Richard "Wedgie" Stubert had an IQ in the low 80s and fancied himself “a player”. He was the poster child for every negative stereotype that urban dwellers have of "rednecks".
Some people assumed Wedgie’s low IQ was due to the fact that his mother “liked to have fun” as one of her friends charitably phrased it. Even though his mother was sixteen when she became pregnant she had no problems getting her hands on copious amounts of alcohol. Something about older boyfriends who liked young girls who “liked to have fun”.
Others pointed out that Wedgie was a low birth-weight baby and his mother was barely seventeen when he was born and both of those are statistically related to lower intelligence.
Few observers had any energy for the Stubert family but those rare few decided it did not matter whether Wedgie was stupid because of genetics, pre-natal conditions or childhood environment. The entire Stubert family was stupid and the variables were knotted together and could not be separated.
Wedgie thought everybody else was an idiot because they all nodded when he told a big windy, that is, an outrageous fabrication.
Frankly, nobody cared about his miscreant behaviors and nobody saw an upside to pointing out that everybody knew when he was lying. On the rare occasions he told the truth, he stopped licking the corners of his mouth and stopped batted his eyelids every half second. When he was lying he alternated licking the corners of his lips reminiscent of the Tin Man pumping the oil-can to unstick his lips and Wedgie batted his eyelids like a metronome. That, and when he was lying he stuck “I swear to God!” in about every third sentence.
Another habit Wedgie had was that he spit everywhere. He was sure it made him look manly and it was a way of showing his dominance and disdain for everybody around him. Marking his territory, if you will.
The first four years of Wedgie’s academic career were unremarkable. He was lost in the herd.
By the beginning of fourth grade little Wedgie started to stand out. The social worker said he had Oppositional Defiant Disorder. His teachers said he was just being a Stubert. Wedgie did not complete assignments. His teachers passed him hoping the herd effect would pull him along. Besides, having him in the classroom was exhausting and the teachers the next grade up might be able to do something with him.
He graduated with a solid D- GPA. He was happy. He considered school to be a waste of life’s energy and in his mind there was no benefit to getting a D when a D- was good enough. It must be noted in passing that he graduated with lower reading ability and math skills than when he left third grade.
The economy was hot when Wedgie graduated and he drifted from job-to-job, getting “released” for an enterprising range of bad behaviors. Sometimes he was caught rifling through a co-worker’s purse. Sometimes it was taking fast-food home that he had not paid for. Sometimes it was for dealing a little bit of weed out the back door.
Once he was caught removing safety shields from mowing equipment. The boss told him to put them back on. Later that day the boss saw the mower had all the safety shielding removed. When challenged, Wedgie said it was like that when he picked it up in the morning.
Of course he was fired and, of course, the employer could not find the shields because Wedgie was smart enough to hide the evidence by throwing them into tall weeds. The employer lost the use of the mower for most of the season because the replacement parts were back-ordered. There are many, many Wedgie Stubert clones in every community and represented a profitable business segment for the mower's manufacturer.
Wedgie was not the least bit conflicted by authority. He expected to get screwed by them so he always made sure he got in his licks in preemptively.
Wedgie knew that everything authority figures wanted him to do was going to be to his disadvantage and he automatically did everything in his power to derail their efforts. It was a stupid-simple optimization strategy.
Nothing changed for Wedgie with Ebola.
The first time he was entrusted to use the chainsaw Wedgie deliberately bent the bar so the crew could go home early.
He lost steel wedges every day.
He broke sledge handles.
Within a week the only job he was trusted with was to hump firewood, and even then he had to stack it on his own, personal pile because the straw-boss could see Wedgie was malingering and not carrying his fair share.
Wedgie was booted from woodcutting the second week when the straw-boss caught him pitching chunks of wood from the main pile into his own personal pile.
Deprived of gainful employment, Wedgie sponged off his mother, who still “liked to have a good time” even though she looked fifty when she was only thirty-five. There were always guys who didn’t care what she looked like as long as she turned off the lights.
Initially the oldest profession did well, post-Ebola. Families were shattered. Lives were stressful. Men sought solace where they could find it and paid for it with whatever they could.
One of Ms Stubert’s customers paid her with a fake Rolex watch and left her with a whacking big dose of Ebola virus.
Ms Stubert shared the virus with her entire family, including Wedgie.
It was a point of pride for Wedgie that he violated the curfew. He and his buds would pillage vacant home looking for money, food and drugs. Some of his friends had girl friends and they weren’t very discriminating after they passed out. It was party-time every night of the week.
Like a comedy sketch of a bowling ball that knocked down every pin in the bowling alley, Wedgie’s sloven habits, indiscriminate mating and exuberant and juicy expectorating not only infected all of his “buds” but resulted in the near extinction of their extended families.
For the most part the families that met their demise did not contribute much to the economy, either before or after Ebola. There were a few exceptions. One family had the misfortune of having their daughter going through a phase where she flirted with the bad-boys; her therapist called it the ‘Leader of the Pack’ stage of life. Unfortunately the phase happened EXACTLY when Ebola hit Wedgie’s posse like a torpedo.
But for the most part Wedgie’s gift took out the grifters, the drunks, the slatterns, the lazy and stupid.
By the time Ebola burned out in Kates Store and Pray Church they had both lost another third of their population. The net effect was to raise the average IQ by five points and wiped out the sub-90 skirt of the bell curve.
The people who Ebola culled from the gene pool were the same people who sowed the seeds of chaos and discord due to their insatiable envy, inherent suspicions and their instinctive opposition to every rule.