Why are characters stupid?

The morning was cold and dreary and my eyes felt glued shut by sleep… why do I call it “sleep,” you ask? I guess it’s just a familial colloquialism passed down. I just looked it up. It’s actually called “rheum”? Interesting. Anyways, I feel like we take a really good night’s sleep for granted. The type of sleep, where the void swallows you up and you don’t feel a thing and you aren’t disturbed by dreams. The perfect mattress helps. And warm, soft bedding. How lucky we are to have such possessions… I convinced one of my close friends to go ice skating with me this morning. It’s early, but it’s worth it. I don’t roll out of bed before 8:00 AM if I can help it.

I’m not sure what was said to lead the conversation, but on our walk, she turned to me and asked, “Why the heck do characters try to outrun a falling tree? Just step to the side! It makes no sense!”

“I don’t know,” I said with slurred speech, “perhaps I’ll write a scene where my characters realize the asininity of outrunning a tree.”

“I’d like that,” she said.

I continued my thought, “But I’d have to prepare the readers for it. Allude to it at the beginning, you know? Like, oh! we must avoid this really horrendous accident, or not make this dumb mistake. To make the avoidance of the falling tree significant.”

“I just like humorous interjections in writing. Gives it a nice flavor.”