I can live in a world where the man who lives on the corner, takes his "invisible" horse out for a ride. I'll smile and step aside when he "gallops" by. After all, he's not hurting anyone. No harm, right? I know there's not an invisible horse, but it makes him happy and that's the important thing. It's amusing, actually. But if almost everyone in my town starts to ride "invisible" horses, the dynamic changes drastically. Then I am continually stepping aside for them to "ride" through.
They build barns and stables for their "invisible" friends and they don't pay taxes on these buildings or on anything they buy, that relates to their "invisible" companions. So, I'm paying their share of the taxes and stepping politely aside for them. As if accomodating their "invisible" buddies in these ways isn't bad enough, many people want to talk about them. Although they don't show me pictures, they certainly have a lot of funny stories. Be careful though, they don't think these stories are funny. They want you to respect their invisible friend and get kind of cranky if you don't. It gets tricky, because although they are entitled to their beliefs, I am just as entitled to think they are at the very least, childishly delusional. This creates more akwardness. I am somewhat resistant to stepping aside, paying extra taxes, listening to their stories AND pretending like what they believe is okay. I have limits, I suppose.
A walk through their stables is silent and there is nothing to indicate these invisible creatures actually exist. The building is empty, yet the "riders" enter, talk and carry on like there is something there. They don't notice the silence, because they simply answer for their "invisible" companions, too. No problem, because they know what their "invisible" friend is thinking and what he wants. It's almost like watching a puppet show, but with real people.
When I actually have the termerity to ask them to please ride around me occasionally, they wonder why I hate their invisible entities. Any attempt to explain why I can't be hostile toward something that doesn't exist, seems to fall on deaf ears. They claim, if I didn't "hate", then I would see that invisible creatures do exist. Inevitably comes the challenge to prove that these shy little buddies DON'T exist!! Attempts to explain that non-existence is, well....nothing and can't be proven, seem beyond their comprehension. I have asked them to prove that aliens, IPU's, the Almighty Schlogg or Bigfoot DON'T exist, but I've had no takers on even one of these choices. It is apparently unfriendly and unloving to tell someone that their invisible friend doesn't, um....appear to exist. Somewhere along the way, I find that I'm not smiling as much, anymore.