"What's the world for you if you can't make it up the way you want."

-Jazz, Toni Morrison

Crazily Advantageous

Crazily Advantageous

Je suis sérieux, moi, je ne m'amuse pas à des balivernes! 
Chapitre XIII, Le Petit Prince, Antoine de Saint-Exupéry

I may be a serious guy, but don't I adore amusing myself with utter nonsense!
-My paraphrased translation according to an imaginary universe of literature

When people look at you as if you're insane, that is the moment you know that you have something special.  Instead of thinking of craziness as a dubious achievement, we should revel in the realization that our wires are crossed differently than those of other people.  All at once, that explains both nothing and everything.  Perhaps we are, in the final analysis, nothing more than a bunch of workaday clowns in unimaginative costumes.  At the very least, we should work to make our wardrobe fit the part when we are serious about being nutty.

Like me, maybe you, too, qualify as an unhinged person masquerading as an average person masquerading as a good person.  Please bear with my laser focus on the subject now that I have converted distracted and fuzzy thinking into an art form.

I recently developed a screening test for the special kind of madness that behooves creative people.  (Mind you, while I'm not a qualified healthcare professional, at least I can claim to be a mediocre writer, meaning that I’m probably qualified enough.)  Next, I took my test to see how it might proceed in actual practice, and it came back positive.  In other words, this test must be pretty good.  The very first time someone took the screening, it worked and discovered that the test taker was bonkers.  I'm duly impressed if I dare say so myself.  Bear with me a short while to find out more about this sure-fire method that will tell you if you, too, are truly off-kilter.  If, on the other hand, you have reached this point hoping for a sanity check, let me convince you to take a detour.  Realistically, we all may be damaged people, so all that remains is fine-tuning the damage control.

What is it like to have a screw loose?  Indeed, there are so many varieties of craziness, enough to fill thick and heavy medical books, the kind that professionals still consult instead of looking it up on Google.  Personally, I dream of the day my doctor might say that I could even qualify for my own page in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM).  For example, I could belong to a dissociation of which I am three members who don't get along with each other.  If we simply open our eyes, we’ll see that kookiness is there – in fact, it’s everywhere.

Harnessing craziness can indeed work for you, providing that you are generally harmless to both yourself and others.  For example, people tend to leave you alone if they think you are insane, mentally ill or sick in the head.  So, odd as it seems, these characteristics may be the key to your well-being.  Creatively, our goal should be to stir up everything in our lives except the dust, and that includes our minds.  Furthermore, being counter-intuitive is the best intuition.  Unfortunately, the world shows no mercy to those who have gone cuckoo.

Coaching for those who would like to go bananas could become quite an opportunity.  Why?  Because sane people generally don't have a clue about those who are not right in the head.  In my coaching sessions, for example, everyone would pick their favorite adjective to describe themselves as crackpots.  My stated goal will be to help others stop being so utilitarian and practical in their daily lives.  And when you successfully graduate from the class, people on the street will come up to you and say, “Now you’re just one more insane guy on the plane.”  And you will be proud to hear it.

Let me warn you that there are skeptics and fakers among those who try to become daft.  Still, others take a chance with that notorious Acquired Savant Syndrome.  They figure that if you are knocked on the head first, then you can take the chance that you will go gaga as a compensatory gift.  Personally, I feel that there are much less painful and less violent ways to become dippy.

And finally, what exactly is my test for battiness?  Congratulations, you have just completed it and I’m happy to inform you that you also passed the screening!  As it turns out, testing positive for being a fruitcake only requires that you are curious enough to investigate the possibility.  After this grand achievement, I hope that you, too, will be able to find Outlandishness on the brain map.

Doug Vidlas was born within sight of Canada from across Lake Erie. A polyglot and a graduate of the University of Rochester, he now lives in Virginia. Doug is a multi-genre writer who dabbles in stand-up comedy and cartooning.

Cover photo by Ehimetalor Unuabona on Unsplash

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