Believe it or not, Madison simultaneously leads the nation in average IQ and percentage of mentally ill. Did you believe it? I would. Though that statistic is fabricated, it might as well be true. Madison is home to so many smart people, one has to wonder what happened to some of the people on the street.
For instance, a couple weeks ago I saw a homeless man pissing on State Street. Not off to the side, or even discreetly—I mean, pissing on State Street. My friend Blair laughed at the sight, and the man (midstream, mind you) turned, stuck out his hand, and asked for change. He wasn’t about to put on a free show.
Sometimes you don’t even have to leave your home to take a trip on the loony train. Forget television, set up a chair by your first-story window and you have your very own network of nuttiness (one not called Fox News, anyway. ZING! Take that! Man, I’m glad someone finally had the balls to slam Fox News).
Now I’m not talking about the man walking by singing the live Eric Clapton solo version of “Layla;” though oddly bold, it’s completely understandable. That version rocks. No, I’m talking about the woman who demands you open your window, and when you do, she screams at you about seeing two children sleeping outside the night before. “That’s fucked up,” she says. Fucked up indeed, lady.
So far, the craziest of the crazies I’ve experienced was a man on State Street who was either entirely self-aware or in rough fucking shape. He followed me uncomfortably close, mumbling to himself. I believe he was attempting to drown out the voices in his head. Then, for no apparent reason, he yelled, “cccccRRRRRAAAAAZZZZZYYYYYyyyyy!” Imagine Woody Allen having a stroke—that’s what this man sounded like. Then, he immediately returned to his murmur.
I can only think of two possible explanations. Either this man knew I was listening and decided to do the craziest (and most meta) possible thing he could conceive (in which case, he succeeded), or a voice in his head said something that he deemed insane. Yes, I am concluding that this mentally ill man called a voice inside his head insane. Either that or he was being playful with said voice (a slightly crazier conclusion).
To summarize: Not all crazy people are homeless, but all homeless people are crazy. Keep this in mind when taking an IQ test because the question will surely arise, and I'd like to keep our average up.