Meet the World’s Dumbest Criminals, Politicians, and Bosses

Head-scratching decisions … Ludicrous power trips … Bizarre regulations … Of course we’re laughing at these guys!

criminal and cop
Serge Bloch for Reader’s Digest, Ralph Smith for Reader’s Digest

World’s Dumbest Criminals

According to the bus driver, it was a brutal, unprovoked attack. A woman got on his bus and assaulted him with a half-eaten banana. “I had banana all over me,” he insisted. “On my tie, my shirt, and my eye.” The woman explained that the driver had almost hit her car and that when she entered the bus to rationally discuss the matter, the banana slipped … right into his tie, his shirt, his eye … The court may not have believed that, but it did believe her when she argued that it was “unreasonable that a banana could cause this much damage.” They slapped her with a fine of only about $100. Source:

Most people are smart enough not to wave loaded weapons around in front of the White House. Christopher Briggs isn’t one of them. Briggs was standing in the street just a few hundred yards from the Oval Office when he started strapping on his .45 caliber pistol. Secret Service agents instantly stopped him and found almost 200 rounds of ammunition in his backpack. Briggs was mystified about his arrest. “I was only going to fire a couple of shots,” he said. Source:

Philome Cesar decided to represent himself in court against charges of robbery. But his legal skills were on par with his larceny skills. During the trial, he asked a witness to describe the robber’s voice. The response: “He sounded like you.” Ironically, the jury’s decision sounded a lot like “guilty.” Source:

A California woman facing nearly five years in prison for forging drug prescriptions brought to court a doctor’s note that suggested her case be postponed for medical reasons. Her request was rejected—the note was a forgery. Source: Yahoo News

Though he pleaded innocent, LaDondrell Montgomery of Houston, Texas, was slapped with a life sentence for armed robbery. But shortly after the trial, his lawyer dug up evidence that would exonerate the man, something Montgomery knew but had completely forgotten: He’d happened to be locked up in jail at the time of the robbery. Source: ABC News

A Chicago man was stopped at a red light. Next to him was a police cruiser. The man leaned over and asked if he was “wanted” by the police. The cops got out of their cruiser to chat with him. That’s when they smelled the sweet aroma of marijuana wafting from his car. That’s also when they noticed the butt of a handgun tucked into the driver’s seat. Further investigation revealed an illegal loaded assault rifle, unregistered weapons, and ammunition. So the answer to his question: Yes. Source: Chicago Tribune

Police in Pico Rivera, California, had an easy time pinning a four-year-old murder on Anthony Garcia. That’s because he pinned it on himself—with an elaborate tattoo on his chest, depicting the killing. Cops noticed the incriminating ink when taking Garcia’s mug shot for a petty crime. The tattoo revealed all the details of the night, from the Christmas lights and bent streetlamp near the liquor store where the body was found to the image of an angry helicopter—Garcia’s nickname was Chopper—machine-gunning the victim. Source:

Next: World’s Dumbest Bosses

boss with cigar illustration
Serge Bloch for Reader’s Digest, Ralph Smith for Reader’s Digest

World’s Dumbest Bosses

Working for a big corporation, you can begin to wonder exactly how much anybody cares about what you’re doing. So a colleague and I decided to test the waters. He would stop working, and I would work like never before. At the end of our test period, we had a performance review. His said “Worked well and was barely noticeable. Two thumbs up!” Mine said “Overall negative impression” and recommended that I study my friend’s work habits. The result of our test: He got a raise, and I didn’t. Source:

It’s been a rough few years for Chilean supervisors. The head of the national mint lost his job after the country’s new 50-peso coin was released. Instead of “República de Chile,” it read “República de Chiie.” Bonus stupidity: It took about a year for the mistake to be discovered. Meanwhile, in the city of Valdivia, the nation’s first drawbridge was unveiled. Sadly, it will have to be reconstructed, since at least one deck was accidentally built upside down. Source:

A fast-food worker reported this conversation with his boss:
Manager: Can you stay another four hours? Your coworker has drunk some wine and can’t come in.

Me: Isn’t it her wedding day today?

Manager: Yes. That’s why she’s been drinking.

Me: And you scheduled her to work today?

Manager: Yes.

Me: And you didn’t think that would be a problem?

Manager: No.

Here is a list of actual requests made by bosses to one of their employees:
• Be prepared to delete all e-mails and files at a moment’s notice.
• Be a surrogate mother for her.
• Come up with a science fair project for her daughter.
• Fire the boss’s brother.
• Remove her stitches.

Today, my boss fired me because I poked fun at his My Little Pony key ring. From

Boss to underling: When I told you that you smelled like bacon grease, it was a compliment! Source:

Next: World’s Dumbest Politicians

man in dunce cap
Serge Bloch for Reader’s Digest, Ralph Smith for Reader’s Digest

World’s Dumbest Politicians

Seattle City Council member-elect Kshama Sawant had a plan should Boeing move some of its manufacturing out of state: The workers could “take over” the plant. “We can retool the machines to produce buses, instead of destructive, you know, war machines,” she said. The Boeing plant builds passenger planes. Source:

“It’s a racist tax.”—Florida Rep. Ted Yoho, on taxing tanning salons, which apparently discriminates against pale Americans

Marty Hahne—aka Marty the Magician—had just finished his show at a library in Missouri when a mysterious stranger demanded, “Show me your license.”

“License for …?” asked the surprised entertainer.

“For the rabbit,” said the stranger, who was from the Department of Agriculture, enforcing a regulation designed to protect circus animals and other working beasts. If Hahne wanted to keep entertaining, he would have to provide a “disaster plan” to protect his three-pound bunny from fires, floods, air-conditioning failures, and other acts of God or the electric company. Hahne already had the proper rabbit license. But now he also has a 28-page disaster plan, and he must submit a detailed itinerary anytime he travels with the rabbit. The irony is that animals raised as food are exempt from such rules. “I can kill the rabbit right in front of you,” Hahne said. “But I can’t take it across the street to the birthday party.” Source:

Everyone is familiar with hyper-protective school boards that ban books because of controversial language. But few can match the visionary leaders of the Menifee Union School District in California, which decided that the best way to handle certain words was to ban the dictionary. (A district committee reversed the ban.) Source:

When Michigan officials say, “No building without a permit,” they mean it. That’s what Stephen Tvedten found out when he received a letter from state officials demanding that he “cease and desist” the construction of two dams on his property. Trouble was, it wasn’t Tvedten building the dams—it was a family of beavers. Fortunately, the state dropped its concerns once an investigator examined the situation more closely. “It probably would have been a good idea to do the inspection before we sent the notice,” one official said. Source:

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Originally Published in The Dumb Book