I was sitting on a bench overlooking Montreal from on top of Mont Royal. The Adirondacks loomed in the distance.
“You know, Librarian, you can’t explain an abnormal situation to people who are used to normalcy.”
It was cold but dry. I liked the cold, she did not.
“What in the hell are you talking about?”
“Let’s say you work somewhere that your boss is literally insane, a psycho, they torment you every day. If you try to explain the situation to someone who works in a normal environment with sane, professional people, your friend will give you advice that only works in a normal place.”
The Librarian looked through one of the 25 cents pay-magnifiers.
“OK, in the Army we had this commander who ran the unit like a cult, never gave anyone any free time, micro-managed everything down to the lowest level, demanded inane time-wasting reports and asked mindless questions about idiotic minutiae. Not an evil person, but either OCD or quite insane. So if you explained it to someone from another unit, they cocked their head like a dog who doesn’t understand human speech.”
I put my jacket around the Librarian because she looked cold.
“Maybe I get it, I don’t know.”
“Like in Bosnia, I could be walking side by side with the Canadian and I would get threatening look or even verbal threats. The Canadian had no awareness at all because it wasn’t directed at him. Or the psycho boss I had at work who timed how long I spent in the bathroom and every time I asked for direction she would say I shouldn’t have to tell you your job, and we would have to guess the agenda.”
“Like in Twilight Zone when the little girl went into the Fourth Dimension or when the officers of the Caine went to visit Admiral Halsey. You can’t explain the inexplicable to people who only have normal as a reference. You can’t go over your crazy boss’ head if his boss or HR thinks your boss is wonderful.”
“OK, a tesseract is a cube in the fourth dimension. You can’t describe it to a person in the third dimension. It would be like explaining a cube to Flat Stanley, there is no frame of reference.”
“It’s about advice. The person who lives in normalcy always tries to give advice to the person who lives in crazy world. The advice giver doesn’t understand that the rules are totally different. If you’ve never worked for an irrational boss how can you give advice to the person who works for a crazy boss who is supported by even crazier management? If you’ve always been thin, how do you give weight loss advice to someone who has always been fat? If you run a five minute mile how do you give advice to someone who just started running, has bad knees and runs a thirteen-minute Mile?”
“I get it, crazy world has a totally different set of rules. Roberts Rules of Order don’t apply to street gangs, terrorists don’t follow the Geneva Convention and there is no Marquis of Queensberry Rules in a bar fight. You can’t give advice if you don’t know what the fuck you are talking about.”
“Correctamundo, hence the tesseract.”
“Shut up and f@&k me, you useless f&$cking idiot.”
Peace be the Botendaddy