The Red Badge of Stoopid

Not long ago, the deli in my grocery store put mayonnaise on the sandwich that I asked for with no mayonnaise.

Admittedly, the instructions I gave were vague.  I said, “Please, whatever you do, don’t give me mayonnaise.”

The next week they left the turkey off a turkey sandwich.  That’s an item most turkey sandwiches include.

Yesterday, they topped even themselves.

They failed to make the sandwich entirely.

That’s a weird thing about a sandwich order.  You need to remember the sandwich.

I now see that with each mistake, I’m going to get less and less.

Which means the next thing they will do is come to my house and remove the food from my refrigerator.

The reason this keeps happening is that they keep getting new employees and I don’t know them.  So I don’t know which ones will screw up my sandwich.  Worse, I can’t remember who screwed up the last time.

Thus, I’ve decided to steal an idea from the Boy Scouts.

They award merit badges to people who accomplish things.

I will do the opposite.  I will award badges to people who fail to accomplish things.

It is called the Badge of Stoopid.  And it looks like this:

Think of it as a merit badge in reverse.

I’m going to have thousands of them made into stickers.   And when someone around me does something not just stupid, but stoopid, I will peel off one of these stickers and affix it to their shirt.

The stoopidest among us will have more Stoopid Badges than a TGI Friday’s employee has chotchkies.  This will allow us to instantly recognize those among us who are dangerously inept.

And there will be gradations of how much stoopid you can tolerate.  While three on your gardener is probably okay, three on your barber is not.  Nor is two on your airplane pilot.  Nor one on your brain surgeon.

On the flip side, all human beings will have a maximum tolerance of twelve.  A Twelver, as they will be called, should not be allowed to brush lint from your shoulder.  They could take out an eye.

So feel free to put one of these on that special someone in your life.

Just don’t put any on me.  I invented the damn things. Plus, my mistakes have a reason.

I can’t think straight.

Because I’m hungry.

Because my sandwich came without a sandwich.

70 thoughts on “The Red Badge of Stoopid

  1. So… have you considerred changing deli’s… is that an option… I am reminded of that old adage.. fool me once.. shame on you.. fool me twice.. shame on me… Fool me thrice.. well I don’t know…

    I need to print out a bunch of these and put them in the mailboxes of about 99% of the people at my school.

  3. I dunno. Seems like it might be easier to find a new deli. Maybe not as much fun, but easier.

  4. I’m surprised you haven’t gotten into the habit of checking them. Remember the old saying, “Fool me once, shame on you. Fool me twice, give me a Stoopid Badge.”

  5. AWESOME!!! One of the best ideas I’ve heard in a really long time! …and sorry about your sandwich.

  6. I am sure some marketing genius is telling your sandwich stop that the non-sandwich is the ultimate diet food! Zero calories and they could probably sell a lot of them to Californians at half price as a promotion. Screed Jard the Subway guy — we got Stevie the cartoonist and his ultimate low-cal, low-cab, zero-fat sandwich!!

  7. Now this is social engineering I can get behind. Print them and sell them, and you’ll make huge bank.

    Years ago I had a similar idea that we all should carry paintball guns in our cars, loaded up with bright orange paint. And every time we encountered somebody doing something really dumb in traffic, it would be our civic duty to tag their car with a paintball. That way, we’d all know who the idiots were. You see somebody coming your way with a mostly bright orange car? Give them a wide berth.

    I’ve pretty much abandoned that idea in recent years as I’m trying to get funding for my “bass-seeking missile” idea. The general idea is that when you encounter someone in a car who make windows rattle from a block away, you lock in on the bass signal and fire this missile. Nothing lethal, just something that will blow out the electronics in the car and make it (and it’s stereo) inoperable. If somebody beats me to it, I’ll buy one.

  8. Which deli is it? I also live in Santa Rosa and hoping it’s not the one on 4th street, cause that one rocks.

  9. I would like to buy one thousand of these stickers. They will be great for the college-level math papers I have to grade. Somebody attempts to divide by zero? Stoopid sticker.

    The look on their faces the first time they get a sticker will be priceless!

  10. This begs the question: Don’t you get a sticker for continually returning to the site of Doom?

  11. I disagree with some of the comments above. I think you need to continue to go to the same deli (or they can go to your refrigerator), as this leads to some very funny stories that we all enjoy. You are welcome to come to North Carolina and try some of our deli’s, but the results will be the same, other than the employee saying “Y’all come back”. Hope you get a real turkey sandwich soon!

  12. It’s not “I DID A STOOPID” but “DID A STOOPID.”

    Kind of sounds like a bodily function.

  13. You need to sell buttons that say this…YOU’D MAKE A FORTUNE!! I’d probably buy 1000 of them myself!!! I know too many stoopid people. 🙂

  14. How many “Did a Stoopid” stickers has your wife given you today?
    If you think want to put a sticker on your wife, you should put it on yourself instead.
    It’s safer that way.

  15. Reminds me of the time a large group of us went to a Ch***’s restaurant. Apparently they were short staffed, as it took us forever to get served. My poor husband never did get served. Now whenever he sees a Ch***’s ad on TV he sighs wistfully, “I hear they have good food.”

  16. It should be more like the Phantom’s ring. Not the good ring that says, “Don’t mess with this guy, he’s under my protection.” The bad one that is like Zorro’s Z: “I messed with Mr. Walker, and all I got was this lousy scar.”

    You smack the guy on the jaw and he can never get rid of the Mark of Pastis, the Gnosher Who Walks.

  17. Finally, a way to identify those that need removing from the gene pool! Stickers don’t last very long though.. Maybe some cafepress t-shirts?

  18. If there is one rule I don’t violate, it’s “Don’t piss off the folks that make my food.” I always say “Yes ma’am” or “no ma’am”, or “That is a fetching blouse! How can you afford something that spiffy?” Why? Because they have the power to drop my stuff and spit on it if I tick them off. I hope you or rat make them mad. That means when I go to order, they’ll say “There’s that nice respectful Bob. He’s nothing like that nasty-ass cartoonist. I’m giving Bob extra meat.” I don’t like being so passive on this, but I know when I’m beat. Same thing with cops. Ignore my warning at your own peril!

  19. Your mayo problem reminds me of trying to get donuts in my area without freaking sprinkles on them. 5 different Dunks, said as plainly as I could “No sprinkles” every time they gave me the one WITH sprinkles. I finally stopped eating donuts.

  20. MY comment, (and WHY I can’t give you a badge, Stephan!) is WHY do you continue to frequent an establishment who can’t make a freakin’ NO mayo turkey sandwich????
    Did you take your shirt off? Maybe that would help! 🙂

  21. I prefer something a little more subtle – a bullhorn that bellows a lot of expletives.

  22. You left out the “Y” – it’s Styoopid. Charles Grodin said so years ago while on the Letterman show.

    Take picture of the person making the sandwich. If they mess it up, you’ll have a way to remember whom to avoid.

  23. Great idea Stephan, however, People tend to put their own Stooooopid stickers right there on the bumper of their cars…and they are the Obama/Biden stickers. Trust me, when I see ANYONE with one of those fuckers on their car, I move at least 3 lanes over and try to pass ASAP.

    They are the dumbest group of people I have found and they must work at your favorite deli.

    PERIOD !

  24. anyone else notice that the sticker made for stupid people has the inside of the hole of “A” the wrong color? thats what i call ironic.

  25. Why not shoot one of your Crocs and do yourself your sandwiches? Hum?

    And what pay a sandwiche that you can make yourself at home with ALL the ingredients you want? And most of all, WHEN you want?

    And for the punitive expedition to your grocery, bring Larry and Bob with you.
    Hummina!! Hummina!! They will have deli fuud to test. Without mayonnaise…

  26. Very interesting idea. Don’t you think people are liable to get violent though if someone kept giving them ‘stoopid’ stickers?

  27. This is perfect. I made up a DAD card (DumbA$$Driver) that I put in parking lots for people that park wrong, using two spaces, park in a handicapped spot when they are obviously not handicapped.

  28. I swear I remember Gallagher or another comedian have the suggestion for dart guns that you fired from your car at stupid drivers, and when you got enough, you would get pulled over.

  29. So, how many times do you have to go back to the same sandwich shop before you give yourself one of those stickers?

  30. Woo hoo! Finally! I’ve been wanting to give out badges like this for ages now! This seems like something Rat would typically do! Yay! Go Rat! 😀

  31. I like the DaD sticker. I think the handicap ssome drivers have is that they are blind. I watched a guy carefully make a u-turn to park in a fully striped area. He got out, walked all around his car to make sure he was in the lines, then left. It wasn’t even a handicap space. He had the handicap lic. plate, tho. I was so stunned, I took a picture of his car. Sometimes I leave notes on cars saying IDIOT or THIS IS NOT A PARKING SPOT.

  32. Actually this reminds me of the grey dots in Max Lucado’s You are Special. In the story, the people who were talented got gold star stickers and the ones who were clumsy or stooooopid got grey dots. Everyone had some of each, the goal was to have more stars than dots. However, the main character didn’t have a single star. but I’ll let you read the rest. 🙂

  33. Course the folks you put one on will probably have just enough brains to peel that baby right off. Besides, there are going to be certain folks who’ll be quite difficult to put on on because there’s an obstacle between you and them. Like the people in the deli at the grocery store.

  34. I’m tired of the modern world. Our culture has come to love a certain kind of men. These men are suave, smiling, and playful; they are good with kids and teenagers (as they are like teenagers themselves) and do not punish them when other adults might. However, these men have the universal characteristic of cruelty towards stupid people. This cruelty is sometimes manifested in the form of a joke, and the victim may even laugh, but this should not fool us. Both sides of political debates are filled with these men, such as Glenn Beck and Stephen Colbert, and anyone of the opposite political view can see how cruel and misrepresenting their humor is. It should be noted that all of these men explode in anger quite easily, which shows two things: first, that they really want to have their way, and second, that the lenience and geniality that they show off are fake. Stephan Pastis is one of these men, and we should not look up to him, although I concede his strip can be hilarious. If we believe in morality, we can say that these men, along with humor itself, are cruel; if we do not believe in morality, we can at least describe these men as power-hungry and false.

  35. It’s “tchotchkes,” not “chotchkies.” Hmm, think you might allow me to adapt your notion to make my own “Dint check the dictionary” stickers? I think I could go through a few thousand/week — although my computer screen would probably be completely covered before the end of the first day.

  36. Sir, you speak honestly from the soul. “Brothers don’t shake, brothers gotta hug!”

  37. Here it is, Bill Engval style:
    “So I walk into the deli, and ask for a turkey sandwich. The attendant asks me “do you want anything on it?” and I say “Only lettuce, tomatoes, and mustard”. She asks “how ’bout turkey?” I say “no, I just want the lettuce tomato and mustard and pay extra for the name”. Heeerrrrrrre’s your sign…

  38. Quite possibly the greatest idea ever. Better start getting those into production in large quantities. Stoopid is EVERYWHERE!

  39. I have a similar idea about using paint guns to mark bad drivers.

    I’d like to order 10,000 of these badge/stickers in advance. I had a desperate desire for I Park Like An Idiot stickers (they really exist) over the weekend but yours are more discreet.

  40. My place of business would be happy to make those for you. They’re made out of vinyl, not paper, so no harm to trees. They will eventually contribute to landfills, though.

  41. Marketing idea : Put one of these stickers in each of your next collection. People will be compelled to buy the books by the dozen (instead of one or two at a time) just so they can put the sticker on someone. You’ll sell millions of copies !

  42. this is right up there with…a New York City boy is being led through the swamps of Louisiana by his cousin.”Is it true that an alligator won’t attack you if you carry a flashlight?” asks the city boy. His cousin replies, “Depends on how fast you carry the flashlight.” — And Stephan….I want a gazillion of those stickers for all these NC drivers (I’m from Boston originally) who don’t know what a blinker is or just plain don’t know how to drive, no wonder I’m a hermit, it’s not safe out there. Time for me to move anyway – where’s a good beach with rollin’ waves and shells..

  43. OMG stephen you are my hero. When you make them in to stickers will you please send me some. I am already taking down names of people who should be wearing those. It’s like back pay on a paycheck. Oh the list is long.
    I love it.

  44. Stephen,

    this is the first time I’ve been to your blog. I’ve enjoyed Pearls Before Swine since the first time I came across your strip. Thanks for helping me start many a morning with a smile and a chuckle.

    I’m definitely going to make a bunch of copies of the Badge of Stoopid. There are a lot of people I’ve come across who deserve one.

  45. What’s going to prevent us twelves from stoopidly putting stickers on smart people? Otherwise a great idea. 😉

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