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Dumbass Syndrome.

It has become epidemic.

It used to be more of a Pinhead kind of thing. But it has graduated.

Let’s review.

I don’t know about you, but if I’m not sure of what someone is talking about, I look it up. There’s this little thing, you might have heard of it, I don’t know, it’s called GOOGLE? It’s where, when people are using terms you aren’t sure of, or are talking about a particular subject you may be unaware of, you look it the hell up.

Then you don’t look like a dumbass.


Of course, if you don’t care, by all means, feel free.


We will point and laugh. Not the same way as if you were wearing stupid pants, but ya know, similar.


Eric: My head hurts.

Red: That’s your brain trying to comprehend its own stupidity.

That 70s Show


I get that some people have Dumbass Syndrome. They just can’t help themselves. Are they born that way? (I bet they think Lady Gaga is singing about them.)


My colleague says people aren’t stupid. They’re just naïve.

Mmmm….I’m pretty sure they’re just stupid.

Yep, that makes me a bitch. I already know that.

There are really three levels of Dumbass: stupid, clueless, and ok fine, naïve.

Let’s deconstruct.


  • People who drive slow in the fast lane on the freeway. I’d have to go with clueless on this one, but feel free to disagree. Now this type of person can encompass anyone really – no need to point out a specific age, race, religion, or sex. Except, aren’t they always wearing hats?


  • People who don’t know they can purchase an eBook without a Kindle. I’m gonna go for naïve Alex, for $100. No offense, truly, because SO many people have no idea about digital devices and such. Many still don’t have smartphones and don’t know what that even means because it sounds scary and intimidating. My dad still won’t use a computer (but Mom bought him a Kindle cause she rocks).


My books, as well as many other authors, are now Amazon exclusive due to KDP Select, which means you can borrow one book per month free. They also allow us to put our books up free five days out of every ninety – a good deal for you, dear readers.


So practically every day on Twitter and Facebook I remind people that Amazon has free apps for your smartphone, computer, tablet or cloud. People say, “Well, I have a Nook.” So?


“I can’t be any clearer than how crystal clear I am being.” (Name that movie.)


Now those people are NOT THINKING. You can still download Kindle books. Didn’t I just say that Kindle has free apps? I’m still going with naïve but it’s…so…hard.


  • Cut us off in line at the grocery store. Okay, that’s a total stupid dumbass move and I’m usually the loud (but still classy) redhead who embarrasses my daughter about it. If I have a cartful, I always offer the guy with the gallon of milk go ahead of me. Especially if he has a nice smile. #justsayin


But when he runs ahead of me and then calls to his wife or friend to bring their giant cart of Mac & Cheese, beer, and coupons over, heads will roll.


Okay, well. I’m only five-four and weigh one-eighteen but still. My tongue will cut a bitch.


  • And don’t even get me started on the guy (why is it always a guy?) who told me my humor, nonfiction books will never sell because a woman writing about men isn’t funny.  That’s so beyond dumbass, I’m not sure where to start. It says right on my bio “Amazon #1 bestseller” which I suppose a lot of books say but…he could go to Amazon (or, say Google?) and look it up before making said dumbass comments. But he didn’t.

Ergo, dumbass.


Dumbass Syndrome is on the rise. It affects both sexes, all ages, all races. No one is safe. The only cure I know of? Strapping them to a chair and making them watch Barney. Of course, their brain is then mush and they’re only able to babble incoherently, but it’s better than the idiotic trash they spewed before.


Mama, don’t let your babies grow up to be dumbasses.


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About Rachel Thompson

Rachel Thompson is the author of newly released Broken Places and the award-winning Broken Pieces, as well as two additional humor books, A Walk In The Snark and Mancode: Exposed. Rachel is published and represented by Booktrope where she directs the Gravity imprint helping authors share their stories of trauma and recovery. She owns BadRedhead Media, creating effective social media and book marketing campaigns for authors. For affordable group sessions check out Author Social Media Boot Camp, monthly sessions to help all authors! Her articles appear regularly in The Huffington Post, The San Francisco Book Review (BadRedhead Says…), 12Most.com, bitrebels.com, BookPromotion.com, and Self-Publishers Monthly.

Not just an advocate for sexual abuse survivors, Rachel is the creator and founder of the hashtag phenomenon #MondayBlogs and the live Twitter chat, #SexAbuseChat, co-hosted with certified therapist/survivor, Bobbi Parish.

She hates walks in the rain, running out of coffee, and coconut. She lives in California with her family.


  1. The grocery cart thing gets me too! I don’t think it’s dumbass syndrome so much as it’s selfishass syndrome in that case–or maybe me-first syndrome. The car thing, well, that drives me nuts too since in BFE AK we have 2 lanes, and loads of dumbasses. Great post!

    • RachelintheOC says:

      Thx Dee — in CA, we have big ass freeways. Five lanes to choose from. And there is invariably that dumbass in the far left lane going 40 mph. Why god? Why?

      Oh yea. Cause they’re a dumbass.

  2. Rachel, you’re more generous than I! I don’t bother distinguishing stupidity into categories, they’re all just plain stupid. I’m famous for my rants against stupidity in my office and I’m slowly converting my colleagues to my point of view – a large proportion (exact numbers to remain undisclosed in the interests of my own personal safety LOL) of humanity is just stupid. Suffice to say, if it spreads more than it has, no one will be safe from this epidemic!

    At least the examples of stupidity you’ve listed are relatively harmless if excessively annoying. Lets not move up to the big league where, say, mothers give their 6yo daughters guarana and caffeine laden drinks to perk them up on the pageant circuit and thinks that’s OK #toodumbtobreed and #helpusnaturalselection

    Don’t even get me started on my rant about how humanity has subverted evolution to allow stupid people to breed and multiply!

    • RachelintheOC says:

      Ciara, you’re so right. Those who subvert Darwin are definitely NOT naive. Although….

      My very best friend since high school had a brother who decided to chase his dog. Off a cliff. And it didn’t kill him. He’s the guy that landed in the one tree that was sticking out the side. This all happened right AFTER her dad was admitted to the hospital for a heart attack and they just happened to click on the TV and see the news about a bizarre search and rescue. We learned that of course, her bro was high and it was the drugs in his system that let him walk away unscathed. That time.

      Sadly, her bro could only continue his ridiculousness for so long and it all caught up with him eventually when his body gave out and he passed away. Unfortunate karma.

      • Didn’t someone say karma’s a bitch?

        • RachelintheOC says:


          • Lady Quixote says:

            Karma is only a bitch if you are.

            Speaking of which, am I right in assuming that Snark is the new Bitch? I say that in the spirit of “You say Snark like it’s a Bad Thing.”

          • Hi Lady — so glad you made it over. Justin has been singing your praises. I believe being a snarky bitch is the ultimate compliment. Some women have a hard time with the term bitch but I own it. I’m not a sweet little thing. I’m 48. I don’t try to please people because they think I should act or speak a certain way. My books, writing, and demeanor clearly reflect my personality. That said, I can be n…n…nope, can’t say it. Not a bitch. And we’ll leave it at that.


          • Lady Quixote says:

            God, I remember when I was 48, I thought I was o-l-d… NOW, my eldest is about to turn 41, I am 58-going-on-59, and I’m seriously looking forward to turning 60! So far, my 50s have been the best, most fantastic years of my life! Of course, not LOOKING like I’m pushing 60 helps. My photo is recent and unretouched, if I knew how to retouch, I’d get that stupid stringy hair outta my face… and maybe delete about 50% of the freckles.

            I’m not getting Older, I’m getting Snarkier! 😉

            ~Lady Q

            PS~ My secrets to staying young looking can be yours for just $9.99 via Paypal… JUST KIDDING, I give my secrets away for free ‘cuz I want to beautify the world. Here are my 5 staying-young-looking tips, in no particular order: 1. grapeseed extract (I have taken it daily for about 15 years and I look younger now than when I started, it’s a powerful antioxidant. You can buy it cheap at Walmart, most drug/health food stores, or online at SwansonVitamins.com) 2. Skincream loaded with antioxidants, the best I have found are the ready-mades at skinactives.com, they also have an incredible line of actives so you can make your own custom skin care, super cheap. 3. Face exercises ~ I learned how via a book you can buy on amazon, called Facercize ~ they really make a huge difference. My chin line started sagging when I was 42, that’s when I bought the book and started the exercises, and my neck/chin area is great now!) 4. Laziness — I lie down a lot. Gravity can’t work against you when you are lying down, right?!? 5. Wrinkle-free pillows – I rsearched them online and bought several kinds, via Amazon and ebay, to help prevent the pillow wrinkles that happen more as we get older. They take some getting used to, but help a lot. I was perplexed by a frownline… I mean, I NEVER frown! Then I discovered it happened when I lay on my side with my check on my pillow, it somehow compressed my forehead and made a line in the middle. I also had some lines on my check, from being smushed against the pillow. Wow, who knew? So now my frownline and check lines are almost all gone, after a couple of months on my special pillow.

            Oh, and I also drink a lot of water, and I stopped smoking about 10 years ago. But, I don’t use sunscreen ~ hence the freckle explosion on my face ~ I haven’t found a sunscreen that doesn’t make my nose run. Which is really unattractive, not to mention miserable.

  3. I think I am if anything naive, yeah, thats the category I fit in, naive, Alex, I will take Naive for $1000 and the block, or is that and the win, or is that even relevant, Im such a dumbass, I should look it up.

    Great post Rachel

    • RachelintheOC says:

      Somehow, I don’t think so Peter. I haven’t known you that long but you strike me as the opposite of naive. Nice try, though, sweets.

      And thanks.

  4. I’m going to vent right here because it’s exactly what you’re describing:

    Yesterday, I parked my car in front of my daughter’s school in exactly the spot the school told me to, just to the left of the student drop-off line (back story: my daughter is autistic and I have to walk her in to her classroom to make sure she gets there…the school TOLD ME WHERE TO PARK MY CAR). As I was walking in, a MAN in a truck flew out of the drop off line instead of waiting like a safe parent and YELLED AT ME through his open window because I was parked.

    Luckily, I work in a jail. I yelled back for him to EXIT THE VEHICLE IMMEDIATELY. So he did, then he yelled at me again for parking my car, even though he was the person who violated eight school policies and three traffic laws by gunning his engine to go around all the cars in the carpool lane, endangering elementary school children in the process.

    Let’s just say, he will no longer suffer any problems going to the bathroom because I ripped him a new one. And my daughter didn’t even learn any new words in the process.

    • RachelintheOC says:

      Can you see me bowing down to you?

      It’s always good to road rage at another parent with small children around, isn’t it? That’s such a great example of role-modeling.

      How other people react in situations like that (i.e., where someone is not following ‘the rules’) is always interesting. We’ve all seen it. People take it very personally when in reality it has nothing at all to do with them.

      Perhaps, in this situation, ‘pinhead’ is a better designation, since I imagine that’s about as small as he felt when you were done with him, Lorca.

  5. There is nothing funnier than a woman writing about a man!

    • RachelintheOC says:

      I know. Well, then there was the guy who told me I didn’t know anything about how women orgasm.

      Um, what?

      *Raises hand* Last I checked, I do own all the equipment.

  6. You weigh 118?!?!

    • RachelintheOC says:

      Yea, well. Writing two books in a year will do that to a person. Well, three if you count the one I cowrote. :)

  7. Oh I so agree. Dumbasses are everywhere! And I have to admit, I think the person driving slow in the left lane is a dumbass too. Do you want to be run the eff over?

    The not knowing about ebooks is a common issue. Up until a year ago I really didn’t know either. Employers need to teach ebook awareness in offices everywhere. 😉 We need some edumacation or something.

    And for the idiot who said crap to you, that’s cause he’s a man. *ducks* Did you see that guy throw something at me?

    • RachelintheOC says:

      You do realize the title of my second book is Mancode: Exposed, right? Hehe.

      And it is true about the eBook thing. We don’t know what we don’t know til we um, know. I think. :)

      • Lady Quixote says:

        Having been married to a hat-wearing left-lane slow-mo driver (in a previous incarnation when I was very young and astonishingly naïve), I can authoritatively state that, in my ex-hubby’s case, his behavior wasn’t due to stupidity of any flavor, it was:

        ***PASSIVE AGRESSIVE*** ~ the sociopath’s way of saying F YOU to the world.

        However, it is also very true that “we don’t know what we don’t know til we know.” I recently said to my husband, the current and forever one: “I’m so glad you aren’t like those JERKS I used to date.” Replied my BFH (Best-Friend-Husband):

        “I was a jerk. Jerks can learn.”

        DAMN. Am I lucky or what!

  8. Ray Plasse says:

    I may or may not be a dumbass but when it comes to digital tech I’m always (metaphorically) the last to know!

    • RachelintheOC says:

      Well, tech changes practically hourly, Ray. You’re not the only one. I feel like a total WordPress noob here. Just switched over. But I’m learning. I know people who know what they’re doing. That’s the key. Hit up the smarties.

      • Ray Plasse says:

        I prefer being dragged into it kicking and screaming!(Still got a flip phone) I don’t need a phone smarter then me…..er……(flip)……..DAMN!!!!!

  9. I almost didn’t click on this because by the name, I thought, surely, it was a post about political candidates, but I digress. I should just say, “hey, I live in Vegas, no need to even explain dumbass to me,” but since most of the dumbasses I see are tourists, and I see a lot, I just want you to know that dumbass syndrome is not an American thing—it is universal, and usually is accessorized with a camera and fanny pack.

    • RachelintheOC says:

      Thx for visiting, Groovy Girl. I lived in NYC for four years, so I can relate somewhat, though I imagine Vegas is worse. I’m sure I’m probably the only chick over age forty in America who’s never been, and I only live about four hours away (my guy’s fault — he hates it there). Planning a trip later this year w/ my girlfriend tho. Anyway, you’re right — it is universal. One can encounter a dumbass anywhere — and the examples I gave were physical as well as virtual. Politics — ack. I’d have to write 24/7 about dumbasses if that were the case.

  10. Don’t get me frigging started, just this morning I walked into the building and said to the receptionist “You know what, some people are just too stupid, you just want to put your hand on their throat and squeeze until they expire.” Receptionist, “Who and what did they do?” Doesn’t matter who or what, they are just F*&^%NG STUPID! Give me strength to stop me from throttling them………. Is IT Me?

    • RachelintheOC says:

      Nope, not you. Read all the comments posted here, doll. It’s a matter of chilling about it, and realizing that yes, people are stupid dumbasses. Adjust your expectations. :)
      In truth, no. There are lots of wonderful, caring, giving, generous people in the world. Most of them just don’t happen to be driving in front of you on your way to work.

  11. Is it “Total Recall?” “Robocop” maybe?

    First of all, dudes who tell women that they can’t succeed in publishing are just jealous. There are more women than men involved in epublishing and we fellows just need to get used to it. Sigh.

    Rachel, I agree with you: they’re dumbasses, not naive. I have secret fantasies at times where I imagine the horrible things I will do to the douche driving in front of me when he suddenly turns left with no turn signal and nearly kills us both. One day…

    • RachelintheOC says:

      Yea, Landon, it’s got to be a fantasy and we can only hope a cop is there to see it. Or…

      I was once cut off by a stupid dumbass BMW driver who decided to honk & scream at me when I was in the left lane outside a school going slowly because there was a massive construction TRUCK in front of me w/ its right turn blinker on. Idiot beamer decided to pass me on the right just as the massive truck made a right from the left lane. Well. I have to say I didn’t mind seeing the beamer smash right into the huge construction truck that he couldn’t have missed if he hadn’t been yelling at me for slowing down to let the massive truck make his right turn from the left lane. I’ll never forget the smile on my dad’s face and his comment: what a fucking dumbass.

      Karma, baby.

  12. Ok I’m going with naive here. I for one am pretty damn clueless on digital devices and I KNOW you singled ME out with this one :-) I had no idea I could do anything with my simple Nook except through B&N. Now you have me intrigued but still lost. I SO want to Amazon you and others but still……..Clueless I remain. I will gladly buy every book you have ever written for specific instructions.

    Uhoh……….I think I’ve slipped into the dumb-ass category although I never cut in the grocery store line. Help!

    • RachelintheOC says:

      Ha, it’s not that difficult Mike, I promise. You can download the free apps for Kindle on any digital device, i.e. your smartphone, laptop, computer, or tablet. Your Nook is specific to B&N. But your phone, for example, is not. They all have free apps for download from any store. ibooks, smashwords, kobo…it goes on and on. :) A whole new world, baby. :)))

  13. Any time someone is trying to “get one over on me” at the grocery store, movies, wherever (doesn’t happen often, because I’m 5’8 and have a slightly crazed look when stressed) they are dumbasses, and they are gonna hear about it, along with everyone in the vicinity. Clueless is more innocent–dumbass is often intentionally deceptive or just plain stupid. Either way, I am merciless.

    • RachelintheOC says:

      I guess there are really levels of stupid. Some people ARE lazy as someone mentioned on my Twitter stream. They make comments about things that are easily look-upable (a word?) or verifiable yet don’t — they’d rather make their stand, dammit, which makes me laugh. Fortunately, we all need humor in our lives so I’m thankful for these folks.

      I recently had a situation where someone decided they’re smarter than I and put me down constantly. I had to end that toxic relationship. They couldn’t see I wasn’t trying to steal their thunder. Truly, there are so many levels of stupid, one post really isn’t enough.

  14. Sometimes people are just, well…DUMBASS SYNDROME: http://t.co/SS2PdDYS The 3 Levels of Dumbass. Do you agree? Plz RT

  15. RT @rachelintheoc: Sometimes people are just, well…DUMBASS SYNDROME: http://t.co/oTyVIJIP The 3 Levels of Dumbass. Do you agree? Plz RT

  16. RT @AndyHolloman: RT @rachelintheoc: Sometimes people are just, well…DUMBASS SYNDROME: http://t.co/oTyVIJIP The 3 Levels of Dumbass. Do you agree? Plz RT

  17. RT @AndyHolloman: RT @rachelintheoc: Sometimes people are just, well…DUMBASS SYNDROME: http://t.co/oTyVIJIP The 3 Levels of Dumbass. Do you agree? Plz RT

  18. RT @AndyHolloman: RT @rachelintheoc: Sometimes people are just, well…DUMBASS SYNDROME: http://t.co/oTyVIJIP The 3 Levels of Dumbass. Do you agree? Plz RT

  19. RT @RachelintheOC: Sometimes people are just, well…DUMBASS SYNDROME: http://t.co/SS2PdDYS The 3 Levels of Dumbass. Do you agree? Plz RT

  20. RT @RachelintheOC: Sometimes people are just, well…DUMBASS SYNDROME: http://t.co/SS2PdDYS The 3 Levels of Dumbass. Do you agree? Plz RT

  21. DUMBASS SYNDROME | Rachel in the OC http://t.co/kKScCAPi

  22. Yep – it’s we blokes (guys) who fit those categories. Who is that decides to answer the phone and have a chat during a film at the cinema. Dumbass bloke. Or complains that he can’t understand what the third film in the Lord of the Rings trilogy was about (he hadn’t seen the first two or read the books)? Dumbass bloke.

    On the plus side, it’s plenty of material for my stand up act!

    • Ha, that’s great. Glad you’re venturing into stand up. I’m too chicken. Not sure why…I was a trainer for many years and have spoken to hundreds of big groups. But comedy is different. Good luck to you on that and thanks for commenting, Ross!


  1. […] with the music as well as your beautiful book. Check it out, folks. Then go buy her amazing book, Dreaming In Darkness. Her second book, Threads of Life, will be released March, 2012. I, for one, can’t […]

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