Rules of Stupid: Don’t Fuck Up

"No stupid people beyond this point". Photo by Nick Fewings on Unsplash.
December 30, 2023  
Categories: Op-Eds

We all know – on an intellectual level, at least – that the best way to win a fight is to avoid it in the first place. Unfortunately, in the real world, intellectual knowledge is usually overruled by poor judgment borne of greed, lust, intoxication, or plain old out-of-control ego. So, I’m going to illustrate the importance of avoidance by dissecting one particularly memorable incident from my police career and explain how it illustrates the importance of following the “Three Stupids” rule. What, you ask, is the Three Stupids Rule?


The memorable incident started when two guys met an older, recently single woman at a dive bar. She was a nice lady, despite being kind of an illegal alien dope dealer. She was also an admitted murderer and amateur cannibal, although the two guys can’t be blamed for not knowing that at the time (hell, the woman herself probably didn’t know about the impending cannibalism). They drank with her until the bar closed and then violated tenet 1 of the Three Stupids rule: they went home with her.

I know, guys, I know. Pretty much every great “I got so laid” story starts with “I went home with this chick I met at a bar.” In the vast majority of those cases, the end result is nothing worse than an STD or surprise “You’re my daddy” email twenty years later. But putting yourself into a house you know nothing about, controlled by someone you don’t know when you’re probably degraded to some degree by alcohol, can be the equivalent of sticking your head in the lion’s mouth. I’m not telling you not to do it, I’m just telling you to be aware of the risk you’re taking. We military vets all know the I-heard-it-from-a-PFC-in-my-platoon-so-it-must-be-true story about the guy who went home with some random bar girl, let her tie him to the bed, then got a wee surprise when she opened the closet and a big muscular naked dude walked out. You’re potentially putting your life in danger going to a stranger’s home, and THAT GOES DOUBLE IF YOU’RE FEMALE. I don’t care if you think that makes me sexist. It’s true.

But back to the story. The two guys went home with this woman. Someone broke out the coke. They drank and snorted coke until around seven in the morning. Then one of the two men (I’ll call him Joe) finally made a sexual advance. The woman rebuffed him. He called her a bitch. She said, “Oh, so I’m a bitch? I got something for you!” She walked out of the room, then walked back in a few seconds later loading a .357 revolver.

At that point, Joe and his buddy (I’ll call him Steve) should have realized that they’d violated Tenet 2 and were cavorting WITH STUPID PEOPLE. And actually, Steve did realize it. He jumped up, said, “I want no part of this,” and rushed out the door to the car. After Steve got into the driver’s seat, he realized Joe was still inside. It was several seconds before Joe walked out and got in. But then psycho woman rushed out the door to the car and jumped in the back seat. Under her t-shirt, she held an object shaped suspiciously like a .357 revolver.

She growled to Joe, “You’re a faggot. You’re a pussy. If you were a real man, you’d sit back here next to me.”

What should Joe and Steve have done at this point? Run away and call the police? Run away and come back for the car later? Run away and not give a shit what happened afterward, as long as they didn’t take a .357 in the face from a middle-aged drunk/high illegal alien dope dealer? Yes, yes, and yes. They should have done pretty much anything other than what they did.

What Joe did was shout, “Bitch, I’m not afraid of you!” jump out, slam the door, and get into the rear passenger seat next to the psycho lady. Joe’s initial stupidity was driven by lust, but by this point, he was clearly being steered by intoxication and ego. He was committed, but Steve wasn’t. Nobody wants to abandon a buddy, but Steve clearly had no control over Joe’s actions. The prudent move for Steve would probably still have been to bail out.

But instead, Steve just looked at the psycho lady in his back seat. She pointed down the street and demanded, “Take me to my friend’s house.” Steve, not knowing where he was going, dutifully started the car and drove away. As he drove, the psycho lady said to Joe, “You faggot, you pussy. I should have killed you.”

I know what you’re thinking; Joe and Steve have already committed numerous violations of Tenet 3 by DOING STUPID THINGS. And you’re right, they did. Here’s a partial list of those violations:

  • Doing coke.
  • Calling a woman high on coke a bitch for rebuffing a sexual advance.
  • Not immediately fleeing the house when psycho lady walked out with a .357.
  • Giving psycho lady enough time to run outside and get in the car.
  • Not physically disarming psycho lady.
  • Joe getting into the back seat with psycho lady.
  • Steve blindly driving down the street while psycho lady sat behind him, drunk and high on coke with a .357 under her shirt.

While we agree that all these acts are great examples of what not to do, they pale in comparison to the next decision Joe made. The only explanation for that decision is that Joe knew I’d write about him someday and wanted to provide a lesson for all of us. If that’s the case, we can all thank Joe for jumping on that grenade. Because the next thing Joe did was turn toward the psycho lady and confidently proclaim, “Bitch, if you’re gonna kill me, just fucking kill me.”

Psycho lady pulled the .357 from under her shirt, put it against Joe’s temple, and pulled the trigger until the pistol was empty. The first three rounds turned Joe’s skull into an empty, spongy, shattered shell. The next three went through the car’s roof. I like to think that sometime right before the first round cranked off, Joe realized he had made something of a mistake.

The six rapid gunshots in the back seat and the unanticipated disintegration of Joe’s head sort of caught Steve’s attention. He jammed on the brakes and spun around, at which point the psycho lady pointed the empty .357 at him. Steve finally decided to get out and run away, which is probably what he should have done much earlier. Psycho lady got out and calmly walked back to her house, and we arrested her a short time later.


Well, hopefully, we’ve at least learned not to be a drunken, coke-ravaged dumbass. But more specifically, we’ve learned

  • Not to go stupid places (Psycho Lady’s house)
  • With stupid people (Psycho Lady, Joe and Steve)
  • And do stupid things (get drunk and high on coke, call a drunk/high woman a bitch for not putting out, fail to immediately break contact when she gets a .357, allow her into your car, respond to challenges to your ego by sitting next to her, blindly follow her orders to drive somewhere, and literally tell her to kill you when you know she’s drunk, wired on coke, and holding a .357 under her shirt).

Remember: you win the confrontation you avoid in the first place. And the short, dumpy, angry older woman at the bar who looks like she’d be great in bed just might be willing to blow your head off, tell responding officers, “I didn’t kill that guy. I’ve killed people before, but I didn’t kill that guy,” and eat a small piece of your brain that had been blown onto her hairline in order to prevent it from being recovered as evidence.

Be smart, guys. You never know who you’re dealing with. But if you Don’t Go Stupid Places, With Stupid People, and Do Stupid Things, you probably won’t wind up like Steve.

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Chris Hernandez

Chris Hernandez

About the Author

Chris Hernandez may just be the crustiest member of the eeeee-LITE writin' team here at Breach-Bang-Clear. He is a veteran of both the Marine Corps and the Army National Guard who served in Iraq and Afghanistan. He is also a veteran police officer of two decades who spent a long (and eye-opening) deployment as part of a UN police mission in Kosovo. He is the author of White Flags & Dropped Rifles - the Real Truth About Working With the French Army and The Military Within the Military as well as the modern military fiction novels Line in the Valley, Proof of Our Resolve and Safe From the War. When he isn't groaning about a change in the weather and snacking on Osteo Bi-Flex he writes on his own blog. You can find his author page here on Tactical 16.


  1. K

    Hi Chris, used to read your blog posts regularly years ago but have had to spend less time on the internet. I angry posted at you in the comments once and it turned into a good chat. Glad to see you kicking around; just thought of you recently and checked around the internet and found this post.

  2. Russ

    I don’t believe most people think like I do (because they tell me that), but it’s kept me alive for 64 years.
    The key to this; is to go over scenarios in your head before you are in the situation, so that when they come up you may be able to quickly decipher, and make “SMART” decisions.
    If it’s going to be about primitive decisions like sex, one might use natural reactions, i.e.; what happens in nature.
    Did you know that a hungry pack of coyotes will have a female in heat, go off into a residential area to attract a “stupid” male dog, lure it away from the residence to the pack?
    In short; Don’t play the opponents game, have an alternative action, in order to test their reaction moving forward.
    Or better yet; Do it your way or No Way.

  3. AltheDago

    Well, Marcus Tarcus, I a thirty-three year career in law enforcement, I have seen crazier shit than this, so I’m disinclined to dismiss it as an “urban legend.”

    • Marcus Aurelius Tarkus

      I respect your disagreement. Just as I have respected every cop I have ever known as a friend.

  4. Marcus Aurelius Tarkus

    “I read it on the Internet, so it must be true.”

    Yeah, right. Oh please: the first stupid thing I did here was read all the way through this incredible urban legend, just to see how much more incredible it could get. Me, I get cops, having known several quite well. Shaggy dog, er, bitch stories are common as dirt in the profession. That said, the second stupid thing I did here was taking the time to make this comment. I’m out of here before I do any more stupid things.

  5. David Honeydoer

    I am retired. My former employment (retired from two, one federal, one state) taught me how to IMMEDIATELY identify someone with a problem. If it fell within the purview of my job, I would curse under my breath and get the problem resolved, if not I would put as much distance from the anomaly and myself as I could. I don’t have to do that anymore, but the ability to distinguish the normal from the opposite is truly a gift.

  6. Chuck

    After twenty plus years of working in court I have heard some wild stories of stupid moves and gotten some tales of really stupid moves from a relative who spent 20 years of public defending and believe me, he heard some really d.s. situations, with all that background, this tale tops them all. I have even participated in some really stupid stuff when I was younger, including trying to deliberately get drunk which very nearly killed me but again, this tale is — can you be number 1 in being stupid?

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