#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
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Crusted Salt comics by Jimmy Brunelle ©2012-2016