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You Can't Make It Up
You Can't Make This Up

Most people consider themselves capable of getting through the day without making any seriously stupid mistakes. Some people are supremely confident that the foibles that trip up other people could never happen to them. They're secretly (or not so secretly) sure that if they were running the world, it would be a better place.

The truth is everyone does dumb things sometimes. Some are worse than others, but some are downright colossal. Of course, that's never happened to me (LOL). But it seems to be happening to a lot of other people lately.

Robert Durst

Let's call it "Ronald Reagan Revisited." Not realizing he was wearing a microphone that was still live, Durst unwittingly recorded an apparent confession to three murders that investigators have been trying to pin on him for years. He was in the men's room at the time, having just completed taping for the sixth and final episode of HBO's documentary, The Jinx: The Life and Deaths of Robert Durst. Durst is now in state prison in New Orleans awaiting transfer to Los Angeles to face murder charges. Lesson One: Make sure the microphone is actually off before you say out loud what you're really thinking. Lesson Two: Muttering in restrooms can lead to unintended consequences.

The Secret Service

It's hard to know where to begin on this one. Since Julia Pierson resigned as Director of the Secret Service in October, after a string of security breaches that peaked with a madman jumping the White House fence and running straight into the East Room without interference, the dumb things the service is capable of doing has once again surpassed all previous records. The ramifications are still unfolding. Not only did two senior agents crash a government car into a White House barricade at the end of a night of partying on March 4, they rolled into a site where a suspicious package, alleged to be a bomb, was in the process of being investigated by the police. Compounding matters, the security supervisor on duty ordered officers to let the agents go home instead of arresting them. We have better security at Marcum's reception desk.

Laser Loser

What genius would willingly, knowingly engage in behavior with a better-than-even chance of causing an airplane catastrophe? Frank Egan of the Bronx, that's who. Egan was arrested last week for flashing laser beams into the eyes of pilots approaching landing at LaGuardia Airport in New York City. Sadly, he's not the only person obsessed with this sick pastime; officials across the country are flummoxed by an apparent rash of laser beaming. But Egan was the only one dumb enough to get caught in the act by the very pilots he was targeting. He was outsmarted by two police helicopter aviators who were able to follow the beam directly to Frank's apartment window and call it in. Lights out, Frank.

Selfie Queen

We've all heard of dumb thieves before, the ones who help themselves to leftovers before clearing out and leave saliva and fingerprint samples for the police. There was one on Long Island a couple of weeks ago who used a Walgreens photo machine to snap a bunch of selfies and then left them behind when she ran out of the store without paying. The selfie is now on the wanted poster. Say cheese, brainiac.

Ok, so none of these masterminds is a candidate for a Darwin Award, which is reserved for those who do society the favor of permanently removing themselves from the gene pool. But they are all eligible for the Jeffrey Weiner You Get What You Deserve Awards, which recognize the accomplishments of people who can't get out of their own way. There are prospective winners walking the streets every day.

Have a great weekend, everybody.

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The opinions expressed in this column are solely those of Jeffrey M. Weiner and do not represent those of Marcum LLP, its partners or its employees.

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