Every day, it seems, I hear of some frightening calamity that has befallen someone. Some bad thing that I didn’t know was possible. And I conclude that the universe is scarier than I realized. This is not a comforting thought, because I realized from the get-go the universe was teeming with bad juju.
Crisis level occurred when I was a teenager. I was reading the newspaper (a dangerous pastime, it turns out) when I come across an alarming item: A man walks down a busy city street, passing a fire hydrant at the moment it explodes. A powerful water jet hits him, propelling him into the street, into the path of a bus, which strikes and kills him. You mean THAT can happen to you? I spent the rest of the week in bed.
I figured that if that could happen, anything can happen, and this world we live in isn’t close to being certified as safe. But at some point I came out of my bed, and realized we can’t live in fear, so I jacked up my courage and went back to reading newspapers. But I won’t read medical journals. I’m already aware of dozens of horrific medical conditions that afflict mankind. There are new ones all the time. It’s as if there’s a machine hidden somewhere generating the Disease of the Day.
The news channels gleefully tell us about the new horror to fear – “coming up next, after these messages.” Some news anchors become absolutely colicky when there isn’t a new disease to report. I’m sure that the Plague App will be available soon for my phone, complete with text message alerts, and “six ways to tell if you’re at risk.”
In addition to diseases, bizarre accidents occur daily. Many of them involve very bad things (or VBT’s, as I like to call them) happening to sensitive anatomical areas.
Which reminds me of cattle mutilations. Is that really why the aliens are here? Think about it. Do they come across the galaxy to mess with bovines, or do medically-advanced anal probes on humans, as reported in many newspapers, some of them arguably not completely lunatic? Couldn’t they do that at home? Is earthly anatomy really that fascinating? Are their versions of cattle and humanoids that much different?
My apprehension has risen to new heights, sending my quality of life to new depths. I’m quietly living my life and trying to accomplish a modest goal here or there, and VBT’s are stalking me. I used to worry about getting some medical journal-worthy disease, until I realized I could end up, so to speak, getting an intergalactic colonoscopy.
No, thank you. I’m going to go wander the city streets, pacing back and forth in front of hydrants, hoping for a simple explosive water jet and a predestined rendezvous with a bus. A nice, simple way to go.
Unless the water jet knocks me into the path of a flying saucer.