Tag Archives: fear

Would You Rather….Nope.

Everyone.  And I do mean everyone, has something that makes their stomach roll.

Something that really gets your goose.

Makes your stomach lurch.

Lord have mercy, I’ll do anything but that….

It’s your, “Would you rather….” kind of moment.

When people have this discussion, the talk can turn into the ridiculous and gross.  You know what I am talking about, we’ve all been in those drunken bar talks….”Would you rather eat shit or drink piss?”  or the typical “Would you rather bungee jump or play chicken with a train?”  or the oh so dull, “Would you rather eat a cricket or a roach?”

What I’m referring to are the oddities in our lives, that to others are absolutely normal.

Example number 1: Down the street from our house are two large Asian grocery stores.  We ventured through the first one and after wandering up and down the aisles purchased a large amount of fruits and veggies.  Next we went across the street to the competition, to check out their set up and see if they had anything different.

While we checked out the produce section, my better half motions for me to come over to the fresh fish counter to see something.  I head his direction and he points to something in a large basket.  I look down and there are about 7 enormous bull frogs sitting there looking up at me.

I don’t know.  There could have been 4 frogs.  There could have been 12 frogs.  There could have been one frog.  Doesn’t matter.  I’m terrified of frogs. All I know is they were huge, like the size of basketballs.  They were dark green.  And they were ready to jump.  Of course, I would too, if I was in a basket for sale in a market…

I ran away so fast, my feet didn’t touch the ground.   I ran straight across the produce department.  Down past the paper products.  Down past the noodles.  Stopping in hot sauce.

Frogs scare me.  Big frogs.  Little frogs.  Green frogs.  Yellow frogs.  All frogs.

I haven’t been back to the store since.

Example number 2:  Every day walking into the office I pull open the front door to the building and the handle is sticky.  Why?  I’m going to come down there with my Clorox wipe and clean off the handle, but in the meantime….how did the handle get sticky exactly?

And when did it become a public disgust to touch the public bathroom door handle to exit?  Did Ralph Nadar do a report on handle germs?  Now there’s usually a trash can immediately next to the bathroom door to capture the paper towels that may or may not make it to the can upon doing their final duty of being a door grip.

And if there isn’t a trash can, people just throw the towel on the floor anyway.

Here’s the thing though…how many people are using toilet paper to actually OPEN THE STALL DOOR?  You want to talk dirty handle?  There’s the dirty handle, people!

SIDE NOTE:  If you didn’t know already, women’s restrooms are disgusting. Filthy.  I’m not kidding.  Don’t let women fool you.

Example number 3:  Traveling or hanging around in packs of people leads to one thing.  Sharing things.  I’m not good with sharing things.  There’s a reason I opted to come into this world as an Only Child.  I don’t play well with others.  Unfortunately, sometimes things get shared whether you want to or not.  It starts at a young age and continues through life.

Two words.

Lice.

Scabies.

Count my lucky stars I’ve had neither.

Although, I am pretty certain if I had either, I’d be trying to figure out how to apply said banishing cream with wood spoons while administering vast amounts of Vodka.

When you’re a kid and someone gets lice, everyone puts their coats and book bags in trash bags at school before putting them into the coat closet.  Not sure if that how it works today.  But in the “olden” days that’s what we did.  Then you go home and have your parents check your head for the lice and pray to the heavens you don’t have any.

When you get older, you can get scabies.  So here’s the thing.  You can’t put your coat in a trash bag in the coat closet, cause you own the coat closet.  And the living room.  And the bedroom.  And the kitchen.  And the bathroom.  What the hell?  The only thing I can think is one of two things.

  1. Torch the place and start over.
  2. Seal it up and bomb it with a scabby bomb.

I mean really, what are your options?  I don’t know where you get scabies.  I don’t want to know but it sounds like an version of Aliens and well, that movie scared me.  When we went to Universal’s Halloween Horror Nights, that was the one haunted house that scared the hell out of me.  Damn aliens.

Another group shareable….pink eye.  I have had Pink Eye, in both eyes at the same time, and that was about one of the most disgusting things ever.  Crusty, slimy, yellow, oozing, sticky and blurry experiences ever.  Nasty.  Nasty.  Nasty.  Sick.  Not to mention, it was one of my “more un-cute” weeks at work.

I don’t like sharing.

Example number 4:  Moving ahead, there are definite things where it may not turn your stomach, but it does for others.  Like Mothers can wipe their baby’s butt no problem.

I have a 20 pound fat cat, who sometimes has fat flaps on her ass, if we don’t monitor her diet.  Yes.  She has these little peanut sized fat flaps on her ass, where shit accumulates.  Her ass needs to be cleaned.  I can clean her ass.  If I don’t, she gets cat diaper rash.  Some folks may have an issue with that.  Not me.  Time to wipe your butt, Wiggly.

Mucking out farm animal barn stalls….I got that.  Cow, pig, goat, sheep, chicken, turkey manure….check…got that covered.  No problem.  There are days when there is nothing I’d rather do more than shovel poop.

Bodily fluids aren’t fun. Even your own.  If you have ever had the Norwalk virus, AKA Norovirus you know what I mean.  Tends to hit large packs of people.  Schools get it, the traveling public get it.  I got it.  The problem with it is you can’t keep anything down – not a sip of water, for days.  One sip of water and you’re in the bathroom going in circles trying to decide if its coming out your ass or your throat first.  In the end you’re on the toilet holding the trash can on your lap.

Example number 5:  A friend of ours was house sitting, which is very common in Alaska.  The house came with a cat named Simon.  Apparently, while Simon loved his owner, he was not a fan of anyone else.  Simon, from the photos I had seen, was a lovely long haired ginger.  Just lovely except his eyes were glowing, but I chalked that up to the camera and reflection of the flash.

His house sitter thought otherwise as Simon had her cornered on the stairs on day and made her late for work, by several hours if I’m not mistaken.

Long story short….it was known Simon had a few matts of hair that needed to come out.

It was a challenge.  I accepted the challenge.

Enter….the Cat Whisperer.

With brush in hand.  I walked the house looking for Simon.  Everyone was certain I would be wearing an eye patch by the end of the evening, like Captain Sparrow, if not a peg leg to boot.

Upstairs under the bed – no Simon.

Behind the couch – no Simon.

Curtains – no Simon.

Tension, filled the house as you could hear him growling from his mysterious hiding location.

I sat on the floor in the living room and ever so slowly….here came Simon from across the room.  Lured by the international cat sign for “come here kitty.”  He climbed into my lap and after a few moments, I brought out the brush.  Shocking to everyone, brushed out the two large mats around his neck and happily Simon continued on his way.

Same with our wild turkeys.  Many say, “they’ll kill you!”  And I simply say, “It’s all in how you present yourself.”  If you put out you’re terrified, they know.  We’ve have a group of 40 wild turkeys surround us and they’ve been nothing but gentle and kind.

However, put me next to a lama and I will go the other way!  Shifty eyes…and they’re taller than me.  Not to mention they seemingly like to follow me.

Example number 6: Thank god for doctors and nurses.  Now there’s a bunch of jobs I couldn’t do.  Maybe it’s because you have to be a touchy person and I’m not touchy.  Maybe it’s because you have to like body parts and well, I don’t need to be about your feet or your ya-ya or bend you into various shapes to fix your spine, or continue to ask if A is clearer or B?  One word – dentist.  Nope.

Being a doctor is a special breed of person.  Patience, lots of patience.  Apparently when I saw the line in heaven for patience, because I have bad eyesight, I thought it said PATENTS and didn’t get in line for any.  Therefore, I have none.  Hence, being a doctor or nurse was not an option for me.  But I’m very thankful for all of those folks who saw the sign and got in line.

So you see, everyone has something they think twice about and would rather not encounter.  Think about all the possibilities.  Here’s just a short list to get you started:

  • eating off of public utensils.
  • trying on bathing suits – really how many others have tried on that same one
  • rotten fruit
  • bird loose in your house
  • limp, lame, sweaty handshakes
  • pop a zit
  • greasy head prints on the subway windows
  • green snot
  • food spitters, and I’m not talking babies
  • hair in your food (pet hair, your hair, stranger hair, any hair)
  • spider on your toilet paper roll – surprise
  • someone sneezes into their hand then extends it for a handshake
  • a dentist with bad breath
  • the constant cougher next to you on the plane
  • when your better half asks, “does this make me look fat?”

Yet there are folks every day that go out and face our fears head on, challenge our stomach rolling, rather not do that moments and attack them with a gleeful smile.  To them, it’s normal.  Nothing out of the ordinary.  It’s life.  Go forward brave souls, we all have our moments.

 

 

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We’re Flying Where?

What if, when birds are squawking in high places they aren’t talking to each other about the fabulous grub hole they found or singing love songs.  What if they’re really bitching cause they’re afraid of heights or are about to pee-their-feathers because they’re afraid to fly?  What if when they’re floating along on the water, they’re not feeling all peaceful and blissful but are really paralyzed with fear because they hate water and can’t swim?

I’m just saying.

What if?

Same could be said when you go to the animal park and those monkeys you see sitting together on a limb, combing one another’s hair.  They’re so cute.  Picking gnats and bugs out of each other’s fur.  What you don’t know is in their reality, the little fucker wouldn’t stop rubbing his head in the ant hill so his head is covered in fire ant bites and the parent is picking scabs off his scalp.

I’m just saying.

What if.?

You really think dogs are smelling each other’s asses to identify one another?  Hey Stan, how’s it hanging?  Oh, sorry.  They’re checking to see what they all  had for dinner.  Are you kidding me?  Max had Mighty Dog?  OMG! Fluffy had that fresh ground beef kibble from the new trendy doggie cafe on Madison Avenue!  The nerve!! That’s it!  When I go home I am going to eat my dinner and then promptly throw it up on the couch.  The new carpet.  The bedspread.  The new jacket mom just bought.  In dad’s car!  Then I’ll get the good stuff.

I’m just saying.

What if?

Life is full of What If moments.  Take for example yesterday at work.

I’m delighted.  This time next month, I will be in Auckland, New Zealand.  Don’t worry, I have already alerted the local authorities, they are preparing for my arrival.  (It is the ONLY place in the world I have received a speeding ticket….thank you.)

Since I haven’t had the opportunity to make travel arrangements through our work system, I asked the co-worker I am traveling….we’ll call him Calvin….to showed me how it’s done.   Yesterday afternoon Calvin and I booked his ticket to go from Miami to Auckland.

Things were going all fine and dandy.  We punched in the details.  Miami to Auckland and the date.  The various combinations came up on the screen.  We could pick everything from 14 days worth of traveling in a tin can to just about 35 hours in a tin can.

International travel these days offers so many amenities it is astonishing.  There were options to fly with circus animals, farm animals or domestic animals.  Another section included circus performers, ring leaders or classroom pranksters.  Meal service included selections for prison rations,  weight watchers cardboard, things confiscated by customs and forbidden fruits.

Better yet was the option to pre-select your TSA screening.  This I had no idea was possible.  Now you can sign up for a Pass Go card that allows you to skip the back handed,  gloved pat down and go straight to the private room strip search.  I mean who knew?   Did you want a glass of wine and a smoke with that?  If so, please acknowledge and your credit card will be charged an additional $25.00.  If you want to include the drug sniffing K9 that is an additional $500.

I confess to Calvin, I’m not the biggest fan of flying, but it’s the only way to get anywhere fast so I do it.  We choose a flight that has a short flight time.  The first flight is operated by Alaska Air to LAX.

Of course I’m delighted it’s Alaska Air.  And then the delight is immediately squashed by the thought of going through LAX international hell again.  That place, I swear, is operated by the Orcs, from Lord of the Rings.  The last time I went through….I experienced every level of Dante’s inferno as well.  Insanity.  They made me a stand by passenger, even though I was a full fare passenger with ticket in hand.  Took my carry on – made me check it.  Lost all of my luggage.

I.

Was.

NOT.

Happy.

The first helpful person I encountered was in Australia.  Where they said, “this happens all the time with LAX.”  Great.  Anything happens this time, I will politely excuse myself and reintroduce myself as the Honey Badger.

Back to the story.

Okay so we get to LAX and change planes.  Looking at the screen.  I swear it says we get on Asia Air.  Calvin says, “this looks like a good one.”  I’m thinking to myself……really?  Isn’t that a third world airline?  Do they even speak English?  I’m terrible with accents.  How am I going to understand the safety briefing?  Do they translate the announcements?  Do they have a drink cart?  Can I just have the drink cart?  Are the drinks free?  How much are the drinks?  Do they take American?

Then he says to me……

“It goes from LAX to NAN.”

..

.

.

.

.

Excuse me?

“NAN.”

NAN?

“NAN.   N. A. N.    NAN”

..

..

..

Where the hell is NAN?

“Well, I don’t know.”

>>Enter the Bambi stare.  blink. blink. blink. blink.<<

NAN?  I’ve never heard of NAN.

“Me either.”

?

I get out my phone and Google NAN.

Well, according to Google it says NAN stands for:  Nadi, the western portion of Fiji.

“Nadi?”

Nadi.  N. A. D. I.    Nadi.

>>blink. blink.<<

NADI!  Good god man!  We look at Calvin’s giant world map on his office wall.  Way down in the far right hand corner.  Way down further than all the other countries.   Way down past New Zealand.  Way down past the compass.  Past the mile marker.  Almost like a speck of tomato soup on the map…..is a tiny little blip of a smudge on the map.

Fiji.

But no Nadi.

I look at Calvin.

Calvin looks at me.

My upper lip breaks out into a sweat.

My throat goes dry.

My hands start to sweat as do my feet and my pits.

Cripes, I say, WHAT IF they don’t have a big enough runway for a jet?  That place is represented by a poppy seed!

She’ll Be Coming Around the Golf Course….

Sunday I got up, threw on my exercise clothes and headed out the door to walk 3 miles.

My complex sits along side a golf course and you can walk all the way around the course on a paved trail.  The trail itself is 3 miles however, I was just going to go down to the light I turn at to go to work and back.  I marked it out in the car and round trip is 3 miles.

Perfect.

It was about 10:00AM and by 10:10AM – out on the trail- I was sweating.  Not because I was over exerting myself but the humidity was fierce.  I had a sweat mustache that was turning into a sweat beard.  This was the least of my worries as I thought, “dear lord don’t let my ass sweat so much I get visible crack sweat.”

Passing other exercisers I pondered….

A.)  I’m the only one carrying a water bottle.

B.)  Nobody else looks hot.  (Except for the woman who was carrying a towel in her cleavage.  Yep.  Swear.)

The trail is also popular for people and their dogs.  It wasn’t long until I encountered my first couple walking their furry kid.  The parents were both sporting shorts and tank tops while busily chatting about the upcoming day.  However, it was their dog that caught my attention.

The pet.

Was wearing a sweater.

Apparently, when they bought the dog it was a full sized Doberman Pinscher but for some reason, over time, it began to shrink and now was a pocket sized pet.  That’s embarrassing.  When you heat things up that shouldn’t really be heated …..they tend to shrink.

Think:  washing a wool sweater.

Continuing on my way, I encountered some of the local wildlife.  The crazy ass ducks.  There were precisely TWO cute white feathered ducks with the yellow beaks.  The rest of the herd were these oddly  poka-a-dotted, red headed, as large as four footballs kind of ducks.  They come up to about my knee.  I’ve see them all the time as I drive along this stretch of the road –  they enjoy the greens of the course.

Today, there’s about 14 of them in the middle of the trail.

About 25 paces ahead of me is a man.  Not an enormous man.  Not a small man.  Not a skinny man.  Not a fat man.  Just a man.  He approaches the herd.  I’m thinking, “this will be interesting.”  Next thing I know he’s flapping his arms wildly over his head, while yelling at them:

“Go Away!”

“Go!”

“Get out of here!”

Some people are afraid of cockroaches.  Some people don’t like cats.  This man obviously thought the ducks were going to knock him down and attack him him like a band of rubber soled mall cops believing he shop lifted something from the As Seen On TV store.

Next up?  The Alaska Minxy.  I approach the herd.  My take on the scene was completely different.    Just like a Wood Nymph from the forest, I greet the ducks and wish them a pleasant day.

“Morning everyone.”

“Excuse me. Pardon me.”

“Have a good day.  Stay out of trouble.  Good to see you.”

I weaved my way through the knee high nippers (while trying to avoid the ones with the creepy red heads and turkey like neck things) all the while conversing with them.  They had plenty to say and it was all very important to express whatever it was.

Honk.  Honk.  Squawk.  Honk.  Beep.  Squawk.

Finally, I was on my final approach to the gate of my community, I spotted a giant tree, which would be perfect to sit under to do my cool down stretches.  I really enjoy this time of my workout.  It’s calming and relaxing for me.  My music plays in my ears and I’m very content.  Having drank my entire Nalgene bottle of water…and sweating like a UFC fighter….I carefully check to make sure there’s no dog poop or snakes in the grass and begin my stretches.

I’m sitting on the ground, legs stretched to either side and I’m leaning over each leg, stretching.  Ahhhh.

Out of the corner of my eye, I see a figure to my left.  Okay, well just ignore it.  It will go away.  La. La. La. Laaaa.  La. La. La.

I bend to the other knee and WHOA, what the hell?  The figure is now pretty much within arms reach.  I look up at this man who could have easily been my grandfather, standing there with his hands on his hips, his mouth is moving…..Really?  You have to be kidding me.

He’s obviously trying to tell me something so,  I take out my earplugs and think he must be trying to tell me that he wouldn’t advise sitting in the grass because of snakes or lizards….right?

Wrong.  He says, “are you stretching?”

No, I’m actually looking to see if ants have dandruff and am checking this crab grass for evidence.  WTF?

He proceeds to tell me that I’m doing it all wrong and I should be doing it this way.  And it’s all about breathing.  Yatta.  Yatta.  Okay, got it.  Thanks.  You can stretch how you want to stretch and I’ll stretch the way I want to stretch….now please move on so I can continue to check on the ant dandruff.

Then, it becomes obvious he’s determined to change my ways and proceeds to show me a better stretch using the tree.  Fine.  By this time I am sweating so much I learn that:  no really, when sweat runs into your eyes it burns.

It actually burns A LOT!  First one eye.  Then the second eye.  Luckily my third eye was still at home soaking in the anti-ache third eye solution.  I think my sweat is actually melting my contacts to my eyeballs.  All the while grandpa here is showing me the proper hamstring stretch.

Then he stands up and says, “can you bend over?”

I said, “Excuse me?”

He replied, “You know, touch your toes.  A lot of people can’t touch their toes because they don’t stretch properly.  Like this.”  And he proceeds to aim for his toes.

I turn to the side and throw my hands on the ground.  Yep, I’d say I can touch my toes….no problem.  Got it.  Check.

My eyes now feel like I’ve put Frank’s Red Hot in them and I really just need to go through the gate on my left.  HOWEVER.

As I begin to make my exit, Grandpa is telling me how I should really take up yoga cause it keeps woman looking young.  I tell him the company I work for actually offers a yoga class every week at the company gym.  He was shocked and asked where I worked.

I’m thinking come on…buddy, if I give off any more vibe of “I’ve got to go” I’m going to disappear in a giant puff of smoke.  Not to mention I need to get the sweat out of my eyeballs – now I can barely see due to the triple vision in each eyes and my nose is now running.

I tell him I work for Royal Caribbean cruises and his response is, “It’s terrible what happened to all those captives.  Just a shame.”  I couldn’t figure out if he was referring to employees or passengers.  Then he says something about being stranded out there and being held captive.

As I make my way to the gate I yell over my shoulder that wasn’t Royal Caribbean, that was Carnival cruises.   Thanks for the stretching advise and have a good day.

I slam through the gate and exhale on the other side, “freak.”

What I learned on my walk:

Some men are afraid of duck herds.

Doberman Pinschers shrink when they get hot.

Stretch inside the gate.

Carry a hand towel in my cleavage.

Learn how to say, “I don’t speak English” in Pig Latin.