Things aren’t always what they seem...or are they?

HALIFAX — I understand that some people don't believe that Osama bin Laden is really dead. I'm not sure. I've heard a rumor that he's living in Nashville with Elvis.

But it got me thinking about other things most people accept as true. Do I really know they're true? Can I be sure?

Here are a few of the things that are currently troubling me.

• The World Trade Center. When I lived in Manhattan, there were no twin towers. Now there are no twin towers. How do I know those tall buildings you see in photos ever existed? I never saw them with my own eyes. Maybe the CIA planted all those photos in newspapers and on the Internet just so they could increase the defense budget.

• Vermont Yankee. They say Vermont Yankee is splitting atoms and producing electricity. But are they really? Has anyone ever seen a split atom down in Vernon?

I dropped in at Brown & Roberts, and asked whether they'd ever sold an atom-splitting maul to anyone at Vermont Yankee, and they said no. Aha! And they thought we'd never notice. I think there's no nuclear power there.

I think Vermont Yankee is really owned by Santa Claus, who is using it to manufacture all those toys he has to make every year without having to pay for a Vermont Toy Permit. Can anyone prove to me that he's not working there?

• Spring. I've heard that there's a season called spring that comes every year between Ice Season and Black Fly Season, but I've never seen it. One day it's 20 degrees and my driveway is a sheet of ice, and the next day I can't go outside because of the cloud of insects buzzing around my head.

At least, I'm told they're insects. How do I know? It's possible they're tiny flying cameras sent by the FBI to spy on my every move.

An airplane went overhead the other day. It could have dropped the fly-shaped cameras, which are cleverly designed to raise big welts on my neck every time they snap a photo.

• Strolling of the Heifers. They say heifers stroll down Main Street once a year. Well, I don't know. Can I be sure they're strolling?

Sometimes in the spring, heifers leap about. Or maybe they've heard all those public service announcements about exercise and they're walking briskly, whatever that is.

For that matter, how do I know they're really heifers? Maybe they secretly gave birth to calves and then had udder-reduction surgery so no one would know their secret.

• Being Born. Most of us think we were born. Our mothers said we were born. But do you remember being born? I don't.

How do I know I'm not some kind of robot dropped off here by a passing flying saucer? Maybe my family was in on the secret, because if they told the truth, the CIA, the FBI, and the Halifax Community Club would all gang up on them and force them to listen to Chinese opera.

How do I know? Can I really be sure? Where is the evidence? Prove it to me. I don't believe anything anymore.

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