In Praise of John C.

Rarely is the act of a stupid person so traceable.

From the dents they put in your fender to the trash they toss on your lawn, you never know which of the stupid people did it.

They’re tricky that way.

If nothing else, generations of stupidosity have refined the stupid gene to at least cover its own tracks.

Not so with John C.

John C. (whose last name I’ve abbreviated to keep him from suing Stephan P.) has his moronity on full display at my grocery store.

That is because John C. did not use the plastic stylus to sign the electronic signature pad.

He used a Sharpie.

So every time I or anyone else uses a credit card at my grocery store, we must sign our name over his.

Sometimes I even follow the lines of his Sharpie and sign his name to my receipt.

It must be a great convenience for him each time he uses his credit card at my grocery store and sees that there is no need for him to sign again.

For like the hieroglyphics of the Egyptians and the cave paintings of the Anasazi, John C. has left his mark.

Sure, it might not inspire awe, but it makes you sad.  And eliciting emotion is a hallmark of good writing.

Best of all, in this internet age of  anonymity, John C. has chosen to stand up like an alcoholic at an AA meeting and shout to everyone at my grocery store: “My name is John C., and I do stupid things.”

That, my friends, is accountability.

34 thoughts on “In Praise of John C.

  1. I think this is the funniest thing you’ve ever posted here (and that’s saying a lot).

  2. Stupidity is an epidemic people. There are currently thousands, possibly millions infected and still no cure. Please help stop the spread of stupidity!

  3. I don’t want to ruin the story, but if he really used a sharpie (and not a ballpoint pen like the guy at Home Depot), then it should come off with rubbing alcohol (or vodka).

  4. Why, in THE HELL, would you waste vodka to erase another person’s stupidosity?

    This is hysterical!

  5. I took this Contemporary Social Problems class in college where you had to choose one social problem and that would be the focus of all your papers through the semester. My social problem? Stupidity. It’s everywhere. And just when I think it can’t get any worse, you read things like this and imagine John C. out there breeding more stupidity.

  6. Think about how stupid the average person is and then realize that half the people are dumber than that.

  7. Okay, Stephan, so now you can pass on the anecdote to this particular brand of stupidity… I’m an elementary school teacher so I have learned that even a sharpie will bow in deference to a dry erase marker. All the store has to do is trace over John’s stupidity and it will come off like magic… You might even want to sneak one in and remove it just for the surprise and fun of it.

  8. Last week in the express ’10 item or less line’, the lady in front of my stacked up her twenty four items and then said ‘Opps, I forgot something’ and ran back into the heart of the store. After four minutes, she was still gone and I said ‘Maybe she ran out of the store’. The cashier said, ‘No, she left her car keys, wallet, cell phone, and purse here’. On cue, the woman’s cell phone goes off went off. The ring tone? The Rolling Stone’s “Time is on my side.”

  9. You should check out “Not Always Right” – or, as I call it, “the stupid customers site.” Some of these people are amazing – it’s a wonder that they’re able to get out of bed in the morning, let alone drive to stores and do stupid things.

  10. The scary part is John C. then got in his car and drove home. In traffic. Driving. While stupid. A dangerous mix.

    I’ve got tears, dude. Tears.

  11. “Rarely is the act of a stupid person so traceable.”

    From that opening line I knew this was going to be hilarious, and once again, Stephan, you did not disappoint.

    Just think, probably 100 times a day, someone is thinking, “John C., you stupid a**hole!” How many of us can say that about ourselves…well, some of us can, I suppose…

  12. I worked as a cashier at a grocery store for a long time. You would not believe how many times I erased penmarks from the pad for electronic signatures.

    This is an epidemic.

  13. WOW!!You just gotta love the stupid people. Without them, there would be nobody to laugh at! ^_^

  14. I consider myself a pretty smart guy, but I gotta stand up and say…

    My name is Chris S, and I do stupid things.

    Not sharpie-on-the-signature-pad stupid, but stupid nonetheless.

  15. …yes but about this stalker that you evidently have. What’s the story with that?

  16. Wait, shouldn’t today’s strip have said wooly floozy’s head instead of floozy’s wooly head? Wooly floozy sounds more like a new version of an old song.

    Wooly Floozy
    Wooly Floozy
    Wooly Floozy
    Wooly Floozy

  17. My Momma always said…”Fool’s names, like fool’s faces always appear in public places…”

  18. It’s okay, Stephan. We know who the real “John C” is… and you can put down the sharpie.

    Just kidding. Great post. :]

  19. Charlie Begg: But why would you want to get rid of it? Surely, it’s a source of constant customer amusement.

  20. This is even stupider than when I…

    Oh, wait. The CIA and FBI said I can’t talk about it.

  21. A while back I read about a guy who started experimenting with his credit card receipt signatures at grocery stores — he would write things like “NOT A VALID SIGNATURE” or obviously bogus names, and nobody ever called him on it. So now whenever I sign the little thingie at [insert large discount chain here] Mart, I draw pictures, or make up goofy names. If I’m real lucky it prints my name on the receipt and my wife gives me grief over it. My son tells me that once he wrote “WTF?” on his and it got a big laugh from the guy behind him in line.

    I do not recommend using this technique in places where the clerk hands you the pen and a paper receipt to sign. Or on tickets when you are stopped by the police.

  22. At least it wasn’t like my costomer who unleased a snarling dog on me (I’m a mailman), saying, “I just want her to get used to you so I won’t have to come out and restrain her every time.”

  23. It’s kind of like my archnemisis James S. He leaves all kinds of bad memories to some very nice people at school (including me). He leaves the school for half the year and comes back for the next year for his half-year. So, it’s kind of like return of the morons.

  24. Did Pig really need to try and continue the arguement when Rat pointed out that Pig eats bacon? Although a real pig probably would eat bacon…. fresh off a dead pig.

  25. I love the idea of drawing pictures! I think I’ll use it.

    My local Home Depot has these screens and most are broken. Imagine trying to draw your signature using toothpicks. I realized that nobody can possibly be checking my signature. So I’ve been scratching things at random for years – HomeDepot doesn’t care as they just want their money. My signature on the screen bears little resemblance to the signature on my card.

    Which makes me wonder… why the heck do we sign these things?

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