I thought Billy was nuts but when he wanted to fight me because we wouldn’t stop for a cold beer on the way to the hospital after he nicked himself in the throat with a chainsaw, the realization that he was actually crazy dawned on me. See, there is a difference between nuts and crazy.
Over the years I have put myself in some pretty interesting situations and as a result have met some folks who were just a bit different. Even more disturbing is the realization that on more than one occasion, I was one of those “different” sort of folk.
So, I have a bit of first hand knowledge about the difference between crazy and nuts. Nuts is what happens when you spend to much time with the dog and horse riding fence lines. Nuts is that point in time when your wore down from the daily grind, come home to find the wife is late, the IRS wants to talk with you, the cat had kittens in your slippers, you decide to go on a toot, and find out the next morning that you danced on the table singing “I am a little tea pot” and the photos are now posted on Facebook.
I have sampled a walk on the “nut” side more than once. Crazy is another issue. Crazy is, well, crazy.
Billy bleeding like a stuck hog and wanting to punch my lights out because I wouldn’t stop for a beer was crazy. Al, beating his truck with a shovel when it got stuck in the sand, was walking the line between nuts and crazy. He crossed that line when he unloaded his ice chest, set fire to the truck, and laughed like a loon.
Nuts are all around us and to a large degree they are relatively harmless. Crazy folks are all around us as well, and it always makes me nervous to know they are out there with access to forks and spoons.
Nuts is an illness that comes and goes. The flair ups are temporary though the effects might last for quite some time.
Crazy is different. To the best of my knowledge there is no cure. It is often terminal, to the afflicted and to those around them.
Nuts can function rather well in society as the traits that result in that moniker only manifest on occasion. Crazy people often end up as hermits or politicians free from the constraints of society.  
As hermits crazy people are sort of like rattlesnakes. You don’t bother them and they don’t bother you.
When the crazy people choose politics as a profession no one is safe because then they have the power to inflict their craziness on others. Even worse, in this capacity they are like magnets that attract similarly crazy people.
You can reason with a nut because under what appears to a crazy veneer is a sane person who just reached a boiling point. Once the steam blows off all is fine and dandy.
You can not reason with crazy. You can use Harvard approved one hundred dollar words or good old fashioned horse sense and you will never convince a crazy hermit not to wear tin foil in their hat to ward off attempts at mind control or get them to believe jet trails are not a government conspiracy to eliminate them.
Likewise with a crazy politician, especially one that has surrounded himself with thinkers of a like mind. Then even the meaning of a simple word like “is” is up for grabs.
A nut at the wheel of the bus can be dangerous. Getting on the crazy field trip bus is, well, crazy.
A dozen or so years ago I thought perhaps this was the wrong bus but couldn’t tell if the driver was nuts or crazy. Then about eight years ago I noticed that the bus was filling up with people just like the driver. Now, here we are in the spring of 2011 and there is no longer any doubt, this is the crazy field trip bus, no one is getting off, and where it will stop is anybody’s guess but there is a pretty good chance it won’t be a very pleasant place. 

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