Sunday, April 03, 2016
The End is Near Again
A fellow, who we will call Mr A, came into my bike shop the other day to buy a rack for his bicycle. I have known this guy for a couple of years. Mr A is definitely a citizen of the fringes. I like him, but his take on Life is different than anything I could have come up with. When we share topics regarding bikes, he is as normal and mainstream as the next guy. When he expands the conversation with lead ins like, "Do you believe in UFOs?" - Well, I know what follows will at the least be entertaining and sometimes scary.
This visit when the bike topics had been worn out, he blurted, "I suffer from insomnia."
Oh boy, here we go. I braced myself. "Uh, yeah, I seemed to have picked up that bad habit recently myself."
He looked at me. It seemed he was pleased that we shared more than just an interest in bicycles.
"Well, I decided to drive out to Colorado to try some medicinal marijuana to see if it would help me sleep." He quickly added, "Not to get high, just looking for some help."
I stood there nonplussed looking for something to say. "Jeez, Mr A, you can get pot anywhere nowadays, and besides from my own experience, I have had mixed results from smoking doob for insomnia."
"It would be illegal for me to smoke it here."
Again I was nonplussed and said nothing.
Mr A then proceeds to give me his blow by blow account of his trip out to Colorado. A mechanical failure in Iowa, how amazed he was that Fly Over country was so flat, and then his negative experience with weed out in Denver. Turned out, it didn't help him sleep. It made him even more hyper.
It became apparent he was just leading up to what he really wanted to talk about.
"While I was driving, I listened to talk radio and what I heard was disturbing."
Something told me to end the conversation, but he had laid a skillful trap of engagement. "Disturbing?"
Mr A then started in on the latest end of Life prediction tearing up the internet periphery.
Apparently some retired military guy who ran a top secret military operation dealing with psychic phenomenon informed his late night audience that he and his team had developed a technique to see the future. And the future, specifically the near future, is not good. Super Solar Flares will envelope the planet sometime late this year or early 2017.
The world wide grid will go down. Starvation, Disease, Anarchy, Marshall Law and planet wide wars will collide resulting in a loss of over 6.5 billion lives leaving only a few green pockets of livable space in which to continue our existence on the planet.
Mr A finished with, "Does knowing this bother you?"
The intense look on his face stifled any thought I had of laughing. I stayed silent.
I did not think a man's eyes could open any wider than his were then, Yet, he managed to bug them out even further. He leaned forward across the counter. "Well ...... Does it?" He wanted an answer. And from the contorted shape of his face, I knew that if I wanted to end this conversation sooner than later, I better say the right thing.
"Uh, well no, I guess it doesn't." As it turned out, I nailed the response to safely end this out of control conversation.
Mr A's eyes went from madman amazement to madman evil guy, all squinty and lips curled. ( Okay, so maybe his face was not that crazed, but at the time, his face was a scary place to visit). He shook his head and said quietly, "It should bother you. Solar flares are real." He grabbed the rack he had bought and walked out.
I watched him cross the parking lot and climb into his beat and dented 1990-something Saturn. Smoke billowed from his exhaust when he cranked it over. Backing out, his power steering pump squealed like a pig when he turned the steering wheel. As he drove past, he tossed a disgusted look at me through the door of the bike shop. And then he was gone. Just the stink of an engine not combusting probably left to remind me of his visit.
It's days like these at the bike shop that are the whipped cream on top of the joy of retail.