by Paul Niquette
Copyright ©1996 Resource Books All rights reserved.

fool n. 
  1. One who shows himself or herself, by words or actions, to be deficient in judgment, sense, or understanding; a stupid or thoughtless person. 
  2. One who acts unwisely on a given occasion. 
The envelope was addressed to "Occupant" and emblazoned on the outside as follows: "What four-letter word begins with 'f' and is guaranteed to catch people's attention?"  I tore it open.
Inside was an advertising circular entitled, "Free."
All right then, I thought to myself, what four-letter word begins with 'f' and is guaranteed to offend people?
"Fool," of course.
Someone in my distant childhood told me never to call any person a fool.  Most likely it was a Sunday school teacher, citing a passage from the Sermon on the Mount ("...but whosoever shall say, 'Thou fool,' shall be in danger of hellfire").

Good advice.  And easy to take; although, at least in my case, "danger of hell fire" has nothing to do with the matter.  It's just that, considering the way I fall for messages on the outside of junk mail and in view of the stunts I have pulled (see, for example, role-model), I am hardly qualified to call anybody else a fool.

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