Crazy for you 

Don't you love the things you hate? I hate lots of things, and they bring me as much pleasure as the things I love.

Salsa is the perfect example. I love salsa. The taste, the musical name, the way you can feel the cilantro in your nose. I'll throw it in everything from burritos to blueberry milkshakes unless someone grabs my wrist and says "Noooo!" in just the right supplicating tone.

But I hate salsa jars. Do they paint them shut? Do they put the wrong sized lids on the jars and then beat them into place with mallets? I can see medicine bottles being tricky -- you don't want a kid to swallow all your Vicadin (well, in theory). But what do the packagers think is in this condiment that is a threat to the public? Plutonium? Defense Department secrets? PCP? And if I can get a jar open without spraining something, the struggle is usually so great that when the lid finally gives, 16 ounces of salsa go flying everywhere, making it look as if someone just savagely murdered a gnome. I have cleaned up more salsa than any shift of Taco Bell workers. So, as you can see, I hate salsa jars, but I really enjoy hating them. I appreciate things that inspire passionate feeling, so in a way I appreciate many of the things I hate.

Truly, madly ...

I have a deep and abiding appreciation for Pat Robertson, the televangelist buffoon zillionaire talk-show host ex-presidential candidate. Pat is insane, and I have the same love-hate thing for crazies as I do for salsa. Crazy people scare me, but I just love the color and lights that come out of their mouths. I know this one girl, for instance, who is obsessed with how "IT," however intangible "IT" is, is all a conspiracy by the lesbian mafia. Even Chris Carter never thought of that one. I appreciate this girl, but I don't want to be in the same room as her.

Ditto Pat, who delivered another gem of dementia to the world last week, one which ended a business deal between Pat and the Bank of Scotland. Pat had partnered up with the bank to invest $50 million in a telephone-banking operation. Since 1685 the bank has been an institution as sensible as the dictionary. Suddenly it was going into business with Christian zealotry's answer to Willie Wonka. A lot of Scots were vocal in their concern. Then Pat chose to describe Scotland as a "dark land" where homosexuals wield a lot of influence.

With that, the bank put its hands in the air and backed away slowly, then formally quit the deal and apologized to everyone who ever met them for being so stupid.

I feel badly for the bank, but I can see how such a thing happened. It's like when you bring home that one guy that everyone has warned you is crazy and you say, "Oh no, really, he's a nice guy," then he gets drunk and starts dancing with the dog and telling your grandma about the tryst he had in the subway toilet. You just want to die. That's how the bank feels right now.

Got away Scots free

Did Pat confuse Scotland with Disney World? After all, it was just last year that he told us Orlando was going to be hit with hurricanes because we flew the rainbow flag downtown. (Florida, of course, had never experienced a hurricane prior to this.) Maybe he meant what he said about Scotland in a wistful and romantic way. Did he have a highland fling? Miss the willies in the field? Bemoan the lost offers to have his caber tossed?

We'll never know. That's one of the beauties of crazy people -- they never scramble to explain themselves like those of us with reason and conscience do. You just have to sit back and wait for whatever glittering gem is going to pop out of their mouths next.

Of course, there's something rather unpleasant about all this, and that's knowing that someone who is so crazy, cocky and mean-minded has an extra $50 million sitting around to invest. And he could get more. For backing out of the deal, the bank now may have to fork over $3 million to Robertson. If I knew going in that I could pocket $3 million just for insulting somebody, I'd have gone right after the bank president's mother.

Pat's crazy, but he's not stupid. And he's got the kind of money that buys the kind of power that ends up making crazy opinions into laws. Never mind Scotland; that's the real darkness in this or any land.

Still, I really do hope he picks up on that lesbian mafia thing. It's right up his alley. If it ends up in the headlines, I'd really appreciate it.

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