See Part 1 here:
What first made me wonder if I was attracting crazy folks was the abrupt way that Holly – my ex – changed. We had known each other as friends for two years, mostly online at first. Then, we started hanging out, and soon thereafter, we were a couple. She was an amazing girlfriend: funny, creative, even-tempered, not a trace of jealousy. Then we got engaged, and boom, a complete personality change. I initially chalked it up to wedding jitters. I guess her hitting that poor guy with her car should have been my first clue. But, in fairness to me, accidents happen all the time, right? I found out later that Holly hit his car in the parking lot at work six times because he had taken her favorite parking space. His little convertible didn’t stand a chance against her SUV. At the time, Holly told me her company laid her off because business was slow.
Well, that and the fact that you sent the owner’s son to the hospital with two broken legs and a steering wheel indentation in his chest, you psycho bitch.
Sorry, I digress. Anyway, that was my first inkling. It was not so much that crazy women like me – plenty of people experience that particular joy. It was the length to which they would pretend to be normal, just to become a part of my life. And it’s not just women. I attract crazy men too; turns out it isn’t a sexual thing. For whatever reason, the mentally ill want to be my friend. They stop me at airports. They accost me on sidewalks on my way to the coffee shop. They flag me down in traffic, follow me to stop lights, and try to climb in the window … just to chat. They share their imaginary friends with me. And lately, they make me a lot of money.
Oh yeah, I guess I probably should have opened with that. My name’s Foster Cain, Foss to my friends, and I’m the sole proprietor of Moonstruck Assurance, LLC. I thought about adding another word to the name, like “Detection,” just so my business cards could read “MAD, LLC,” but I decided that would be too much. My clients know what I do. They pay me buttloads of cash to make sure the people in their lives aren’t nuts, whacko, meshugah, non compos mentis, barmy, or just bug nuts. Sometimes, the cops pay me to find psycho killer types. I owe it all to my darling ex-wife, for pointing out my gift, and sending me into therapy. It was there I met my mentor, who pointed me to graduate school in psychology and criminal anthropology. Foss Cain, Nutbag Detector, PhD, that’s me.
My jackass brother calls me the Psycho Whisperer.
By now, I probably come off as a bit of a jerk. I know it isn’t exactly politically correct to use terms like “bug nuts,” and I don’t in real life. On the job, I try to stay professional, which isn’t the same as empathetic, but it requires me to treat all the crazies … rather, subjects, with dignity and respect. You know, it’s like how the military is supposed to treat prisoners of war. I’ve been regular army, so I get that. I have to tell you though; it is draining to constantly be pulled into their little psychoses. So, while I treat them with dignity on the job, mostly I just wish they would all go away and leave me the hell alone. Until the next mortgage payment that is. Then, they are my best buds.
Yeah, I figured you would understand my dilemma. I reckon most people think the people they work with are crazy. In my case, it just happens to be true. Maybe I figure if I’m insulting enough in my head, God, or whoever, will take this particular “gift” back. It is not the crazies I hate, it’s having my entire life tied to dealing with them, but not in a way that would enable me to help them.
Thanks, Jesus – good looking out.
So, that’s the brief on my world. “Security Consultant” for hire, aka Nutbag Detector, on my way to meet a brandy-new potential client that could pay enough so I can ditch all the “Is my new girlfriend crazy?” jobs and focus on the real stuff I’m trained to do, which is, mainly, catch bad guys. After grad school, I spent ten years in Army Intelligence, profiling the bad guys, and another five as a consultant for some pretty high-end customers. The big money is in being a SME, but the “girlfriend” jobs keep the bills paid. Oh, I should mention, we in Government work throw out a lot of letters; you’ll get used to it. SME is Gov-speak for Subject Matter Expert, pronounced “smee.” It sounds more impressive than it is.