Columns

2002.08.21 A time for wackos

on . Posted in By The Way

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 

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