Monday, July 25CDP Wayback Machine - New World Lunatic Edition.
('The Conspiracy Starts Now.' - Originally published July 24, 2006.)
It was almost 100 degrees that day. I blame the government.
I had heard about Dundee's annual 'UFO Days' convention a few weeks prior, while scouring the internet for interesting places in Wisconsin to visit. Me and the Missus try to do this once every few weeks; get out of the house, visit some unincorporated shell of a town, eat grilled cheese and buy antiques.
Imagine my surprise when I saw that the 'UFO Capitol of the World' was less than 80 miles from my doorstep! To be fair, there were at least two other Wisconsin towns that proclaimed themselves 'UFO Capitol of the World;' I think someone needs to regulate that title a little more closely. Nonetheless, we packed the car and hit the road before 10am on Saturday.
Okay, this would normally be the point in the essay where I would get into how this convention wasn't even close to what I expected, but I'll let my notes speak for themselves. These are the blurbs I scribbled to myself on the way home, as to not forget what I had just witnessed. Take a look:
a) Expected something lighthearted and fun, did not deliver.
b) Heat index of +100 with no air-conditioning; people blamed the weather on a worldwide conspiracy to shut the convention down, seriously.
c) Main speaker guy looked just like Dale Gribble; initially thought he was kidding, was not.
d) Ranting old man was carrying around a Weekly World News; also not kidding.
e) Casual conversations about chips in your head abound.
f) Government-controlled weather. government-controlled weather.
g) New world order, concentration camps, aliens, George W. Bush, Jesus and the NWO.
h) Speaker mentioned in passing that someone was in telepathic contact with an alien.
i) Stuck around for a couple hours; got the hell outta there and didn't look back.
j) Had to leave rad alien mask in the car, didn't want to scare locals who were actually quite scared of aliens.
k) People had poor attitude; didn't like aliens and didn't welcome them. Sad, really.
Yeah, that's right. It was so hot in there that I went temporarily insane and drank a Budweiser. I hadn't been that oily since high school.
What I thought was going to be a fun and lighthearted romp concerning the UFO phenomenon more closely resembled a room full of folks suspicious and afraid of absolutely everything. As the speakers' allegations got more and more outlandish, the people around me just nodded more and more. Every few seconds, me and Missus exchanged glances as if to say, "Glad we brought the camera, nobody's going to freaking believe this."
I must say that for a few seconds, I was actually agreeing with what they had to say. For example:
Speaker: "All of these bad things are because of the Bush administration."
Me: "Yup, can't argue with that."
Speaker: "They want to make your lives miserable."
Me: "True 'dat. Preach on!"
Speaker: "They have a machine that controls the weather."
Me: "Where are my keys?"
Still don't believe me? I have some video I'd like you to take a peek at. I must warn you, however, you're going to forget what life was like before you watched this. I shot it myself:
So, what have we learned? To be honest, I don't really know. I still believe in the idea of UFO's, but I also believe in truckloads of medication to treat paranoid delusions.
Sound off in the comments section before I'm located and burned at the stake.
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