Lies, and especially outrageous lies, become facts at an old folks home.
My neighbor and I were sitting side by side in the sun on our scooters when he said, "Well, we have a man on the way to Mars."
"We have a man on the way to Mars."
I am accustomed to distortions, rumours, and hallucinations at this facility, and usually I smile and agree, but this one is too much for me.
"We do NOT!"
"Yes, we do. I have a son in the space program, so I know."
"We do NOT have a man on his way to Mars," I insist. I may live among the demented, but do not have to be one.
"Oh, well, not a man. But a test to see if we could send a man." He is retreating. He is still spouting screwball stuff, but that can pass for normal around here. And after all, in the broadest sense, the Mars probes are gathering data that would be useful in space exploration. I hate confrontation, so I relent.
"Oh, good," I say.
Bon Voyage, Mars Rover III, happy landing. Send us a post card.