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John thinks I'm a space alien

mcgrew (92797) writes | about a year ago

User Journal 10

Back by popular demand...

"Hi, Steve, how ya doin?" Ruthie said as she got a mug out of the freezer.

"Hi, Ruthie. Pretty good, except I don't think I'll ever get that book finished. I keep finding mistakes," I said as I sat down next to Crazy John and pulled out my wallet. Ruthie handed me the beer she'd just poured.

"Computer's battery died so I thought I'd get a beer or two while it was charging," I said.

Back by popular demand...

"Hi, Steve, how ya doin?" Ruthie said as she got a mug out of the freezer.

"Hi, Ruthie. Pretty good, except I don't think I'll ever get that book finished. I keep finding mistakes," I said as I sat down next to Crazy John and pulled out my wallet. Ruthie handed me the beer she'd just poured.

"Computer's battery died so I thought I'd get a beer or two while it was charging," I said.

Crazy John really is insane; he suffers from schizophrenia and its delusions. They tell me he used to be really intelligent, but one night he was beaten, robbed, and thrown in a dumpster and left for dead. He was never the same afterwards.

John's passion is his main delusion - that he was once abducted by space aliens and that space aliens have infiltrated our world. I try to debunk the poor fellow's insane ramblings with scientific facts. I've explained how Einstein had worked out relativity and the cosmic constant, that the faster you go the slower time goes and there's no way to go faster than light, obviously not mentioning space warping which some theorize might someday get us past that hurdle. He talks of Area 51 and I respond with how unlikely that even if there were space aliens, they wouldn't be the least bit humanoid. In fact, that's where the idea behind Little Green Men came from -- talking with Crazy John.

He gave me a pointed look, and by that I mean he actually pointed at me. "I know who you are!" he said sternly.

I was amused. "Of course you do, John, I've been drinking with you for years!" pretending to not know what he was talking about. He changed the subject. Sort of.

"Where did that face on Mars come from?" he asked.

I groaned; not this nonsense again. "It's a trick of the light and where the position of the camera is, John. Other photos of the same rock show that it doesn't really look anything like a human face. It's the same with the Martian bunny rabbit."

"What bunny rabbit?"

"There's a rock one of the robot rovers took a picture of that, from the angle it's taken, looks just like a rodent. There are a lot of other things like that."

I tried to explain the concept of Pareidolia to him, pointing out so-called images of the virgin Mary made from rust running down overpasses and things, but he would have none of it and simply changed the subject again. "There is one thing that will go faster than light," he said. "Human telepathy!"

I rolled my eyes. "Show me some proof of telepathy's existence, John. If you can show me someone who can read my mind or even some biology that shows it's possible I'll believe it. But I've seen no documentation of anyone actually being able to do it."

I finished the mug and put it and another buck and a quarter on the bar, and Ruthie poured another beer. John got a weird look on his face and wandered off.

Good, I'd had enough crazy for one day.

Ruthie shook her head sadly. "Poor guy," she said.

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That's sad (1)

GameboyRMH (1153867) | about a year ago | (#43988273)

Lemme guess, the space aliens took his wallet and left him in a dumpster and covered in "probe marks" :-(

Re:That's sad (1)

mcgrew (92797) | about a year ago | (#43989735)

No, I'm guessing that there were no "probe marks", just broken bones, bruises, and brain damage. He never talked about the beating and robbery, I heard about that from others.

It's not uncommon in that neighborhood. One young girl lost an eye in a beating, when I met her she was sporting an empty eye socket. You don't want to ever see that! She has a glass eye now, they held a benefit fund raiser to pay for a glass eye. The saddest part was it was mistaken identity, they weren't beating who they thought they were beating.

There's a lot of violence and misery in the world.

Beautiful! (1)

KGIII (973947) | about a year ago | (#43989633)

I love those sorts of stories. I live vicariously through you. ;) Well, not really, I got tired of the insanity and moved a long ways into the country where there's a different type of insanity so, well, at least it is different. Additionally, I sent you a response via email. It is, obviously, neither hugely important nor any great rush.

Back to the topic at hand...

It is interesting to read about the people that you interact with. For a while there was a Debbie (I think that was her name) whom I was pretty sure was going to be the death of you. Well, if not your death than your eventual final straw as you slipped into into an insanity that was so overwhelming that there would be no return.

Either way, your narrative was amusing and I am grateful. It seems as if your writing style has improved over time. It is, for lack of a better word, more fluid. It is easier to read as it flows together nicely. You're truly a gifted word smith. You're hammering out works of art with a style that is your own. You remind me a bit of Niven or, maybe, Piers Anthony's science fiction work (not his fantasy stuff, that's just dumbed down work for people in their early teens but his actual science fiction stuff was VERY good) but you're still uniquely you which isn't something easy to do. I can't wait until your finished work is out (unless I missed something and you have some) so that I can see if you're able to maintain that same flowing sense throughout a novel-length work.

Re:Beautiful! (1)

mcgrew (92797) | about a year ago | (#43994019)

I got the email, not in a hurry, though. I'm still not quite satisfied with the book. Will answer the email soon.

The lady I've been seeing lately is sane and normal, which would make boring reading. She's a widow 3 years younger than me.

I guess the more anybody does anything the better they get at it. I have to keep telling myself that those who think I suck just don't finish reading and move on, I think you guys think I'm better than I really am. I guess if I win a Hugo I'll finally believe I'm good, it's impossible to judge one's own work.

I just try to write what I'd want to read myself.

Re:Beautiful! (1)

KGIII (973947) | about a year ago | (#43998531)

I don't know if we're exaggerating your skills... I haven't commented much in years (not even much on the main page) but I get a little notification on the main page when you've authored a new journal entry and I tend to read those though not always if they're long and part of a series. So, yeah, I think I'm not the most skilled but I'm probably a good enough judge for this and I think you're quite good.

Re:Beautiful! (1)

mcgrew (92797) | about a year ago | (#44001207)

I'm on your "friends" list so you should get a heads up and a link to the journal in your "messages" notification.

Re:Beautiful! (1)

KGIII (973947) | about a year ago | (#44004035)

Yip. You're one of the more prolific of the people on my friends list at least as far as journals writing goes.

What an embarassing pile of crap! (0)

cyborg_monkey (150790) | about a year ago | (#43996979)

Popular demand? Who would want to read this inane blathering?

Enjoyable (1)

chill (34294) | about a year ago | (#44020833)

I've enjoyed the writings as well. If nothing else these bit have taught me to stay the hell out of Springfield, IL!

I agree with KGill that your writing has improved and is more fluid and readable. How many edits do you make to entries like this before you post them?

Good stuff, and I'm definitely interested in reading the book when you're finished.

Re:Enjoyable (1)

mcgrew (92797) | about a year ago | (#44021083)

Well, the more you do of anything the better you usually get at it. As to edits, it depends on the story. I went through this one four or five times before I was satisfied, a longer one would take more editing. I have yet to go through Nobots once without changing something. The last time I went through it there were only two minor changes. My goal is to go through it five times without changing anything.

I've been spending almost all of my free time and some of my not so free time on it; "I look at he floor and I see it needs sweeping. Still, my guitar gently weeps." I think I'll hire some poor person to clean up my filthy house, paid a fellow from Felbers the last time my yard was bad enough I feared a letter from the city.

Springfield is like Florida -- nice place to visit but you wouldn't want to live there. When I retire next year I'll probably move back down to the St. Louis area, I have family and old friends I've known for decades living there.

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