Dear Lola,

I made the mistake of visiting a Flat Earth social media page and discovered a close friend is a believer. I thought it would be a quirky group of people who obviously have some sort of ‘government goon’ paranoia but I find it is much more terrifying than that. My friend is educated and actually believes the Earth is flat. She stated in the group’s discussions that she never voices this aloud to people because she fears being mocked for going against mainstream science. How can I ever have an intelligent conversation with this person again?


Flat Friend

A cartoon rendering of Lola sitting in a bathtub with the phrase 'dispensing advice while playing with my bath duckies.'

Dear Flat Friend,

I can envision the scenario now. You see the headline for a flat Earth article, you click on it with smug glee, anticipating a few minutes of laughing at the expense of an internet moron, only to stumble upon someone you least expected. You then spent more than a few minutes scrolling through the group discussions, hoping your friend was there for research purposes, a work project, or even a few minutes of comic relief like yourself. Instead, you reach the worst possible conclusion.

Your friend is the internet moron!

There is no way you will ever have an intelligent conversation with this person again. Instead, I encourage you to have some fun with your newly acquired knowledge – of your friend’s stupidity, not that the Earth is flat! The Earth is still round, reassure yourself of that as often as you need after your brief journey down the internet rabbit hole. Now, now, don’t deny it…

There was a brief moment when you questioned if the Earth was actually round.

The next time you find yourself with this friend, have a bit of fun at her expense. Make references to crowded situations you’ve found yourself in where you wished some people would fall off the edge to make some space. Comment on the fate of airplanes that vanished, almost as if they fell off the face of the Earth. Those thousands of lost ships should have minded the borders of the planet a little more. Ponder aloud the probability of civilian space travel proving that NASA has been messing with our minds for decades. Drop jokes wherever you can find an opening. You’ll probably have to do some research to make sure your jokes land without being too obvious.

Be sure to note the exit before you go down that rabbit hole.

As for continuing the friendship, only you can decide if it’s worth it. Everyone has a bizarre belief in something, even if they hide it very well. My Mommybeast has a stunningly high level of odd items on her Wikipedia reading list. I’ve reason to suspect that she believes aliens are real and they’ve been watching us for years. Whether or not she actually believes this is a moot point, she is amused by the topic and her brain loves the challenge of the improbable.

The bizarre is often a method of escaping life’s more tedious aspects.

On a side note, my research into this Flat Earth Society has led me to an interesting topic. You should read about the Italia airship disaster of 1928. It was a shocking crash that left half the people on a sheet of ice to survive and the other half of the crew floating off in an uncontrollable balloon – never to be seen again. Now that’s a movie in need of the Hollywood treatment!


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