Hot dogs on the grill are, of course, a requirement on July 4 so an appropriately un-healthy dinner was planned and a close friend of my sister was invited. My sister's friend will do anything for you. Really. At least my sister says so, and, in truth, she seems nice. Except for the talking part. You know the ad where the guy is sitting in front of a TV and his hair and everything is being blown backward with the force of what's coming out? It's like that. For hours. Non-stop. You have to understand - I'm a loner who likes people. But I tend to only be able to be around others for a certain amount of time before I crave the quiet of my own company. When we got back from the ordination I commented to a friend that I was "sociabled out" and she said I had done well - people know that I'm good with quiet and alone.
I also have a tendency to define conversation as "You talk a bit. Then I talk a bit." Apparently, not everybody shares that definition.
This year I figured I was prepped - I knew from meeting her last year what to expect. I'd just smile and nod. All was good. She hit the front door at 7 pm and was going full steam, with a voice so loud it was echoing outside. But turns out that she's now deeply into conspiracy theories. Especially if they involve UFOs. And Bigfoot. She's really into Bigfoot. And she never stopped. I know I saw food go onto her plate. I know that then it was gone. I don't know when she stopped preaching long enough to eat it. Did you know that 250,000,000 people have been abducted by aliens? That humans have been to Mars? That the shadow world government causes hurricanes, earthquakes, tsunamis? That completely black, unmarked helicopters fly over her house every day and that the local juvenile correction facility has been converted into a prison camp for folks that oppose the government? She'd look at me, knowing I'm in a science/math field, and say "You know about this, it's what you do." and I'd take a breath and start to try to explain the science of what she was talking about but wouldn't have time to get a syllable out before she went on at gale force. HAARP and Tesla science. The creation and guidance of Katrina and the Japan tsunami. The assassination of Kennedy and removal of Khrushchev because they were about to reveal UFOs to the world. And then there was the "fact" that the Pope went before the U.N. and announced that in the future the Church will baptize aliens and what a shock to know that the Vatican has a secret observatory out west, complete with a telescope named "Lucifer". Because, of course, the Vatican is part of the shadow government. Until 1:30 am. Non-stop. It was exhausting. She doesn't just need a tin-foil hat, she needs an entire outfit and stock in Alcoa Aluminum.
I would have asked her about Jewish control of the world and them using the blood of Christian babies to make matzos but a) it wouldn't have been nice, since she's a Messianic Jew (the fact that the world is ending was playing heavily in her beliefs) and b) I couldn't get a syllable in, let alone a question.
I have to agree with a couple things - don't put your trust in the government and the government is working on things we don't know about. In fact, I think the UFO spike during the Cold War was because of people spotting test aircraft. It seems that we are re-visiting that saucer technology now for our trip to Mars, too - the recent first test of a saucer shaped deceleration unit was successful and will be followed by more tests in 2015. And yes, we did snatch every German scientist we could after WW II - we didn't want Joe Stalin to get his commie hands on them. The Pope was reflecting on inclusivity when he used aliens as an analogy in a homily. The Vatican observatory is part of an international group of observatories on a mountain in Arizona and the group next to them has named their telescope Lucifer. Which I think is funny. Don't EVEN get me started on weather. It's so unmanageable that NOAA has to fudge the numbers in order to get it to LOOK like it's doing what they predict.
Yeesh. I didn't know that people could put such a mish-mash of paranoia all in one bucket, to the point where I repeatedly thought "She needs medication." It's OK to be paranoid at a certain level, particularly right now, when they really are out to get us. But just like environmentalists are bad for the environment because of their emotion and lack of real science, a crazy conservative lost in paranoia and a lack of real facts is bad for all conservatism.