Previous Challenge Entry (Level 1 – Beginner)
Topic: Communication Breakdown (12/16/10)
TITLE: Things I Wish I Hadn't Said
By Jeff Lambert
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We have alarms or alerts for just about everything these days. There are back up alarms, motion sensor alerts, “You’ve got mail” alerts and the list goes on. Wouldn’t it be great if someone invented a device you could wear to warn you when you were about to say or do something careless? Let’s face it, at one time or another we have all done something we shouldn’t have and afterward said “That was really stupid!” (For purposes of this article stupidity is defined as “against your better judgment” i.e. “Maybe I shouldn’t be saying or doing this.”)
The stupid alarm could have three different tones for levels of severity. The first one, for a mildly thoughtless action, could be a friendly “beep, beep, beep.” The second tone, for a medium level of thoughtlessness, might be a stronger, klaxon sound like “bong, bong, bong!” The third, for blatant or reckless disregard, would be an alarming “whoop, whoop, whoop!”
Now, let’s imagine three different scenarios for each warning level and presume you are wearing the stupid alarm.
You are at a friend’s house watching your favorite team trounce their latest opponents. Your friend has made a batch of his famous five alarm firehouse chili just for this occasion and you have already had two big helpings. He turns to you and says “There’s plenty more where that came from!” You say to yourself “Well, I can handle spicy hot chili late at night; I think I’ll have one more bowl” and you answer your friend “Thanks, don’t mind if I do!“ “Beep, beep, beep,” goes the alarm reminding you of the last time you tried that.
Next, let’s say you are browsing through the Sunday papers and happen to notice that there is a set of golf clubs you have been wanting which are on sale for only five days and today is the fifth day. You say to yourself “You know, my old set is practically worn out, and I don’t think my wife would mind. Hey; maybe I could give her my old set!” “Bong, bong, bong!” says the alarm, saving your bacon once again.
For the third level let’s suppose that your significant other has just purchased an article of clothing. After modeling it for you, exclaiming how much they like it and what a great deal they got on it they then turn to you and say “Do you think this makes me look fat?” “Whoop, whoop, whoop” sounds the alarm, saving you from a catastrophic response!
Unfortunately there is no such alarm one can wear to prevent them from saying or doing “stupid” things, but maybe someone will read this article and be reminded of the proverb “Even a fool is thought to be wise if he keeps his mouth shut!”
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