Peanut Butter Is Dangerous!

On Baltimore morning radio, two blockheads, whose paranormal expertise is no better than that of a duck and a ball bearing, discuss ghosts. One boasts that he believes and points to a typical Gettysburg experience, while his buddy is having none of it. “The whole thing is just stupid,” he rants, but three days later he’s singing a different tune. Apparently over the weekend, his motion sensor hallway lights were triggered for no reason, and his garage door opened by itself. Ah, how quickly they turn.

“We’re moving,” he said. “My wife’s mad at me for angering the ghosts and now they’re driving us crazy. We’re gonna hafta move.” His amused buddy wants to know why such a harsh reaction, and proposes calling someone to help find out for sure what’s going on. “I don’t want those idiots in my house! I’d rather move.” I assume he’s kidding, but being one of those “idiots” myself, I’d rather he not call me. Well, he won’t, because the show’s producer suggests a mouse and a power surge – problem solved. This idiot concurs – I doubt the ghosts are angry.

But isn’t it kind of typical? Local media rarely seems capable of dealing with any paranormal subject seriously. They’re always filming some investigators on Halloween doing and saying completely ridiculous stuff. Or, they might feature a local witch – someone in full-Goth mode sporting a pointed hat. They ask her really dumb questions, which she always answers predictably – it’s so sad. Stereotypes and bad punch lines is how anything paranormal is handled locally. “Well Bill, it takes all kinds.” and everyone chuckles. Yes indeed, it does – unfortunately.

Two Halloweens ago, I was invited to explain EVP on the local independent station. I declined. “But it will help your book sales,” he said, thinking that would surely bring about a change in heart. I thanked him politely and also declined his next three attempts. They ran a story about “real life vampires” instead. I still thank my angels for helping me dodge that bullet.

I guess the paranormal still qualifies as one of those “it’s a whacky-world” human interest stories that local anchormen can’t resist every October. One way or another, some poor soul with good intentions is destined to become a laughing stock as he trades his credibility for two minutes of inglorious hometown stardom sandwiched between nonsense and the sports. I don’t know why we do it – I’d rather have strep throat and several staff infections, but every Halloween it’s the same. We’re like mice wandering into one of those plastic traps in search of peanut butter. I thought we would have learned by now – peanut butter is dangerous!

Thank God for BlogTalk radio and other alternative venues. Not all the hosts are exactly charismatic and some of the guests have refined the art of being tedious to a science, but that’s okay. At least Billy Bob doesn’t have to sound like an escapee from Clown College; at least he can maintain his dignity, and his family doesn’t have to cringe themselves to sleep. I suppose I shouldn’t be so hard on the local media – they’re just Lucy pulling back the football one more time. That’s their nature. It’s Charlie Brown who is to blame, you know. When will he learn?
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8 responses to “Peanut Butter Is Dangerous!

  1. Hi Randy – While I don’t pretend to know one thing about the Paranormal, I do not understand the fear that it causes to many. I want to believe that if I would have an encounter, I would truly embrace the experience. I find comfort in the small ways I feel my mom & dad are with me… I’d love to have a deeper exchange with them. I’ll keep an open mind. xoxo – janice

  2. There’s a blogger in my beloved hometown who panders to this kind of thing. It makes me crazy. She’s silly and irreverent, though she seems to take herself pretty seriously and is quite willing to claim a certain expertise with the paranormal. Just lately, she’s decided to offer a paranormal camp to children. You know, recording EVPs for fun.

    I don’t know if I qualify as a real believer, but I am serious minded about the possibility. I try to be cautious and respectful. Of course I do this, in part, to build an audience for my commercial horror fiction. Even so, I will NOT make an ass of myself or this field of study to get publicity.

    Guess which of us has the larger blog following?

    • Oh, I think I know the answer to THAT question. Believer or non-believer – doesnt matter. What matters is that serious research not have to rely on how others feel about a subject. ultimately, I actually expect people to re-evaluate things constantly for some reason. I must be crazy! 🙂

  3. I’m torn… because I’m obsessed with Halloween and the cheese that comes with it. But… I completely know what you’re talking about and understand. I concur all the way. At the same time, I’d get really excited if someone invited me to be expert or the knowledgeable one, Halloween or not. I will say, I wish you’d taken the Halloween gig just so that you could have worked to make it serious and save people from the vampires. Puh-lease.

    But really, what I wanted to say was… the most important part of this comment… you had me at “Billy Bob doesn’t have to sound like an escapee from Clown College”. I nearly peed myself. You’ve got one of those in every post.

    • Hah! Clown College got you, eh? It amazes me how often the line I like the best is not the one people remember. Almost cut that one, but I’m trying not to second guess myself so much these days. Local media doesn’t know how to behave unless its about fires, or murders, or bake sales. I’ve had the benefit of watching other more knowledgeable people than me wind up looking really dumb, so… Fool me twice…

    • LOL. The Clown College line got me, too. I love Halloween, but from the pagan perspective and having children who still go door to door. It’s a time to be thankful for who and what we have, and prepare for harsh winters ahead. Okay, and watch horror while you can’t go outside and play.
      Decades ago, I was friends with the late Peter James. Actually, he still visits me. He knew I wasn’t the kind to tolerate radio personalities like the ones described here. We had long talks about the awful Ghosts, Myths, and Legends show aboard the Queen Mary. It was a haunted funhouse aboard a truly haunted liner. It was insulting, and disrespectful. Since then, you’ll never see me at horror mazes. So, he kept me away from the media who showed up at the ship.
      I’ve done the Ghost Host show on 3 times, and enjoyed it because it’s a “safe” environment. I know of a Los Angeles DJ I could contact for an interview, but still am hesitant.
      Being an investigator is one thing, but to also be a medium makes me a bigger target for stupid questions.

      • Yes, you would definitely be a target! People assume we all want to be big time famous, and it never occurs to them it’s more important to get that point of view out there than anything else. Becoming “the joke” doesn’t help achieve that goal.

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