Once upon a time, we thought this kind of thing was confined to the nutcases you met in regular life.
You think you know someone. You hang out, exchange emails. Make a few jokes. Maybe you work with them. Then, one day, out of the blue, you discover they are a firm believer in the upcoming zombie apocalypse. Or the next Messiah.
Even better, they are the new Messiah.
I lived in Jerusalem for almost 9 years. Big surprise, you meet a lot of people who are sure they are Jesus Christ come back to finish his work on Earth. One of them worked at the local pizza joint and seemed normal, until in the middle of a casual conversation, he would drop a bomb about his mission. And there you were, transported to wacko central. But he made pretty good pizza.
I had a casual friend who was a piano player. He sang and played at fancy hotel bars, like the Hilton Hotel. He was an American, so it was inevitable we would meet. We struck up a little chatty relationship. One night, he called and invited me over. He had something important to tell me.
Important? Our relationship consisted of reminiscing about life in the U.S. in the 1960s — and I’d done his horoscope. I was (coincidentally) the astrology columnist and managing editor of a short-lived English-language weekly. Please, let’s not discuss astrology or my psychic abilities (or lack thereof). You don’t want to know and I don’t want to tell you.
Having nothing better to do at the time, I walked over to his house (just around the corner) and we got to talking. Suddenly, I knew. He was going to tell me:
- He was an alien and came from on another planet — or galaxy.
- He was Jesus Christ.
The latter. Jesus again. He wanted me, because of my brilliant psychic abilities, to be Paul and spread the word. I worked very hard to tell him that his timing was off and I would be sure to advise him when the right moment arrived. Then I fled into the night and home. He was one of several people who convinced me there was no future for me in the psychically predictive arts.
Now, the people who run our government … the government of The United States of America … are as fruit-loopy as anyone I’ve met in my travels through the years. I don’t know whether to laugh, cry, or do both at the same time … but I am absolutely certain of one thing.
I need a good, sturdy, tinfoil hat.
Then there was the guy I worked with at one or another of the many high-tech companies at which I was employed, who one day informed me of his intention to quit his job and move to an underground bunker. In anticipation of the upcoming apocalypse. Not zombie. Regular. I hadn’t even done his horoscope. It turns out he may have been more right than I possibly understood at the time.
So it’s not the weird people you bump into at work or at the grocery or pizza joint. It’s your government. My government. The big one. With all the money. And nuclear bombs and rockets and an army and Lunatic Numero Uno is at the very top of this.
Does he have a good aluminum foil hat? Could that be the problem?
The thing about people who believe in cabals, believe they came on an alien space craft, or will be leaving on one shortly, is you can’t argue with them. They believe what they believe. Absolutely. Don’t bother with facts, their minds are made up. What if they think I am one of their (many, many, many) enemies? Pass the aluminum foil. I need a another hat.
NOTE: Buy the super long roll of foil. The ultra strong stuff. Better hats.