By Tim Hayes

Welcome back, viewers, to Hour 19 of our 24-hour telethon to cure Stupid!  Our thanks to Tony Orlando for sitting in the host chair for the past four hours while yours truly took some nourishment and a brief nap – now, we’re in the home stretch!

So far, our wonderful donors from across the fruited plain have generated a grand total of…five hundred twenty-two dollars!  At this breakneck pace, a cure for the national, no make that global, scourge of Stupid will be tossed onto the ash heap of history by…well, someday down the road, anyway.

Let’s take time now for one of our Up-Close and Personal Stories of Stupid.  In these brief vignettes, the tragedy of Stupid run amok really comes alive.

In this absolutely true story, a young college student just about to begin his senior year at the University of Pittsburgh wanted desperately to impress a cute young thing he’d just met.  Aww, young love in bloom.  But this budding scholar – and remember he’s a senior, to boot – had something extraordinarily special in mind to sweep his new paramour off her feet.

He would try to out-do Spider-Man – a fictional character with fictional powers and abilities that no one in real life actually has – by leaping from the top of one office building to the top of another.  Never mind that the distance between the two buildings made for a near-impossible jump.  Also, he conveniently ignored the fact that the building onto which he had hoped to land was higher than the one where he started out.

Apparently, this guy wasn’t a physics major.

Undaunted and clueless, he got a running start and soared skyward – before gravity asserted herself and our Leaping Lancelot plummeted into a tiny space between the buildings.  Trapped, humiliated, and with a broken ankle for good measure.

It took emergency crews and a construction team hours to break through the brick wall of a bagel shop to extract this numbskull.  I hope he or his family gets a bill for the thousands of dollars it took to respond and rescue his idiotic carcass.

Still no word on whether the girl was impressed.

Oh, the drama!  The heartache!  The unbelievable inconvenience!  All caused by people tragically afflicted with Stupid.  Remember, friends, we still live under this dark cloud without a cure in sight.  Send your dollars now, to join in this Quixotic battle.  Together, we can win.  Now, on to our second featured Story of Stupid.

In this, again, completely true instance, a man in northeast Pennsylvania had become irrevocably irritated by an enormous pine tree that sat in his neighbor’s yard, but with branches that extended into his yard and dripped sap onto his car.

Naturally, instead of talking it over with his neighbor, or even simply trimming the branches that intruded onto his property, this genius sped straight to the nuclear option – he would fire up his chainsaw, trespass on his neighbor’s property, and cut the entire tree down himself.

And that is precisely what he did, thereby permanently eliminating the tree sap issue.  But, just as the medicine commercials on TV always say, there may be side effects.  And, boy, did this one have the mother of all side effects.

As Chainsaw Charlie took his revenge on his neighbor and that pesky pine, he hadn’t thought through the tree-felling process very well.  Imagine his glee and joy when that evergreen began to split and fall.  Then imagine his shock and horror as it fell right onto HIS HOUSE.  Which has since been condemned as inhabitable by local officials.

Ladies and gentlemen, THAT is what we call Stupid.  And, sadly, there remains no cure.  Give to the Stupid Fund today.  Because who knows how much more of this any of us can take.

Now, on to our next story — Brazilian convenience store flipping, with U.S. Olympic swimmer Ryan Lochte…

Copyright 2016 Transverse Park Productions LLC and Tim Hayes Consulting