psychoIt’s that time of year when parents are stressing over Halloween costumes for their little demons, hoping they will come up with something original. And Halloween candy has been decomposing on store shelves for months.

Just kidding. Candy can’t decompose because it’s embalmed with chemical preservatives.

Anyway, it is also the time of year to focus on fear, like ghosts and goblins. But these don’t scare me much, because when I think of a ghost I envision Casper, the friendly cartoon ghost. And the thought of goblins conjures up the image of an adorable blue Smurf.

What are the specters that raise the prickly hairs on my chin? Besides the fact that I have prickly hairs on my chin?

  1. Flying eels: I live in an area where most days if you look long enough, you will see eagles circling overhead. One sunny July day an eagle dropped an eel on the windshield of an unsuspecting man, while he sat in his car eating a sandwich. After the slimy fish oozed to the ground, a bird of an unidentified species plunged down and gobbled it up.
  2. Eagles: see above. Was the flying eel the result of a klutzy eagle, or a young congregation torturing a senior citizen for a lark? Was it settlement of a gambling debt to a competing predator? A fish deal gone bad? Initiation into a gang? Can you honestly say you can think of these majestic national symbols the same way, now that you know their capacity for the macabre?
  3. I have no electricity and I’m trying to get a fire started rubbing two tiny sticks together. In between swatting mosquitoes, and pulling bats out of my hair, I’m overtaken by hunger, and chomp down on a raw, red hot dog. I try to settle down to sleep, but when I hear coyotes howling in a circle around me, I quietly begin to cry. Recurrent nightmare or fear of camping?
  4. Missing the kickoff: I love football and I love the national anthem. But when a pop singer murders the Star Spangled Banner, changing the key a minimum of 6 times (inadvertently), assaulting my ears with high notes that sound like a bullhorn, I grab noise canceling headphones and hide. Afraid I’ll return too soon and catch the last discordant pitches, I MISS THE KICKOFF!
  5. Corn mazes: I can get lost in a Walmart parking lot on a slow shopping day, so I’d be a-mazed if I could ever find my way out of a corn maze. Patrick suggested we do this as a ‘fun family activity,’ and asked whether my life insurance policy was paid up. Hmmmmm……have I written about him one too many times?
  6. Canine drivers: It’s not enough that people of all ages are driving to endanger? Recently this cute little Cujo drove his owner’s truck into Branch Pond, putting the terror in terrier. Since he was rescued, I worry he’ll take the wheel again, and this time head for the highway.
  7. Caffeine insufficiency: When the weather report threatens a power loss, instead of rummaging for batteries and candles, I brew up a few several pots of coffee, pacing the kitchen like a heroin addict overdue for a fix. While fear of physical withdrawal is a huge part of my angst, the real horror is the threat of total annihilation of my personality.

There you have it. Seven fears that I think would even terrify Stephen King.

Have you ever been lost in a corn maze? Have you ever seen a flying eel? Do you hide your car keys from your dog? Have you ever eaten candy you found in a box you packed away in the 1980’s? Do you think eagles look angry? Have you ever considered electrolysis?

What gives you the creeps?


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