I don’t know where some things that seem so important because they’re going to kill us all one day but then completely disappear the next day go, but it happens from time to time. Stuff just comes into our lives for a little bit and then leaves.
Last week, I was watching PBS because the kids must have been watching Sesame Street or some similarly awful show earlier in the day, and by the time I realized that I didn’t have the remote within reaching distance, my fat ass had already nestled into a couch cushion. We have sweet leather couches and I don’t move once I’m nestled, so I was stuck until I ran out of beer or had to pee.
There was a commercial on about an upcoming show concerning archaeologists looking into the mysterious deaths of 57 Irish immigrants who were working on the railroad in Pennsylvania back in 1832. That seemed promising, but that thriller wasn’t going to be on until next week.
The upcoming show was going to be some NOVA special. NOVA? Oy, that’s pretty hit or miss right there. Dear God, please don’t let it be something awful, because the iPad wasn’t within my reach either. If the show sucked, I’d have to try to lure the dog over to me to help me hoist my big butt off the couch, but she’s old too and looked pretty comfortable and uninterested in answering my future calls to come help me up.
The show, it turned out, wasn’t too bad. It was about the meteor that whacked the crap out of Chelyabinsk, Russia last year.
Do you remember that incident?
We were all apparently very lucky that this thing landed in the snow some place in rural Russia instead of in the middle of a major urban area. It wasn’t the rock that did all the damage, it was the sonic waves or something afterwards that rattled windows and cars all about the city.
Even though I think the show was a little melodramatic simply because science people involved with meteors clearly want us to be afraid of meteors so that we’ll demand funding for scientists to study ways to prevent death by meteors, it’s still a legitimate threat. I spent a few days worried that I could die by way of a meteor hitting earth after I saw the show. I’m sure others worried about it right after the event in Russia happened too.
But now that a couple of weeks have passed, I’m not worried about meteors. I’m worried I’ll die from a copperhead snake bite that I’ll get while cutting my 10 inch long grass.
Why? Because we have a neighborhood FB page and somebody was all atwitter recently about copperhead sightings and it went on and on about how I should check my BBQ pits before I open them and be careful near logs and rocks and what not in my own yard. One neighbor was bitten, apparently. Jesus, I don’t live in Australia, but now I have to worry about snakes? I hate you FB page!
That was a few days ago. I cut all the grass yesterday and was not attacked by a copperhead snake, so all ended well. I’m not worried about snakes right now.
The meteor scare reminded me that we were all going to die from a Tsunami someday as well. The entire east coast is at risk should a wave form someplace in some ocean far far away in just the right environment. It hasn’t happened, yet, but the threat is there.
The tsunami reminded me that at one point, we were all going to die of a nuclear attack. Those of us who are 70’s babies were all scared that the Russians were going to nuke the hell out of us and we out of them, thus destroying the planet. We’re still alive, but that North Korean chap is rekindling bad memories for me. Is that Star Wars system still functional?
Before the nuclear wars, we kids were afraid of other stupid things too. At some point, I was scared of quicksand. It’s possible that too many Tarzan episodes or the near death of a push cart ridden by Cleavon Little in Blazing Saddles caused that scare, but it was real enough to me.
About that same time, killer bees were going to come from Africa and sting us all to death. The horrifying thought of death by huge swarms of bees kept me in for an entire summer of my youth!
More recently, AIDS was going to get us. Some monkey in Haiti was apparently to blame for AIDS, but it was petrifying to think that you could get this horrible disease just by shaking hands with the wrong person! Well, some people thought that at the time, and it took a long time to clear all of the misconceptions up. Magic Johnson apparently has had HIV, which I guess leads to AIDS? I don’t know, but he’s been alive for a long time and seems just fine.
West Nile Virus? Bird flu? SARS? Mad Cow Disease? Vaccines are killing our babies? Good Lord, the things to fear are endless, but some of them were only short lived.
What ever happened to Mad Cow Disease, for example? Are the cows no longer mad?
I can relate.
I was “mad” or touched in the head, or crazy for a bit of my life too.
Well, strike that, my dad was first. After 50 years as a normal human being, he suddenly couldn’t ride in an elevator or stay in a hotel room above the first floor unless it had a walk out balcony. He’d have crazy panic attacks or what not if he did, and we’d all have a good laugh at his expense.
Then all of a sudden, I couldn’t sit in a restaurant without starting to feel the same way. I’d just up and start feeling like the whole room was closing in on me and suffocating me. I’d have to walk out and go sit in the car. It was crazy. I thought I was crazy. I’m sure my wife was laughing at my expense (until it dawned on her that she’d married a loon).
It happened over and over again until finally, it happened at work in front of somebody who forced me to go to the hospital. He said I looked like shit and like I needed a doctor so I went ahead and let him take me to the hospital.
5 days in a freaking hospital later, I went home and it’s never happened since. That was 10 years ago.
While Doctor Jewishfellanameforgotten put me through a litany of tests to make sure my heart was ok, I tried to convince him that I was just going crazy.
Look Doc, I told him, I just got married a few months ago, we have a baby coming, it’s a girl, I’m starting a new job at work, I’m about to start law school while getting ready to have said baby and work this new job all at the same time, our house is too small and we’ll need a new one, I can’t work more secondary jobs with all the school work I anticipate, I have to sell my truck and get an SUV, my wife will get a minivan, and there’s always a chance that I can fall in quicksand or catch the AIDS!! My brain simply had enough!
He insisted that I wasn’t crazy, even though he was a cardiologist and not a Neurologist, psychiatrist or even a psychologist.
Apparently though, hearing that my heart was strong and that it wasn’t causing my brain to go haywire did the trick. I left the hospital and haven’t had an episode since.
My crazy came and went. Just like Mad Cow Disease.