Thursday, June 07, 2012

Strange Encounters of the Chicago Kind

Walking down Halsted street today just south of Diversey. What's that booming noise I hear? There's a fire station across the street from me and outside of the fire station there is a young fireman pounding on a giant tire (off a fire truck I presume) with a sledge hammer. This looks very hard and I guess this is how firemen workout. Or receive punishment.

Having made my purchases at the Home Depot I'm walking back the way I came. A new noise but the same tire. This time a fireman is lifting the tire onto one edge and flipping it over again and again like a giant coin. This also looks hard and that it would be quite a work out. I'm dying to say, "Looks like you're getting TIRED - get it"? I refrain, for once listening to the little good sense voice in my head. However, there is another civilian ahead also watching the workout. When I reach her I deliver my oh so clever line, "That looks TIRING, doesn't it? Get it?" I smile.

"I think he needs a psychiatrist", she responds and she is not smiling

"Looks like a pretty good work out to me."

"He probably can't even touch his toes." Is she getting angry with me?

"Well, as long as he can carry babies out of burning buildings", I counter. She is getting actually pissed at me now I can tell. Why?

"Babies aren't that heavy anyway". She's oh so clever but I'm up to the task.

"Ok then, I want him to be able to carry ME out of a burning building". Check and mate?

"He'd probably hit your head on a door and you'd need stitches" - visibly pissed at me now.

"But I'd rather have stitches than burn up, right?" MATE!

She gives me the talk to the hand signal and shaking her head she continues north on Halsted while I head down Diversey. What the hell just happened? Was it the substance of the argument itself or the fact that someone kept shoving logic in her face and it countered what she was already thinking.

Sound familiar? I think we've all had the experience of presenting perfectly logical arguments to a theist (in this case maybe a crazy person but what's the real difference?) and have those arguments get nowhere AND really piss them off. Sometimes it makes me feel bad but most of the time I just figure that that is a price you're going to have to pay for hanging onto magical thinking. You cannot support it or defend it with logic and actually I'm ok with that. If it helps you get through that scary dark night I say use it. But, when you're challenged to defend it maybe just say, "I can't use logic. I just prefer to think this way".

Hey, it's America and you think think anyway you want but just don't expect the entire country to be with you. Don't expect all of America to believe in your invisible friends just because you think it's such a great idea. Keep it as your own little secret and enjoy your freedom. Why isn't that enough?

1 comment:

Rich Pope said...

Excelent and funny! Thanks.