Every time I fly and hear the flight attendant telling passengers how to operate a seat belt, I wonder how low the stupidity bar has been set in this country.

Then, this weekend, when I filled my gas tank, I noticed a new sign with instructions on using the nozzle: “Insert and compress, tilt, pump.” What are the chances someone who doesn’t already know how to operate the mechanism would understand what “insert and compress” means?

It’s like that reminder on an envelope to “affix stamp here.” If you’re not aware of the fact that you have to put a stamp on your mail, it seems unlikely you’ll know the definition of “affix.”

Meanwhile, somewhere in America, a driver is standing next to his car after inserting, compressing, tilting, and pumping. He’s bewildered at what to do next because there’s no sign telling him to put the nozzle back in the pump and give someone else a turn.