Stupidity Kills

I don’t know why most of my funny stories have to do with a situation were I or one of my brothers did something brainless. Looking back at one of those mishaps, it hit me immediately that, sometimes, we choose to be stupid. We simply enjoy it.

Case in point is the less than curious incident that took place few years ago. Doesn’t really matter how many years, it might only make it more embarrassing.

It was such a perfect summer evening, so serene, so fresh, and above all, so boring. I couldn’t sleep, or just didn’t feel like it. My brother too, apparently, wasn’t particularly drowsy. We sat in the guest room, which is technically the living room (I don’t know why I keep mentioning this) gibbering about this and that. There was nothing unusual. And you know how when there’s nothing unusual you go out of your way to take the most trivial, constantly recurring, usual, boring, dull of things, and turn it into a premeditated crime.

So as we chatted the dull minutes away, something creepy that way came. Or did it? We heard the clacking sound of keys coming from outside, and more precisely, from our neighbors’ porch, which was right beneath our window.

A robber? That was very likely to think, if our neighbor wasn’t a doctor accustomed to working late. Yet, we chose to brush our senses aside for the moment.  The next thing we knew, we were staring dubiously at each other, wondering who the late night visitor might be. As I look back now, I have the feeling that we both knew in some lower layer of our conscious mind that it was our doctor neighbor. Everything in the universe supported that fact. Yet, we didn’t need to be sure. A little suspense wouldn’t harm, or would it? Well, maybe when combined with some self-inflicted brainlessness.

As I mentioned, the porch was directly beneath our window, in a way that doesn’t allow you to see the door unless you bend out like 180 degree. But make no mistake; we were willing to quench our curiosity whatever it took.

We headed to the window, my brother got on the sofa, opened the window and leaned outside to see what was going on, still he couldn’t see anything. In a desperate effort to see who was standing at the front door, he leaned out of the window more so almost the entire upper half of his body was hanging in the air, and then it happened. As he was standing on the sofa, with most of his body weight enjoying the fresh air, and even it wasn’t that much of weight, the sofa lost its balance, and in a fraction of a second the biggest part of his body was hanging loose in the air. It all happened in a flicker of a moment, his hands were waving in the air, the hard stone porch gazing at him from beneath, and as I learned few years later, even though it was less than second or too, but he managed to think. Well, I said he managed to think, what he thought about was a different story.

Since his thinking system was already shut down in order to put him in that situation, the only thing he could think of was this: “There’s nothing I can do, I’ll only succumb to gravity and wait till my feet reach the edge of the window, maybe they will hook to it and I’ll be spared.”

I’m serious.

Then, seeing that my brain too was hibernating, my survival instincts kicked in, and I grabbed him by the ankle, fixing him on the sofa just like the twins will fix the flag on Everest (in sha’a Allah!) so the sofa retained its balance, and he went back in, incredulous and gasping for air.

Now, if you still can’t see how stupid this was, let me give you the picture perfect.

1- As mentioned above, our neighbor was a doctor. He worked late and took on night shifts frequently.

2- What thief in his right mind would try to break into a house that overlooks the street in a relatively friendly neighborhood from the front door, let alone using keys and making all that noise.

Now, that was a lesson to learn, and, elhamdu lellah, we were spared the consequences this time, and as you may know, unfinished tragedies turn instantly into farces. As we reminisced this, we imagined how it would’ve been if he actually fell down the window onto the porch. And how our neighbor, who was peacefully coming home from work would feel when he turns around to see someone with a broken neck at his front door. We imagined that inspector gadget (that being my brother) would get up to his feet, shake dust of his shoulders and say: “What a lovely night!”

Moral of the story: If you enjoy insanity, don’t live in the same building as a doctor.


Originally posted on Monday, October 29, 2007 on

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