a comic strip with a man challenging blind beliefs while staring at the sun with his daughter by his side

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#180 "The Sun Challenge"

Like the singer in the famous Monkees' song, I'm a believer. Believing is the default setting in my brain—the other two choices of default being: b) skepticism, c) indifference. Being a believer has made for many instances of disillusionment, surprise, and grief. Santa Claus? I enjoyed the blissful blindness of that belief until I was 10-years old, until another 10-year old who was much more experienced than I ruined it while we waited for bus #15 to take us to school. I felt embarrassed and shocked that my parents had pulled the wool over my eyes for so many years. Conspiracy theories? Sure, I'll believe them until the inevitable, unimpeachable debunkings reach my consciousness.

When I was four, I believed that George Reeves' Superman was real. So, I figured if he could fly through windows, then I could, too. I created a cape (I tucked a pillow case into the back collar of my shirt) and put on some long underwear with briefs over them (to mimic tights). I went into the kitchen and attempted to dive thought the window. Being four and very light, I managed only to put a fist sized hole in one of the panes, and fell backwards. Unlike Superman would have, I began to bawl once I saw my bleeding hand. That day, my parents did a fine job of convincing me that Superman wasn't real, and that if I ever tried to dive through a window again, I'd get a spanking.

I still love TV and movies and am able to suspend disbelief as well as I could when I was four. After a 5-week binge on The Vampire Diaries on Netflix, I tried to compel (a.k.a. "glamour") my wife into baking me a chocolate bundt cake (in violation of her "no bundt cakes in the house" law). This resulted only in making her laugh and adding "—forever" to the end of the law's language.

Even though living with blind belief as a mental default always comes with the opposite side of the coin (a.k.a. the harsh buzz-kill of actual truth), it doesn't mean "skeptical" should be the default. Not believing anything is just plain no fun. Just ask my ghostly friend, Nearly Headless Nick. He'll tell you. Don't even get him started on indifference.
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Crusted Salt comics by Jimmy Brunelle ©2012-2016