This conversation occurred this week.
It involved a friend of mine and yours truly. It went like this:
Friend: How’s it going?
Friend: Hey, what’s your opinion of that Jade Helm thing? Isn’t that what they call it?
Me: Yeah, you mean that rumor about the president declaring martial law and wanting to invade Texas?
Friend: That’s the one. Do you think it’s crap?
Me: Absolutely! But what really galls me is that the governor (Greg Abbott) took the bait and called out the Texas State Guard to “monitor” the activities of the federal troops coming here for military exercises.
Friend: I’m OK with that.
Me: (laughing hysterically) You mean you actually think that Abbott responded the right way by policing the activities of the troops?
Friend: Yes. I don’t trust Obama. I think he wants to declare martial law so that he can weasel his way into serving a third term as president.
Me: I haven’t heard that one.
Friend: Well, you need to read the Internet more. It’s out there.
Me: (laughing even more hysterically) But, but 98 percent of the stuff on the Internet is pure crap!
Friend: Not if you look at the “news sources.”
Me: OK, well, I’ll do that. But I’m telling ya, most of that Internet stuff is not to be believed. I promise you that on Jan. 20, 2017, the new president will take the oath of office and Barack Obama will leave the White House with his wife and daughters and return to private life.
Friend: I sure hope so.
I’m happy to report that we’re still friends. He’s a good guy. What I didn’t have the stomach to tell him, though, is that while I was working in daily journalism, the funniest thing a reader ever said to me, when I questioned an assertion he made in a letter to the editor, likely was this: “It must be true, because I read it on the Internet.”
I laughed at him, too.