Can I Catch A Ride With You?

I do contractual work on various military bases from time to time.  Last week, I was on a military base which is a couple of hours from my home.  The people I work with there are usually military or other civilian contractors.  Most of them are nice and I often get to meet new people because of the nature of the job I do there. This is a plus for me because, as a software programmer, I sometimes spend a lot of time working alone.  

On this particular day, I drove over to the local PX to have lunch.  I sat alone eating my meal and as I was finishing up, a gentleman with a beard walked up to my table.  He was in civilian clothing and was a little unkempt in appearance. I used my super detective-like brain power to surmise that he was not active duty military.  As he stood there staring at me, I nooded my head as a greeting and he, in turn, said hi.  He then sat down and struck up a conversation with me. 

The guy seemed nice enough and I soon realized that he seemed very intelligent.  I enjoy intelligent conversation so I admit I was a bit intrigued when he began discussing various reasons why the economy had collapsed and why President Obama was not wise enough to fix things.  He then began talking about some conspiracy stuff such as a group of European families who he claimed are the true rulers of this world.  I had heard of this before so I shared a couple of my own thoughts about it. I did not comment on the merits of the conspiracy, but rather, just tried to move the conversation along.

Then this gentleman began talking mathematics- theories and algorhythms and, frankly, quite a few other things beyond my knowledge. Like I mentioned, this guy seemed extremely intelligent.  I struggled to keep up with him, intellectually.  He appeared to know exactly what he was talking about as he claimed to be working on a mathematical theory to help explain the possibility of time travel.  Einstein also believed time travel was theoretically possible.  So we discussed this for a moment or two.

Our conversation continued and became lengthy. Soon, I realized my time for lunch was coming to a close.  I apologized to the man for interrupting our conversation and explained that I had to leave.  He was very gracious and then wrote down a web site he operates which explains what he does.  I took the sheet of paper and put it in my pocket, all the while thinking what a surprisingly nice conversation I had had with this nice gentleman.  And then he dropped a bomb shell on me.

"If I can get my star ship up and operating, I will list it on my web site and let you know how my testing goes."  He said.

I was not sure if I heard him correctly.  

"I'm sorry.  I didn't understand."  I said.

"I've captured an alien space craft and I am currently reverse engineering it with a friend.  If we are successful, we will be test flying it."

I thought he was joking but, as I looked at this face, I became aware that he was completely serious.  Ah, I thought to myself.  This guy was gentlemanly, intelligent, eccentric and as it turned out, off his rocker.  

I, too, am a gentleman.   I was polite as I thanked him again for the conversation.  I waited until I got into my car to have a laugh about it.  Even though this poor guy was obviously deranged, he was extremely convincing.  On some days, I look back on our conversation and shake my head in disbelief.  And on less serious days, I am tempted to send him an email and ask him if I can catch a ride on that star ship.
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3 Responses May 5, 2012

IF A ARIES person tells you to hurry up because bthe spaceship is leaving in 5 mins ,You better hurry up BECAUSE THE SPACESHIP IS LEAVING IN 5 MINS

WOW!! What a great way to pass time having lunch! AWESOME story...I would LOVE to meet that guy!! He might be off his rocker.......but maybe...just maybe.....he isn't.... :O

Absolutely loved your story!!!!! Even with the surprise ending. No one wants to lose you from their circles now, you have the knowledge that may one day give all your circle friends a " ride"