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Monday, June 21, 2010

Hold Me, For I am Scared

For someone who wants to be a cop, I sure scare easy. I pulled up in front of my office on Thursday morning and one of my neighbors walked up to my car and tapped lightly on the driver's side window. I screamed, "JEEE-SUS!" and jumped so high that my goddamned head almost cracked the sunroof glass. It's a good thing I'm not a cop yet, or I'd have drilled the woman between the eyes.

And that would have been sad-- because she was probably unarmed, and she is also very nice. And you know that's not a compliment I throw around a lot.

When you're Jewish and have forearms the girth of malnourished twigs, you tend to be scared of a lot of things, I find. Maybe it's because I'm hyperaware of things that could pose injury and/or death, or maybe it's just because life is inherently fragile and the world is inherently dangerous. My wife, sometimes to fill a brief conversational lull, will remark on how easy it would be to just drive her car into the opposing lane of traffic and slam into an oncoming car.

And then we enjoy pot pie night and watch "Jeopardy!"

Seriously, though-- life is full of dangers, not just my wife's metallic orange Honda Fit that you might want to pay a little extra attention to if you see it zipping around the next time you're tooling around suburban southeastern Pennsylvania.

What dangers, Mr. Apron, I am rhetorically hearing you ask yourself as you read my blog in a state of seminudness with Q-tips sticking out of both ears. Well, I'm glad you asked:


Most of you who read this blog are female. We can all acknowledge this. I think Sebastian peaced out months ago, and I don't know what the hell happened to Jay. What is it with these British males and their sense of non-commitment? They could learn a thing or two from all of you Canadian women.

Anyway, being female, many of you may not spend much time under the hood of your car. I'm not saying this to be sexist, or an asshole, or even a sexist asshole. This sexist asshole-like statement is at least somewhat research-based. I conducted a psychological study (such as it was) back in college that had to do with knowledge of your own automobile. 10 male participants, 10 female participants. Each one had to answer thirty questions about not cars in general, but their own car. What does your speedometer go up to? How many cylinders are in your car's engine? Does your car have dual airbags? Does your car have Anti-Lock Brakes? Is your car a four-speed, five-speed, or six-speed? Does your car have a power driver's seat? Those kind of questions-- I even asked "What is the make and model and year of your car?"

The women all bombed. It was painful.

Anyway, maybe you do or maybe you don't spend a lot of time under the hood of your car. I think that's good. Do you know how many things under there can hurt, maim, and/or kill you? At least seven. All those belts and chains and fans-- and don't even get me started on the fucking battery! The first time as an EMT I had to jumpstart a stalled-out ambulance I almost passed out from the sickening anticipation that I was about to be electrocuted.

So, yeah, I'm scared of everything under the hood of my car. Except maybe for the windshield washer reservoir. But that scares me too, a little. When I fill it, a little pee comes out. Because the hood could slam down on my head at any second-- just like the sky on Henny Penny.


This is not one of my irrational fears-- because it happens a lot. I don't know-- maybe it was the moustache (which went the way of the dinosaurs yesterday, Halle-jew-yah!!!!!) but people seem to take great delight in shouting out random epithets at me. Some of them don't even make sense. Two black kids cornered me while I was taking out the trash at the theatre and asked me if those were my "real seeing glasses." They then informed me that I looked like a "big, ugly dyke" they know.


I get that I'm probably not going to make it to the 10 Sexiest Men, but, really-- I don't think I look like the Elephant Man's cousin. What is it about me that attracts the random, negative attention? The only reason I haven't been jumped yet by these uncouth youths is because I am usually able to resist the urge to blurt out something about hate-fucking their grandmothers' corpse-mouth.


As I get older, my patience with the random epithets will most likely wane and I worry that I will soon no longer be able to resist corpse-mouth replies. And then I will get my head stomped on. And then I really will look like the Elephant Man's cousin.


Sooner or later, a situation is going to present itself where I will cave to the immense psycho-social pressures of society and either imbibe a licentious quantity of alcoholic beverage or snort rat poison just to be accepted into some writer's clique or, depending on how the next couple years go, plumber's union. I've never been drunk or stoned or high before, and the idea of it scares me. My brain is so fucked up and haywire as it is, I don't know if it could handle the introduction of some hallucinogenic or depressive substance. Kind of like adding a 438th ingredient to Salsa-Flavored Doritos.


No joke-- my family scares the shit out of me. They're weird and unpredictable and say fucked up things, and, since my sister's baby was born we're all completely manic depressive. Any one of us is capable of pretty much anything at this point. Eight years ago, a girl broke up with me because my family was "too boring." Well, that was part of the problem. Another part was that I liked cuddling and she didn't.

So, my family legitimately scares me. Chances are they'll just putter and worry themselves into their graves without much fuss, but there is the outside chance that the stress of life will compel my mother to violently rapel, SWAT-style, through the glass booth of the local college radio station and start broadcasting mind-control messages in some invented language and my father will become a gay porn star who always wears sunglasses.


One is elderly, one is a puppy. I'm scared the old one is going to die, and I'm scared the young one is going to make me kill myself. Honestly, one more turdlette on the rug and I might throw myself down the stairs with a bedsheet tied around my slender, swan-like-though-hairy neck.


I know it's so cool that "everybody's doing it" these days, but when my job ends on August 27th, I'm petrified that I won't have a job, even a shitty-assed lousy one for which I am intensely overqualified, for me to do. This fear is justified because I've applied for at least thirty shitty-assed, lousy jobs for which I am intensely overqualified, and nobody's called me back. Maybe I should start applying for Human Resource jobs. I'd love to get paid for not calling anybody back all day.


I'm afraid that I watch it too much. And, yet, whenever someone I know talks about or references something that happened recently on TV, I invariably have no clue about what the fuck they're talking about.


Come on-- you didn't think you were going to get a Top 10 Fears list from ME and have that one missing, did you? Please.


My wife and I bake a lot, and she's a spoon-licker. Every time she does it, she looks at me with this naughty grin and lifts her eyebrows up and down. And she never gets sick. I don't get it. You people who eat cookie dough are fucking balls-up rebels. And you're also nutty thrill-seekers. Why don't you just run your tongues along the rims of your toilet bowls?


  1. I totally thought the title of this blog post was "Hold Me, For I am Sacred."

    I'm afraid of falling down the stairs and breaking my teeth. And eye scratches. *Shiver*

  2. I every so often read your blog and just overwhelming love you and your wife. Reading the salmonella poisoning bit was right there for me. Thank you. For this post, for all the ones I don't comment on, etc and etc. For the record, I bake constantly: cookies, cakes, pies, breads, and on and on. My children (3 & 5) invariably come in, ask what I'm making, inquire as to whether there are raw eggs (always), then stick a finger into the batter/dough, and giggle maniacally as they run off with their contraband. My husband is constantly certain that he'll be a widower, as I do the same thing, but at least if one goes, we all go, so he won't be a widower with two small kids. Or something.

  3. I have a horrifying fear that I will spazz out on the interstate and just drive over a bridge for no particular reason.

    I fear ATMs after dark because I just know someone is going to shoot me in the head for the $20 I have in my checking account.

    But I do eat raw cookie dough. In fact, I thought the dough was the whole reason anyone ever even made cookies.

  4. Risk-benefit analysis:
    With cookie-dough, we're weighing the small risk of salmonella infection with the untold delicious licks of the spoon and the bowl.
    with a toilet-bowl rim, where's the reward? What's the benefit? I bet it doesn't even taste like chocolate chips.

  5. I was able to answer all of those questions about my car, minus the airbags. I don't spend much time in the passenger seat. Do I get my honorary penis now?

  6. Spoon licker sounds so much worse than it was meant.

    I don't even LIKE baked cookies that much. Bring on the dough. I'll lick my own spoon AND yours.

  7. Raw cookie dough etc. isn't as bad as raw chicken. Salmonella tends to be on the outside of the egg's shell, not the inside. That is why we can eat things like meringue, pastry cream, and creme anglais without keeling over. You are more likely to get salmonella from improperly cleaning your cutting board and/or counter after preparing chicken. (Or not cooking that chicken properly. There is no such thing as medium rare chicken, only well-done!) However, children, pregnant women and older folks should not eat raw unpasteurized eggs as their immune systems are weaker than the average population. Just fyi.


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