If you’re anything like me, you grow ever more cautious with each approaching day. That student has a backpack! Is he a terrorist? Is that badged man concealing a gun?! Unfortunately, weapons are here to stay so whether or not you are going to get murdered at your workplace falls squarely on the second part of the equation: a person’s willingness to use that weapon. Unfortunately, a bevy of modern-day products and social norms make it especially tricky to notice who is deranged enough to end your life. (It is worth noting that “insanity” isn’t always harmful, but we’re not too worried about that kind, now are we?)
1. Cell Phones and Wireless Headsets
I’m still not certain what annoys me more: people going about their lives with an ostentatious piece of tech being worn as an accessory, or the infernal BEEPING of the Nextel “walkie-talkies”. For all I know, no one is on the other end of the conversation as these people walk around with their hands-free device (hands in their pockets), loudly proclaiming what they’re going to eat for lunch. This quirk makes me look twice at bums gesturing emphatically, as the earpiece could easily be on the other side of their lice-ridden heads.
*Watch Out For: The Homeless WITHOUT Cardboard Signs, Ambitious High-Powered Douchebags
It’s 100% accurate to say that Japan’s chief export is “Weird Shit”. Although the States must claim Lady Gaga, this other nation birthed Anime which is sweeping the world by storm (unlike everything else they make). Yes, yes, Anime is technically a style of animation, and yes, yes, it is frequently awesome but…. Pedophilic depictions of schoolgirls in sailor suits fighting giant alien robots who became disembodied spiritual possessions in a love triangle with anthropomorphic kittens whom interface with vampire-hunting cyborgs in a post-apocalyptic setting of an alternate dystopian reality of sexy tank-piloting demon babies! The creativity is oozing out of every orifice, true, but the minds that create and enjoy anime should be subject to scrutiny.
*Watch Out For: Cosplayers, Cat Ears, anyone with a favorite Pokemon “Color”
3. Caffeine and Other Drugs
Some people can’t function without a cup of coffee in the morning, even though it tends to make them an overly-peppy mess of headaches and hyper-tension. Furthermore, Coca Cola (another prime source of caffeine) is roughly twice as expensive (per gallon) as the essential fuel that propels our vehicles between the important places that supply us food and paychecks. With “benign” liquids distributing a substance that is more addictive than nicotine and marijuana, it’s not surprising to witness “normal” people jittering as bad (or worse) as their drug addict peers looking for a fix. Throw in the existence of hallucinogens and you’ll have a harder time discerning who has a legitimate penchant for self-destruction and who will eventually abduct a girl scout.
*Watch Out For: Couches in Garages, Managers who describe Everything as “Super”
4. Baptists and Tele-Evangelists
If you’ve never shared a pew with an obese woman poured into a floral dress, whom bounces in place and babbles nonsense while her head lolls about and arms flail, you have no place in telling me that I’m wrong. Religion can be downright scary sometimes…. crazy scary. However glassy-eyed the practioners are though, I still wouldn’t count them among the first suspects for any act of public destruction…. (unless we’re talking about the Crusades or another Inquisition, then they’re definitely guilty). The fervor propelled by belief is powerful, and intensified by rabid explanations of invisible beings and winged messengers. Since God supposedly leaves “signs” for his followers, you have a dangerous situation where a killer’s inspiration can be symptomatically similar.
*Watch Out For: The Fucking Westboro Baptist Church, People Wearing a Bloody Corpse around their Neck
A person can literally live through their computer. Because they can pay the bills online, shop off Amazon, work from home, and never see the light of day, this means that a brooding outcast can stew in his lair of hatred, undiagnosed by the buzzing metropolis who may otherwise spot homicidal tendencies. Additionally, phones are quite popular these days, resulting in a tendency NOT to see that a conversational partner has a mask made of human hair and is tea-bagging a poodle’s eye socket. Video-communication does exist, but I predict it won’t have much of a cult following since half of your contact list probably calls while wiping their asses in a public restroom.
*Watch Out For: Amazon Gift Cards, the Internet, Audible Plips and Plops
Nothing is better than an inside joke. No wait; nothing is better than a non-sensical inside joke. No wait, nothing is better than a non-sensical inside joke that someone else created and you just discovered 3 months after it lost popularity. No wait! EVERYTHING is better than this thing. What does the average meme sound/look like to your average college graduate who very average-ly witnesses two teenage boys talking? Pure insanity. I’ve been on both sides. Family Guy quotes, internet jingles, and abstract clip-art collages can confuse the teeth out of a geriatric, so what would happen if you played the full Nyan Cat video for grandma? Exactly. You could practically smell the colors given enough exposure to the fruits of random obscurity’s idle time.
*Watch Out For: “Teens React To” Videos, Annoying Orange, Fred Figglehorn Fans
7. Zombie, Werewolf, and Vampire Romance
Last I checked, necrophilia and bestiality were still icky right? WRONG. They’re the coolest. And being torn between the Wolf/Undead perversions in a sordid triangle of blank stares and melodrama is so awesome that it has to be duplicated in the form of plagiarizing television shows and book series. To drive the point home that people can really fuck just about anything, Warm Bodies proves that the slower, disintegrating versions of vamps can be just as suave. GAWD! I’m not WEE-YURD. You just don’t GET IT! Totally!
*Watch Out For: “Twilight Dads”, and Repeat Funeral Home Attendees
What better way for a psycho to hide than a whole holiday dedicated to blood, gore, and scary things? Yeah, you’re gonna get a slutty devil but the majority of costumes are either Power Rangers or the timeless classic: Chainsaw-Wielding Maniac (the Anti-Power Ranger). Everyone does know that you’re supposed to take the chain off before chasing folks, right? Putting on a mask may be how the majority of people celebrate during this time of year, but there are those who put away their civilian “mask” so that they can threaten neighborhood children in their true form.
*Watch Out For: People who Hand Out Vegetables, Charms’ Candy-Coated Razor-Pops
Continued in…. Our Culture Makes it Difficult to Spot “Crazy”: Part 2