24 maart 2010

Breaking news: James Randi has a beard!

Recently one of my heroes, James Randi, came out as gay. Reactions were generally positive, some even ecstatic, and quite a few indifferent (it is hard to comment and be indifferent at the same time...). To me, it only proves that Randi is human. To illustrate my point, I wrote this fake news article.

There is more news from the James Randi Educational Foundation. After his recent coming out as gay, now the Amazing one has another shocking revalation: he has grown a beard! His family and some intimate friends already seem to know. Others had their suspicions for years, but to most people this news came as a total surprise. Your correspondent from Blog for a Day has asked a few people for their comments.

First Michael Shermer, editor of Skeptic Magazine: "Well, actually I got him into it. Many years ago, I gave him a mirror for his birthday. I told him that a mirror is the best tool ever devised to find out what you look like. Randi looked in the mirror and exclaimed 'Brilliant! I just get this greatest idea!' Finally after all these years he had found a purpose for all that hair growing on his face, he said. He decided that it would be a beard! Well, how cool is that? I used to have a beard too, you know..."

Then Phil "The Bad Astronomer" Plait, former president of JREF and close friend of Randi: "Well, you know... James Randi is a big inspiration for all of us" Phil says with a big grin, stroking his chin with his fingers. Did Phil know about the beard? "Yes, certainly. One day I showed him my new telescope. Randi said 'Very nice Phil, but I got a bigger one!' and then out of his beard came a Celestron with a 60 inch mirror!" But Phil seems to struggle with the issue: "I have to face it, some people do have bigger telescopes than mine!"

Skepchick Rebecca Watson: "Do I know Randi has a beard? Boy, do I know. I have been a VICTIM of his beard. At last year's TAM we were having dinner at some Italian restaurant and I said, "Hey, there's a bit of tomato sauce on your face. Here, let me help you!" So I stood up, leaned over him when suddenly I felt somebody pushing me. Next thing I knew I was entangled in this big gray jungle of hair and I couldn't see a thing. It was awful - although it smelled sort of pleasant, like Oil of Ulay or something. It took me four days to find my way out. I was angry as hell but Randi was rolling on the floor, laughing!"

Last night we received a phone call at Blog for a Day head quarters: "Hello, this is Feynman!" What, Feynman? You don't mean... Richard Feynman?? "Yes, that's me. I would like to comment on this beard business involving my great friend Randolph!" Er, you mean Randi? "Yeah, that's right! I want to tell you that I found out what that beard is all about!" Mr Feynman... it is 4 o'clock in the morning! "No it's not! Oh... it is. Sorry. Look, it is very simple. It is just a beard. Quantum electrodynamics happens to be full of beards! This experiment got a bit out of hand but it's nothing serious, OK? It's just a joke!" We think we understand, Mr. Feynman. But... aren't you supposed to be dead? "Ha ha, surely you're joking! I mean: dead, death... what is 'dead'? Nobody knows, really. I am just observing the universe from another point of view, that's all! It's great, and I am having great fun. Look, it was nice talking to you but I have to go now. I'll be playing drums with my new buddy Keith Mars... Mercury... what's his name" .... Keith Moon maybe??? "Yeah, that's him! He is crazy, but so are all my friends and I love them for it. Bye now! Tell my greetings to Randolph!"

Then, from the man himself. Randi says: "Look, I'm sorry about all this. It all began when I started to call myself "The Amazing". For an artist such as myself that's perfect, it served it's purpose. But in recent years it is starting to backfire. More and more people, even some of my followers, started to believe that I truly am amazing, even supernatural. Now, we can't have that. Some even asked me when I would claim the million dollar prize myself! By doing WHAT, I asked. 'Well, just by being there, you are our hero. You are a supernatural phenomenon!' They are crazy, and it started to become a serious problem. So I discussed at JREF how we should put an end to all this and my friends came up with a publicity campaign. At certain moments we put out bits of 'news' about myself, which are totally ordinairy facts. In the near future we are planning some revalations about my favorite foods and my favourite tv-programs, for example. After some time and after a sufficient number of ordinary facts, we will get to a critical point after which more and more people will be convinced that James 'The Amazing' Randi is in fact totally normal! That's when we have achieved our goal and life will be a lot easier."

So your correspondent has found the secret behind all this recent fuzz: it is evidence proving that James Randi is totally normal...

Disclaimer: you may or may not think this story is funny. It is written by someone whose native language is not English so extra spelling and grammar mistakes are added for balance.

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