Dumb and stone-cold dumb
By David High Fowler Tribune
This column is devoted to just one of the many unsung guys who have come through when the chips were down and the outlook was bleak.
I want to start with a true story about a guy I knew personally and how he came through in the clutch during what could have been a serious natural disaster.
I’m going to call this guy “Gonzo” and his wife “Mary Jane.” I feel it only right that I give them aliases because this story involved the use of marijuana, which was illegal at the time.
Many people even today are not aware of some of the serious side effects of marijuana use. For instance: Medical research has shown that people who use marijuana are more than eight times as likely as nonusers to eat raw cookie dough. Medical journals state that a person under the influence of powerful marijuana is comparable – in terms of alertness, reaction time and problem-solving functionality – to linoleum. People in this condition are not capable of quick thinking and effective decision making and can take upwards to an hour to open a can of soda.
But back to the true story that goes like this: Gonzo and Mary Jane used some marijuana then decided to spend the evening lying in bed, watching the Jim Carey movie Dumb and Dumber at their home in Southeastern Colorado.
This happened to be powerful marijuana, and Gonzo and Mary Jane got extremely wasted. Suddenly, in the middle of the movie, an alarmed-looking announcer came on with an urgent news bulletin: A major tornado with winds in the range of 135 miles an hour was directly approaching their area.
A moment or two passed while this information worked its way into what was passing for Gonzo’s and Mary Jane’s collective consciousness. Then:
“Oh my God,” said Gonzo. “Oh my God,” agreed Mary Jane. “Gonzo,” said Mary Jane. “What are we going to do?”
So, there it was, Gonzo was in the ultimate guy pressure situation. There was trouble on the horizon, big trouble, and his woman was looking to him to make a decision.
Gonzo knew even in his smoke-filled brain he had to do something. They had to get to a safe area in the basement and clear the area of loose objects that could be propelled by the high winds, and emergency supplies had to be gathered. It might even be a better choice to just evacuate.
There wasn’t much time. The TV was now showing photographs of tornados touching down seemingly just miles away. Mary Jane was waiting for Gonzo to say something, depending on him to come through.
“Mary” he said, leaving out the Jane because time was short. “We’re going to die.”
Gonzo’s summation seemed like a solid one. There was no way in their condition that they could evacuate and there was reason to doubt that they could, without assistance, remember how to open the door to the basement.
On the screen, the TV news anchors were sounding more and more urgent.
In the bedroom, Gonzo and Mary Jane were becoming ever-more distraught and hopelessly dysfunctional. Neither had any idea how long they spent in this agony.
But then, suddenly – and this is why I am darn proud to be a guy – Gonzo had a glimmer of an idea. Call it an inner reserve, call it the Will to Live.
Whatever it was, somewhere deep inside the recesses of his mind, he knew they were going to be alright. He knew there was an answer, if he could just remember what it was.
“Wait a minute … . Yes, that’s …. THAT’S IT, Mary Jane,” he said. “We’re watching a tape of the show.”
He was right. They had forgotten that they were watching a borrowed videotape of Dumb and Dumber that had been recorded the previous year.
The danger now posed by the tornado was, mathematically speaking, quite small!
“My God, you’re right,” said Mary Jane, her eyes filled with admiration and reverent love.
And why not? They were going to live because her man had come through when it counted.
Heroes like Gonzo are hard to find.