A friend recently told me a story about a biker he met in a bar once who had an electrolarynx (one of those thingamajigs you hold to your throat when your voice box is damaged by cancer, disease, etc. I had to look it up, otherwise I’d have called it a thingamajig).
He said the biker told him he used it because of a tragic hummingbird accident.
A group of us were standing around at the end of the night saying our goodbyes and began telling weird animal stories. I shared the time I hit a wild turkey and then a mile later had to dodge a turtle. (That poor turkey was trying his damnedest to make it across the road, saw a car coming in the other direction and ran into my back tire — while the slow-ass turtle survives? That’s one for Aesop or something.) Another person talked about hitting a deer. There was some discussion about the fact that kangaroos can’t jump backward so if they’re mid-jump and a car comes, its lights out.
And then Mark (name changed to protect the gullible) pipes in with the hummingbird story.
“I met a biker once who had a thing in his throat and he got it because he hit a hummingbird when he was on his bike,” he said with awe.
Everyone oohed and aaahed.
“Wow, that’s crazy,” my boyfriend said.
And then “Fran” happened. She’s a real cynic. An ass, if you will.
“What!,” I screeched incredulously. “That is NOT true.”
“Huh? No, he told me. It destroyed his voice box,” he said, his face turning crimson. “I believe him, he was a big old biker dude.”
“Yeah, that’s exactly why you shouldn’t believe him,” I said, laughing (like an ass). “A big old biker dude who was sick of people saying, ‘Hey man, why ya got that thing?’ so he comes up with the tragic hummingbird story.”
Now, I don’t know if a hummingbird can actually hit a big old Harley riding biker dude in the precise spot on his throat that his larynx is irreparably damaged. I’m not a throat doctor. But I do know that when I hear something that seems too incredible to be true, I suddenly develop Tourettes and yell, “Bullshit!”
I’ve looked people – strangers even – right in the face and said, “You’re fucking lying.” Then were stare at each other for what seems like four days until they begin to backpedal, because I sure as hell won’t.
I’ve had conversations with schizophrenics on the phone (I work for the Fourth Estate, they call all the time) who tell me the feds have implanted a tracking device in their nostrils and I’ve replied unsympathetically, “Listen, you’re nuts, you need meds.” I had one guy sigh sadly and say, “Ya think so?”
When bullshit starts floating about, I cannot help myself from saying, “Not true! Not true! Not true!”
Which brings me to the point of this blog. The world is full of people who believe EVERYTHING.
Look at Facebook. People constantly post alerts about missing kids who aren’t missing, viruses that don’t exist, eloquent quotes attributed to celebrities who are barely literate (when did Marilyn Monroe become Confucius?) and pictures that insist if you type “1″ in the comment section something real exciting will happen.
Hundreds, if not thousands, of people type “1″ in the comment section and I guaran-fuckin’-tee the only thing that happens is they instantly become a douche.
What is going on? Are there no critical thinkers left in the world? Is the line between fact and fiction so blurry these days that it doesn’t matter? Is it too much to ask people to actually read something, consider it and then decide whether they believe it? Or are we now a people who just take it all at face value and move onto the next bullshit story?
I’m not. I never will be. I spend most my time on Facebook Snoping crap and posting the links so people stop perpetuating untruths. And then the next day I come online and find a snarky reply from the original poster telling me it’s not who said it, but the principal ( I say that’s bullshit too) — and I discover that another friend has posted the same crock
Stop the madness.
If more people actually listened to what they were saying, I could stop getting into staredowns with idiots. And if I stop getting in stare downs with idiots, I can stop – at least in that respect – feeling like an ass. Consider it a public service.
And, if you lost your voice box because a 2-gram hummingbird didn’t realize it preferred nectar over whiskers, then I’ll type “1″ in the comment section when you provide the proof.