Sunday, May 2, 2010

They Walk Among Us...

This afternoon I had to make a trip over to West Vancouver to do some shopping, so I caught the bus across the Lions Gate Bridge. There was only one seat left, next to a very pleasant looking, well-dressed woman. We exchanged the usual banter about the weather -- or rather lack of sunshine -- and sort of chit-chatted for a few minutes. And then she turned to me, looked at me very earnestly, and said, "I have five locks on my front door, but last night the CIA broke into my house and stole my make-up bag."

Hoo-boy. I knew it was going to be a long ride.

She went on to say that the CIA has taken over the RCMP, and they have bugged her phone lines. She was on the phone the other night negotiating to buy a boat, and as soon as she hung up, a fire engine and a police car went past her house, pretending to go to a house fire down the street, but she knew the fire had been deliberately set so they could spy on her. She said she used to work for the CBC, but she could no longer work because she was disabled by the spray that had been used on the gypsy moths. And the spraying wasn't really to get rid of the gypsy moths, but was actually to get rid of all the people in Richmond. After 15 minutes of listening to this, I finally got off the bus a few stops early, it was so disturbing. Clearly this poor, unfortunate woman needed serious help -- now. As I stood up to leave, she grabbed my arm and said, "Dear, only speak to people you trust..." I guess she must have trusted me, because she told me every secret about the CIA, the RCMP, the West Vancouver Police, and Goldman Sachs. Oh, yes, Goldman Sachs had taken over Vancouver.


After a successful shopping trip and a bite of lunch, I caught the bus back to Vancouver. A very nice, well-dressed gentleman in his late 40s sat down next to me. We exchanged the usual pleasantries. And then he turned to me and said, "You know, you must never trust the government. There is a secret underground government, and they run everything, and the government are just puppets. The planets are aligning and there is a huge planet out there heading for our solar system which is going to throw all the orbits out, and NASA knows about it but isn't telling us..." "At the centre of our galaxy is a huge black hole, and we're all going to disappear into the black hole. The world is going to end, and they're not telling us about it."

What in goodness name are they putting in the water over there in West Vancouver? These folks weren't raving street people, they were well-dressed, regular people. Has anyone -- friends or family -- noticed they just might possibly need some medical intervention of some sort for this aberrant behavior? Does anyone care? When I got off the bus, all I could think was how these people were suffering needlessly -- believing they were being spied upon, the CIA was breaking into their house, bugging their phones, and the world was coming to an end. The real transgression here was not their behavior, but the clear fact that other people around them are powerless to help them. I guess it's their "right" to go through life being paranoid and unnecessarily terrified.

I tell you ... it made me feel absolutely normal. Now, where did I put my make-up bag? It was here just a few minutes ago ...

33 comments:

Kathryn said...

This is funny.

After working psych for so many years i don't really miss this, however.

THEY are out to get us, tho, you know. It's just a matter of time. The gov't doesn't hush it up, it is the underground secret police.

Ha, ha, ha. LOL ;)

Lone Grey Squirrel said...

Let me assure you that there is NO increase in paranoia amongst people in Vancouver. And even if there was, it most certainly is NOT because someone has put ergot toxin into the water supply. And it certainly WASN"T put there by squirrels BENT on World Domination. Why that would be ridiculous! Everyone knows that squirrels are friendly and harmless and definitely NOT trying to enslave humanity. But remember, just because you are paranoid, doesn't mean there isn't someone out to get you.

KathyB. said...

Remember the Mel Gibson movie "Conspiracy Theory" ? Jo, maybe the people you encountered were in cahoots to enlighten you as to a conspiracy theory!Maybe , just maybe......

And just what can a person do about these conspiracies? Tinfoil over the windows might help, for starters!

Firefly said...

Oh no! There has been a leak... I nead to fix this...

Russell said...

I've been trying to write a comment but .... I'm being .... watched.

I know. I know. I live in the country miles away from another living soul. But ... ssshh....that's part of their plan. You know. You know... gotta go. Gotta go.... ssshhhh....

Pass it on....

Jojo said...

Hi Jo!
Thank you so much for stopping by and leaving a comment. I ride public transport Monday through Friday but never have I had two rides in one day quite like that! In the U.S. generally though we try hard not to even speak to one another, even as we take a seat, and somehow that helps.

Guess the CIA needs the make up to keep up their disguises!!!

Nes said...

Jeez! What funny people you meet. I would love to end up sitting next to someone like that on the bus. Call me crazy, but I need my fair share of adventure....or weirdness. Besides, who knows? Maybe tonight the government will arrest my whole family, or maybe tomorrow the world will end...and I'll never get to see the rest of the world and it's amazing people, however out of the ordinary. :) Can you blame me for being curious?

the walking man said...

But there is a conspiracy...there was an intentional melt down of the world economic. An almost exact repeat of the '29 crash, done deliberately by them who have the power (read capital) to do so. It is the same conspiracy that began in the 15th century when we started as a society to use credit as money. It is different players through the ages but the same game.

Of the two souls you encountered Jo, it could be a chemical imbalance or it could be a stress induced psychosis, these are after all very stressful times for the average person. Everyone, or most everyone, is going to look for a way to not see how their own actions caused whatever it is that weighs on them so.

That is our evolved nature, the government did it to me, the cabal of the RCMP and CIA is watching me...

When the truth of the matter is simply that life got very hard and in their minds this is how they defend and deflect against whatever is bothering them.

Linda said...

What did you put in your coffee, my dear? Are you SURE you had those conversations? Hummmmmm????

DJan said...

The thing that struck me in reading this post is that it happened to YOU, twice in the same day. Do you look like someone who welcomes these kinds of revelations? I guess maybe they were both just trying to find a kindred spirit to share their stories with, but why you? I wonder if they chat up everyone with the same stuff. You must look incredibly trustworthy!

kenju said...

If I were you, I'd quit riding the bus!! Clearly, they are the transport of weirdos and conspirators!

Sam Liu said...

Deary me, sounds like you had two rather eventful bus journeys! Very interesting theories though, maybe they're onto something :D

The Bug said...

My problem is that I lead such a boring life - if I thought someone were spying on me I would have to try to be more interesting to keep them from falling asleep...

Land of shimp said...

Oh dear, I'm sorry for laughing, but I did. I know they are just desperately in need of help. Also, my husband has a sister who suffers from delusions, and it is impossible to force treatment upon someone. There are really good reasons for this, such as abusive husbands having their wives locked up when they were "acting up".

It does mean that those of us with someone in our lives who really does need help don't have a lot of avenues available. It's a trade-off.

Although I think you might have been justified in thinking someone was out to get you after two successive bus rides like that! Good gravy, I'll bet you wanted to install extra locks on your door, after all, the nearest bus stop is nearer than you think!

Katy said...

There is a fine line between insane people and just conspiracy theory junkies who start buying all of the garbage.

My daughter's grandmother is one of these. Useually is just dumb stuff that I ignore, then a few years ago I offered to take her daughter (who is just 2 years older than mine) to Disney World. She didn't want let her daughter go because Disney is working with the government to spy on Americans. If finally talked her down and her daughter got to come with us, but she was still upset about it all.

But yeah, other than all of that, she is generally a normalish person who leads a heathy, productive life.

Amy said...

It's amazing that you were "approached" twice in one day, Jo. I just returned from Portland where a similar incident occurred last week when I was with my daughter and grandson outside a busy mall. A "normal" looking woman approached us and asked where she might shop for a pacifier. We mentioned Target etc and she went on to tell us her children were 11 and 14. It went downhill from there and we managed to regain our "personal space."

Everyday I try to express my gratitude for good health - in mind, body, and spirit. It's scary to think that that could happen to any of us, conspiracy theories aside!

A.M. said...

Lol seriously what an adventure. I have had many conversation with people on the bus and a lot of them have to do with government conspiracies. Unfortunately there's more schizophrenia now then their was a few years ago in Vancouver/ lower mainland b/c the government closed down river view. My uncle is schizophrenic and what you describe is very classic of this disease. A bit sad really.

PS I can't believe how many post I've missed of yours. I'm going to sit down soon with my cup of coffee and enjoy the rest of your posts. Thank you :o)

gigihawaii said...

Those two need Risperdal. Too bad they lack the insight to realize they need professional help and drug therapy.

PinkPanthress said...

Paranoia is not a mental illness, it is actually the only 'friend' you have... :)

DUTA said...

These two need medical assistance? It's medical 'assistance' that probably got them into this situation.

I remember my mother received on two occasions pills for glaucoma disease, and on both occasions she started talking nonsense.

Kimberly said...

Were you drinking while riding?

KrippledWarrior said...

I was laughing all the way through this. And then My screen went blank and my web-cam came on by itself. WTF?

KrippledWarrior said...

You must have faith in something. There is no empirical proof of any theory of existence. And if you have such proof, I'd love to see it. Be it philosophical, meta-physical, or para-psychological.
Do you disbelieve everything you can't see, or hold in your hand? Descartes said it best "CAGITO ERGO SUM," (I think, therefore I am). Which was his way of saying life is not an illusion. Logic, dictates that "IF SOMETHING IS, IT MUST HAVE COME FROM SOME WHERE." From whence do you come?

Brenda said...

Well...I wrote out a long comment a few hours ago and then got a phone call and lost everything I wrote. Hate it when that happens! I think what I said was I love to read all of your commenters. You really know how to spark some interesting conversations!

heartinsanfrancisco said...

Yes, they are everywhere, but two in one day is definitely strange. I can see why someone might suspect these people were Americans since the CIA is an American government agency, not Canadian. We have our share of people in need of help like any other country. Still, even paranoids have real enemies, and my makeup bag falls into black holes all the time.

A Woman said...

Jo and all, my apologies for responding to this here.

Jo your post is wonderful as always. You have fused the humor of the situation with care and concern for your fellow man.

IP I've written a post on this and how I feel about it. You are welcome to come, read and comment, perhaps we can find a middle ground.

Sniffles and Smiles said...

Oh, you are too hilarious! Such a horribly tragic but very funny post! And your punch line! You are too good! Love you! Janine XO

Wolynski said...

It's boredom, loneliness and too much TV. Even if she did have friends at some point, they've long fled.

As long as she's doing no harm, she's entitled to be loony.

I wonder if crazy people know they're crazy? Or are they living in their own little world exclusively?

willow said...

Maybe I should be glad the public transportation system is so crummy in the Midwest.

Wenderina said...

This post was both sad and hysterically funny. I had more to say, but I think I was the victim of a Vulcan mind-meld and they stole my very thoughts.

Carol E. said...

Must have been a couple of goofy Americans who emigrated to Vancouver.

Mia said...

What if all the conspiracies are true and those of us who don't believe every rumour are the delusional ones?

Paula Slade said...

Oh wow, two in one day - that's a bit unnerving! I had a good laugh about your drinking water comment! All jokes aside, it is tragic to see that sort of mental illness and the obvious fact that these folks may not be getting the help they need.