Is it just me, or is the number of crazy people in public becoming disproportionately high? I don’t mean crazy as in, “You’re crazy if you think Seattle has a shot at winning the Super Bowl,” but flat-out, tinfoil-hat crazy. The kind of crazy that usually necessitates a state-funded helper. What my people sometimes refer to as “meshugge.” They’re out there, all right. Even though they once amused me with their maniacal laughter and lack of bladder control, the crazy people are now multiplying, and it’s starting to scare me.

I should probably be careful, as even the word “crazy” is no longer safe from the politically correct whitewash. I’m told that, with proper medication, mental illness is no big deal, and, unless we’re referring to Tourette’s Syndrome, it’s not worth shouting over. Well, I’m as PC as the next guy; I hardly ever make Latinos perform the Mexican Hat Dance at gunpoint. But I call bullshit on that. I know people don’t choose to be crazy, but I have to think that they could funnel their extra energy into, say, macaroni-based art instead of mutilating themselves with razors. You know, if they wanted to.

Maybe it’s just a matter of perspective. I happen to live in Toronto, Canada, a city so dull that nearby cities sometimes get sucked into a geographical vortex of blandness. So yeah, Detroit is partially our fault. Sorry. But against such a monotonous backdrop, the insane may simply stand out more than usual. A lot of you probably know one or two Canadians who you suspect of insanity. And there’s probably a guy from your dorm that goes outside in sub-zero weather in a t-shirt, saying that he’s used to it because he’s from Canada. In case you didn’t know already, this guy isn’t really crazy, he’s just a harmless douche risking hypothermia and impressing exactly nobody.

But that doesn’t change the fact that the crazies are taking over my hometown. Last Saturday, one of my friends was celebrating a birthday, so, for reasons as of yet unknown, we went to a bar that sometimes caters to an older clientele. And by “older,” I mean “threw-panties-at-Tom-Jones-in-the 70’s.” The place was pretty full, and we found ourselves in the very back, unfortunately blocking, for all intents and purposes, the little hallway that leads to the bathrooms. So, we had to contend with a lot of shifting and moving out of the way. It was a bit of a pain, but nothing that unusual for a crowded bar.

I was chatting with an attractive girl I know from high school and her equally-attractive friend when this batshit crazy woman marched up and started laying into us for standing where we were. Seriously, she was unstoppable. According to this woman, blocking the hallway was a sin roughly equivalent to overturning a bus full of crippled orphans onto a burning Bible factory while wearing a diaper fashioned out of the American flag. She was definitely on the less attractive side of forty years old, and while I admired her effort to recapture lost youth with extra makeup, I’d have been a lot more impressed if she didn’t just cut a wide path through a crowded bar using a cloud of her own billowing crazy. Oh sure, it would have been easy enough to dismiss the incident as the ramblings of yet another drunken cougar. But her eyes, caked in mascara and twitching nervously, told a different tale. Anyway, we were all too gobsmacked to say anything, but we had a little giggle and thought that was the end of it. But on her way back, she resumed her tirade, at which point I felt I had to step in.

I pointed out, trying to be diplomatic in case she was carrying pepper spray, or a bottle of her own urine, that the bar was in fact crowded, and if some people are in some other people’s way, then that’s really okay—all you have to do is ask politely for them to move and they will. It’s really the sort of minor social interaction that sane people have everyday. Engaging this lunatic woman in a dialogue may have been a mistake, but she registered what I said with surprise and confusion. Then she began to call me a “f****t” with surpassing volume and intensity. I responded in kind by pointing out her cougarish tendencies, and suggesting that she might feel more at home at the hotel bar inside the Marriott. She withdrew a short time after that, still belligerently questioning my sexual orientation. I guess I’ll never know why she chose to harp on that. Most gay guys I know are thin, single, and neat these days; I’m becoming less and less of all three.

I could have dismissed this as a random incident, but just the other day I was on my way to work, when a demented homeless guy began screaming at the top of his lungs about all kinds of racist stuff. It was a little hard to follow. But mostly, he was screaming about black people. It was more than a little disturbing, considering I was walking alongside and chatting amiably with a black co-worker at the time. I mean, how do you handle that situation with grace? I can’t think of anything I could have done, and yet I still feel like I should have apologized. If not for the abusive guy, then at least for slavery, or The Dukes of Hazzard… something anyway. But I digress.

I wasn’t nearly as prepared to engage this guy in conversation as I was the crazy woman from the bar, and I hope you take that as a sign of my cowardice rather than some sort of racial prejudice, because this dude had the crazy meter turned all the way up. But part of me still wonders how a crazy guy like that could be left unsupervised in public. Did he just snap recently? Did he escape from some kind of rubber room? Was I, the newest Points in Case celebrity, being punked by celebrity prankster Ashton Kutcher?

Maybe he wasn’t crazy at all. It’s entirely possible that he had a legitimate grievance against black people. God knows I haven’t forgiven Eddie Murphy for the direction his career has taken. First, there was his hilarious musical album in which listeners were mostly encouraged to fellate Eddie Murphy. Then, the pre-op hooker incident. Finally, he released a string of movies (Dr. Doolittle, Holy Man, Pluto Nash, etc.) so appalling that each should have come with a handwritten apology and a coupon for a free rental of 48 Hours or Beverly Hills Cop. But anyway, the critical difference is, I don’t scream about my declining respect for Eddie Murphy in the middle of a crowded sidewalk, because I’m not insane. This guy, however, clearly fell out of the crazy tree and hit every branch on the way down.

I don’t know what it’s like in your city. Maybe you have men in white uniforms chasing after straight-jacketed, wild-haired nutjobs. Maybe they even carry long nets, and the song from the Benny Hill show plays in the background as they give chase. All I know for certain is, the damn crazies need to be stopped. And that means taking on the government, because I’m starting to think the conspiracy theorists were right all long.

Some might say that the idea of a covert government moon base broadcasting “crazy” brainwave signals into our heads is completely ridiculous. Those pussies are in denial. Still others might say, “My god. Tell me more about this moon base!” And to those people, I'd say, “Oh, man—it's so totally awesome! All the rooms are made of delicious candy, and the secret mind wave generator is powered by green-skinned, semi-naked moon girls perpetually running on oversized hamster wheels! The point is, craziness is on the rise, and people need to know it.

So the next time you run into a random incoherent lunatic, feel free to follow my example and try to get to the bottom of their psychotic behavior. Make sure to keep an eye out for antennae that might be picking up signals from outer space. At worst, you’ll have to make a run for it. At best, you’ll be doing the sane world a favor by gathering information about the growing threat, and maybe you’ll be invited to share some of his or her delightful medication to boot.

Essential New Word of the Week:
snusk /‘snUsk/ n: The name given to a new food that has been invented or conceived purely out of boredom, or by accident. The original snusk came about when a group of bored, and yet surprisingly creative friends began to rummage in the kitchen, and came upon a jar of that marshmallow fluff that is sometimes used as a sundae topping. One thing led to another, and it was decided that this marshmallow fluff was to be put into a blender along with some fresh blueberries, to see if blueberry marshmallow topping could be generated. The result was, predictably, disgusting. But, with the addition of a bag of powdered sugar, snusk was born. The inventors surely felt as proud as Thomas Edison when he invented electricity. And why was this heavenly concoction deemed “snusk”? All I can say is, if you saw it, you would understand. No other cluster of letters could possible suffice. It simply was, and forever shall be, snusk.


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