I think that we all have seen or known of at least one certifiably crazy person in our lives. If we are lucky (or unlucky, depending on your point of view), there may be more of them. So what defines “crazy?”
I’ll tell you this–if you have a ton of money, your kind of crazy is re-labeled as “eccentric.” Eccentric people may do things like leave 2 trillion dollars to their cat, Ponce de Leon Fluffington the First. Eccentric people may fill their 20 million dollar outside pool with raspberry jello just for the fun of it. They may also invite 2,000 total strangers to a mystery boat cruise, and end the evening by setting the ship on fire, forcing all to jump over the side, where several rescue boats have quietly gathered. That’s the fun of being eccentric.
But if you’re poor and do crazy things, you’re just, well–crazy. You may not be able to afford the kind of big show the eccentric can put on, but you can still do stuff that’s bat crap crazy. Some examples I’ve heard about are these:
- A man fell in love with a woman who was already engaged. He showed up at their apartment (yup, she and her fiance were already living together), ring in hand, begging her to leave her intended and marry him instead. She listened politely (the fiance even left the room to let them have their moment), thanked him for his offer and kindly turned him down. Big surprise.
- Just this past weekend, two tourists walked downtown in the little (and quite conservative) town in which I grew up on Lake Winnipesaukee. Which would have been just fine if they hadn’t been wearing thong bathing suits. Yep, I mean jiggling bum cheeks hanging right out there out in the wind. While this would not be a big deal on the Riviera or Malibu, it would brand you forever as a social pariah in NH. (But if you’re a tourist, it doesn’t count; you can just take your bum cheeks back home.)
- I used to work with a woman in TX who had a few “out there” friends. One of them was, to put it kindly, nuttier than squirrel poo. She had a cat who had had a gum disease, causing it to have to have a number of teeth removed by the vet. The cat managed quite well with its remaining teeth, but the owner (Squirrel Poo) felt that the cat would look better with–wait for it–false teeth. I wish I were kidding about this. The good news is that the vet flatly refused to do it. The bad news is that the owner couldn’t see a thing wrong with asking.
- When I was in college in the early ’70s, the hippie movement was still alive and well. Although I majored in English, I sang in several choirs, so I was friends with a lot of music majors. A few people I knew got married and had children. It being the “summer of love,” some couples really got into the movement and came up with some unusual names for their offspring. The one that still sticks in my mind is “Wolf Starblanket,” I kid you not. I have to wonder how that child made it through grade school, never mind LIFE, with a handle like that.
So there you have it, and call it what you will. You can be “nutty” or “crazy” or “loony” or “barking mad,” as the Brits say. But in my way of thinking, as long as someone else’s crazy doesn’t spill over on me, and they’re not armed, just walk away. Let them go on the Crazy Train without me. Heaven knows there’s plenty of company for them!