Terrified Nation 07-19-10

Disclaimer: I thought it would be best to place a disclaimer for this particular piece. This might ultimately save you the time of dashing off a letter of hate my way. Those who know me well will realize that this is not intended to make light of folks who have serious reactions to the various things listed in this piece. This column is all in good fun, as usual, and is strictly meant to be SATIRICAL. Remember, laughing at one's own “disorders” can get us through rough times. How the heck do you think I've made it this far in life? Enjoy and, as I said, I mean no harm.

One would think that in this day of legitimate global unrest and upheaval due to wars, the threat of terrorism, a declining economy and other uplifting topics, we would like some aspects of our lives to be fear free, so to speak.

This is clearly not so as I've noticed that we have become a nation of panic stricken, reactionaries who should collectively seek group therapy.

The following is a short list of just a few things that have us alarmed to the point of absurdity. Of course I realize that most of this jazz is truly worrisome but we must get a hold of ourselves lest we live our lives in a constant state of hysteria.

Take a deep breath and let us begin. Don't be scared, I will be right here with you. Here goes:

Peanuts: It's a demon, it's an ogre, no...good gravy, hold me...it's a...peanut?

I find that we, as fellow humans, are now inclined to huddle in corners clutching to one another for comfort when we spot this shelled intruder.

Why is this happening you ask? Well it's due to the soaring and sudden escalation of allergies related to all things peanut. This whole deal has reached insane levels.

Word on the street is that they may stop selling the product during baseball games and other sporting events.

What? How on earth can a person enjoy any kind of sport without being able to inhale peanuts like a hyena on the loose? What's next, not being permitted to go to the local tavern and plaster the floor with shells?

This can't be. We cannot have this. Those in the know have even talked about not allowing peanuts on airline flights because peanut dust might make its way to some delicate creature in row 24 seat A.

I'm sure I will offend those with peanut allergies but that's the risk I take in this controversial corner of my own sick world.

For those of you over the age of 40, do you remember peanut allergies at the level of a national security risk back when you were a kid? I didn't think so.

Mold: We are bombarded on almost a daily basis about the downright hideous nature of this killer substance. Does anyone realize how much “natural” mold we take into our lungs during a brief jaunt to the mailbox? I don't either but, it sounded official for column purposes.

I'm sure that anyone with an allergy to this most intrusive assassin would, more than likely, keel over dead if he entered my humble home.

I say the key to getting this executioner under control is to have drafty windows and doors that don't fit the frames properly installed pronto. This is how we've all managed to stay alive in this den of mold-ridden iniquity we like to call home sweet home.

Asbestos: Again, to those of you over the age of 40, remember the sheer joy we all got by launching pencils into the ceilings of our asbestos-ridden school rooms? Well those glory days are gone.

I know that this really does cause major health issues but, I just couldn't resist revisiting a simpler time when one did not need to don a Hazmat uniform in order to take English class.

Strangers: I am over the age of 40 and do recall my mother's words of wisdom when I was first permitted to walk along the highway to a friend's house.

She took me aside, offered me a comfortable seat, gazed into my eyes, placed my hands in hers and said, in a tone reserved for boot camp, the following: “You're gonna get picked up and chopped up if you don't watch it. Do not approach a car for any reason. Even if the person is a friend of ours. Do you have that? Picked up and chopped up. Keep that in your mind.”

Thus began a reoccurring nightmare consisting of cars, freezers and chainsaws.

These days, we are more aware than ever before of “stranger danger.” This is due to the plethora of media outlets keeping us posted minute by minute.

I do realize that we have to teach our kids to be aware of the “outsider” threat, and am certainly not encouraging tot-transient relationships here.

I just think there might be a healthier way of imparting safety tips to our favorite youngster than, say, the way in which my mother did so. Think of it this way, you will save a ton in mental professional costs down the road. I'm just sayin'.

The Sun: This is also known as the gargantuan ball of murder containing ultraviolet rays-of-penetration that seek out regions of exposed skin. (Picture the sun laughing in a horror movie, serial killer, kind-of-manner.)

In the past few years, we have all become petrified of the giant, menacing, horrendous orb-of-death in the sky—only between the hours of 10 and 2, mind you.

Skimpy bikinis have been replaced by floppy hats and burkha style coverings as mankind has become totally paranoid that sunlight might find its way onto exposed body parts. Oh, the humanity!

Back in the olden days, the sun was actually good for a person due to the Vitamin D component. Remember Vitamin D before it was mass produced in pill form?

Now, I realize that we shouldn't roll around and sizzle like wienies on a barbecue grill on our beach towels, but surely, there must be a happy medium in here somewhere. All things in moderation, my dear readers.

Well, that about does it as there is no room for a top ten list. I'm off to flag down the nearest stranger and leap violently into his vehicle.

No worries because if he tries to pick me up and chop me up, I shall simply shell peanuts at the speed of light and propel them in his direction.

My self-defense actions might very well cause him to have an allergic reaction leading him to cease and desist with all lewd activities directed my way. I hope his car is not permeated with deadly mold though.

Anyhow, off I go...