Tag Archives: clowns

Shallow and a “Little” Scared

prairie-roads-1220316Well enough time has passed and I think I can talk about it. You know by now that, come January, we gravitate to more moderate climes. In past years we have done so using the most efficient if not, admittedly, the most environmentally friendly mode of transportation and it takes about 5 hours, give or take an additional hour or two in some airport lounge along the way. Flying may not be my favourite activity but barring extended and extensive periods of turbulence (in which case all bets are off), deep in my heart I’m pretty sure that when I board that airliner I’m going to debark safely at my intended destination. But that was not the case this year. This year one of us said to the other “so how about we drive down south?” to which the “other” foolishly responded “good idea”. Because while this “other” doesn’t mind hitting the road, especially since we are doing so in the cutest little buggy ever, she (that’s me) really only likes to drive the blacktop when the sun is shining and the roads are clear and dry. And believe me, that was not the case on any of the seemingly many days we spent making our way down to where the turf meets the surf. Which, and this is not an “alternative fact”,  made me just a little scared mostly because I happen to like being on this side of that pearly gate.

Now people are going to tell me there are lots of things to be scared of that are much worse than driving in the rain, ice and snow in a tiny little car. Like spiders. Lots of people seem to be afraid of spiders. I’m not sure why. To me spiders are just little creatures, with lots of legs, who make quite lovely and intricate homes for themselves. Ok, I suppose they do use those homes to catch unsuspecting other bugs who unwittingly venture into their webs and, I imagine, quite unceremoniously become delectable morsels to be enjoyed for a late night repast. But unless you’re my friend Wade who has chosen to live among some of the more treacherous members of the species, you’re probably not going to suffer any harm from an encounter with that Daddy Long Legs who decided to take up residence in your basement. Certainly (and this is from my perspective) it’s not worth stomping out his rather precarious life when we know full well that doing so will no doubt result in the proverbial downpour I’ve mentioned above. At least you won’t find me making that trade-off any time soon.

Then there are clowns. I’ve mentioned this in the past but that’s no reason not to include them here. Some people are afraid of clowns. So much so that there’s even a name for it. Coulrophobia. You can look it up. This fear I kind of get. Let’s face it. There have been some pretty scary clown like figures around in our time. Like the Joker. Not the nicest guy and unless you are a superhero of some sort, probably not one you want to bump into when taking the garbage out at night. And more recently, those people who for some unknown reason decided it would be a hoot to dress up as creepy clowns and scare the bejeezus out of little children.  But let’s put those aside for a moment. Most of us encounter clowns under happier circumstances. Like at a birthday party, or the circus, or even at the rodeo, which, if you ask me, has much scarier things going on than clowns. These are happy clowns. They do tricks, hand out balloon animals and generally do their best to make people laugh. Given the choice, I’d rather watch a clown slip on a banana peel than find myself sliding my way through a sea of black ice.

Ok, I know. There are plenty of people in this part of the country who will tell you there are way scarier things than spiders or clowns or even driving in the rain. The fellow who has taken hold of the reigns in this neck of the woods seems to have sparked a whole new level of fear amongst the people. In many cases they are scared because they don’t really know what he will do. Then there are those who are scared because they do know what he will do. Certainly women are scared they will lose control their bodies. Immigrants are scared they will have to leave the country they love and call home. The LGBTQQIP2SAA (I do my best ot be inclusive) are scared of losing the rights they fought so hard to obtain. Some people will tell you they are scared that they will no longer get the facts but rather something called the “alternative facts”. Others think the “real” facts will be scary enough. Everyone is scared about how the world will react to the policies that are designed to keep America great again. You don’t have to hit me over the head. Millions of people right across this world of ours are marching in the streets to let us know just how scared they are. I can honestly say that, even though I’m a shallow person, it has become quite clear to me that at this moment in time there is no shortage of things to be scared about. 

With that said, I’m starting to think that maybe driving in the rain and snow isn’t so scary.  I’m also starting to think that perhaps I should be more than just a “little” scared.

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So you want to live to be 100

one-hundredI was reading an article the other day, well not so much “reading” as listening to someone who had read the article tell me about it. I suppose they thought I would be interested because the gist of it was how to live to be 100, which, as you can probably guess, I already know something about. But for those of you who are less familiar with this phenomenon, I suspect that right now you’re thinking there are likely some key factors that contribute to this quite remarkable extension of life. Like eating all the right stuff, exercising regularly, not smoking, and just to be sure, never playing on railroad tracks. You might even think, and you could probably find some research to say so, that a glass of wine or beer a day is the key to unlocking the door to longevity. And it is quite possible that you would be right but before you get too cocky I have to tell you, that in this case, it was none of these. Nope. What my compatriot proceeded to explain to me, despite my protestations because I, like you, am pretty confident that I have this one down pat, was the one thing you must do if you want to live to be 100 (and let me just add here that not all of us do) is easy. You have to be happy. That’s right. It’s as simple as that. Just be happy.

Now I’ve written about this so many times I won’t even bother linking you to the posts, but I am pretty certain you know that, as a shallow person I may not be happy all of the time, but I am happy a lot of the time. So for me, this “long life” revelation may prove to be less problematic than it is for some of you. Nonetheless, it did get me thinking. It got me thinking about what it means to be happy. You may recall that at one point, not so long ago, I embarked on a course to answer this very question and had I actually taken the course, I might not now be spending my time pondering this rather elusive concept. But I never did take the course, so here I am, on my own, grappling with the concept of happiness and what it means to you and me and perhaps a whole slew of people we don’t know. Because it seems, if I can be so bold to say so, that what might make one person happy could make another very sad.

Think about it. What do you think makes a con man happy? Having never been one I can only imagine that the pinnacle of happiness for someone like that would be the moment your money ends up in his (or her, of course) pocket. I’ll even go out on a limb and say in this case the “more the merrier” leaving me to conclude that the sadder I am the happier he is. Then there’s clowns. Here’s a whole segment of the population (small as it may be) whose entire purpose in life is to make others happy. They spend their days devising clever ways to to get people to laugh, maybe forget their troubles for a little while and it makes them happy to spread that little bit of sunshine. Surely there’s no harm in that. Unless of course, they come up against someone in the audience with coulrophobia and the whole thing turns into a “can’t sleep, clown will eat me” nightmare. So much for those good intentions. Or how about that tax collector? At the end of his day the more “evaders” he finds the happier he is. But how do you feel when you’re the guy at the short end of that stick? You see what I mean? Regardless of the outcome, apparently if they’re happy they’ll reap the benefits. Get it? It’s those guys who will be waving goodbye to the rest of us as we have our one final, (not to mention often only) trip in that big, black limo. Where’s the justice in that?

Anyway, that’s what I’ve been thinking since I heard about this road to living long. Although, in the middle of my thinking I actually thought about something else. My Mother is about as close now to 100 as you can get without hitting that nail on the head. Her Mother (may she rest in peace) was 102. The “sisters” are 96, 94, and 84, or thereabouts. All of which all makes me wonder. Maybe I don’t have to worry about being happy after all.

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