I’ve heard people say some dopey things over the years. I use the term dopey, rather than stupid, because I think that if the perpetrator of the idiocy actually heard himself (or herself) say it on a recording, the response would be, “You know, that’s pretty dopey.”
My first awareness of just how dopey people can be came in first grade, when—as we stood in line for our respective turns at the drinking fountain on a particularly warm day—one of my fellow 7-year-olds admonished another with, “Hey, kid! Don’t drink the whole fountain, ya know.”
I learned at that moment that I had radar for this sort of thing. The idea that anyone—especially a small boy—could drink the entire contents of a county water system took me aback. But I think it was the “ya know” —the flickering tail, the colorful caboose—that tickled me then, and to this day.