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Who gets to define crazy? And don’t tell me it’s the “American Board of Psychiatric Professionals” or some such group because, in this modern age, I doubt that they are even allowed to use words like “crazy”. At best, they can probably diagnose someone as “Neurologically Underperforming Traditional Stuff” (or “N.U.T.S.”).

To most of us, crazy is like art: we know it when we see it.

Crazy is getting up at 4 in the morning on the day after Thanksgiving because the store is going to have a can-opener that normally goes for $5 on sale for $4 from 5 a.m. to 5:15 a.m. (or until supplies last, which usually turns out to be all day).

Crazy is thinking all the electioneering will end on November 6 when the polls close.

Crazy is anyone who thinks they have ultimately made a good deal because they got free food by eating a 72 ounce steak in under an hour.

Crazy is how everyone else drives (but not us).

In popular literature of a century ago, the crazy were locked up in homes. No, not your home, but in a “home”; as in an “insane asylum”. We don’t do that much anymore—and I’m not sure we did it all that much back then. Without doing a lot of tedious research, I’m thinking that the old concept of “they’re going to lock you away for thinking like that!” was mostly just a euphemism or some other word I’m not really clear on the definition of. A colloquial saying like, “a bird in the hand equals two in the bush” or “I’ll gladly pay you Tuesday for a hamburger today”, sayings that meant nothing but were intended to fill up the awkward silence of conversations that had lagged under too many colloquialisms already.

Now, though, those of us whose professional life is not tied up in the legalities of the medical profession may be throwing around the word “crazy” so lightly that it doesn’t mean anything. In doing so, we water down its usage to the point that—when we encounter something that really is crazy—we’re like the boy who cried “wolf” and, thus, saved the entire town because they rushed to the aid the crumbling dike and were able to see the king without his clothes on, like he was a Kennedy or something.

No, I think it’s past time that we come up with a hard and fast definition for “crazy”, one that we can all agree on and throw out not just willy-nilly but haram-scaram and … where was I going with this? The astute will guess that I had a point to all this when I started.

That, of course, is crazy talk.

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About Sam White

Samuel Ben White (“Sam” to his friends) is the author of the national newspaper comic strip “Tuttle’s” (found at www.tuttles.net) and the on-line comic book “Burt & the I.L.S.” (found at www.destinyhelix.com). He is married and has two sons. He serves his community as both a minister at a small church and a chaplain with hospice. In addition to his time travel stories, Sam has also written and published detective novels, a western, three fantasy novels and four works of Christian fiction.

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