8 anxiety creating scenarios that made me the way I am today

When I was little, I liked to read. A lot. I read about Helen Keller, Count Dracula (the abridged version for 5th graders, but still), going to Hell, Head n Shoulders dandruff controlling shampoo (on the toilet when I was going poop) and Unexplained Mysteries. And? I had an extremely vivid imagination. Extremely. Vivid. Also? I was a very anxious child. VERY. (This condition has only gotten worse with age. Thank you, Xanax).

1. So, in a nutshell, I was prepared to suddenly go blind, deaf, lame or retarded, causing me to invite one of the walking dead (possibly posing as a Jehovah's Witness, or my friend Tammy's psycho-religious nutball parents), into our trailer one evening while my mom was at the laundromat. Being blind, deaf and/or lame, I would make an easy target:

2. And once I was bitten, I would go to Hell one day because, hello? Vampires can't get into Heaven. Everyone knows that. I happen to know this fact because I had a babysitter who kept religious tracts around her trailer. Being the avid reader that I was, I found myself perusing through them one morning. It was about a girl named Sandy who does LSD and dies. Then she goes to Hell. Because of free love and drugs. Satan was wearing a red mumu and had on a peace sign necklace. But then it turns out it was just a hallucination caused by a bad dose, so Susan accepted Jesus and the end.

Don't even get me started on how suspicous I was of anyone wearing a peace sign in the 1970's:

3. And about the unexplained mysteries?

4. Well, let's just say I was convinced I had telepathic powers, so the possibility of a doppelganger was not outside the realm of possibility:

5. Neither was spontaneous combustion:
This would totally happen to me. TOTALLY.

6.Or disappearing into the Bermuda Triangle. This especially terrified me, and whenever we traveled by plane I enquired as to the pilot's understanding of geography and the importance of avoiding the Bermuda Triangle at all costs, even if it was a shortcut. My curiosity eventually became an annoyance to the employees of American Airlines.

7. Being hijacked on a plane going from Illinois to Wyoming (true story) or;

8. Watching my grandfather walking out into the sheep pasture and suddenly disappearing into thin air, as he walked through the pastures, passing through a patch of fog/mist (that's how it happens. Unexplained Mysteries said so).


Death Race 2000 Through The Eyes Of A Child. Redux. Because I just LOVE this post. And it will help you understand why I am the way I am. Or not. Whatever.

As a child I counted on my parents to keep me safe from harm, but I.....wait. Scratch that. I counted on myself to keep me safe from harm. My parents were just my safety net in case I needed backup help in staying safe from killer bees, blindness, tornadoes, fire or hijackings. And really, in a hijacking? My mother would be of no use whatsoever. Same goes for Dad.

Ever heard of a B movie called Death Race 2000? Yes? No? Really? Because I have! Wanna know why I've heard of it? Oh, because my parents took me to see it in the drive-in in 1975 when I was 8.

Here's how I picture that conversation:

Dad: "What say we take the kid and head on over to the drive-in thee-ay-tor. Ronnie at work says there's a good picture showing."

Little Me: (playing with Barbie): "Yay! The drive-in! Can I wear my jammies?"

Mom (cutting up bananas for the jello/banana/fruit cocktail salad): "Hush! Oh yeah? What's it called?"

Dad (yawns and scratches his ass with a back scratcher shaped like a monkey's paw): "Wellup, Ronnie says it's got cars and racing and that David Carradine guy is in it. That guy what played Rocky too. Whatsisname...Sylves-tor Stallone. You like them, right?"

Little Me: "I wanna go, I wanna go!! (gets up and air punches in front of parents, reminding them that she loved Rocky.)

Mom (flips breaded salmon patties frying in Crisco and pours iced tea in Tupperware glasses): "Well, it sounds good but what's that death part about?"

Dad (raises left ass cheek to fart): "Waaayy-ell, I don't rightly know. I guess we'll find out now, won't we?"

Little Me: "YAAAAYYYY!!!"

Then they took me to see this:


Yeah. So basically, it was a movie set in the year 2000, and all of society has broken down. For entertainment, the President puts on this thing every year called a death race. Four drivers and their navigators drive across the country, scoring points for killing innocent pedestrians.

Here's a quote from the movie:

"As the cars roar into Pennsylvania, the cradle of liberty, it seems apparent that our citizens are staying off the streets, which may make scoring particularly difficult, even with this year's rule changes. To recap those revisions: women are still worth 10 points more than men in all age brackets, but teenagers now rack up 40 points, and toddlers under 12 now rate a big 70 points. The big score: anyone, any sex, over 75 years old has been upped to 100 points."

Did you see that part about children under 12?

So did I. It's kind of hard to miss when you yourself are a child who is under 12 (70 points). I had grandparents (100x4), several of my cousins were teenagers (6x40) and I had no idea how much my dad was worth but I knew my mom was worth 10 points more.

Awesome. Now I not only had to worry about myself, but add to that my:
1. Mother= Father+10 pts
2. Father=?
3. Grandpa Charlie=100 pts
4. Grandma Josephine=100 pts
5. Grandpa Bud=100 pts
6. Grandma Evelyn=100 pts
7. Various and assorted teenage cousins (females are worth 10 points more than men, remember)=???
8. Me= 70 pts

And here we were, watching this terrifying monstrosity of a movie.....IN A F*CKING DRIVE-IN MOVIE THEATER!!!!

Were my parents insane? We had to get out, and NOW!

Me: "Mom! Dad! We have to get out of here now!! The cars are gonna kill us!"

Mom: "Hush! I thought I told you to go to sleep back there! Were you watching this? Now lay down!"

Dad (lifts right ass cheek to fart): "Do what your mother tells you."

Me (getting more and more panicky): "But this movie is REAL! We have to get away, I know a way out! I saw a hole in the fence when I went to the bathroom earlier. Dad, if you gun it, I think we can bust through before anyone tries to kill us. Hurry!"

Dad: "Now hold your horses young lady. We paid for a double feature and we are staying until this movie is over. Do I make myself clear?"

Me (muttering under breath): "...easy for him to say. He's not worth hardly anything! I'm worth 70 points and mom's worth 10 points more than him..."

Dad (glaring): "What are you mumbling back there? Do you have something to say? If so, then just spit it out!"

Mom (sighing): "You two...."

Me (terrified beyond all rationality, screaming): "YOU'RE JUST JEALOUS! I'M WORTH MORE POINTS THAN YOU AND SO IS MOMMY! YOU HATE US AND WE'RE GONNA DIE!!!!"

At first, there was only silence. Then came the sound of gravel crunching under tires as we slowly drove away into the night. The crisis was averted.

This time......

15 life lessons video games have taught my children *Updated* I got a freaking AWARD! And I'm passing it on.

Since this is National Video Game Month, I thought I'd make a list of invaluable and tricksy lessons that video games have taught my kids.

No. I'm kidding about the National Video Game Month. But not about the tricksy lessons:

1. If you die, just hit start over, or dig some health out of your backpack. Sometimes you can wander around the village until you find the store that sells life, it usually comes in a box with the American Red Cross symbol on it. The important thing to remember here is that death isn't permanent.

2. It's totally plausible for your three best friends to be an ape, a turtle and a talking mushroom. And you all drive cars in outer space. Which of course means that you know how to drive in real life. You decide to test this premise by starting your mom's car last Thursday  one day while she's still in the house getting ready for work.

3. Empty bottles, shiny bells, scraps of paper covered in elven writing, random skeleton keys and coins of unknown denomination? Potentially valuable. Hoard everything. Just in case.
4. Don't feel like listening to that helpful stranger who is trying to give you good advice? Just push the B button. Same goes for your mom.
5. It usually takes 5 tries before you beat the Boss. You'll die each time, but it's ok (see rule #1). And if it's too hard, just skip it. Your brother will do it for you.
6. "Do over" fixes everything. For serious.
7. Spending real money to pay for virtual items such as: couches, rugs, tables and new doorknobs? Totally worth it.
8. Spot an interesting lever, switch or doorknob? Go on, pull it, flip it or open it. There's probably candy inside. Or Satan. Still not sure? It'll be ok. (See rule #6).
9. Tired? Stressed? Want to curl up in the fetal postion and sleep for 14 hours? No worries, just save it. Come back to it tomorrow. Or whenever.
10. If you can swim underwater for an indefinite period of time in your game, it only follows that you can do the same irl, right? Swimming lessons? Screw that, dive right in!
11. Go ahead, shoot your best friend. It won't kill him because he's on your team! lolz!
12. Two words. Pants optional.
13. You will attract at least one mascot or apprentice during your gameplay. Treat them accordingly.
14. It's completely acceptable to walk into a total stranger's house and rummage through their belongings without speaking to them. They expect this behavior. And? You might find a map, or something shiny. (see rule #3).
15. Sometimes all you need to kill the bad guys is pointy stick. Or a gun made out of a dog.
Woof woof, motherf*cker.