“Is that non-fiction?”
I looked up from my book–Stephen King’s 11/22/63–to see a man sitting on the other side of the waiting room at Merchant’s Tire. It was 7:30 on Saturday morning and I had been up since 6:00 because I’d wanted to make sure I was early enough to be the first in line to get my wife’s car inspected (it’s a sure sign of getting older–you camp out for car inspections and miss the boat on concert tickets). I glanced at the cover and half-wearily replied, “No, it’s a novel. It’s about a guy who goes back in time to try and stop the Kennedy assassination. So far it’s pretty good.”
He nodded and turned his attention back to the local news on the waiting room’s television. After a few moments of silence, he muttered, “They couldn’t have prevented that anyway.”
“Yeah,” I replied, half-heartedly, trying to get back to reading.
“It was a huge conspiracy.”
“I’ve heard a lot of people say that. I guess when you have a conspiracy like that, you need to keep it secret, so it couldn’t have been prevented.”
“Well, I’ll tell you what I think …” he began.
I closed my book. I love a good conspiracy theory as much as the next person, even though I tend not to believe most of them. I think I just like a good story. He began to talk about the Bay of Pigs, which I’d known about since the sixth grade when I did a report on JFK for a biography project, but then went into elaborate detail on something called “Operation Northwoods,” a rejected plan in which the CIA would commit acts of terrorism in the United States and blame Fidel Castro. Read the rest of this entry »