Everyone has a pet peeve, that specific irritation which kills your mood instantly even if you are having a great day. Some of my friends are put off by lack of personal hygiene, while others hate when you encroach upon their personal space. Most women are particularly attentive to fashion faux-pas while well-attired men have a disdain for rapper-style dressing.
My bete noire is quite naïve – I cannot stand dolts.
Unfortunately for me, and through some weird cosmic equation, I tend to attract a lot of them wherever I go. It’s not that I give them any special vibes. In fact I treat them with as much nonchalance as a cow’s tail swapping away pesky flies. But I guess it must have something to do with my erstwhile nerdy side. In many cultures, geeks equate to morons, and of course, like attracts like.
Over the last few year, I have been working on a stealth research project to understand the nuances of human behaviour. This study is totally unscientific and based mostly on my mood and observations. Stemming from this analysis is my conclusion of the different types of Dolts that you might encounter. I’d like you to visualize as you read, and I am sure you can recall familiar faces as you keep going. To go a step further, I have also categorized them, although clear boundaries don’t yet exist. Just like the medical profession, there is always a chance that you might witness symptoms overflowing from one type into another. But at an aggregate level of damaging your sanity, these may have a material impact. The study assumes that appearances are not a clear giveaway, and one shouldn’t be judgemental either. Yet there are always caveats. For example, if you spot a 24×7 look of a ‘deer stunned by headlights’, I can safely conclude that you are in presence of an aura of natural doltness.
Category 1 Dolts are quite harmless and noticeable as single wanderers. These are the ones who are probably unaware of their stupidity, or it comes naturally to them. What amazes me is how well they thrive in their own ignorance. It always reminds me of a pig wallowing happily in mud. The rather over smart dolts try to mask their IQ (Idiocy Quotient, not the other one you are thinking) by trying to look cool. You know, that stylish haircut, sunglasses (admit it, they can make ANYONE look smart!), branded clothes etc. However, all criminals leave behind that little piece of evidence that gets them caught. These dolts do that by wearing either ill-fitting clothes or those that went out of fashion before they were born. True story – I had this 40-something, mid-life crisis afflicted, Category 1 Dolt at my workplace who used to wear bell bottoms as suit trousers – in Year 2015. I think I got my first ever case of eye infection in that year.
It doesn’t take much to graduate to Category 2. These Dolts can be harmful if not kept at bay. They are annoying by appearance and usually don’t talk unless you entertain them. For example, there was this colleague who used to always keep his suit jacket on in office. Everyday, from 8 am till 6 pm (probably even after going home, I could never tell). There were times I saw him driving, of course, with the jacket on. Seriously who does that? Apart from being uncomfortable, it was plain dimwit behaviour. Most of us suspected that he wore either backless shirts or maybe those shirt-fronts that are sewed on the insides of the jacket, like those news readers wear on TV.
Category 3 Dolts are the ‘I Know It All’. Be very wary of them, they make my blood boil in the blink of an eye. I wonder if these people are even aware of their ignorance? Don’t they have a Wife / Sibling / Parent / Significant Other back home whose primary duty is to course correct such behaviour at the first signs of outbreak? Or perhaps being witless runs in the family and hence birds of the same feather flock together? I had one co-worker who recently told me that his new car had a twin-turbo engine. So even though it was a 2-liter mill, it now magically puts out power equivalent to a 4-liter engine. I swear, I saw some of my grey cells commit suicide that day.
By virtue of education, or work experience in an international setup, these Dolts quickly rise to assume Category 4 status. This becomes mentally annihilating, because now you have a show-off bolted on to a know-all. They will bombard with you all sorts of useless data points, such as their last holiday destinations (sourced via your Friendly Neighbourhood Travel Agent), stock market updates, property prices, retirement plans and what have you. The Theory of Stupid Human Congregation applies well to this group. By virtue of their IQ, they quickly become leaders of the herd and their followers are typically Category 2 and 3 Dolts.
At the risk of being called sexist, I will not categorise the fairer sex of Dolts. But its my duty to expound on the special genre of dorkness that stems in their part of the world. Let me tell you about this woman co-worker who assumed herself to be the Kim Kardashian at office. Her clothes were always 2-3 sizes smaller than they should be, and her makeup could easily make men mistake her for an exotic dancer (maybe that was intentional, or probably she was moonlighting as one). Selfies were clicked and uploaded dutifully at intervals more frequent than cigarette breaks. I overheard that her phone camera suddenly stopped working one day and Apple Store refused to acknowledge any fault with the phone.
She was definitely a case of mistaken identity, or maybe she took that whole ‘work is play’ thing to an extreme. On top of it, she thought of herself as the next E. L. James. I read her writing once, and truth be told, I still haven’t interpreted or understood a word. Conversations with her sounded like the narration of the screenplay of ‘Eyes Wide Shut’. In terms of physical appearance, at best, she was a Nicki Minaj for me (and if you think I mean that in the positive way, let me add you to one of the categories). Till this day, her overdose of self confidence is worrisome and I suspect they will have to get her tested soon.
Bonus: Category 5 Dolts are the latest on the scene – the Online Morons. They really define the wonderful times that we live in. Commonly found as Admins of Facebook Groups or a topic specific forum (pick between food, technology, cars and travel), they create a fertile breeding ground to invite others of the ilk. The collective online banter in these self-proclaimed interest groups is reminiscent of a controlled large scale Government experiment. As a result, internet slang is first curated here and by the time you wake up tomorrow, your BAE will be asking for a Netflix and Chill afternoon. Sounds familiar?
To be honest, it is no longer fun to pick on Dolts these days. I miss the old times. Back in the day, you had to ‘hunt’ for one. Human interaction was stressed upon, and there was a process of elimination to arrive at the Dolt you would want to focus on. It is not even half as much fun in today’s age. The exponential growth of social media has made Dolts easily discoverable. I somewhere feel their species has rapidly multiplied on the back of internet penetration (pun intended). You don’t even have to step out at times – they literally offer themselves to be ridiculed online. Give them a smartphone with a data plan, and you will quickly see them springing up on Facebook and Instagram. Twitter, well, is a domain still exclusive to intellectual Dolts.