I would imagine in most jobs people don’t find themselves simply asking, Is this real life?
Since beginning the journey of journalism, which dates back to college, I have found myself asking that very question over and over again.
The first real “what-the-heck-is-this” question came when I was studying court reporting in college. Our assignment was to go to the courthouse, sit through the case and write a story.
It seemed like a normal story, DUI felony. Then the first witness came to the stand.
Let me preface this by saying the defendant was an older man that looked like he would make a good grandpa.
The witness talked about seeing a car wreck, engine steaming and walking up to the car and there, sitting in the driver’s seat, Grandpa is butt naked and passed out.
When asked if he helped, the young man talking to the jury could not have been more honest, “Heck no man, he was naked — I was not getting any closer than I had to!”
Amazing. I got the best grade I ever made in that class on my article about the naked drunk driver.
More stories are intermittent in the time from school to where I am, but last Thursday really topped the cake.
I was told to drive to the home of a man who will be featured on the Biography Channel’s show, “My Ghost Story.” You can imagine the thoughts that went through my head.
I’m what the two men I interviewed would deem as a “non-believer.” I think ghosts are figments of the imagination and when he showed me the “apparitions” in the smoke he photographed I had to fake amusement. I mean really, if you look in the clouds you’ll see something if you look hard enough.
But there belief in ectoplasms was only the beginning of my questioning reality.
As soon as I pulled up to their zebra-print mobile home I knew this was no ordinary story. When I walked into their home I was surrounded by golden cherubs, five-tier candle holders, walls decorated in fabric and more gaudy/antique crap than I’d ever seen in my entire life.
Then I met Michael and Rai — two fabulous men that love their decorations as much as the circus they told me they retired from 18 years ago.
It gets better.
Michael talks with the ghost haunting his home and one of his first encounters involved the doors to his and Rai’s mobile home shaking profusely so now their home has no doors with the exception of the front door — this includes a bathroom door.
My day at their home ended with Rai showing me the kilt he made for his partner and escorting me out calling me honey the entire time.
Please don’t think I’m making fun of these men, because they were kind and treated me more kindly than many other interviewees, but c’mon.
I anticipate more opportunities for me to question the world I live in, but for now the ghost house has topped the rest hands down. But who knows what’s around the corner.