On a cold November day on the tarmac of Mitchell Field Airport in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, two planes fly in back to back.  One is a Southwest 747 on a commuter flight from Phoenix carrying Mr. Neutron. The other is Air Force One carrying President Obama on one of his last campaign stops a few short days prior to the 2012 general election that falls on Mr. Neutron’s birthday. Fulfilling a fifteen-year-old prophesy by the Great Architect of the Universe, Mr. Neutron secretly (and delusionally) believes he is running for President as a write-in candidate to crush Obama and Mitt Romney and become the 45th President of the United States. The honest to God true story is a collision of realities made perfectly for pulp fiction.

Money for Nothing

In the middle of October of 2012, I started my migration west towards “home” in Phoenix after four great summer months in my home town of Milwaukee, Wisconsin. I flew to Denver for a week to see old friends and catch the three concerts of the former members of the Grateful Dead at the famous Red Rocks Amphitheater. I stayed at the house of my friend Greg in Columbine that I had met while living in Costa Rica. Both he and I went from riches to rags over the past several years due to the global recession and lost our fortunes. He didn’t have a job lined up nor did I. Day and night we brainstormed at least a dozen business opportunities, both traditional jobs and unique entrepreneurial ideas. After living as leisurely as we did in Costa Rica for over five years, the last thing we wanted was a nine-to-five ‘cubicle job’. We didn’t come up with anything conclusive to do with ourselves, so I returned home to Phoenix to look for work.  Mind you, my head was all but clear after partying for four months.

 

After several days without anything materializing, Greg thought of a business contact that was a financial guru that might have an opportunity for me. His name was Mr. Randall Harvey. He was sixty something years old and worked in mergers and acquisitions to provide funding to small to large companies. I gave him a call and we discussed each other’s backgrounds.  He was one of the smartest people I had met in my life. He was knowledgeable about just about every subject you could think of. I was under the assumption that Greg had vouched for Mr. Harvey.

 

Prior to reviewing my experience in international business management, he was more curious to know what my personal financial position was, most importantly, my credit score. At the time, it was over 800, which was great news to Mr. Harvey. He said he had the perfect opportunity for me that only required an hour or two a day maximum with optional travel. The idea was for me to temporarily take possession of carefully chosen profitable companies by inserting myself as the interim CEO in order to use my credit rating to borrow up to tens millions of dollars. He has identified several companies that were profitable, but they didn’t have an official signer with a good enough credit score to get the loan.

 

He frankly asked me what were the things I needed in order to “stabilize my lifestyle.” At the time, I had next to no possessions and nothing in the bank. I was living at my sister’s house along with my parents. All I had to my name was a bunch of clothes, a cheap cell phone and an outdated computer. He said, “After we pay down your $40,0000 in credit card debt in a few weeks, we’ll have you shop for a corporate car and a corporate condo in Scottsdale “ He later went on to say my salary might be over a million dollars the first year with the opportunity to make multi-millions in the ensuing years.

 

So my natural instinct was to say, “I call bullshit. There is no free lunch in this world. Are you telling me that all I have to do is sign on the dotted line of a one-page loan application that indemnified me completely? It seemed too good to be true. Lots of reward with little to no risk. There are millions of others that have better credit scores. I thought, “Why am I the chosen guy for this position?” It was explained to me that they needed a tenured business professional that could understand the financial statements of the various companies should they ever get audited by the IRS.

 

At the end of the day, the reason I was chosen, or so I thought, was that Greg vouched for me as being completely capable for the task at hand having an MBA with close to twenty years of international business experience. I still remained somewhat skeptical, but very hopeful it wasn’t a total scam. After drawing up our plan on the drawing board, Mr. Harvey put me in touch with all of the players involved; the agents, the companies, and the lenders. All of this was done by phone. In the end, I never had the chance to meet Mr. Harvey despite my attempts.

 

My first inkling was to get on the horn with some of my best friends in the financial world. Unfortunately, each of them had a completely different answer. Three said go for it and three said that I should run, don’t walk from the big scam.  Of course I wanted to believe my friends with the good news. I took the naysayers into account, but continued to work on that first deal.

 

So now I’m walking on water again.  I had been promised millions and possibly tens of millions of dollars for not doing much of anything.  It sounded just like Cylant Technologies in the year 2000 all over again. Talk about a huge trigger for a bipolar! I starting to think that money would never be an object anymore. I was set for life. Now, one would think that I had learned not to count the money until it’s in your bank account. Case in point was my experience with Cylant Technologies and going on my spending sprees. But noooooo. I didn’t learn. It took me several months of endless hours on the phone before we were going to execute the first deal.

 

Presidential Aspirations

 

So now that I think I’m going to be the CEO of numerous corporations with unlimited access to capital, my ego started to inflate uncontrollably and I had new air about me.  I started to think of myself as wealthy and powerful. And what do “elites like me” crave once they have unfettered access to money? POWER! The power to manipulate the masses. The power to manufacture consent of the governed. The power to rule world. What better way to rule the world than to become President?

 

But my bipolar mind didn’t stop there.  I was becoming megalomaniacal.  I wanted to be the Ruler of the Universe, whatever that meant to me at the time.  My ego and my higher power were becoming one. I started to feel that I was even transforming into my higher power with the capability to influence anybody and everybody. I felt my purpose in this life was to first become President. In office, I would make foreign and domestic policy changes to demilitarize the entire world and take guns away from the masses and start the Peaceful Revolution. My mind thought that I had to prepare the earth and its people for Judgment Day, when I will hold ultimate court over every person, plant and animal. In my right mind, I think this is totally absurd and ridiculous - a mere delusion.  But I couldn’t put the brakes on my alter ego Mr. Neutron.  As I say "Mania has a mind of its own".

 

With the election media frenzy on CNN, MSNBC and FOX, I compared how presidential I was to Romney and Obama.  I started viewing the general populous as sheep that I could control from the Oval Office. When I looked at anybody, I asked myself, “Would they be happy with me as their President over these guys?”

Cutting Meds leads to Mania

 

With all of my enthusiasm to make a fortune with Mr. Harvey as was explained previously, I reverted back to the old notion of writing a book titled “If I Were King for a Day”, which basically spelled out my plans to create a New World Order. Not only did I plan to make the Bestsellers list, I thought I could take my act to New York and Hollywood and be on the talk shows and late night shows with guest appearances in the mainstream news media, and mostly, Saturday Night Live. Instead of that book, I chose to start with an autobiography, which I thought was more intriguing to build a quick presidential campaign around.

 

I was seemingly chemically balanced at the time and had energy to start writing this story. I was typing night and day without sleeping more than three to four hours at night. I also was forgetting to take my meds religiously. I would miss maybe three to four times a week, which was severe because my lab reports showed that the medication had dropped below therapeutic levels. One day I visited my psychiatrist and told him I wanted to change my medications to those that I could afford. I had no health insurance either at the time. I was lucky enough to get by on doctor’s samples. He told me to cut one of the costly medications called Abilify.  That turned out to be a royal mistake.

 

Apart from the few hours on the phone I spent with Mr. Harvey each day, I had decided to start writing my book again after a year or so of shelving it. I had sketched out an outline with lots of bullet points. Now was the time to put wind in the sail and expound in depth with my crazy stories. I wrote furiously all day and night. I was putting myself into the stream of consciousness of my previous manic episodes. I was becoming even more manic. The combination of three factors triggered an acute mania; 1.) my doctor reducing my meds, 2.) Mr. Harvey’s promises of riches beyond my wildest imagination and 3.) Writing this book.

 

Within one week I started getting starry eyed and excitable. One could tell I was manic just by my dilated pupils and a crease of concern on my forehead.  I started speaking faster and was more euphoric.  Both my father and my sister told me on separate occasions, “Jay, we think you’re just a LITTLE manic.” I always hated those words. I never liked being told I was manic. The fact itself that I hated it was a sign that I was really manic.

Hollywoodmania

 

While living in Phoenix with my parents and sister in September of 2012, I continued to put together a PowerPoint presentation on the Neutron Timewave to pitch in two places.  I had the outline of the website I wanted to create along with a partially written book. First I went twenty minutes down the street to the Chairman of the Thunderbird Global Entrepreneurship Incubator, Dr. Robert Hisrich. We chatted for an hour about the idea and he said that it looked great on paper, but I would need tons of cash and an arsenal of connections in the entertainment industry to pull it off. I left the meeting semi-encouraged because I wasn’t ready to accept the alternative answer that he probably thought the idea sucked. I thought to myself, “I can raise unlimited capital for this idea once I get an advocate in Hollywood.”

 

As it turns out, I had a first cousin, Mark, in L.A. in the movie business that is the CEO of his own film production studio.  Not only was he in the business, but he was an Oscar award winning producer that worked closely with Tom Hanks and a slew of other famous actors. I was only a six-hour drive from Los Angeles.  I packed a small bag, jumped in the car, and drove out to Hollywood.  I stayed at Mark’s house in Pasadena with his beautiful family. The next day he took me to the studio. We toured through the incredible operation he had with people buzzing everywhere. Then we sat down in his office and I put the PowerPoint presentation on his desk.  We went through it thoroughly and he seemed engaged.  He gave me some positive feedback on the overall idea, but basically said what Dr. Hisrich had said, "No money, no connections, no go".  I left a copy of my partially written book with him, which was extremely choppy at the time.

 

As we were driving back to his house, he had to tell me some tragic news. His other partner in the company had been suffering greatly from manic depression and started acting out of control around the office. Before Mark could really appropriately address the problem with him, he decided to commit suicide. Mark was crushed. He also was concerned about me, because he had known I was manic depressive too from the conversations I had with his mother, Aunt Alice. So timing is everything and this time, it was a door slammed shut on my idea for the time being. I went home discouraged, but knew that I should at least keep writing my story, if not for anybody else to read, but for me personally so I could see the patterns of my mania in life.

 

Midwest Bound

During the summer of 2012, I wanted to escape the unbearable heat in Phoenix and go to Milwaukee, Wisconsin to visit my friends and my mom’s side of the family.  I needed income so upon arriving, I attended a career fair for salespeople.  They were the lowest hanging fruit jobs for someone as qualified as me such as advertising sales, insurance sales, and other financial products.  I struck a chord with the person at the ADT Security booth who was very charismatic. ADT was the countrywide market leader in sales of security systems and video surveillance. I ended up interviewing with Mr. Corner who gave me the job on the spot.

Calling all Global Thunderbirds

 

From September through December, I was glued to my computer all day every day writing this book. At the same time, I was planning my “End of the World” party for December 21, 2012. On the night of November 1, 2012, I made a mission in the middle of the night to go to the Thunderbird campus in order to get a professor’s permission to quote him in this book and also meet with the student government president to promote the party. The next day, I met the professor that was the CIA operative, Paul, and got his verbal permission to reference him in my story. He asked me what the book was about and I responded with a chuckle, “You know. My aspirations of global domination.” Little did he know I was being serious.

 

Then I went to the office of the President of the Thunderbird Student Government and got her pledge of support for my event and said she would put it in the local campus paper as well as sending every current student a promotional e-mail. I was to send her some copy on the event that day so she could disseminate the word to the entire student body.

 

My mania that day was spiraling out of control. I continued to think I could become the President of the United States even though Election Day was only four days away.  What went through my mind was that I could send a note to the president of the student government and she’s send out my note to the whole campus and alumni.  The students would, in turn, forward my note to all of their contacts and it would go viral to the rest of the country and even the world. My plan was beyond ridiculous, but that didn’t stop Neutron.

 

I returned home from campus at about nine o’clock that night.  I wrote and sent the following letter:

 

45th President of the United States – Vote Joseph P. Driessen Jr.

 

My name is Joseph P Driessen Jr. and I am a Thunderbird graduate from 1999. Over the last twenty years I architected an intricate plan to bring in the New World Order with the help from all walks of life. I knew that it was predetermined by God from a long time ago. Today, I am perfectly prepared for the mission. The implications are global in reach. Thunderbirds are ready to go. To all citizens of the United States at Thunderbird and elsewhere, I appeal to you as a candidate for the office of President of the United States. I ask that you write JPD on the appropriate line of your ballot.

 

This is all for now. I have infinitely more ways to write this correspondence, but this is the way God meant it to be at this point in history.

 

With care and affection,

 

 

J.P. Driessen

 

What in the fuck did I just do? I just announced to the staff and student body at Thunderbird that I am totally off my rocker. They could have actually done something with that message and then I would have been answering to thousands of people as to why I was such a dumb ass to write that. Luckily, the president of the student government did not know me personally. I am sure she was wondering if I was dead serious, or out of my mind, probably tending to the latter. They eventually sent me a kind note explaining that school policy prohibits publicizing any message that was political in nature. In the end, I was just glad they didn’t go through with it.  I would have been exposed as a lunatic, and rightly so.

Crank Yanking the White House

 

That same Friday night around midnight I crank called the White House, which I used to do from time to time when I got manic. I wanted to find out how I could send Barak Obama a brief, paragraph-long message introducing myself as the mystery candidate who was going to school him and Mitt Romney in the upcoming Tuesday election. Somewhere inside my twisted skull I thought I was really going to win the whole damn deal. No matter what, I was going to have a little fun with this phone call. I think I’m a genius comedian when I’m manic.

 

I dialed 411 and got the White House number. It’s as easy as that. The woman secretary who answered was a total b-i-t-c-h with an attitude right off the bat.  I said in my serious Eddie Haskel tone, “My name is Joseph P. Driessen and I going to be your next President of the United States come this new year.  I have an urgent and important message to deliver to the President for his ears only.” She responded, “You ain’t talking to nobody. Everybody’s sleeping except me. I asked her to patch me into to his secretary’s office so I could leave a voice mail. She said, “Ain’t no way you be getting that from me.” I asked her politely,” Well, could you give me his personal e-mail address and I’ll send a note that way?” She said, “You ain’t getting nobody’s e-mail, phone or address from me.”

 

I decided to change tactics altogether and throw her a curve ball. I said, “Ma’am, I’m have a serious mental illness and I’m standing on the ledge of a tall building debating whether I should jump.” In reality, I was smoking a Parliament cigarette in my back yard by the pool in Phoenix sitting in a lounge chair. She opted not to take me seriously and just hung up on me. I clicked redial and she answers again. I said, “Lady, I’m really confused and don’t know what I’m capable of doing here.” She says that’s not her responsibility. I said, “So you’re going to leave me hanging like this after I told you I was suicidal?” I reminded her that this call was being recorded for quality assurance purposes and would come back to bite her if she did not respond wisely. What I jackass I was! That wasn’t the real me. I don’t jerk people’s chains like that, especially about suicide.

 

Finally, she asked me if I wanted to be transferred to the Suicide Hotline. I agreed. After waiting about sixty seconds, the call was dropped on her end. I called back again spoke angrily this time, “You’ve got a guy on a rooftop here that is losing his mind and you let the call drop? She told me to look up the Crisis Hotline myself and call and slammed the phone down.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I called back and said to her,” The White House is going to have a field day with you come Monday. Obama is going to personally can your ass.” She got ornery and defensive. She was like the honey badger that just didn’t give a shit.

 

All she had to do was pass along my brief message to her superior and let them judge the worthiness of my message. So I said, “Be the boss or go find the boss. This is getting ridiculous.” She hung up for the last time.  I let it go at that.

 

The rational part of me knew inside that it was a silly message that would fizzle quickly and fall way short of getting to the Oval Office. The manic side of me just wanted to stir things up to see what would happen. Being the incautious optimist, Mr. Neutron of course thought that Obama was going to read my message first thing when he woke up.

Manic Mission: Extract Rockstar Tina

 

The night didn’t end with the prank call. At 2:30am, I spontaneously generated a new, outlandish and impractical manic mission: Rescue Rockstar Tina. Tina was a girl I had been dating in Milwaukee earlier that summer who didn’t have a place to live.  She bounced from one Marriott hotel to another on a forged voucher from a previous boyfriend. As I’m typing away at my book, I received a text from Rockstar Tina. She wrote that she had deep feelings for me and she wanted to be with me real soon.  I took that as NOW.  I packed a small backpack and left the house to go to the airport to fly to Milwaukee.  I got to the airport bought a round trip ticket for me and a one-way ticket for my girlfriend to return to Phoenix.  I paid for the flights on my credit card that was approaching its $30,000 limit that I had no way of paying back - imminent default.

 

I didn’t realize at the time, but I was extremely manic.  I was excited she continued her interest in me and had been waiting anxiously to see her again. In my disconnected state of mind, I thought I MUST put a plan together. It was another “Mission from God” to rescue Tina from Milwaukee and bring her back to Phoenix. When a manic person concocts a mission in the middle of the night to do something erratic, watch out. Anything is possible. On this occasion, I left the house with the mission to go to the airport. I had four hours to kill. The only things at my disposal were the strip clubs and gas stations with three inches of plated glass. Yes. I’m in the core of town. The strip clubs were mildly entertaining.  When a person goes manic, they suffer from hyper sexuality. I bought four huge cans of Monster energy drink, which packs a caffeine punch to keep an exhausted elephant on his toes.   I had just then compounded my mania into uncharted territories.

 

I texted Tina to let her know I was coming to get her. It was going to be my big surprise for her. But I didn’t hear anything back.  It was about 4:30am in the morning her time.  Without even hearing back from her, I continued on my way to the airport.  My plan was to meet her at my hotel room and go out from there.  We would then round up her possessions, run some quick errands, and then return to board the plane in the morning. When the strip club closed at 4:00am, I jumped in the car and started heading in the general direction of the Phoenix airport. I was so geographically confused at the time; I didn’t know my right from the left.  I kept driving in big circles.  Obviously, I didn’t have a smart phone with GPS,  but rather a ten-year-old, useless Blackberry.

 

There were basically only troublemakers hanging around loitering in the streets during those hours. Neutron was back in full force believing he was going to win the big election and made sure to chat up every hoodlum he saw to earn their vote. In retrospect, some actually took me seriously, but they were typically the ones that were a couple of sandwiches short of a picnic.

 

I arrived at the airport at dawn. Without thinking about the implications, I parked my dad’s car right in the loading zone at departures and ran into the airport. Why? Because either I thought I was untouchable or I was simply totally ignorant of my surroundings.  Both were true.

 

I went inside to check the departure board. Southwest had a non-stop to Milwaukee early that morning at about 9:00am. I had a half hour before the ticket counter opened, so I went to Starbuck’s for a cup of coffee.  I bought a round trip ticket for me and a one-way ticket for Tina to fly back with me.  Even though I was scraping pennies together, money didn’t mean anything to me. I had just about maxed out my credit card at $30,000 with no way in sight to pay it off.

 

An hour later, I went out of the airport exit to discover that the car was still parked at curbside check-in without a ticket and without having been towed. I got really lucky there, seeing that it was my father’s car.  I didn't even my own a car at the time.  Had it been towed, it would have destroyed the whole mission before it got off the ground.

Getting past TSA with no ID

 

After parking my car in the long term lot, I returned to the terminal and proceeded to the TSA security checkpoint with my boarding pass and wallet in hand. When I opened my wallet, much to my surprise, my driver’s license was missing.  I thought, “Shit. I’m not going to be travelling today.” I must have left it in my shorts last night. I opened my whole wallet and showed the male agent where my driver’s license should have been. I then pulled out all of my credits card, social security card and dues cards to the Freemasons. Then there was the clincher. For some odd reason unbeknownst to me I was carrying a membership card to the Surf and Turf skateboard park from 1987. It had my picture on it and a signature. In my delusional state the night before, I must have tucked it into my wallet thinking I’d show it to an old school skateboarding friend of mine. I put all of the rest of contents on the agent’s desk in a pile and pushed it over to the agent and asked, ”Is there any way you can speak with your boss about this.  I’m on a very important mission.”

 

The boss came back to talk to me at the front of the line and verified a few things with me. After a quick interrogation, he motioned for me to go to the pat down area. An agent gave me the full pat down and they meticulously went through every item in my backpack. The agents exchanged notes amongst each other, then handed me my backpack and said, “You’re good to go.” I couldn’t believe it. They just let a man with a large 250-pound build that is fully manic through the security checkpoint with no official identification. That could have been a recipe for disaster in mid-flight. In a post 9/11 world, this sort of thing shouldn’t have happened, but I was in!

A Toy Air Force One Plane

 

While I had several hours to kill, I went on a little spending spree. I bought an expensive, useless cell phone, a camera and several nice dresses and shirts for Tina. Then I went into the novelty store with toys. I was browsing for ANYTHING that jumped out at me. There was a toy pig that rolls around on the floor and laughs hysterically. I must have tired out the sales assistant after playing with the pig for fifteen minutes in the airport hallway trying to drag any passerby into the same hysteria I was in.   People were giving me the craziest looks.  I later realized how insane I looked laughing in stitches with tears of laughter coming down my face. They weren’t laughing with me at the time, but laughing AT me. I didn’t care, although I didn’t think I knew the difference.

 

After browsing a little further, I shouted, “I found it!” There were two small model planes of the President’s Air Force One and a Southwest Airline 747. I bought one of each. I had no reason to, but thought that if I were going to be President, I would want that plane for my desk in the Oval Office or something.  Or maybe I would give it to Obama as a going away President at my inauguration.  Then I bought Barack a nice little key-chain as a token of my esteem for the first time we’d ever meet, which I felt was in the near future once my note to the Thunderbird students and alumni was disseminated.

Air Force One – The Real Deal

 

To kill time, I was pacing back and forth inside the terminal with Grateful Dead blasting in my headphones at full volume. I was the last to board the fully booked plane because I was playing with the little pig toy with some people at a different gate, lost track of time, and almost missed the flight. I was forty years old and far from mature. I probably will always be that way.  People don’t change much.

 

While I was getting situated in a middle seat at the front of the plane, the cockpit made an announcement that blew me out of the water. He said, “Ladies and Gentlemen, I am pleased to inform you that we will be sharing the tarmac with Air Force One once we land in Milwaukee.” My jaw dropped in utter shock. I had no freaking idea Obama was going to Milwaukee, much less at the same time as I was.  I was thinking to myself that I was going to see him face to face soon, but it probably wouldn’t have been until a scheduled visit to the White House. Now I have a crazy notion that somehow Obama followed me to Milwaukee to greet me. I thought his Secret Service had snooped out the fact that I was leaving Phoenix to go see Tina and they rerouted the flight plan to Milwaukee. I was so whacked out of my head to think that, but that is how high in the clouds my mind was.

 

I asked the pilot just before he shut the cockpit door if the President was arriving to or departing from Milwaukee. He answered that he was not able to disclose flight plans of Air Force One. So I asked the guy next to me in a loud, audible tone, “Do you know if Obama is coming or going.” He replied, “Coming.  He is going to be downtown tonight for a campaign rally with Katy Perry as his special guest”.

 

Sitting at the front of the plane, I thought I’d joke around a bit with the pilot who was still standing outside the cockpit. I showed him both of my planes I just bought and told him how I had already known about Obama’s flight plan; hence me purchasing the little toys. He chuckled a little, but seemed very baffled that I had the toy airplanes.  In hindsight, he saw without knowing me that I was over energetic and a little too slap happy, so he told the head flight attendant that if I had to use the restroom, I was to go to the back of the plane. The people in the seats around gave me a funny look like “behave yourself, you dumbass.”

 

Although I never slept the night before, I jawed my mouth off the entire three and a half hour flight to the poor old woman sitting by the window who was trying to read her book. Yes, I was THAT guy that day. She seemed entertained when I talked to her, but I can only imagine in hind sight how badly she wanted to get off that plane.   I gave her my life story, but left out the presidential business.

Neutron Bewildered in Milwaukee Airport

 

The pilot taxied the plane into the furthest gate in the terminal.  We deboarded the plane and started walking towards baggage claim. There was an escalator that led to a really long hallway that had horizontal escalators. For whatever reason, I was the only person in sight.  I stopped at the beginning of the escalator and put my backpack on top of the escalator railway where I could sort through my stuff and re-pack.

 

Mind you, I was deep into a three to four-day mania without having taken my meds nor did I sleep the whole night. When I say I was ‘extremely manic’, that’s when very erratic behavior comes out and there’s no predicting what I’ll do next. At that moment, I lit up a Swisher Sweet cigar right there in the airport hallway. I didn’t give a shit if someone wanted to tell me to put it out.  I was impervious to anything.

 

While I’m smoking and shuffling through my stuff, three TSA agents and two county sheriffs coincidentally came down the stairway behind me and approached me. They sarcastically asked for an explanation as to why I thought smoking was condoned there. My mind was about to quote Sharon Stone from Basic Instinct, “What are you going to arrest me for smoking?”  Somehow I avoided doing so.

 

Instead, I apologized and said I was a little confused. I explained I was in a manic episode and that I needed some assistance. The head TSA agent asked me for my picture ID. I pulled out my fancy skateboard park membership card. He became disgruntled and said, ”Quit clowning around, Sir. This is a serious matter.” I explained to him truthfully that I forgot my driver’s license at home in Arizona along with my toiletry kit with my meds. Incidentally, the solution to the mystery missing ID was that it was in my shorts the whole time. I found it the next day. I had put on jeans on over my shorts and had forgotten about it.

 

The senior agent at TSA in the hall with me called dispatch with his walkie talkie to be connected with the head honcho. I’m standing right next to him as he explains to the boss man. “Uh yeah, we have a forty-year-old male who we caught smoking in the west terminal skyway. He has no proper identification and claims the Phoenix TSA unit allowed him past security. He now claims he is in an EDP (Emotionally Distressed Person) in a manic episode and needs to get some meds from the mental hospital.” The boss replied, “Does he plan on boarding another plane today?” Having seen my return tickets for the following day, the agent next to me said, “No, sir.” The boss told the agent, “Turn the man over to the police department. Have him further investigated, and if he check’s out OK, please see to it that he has proper transportation to get where he needs to go.  I suggest the behavioral hospital first.”

 

I waited for about an hour in the sheriff‘s headquarters at the airport while they checked my criminal background. It was squeaky clean at the time.  They asked for my friend’s phone number in Milwaukee to call them to pick me up. I said, “With all due respect, sir, I would rather be the one calling. It doesn’t bode well to have a police officer call on my behalf. So I called my friend Sean, who never picked up. Then I called two or three other friends and none answered or texted back.

 

The sheriff asked, “If we were to let you go, where is it that you’d like to go?” I replied, “To the mental hospital on the west side of town to get some medication.  They graciously called me a cab and sent me on my merry way to Milwaukee County Mental Health Center. They hailed a cab for me and off I went, narrowly averting another hitch in my mission.

Milwaukee County Mental Health Center

 

Upon my arrival at the Milwaukee County Mental Health Center, I walked inside and mentioned to the receptionist that I was bipolar, but in a stable state; a flat out lie. I said I had forgotten my medicine at home in Arizona and that my sole intention was get some meds for the next twenty-four hours and then I’d be back in Arizona. They said they could help me, but only after doing an intake, which meant checking my vitals, performing a drug screen, and seeing a psychiatrist. Luckily I hadn’t taken recreational drugs in the recent weeks. My blood work came out negative for drugs. My vitals were good.

 

I sat down with the psychiatrist and put on my big Eddie Haskel face again knowing that I can’t let this woman think I’m the least bit imbalanced. After a half hour of going over my bipolar history, it worked. She was not going to try to have me detained in her facility. She decided to give me enough meds for the evening, but was short on the Abilify, so I had to promise to return in the morning. Fair enough. They asked me if I needed transportation to my next stop. I said, “That would be great.  My aunt and cousins live only a few short miles from here.” My uncle has just passed away the previous month, so I thought it would be really nice to see my aunt.”

 

I was dropped off at my aunt’s house and spent some quality time for an hour or so. I made some calls to the most expensive hotels in town to find a penthouse. Everything luxurious was booked because Obama was in town. I finally found a last minute cancellation at the downtown Hilton.  Unlike the penthouse at the Delano in Miami, the most expensive room was only $300/night. So I had my cousin Jimmy drop me off at the hotel. He and my aunt Mary knew I wasn’t my same self. Jimmy was even a little apprehensive dropping me off, especially after I mistakenly called him Uncle Jimmy instead of Cousin Jimmy due to his grey hair. Whoops.

I went to the registration counter and began the check-in process.  I asked the man attending me if he knew what was going on with the Presidents stay. He said, “You just missed him by an hour.  He was right here in the hotel prior to his speech at the Delta Convention Center next door.” I am going bonkers trying to process this crazy change of events. I told the receptionist that I too was running for President and people were going to write my name on the ballot. I don’t remember clearly, but I must have made this sign of slashing my neck meaning that Obama was going to lose to me. Mind you I’m wearing board shorts, flip flops and a Jerry Garcia t-shirt in Milwaukee in November with sub 40-degree weather outside. This guy knew I was a little off base making stupid remarks about my campaign and how I was determined to win.

 

He gave me the room key and I headed up to the ninth floor. The room was very elegant and definitely worth the money. The first thing I did was text Tina to tell her to come over to the hotel or I would send a cab.  I drew a hot bath and soaked in it for a long while.

 

My cell phone beeps and there’s a text message. Tina replied to my last text that she flew to Florida that morning and no longer was in Wisconsin. I thought, “It couldn’t be. That means I’m here for what?” I was pissed off big time at myself for being so stupid about trying to surprise her. I just spent $1,500 in plane tickets along with almost a thousand dollars on my mini spending spree. I was in disbelief. We talked on the phone for a while and both agreed we would see each other in late December, but the trip was a total failure.

 

So now what do I do? There’s zero chance in hell a manic man is going to stay still.  So I concocted a new Mission from God. Of course it had to do with me campaigning for President. Obama was going to be a part of the mission somehow.

 

I went down to the ground floor bar in my shorts, baseball hat and Jerry Garcia t-shirt. There was a large group partying after their insurance convention. I went from one side to the other side of the bar and was introducing myself and starting idle conversation. When I thought appropriate, I told them I was running for President. Some laughed thinking I wasn’t serious. Others looked at me sincerely and wished me the best of luck.  I’m sure they were also praying I don’t stop taking my medication.

 

The hotel lobby was dead, so I put some pants on and walked through downtown to the Pfister Hotel, where Presidents have stayed in the past. Some folks had just told me Obama was still giving another speech there. I went looking for an event on just about every floor. I found nothing. Then I was approached by the head of security that saw me lurking on various floors with no good intention. I told him I was looking for Obama. He said, “The President is no longer here so I ask of you, if you don’t have a room with us, you will walk with me to the exit and I won’t call the authorities on you for loitering in my hotel.” He walked me to front door and made it clear that he didn’t want to see me again that night at the hotel.  I walked back to the Hilton after stopping at a fun bar where I had a few beers; the last thing a manic person should be doing.

I went back to my room to put on my Green Bay Packer sweatshirt, my running shoes and some jeans. My manic mind was telling me to go out on another micro mission. I was to run around the area of the hotel and talk to as many homeless people as possible to say that somebody cares about them and that I’d be back to help them down the road thinking I o do something about poverty while in office. And so there I went. I walked out of the hotel and started running like mad down the street. I found two people huddled in a doorway to the Milwaukee Public library.  I talked to them for a few minutes and tried to give them some nice words of encouragement. Then I found myself sprinting down Wisconsin Avenue towards a peculiar series of monuments.

 

All I remember is that there was a large column with a globe on top of it. For some reason the voice inside me told me to circle it and take a video of it while you’re walking around. The pillar has great significance in Freemasonry. It was one of two pillars that stood in the exterior porch of Solomon’s Temple. I had no idea what significance it was that night, but I followed a voice inside my head to circle it. While I was checking out the monuments, I saw a peculiar unmarked police van following me and trying not to be seen by me.  I thought it was just my paranoia, but after further investigation, I knew they were following me.

Obama’s Secret Service

 

After my mini sprint around the area in the freezing cold without a jacket on, I returned to the Hilton and spent some time shooting the shit with the receptionists and a few guests that walked up. It was pushing bar time and people started coming up from the ground floor to go to their rooms. I stopped to talk to some of them and was being a comedian, at least I thought I was. I was sitting on the big couch that overlooked the whole vestibule where people entered the hotel.

 

The wedding folks I was talking to got up and left to go back to their rooms. While sitting on the couch alone, two men approached me and asked if I could give them a second of my time.  I looked at them right and said, “You guys are cops. Aren’t ya?” One man said, “Actually, we are Secret Service for President Obama and we’d like to speak with you for a few moments.” I thought, “OK, the President was here today, it’s very probable that they, indeed, are who they say they are.  Before I could ask, they already had taken their badges out to show me.

 

One agent had been drinking heavily and was slurring his words. The other guy was very sober and coherent. The drunk one said to me, “We’ve been hearing from the staff at the hotel that you’ve been causing a lot of commotion with the employees and guests.  I said,” Which one of those guys said what?”

 

I wanted to strangle whoever it was. He replied, “That’s not significant here, but what’s more important is that you made a gesture that you were planning to kill the President.” I got angry and that point and asked, ”Which one of those assholes said what?” It was one of the receptionists. Up to that point the receptionist seemed amused about my crazy antics and was going along with all of my jokes. I thought, “What a two faced wussy!”

 

The drunken agent said, “Listen. We don’t really care what you said or gestured, we are here to see if you have intentions of harming the President? I replied, “Absolutely not!!! I like our President.  Even if I didn’t, I wouldn’t try to harm him. Where would that get me?” He said, “Okay now. One of the receptionists told us that you are bipolar.  Is that true?”   I said, “Yes, but I am medicated and feel fine.

I’m going a little fast right now, but I’m under control of my thoughts and actions.”

 

At about that moment three or four Milwaukee County sheriffs came walking up in full uniform. Now I thought I might have crossed the line somewhere. I said to myself.” It must have been that one stupid gesture I made across my throat that set this whole thing off.

 

So the drunken agent asked me, “If you could deliver a message personally to Mr. Obama, what would that be?”  This was the very night I was supposed to crash Saturday Night Live in my Mr. Neutron costume according to my original timeline.  I couldn’t make it to Rockefeller Center on time (duh), so I thought I’d improvise from my great plan and pretend like I was on the show. I stood up and turned around to face the vestibule with a dozen or two bar patrons coming up to their rooms.  I shouted at the very top of my lungs, “Live from New York.  It’s Saturday Night”.  I couldn’t help myself from shouting it.  It seemed like it was fate. All of the officials there were probably wondering why I’d do something so foolish. I could have just given a small statement and returned to my room.  Now they had to arrest me.

 

The two Secret Service agents turned me over to the sheriffs and told them to keep me in jail until the morning so I wouldn’t be a potential menace to anyone, including President Obama.  As much as I didn’t

 

want to admit it to myself at the time, in retrospect, they did the right thing. They classified me correctly as being an emotionally distress person.

 

So out came the sheriff’s handcuffs and I was cuffed and escorted outside the door to a patrol car. They had me sit in this uncomfortable position for almost an hour. It turned into a living hell for me and I started to process that the whole manic mission was over. The cuffs were too tight and digging into my wrists to the point where it started to trickle blood down my arms. I was cooperative the whole time and calmly walked into the police station.  I was briskly led to an empty jail cell.

 

I stayed up the whole night in the cell.  My mind was racing in a million different directions.  I tried to do a little yoga and meditation to calm me down, but there wasn’t enough room in the cell to do the moves.  I started shouting nonsensical stuff as I grabbed the bars and shook them. A guard would come by from time to time to tell me to keep it down. I had woken everybody in my ward. They shouted for me to shut the hell up.  I finally mellowed out a while and the guard came to take me out of the cell at about 4:00am.

 

He led me to an interrogation room where two different secret servicemen were sitting at a table waiting for me.  I couldn’t believe it.  Right in front of one of them lay the book that I had just drafted - THIS book that was up to date at the time. They both hammered tons of questions at me. What had happened was I sent a copy of the book to my Gmail account to make sure it was saved. They must have used their authority under the Terrorism Act of 2001 or other to hack into my account and snoop through my personal business. I guess they had the right to given that they’re dealing with the life of a President.

 

The main interrogator and I actually all shared a few laughs going through my book because it was so unbelievable. It was evident they had compiled an extensive file on me in a short time to cross check the facts. He was surprised to see how all them checked out one right after the other.  Luckily, I did not have a criminal record. One piece I thought was curious that they missed were all the times I had crank called the White House as well as the incident AT the White House where I knocked on the back door to tell George W. Bush where Osama bin Laden was.  They must not have an efficient database to track those records, although I assume there is a “J.P. Driessen White House Dossier” somewhere in their records and they just weren’t telling me. The two agents and I went over the book page by page. The facts just didn’t seem believable to the agent, especially after reading about my grandiose plot to become President and rule the world.  However, after I was pelted with questions for several more hours, it became evident I was really there to pick up my girlfriend and not to meet nor kill the President.  It was all just a wild coincidence.

 

Back at home, my older sister and father were worried sick about me. I vanished Friday night and only once did I make a call back to the family and that was to my youngest sister. When I called her I frightened her to death because I was saying that I could change time and all sorts of nonsensical stuff. She was so scared for me she started crying on the phone. I tried to appease her, but to no avail. Oddly enough, that night was Daylight Saving’s time and the clocks were about to change. It was now Sunday morning and my older sister and father were scrambling on the phone calling hospitals and police stations to find me.

 

Close to seven in the morning, the police removed me from my cell and took me to a room for fingerprints and a mug shot. I prayed it didn’t get posted on the internet as they sometimes do.  Then I waited for about an hour for the police to issue a citation for disorderly conduct for having shouted out, “Live from New York, It’s Saturday Night.” Of course, the asshole sheriff had to embellish the charge by saying I threatened the life of the President.

 

I thought I was going to be released to go back to the hotel room and sleep a few hours. Turns out, they had other plans for me. The police chief said I was required by law to go back to the Milwaukee County Behavioral Health Center for a minimum of 72 hours. They cuffed me again and drove me back to the hospital in a police van. Ironically, I was planning to go back there anyway that morning to get the rest of my medication.

The Not-So-Funny, Funny Farm

 

When I entered through the doors of the hospital in handcuffs, several of the employees that recognized me from the previous night stared at me with a glare. I wasn’t surprised. They all knew I was to show up for my medicine; but they almost seemed disappointed that I had gotten into trouble.  So I went through the same intake process with checking the vitals and peeing in a cup. Then a guard took me up to my new temporary home on the west wing of the ward that was next to impossible to escape.  I was issued a blanket and a pair of socks. I was able to keep the two outfits that I alternated every day.  They had me stay in a small room with two other patients. Most of the people there were far more screwed up than I was. Although I was very manic and volatile, all I really did that was really that was out of line was to shout “Live from New York. It’s Saturday Night”. That’s not to say I didn’t belong where I was. Most of the other patients had very serious problems.  If it weren’t for them, I wouldn’t have felt so normal still.

I remember one woman was having an extended epileptic seizure on the floor and spewing green foam out of her mouth and none of the staff did anything to help.

 

My father flew out the next day to come visit me and put together a program to get me the hell out of there. We have shared many moments like these where he’s bailed me out of trouble: Switzerland, Costa Rica, Miami and Milwaukee. He came to visit me every day for several hours and then went back to his hotel to gear up for the following day. It takes a real caring and understanding person to do that. Many parents would have disowned their kids if they stole the car in the middle of the night, flew far away, and got arrested and thrown in jail.

 

The night in Phoenix when I decided to “go AWOL” on a manic mission to save Tina, I had invited a dozen of my friends to my house to celebrate my birthday and Election Day on November 6.  I wanted to be with my friends as we watched the election results come in. I was envisioning that my name had somehow spread throughout the country by way of the Thunderbirds and that I was going to be the write-in candidate that would win in a tight victory and it all was going to be played out in front of my family and friends that had absolutely zero clue what I was up to.

 

My father told my sister to send out a discreet cancellation notice once it was evident I was still going to be in the psych ward. They all became curious something was up. They all know I’m an open book and would tell them honestly what had happened to me. The irony of the whole thing was the monumental day that I was supposed to become the President; I was parked in the mental hospital.

Back in the psych ward, the first days were rather hazy from the tranquilizers they gave me.  Both my long and short term memories were cloudy. After the third or fourth day, I was doing a terrific job of behaving myself. I was following all of the rules and going to all of the daily group meetings. Then every so often I would do something stupid like practice my flying dragon kick to bust a door down. I was sent to the “time out” room with a padded iron bed. They strapped each of my arms and legs to the corners of bed while cuffing my right arm to the bed frame. 

 

I had seen Harry Houdini, coincidentally a Freemason; perform an escape from the same type of bed. I knew I could do it just like he did. So I wiggled and writhed around for a while and found a point of vulnerability and was able to loosen up a hand.  After twisting another several minutes, I freed my left hand and from there was able to get all four limbs out of the contraption. The only thing left to do was get out of the handcuffs around my right arm. Well, unlike Houdini who had the escape key hidden in his mouth. I had nothing. I tried a few minutes, then gave up. The oversized guards came back into the room and their jaws almost hit the floor. They couldn’t believe I almost freed myself. Luckily they didn’t beat the crap out of me.  After about ten days, they released me and I flew back to Phoenix to stay with dad and sister.

The Driessen Behavior Health Complex

 

 

The Millions Promised

 

As it turned out, Mr. Harvey later pulled the sheep’s wool over my eyes and tried to have me sign for a loan that was going to be transferred into HIS personal account, not to the corporate borrower’s. I would have had my name in the paper trail and would have been locked up for fraud for years. I smartened up after my dad begged me not to do the deal, and told Mr. Harvey to go screw himself. I made it out alive; however, I was stuck with the same poor, miserable situation and my mind was still focused on a reality where all of my life’s problems were solved.

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