Tonight, There’s Gonna Be A Jailbreak

25Aug08

“Did you see Prison Break last night?”

“I don’t watch that shit.”

“What, are you crazy?”

“No, I just have higher standards than you when it comes to television.”

“Bullshit.”

“Whatever.”

“But that’s ok, because as long as there are people like you walking around, the world will never end.”

I truly believe this. The man walking beside me does not. He’s looking rather sickly today, drawn out from a diet of pharmaceuticals, booze and canned soup. Or what smells like canned soup coming through his pores.

“How do you figure?”

“It’s simple… as long as we have crazy people, there’s no reason to believe the world is going to end because it’s a crazy thought. It won’t happen. The only time I’ll worry about it is when the majority starts to think the end is nigh. But by that time, we’ll all be up to our necks in an apocalyptic shit storm and it won’t matter.”

“Uh.”

“What?”

“Well, I really do think the world is coming to an end.”

“Really.”

“Yeah.”

“Well… that’s great, actually. You comfort me, my sad little dissenter.”

He has a fat face made for slapping around. An idiot. Too busy thinking about things to bother getting out of his own stink long enough to remain a normal, functioning member of society. In a word, crazy.

“Are you simple?”

“No, it’s just that with crazy people like you around — you know, all concerned with the world coming to an end and death and destruction and so on – it keeps me relaxed. Ready for action, as such.”

I don’t like thinking anymore. I gave it up years ago.

“Who says I’m crazy? You’re crazy. Anyone who believes honour, responsibility and empathy to be detriments to humanity is most likely a complete loon themselves.”

Oh, he’s getting his crazy back up now and talking nonsense. Taking everything too seriously. Putting on a self-righteous clinic of hollow indignation. Engaging in a verbal stomping-about like a drugged up and sunburned seven year-old. That’s right. Seven. Oh sure, no one ever talks about seven or being seven. Seven was second grade. More of the same. ‘Seven is not a milestone year,’ they say. Well, fair enough, but I rather liked being seven. It’s all downhill from there. But this guy’s crazy.

“Oh, you’re crazy. Just look at you.”

“What do you mean just look at me?”

I wouldn’t even know where to start. Well, he’s fat. Not obese, but just lumpy enough to ruin the family photo. He is also devoid of charm. And he doesn’t listen to the radio or watch prime time network TV, so we usually have very little to talk about.

“I mean, just look at you… you’re a regular nut bar.”

“I am not.”

“Sure you are. Take a look at yourself. You’re unkempt. You smell. Your clothes look like they came from the Sally Ann and not in a shabby-chic, “check my wicked beard out, ladies” kind of lame-o hipster way. You’re a natural slob, it’s not a fashion statement.”

This is all true.

“So what. The great thinkers of any period were unkempt and smelly. Most people probably considered them crazy too.”

“They were, though, weren’t they?”

“I don’t know. What’s your definition of crazy?”

My definition of crazy? Easy.

“It’s simple, really. If you hold one opinion contrary to the generally accepted opinion of any population, you’re a bit odd. But. If almost every opinion you hold stands in opposition to the prevailing group wisdom of any given mass of humanity then you, sir, are a crazy person.”

Crazy is easy. Guilty? That’s a bit more complex, but I think it must be something along the lines of that feeling you get after losing your virginity to your cousin, knocking her up, and getting the clap in the process. Or maybe it’s something else altogether. But he wouldn’t know. He’s probably a virgin and I’ve seen all his cousins and believe me, they’re nothing to write home about.

“That’s a load of shit and you know it. The freedom to hold and express dissenting opinion is one of the chief tenets of any democracy.”

Oh brother.

“It doesn’t make you any less crazy. Where’s your precious democracy when you’re walking down the street by yourself, coming home late from the bar or a movie? Maybe you’re stumbling along, talking to yourself about god knows what, talking a bit too loudly for social convention, talking about things the average, responsible conformist wouldn’t even dream of thinking, let alone talk about. There’s no democracy on that level. Democracy is just another empty term. Like love or hate. It’s just another blurry abstraction of a couple of sentences from a textbook some forgotten classmate read aloud in history class in grade 10. It means nothing. Especially when some mean bastard smashes your head in against a curb for offending their firmly held beliefs on the sanctity of life or the glory of god.”

“I’d scream and holler and someone would help me.”

“Right.”

“The police would help me.”

“Think about that for a while.”

“What do you mean?”

“The police don’t give a rat’s ass about people like you. You’re crazy. It’s their job to protect everyone else from you, not the other way around. You’re fucked.”

“I don’t believe that.”

“Who cares what you don’t believe. Look, there’s a cop, let’s ask him.”

But I’m tired of this sad, crazy man. Sorry for his very existence. I slow up, let him get ahead of me, then give him a punch in the spine, just above his belt line. I hammer him in the kidneys with a flurry of left-rights, and knock him to the ground, wheezing and whimpering, flesh jiggling like a freshly set bowl of Jell-O. I can almost taste the simulated cherry flavour as I begin laying the boots to his soft pink underbelly.

“Help!”

Here comes the cop, all muscles and authority. Looking concerned, but only in an official capacity.

“Hey! What do you think you’re doing!?”

“Don’t worry… he’s crazy.”

The cop holds up, smiling.

“Ah, alright then. Go to it. The less of them bastards the better.”

So I roll him over.

“Told you so.”

And proceed to kick him until he stops moving. My new cop friend nods his approval and starts to walk away, but there’s still something I need to know.

“Hey, did you see Prison Break last night?”

Prison Break? Nah, don’t watch it.”

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