The Crazy Things I Do Under Normal Circumstances

Often, under run of the mill conditions, my brain will think totally inane things that I will process as normal. Even my outward reactions to these circumstances may read as perfectly reasonable. But please trust me that my thought processes have little to no connection with reality. Here are some of my myriad secret eccentricities.

Circumstance: The Shawshank Redemption is on TNT.

Normal Reaction: Catch a few minutes. You’ve seen it a million times before.

My Secret Crazy Reaction: Watch from the moment you find it until the end, regardless of the fact that you own it on DVD. If TNT shows the movie a second consecutive time (and let’s face it, they will) watch until you get to the point when you started watching the first time through. Otherwise it has not come full circle.

Circumstance: A squirrel climbs rapidly down a tree several yards away.

Normal Reaction: Follow the squirrel’s path with your eyes. Imagine where it might be going. Reflect on the coming winter months. Notice whether the squirrel is carrying an acorn in its mouth.

My Secret Crazy Reaction: Bend at the knees in preparation for kicking the squirrel should it try to jump up and bite my face or genitals.

Circumstance: There is pie.

Normal Reaction: If you are hungry, enjoy a slice. Don’t overdo it.

My Secret Crazy Reaction: Eat as much pie as I can get away with. Not only in terms of what my body will tolerate, but also in regard to what will raise eyebrows or protest from the other attendees of whatever function I may be attending.

Circumstance: The bar you are at on your birthday will not play “Hypnotize” by the Notorious BIG.

Normal Reaction: Enjoy the music that is playing. Listen to the songs you want to hear on the way home.

My Secret Crazy Reaction: Leave the bar. Never return.

Circumstance: A parent is pushing a cute baby down the street in a stroller.

Normal Reaction: Smile and wave to the baby.

My Secret Crazy Reaction: Notice the cuteness of the baby. Think about smiling at the baby, but be conscious of looking like a creep. Make sure the parent is not watching you. Smile and wave to the baby. Get noticed by parent. Look away. Realize that what you just did is the creepiest possible thing aside from actually plucking the baby out of its stroller and running. Smile and wave sheepishly to the parent to no avail. The damage has been done.

Circumstance: Girlfriend expresses a desire to eat at a certain restaurant.

Normal Reaction: Make reservations at that restaurant for an occasion such as a birthday or anniversary.

My Secret Crazy Reaction: Wait until my girlfriend has forgotten she ever mentioned said restaurant. If she brings it up again, continue waiting. It’s too fresh in her mind. Make a reservation in secret. Ask her to clear her schedule on the night of the reservation. Construct an elaborate web of lies and misdirections to conceal your actual plans. Take her to the restaurant she once seemed so keen on visiting. Treat any reaction other than elation with intense disappointment. Become terrified that the food will not be satisfactory. Remember with horror what in her mind was a totally enjoyable evening.

Circumstance: A Creedence Clearwater Revival song is playing on the radio.

Normal Reaction: Maybe listen to it. Maybe not.

My Secret Crazy Reaction: I do not ever turn off a Creedence song until it reaches the end. It is a rule that I made for myself and have never violated. I do not even entirely understand this rule, but I live by it.

Circumstance: New Year’s Eve

Normal Reaction: Go out! Have fun! Cut loose! Watch the ball drop!

My Secret Crazy Reaction: Weigh options for weeks. Finally decide on some acceptable combination of activities, timed out to the minute if possible. Any delays are unacceptable. Spend the night in constant fear that the place I just left is more fun than the place I am on my way to. Spend January 1st and 2nd confirming with friends that I chose the exact right order and combination of events to maximize my access to the fun resources available. Begin planning for the following year on January 3rd.

Circumstance: A game winning field goal by New England Patriots placekicker Stephen Gostkowski.

Normal Reaction: A fist pump and/ or high five.

My Secret Crazy Reaction: Soundless tears of joy. TC mark

image – Larry Page


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  • Mashka

    when it comes to pumpkin pie I’ll eat the entire pie in one sitting no shame.  I mean like, not at an actual public function. Like when I visit my parents and my mom just so happened to make TWO pumpkin pies and they are oh so conveniently sitting in the fridge and I’m like this is the best day ever. Cue to me sitting in front of the tv with a whipped cream can and the entire pie.

    • Justin Flowers

      You’re my new soul mate.

      • Mashka


    • Scott Muska

      I also advocate taking the entire can to the couch with you. I apply and then re-apply as I go, or I just take a bite of pie then spray it directly into my mouth. It’s sensual and erotic at the same time.

  • Mashka

    Also- I got really angry when this piano bar in Boston wouldn’t  take my requests for them to play Boyz II Men songs seriously. I mean they played “No Diggity” by Blackstreet so I guess that kinda redeemed them but not really. Complete bullshit.

    • wolfpack

      Howl at the Moon? I went there for my birthday and my friend ended up drunkenly paying them $20 so she could hear them play Toto’s “Africa”. Simultaneous high and low point in her life.

      • Mashka

         that’s the one!! Yea I should’ve thrown them a $20 maybe then it would’ve happened. Would have been worth it imo

      • wolfpack

        Next time you go (if you didn’t do this the last time), hand them the request. The jar is a black hole for your money and song requests.

      • Mashka

         oh I handed it to them alright. But thanks for the tip!

  • Courtney Pickard

    Circumstance: Reading an article by Josh Gondelman. 
    Normal Reaction: Being pleased by the giggles his writing induces and maybe leaving a witty comment.
    My Secret Crazy Reaction: Incessantly pondering some elaborate scheme to win Josh’s love, including but not limited to: relocating from LA to NY, stalking him online/in real life, making a mockery of his article in a comment below his article. 

  • Jane J. Kim

    Shawshank Redemption never fails to lure me until I make the full circle. 

  • Tanya Salyers

    You are adorable.

  • Sarah

    Easily my life. The worse is I did/do the same thing with Dogma (on EVERY day on Comedy Central when I was in high school) and Titanic (which I own in multiple media forms but is always on TNT).

  • NE

    You didn’t have to be a Pats fan, you know; I had already loved you.

  • Megan

    The New Years one reminded me of How I Met Your Mother

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