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Mandatory Death Penalty for Nitwits

When I was in high school, my friend Mike and I earned extra money working after school and on weekends at a drugstore located at the north end of our town. Before we started working in the retail business, we both had a fairly high opinion of humanity. That is to say, we thought that the average person wouldn’t try to cheat us, would be at least marginally polite, and would be smart enough to avoid walking in front of a bus. As it turned out, we were wrong. When we stepped behind the counter of that drugstore, we had to remove the rose-colored glasses and reexamine our cherished ideas about humanity.

We found that there were many, many rude people out there and that quite a few would cheat us if they were given half a chance. We also found the average person was much less intelligent than we had thought. On Labor Day, 1995, I started a list of all the irritating and stupid things that people did while we were at work. After a while, other employees began to contribute to the list, although I compiled about 75% of the complaints. By the time I left at the end of May 1996, the list had 567 items on it, and we were referring to some of the customers by number.

In particular, I remember 337, an older lady who came in early every Saturday morning to buy a candy bar. Sadly, 337 never had the requisite fifty cents, and as she was rummaging through her purse looking for spare change (which sometimes took as long as ten minutes), impatient customers would line up behind her. Finally, she would storm off in a huff. Incredibly, 337 would return several times over the course of the day and attempt to purchase the candy bar again.

Once more would come the agonizing search through her purse, but (surprisingly enough) the change at the bottom had not bred over the course of the day, and over and over she was forced to leave in defeat and shame. Number 337 was hardly unique, or even unusual. Every shift that I worked, I was forced to deal with people nearly as clueless as she was. Mike and I were inevitably led to the conclusion that stupidity should be painful; we thought that if stupidity were painful, people would go to great lengths to educate themselves.

Sadly, stupidity is not painful, and I have, after much consideration, thought of a way to remedy this tragic oversight of nature: We should link SAT scores to the death penalty. It would work like this: You are required to take the SAT before your eighteenth birthday. You may only take the test once. If you fail to take the test by your eighteenth birthday, the government assumes that you are too stupid to make the arrangements, and that you wouldn’t pass anyway. After your test, you would be led into a comfortable detention cell while a team of speedy, highly-skilled proctors graded your test.

This would take a maximum of 72 hours. If you score below a certain number of points, say 800, you are led into a little room and a large man named “Bubba” shoots you in the back of the head. Think of the societal problems this would solve: Drugstore clerks, police officers, bus drivers, and restaurant workers everywhere would no longer be forced to deal with problems caused by people who get the right shoe on the right foot on the first try less than half of the time. Drug addicts would often be weeded out through their inability to reason well.

Crowding in urban areas would quickly become more bearable, and soon be a thing of the past. Uninformed voters would stop proposing and passing poorly thought out measures that neither they nor the state legislators can understand. Because more intelligent people often do well economically, poverty would quickly become a rare problem. Now, some might argue that this unnecessarily detracts from the rights of simpletons. To this, I reply: There are too many people in this world. The 1987 Guiness Book of World Records stated that there have been approximately twelve billion living humans over the course of history.

Our world population is approaching six billion. This means that nearly half of all the people who ever have lived are alive today. Think about that for a minute. If we don’t start getting rid of people, nature will. It is far better to get rid of undesirables than to have random people, many of whom will be intelligent, destroyed by famine and plague. And who heads the list of undesirables? Cretins. Some others might say that some people just don’t do well on tests. However, I think that life is one long series of tests.

People who don’t do well on tests tend to not deal well with stress. Life contains a lot of stress. People who can’t deal with stress probably can’t deal with life. We need to start eliminating extraneous, useless people now, while we still have a chance to remain calm and rational about the painful and heart-wrenching decisions we will have to make. Once we start to feel the effects of overpopulation, we will no longer be able to make cool, objective decisions. It’s time to get rid of the nitwits.

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