It dawned on me the other day while listening to main stream media outlets, that I’m sick and tired of being scared. Every day, I am broadsided with one crisis after another. It seems as if our political system as well as our own daily lives can’t seem to thrive unless we’re in a crisis. This week alone I heard our President talk about our economic crisis, our education crisis, and why gas prices keep bouncing like a yo-yo. What about the global warming crisis? Of course, this crisis is a tough sell to Vermonters and North Dakotans. Especially in January when they endure snow drifts that resemble a glacier and wind chills that would depress an arctic penguin.
Imagine my dismay this week when yet another recall of commercial meats was diagnosed with some streptococcal backa-fungateria or some other unpronounceable vermin. I now find myself walking the grocery store aisles in a daze like an amnesia patient; looking for pesticide free, dolphin-safe, rainforest, non-depleting, organically grown, no-MSG, wild leeks for a lunch snack. Why you ask? Because apples may have one-trillionth parts per million Alar contamination and Twinkies could put me into diabetic coma.
Try to sit down at your favorite restaurant and recall just what the experts say about everything on the menu. Coffee? Nope…causes jitteriness. Milk on your cereal? Uh, uh….has to many hormones a man could develop breasts. A hamburger?… Are you kidding, Mad Cow Disease. A drink of water? No way, it’s tainted with bird droppings that can cause flu-like symptoms. Breathing air?…What, with all the ozone depletion? What about the lowly saltine cracker?…Nope, may have hidden trans fats that could make me buy the farm too quickly.
Fear has even spread to our churches. I recently saw a church sign that proclaimed, “I don’t know about you, but I’d rather fly than fry!” Even paradise is now laced with scary pitfalls.
Twice this week, news magazines reported on the probability of extramarital affairs. When I first got married, the only thing I feared was her meatloaf. Now, thanks to the media, I have to worry about the vinyl-siding salesman.
I’m sorry, but starting today I am no longer going to allow any political candidate, right or left-wing zealot, or nutritionally unbalanced vege-terrorist scare me into living the “good life”. Tonight, I’m going to run with scissors, drink diet soda, eat a tuna sandwich, talk with my mouth full, sit on a cold floor, and swim on a full stomach.
It may take years, but one day we’ll learn all along, that cancer in laboratory rats was caused by the aluminum cages they lived in.