Things That Are Truly Frightening

Halloween is approaching with a bloody axe and heavy footsteps. Between “American Horror Story” and “Paranormal Activity,” I’ve been thinking about the things that really scare me. The things that raise my knuckle hair and put a hard knot in my liver.

Besides terror-inflicting things like snakes, clowns and Kristin Stewart’s “acting,” there are things I find much creepier—and more psychologically damaging.

(Kristin and Werewolf Guy With No Shirt “act” out a scene from that sparkly vampire movie.)

The Sound of Silence: Have you ever awakened in the night, everything is pitch black and there isn’t one single sound? You KNOW that someone is standing VERY close to you, trying hard to be quiet. You can hear them not breathing. Nightmares ensue.

Noises in the Night: Or, you wake up in the night, everything is pitch black and you hear  footsteps in the hall. Is one of the kids sick? Is the dog roaming? No. There’s no one there. Even though you’re CONVINCED you heard footsteps. Sleep flees.

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(Was that a reptilian alien slithering down the hall to suck out my eyeballs–or was it the ice maker?)

The Nightly News: Death, destruction and terror–all narrated by good-looking people with lots of make-up. News anchors LOVE to use fearful words like “horrific,” “cataclysmic” and “elections.” After watching footage on serial killers, animal abuse and the soon-to-happen world-wide pandemic, I’ve stopped watching the news.

Bathroom scales: Nothing is more frightening than climbing on the bathroom scale. Whether you weigh yourself daily, weekly or yearly, the number on the scale will determine your mood and self-esteem for the next 48 hours.

 (Don’t tell me what to do, you damn appliance! Someone get me a Twinkie!)

Shopping for swimming suits: Clichéd but true. Do NOT make me stand in a fluorescently-lit cubicle while trying to put on a stretchy square of fabric that wouldn’t keep my hamster warm, let alone cover all my important bits. (Note: “Hamster” is not a code word for my important bits.)

GOP candidates: Really? We’re supposed to put our support behind one of these candidates when they’re all acting like The Real Housewives of Washington, DC.?

(The start of candidate season. So, where do I get a hunting license?)

Social Situations: Does my breath smell? Do I look fat? Is my make-up smeared? Do my shoes match? Do I talk too much? Talk too little? Say the wrong thing? Have ketchup on my cheek? Eat too much? Have a booger in my nose? Do I have eye boogers? Did I put both earrings in? AAAARRRGGGHHHH!!!

Earthquakes: Utahns are always warned about The Big One. No, not Roseanne Barr returning to the state, but the 7.0 earthquake predicted to hit sometime in the next 50 years. I’d prepare, but I’m too scared.

(Well said, most interesting man in the world. Well said.)