Thursday, April 22, 2010

The North Universe

If anyone reading this is a birther, i.e., someone who believes President Barack Obama wasn’t born in the United States, I could use your help.

Last week my wife, Regina, received a thank you note from her nephew, John. It was for a package of stuff like cigarettes, chocolates and other goodies that she sends him every once in a while. John sees the world a little differently than most of us. He has been a schizophrenic since his late teens when he first began hearing voices on the television speaking directly to him and he’s been in and out of institutions ever since.

I’m not sure why that makes him any more insane than a lot of other people, so I’ll have to take my wife’s word for it when she says he has a problem. (I’m only joking of course. I’d have to be nuts to take her word for anything.)

Anyway, the note which came from a nursing and rehab institution in Georgia was just a crumpled piece of paper from a 3 x 5 spiral notebook saying thanks for writing and for the package. It concluded with the words “married to Brooke Shields in the north universe.”

I only met the guy once, briefly, but he didn’t strike me as much of a jokester so I’m inclined to take him at his word. Just because he’s been clinically insane for the past 30 years doesn’t mean he’s not married to Ms. Shields. The fact is, I have no way of proving otherwise.

I don’t know much about Ms. Shields except that nothing got between her and her Calvin Klein jeans, although I guess now my wife’s nephew may be in there somewhere. I believe she has a couple of kids and she may or may not be married to someone else.

I’m sure she’s a nice lady but that doesn’t mean she’s not carrying on a second life secretly married to my wife’s nephew as well as some other guy or guys, for that matter. So, I’m happy for him and Brooke and hope they have a great life together, if they really are married.

I see one slight problem, though. I’ll bet she’s lived around Hollywood much of her life, so there is a good chance she’s a socialist and nephew John needs protection from her political influence. What if he decides to run for president? He could have a problem on his hands: not because of his schizophrenia.

Severe medical handicaps never stopped anyone from holding public office. But, what if he supports health care for people he’s never met but whose voices he hears. This is why I need help from birthers.

Birthers, and there are probably millions of them, insist Obama was born outside the U.S. and therefore shouldn’t be president. They claim they’ve never actually seen his birth certificate. I’m not sure if their problem with the whole thing is that they don’t think he was born here or if they just haven’t been informed that Hawaii has been a state since 1959, albeit one where the people talk and dress funny. We have a friend who is a policeman there (Hi, Bob) and he seems to think it’s a real American state. Of course he is a cop so he probably thinks Dunkin Donuts is the state capital (just kidding, Bob).

The question is, should I write John asking him to produce a marriage certificate, and if he does, how will I know it’s not fake? If he doesn’t write back, would that be an admission that he’s being less than honest about his holy vows with Ms. Shields? Only a birther would know how to tackle a delicate issue like this.

(I can’t honestly say for certain that I’m who I am. My birth certificate says “Jovan” instead of John and it doesn’t have an “h” at the end of Zdravich. If I’m not who I say I am, has my wife being cheating on me?)

You may think I’m whining because we weren’t invited to the wedding. Is he embarrassed of us or did Brooke’s publicist insist he keep it a secret? You don’t have to be crazy to see a conspiracy here.

Another problem I have with John’s note is the part about the north universe. Since the universe is infinite, I always figured there was no such thing as north or south because direction is relative to where you are.

Sure we have a north star, but isn’t it possible that on some other planet in the far side of the Milky Way a slightly drunk, three-eyed guy is looking at the same star and telling his wife, “Dear doesn’t the southern star look lovely tonight?” before slipping one of his four hands up her skirt.

I’ve always had my doubts about the whole north/south thing anyway. I’m ashamed to say that the farthest south I’ve travelled is Puerto Vallarta, Mexico, which is still a good way north of the equator. My neighbors say they’ve been in the southern hemisphere in a place called Australia. They swear they have never felt upside down while there even though it’s referred to as “down under,” that it’s perfectly safe to sit on the toilet, change doesn’t fall out of their pants and saggy boobs still sag.

I have no way of proving otherwise, but intuitively I’m not sure. How do I know there even is an Australia? I’d be crazy to take my neighbors at their word. I’m sure John would agree.


  1. Dear John, I don't think it is nice to make fun of the mentally ill. YOU ARE and we still treat you kindly. You are a bully...shame on you..:(

  2. Most of the time I think YOU live in the North Universe......