Mad as a Hatter!


I said “He’s as mad as a hatter!”

“I thought that’s what you said. But what do you mean by that?”

You’ve never read Alice in Wonderland?

“Well, way back when . . . and . . . Oh . . . I guess there was something about that in it wasn’t there?”

Yep. But the expression goes much further back than that.

“Tell me about it. What does it mean?”

“You see, it’s like this —-

When people wore felt hats (which thankfully, they no longer do) in the process of manufacturing these hats, for some reason or other, they used mercury. Exposure to too much mercury has a strange effect on people: they begin to twitch and do all sorts of strange things like that. Their antics were so peculiar that people thought they were mad (or, as we’d say , “nuts”).

“So that’s it! Strange how chemicals can affect the body.”


“But what can we learn from that little nugget of trivia?”

Why don’t you come up with an idea?

“Hmmmm . . . . Ah! I’ve got it!”

Whatcha got?

“Alcohol in excess does much the same thing!”

OK. That’s one about which we all know. Burt wouldn’t it be smart for people to trace down what other chemicals that are causing ill effects on people as well? Seems to me that there’s been not near enough effort in that direction—but, then again, I may be wrong. I don’t seem to hear much about such things being documented. Perhaps I’m just not in the loop.

“Guess you aren’t. Wonder what too much exposure to a computer does to people?”

If nothing else, confuses them, I think. I know that when I first got mine I saw that all those programs that I could possibly get and learn could suck me in like a black hole. They all look so fascinating. So rather than get lost somewhere in outer space I decided early on what I’d need to use a computer for and then drew a line right there. I’m glad I did. You can become enslaved to those things. Unlike Sarah Palin, who has a good reason for doing so, I didn’t even get on Facebook. From those who did I hear that there’s little on it that has any value—people writing the most inane sorts of things. Like “I had a cup of coffee this morning” . . . and so on.

“Yeah. Sounds like a good plan. Maybe some of that morning coffee also has a chemical effect on those who write. ”

Donno. But it’s a decision that’s worked well for me so far.

“Stick to it. We don’t need madness on this blog.”


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