Day 209: There’s a Conspiracy Theorist in my House

When my Dad found out our car wasn’t registered in New Jersey, I could see a sense of panic flash across his face. Despite everything else going on in the house, he decided that getting the car registered was the most important. I could hear my mom and him whispering in the other room about it, “I will not drive an unregistered vehicle. If we get pulled over, they impound the car and put us in jail.” The next morning they announced, “You are taking a whole day or as long as it takes to get that car registered. We will watch the kids.” Then I’m pretty sure I heard my Mom say, “Driving an unregistered car seems very Mexican to me.” She’s right, it’s totally Mexican.

Lindsay had to do it, since she owns the car. When she returned with New Jersey plates on the car, my parents looked at it like she had brought home a new grandchild. “She’s so beautiful! Can I drive it?” The only thing we had to do was get it inspected. Lindsay made an appointment with a local place and my Dad and I were given the responsibility of taking it in. I decided that instead of showing up for our 10am appt, we would just go later and hope to slip in. We rolled up around 10:45 and they told us we had to reschedule. When I got back in the car and told my Dad, “Tomorrow at 10am” he could no longer contain himself. “Why the hell can’t they do it now?” “Because they have other cars in there I guess.” “Well, shit. I just don’t understand why they can’t do it now.” “Why do you care so much? Did something bad happen to you in a car once? Why are you so afraid of the car not being inspected?” And then he said it. It was a big moment.

“Because I don’t want to end up on any lists.”

That’s the sentence that turns a rational person into a conspiracy theorist. “I don’t want to be on any lists.” “What lists?” I asked. “Any Goddamn list. I don’t want to be on it.” I saw this as an opportunity to have a little fun, like it was a chance to talk to a crazy person. “What do people do with these lists?” I begged. “That’s the thing, you don’t know what they’re gonna do with them.” He was getting agitated and I decided not to press it. Plus, I don’t really want to get to the bottom of it. I’m afraid he would say something that would force me to put him in a home; “You wanna know what they use those lists for? They’re gonna give them to the syndicate who’s gonna use it to decide who gets to go on the mothership and who’s sent to the colonies. I want the mothership, don’t you?” Saying something like that is basically like pulling out a gun while you’re crying. The people you’re with have no option but to sneak up from behind, inject you with a sedative and send you to a nice room where you can play cards and no one bothers you.

So here’s my plan. I’m gonna use this here computer and a fancy bit of software to make a bunch of official looking lists, put his name on them and tac them up around the house. Here’s the first one I’m making.

TOP SECRET: K797 urgent spleen sources set for immediate removal ***** (taken from unregistered vehicle list)
Carl Monroe
Jesus Richardson
Michael Good (Yes, you)
Forrest Gump

I'm a contributing writer to Parents Magazine, GQ, Psychology Today and some others. My book, "This is Ridiculous. This is Amazing: Parenthood in 71 Lists" is available here Look for two more books in 2015: "Must. Push. Buttons (Bloomsbury Kids), and an as-of-yet untitled memoir I’ve appeared on Comedy Central’s “Live at Gotham” and “Nick Mom’s Night Out." I live in New Jersey with my wife and two sons and enjoy making them laugh more than anyone else.

5 comments On Day 209: There’s a Conspiracy Theorist in my House

  • I am laughing so hard I am crying. Seriously. Where have you been all my life? :)

  • fat burning furnace

    It’s truly a nice and useful piece of info. I’m glad that you just shared this helpful information with us. Please keep us up to date like this. Thank you for sharing.

  • I am laughing so hard that I am crying thinking of your Dad's indignant desperation.

  • Sorry, that was from Nina Calo Lindia, by the way. No need for anonymity.

  • I have two words for your dad. Caduti massi. He'll know what I'm talking about. Because of this, he's already on another list: "People who tolerated me when I was 16."

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