Worry Wart


Now that I’ve shared a snapshot of what I’ve been up to while I was away from TinyHazards, I think it’s only fair to share what’s been added to my worry-list while I was gone. I’ve been off gallivanting around the country, so I’ve had a lot of inspiration.

To start, I said I would explain my new anxiety about overly aggressive raccoons. I was walking around the Palace of Fine Arts in San Francisco, minding my own business, when I spotted a prominent sign in the gardens. I thought maybe it was tell me not to feed the ducks or to avoid littering, but it held a more serious message. It screamed, “WARNING. AGGRESSIVE RACCOONS IN THIS AREA.” That got my attention. Raccoons are strange half-human, half-beast creatures, with tiny fake thumbs and a penchant for garbage. I already have a healthy fear of them. It may have something to do with a camping trip in my youth and a midnight walk to the bathroom.

I looked closer at the warning. The sign continued, “Recent incidents suggest that raccoons in this area have become increasingly aggressive to people and dogs.” First, I need to know about these recent incidents. Are they on YouTube? Did a raccoon eat a tiny dog? Did it bite off someone’s finger? Second, I need to know if there is further action being taken to remedy this problem, besides the sign. And, finally, I need to know where exactly these aggressive raccoons like to spend their afternoons, because I need to not be there.

I didn’t get any answers or have any close encounters of the raccoon kind. I only ran into aggressive photographers, knocking me out of the way to take pictures of the columns or a bride and groom or their own faces. So I added both angry masked critters and zealous amateur photographers to the list.

But that’s not it. Apparently, we also need to be concerned about old employers stealing our identities. Well, not exactly stealing them, more like co-opting them. I learned from a recent tax document and financial report that my prior employer has been claiming they’re paying healthcare benefits and investing money into a retirement account on my behalf. Listen, old employer, I know you were sad when I left. I get it. I’m great. But it’s time to move on. I think so. My new employer thinks so. The IRS is probably going to think so. Get a grip.

Finally, and this one is probably the most important thing I added to the list, we need to worry about escaping the death-traps that are our homes. Thirty years ago, we had approximately seventeen minutes to escape our homes in case of a fire. Now we only have three or four minutes to get out. That’s it. That’s not even long enough to make a bowl of oatmeal or watch an SNL skit. No one watches SNL skits anymore, but they definitely did thirty years ago, so I think it’s an appropriate reference. The time has shortened so much because of all the synthetic furniture and building supplies we’re using. I thought Ikea was only dangerous to relationships during shopping trips, but we’re actually bringing the danger home with us. On the flip side, however, those coffee tables are so cheap.

So, that’s what I’ve added to my worry-list. I’m at a round 137,987,396 things now. And I’m posting them here so that you can adjust your lists accordingly. You’re welcome.


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