Seems like every day I have to find out something that makes me sad to know. Today I’m sending out a big “thanks for nothing” to Yahoo! News for a story I’d really be happier not knowing about:
WASHINGTON – Those things that go bump in the night? About one-third of people believe they could be ghosts.
And nearly one out of four, 23 percent, say they’ve actually seen a ghost or felt its presence, finds a pre-Halloween poll by The Associated Press and Ipsos.
To borrow an old joke from “Cheers,” the scary thing isn’t that so many people believe in ghosts—the scary thing is that those same people are allowed to vote and drive cars.
And I love that phrasing, “actually seen a ghost or felt its presence.” As if the two things were the same. Hell, I’ve felt the presence of ghosts, and I don’t even believe in the damn things. Here’s how it happens. You get the compelling “feeling” that somebody’s in the room, which is bound to happen all the time because that’s the way the human brain is wired up. Then, when you don’t see anybody around, instead of thinking “I guess I was wrong” you think “Yikes, it must have been a ghost, because that’s the only kind of person that can be there without really being there.”
It should go without saying that this is the wrong way to think, because by design it’s totally unhinged from reality. And the idea that a third of people feel comfortable thinking that way helps to explain the rampant stupidity that pervades our lives.
“Yikes,” by the way, is the only word known to ward off ghosts. Keep it handy.