2002.08.21 A time for wackos

Written by David Green.

By DAVID GREEN

My wife is a wacko. She can make time stop.

Relatively speaking, she’s not very wacky at all compared to some other people I’ve read about, but still, she could earn her place on the Weird Science web page.

That’s where people write in about their odd experiences, wacky observations and rather odd skills and abilities. Weird science originator William Beatty says that this is the place to report unusual phenomena.

He helps people overcome their reluctance to looking like a wacko with these words: “Have you ever experienced a bizarre and inexplicable event? Well, you’re not alone.”

Certainly not. There are dozens and dozens of people who experience really strange situations. And just to let you know how serious they are, sometimes there will be a parenthetical statement such as the one offered by Jim of Wyandotte, Okla.: “(Oh yeah, no booze and no dope.)”

Mr. Beatty has the reports separated into categories such as these: electrified people; unusual weather; vanishing/appearing objects; ball lightning; evil events; unusual weather; and the Hum.

I really enjoy reading through these reports. I like them right from the start, with openings such as these:

“I talk to dead people in my dreams.”

“As far back as I can remember, I controlled the weather.”

“I can see the atoms that make up light and sound.”

“I would like to start out by saying that though I did worship a demon, I don't do it anymore.”

“Does anyone remember a dream from their childhood in which a big tree seems to be full of inflated plastic owls?”

“I was in my garden with my wife when small objects fell from the sky. These objects, looked  like baked beans in size and color, but were hard like a nut. P.S. I am not a nutter.”

“I stumbled upon this site while looking up information on lightning bugs.”

“I so glad that I found this web site, I thought I was the only one.”

One of the most interesting topics is about the many people who make streetlights go out as they walk or drive underneath.

The host cautions that lights often turn themselves off and on when they overheat, and also that some systems have timers that turn lights off and on randomly every few minutes to save energy. “Beware,” he writes, “it’s easy to fool yourself into thinking that you have a mysterious effect on streetlights.”

The real test, he says, is if they go off in sequence as you pass, or if they turn off only while standing directly underneath. Apparently, there are a lot of people who have this ability.

When I call people like these wackos, I’m not showing any disdain for their condition. It’s all in good fun. I’d call myself a wacko if I made light bulbs burn out when I touched them or if I continually dreamed the future or if was always seeing energy force fields. They’re just wacky experiences that some people have.

I’ll call my wife a wacko because she can’t wear a watch with a battery without killing it off. I asked for details and she fetched a small watch.

“If I wear this, it will stop working before long,” she said.

Some of the people I read about have explanations for their electrical problems. One guy writes that he used to stick his finger into empty Christmas tree light sockets and he enjoyed holding onto electric fences. Diapers fit into these stories occasionally.

“When I was a child I stuck a fork in a light socket and I had wet diapers on at the time.”

“When I was a toddler, I stuck a metal object into the electrical socket and was thrown across the room. Had my diaper been wet, the doctor said I would have not survived the incident.”

I questioned my wife about wet diapers and electrical accidents. I was looking for some explanation for her battery problems, but she was only looking out for her self-esteem. She knew I was writing this column.

“You aren’t trying to make me sound like a wacko, are you?”

Hmmmm…funny she would choose the word “wacko.”

    – Aug. 21, 2002 
  • Cecil
    THE MAYOR—Cecil Schoonover poses with a collection of garden gnomes that mysteriously arrive and disappear from his property. Along with the gnomes, someone created the sign stating that he is the Mayor of Gnomesville. He hasn’t yet tracked down the people involved in the prank, but he’s having a good time with the mystery.
  • Front.rest
    TAKE A BREAK—Last Wednesday’s session of Stair District Library’s Summer Reading Program ended with a quiet period in a class presented by yoga instructor Melany Gladieux of Toledo. Children learned a variety of yoga poses in the main room at the library, then finished off the session relaxing. Additional photos are on page 7. Area children are invited to visit the library today when the Michigan Science Center presents a flight program at 11 a.m. and roller coasters at 1 p.m.
  • Front.batter
    THE DERBY—Tyler “Smallpox” Flakne of Minnesota’s Home Run League All-Stars goes for the fence Friday night during the National Wiffle League Association’s home run derby in Morenci. This year the wiffleball national tournament moved from Dublin, Ohio, to Morenci’s Wakefield Park. During the derby, competitors had two minutes to hit as many home runs as possible. The winner this year finished with 21. See page 6 and 7 for additional photos.
  • Front.green Screen
    OUT OF THIS WORLD—Elizabeth McFadden and Elise Christle pose in front of the green screen as VolunTeen Noah Gilson makes them appear as though they are standing on the Moon. More photos from the Stair District Library’s NASA @ My Library program are on page 12.
  • Front.snake
    Lannis Smith of the Leslie Science and Nature Center in Ann Arbor shows off a python last week at Stair District Library's Summer Reading Program.
  • Front.fireworks
    FIREWORKS erupt Saturday night over Morenci’s Wakefield Park during the waning hours of the Town and Country Festival. Additional festival photos are inside.
  • Pipeline Spread
    LINED UP—Lengths of pipe were put in place last week along the route of the Rover natural gas pipeline that will stretch from Defiance, Ohio, to Ontario, Canada. Topsoil was removed before the pipes were laid out. The 42-inch diameter pipeline is scheduled for completion in November.
  • Front.rock Study
    ROCKHOUNDS—From the left, Joseph McCullough, Sean Pagett and Jonathan McCullough peer through hand lenses to study rocks. The project is part of Morenci Elementary School’s summer camp that continues into August.

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