by Catherine Breese and Bryan Ward
Humans are killing it, both literally and figuratively. With the exception of a few deadly bugs, a handful of diseases, and the couple of large toothy predators left that can eat a fella, human beings are hammering the competition for earth’s resources. Despite some evidence to the contrary, our greatest strength as a species is not our unstoppable drive to reproduce—it’s our brain. Our ability to reason sets us apart from the rest of the creatures. Our highly adaptive brains allow us to learn and change. When we make a mistake and connect the consequences of that error with its cause, we will change our behavior in the future to avoid mishap. Usually.
And then there are those mistakes that we just keep making, over and over again. You know the mistakes I’m talking about, the ones that make you say “What the hell is wrong with me?”
Battle of Repeated Errors: Catherine v. Bryan
Bryan wins the toss, he calls…. Going to Long John Silvers
If you’ve eaten there, we don’t need to explain the mistake. Let’s just say, don’t stray too far from an acceptable restroom.
Catherine: Clicking on CNN and expecting not to see Donald Trump’s face
I know we try not to get political here at Alta Blue Skies, but seriously, his picture inspires my gag reflex and his name burns my ears. And, thank you, media on both the left and right—you birthed and breastfed this monster and now we’re stuck with him. CNN, you are the Octomom of the Donald and you should be ashamed.
Bryan: Forgetting to shake the mustard before use
Good one, Bryan. But mustard water is all a part of the fun of a picnic.
Catherine: Buying Girl Scout cookies
I have never been addicted to cocaine, but I can only image it is not dissimilar to the appeal of an open package of Girl Scout cookies. Serving size, one box. Who doesn’t finish at least a whole sleeve? You may argue that this is not a mistake. And that proves you are addicted, too.
Bryan: Expecting men’s shoes to cost $35 and jeans to cost $20
You got me there, B. I don’t know how your price point got stuck in the mid-1970s, but unless you are buying everything at Old Navy you’re going to have to pay a bit more than that.
Catherine: Forgetting the grocery bags in the car
It ain’t easy being an earth-loving human with her own grocery bags, especially in southwestern Virginia where the mere suggestion that one might take some personal responsibility for the health of the earth is viewed as a commie-red declaration of allegiance. Then, I’m in checkout at Kroger before I realize I have left the bags in the car. “You don’t mind waiting while I run out to the car, right?”
Bryan: Setting down my keys and/or phone in a weird location
Oh, for a 21st century problem that is more annoying! But I have to admit, we both have a habit of making this mistake. It occurs especially when we are running late or stressing out. The fact that you can’t blame anyone but yourself makes this mistake one of our least favorite.
Catherine: Burning my tongue with hot coffee
Here’s your winner, folks. The dumbest and most avoidable mistake that I make at least four times a year. Sometimes, it’s on a road trip. Sometimes it’s at work in the afternoon. It happens a lot when the coffee comes with a lid and you have to guess about the temperature before you sip. My lizard brains tell me “forge ahead, glorious caffeine awaits.” Ouch! Shit. And then, well, I didn’t want to taste any food for a few days anyway, right?
Yes, as a species, we can be pretty dumb.
In a totally unrelated story that illustrates just how smart humans can be: a man named Boyan Slat invented a system to clean up the plastic waste gobbing up our oceans that works passively with the ocean’s currents. We thoughtless humans made the Great Pacific Garbage Patch, and one man and a team of others are working to make it go away. thus saving us from ourselves. Check out The Ocean Cleanup for more information. I thank him sincerely and admire him greatly. Also, I hold faith that perhaps Mr. Slat burns his tongue on hot coffee, as I do.