Do you know what I discovered? April fool’s Day is almost upon us and to my chagrin, the older I get the more patently aware I am of having played the fool in my youth and having almost derailed my fragile life.
“FLY, YOU FOOL—FLY!”
The word “fool” is not a popular word now—at least it isn’t as potent as it was in my youth and in the way only older Black folks could use it in the day:
- “You old fool!” (when referencing an older person—usually a man—who never let go of his childish ways—specifically chasing after young girls or trying some foolish get-rich quick scheme)
- “Go on fool, Hell ain’t half full yet!” (when chastising a driver with a lead foot, or a womanizer, or a ‘ho’)
- “Damn fool!” (anybody who was held in judgment by the speaker—the speaker usually being your mother or grandmother)
- “Shut up, fool; I ain’t talkin’ to you!” (directed toward anybody that got on the speaker’s nerves)
DEFINITION OF A FOOL ACCORDING TO TODAY’S DICTIONARY:
Noun—a person who acts unwisely or imprudently; a silly person: “what a fool I was to do this” (simpleton – dolt – tomfool – ninny – nincompoop).
Adjective—foolish or silly (foolish – daft – goofy – fatuous – idiotic – asinine)
Foolish Prank||image from motleynews.net
The most foolish thing I’ve ever done (that almost cost me my future and my life) was after winning a four-year scholarship out of the ghetto and a string of foster homes and orphanages to a college about 20 minutes or so from Kent State University, I let some guy I hardly knew talk me into participating in an attempted take-over of my college’s administration buildings shortly after the Kent State Massacre. I believed the asshole when he said there would be no guns, and we’d be protesting racism on the campus and not the Viet Nam War. Not only did we get caught (the organizer of the coup tipped the “po-po”in the hopes there would be a shoot-out), but we were almost killed by state cops already on edge from the Kent State debacle. Most of my peeps were thrown out of school. It was determined that since I wasn’t carrying any weapons, and my responsibilities only included providing the catering and entertainment for the revolution (God help my foolish sorry-ass!), and that I was on the Dean’s list to boot, I would not be kicked out of school, so long as I kept my nose clean and out of trouble until I graduated the following year. The entire scenario turned out to be a loosely tagged-team scheme tied to the Kent State mayhem in order to manipulate a race war that would add to a SDS (Students for a Democratic Society) nationwide, anarchist upheaval. I almost got killed for fried chicken, manipulated by people I didn’t know, who didn’t give two shits about me. God, what a fool I was!
In case you are one of the few who have never been a fool but fear your time might be drawing nigh, here are a few examples of modern-day fools to help steer you clear of the fool abyss:
“Rodman visited the reclusive North Korean leader (Kim Jong Un—parenthesis mine) at the end of February. At the conclusion of the trip, the basketball star spoke glowingly of Kim to members of the media. ‘I love him,’ Rodman said. ‘The guy’s really awesome.’” By Ryan Grenoble for Huff Post World
Dennis Rodman and North Korean leader, Kim Jong Un
PEOPLE WHO TEXT WHILE WALKING
“While there’s little current data about the number of people injured while texting, more than 1,000 pedestrians visited emergency rooms in 2008 after they were injured while using a cellphone to talk or text. That had doubled each year since 2006, according to a study conducted by Ohio State University.”—By Casey Neistat for The New York Times
PEOPLE WHO TEXT WHILE DRIVING
“It took six months for Chance Bothe, 21, to recover after flipping his truck into a ravine while texting and driving. He broke nearly every bone in his body.”—By Charlie Wells for New York Daily News
NRA SPOKESMAN WAYNE LAPIERRE
“Earlier this week, Wayne LaPierre wrote a giddily batshit insane column opining that what we need around here is more guns, all the time, everywhere, because you never know when the zombie apocalypse is going to wander off the nearest bus and where will your government be then, hmm? As partial defense of his premise, he used Hurricane Sandy as an example of a situation where people really, really ought to have hauled off and shot some folks.” By Hunter for Daily Kos
I am discovering that you can start out your adulthood trying not to make a fool of yourself and hoping to make a difference in the world with the most heartfelt naiveté. But then you can screw up your life by thinking you’re only going to a “sit-in” with a bucket of chicken but it’s really two steps to your potential death. Being a fool is costly but you don’t know how costly sometimes until many years later.
I am convinced that the foolish things we do in our teens will have consequences in our twenties, the foolish choices we make in our twenties will have us paying the cost throughout our forties, and the stupid things we do in our thirties will haunt us to our grave. I aligned myself with doctrines and dogmas (both left and right wing) in my youth of foolishness that cause me to shutter sitting from a perch of wisdom in my old age. This is why the young so desperately need the old as mentors on their journey of life. Too bad the young are usually too foolish to listen.
“It is better to remain silent and be thought a fool than to open one’s mouth and remove all doubt.”— Proverbs 17:28, Bible
“Every man is a damn fool for at least five minutes every day; wisdom consists in not exceeding the limit.”—Elbert Hubbard
“It is the peculiar quality of a fool to perceive the faults of others and to forget his own.”—Marcus Tullius Cicero
“Only a fool tests the depth of the water with both feet.”—African Proverb
WHEN FOOLS COLLIDE