Stupid People – Part 2
You can read Part 1 here.
Henry hates stupid people: People he’s just met who call him Hank; people with “my kid’s better than your kid” bumper stickers; people who drive through town below twenty or above fifty; people who grow in their front yard, behind the fence. But everybody likes Henry almost as much as they like Sweetie-pie. They like to laugh at their neighbors, and look forward to reading the paper each week, to find out who’s the most stupid person in town.
One morning not that long ago, Henry had a pounding headache. He left his house behind the café, picked up the money, and took it to the bank. His head still ached, so he came back to the café for a cup of coffee and a roll, which didn’t help. Then he went upstairs to one of the rooms to lie down. He lay there and listened to the noise, and his headache still didn’t go away.
Henry went home to lie down in the quiet, and when he woke up the next day his headache was gone. He went back to the café, drank coffee, watched, and listened. He took the money to the bank, went back to the café, and watched and listened some more. People squirmed and looked away. They left, and more people came in for coffee and rolls, and they squirmed, looked away, and left. Henry wrote his letter.
The next day, the whole town found out that the whole town was stupid. And noisy. No one was left out. And no one came into the café that day. For the next six days, no one came into the café, and there was no money to take to the bank for the whole week. Henry didn’t watch anyone that week. He didn’t write a letter to the editor. When the paper came out again, it had no news, no gossip, no ads. It only had letters, from everyone in town (except Sweetie-pie), and they all said the same thing: WE THINK HENRY IS STUPID.
Henry doesn’t write letters to the editor any more. He stopped watching people, and found a new hobby. Now he makes the rolls at the Inn ‘n Out Café, and they have customers again, all day long. It’s not quite as loud as it used to be. And the rolls are better. © 2012 J. M. Naszady