Educated Idiots

You assume, well we do at least, that when some one reaches a position such as the Dean of a major Oxford university, that they are reasonably intelligent people. Unfortunately a couple of incidents swiftly disabused us of that impression.

The first was a few years back when a close friend was installing a Ferris Wheel ride at an Oxford college. The way these particular rides are erected, is to build up what resembles 2 spoked wheels and then add the seats between the spokes.

On this particular occasion I received a call from said friend telling me that the dean was outraged at the obvious unsafe ride I had sent him and he wanted it removing immediately. I asked my friend to let the Dean cool down and then go and inquire as to the problem. When he came back on the phone he could barely talk for laughing. Seems upon inquiring as to the nature of the problem, the Dean had exploded, stating look at the height of the ride, there is no where to sit, if my students have to cling to the poles as the ride goes round and fall of near the top they could be killed!!!

Luckily my friend managed not to burst out laughing as he explained that the seats were in a pile on the floor and were due to be fitted once the rest of the structure was in place.


BUT, this one pales into insignificance by our next tale of stupidity. We used to run a previous blog a number of years ago. One day we purchased some rubber gremlins and goblins and zombies to decorate a horror themed event. As a joke we took a picture of one of the 6 inch high green goblins and posted it online announcing that as we were having trouble getting reliable staff, we had decided to clone our own and this was the first attempt.

A couple of weeks later we received a call from a headmistress to cancel the candy floss cart she had booked, I inquired as to the reason, and was told;

“Yes, we are a primary school with small children, looking at the new staff you have cloned, I don’t want to be disrespectful but they will frighten our children”

Good grief, I explained that first off it was a joke, secondly cloning humans wasnt possible with current level of technology, and even if it had been it was doubtful if a small business would have the financial resources to do so and that she would receive normal human beings on her job.

The frightening thing is these people are in charge of educating our youngsters.

Make Something Idiot Proof, And I’ll Show You A Better Idiot

Following on from our last post, this one relates a tale of stupidity that would be funny, except for 1 thing, this lady was responsible for educating peoples children!

We have a part time conspirator called Arthur, he looks much like Austin Powers only shorter, or if you are from an older generation think Joe 90. Anyway there is a lot of good natured micky taking back and forth between us, fortunately for us Arthur doesn’t have access to the blog, so the online micky take is all one way.

Anyway, we announced that due to a shortage of reliable staff we intended cloning Arthur, (this was a good 6 or 7 years ago so even animal cloning was a bit sci fi at the time). After online updates for a few weeks the big day arrived and we announced the clone had been created, we accompanied the announcement with a picture of a 12 inch high rubber goblin, with a bright green face, pointed fingers and a giant nose, really it looked like something out of a low budget puppet show. It was accompanied with the explanation that it wasn’t what we had been hoping for, but we would love him like one of the family.

All that summer we would post regular updates on New Arthur, things like picturing him with a stick of candy floss and announcing that he had mastered the art of candy floss making, announcing he was nearly potty trained that sort of thing. He became quite popular really with people emailing to ask when his next story would be if we hadn’t mentioned him for a while.

Anyway, after about 6 months of this, we had a phone call from the headmistress of a school in Hull.

“I am ever so sorry” she said, “But I am going to have to cancel the services we have booked with you”

Oh well, it does happen occasionally, “Can I ask why?”

“Yes”, she replied, “We have been looking at the new staff you have employed, we are only a primary school with young children, and they will be terrified if your staff turn up looking like that!”

Now I wasn’t sure what staff she meant so I asked her.

“Arthur” was the reply

I must admit I thought this was a wind up, but when I checked the details we did indeed have a booking under her name. I explained that human cloning not only had never been done, but it was actually illegal, and even if it wasn’t we didn’t have the billions of pounds available it would need to do it., and that New Arthur was just a running gag.

In the end she agreed not to cancel the booking, but told me in no uncertain terms that she didn’t think the joke was in the slightest bit funny.

Sadly we have met a few people in the education industry like this, a friend “Tommy” refers to them as highly educated idiots, and once exclaimed that they could build a nuclear bomb using only the contents of their fridge and a magnet, but couldn’t be relied upon to cross the road safely.