Monday, March 13, 2017

Coincidence? I think not ...

How did this photo of Donald Trump and Kellyanne Conway get here, anyway? I certainly didn't post it. And, do you notice the way her eyes follow you, wraith-like, wherever you go???
How did this photo of Donald Trump and
Kellyanne Conway get here, anyway? I certainly
didn't post it. And, please observe two things:
1) Her Nazi-esque salute; and 2) the way her eyes
follow you, wraith-like, wherever you go!
With all the attention recently being paid to conspiracy theories, and the slow, dawning realization that one can assert that they are true without having to provide any proof whatsoever and thus capture the attention of the world, I was starting to feel left out. Hence this morning (in the shower, where all my good ideas flow down from above, then disappear, never to be seen again), I had an epiphany: I need my own conspiracy theory! And it must be bigger and better than all the rest. It must be YUGE!

So, here it is. And, I assure you, everything I am about to tell you is completely, unverifiably true.

Well, at least it's true to me ... or perhaps I should say, it is an alternate fact.

Anyway, I digress ...

It all started about this time last Spring. Spring sprang forth on Saturday, March 19, 2016, three days after my 59th birthday. (Coincidence? I think not. Please consider the fact that three is the number of Deity ... you've heard of the Trinity, right? ... and 59 is divisible by three 19.666 ad infinitum times, which means those sixes go out into infinity, which can't actually be practically verified but is what ad infinitum means, so I guess it's theoretically true; so, what I'm trying to say is that's sort of like the Mark of the Beast multiplied by infinity, which naturally points to the unverifiable reality that a great battle between the forces of good and evil began on that day.)

I was blissfully unaware of this alternate fact, of course. In fact, I was safe and secure in a job I enjoyed for a wonderful company, we had just paid off our house, and I was experiencing that sense of financial security which led me (about a month later) to make a large purchase decision, thanks to the encouragement of my pastor, of a new RV. Because of the collusion of my pastor, I assume this must have been a godly decision.

But, I digress. Or I digress into the future ... (is there a word for that? To pregress? I think not.)

So anyway, back to Saturday, March 19 ... as I said, it seemed a new spring day, like any other. Sure, Donald Trump had already announced (a little more than nine months earlier) that he was running for President of the U.S.A. But, in the light of that new spring day, it still seemed a laughable prospect. Donald Trump? President? You have to be joking, right?

But something else happened that day, which barely made the news at the time. A dual Iranian-Turkish national named Reza Zarrab was arrested when he flew into the Miami International Airport. Zarrab had been accused of violating sanctions against Iran when he apparently convinced Turkey's president, Tayyip Erdogan, to use illicit funds to provide weapons, financing and logistics for jihadi groups in Syria -- including ISIS!

And, it just so happened that I had been tweeting vigorously about the need to treat refugees with justice and compassion. I now realize that Zarrab must have used my tweets as cover to attempt to enter the U.S. illegally. And then he was caught at the Miami airport and arrested! Did he have a cellphone with him, containing tweets I had written? It's reasonable to assume. Then he was arrested! With my tweets in his possession! I was set up. Ohmygoodness, how could I not see this at the time?

Coincidence? I think not.

Unfortunately, as I alluded to, at this time I was completely unaware of this alternate fact. And so I continued, as usual, tweeting about refugees, and the need to be nice to them. And I also began tweeting, more and more frequently, my distaste for the prospect of a Trump/Conway presidency.

Then on Thursday, August 2, came the fateful tipping point. I tweeted: "You can blame the Republicans, Hillary Clinton, and the media ... but if @realDonaldTrump wins, it will be through the power of #fear."

The very next day, Friday August 3, 2016, I was laid off from my job. Coincidence? I think not!

Moreover, let's look at those numbers again ... there's a "three" there, we've already talked about that. But, if you divide 2016 by three, what do you get? That's right ... 702! Work with me here. If you subtract (working backward, kind of like backward masking, only with a calendar) 702 days from August 3, 2016, you arrive at August 12, 2015. And what happened on that day?

You guessed it. That was the day things really began to go south for Hillary Clinton, the day she handed over her email server to the Justice Department; and also the day Bernie Sanders overtook her, for the first time, in the New Hampshire polls. Ultimately, of course, she became the nominee; but even Hillary blamed these events for her ultimate loss to none other than Donald Trump in the 2016 election.

Anyway, I digress ... let's fast forward to my post-layoff life:

Since August 3, I have been haunted by the sense that I am being watched. It started with my SmartTV. I would change channels, looking for something good to watch. CNN? Kellyanne Conway was there, her lips moving inanely as she tried to avoid answering whatever question she was being asked by a reporter. NBC News? Donald Trump stared out at me balefully from my screen, just daring me to tweet out another pro-refugee message as he assured me that Mexico would pay for The Wall. Fox News? Kellyanne Conway again. (How can she be two places at once, anyway? That woman gives me the creeps.)

One day I thought, this was a good time to get up off the couch and go get a beer, right? (If I ever become an alcoholic, at least I can blame Donald Trump and Kellyanne Conway.) But as I did, I looked back over my shoulder ... and there were Kellyanne Conway's eyes, wraith-like, following me to the kitchen!

She WAS watching me. I knew it!

So, I turned off the SmartTV. (Now I just watch British period dramas with my wife. If I ever see Kellyanne Conway on one of those, I'm moving to Canada.)

Then, in October, I began driving for Uber. Now, you must understand that I have to keep the Uber Driver app running while I'm driving. That's the way it works. (I wonder who made it work that way? I'm willing to bet Kellyanne Conway had something to do with it ... it's probably no coincidence that her last name is a compound word formed by the verb "to con" and the noun "way.")

Anyway, normally the "way" the app works is that you switch into driver mode, which indicates you are available for a fare, and drive around aimlessly for awhile while it tries to "con" you into chasing this elusive thing called a surge cloud; and sooner or later you get a ping that somebody wants to be picked up (though NEVER in the surge cloud since no one in their right mind would pay prices equivalent to riding in a taxicab, would they?), and you accept the ping if their name isn't either "Donald" or "Kellyanne," and then the mapping software leads you to their location.

So far, so good, right? But I began to notice, while I was driving around chasing digital clouds, that sneaky little notifications began to pop up over the top of Uber driver app. Most of them were from CNN (which I soon began to suspect really stands for the "Conway News Network") and began with phrases like "Donald Trump attacks ..." or "Kellyanne Conway asserts ...." These little notifications appeared at the top of my smartphone screen along with soft little pinging sounds, drawing a quick glance when it is safe to do so, and by the time I realized in horror what was happening and was able to look back, the notification had disappeared as quickly as it had sprung up.

Coincidence? I think not. Donald Trump and Kellyanne Conway were spying on me, through the Uber app in my smartphone!

(And why not? Just yesterday Kellyanne Conway asserted that it's possible to spy on someone through the camera in your microwave oven. Which was a real revelation to me, as I didn't even know my microwave oven had a camera! But I digress ...)

I couldn't avoid using the app while driving, of course; but I began turning my phone face-down on the bathroom counter each night, where I plug it in to recharge for another UberDay. But, just as I was dropping off to sleep, I would hear that insidious little "ping" and see the soft edges of bluish light glowing there in the bathroom, and soon in my mind's eye I could just imagine Kellyanne Conway's face hovering there over my bathroom bathroom sink, mouthing alternate facts. So soon, sleep began to elude me.

And inevitably, the two of them invaded what few dreams I had left. Donald Trump attacking. Kellyanne Conway asserting. Was there no place I could hide?

Well, I realized one day, after not having slept a wink for a solid week: if you can't hide, you can fight! So, I began to use social media to fight back. I began launching my own attacks, and making my own assertions.

Twitter and Facebook were my tools of war. I tried to use them to alert all my friends to what was happening.

And, I had a lot of friends to alert. (After all, at World Vision I was a social media guru ... the "Dark Lord of the Web," they called me. I had over 11,000 followers on Twitter, and over 1,000 on Facebook.)

For years, my social media numbers had been growing. But, let me tell you, as soon as I began my campaign to fight back and assert myself against the ubiquitous Donald Trump and the wraith-like Kellyanne Conway, my follower counts began to drop. The numbers began to ebb. I knew that this could not POSSIBLY be because there were people out there who might actually vote for Donald Trump / Kellyanne Conway. Well, I did know one or two who publicly admitted that they might, but they had mostly stopped following me on Facebook already, so I assume they were too ashamed of themselves to use social media.

But still, my social media numbers, which had inflated contrary to all logic and reason for years, began dropping. Coincidence? I think not.

Three weeks before the election, my wife was saying something to me while I was tweeting. "That's nice, dear," I asserted, and kept tapping away at my screen. Then she shouted something. "Don't worry," I assured her, "I'll take out the trash as soon as I'm done here."

Then suddenly, she grabbed my hands and yanked them away from my phone. When I didn't look up, she slapped me across the face. Hard.

Well, not really, But she did get my attention with these ominous words: "You need to stop tweeting about Donald Trump and Kellyanne Conway. NOW! Or soon, we won't have any friends left at all!"

Well, I try to ignore most people because I suspect they may be stooges of Donald Trump and Kellyanne Conway. But not my wife! One cannot ignore my wife and experience any hopes for survival and a happy life. And so, I agreed. I stopped tweeting about Donald Trump and started tweeting about mushrooms instead. On Facebook, I stopped asserting myself against the wraith-like Kellyanne Conway, and instead began posting photos of my granddaughter, cuddling with kittens and ducklings. (My granddaughter, unlike Conway, is VERY cute, by the way! As are kittens and ducklings.)

The slide in my follower numbers magically stopped sliding. My Facebook follower count stabilized at three. (My wife was still following me, bless her heart. Of course somebody needed to make sure I actually followed her instructions.) And my Twitter account also stabilized at three. One was my friend John, who is a faithful supporter of Donald Trump, but who cares about me enough anyway not to unfriend me.

The other two? It's a mystery to me who they are (as I've never really been aware of who two-thirds of my social media "friends" are anyway), but I rather suspect they are stooge accounts for Donald Trump and Kellyanne Conway, who are no doubt following that sage advice: "Keep your friends close, and your enemies closer." And waiting for me to make one more misstep. One more nice tweet about refugees, or even a link to two self-contradicting "alternate facts" uttered by either of them, and I'm sure I'll find myself on some terrorist watchlist and detained the next time I Uber somebody up to SeaTac airport. (I've told my wife that if I disappear, she can look for her red Prius up in the Uber waiting lot north of the airport, hidden amongst 253 other red Priuses all driven by men with turbans who will no doubt also abandon their vehicles the moment an ICE agent appears.)

Oh dear. Three Facebook followers. Three Twitter followers. There's that number again. And what about 253? Let's see ... divide it by three: 84.333 ad infinitum ... yes! There is HOPE! Good will ultimately prevail in the battle against evil!

So, that's my conspiracy theory. I'm sure this post will be continued, even if I'm not here to continue it. (I wonder if they'll let me keep my smartphone at Guantanamo?) If you'd like to respond (and yes, I'm speaking to you, Darlene, John, Donald, or Kellyanne), please post a comment, which will be reviewed and hopefully approved by 253 men in turbans who are currently sitting up in the Uber waiting lot north of Seatac airport with nothing better to do.

Coincidence? I think not.