I was surprised — though I shouldn’t be — by two examples of irrationality among my acquaintances and friends last weekend. The first was at a poker table, where two guys I’ve played with fairly regularly — friendly acquaintances but not guys I know particularly well — were wearing these braided rope necklaces. I thought they actually looked kind of cool, until one started talking to the other about how it was supposed to make him feel better and prevent aches and pains.
The next night I was having dinner with a friend at a restaurant that is owned by a couple that I have known for years — again, friendly acquaintances but not people I’d call close friends. The restaurant is extremely old, built in the 1880s, and from my table I could see a sign in the glass-encased hostess stand that said — this is not an exact quote, but close — “This location has been investigated by Ghost Hunters and found to be haunted.”
I didn’t say anything in either case, I just chuckled. But it reminded me of Tim Minchin’s brilliant poem Storm. I’ve been in similar situations many times.