Posted by: dougery | October 20, 2011

the 10 Scariest Things in the World (To Me at Least)

As many of you know, I am a fan of lists. I like to rank all kinds of things even if there are occasional discrepancies in my logic and rationale. I have not composed a list of my favorite lists because I am not yet that ridiculous. Here now, since it is approaching Halloween, is a list of the 10 things that scare me the most.

10. Really white teeth and / or really exaggerated smiles (Like those found on television commercials for toothpaste). There is a point where something friendly and attractive, like a smile, transforms into its opposite, the frightening and gruesome. Right now there is a Colgate commercial that plays in between segments of the Daily Show that Comedy Central throws up on its website. In the commercial an otherwise pleasant woman looks so manic and desperate to just be able to close her mouth that I fear the co-workers she passes by are in danger for their very lives. Maybe the toothpaste is so strong that it has irradiated her brain and produced some sort of homicidal derangement. Maybe not. All I know is that she is terrifying.

09. Success. Yep, that’s right, I’m one of those people. A Self-saboteur. I think that I am plenty good at a variety of things however I often blow up the dam just before the town below is finished being built. For example I write a lot but finish very little. The closer I get to completing something the more likely my brain is apt to say “Let’s start something else, wouldn’t that be fun?” I haven’t yet convinced my hand to punch my brain in the face when this happens so he (my brain) pretty much gets off scott free.

08. Bats. I’ve been over this one before. Horrid flying puppet rats. Yuck.

07. Children. Yep, Kids, especially babies and then after a brief period of actual adorability, slightly older children that can walk and talk and break things and cost money. Maybe, alright, definitely this is because I am a selfish asshole who likes his free time. But its also because it is hard enough to keep track of me, let alone a smaller me that doesn’t know how to poop in the right place yet.

06. Disease. This might be a little too far down the list. I’m kind of a hypochondriac.  Back when ‘swine’ flu was all the rage, my wife bought me a small plastic pig as a magic totem to help me keep the evil germs at bay. Before this it was SARS. Before that it was a brief fascination in super bugs like Ebola and the other RNA viruses (DON’T wikipedia them for the love of God). Before that King’s novel the Stand. Am I down with the sickness? No. No I am not.

05. Dementia. Although I am fascinated by how complex and wonderful the human brain and its processes are, I am equally disturbed by just how easy it is for all those trains to get derailed. The women in my family, particularly on my Mom’s side have a history of dementia and it is quite possibly the saddest thing ever. Like the number one entry on this list (spoiler alert!), you might argue that I shouldn’t really worry about something I won’t even be self-aware enough to realize is even happening. But unlike the number one entry on this list this is because I would still be an active force in the lives of those around me. And I would kind of want to not have them deal with me freaking out because of the all the strangers walking around my house who were actually my longtime friends and family.

04. Not Claustrophobia per se, but the need to crawl forward down a tight tunnel or hole. Like, thousands will die if do not do this. Like tight enough so that you barely have room to wiggle forward on your elbows. Also, there’s no light. And then of course you do this for a while until the tunnel makes this turn that your body can’t bend the right way to make and wham, you’re stuck. Miles underground. And for some reason nobody knows you are there. Being buried alive is a second cousin to this one.

03. Cancer. Fuck you, cancer.

02. The death of those I love. This one is pretty self explanatory. My existence is pretty awesome in large part because of the awesome people I have met. I am fortunate enough to have a family that is also awesome. Look, I get the whole carpe diem its not gonna last forever angle but I sure wish that I could somehow grab a mortality exception card for my friends and family. One that doesn’t include me turning them into a bunch of soulless vampires.

01. Oblivion. Technically I don’t fear death, at least, not really. I have a fairly high tolerance for pain (here my wife will snort and then giggle then laugh, then hyperventilate, then laugh some more, take a sip of water, laugh again, wipe her eyes, hold up her hand as if to say ‘give me a minute’ then laugh some more) and the idea of the actual physical trauma of dying doesn’t faze me much. It is the whole lack of anything on the other side that scares the pants off me. Because I’m getting more and more certain this fragile little consciousness of mine is a kind of winning lottery ticket in a universe that doesn’t issue them very often. That I am nothing but a random conglomeration of cells soon to be broken down and turned to dust and that my brain, my thoughts, my memories are nothing but a series of electrical impulses that depend on these soon to be broken down bits. And you say, but why bother worrying about something you won’t be around to worry about? And I say to you that’s precisely the point. There won’t be anything of me left to worry, just an eternal nothingness.

Reading: The Pale King

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Responses

  1. 3.) Alzheimer’s: Big history in my family, so unless they invent a cure I’m pretty much screwed. I think it’s why I’ve never been that concerned about eating healthy. I’m actively trying to shorten my life-span so my body goes before my mind.
    2.) Giant, hairy Japanese spiders
    1.) Grizzly bears. Sharks I can deal with, alligators I don’t mind, black bears provoke caution, but grizzlies, man, grizzlies. Giant, clawed, toothed, hairy monsters that no legal weapon will stop if they’re determined to kill you. Monsters that move so quietly most victims never hear them coming. Monsters smart enough to stalk and ambush you, but not smart enough to reason with. Monsters so scary the word “grisly” wasn’t enough. They had to spell it with two “z’s” to properly convey the terror.

  2. Wonderful! And scary. And I love this line: “I’m getting more and more certain this fragile little consciousness of mine is a kind of winning lottery ticket in a universe that doesn’t issue them very often.”


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