Saturday, June 26, 2010

Friday Fuckwit


At 5 feet 6 inches and about 270 pounds, bank robbery suspect McArthur Wheeler isn’t the type of person who fades into the woodwork. So it was no surprise that he was recognised by informants, who tipped detectives to his whereabouts after his picture was telecast on the 11 o’clock news.

Wheeler had walked into two Pittsburgh banks and attempted to rob them in broad daylight.  What made the case peculiar is that he made no visible attempt at disguise.  The surveillance tapes were key to his arrest.  There he is with a gun, standing in front of a teller demanding money.  Yet, when arrested, Wheeler was completely disbelieving.  “But I wore the juice,” he said.  Apparently, he was under the deeply misguided impression that rubbing one’s face with lemon juice rendered it invisible to video cameras.
 Wheeler had not gone into “this thing” blindly but had performed a variety of tests prior to the robbery.Wheeler reported he had tested the theory, and it seemed to work.   He had snapped a Polaroid picture of himself and wasn’t anywhere to be found in the image.  Unlike Wheeler, police deduced that:
(a) the film was bad;
(b) Wheeler hadn’t adjusted the camera correctly; or
(c) Wheeler had pointed the camera away from his face at the critical moment when he snapped the photo.

A couple of academics researched Wheeler's actions and decided that if Wheeler was too stupid to be a bank robber, perhaps he was also too stupid to know that he was too stupid to be a bank robber — that is, his stupidity protected him from an awareness of his own stupidity - does this sound familiar?

The affable criminal had succumbed to the Dunning Kruger effect. Dunning and Kruger argued in their paper, “When people are incompetent in the strategies they adopt to achieve success and satisfaction, they suffer a dual burden: Not only do they reach erroneous conclusions and make unfortunate choices, but their incompetence robs them of the ability to realise it.  In a nutshell, our incompetence masks our ability to recognize our incompetence.   Ah ignorance truly is bliss.

Now that sort of explains a lot!

Thanks to Thriftcriminal for the article, it's really quite interesting if you have little else to do on a wet weekend. 

Have a good one wherever you are.

45 comments:

Tom said...

what a friday f'twit! i suppose he'll get off for stupidity...

Ropi said...

Nowadays people can think they have heard everything but we always realise we are wrong. Maybe next time...

Gledwood said...

surely the man is clinically insane??

Don't Bug Me! said...

Can one claim innocence due to stupidity? I think it might just work in this case.

00dozo said...

Ha! It gives credence to the adage, "Don't believe everything you read".

nick said...

He could presumably also have been identified by the fact that he reeked of lemon juice.

Bimbimbie said...

Tsup*!* Hahaha perhaps he'd got some in his eyes before taking that photo ... hopefully*!*

i beati said...

wet I repeat please please send me some - all dying on the vine just too hot sk i know this guy

Ronda Laveen said...

I've always said a life of crime is not for the mentally infirm.

Roy said...

Hmmmmm... I suspect he's dyslexic; he got the effect of lemon juice reversed. You use lemon juice and heat to bring out invisible ink, not to make it disappear in the first place.

Reminds me of the baby Snapping Turtle I was watching a while ago, who dug his head into the mud and stopped, figuring he was hidden from me because he could no longer see me. Maybe they ought to compare Wheeler's brain with a Snapper's to see if there are any similarities (starting with size!).

blackwatertown said...

It would have worked if he had cut out pretend teeth from a turned inside out lemon skin. Everyone would have been too distracted looking at the comedy teeth.

blackwatertown said...

It would have worked if he had cut out pretend teeth from a turned inside out lemon skin. Everyone would have been too distracted looking at the comedy teeth.

laughingwolf said...

hope the sob at least had enough savvy to make lemonade :P lol

Janice said...

A fuckwit for sure...

Coco said...

Nothing like a Friday Fukwit to put a smirk on my face.

Ocean Girl said...

If temporary insane is acceptable, permanently stupid is definitely a more credible excuse. The truth is no one should be found guilty of anything.

VE said...

Stupid is as stupid does!

Kath Lockett said...

It's rather ironic, your article here and how, for years, anything bad is called a 'Lemon'

Maybe utter stupidity will soon be known as the Loser Lemon Effect. Lord knows we have enough LLE's in my own local area....

kj said...

this is comical and educational.

actually, i like learning about research tidbits like this.

and i've rendered myself invisable many times. most recently when i;m in my driveway without underwear, picking up the daily paper

:)

River said...

I bet when he was a kid, he wrote secret spy letters with lemon juice which became invisible as it dried.
We did this through primary school, the secret spy tip was in the back pages of many comic books.
To read the letters, the paper had to be held up to a heat source such as a candle or heater. Some of us got too close and burned a fingertip or two....

Candie Bracci said...

Lol now I've been missing your friday fuckwitt!!!Have a nice weekend :)

Eternally Distracted said...

Now that is seriously stupid!!

Everyday Goddess said...

Oh silly Wheeler! I wonder what he would have done with the money anyway, probably deposited it!

Come by to collect your award anytime, this was too funny!

Irish Gumbo said...

Can Dumb and Dumber be the person? I guess so :)

TechnoBabe said...

I fear I have been there a few times myself, too stupid to know I am too stupid to know just how stupid I can be. Darn. Congrats on the POTW.

Grandmother said...

Have you ever heard of the Darwin Award? It is given to the person most in need of being removed from the gene pool. He wins it!

Ces said...

This is sad.

otin said...

Ahhh, when life gives you lemons, you might end up doing ten to twenty! LMAO!!

Janie said...

Very funny. When a guy is that dumb, you have to feel kind of sorry for him...

Darlene said...

Yes, he wins this year's Darwin Award hands down. Anyone who is that plain dumb would be better off in jail.

Very funny !!!

Susan at Stony River said...

Stories like this make me afraid to go out in the world where these people all live, and occasionally, function normally.

On the other hand, I can't wait to hear about his botched escape attempts once he gets to prison.

Vagabonde said...

I think there are a lot of stupid people around. I don’t know if it’s genetic or if their parents were on drugs or what but it does seem like there are many out there. I heard about a bank robber here in town who wrote the ransom note on the back of one of his deposit slip which showed his name and address….

savannah said...

congratulations on the POTW award, sugar! this was an inspired bit of writing! well done. xooxo

jay said...

Hahahahaha!!! Oh, that's the funniest thing I've heard all day! 'But I wore the juice!'

Hahahahahahahaha!!! Oh! It's priceless! But those academics are right, aren't they? If you're that dumb you surely are too dumb to know it. Quite sad, really.

The Man at the Pub said...

What an idiot! Everyone knows it's actually lime juice that makes you invisible.

Alan Burnett said...

Ah the Dunning Kruger Effect - that's what makes me such a good blogger.

steph said...

Good to hear Thrifty is still around!

Carolina said...

That's hilarious ;-)
The Dunning Kruger effect not only makes Alan Burnett such a good blogger, it makes my life bearable LOL

(And lemon juice can be used as invisible ink can't it? So I can sort of understand where he got the idea from. Poor guy.)

Carolina said...

And as you use the heat of a flame to bring out the lemon juice to see what was written, was his plan to put his head in the fire to make him visible again?

Ocean Girl said...

Hi Baino, I am on the Roast. It is going well but I would love to see you. A quick pop-in would make my day :)

tori said...

This reminds me of something I always say about myself "I'm just smart enough to know how stupid I am". um. yeah.

Mmm said...

Oh, Baino, now that is tooo funny. Seriously now, did you/they mean to put in those punns--"mask and rob" in the meaning of that effect. LOL.\

lakeviewer said...

So stupidity trumps everything!

ebony said...

aww. poor thing :(. I think he just "robbed" the bank inorder to test the lemonjuice...

California Girl said...

after reading this, all I can say is... "wow"