the third runner-up, apparently
completely unaware of how it would look to the over 15 million people
who watched Upton’s answer on YouTube.
Then there’s Lauren Caitlin Upton, the reigning "Miss
South Carolina Teen USA" who when asked during the national
competition why so many people can't find the United States on a map
said, “I personally believe that U.S. Americans are unable to do so
because, uhmmm, some people out there in our nation don't have maps and
uh, I believe that our, I, education like such as, uh, South Africa, and
uh, the Iraq, everywhere like such as, and I believe that they should,
uhhh, our education over here in the U.S. should help the U.S., uh,
should help South Africa, it should help the Iraq and the Asian
countries so we will be able to build up our future, for us.”
She was clueless. The judges, on the
other hand, were oblivious. After all, they’re the ones who chose her
to be the third runner-up, apparently completely unaware of how it would
look to the over 15 million people who watched Upton’s answer on
YouTube, which incidentally is about three times as many people as
watched the show.
There are, of course, levels of
obliviousness. Luckily few of us are as oblivious as the Japanese
motorcyclist who was recently riding with a group of friends when he had
trouble negotiating a curve and brushed up against a safety barrier. It
hurt, but it wasn’t until he pulled over about a mile later that he
realized his right leg was missing, having been severed just below the
knee. Luckily one of his friends wasn’t as oblivious and stopped to
get it for him. Yet another reason why if you’re going to be
oblivious, make sure you have a designated driver. And that goes for you
cell phone users too.
©2007 Mad Dog
Productions, Inc. All Rights Reserved.
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