Yesterday I was at work minding my business when I received an email around 11:30 telling me that the building needed to be evacuated because someone had called in a bomb threat. A bomb threat. Someone called in a bomb threat. I was right smack dab in the middle of some important stuff, and while I figured it was probably some idiot who thinks a prank is anything that inconveniences anyone else, I also figured that leaving would be much easier than dying, so I packed my stuff and left.
As I was leaving, I spoke with a Dallas police officer who was responding to the bomb threat. He said they take them all seriously but he had never responded to a bomb threat at which an actual bomb was found. I asked him what would make a person do something like that, and his response was “What can I say? People do stupid things all the time.” Not exactly profound, but certainly correct.
This won’t be a long post because I don’t really know what I’m writing about, but this felt like it needed discussing. The building was swept and I got an email about four hours later saying that no evidence of malfeasance was found but that additional security measures would be in place going forward.
So what was the point? Was it some hungover person who was running late to work and decided that they probably wouldn’t get fired if they just called in a bomb threat and canceled work instead of showing up late? Was it some teenager who thinks it’s edgy to be a dick for no reason? Was it a mentally unstable person caught between reality and fantasy like the antagonist of an episode of The Twilight Zone? Or was it some grown adult who was bored and had some extra minutes on his phone this month? Maybe it was someone who noticed what they thought was a bomb but turned out to be a sandwich or fire extinguisher or something. What if it was the Dallas Police Department just hazing some rookies? Okay, it almost certainly wasn’t that.
The point is that people are stupid. People have always been stupid. Stupidity is important in this world. Everyone is stupid about something. For some people it’s social situations, for others it’s money, and still others struggle with math or taxes or vocabulary. Some people think the Fast & Furious franchise is quality cinema. And it’s okay that we’re all stupid in some ways. If someone knew everything, that would be boring and existence would be depressing.
But some types of stupid are stupider than others. Calling in bomb threats to a building is one of the top-tier stupid things one can do. No one was hurt today, at least not from anything directly related to a bomb. But hundreds of people were inconvenienced, and there was probably at least one person who would have gotten a quicker police response to a real problem if DPD hadn’t been busy investigating the delusions of an idiot. Don’t get me wrong: I’m ecstatic that no bomb was there. I’m grateful that the most likely culprit of this thing was a mentally ill person or a stupid teenager; Lord knows there are places on earth where bomb threats are more often real rather than hoaxes.
But it just goes to show that people have always been and will always be stupid. At least with other types of stupid a person can learn and become not stupid. But the person today is just mean-spirited and exceedingly stupid.
I guess I’ll chalk it all up to “People do stupid things all the time.”