When the police arrived, they arrested the dog’s owner — not for allowing his dog to dial 911 on his cell phone, but for the 150 marijuana plants he had growing in the house.
Despite the fact that he was doing absolutely nothing wrong by growing marijuana, that isn’t what this post is about. Instead, it’s about the extent of human stupidity.
Once upon a time, I ran a web site called Make Stupidity History. Unfortunately, time constraints have forced me to stop updating it, but while it was in operation I would go through the day’s news reports (okay, actually I went through TotalFark; tell Drew I sent you) looking for the dumbest person I could find, who then became the Stupid Person of the Day.
But The Smoking Gun has been doing it a lot longer. And they include documents: police reports, court filings, photographs, trial transcripts and much more.
So I was quite surprised when a book publisher contacted me through Make Stupidity History, told me about The Dog Dialed 911 and then sent me a copy. And while that site isn’t really in operation anymore, I figured the least I could do would be to read the book and say a few words about it.
The Dog Dialed 911: A Book of Lists from The Smoking Gun is what it says: a book of lists — of stupidity. It’s divided into several themes, such as Adult Entertainment, about the things adults do inappropriately; Boldface Names, about celebrities, who else; Under the Influence, of alcohol and other things; Image Bank, the photo gallery from Hell; Class Clowns, about stupidity in school; Government Affairs, which I thoroughly enjoyed; Animal Planet, where the people are dumber than the animals; Law & Order, or things you should never say to police; Freak Show and We the People, which defy description; and Bill O’Reilly. Yes, he got his own chapter.
The plot is simple but compelling: People are dumb, and we need to be reminded of exactly how dumb they can be.
I don’t want to give away the ending or spoil too many surprises, but I will share a couple of my favorite parts with you.
First, there are glimpses into the illustrious military careers of Marvin Gaye, Jimi Hendrix and John Kerry. Not to mention George W. Bush’s military dental records.
Then there’s the document where Jessica Simpson repeatedly confesses to being “stupid” but not as dumb as she looks. And the documents which prove Paris Hilton is an idiot, even if she doesn’t admit it.
There are teachers having sex with students, students having sex with each other, a man having sex with his neighbor Goats’ sheep, and a lot more sex.
There’s the drug dealer who inexplicably walked right up to a marked police car and asked the uniformed officer inside if he wanted to buy some cocaine.
Bill Gates and John Gotti appear on the same page, and not by accident.
A police sting operation goes awry when the cops decide to sample the illicit goods for themselves.
And the ending is unforgettable. But please don’t skip to the end; save it for last.
VidLit has a video preview of some of the hilarious and disturbing lists that will leave you shaking your head wondering how anyone could be so stupid. But the truth is, as I’ve seen time and time again, anyone could be so stupid.
Drawn from the extensive, 10 year archives of The Smoking Gun, The Dog Dialed 911 reminds all of us that stupidity isn’t confined to the government, it lurks within all of us.
(Oh, and to Hachette Book Group USA: Thanks for the free copy.)