I have this creepy feeling working every day in my downstairs office.
I keep looking over my shoulder, expecting to see a small man in a black suit, his hands crossed in front of him with a burning Chesterfield between his fingers.
Well, this past week, there he was, a slight smirk on his face, as he said: "Submitted for your consideration ... a world in which facts and logic carry no substance, a fanciful world of imagination, ignorance and irony. You’ve entered ..."
"Yeah, yeah, yeah," I replied as he faded away. "The Twilight Zone. Tell me something I don’t know."
Take this past week.
I run into a guy I’ve known a long time. College-educated, important job. Good guy. And he tells me, "When are you guys going to start printing the truth?"
"And that is?" I asked, but wished I hadn’t.
"That this whole virus thing is bogus. When the election comes, it will vanish. You just watch. It’s all fake," he said, and I peered over my shoulder. No little guy in a black suit. "The hospitals report all deaths as the coronavirus so they can get money. It’s a conspiracy."
And so another chapter in a series of conversations that leave me dismayed.
I told him I was unwilling to debate. Which for me, a high school and college debater and a pretty decent one, is rare.
A conspiracy among the thousands of hospitals, doctors, scientists, emergency responders throughout the country? Really? How did we get to the point that we lack critical thinking?
And I have to admit, I find it personally offensive. I have family that works in hospitals. They deal with patients with coronavirus. They’ll tell you it’s real and, yes, while while some people get lucky and have mild and sometimes no symptoms, they also say it sure isn’t the flu.
So that started things off.
The weird week continued with the report by our Ryan Severance on the initial months of sports gambling in Colorado. Pretty tough, you say, to bet on something that is shut down.
Wrong, smelly socks breath.
There have been a number of things to bet on. And the leading sport bet on at Colorado betting sites? Table tennis.
Now, I like a good craps table as the next guy. OK, probably a lot more than the next guy. So I’m not one to toss stones at the guy or gal who wants to have a date with Lady Luck. But how desperate do you have to be to bet that you wager on table tennis?
However, other sports are opening up, and perhaps our little corner of the gambling world will regain some sanity so bettors can wager on baseball. Oh, what’s that? The imaginary virus has struck baseball? Well, there’s always darts.
Or perhaps the Bessemer Line, which has the odds at 10-1 that the coronavirus will NOT go away after Election Day. Feel free to back up those conspiracy theories with some Benjamins.
And finally, in our always colorful Crime Beat feature by Jon Pompia, came the report of a group fighting at the corner of Mesa and Claremont.
I used to live on Claremont, about five houses or so from that corner. And when I lived there, no such nonsense took place.
That’s because of the fearless vigilance of my next door neighbor, a wiry and crotchety old fella named "Sarge," a former military man who was so proud of his nickname that he emblazoned it on the front side panel of his 350-foot-long GM (I think it was an Olds) coupe, vintage 1970s.
He stood watch over the neighborhood from his porch, ready to shoot anyone who didn’t spray his dandelions or dared step on a sidewalk crack.
Let me just close by saying that I made it a point to become very good friends with Sarge, God rest his colorful soul.
Chieftain Editor Steve Henson can be reached by email at email@example.com or at twitter.com/SteveHensonME. Help support local journalism with a subscription to the Chieftain at chieftain.com/subscribenow.