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.