Browsing for Freak Flags


Last Sunday my lovely wife and I went to the metaphysical fair at the Denver merchandizing mart.  It was my wife’s idea that I go.  Honest.  I had two choices go and feeling as out of place as Bill Gates at a biker rally, or stay home and missing out on one of the best freak shows this side of California.  So I went.  I did feel out of place, but that’s ok.  If people who are not normal are called abnormal what do you call someone who is more than normal?  Hyper-normal?   Exceptionally normal?   I felt that I was the normalest person in the place.  Normalest, I wish that was a word.  

This was not my first time visiting the world of the metaphysical.  I have taken my lovely wife and youngest son to this event for the last three years.  Each year it changes slightly.  My wife’s main purpose is to pay a visit to her personal physic.  The price is about right and she gets more from her visit that most people get out of a lottery ticket, slot machine, or horoscope.  I have not been read, nor do I intend to be, but my lovely wife seems to get something out of the experience and who am I to judge?  I get the same satisfaction from blowing up garden gnomes, and the price is comparable.

While walking around and or waiting for her physic we had ample time to comment on the festivities.  She seemed to want to thoroughly explore two subjects.  First was how the entire thing has become way too commercial.  The other is my place in the metaphysical realm.

My wife has a theory.  She sees two kinds of venders at these shows.  The first is honest and forthright about what they are doing.  They are daft and want to share it with the world.  The others are simply business people catering to a client.  She prefers the daft ones.  She enjoys the fair when the people who sell their wares are completely honest and really believe in what they do.  Sure they may be crack-pots but they are honest about it.  These people really believe that Hematite helps one sort out ones own mind, enhances memory, original thinking, and technical knowledge.  They are eager to sell you a stone and really believe what it can do for you. 

However, there seems to be a growing number of not so honest venders populating the Metaphysical fair.  These are the ones that sell what they sell because people who go to the fair are likely to buy it.  They have no interest or belief in their product, or worse they fake it.  You may ask how I, a metaphysical skeptic, can tell who is faking it and who really believes in their product.  One word: Appearance. 

People who are really committed to the cause dress any old way they feel like.  These people are the other side of the tattooed faced, baggy pants, pierced skull, unemployables that you see in Starbucks, coin.  These are the type of people who ware bells and shawls, wide macramé belts with pirate sleeve ruffled shirts, and sandals in the winter.  So when I see a booth selling Fucoidanized drink with Zradical and the salesman is wearing a polo shirt, I know he doesn’t belong there any more than I do.   I noticed that not only is Zradical does everything and claims to do nothing, but it is also a cool business opportunity.  This gets my scam radar pinging. 

My wifes theory is to only trust the crazy people who sell what they believe in. 

Oh and also when did the metaphysical include Scientologists?  Wait, I just answered my own question.  Why not?

Metaphysics is an interesting subject.  I have been fascinated by the subject for my whole life.  I don’t practice it; I am just fascinated by it.  I am likewise fascinated by organized religion; I often ask myself what if they are all right?  Or worse, what if only one is right?  Which one?  How could you possible tell until it’s too late? 

Luckily this is not an issue with Metaphysics.  You can believe in everything and anything.   No one will tell you that you can’t burn incense, rub stones, and listen to healing bowls at the same time.   I think it is one of the strengths of alternative philosophy.  As long as it is different than organized religion anything goes, which (witch) is kind of cool.  It’s also really easy.

Part of me would really like to believe that people can control their world through metaphysical means.  Wouldn’t it be great if I could see into the future, heal the sick, or visualize the universe?  If this stone, or herb, or spice, or incense is the key, and maybe if I only believed enough I could change my life.  Maybe it is the belief that is the key.  If I believe strongly enough, I could see the future in our litter box.  Mmmm yes my future is looking at a cats butt.  Odds are it will come true.

That brings me to the other conversation that my wife and I had during the fair.  What I believe in.  Am I a stone cold realist that only believes in what can be observed through observation?  Or do I believe that staring into a crystal skull will somehow be helpful?  I like the idea of metaphysics, and the thought that maybe there are other forces that shape our world that we as humans have yet been able to detect.  Maybe ancient astronauts are trying to tell us something important right now, but we don’t have the tools to hear.  So I guess I am, like most people, a little of everything.  Believer, skeptic, trusting, leery, accepting, intolerant, etc…  Maybe I am just a spit-hippy liberal gun-nut rocket geek.

My wife agrees.

Or maybe all this is a very human way to deal with the frustration of not understanding the complexities of existence.  If you’re lonely and unhappy what is the harm in using herbal bath oils and drinking Zradical infused sugar water?  Who is harmed if a person spends their off time chanting quietly while naked in their own back yard holding a crystal skull and smoking dried broccoli from a hello-kitty pipe made from the bones of a thirty nine ferret femurs, on a full moon?  It may even help. 

I guess we all fly our own freak flag from time to time.


Just watch out for the vender selling the dried broccoli, they may be using the cheaper to produce, but not nearly as effective common substitute.  Yes, I am talking about weed.  No not dope, real weeds from your garden.

So fly your freak flag, it can’t hurt and it adds spice to an otherwise hyper-normal world.

I will let you know what I find in the cat box.


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2 thoughts on “Browsing for Freak Flags

  1. planetross says:

    I don’t care what people believe as long as they don’t try to convert me or kill me. As long as I can call them a nut … and they can call me one too, things are okay.

    note: I think your “physic” should be “psychic” … but I’m not sure what your wife was trying to find out, so I could be wrong; I usually am.

    double note: crap, I almost spelled “psychic” wrong myself.

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