Remember when you were little and you were told that you should believe in Santa? Barring a possible mall run-in, which honestly doesn’t fool most kids (since that over there, that’s just a guy in a suit), you never meet the guy but you are supposed to accept his existence based on a well-constructed back-story (though the standards for “well-constructed” may be slightly relaxed when one is 4) and the evidence he leaves in the form of presents.
Now brace yourself if you haven’t already heard, but Santa doesn’t exist. I know, I know…I have just blown your mind (and before anyone gets on my case with the “what if some little child is out on the big scary internet and wanders across your blog and OH MY GOD! YOU JUST RUINED HIS/HER CHILDHOOD” crap, please take a look at the rest of the content here…the line was crossed long ago).
The point of all this is that just because we hear about someone from people we trust and there is supposed proof of their existence, we don’t really know do we? No, no we don’t. It could all be an elaborate ruse. Or perhaps your trusted ones are mentally unstable and have been hallucinating (What? People I associate with, unstable? Surely not!...um…okay maybe I have encountered bigger stretches in high school gym class). For just this reason, in my mental life-accounting I keep a “Does Not Exist” list. The name is a bit strong. It should technically be a “May or May Not Exist” list, but that would be erring on the side of caution and reality and when have I ever done that?
The DNE list is composed of friends of friends who by all accounts I really should have met, but for some odd reason they have never materialized. Generally, these folks come with fantastic (often drunk) stories. They original listee was a fellow, whom I shall call MT (since I have subsequently met him, know he does exist, and thusly do not feel the need to slander his good name by associating him with this virtual den of iniquity), who was close with a group of my friends from college but left town before I fell in with them. And there were stories…oh were there stories. Problem was that every time MT was supposed to come back for a football game (Go Hokies!) or a party (Go Liver!) something came up. Once would have been understandable, people have lives, but this happened 4 or 5 times and the circumstances got more and more bizarre. For this reason, I came to the conclusion that my dear friends had just made him up and the list was born.
List members obviously come and go, though not as frequently as one would think. Currently there are two…a “mentor” (I guess…) of one friend and a bad influence of another (though this description makes him even more mythical since I don’t really see how that is possible). I’m supposed to meet the latter on Sunday, but I have my doubts.
…come to think of it though, I’m sure I have some contributions of my own to my friend’s DNE lists.