Take my father, for instance. He didn’t have much of an education, never completed high school, and barely earned his GED before he got out of juvie, but he learned some important lessons in life, and he made dog-gone sure he passed them along to me, his only son.

“Always remember,” he said me during one of those many times he sat me up on his knee so that he could tell me all about life. “Eric Clapton’s nickname is ‘Slowhand.’ The commies are putting fluoride in our drinking water. Paul McCartney used to be in a band called Wings. And watch out for them Democrats. They wanna take away our guns.”

Yeah, I know. But who was I to argue? For if there was anything my pop was sure about, number one was concerts, and number two was the way he felt the world really worked. Heck, I can still remember walking down the street with him, listening to him rant about the politicians and the music.

“The federal income tax is illegal,” he’d say. “MTV used to play music videos. The CIA is using microwaves to read our minds. The band’s name might be Chicago, but they live in Los Angeles. And the UN wants to steal our land.”

That’s how I grew up. Listening to my dad go on and on about black helicopters at Motley Crue concerts, how the Trilateral Commission calls the shots on service charges, and how NASA used secret alien lip-synching technology at Area 51 to create Ashlee Simpson.

But I didn’t buy into all that. Instead, I grew up, worked hard and earned an education. And as much as I loved my father, I realized that he had a rather skewed outlook on life. I mean, Dick Cheney is Wayne Newton in disguise? Get real.

But being the good son, I just sat there and took it. I listened to him go on about Sting’s face being carved out of the mountains on Mars, and how Yanni is the secret leader of the Freemasons. In fact, I listened to Dad spew that conspiratorial bs day in and day out, and I never told him he was crazy. Even on that very last day when I knew he was leaving us for good, and that it was time for him to go gentle into that last goodnight, I never told him he was nuts.

Instead, I just kept my mouth shut as I watched the men in black take him away.