The Humming Bird
had a college roommate who possessed good looks and charisma. He exuded
In college he felt that taxes were unconstitutional because he believed
the government had been taken over by a ruthless organization which was
in turn controlled by a group of powerful industrialists. These
industrialists used kings and presidents for pawns. You and I were
helpless. Already the battle was lost.
As the years rolled by, my friend became increasingly alarmed about the
collapse of democracy throughout our nation.
Some women he dated became increasingly bored with his rhetoric. A few
(who worked for government) became annoyed with him.
In our hearts, my wife and I suspected if the women could have just hung
in for a few more dates they would have discovered a terrific guy.
Once you got my friend "out of politics," it was easy to see
he loved children and was kind and generous and funny. But getting him
"out of politics" was more difficult than nailing a snowball
to a stove.
Conspiracy theories were his narcotic and he developed a wild-eyed look,
common to religious zealots.
When political passion fully seizes your thoughts and you come to
believe God is on your side, things usually get out of hand.
Faced with arrest or paying his taxes, my friend opted to take on the
legal system to prove once and for all that he was right.
Had he lowered his head and mumbled an apology, the court might have let
him off with a stern warning, but alas, my friend explained to the judge
that the judge himself was a dupe of a malevolent organization that had
taken over the world.
My friend was sentenced to prison for several years and when he was
released he was more convinced than ever that he was right about the
evils of our political system.
He railed against the system that had taken his freedom. His old
girlfriends gave him a wide berth. The women of the 90s did not want to
hear about medieval cartels that now ensnared humankind. They wanted to
hear stock market reports or Martha Stewart or the fact that they looked
terrific in new dresses.
Then a small miracle happened. My friend called to say he wanted to
bring Humberta by to meet my wife and me. We were delighted.
Humberta was frail and not too well. My friend had been looking after
her for two weeks. Nothing was too good for Humberta and my friend did
everything for her.
She sat on his lap as he talked, and she hardly uttered a peep. She
seemed spellbound by my friend's every word. So were my wife and I, for
this was the first time we had ever heard him speak for more than three
minutes without introducing the latest conspiracy theory along with out-
of-focus snapshots into our conversation.
Finally, I thought, my friend has found someone he cared about, and in
caring about another being, my friend had turned into a great guy. I
figured that even if he started to rant about conspiracy theories,
Humberta would forgive him.
Parting is such sorrow
Humberta, however, did
not look well. A few days later, my friend called to say that Humberta
had died. He started to explain how this country was actually a cell
within the United Nations. Soon all farmland would be communal. All part
of an insidious plot to redistribute the wealth to enslave.
After we said goodbye, I thought about Humberta and what magic she had
on my friend. Without saying a word she had rescued him from himself.
And he really cared about her. How tragic they could not save each
All of which may go to prove that fanatics are almost as hard to rescue
as baby hummingbirds named Humberta.
100 pounds of M&Ms