Things That Scare Me: Alarm Clocks

In cynical celebration of our favorite death celebrating season, we’re going all out on fear based topics this month. Every day, Ben will present one thing that scares him, ranging from the anxious and annoying to the deadly and doomed. This is… Things That Scare Me.

alarmclock
Groundhog Day | YouTube

There’s one noise, one piercing sound, that I fear above all the rest. I fear it more than the sickening sound of that neighborly owl tearing into a fresh rodent, a meal that always seems to take place in my backyard. I fear it more than the booming sound of an unexpected explosion, prank fireworks or overloaded transformer boxes. I fear it more than the sound of a child crying, a helpless wail. I fear that sound more than any of that crap combined. That sound? My godforsaken, piece of shit alarm clock.

I understand that the objective function of an alarm clock is to wake someone up. I get it. It’s inherently startling. I COMPREHEND THE CONCEPT, GUYS. But every single time my asshole alarm decides to unleash the fury of a thousand decibels of unfiltered siren into my ear, I FREAK the fuck out. I can’t help it! My alarm, no matter what time I fall asleep, no matter what day of the week, no matter what time it’s set to go off, will always go all *WARNING YOU’RE IN A SINKING SUBMARINE* during my deepest, most peaceful moment of REM sleep. EVERY. SINGLE. NIGHT.

Well, okay, that used to be true at least. See, my fear of the alarm (or maybe just my fear of waking up in general. Jobs, am I right?) has created an embedded state of anxiety that occurs in the morning hours of bedrest. So now instead of getting blasted awake by a nuclear meltdown warning, I don’t spend a single second of my 4am-6am sleeping hours in my happy dream place. Nope, now I treat myself to the flopping, frantic turning that accompanies vast, insurmountable fear, inevitably leading to my constant checking of time, an every-fifteen-minute occurrence involving squinted, light-blinded eyes and frustrated sighs. IT’S A REALLY HEALTHY HABIT, YOU GUYS. NO PROBLEMS FROM THAT AT ALL. NOPE. MY WIFE DEFINITELY DOESN’T HATE ME.

I’m so scared of alarm clocks, that I’m now not even being woken up by alarm clocks, but rather by the anxiety of the alarm clock itself. THAT’S TRUE FEAR, YO. And before you get all judgmental (way, way too late, huh?), please know that I know that it’s pathetic. It’s not like spiders or getting buried underground, or any other massively felt fear. And it’s certainly not lethal by any stretch of the imagination. BUT IT IS LOUD AND IT SCARES ME. Or, I guess, it’s silent in the inertia of potential sound energy and still scares me? Or, I guess, it’s it all in my head and still scares me? I don’t know. Now I’m frustrated thinking about my frustration! Whatever. Fuck the flow of time and fuck mornings. Maybe I’m just scared of those.

Advertisements

Dear America, We Still Cool Right? Yours Sincerely, South African

In case you missed it, October’s our cynical celebration of our favorite death season. Every day, Ben will present one thing that scares him, ranging from the anxious and annoying to the deadly and doomed. This Right Here Is My…SWAG is one of those things that scares me:

On behalf of South Africans everywhere, I’d like to pass my condolences apologies. Ben claims to be American but, I have my doubts. I’ve known Americans to be a fearless bunch INVENTING phones, MOCKING the itsy bitsy spiders with their kids, and hanging out in public bathrooms during football games to warm up during the winter (good call to my freshman year professor for that recommendation) – not FEARing those things or anyone!

Americans are a proud folk who have somehow coined, trademarked, and completely monopolized the indelible “WE’RE NUMBER 1” sports chant… (patent pending). That holds true until some South Africans beat the snot out of the American “Eagles” in the Rugby World Cup as they did this past weekend with a decisive 64-0 Shutout. 64-0.. SIXTY FOUR.  GOOD GAWD… You don’t have to understand the scoring in Rugby to get how terrible that is. America, meet me in the next paragraph, if you would be so kind.

Look, America. You’re good, right? I know your favorite newsman was recently replaced by South African, Trevor Noah – which will get awkward when he comes to talk $hit to Americans, about Americans… I would never do that, America! You know me! Known me more than half my life! I love you, America! I love BASEBALLHOCKEYFOOTBALLBASKETBALL… LEBRON JAMES, and HE’S American! Right? I love the Hawks! Not the Seattle Seahawks. They’re posers, and need to give that “Go Hawks” patent up to the Iowa Hawks of the heartland of farmin, hard-working, bread-basket, plain accent, this-ain’t-heaven-but-it’s-close IOWA! But I’m scared, America.

My fear is that thanks to this recent ass-handing by my Springboks, losing your beloved Jon Stewart, and Donald Trump’s surge in the polls – I will be issued a challenge in the immortal words of Iowa quarterback, Ricky Stanzi:

I love it. I don’t wanna leave it. So, despite that EMBARRASSMENT OF INTERNATIONAL PROPORTIONS America, WE still cool, right?

Yours Sincerely,

-South African

Humpday Hymn: R.Kelly – “Snake”

We get it, Kellz. Snakes are mysterious AF, and can be fun to charm and seduce like those talented Indian guys do. But, you know what else they are? Suffocating. Poisonous. Sneaky. If you trust them to be harmless without knowing enough about em, they’ll  come back to bite ya. JANET,  YOU TWO-TIMIN TEMPTRESS!

Sorry, um… Snakes. That’s where we were. The pied piper may love how she get down, but snake-play in bed? That’s some scary $hit…make sure that thing’s defanged 😉

Things That Scare Me: Everything Underground

In cynical celebration of our favorite death celebrating season, we’re going all out on fear based topics this month. Every day, Ben will present one thing that scares him, ranging from the anxious and annoying to the deadly and doomed. This is… Things That Scare Me.

Batman Begins | YouTube
Batman Begins | YouTube

I’ve got a confession to make. It’s a hard one too. I can’t believe I’m about to type this, but… I could never be Batman. I know, I know. I’m just as hurt as you. Who would have thought a married dude with lower middle class ambitions, thick-rimmed glasses, the hand-eye coordination of a one-eyed moose, and a standing height roughly that of an upright Pomeranian couldn’t be Batman? Well I thought it. Because it’s the truth. Because I couldn’t be Batman. Because dude, I’m fucking SCARED of caves.

And it’s not just caves. It’s everything underground. Sewers, tunnels, shallow graves, it’s all terrifying if it’s below the surface of the earth. I want nothing to do with any of it. I’m sure there’s a deep-seeded psychological reasoning for this fear, perhaps a claustrophobic experience in the womb, but if that’s true, I don’t want to know. I want to keep everything surface level at all times, because the deeper you go, both into the earth and into your mind, the scarier shit gets.

Look, I don’t need to spend an afternoon hugging stalagmites to appreciate nature. I know a lot of people who disagree with that, so if you’re a geologist or a spelunker, that’s whatever, you’re cool. You’re an insane, crazy person, but you’re still cool. Because you can still be Batman. You can post up and brood in the dark, moist corners of grand caverns, desolate spots reserved for bats, bugs, and mole people, and not panic. You can squeeze into tight crevices, exploring new rock formations and mineral deposits. You can do you! But don’t expect me to follow with a bucket of lubricant for when you get stuck. No way. Fuck that.

You know the easiest way of avoiding ever being buried alive, a slow death by suffocation? BY NOT FUCKING GOING UNDERGROUND! Sure, there are freak natural occurrences you can’t avoid, sudden rock slides or earthquakes, or sentient dirt people looking to gangbang. That happens. But death by premature burial, especially self-inflicted, is one of the EASIEST deaths to avoid. Never go underground for any reason ever. Nope, not even for buried gold. Nope, not even to rescue a princess a golem. Nope, not even to be Batman. Case closed.

Midnight Snack: Michael Jackson – “The Earth Song”

Ben and I had a brief argument about breaking down “Thriller” for this scary month of October… Very well might, but for now – let’s mull over this selection I definitely do NOT phuck with! The Earth Song is mad eery, fam! Let’s start with the spaced out minor keys. Right there, you’re already ominous for no phuckin reason. Then, he adds the organs and harp strings being strummed by the fingers of the invisible dark hand of the free market killing Michael’s sunrise and rain.

Did you ever stop to notice all the children dying of war?” NOPE… sorry, Michael. The hand is invisible, and it covers its eyes so all that stuff is invisible to it. It’s all of us…killing all of our children… and the rain, and the sunrise, and the dead elephants in that video. HOLY $HIT, that’s a phucked up video, Michael!
The most messed up part is when the Earth has had enough, and blows back. HARD! The invisible hand of the market is badass and coddles badasses like Donald Trump, but it’s no match for mother nature’s fury – especially if she has blood coming out of her “wherever”.
Afterall, the earth will survive US. WE ain’t $hit. The Earth has seen far worse times and things than our invisible hand.  There was that one time a big assteroid crashed into the Earth, and kinda killed every breathing thing in it. Know who survived that? EARTH. Then there was that giant were SEVERAL Ice Age (s), where every breathing thing was frozen… Guess who else survived that? EARTH AGAIN. EARTH is a rider. Earth will be fine. Will we? Maybe that’s what scared Michael. Maybe that’s some scary $hit to consider…naaaah. We’ll be fine! I’m jus blowin smoke..into the OZONE LAYER!

P.s.
What up, Great Barrier Reef? Everything cool? Catchin a deadly wave?

Things That Scare Me: Epidemic Disease

In cynical celebration of our favorite death celebrating season, we’re going all out on fear based topics this month. Every day, Ben will present one thing that scares him, ranging from the anxious and annoying to the deadly and doomed. This is… Things That Scare Me.

Contagion | YouTube
Contagion | YouTube

There’s this mobile game called Plague Inc. that I’ve been addicted to lately. Its basic premise is simple: you create a disease and try to spread it across the globe, eradicating humanity as quickly as possible. The game’s customization ability is one of its biggest strengths; you can genetically enhance your made-to-order death bringer, buffing it against antibiotics and extreme temperatures, worsening symptoms to include nasty treats like total organ failure and hemorrhagic shock, tweaking your little plague’s distribution methods until it’s capable of running wild.

And if it sounds morbid, that’s because it is. Again, you’re designing a disease to ERADICATE HUMAN EXISTENCE. For fun. Forget moon bases and shark lasers, that’s some real mad scientist shit. And as much as I hate to admit it, it’s easy to find immense perverse pleasure in sending the human race to an early extinction. It’s cathartic. Because deep down inside, we’re all scared that that’s how we’re going to die, wiped away by an invisible killer, a virus or bacteria evolved to lethal perfection, our lives gone before we even knew what was there.

Now I’m not an epidemiologist by any stretch of the imagination, but I’ve seen the movie Contagion, so I’m pretty confident in my ability to say that a mass epidemic is exactly how the world is going to end. Oh that’s a fictitious movie you say? Well I say there’s a lot of truth in fiction. Because for every imaginary crusade against humanity we’ve created, from The Walking Dead’s TS-19 to Edgar Allen Poe’s Red Death, there’s an equally scary, real disease waiting to pop out of our nightmares and into our bloodstreams. Spanish Flu. The Black Plague. Ebola. And it’s not going to matter how disaster ready your apocalypse bunker is; we’re all doomed. Because people are above all two things: stupid and gross. It’s just true. Have you seen a men’s public bathroom? Have you spent time out there? In the world? IT’S FULL OF IDIOTS! It doesn’t matter how smart our scientists are, people will always be the biggest inhibitors to their own survival. That’s why the Darwin Awards exist.

I’ll never forget the experience of watching Contagion for the first time, an impulse decision to catch an afternoon matinee while I was living in uptown Minneapolis. As I sat there, watching a fictional account of a fictional disease rip through a fictional block on the very real street I actually lived on, I felt sick. I couldn’t stop looking around me, anxiously shifting in my seat. The idea of disease had taken root. I heard every exhale from every theater patron. I smelt every last dying skin cell in the air. I felt every sticky germ, every microbe that had previously sat in my seat. And I panicked. I went home. I showered for far too long, scrubbing away at an invisible, fictional, non-present disease that I could feel worming its way through my skin. Because I was scared. Because I was consumed by it. Because that movie might not have been, but disease is, very real.

Things That Scare Me: Public Bathrooms

In cynical celebration of our favorite death celebrating season, we’re going all out on fear based topics this month. Every day, Ben will present one thing that scares him, ranging from the anxious and annoying to the deadly and doomed. This is… Things That Scare Me.

publicbathrooms
Zombieland | YouTube

Public bathrooms… Just, so, so much yuck. I don’t even know where to start. I refuse to use public bathrooms unless it’s a situation of ACTUAL emergency. I’m talking Threat to National Security level of bowel concern. If I can hold it, I will. Because dude, fuck going in there.

Public toilets are literal totems to human filth, manifested physical pockets of humanity’s deepest, darkest, digested despairs. They’re vial, gutted structures of shit seepage, slimy cesspits holding solidified remains of excretory mistakes. To sit on a public toilet is to risk total molecular collapse by the hand of a super fungus, a degenerate disease grown in the bubbling gasses of captured flatulence, unidentifiable discharge, and puddles of boiling salted piss.

Or they are in men’s rooms are at the very least. As an unpaid child laborer, I was once offered the privilege of mopping a women’s restroom. It was like traveling to the fucking Shire. Gone were the hellish holes of molded black goop, encrusted sludge pits formed from rusted pipe sneezes, opened sores leaking the wafting rise of forgotten summer eggs. Instead, I found a tranquil, respectable place; despair replaced by the hint of a warm sea breeze and bleach, a healthy supply of toilet paper, and, for some inexplicable reason, an actual COUCH. A FUCKING COUCH! WHAT DO YOU NEED A COUCH IN A BATHROOM FOR?

I’m just jealous. Men’s rooms could never sustain a couch. Given eight unsupervised minutes, every clean surface is a men’s room WILL become covered in a fine layer of ass fur, as some Johnny Pubic-hair will inevitably stroll through, bush bundle in hand, decorating the stained linoleum with wayward strands of curled pubes, planted hairy seedlings hoping to blossom into fully grown pubic trees someday. 9 out of 10 urinals in men’s rooms look like they were installed under the watchful eye of a barber’s chair. Even if your super power is the ability to ignore the embedded smell of decades-long subfloor defecation build-up, it’s best not to inhale in a men’s room, least you find yourself hacking hair like a secondhand cat. I’m not scared of Hell, but I am scared of breathing that air.

I made the mistake of walking into a men’s room while wearing flip flops one time, intent on talking a quick piss. While trying my best to not look at, touch, smell, or otherwise interact with anyone or anything in the room, I noticed a vaguely wet feeling at my feet. I assumed it was just a little urinal splash-back, and took an adjustment step away, only to step DEEP into a warm puddle. Yup, warm. A quick examination of the room told me a pipe had backed up and the main drain was spitting back out a steady stream of human piss, leaving me to enjoy the sole-warming feeling of having a human urine collage flood around my mostly bare foot. AND THAT’S WHY YOU ALWAYS HOLD YOUR PISS NO MATTER WHAT.