Willfully Stupid Things…


Originally published in the Grand Rapids Business Journal, September 25, 2007

Back in the olden days (1984), Disney re-released the animated classic “Fantasia” to theaters for a limited run. Fantasia was not available at that point on spanky new videotape technology (VHS or Beta), and even if it was, viewing it at home on that 17 inch Magnavox console television would certainly not be the same experience as projected film on a big screen. The point is I desperately wanted to see it. And as I was at home on Thanksgiving break in the sophisticated city of Flint (sophisticated meaning that there was more than a single movie theater as opposed to my college town of Houghton, Michigan), I had but one chance to see it. Maybe forever. (It was 1984 — what did I know?)

The complication was that my friend Isaiah was staying with me on that very last weekend of the release. Isaiah was from Nigeria and had limited options for places to go when school was out, so I had invited him to spend a few days with my family. He was a quiet, reserved guy but with entertainment tastes that ran more toward pro wrestling than experimental animation set to classical music. I knew this. I absolutely knew this. But hoping against hope that the magic of Disney would somehow transcend all gaps in culture and personal taste, I took Isaiah to see Fantasia anyway.

He hated it. It was clear right from the start he hated it. About 15 minutes in, he leaned over to me and asked, truly perplexed, “Is this the movie?”

Jane was sitting between me and Isaiah which allowed me a sort of buffer to lose myself occasionally in the film. She definitely took one for the team there because he passed the time by taking off his boots and eating ketchup packets he had swiped from Halo Burger earlier that day. (Isaiah liked to eat condiments. I don’t know if it was a Nigerian thing or what, but he is the only person I have ever seen go to a salad bar, put nothing but five different dressings on a plate, and eat it.) Anyway, as I marveled at the dancing hippos, Jane was nearly asphyxiated by the acrid swirl of feet and spiced tomato paste.

After the movie, I apologized profusely. I told Isaiah it was a selfish thing for me to do, and I regretted making him sit through it. Isaiah, trying to find some positive in the unfortunate situation replied, “No no, John. Thank you. Thank you for taking me to see this movie. Now I will know not to ever see it again.”

Which brings us to the theme of this week’s comic: willful stupidity. The comic itself has enough dialogue to explain the background of what happened with the state representative from my district, David Agema. If you want to read more, here’s an article. All I can say is, “Thank you for taking the hunting trip, David. Now I will know not to elect you again.”


  1. Tyler said,

    October 4, 2007 @ 11:41 am

    Jane Hague our city rep was pulled over this year for her SECOND DUI. She failed not one, but TWO breathalizer tests and then was belligerent to the cop who pulled her over. She refuses to resign and is running for re-election this fall. Mrs Hague you are a CITY council woman…not a president or senator or even a state rep! Get out of my face.


  2. John said,

    October 5, 2007 @ 2:46 pm

    I would say “unbelievable,” but, alas, I believe it….

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