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Preview: Things to Worry About

Things to Worry About

Jeff Cutler carefully examines all the things YOU worry about

Updated: 2018-03-06T03:43:15.818-05:00


Roof Remedy


That when you hire a contractor to remove some tree branches that overhang your roof, said contractor falls to his death in the process and his estate sues you for damages. Irony prevails because the entity who ends up paying the claim is the insurance company that requested the branches be removed in the first place. To add insult to their financial injury, the insurance company demanded the branches be removed or they would cancel the same homeowner's policy which in the end was used to pay the dead claimant's estate.


Pan Pain


That when you reach for a pot or a pan to cook some spaghetti - on just a random, nondescript evening - the hook on the pot rack catches your sleeve just enough that you lose your balance on the stepladder and tip softly into the island, suffering a little bump to your ribcage.

Believing all is right with the world and you escaped eternal pain, you shake at the pan rack to get your sleeve free, but that only serves to anger the cooking gods who suddenly release all the bolts holding the rack and 471lbs of pots and pans from the ceiling onto your visage.

As the Calphalon catastrophe takes place, you wonder about the craftsmanship of an $8 shirt you got at Kohls and how the button must have been attached with fishing wire. Before you lose consciousness and are crushed to death, you lament dressing for dinner in the first place and make an easily attainable vow never to do so again - easy because you've been removed from the menu of life.

Testing Your Patients


That when in the hospital for some tests, the nurses who tend to you - while very attractive - all seem to have a pact to keep their hands cold so that every time they take your temperature or blood pressure, the chill is so bad that it elevates your heart rate. This in turn makes the doctors think you need to be secreted away to a plastic bubble on a hidden ward somewhere in the hospital where the food is worse than regular hospital food (if that’s possible) and the temperatures are taken via the other end of your body.

Based on the high heart rate, you suddenly find yourself whisked away to a dungeon somewhere in Mississippi where the rats and bugs don't have a problem with your beating heart. Or your screaming tongue. Or any other fleshy part of you they decide to eat. And the last thing you remember is the feeling of teeth clinking against your teeth while they got a grip on your head and ripped it from your body.

Laptop Strap Sucker


That when you are traveling on business and trying to keep your bags to a minimum, you stuff everything into a tiny laptop bag...including toiletries, underwear and so forth. The trouble emerges when you forget to secure the laptop straps and because the bag is so heavy, it hangs low in one arm whilst you mount escalators and other in-building conveyances.

Then, when you're about to emerge from Amtrak or some escalator to heaven outside the Atlanta airport, the straps get sucked into the teeth of the stairs and pull your weary soul with them. Struggling to shake your arms loose, you fail and are suddenly just a pile of shredded human plasma thumping against the top step at the airport exit.



That when you finally relent to go see a movie with your betrothed, you visit a movie theater that has been frequented by transients and college students from Allston, MA. Therefore, the seats at the theater - except for the ones in the neck-craning front row - are all infested with bed bugs. While you might enjoy the film, these little buggers will enjoy you and will infest your body, clothes and home until you have to move to the moon to be rid of them.

Zombie Encounter - The Pool Version


That when you are watching the pool for some friends away on pleasure, you walk into the pump house to adjust the water settings and - like in the campfire stories we all dread - there's a dead body propped up in the corner of the wooden shed. Scrambling to get away, you allow your feet to become tangled in hose and you fall backward on the concrete. But no, you don't bang your head or even injure yourself and you smile wryly as you hop up and start to sprint away.

Then it happens, you miss a step and plunk your foot squarely into the filter hole which by this time is filled with eyeballs and other body parts because - as you notice - the pool is full of bodies and the one body you thought you were sure of, is now ambling out of the shed with a machete in its hand. As your end comes quickly and painfully - you are sure of two things: zombies are real; you aren't really a fan of swimming pool maintenance.

Snarky Spark


That while you make fun of others who are not fortunate enough - or forward-thinking enough - to get their own iPhone charger, you simultaneously step in a puddle, twist your ankle and stumble forward just enough to upset your entire balance. In one hand you have the aforementioned charger and in the other is your pristine iPhone (thanks to Otterbox and their great cases).

But as you stumble you plunk the charger down in the puddle and somehow twist and shout, jutting your tongue out enough so that it sticks in the dock connector on the iPhone. You then get a shock going up your left arm from the charger and down into your esophagus from the phone.

The resulting shock is enough to damage both your pride and your body. As you lie in the puddle getting a series of mini shocks from both devices, you think that you might stop making fun of the less gadget-fortunate in the world. And you wonder if the tongue shock might be just enough to cure your slight lisp.

Spitting Spider


That when you are napping on the couch on a lazy Saturday during the Tour de France, you spy a movement out of the corner of your eye. But you have left your eyeglasses on the table so you move physically near the movement - and it looks like a bug of some sort. To see the creature more clearly, you open your eyes wide and move in even closer - now a mere seven inches away.

Then suddenly, and horrifically, the bug - a slithering, spitting spider - shoots venom into your eyes, nose and mouth while you fall off the couch to your elbows. Since you spend so much time on the couch you have some girth. The weight on your elbows breaks them and you gasp from the pain, sucking the venom deep into your torso.

The poison courses through your veins, even while the cyclists pedal on oblivious to your trauma. And the last thing you see is a view of the beautiful French Pyrenees on Versus TV.

Mole Sauce


That when your cat comes home from a tough day at the office - errr field - she will bring with her a plump, yet dead mole. You won't notice this mole in the cat's mouth as she proudly trots into the house and deposits the dead creature in the middle of the floor.

Your efforts to save energy have resulted in keeping the house quite dark, so you don't see the mole at all during the day and it's only when you get up in the middle of the night to pee that your path takes you squarely over the mole. You barely brush it on the path to the bathroom, so nothing happens. But you exit the bathroom and wend your way back to bed you stomp directly on the squishy rodent. You yelp loudly, lose your balance and tumble headlong into a poorly constructed IKEA bookcase (that's another worry), which then topples over and pins you - with your head next to the mole body - under scads of social media books and nametags from various conferences and Tweetups.

Finally, the cat hears you screaming and comes over to you and bites your face because she was trying to sleep.

Lawn Lacerations and Limb Loss


While you ride your scooter or bicycle on the highways and byways of this great land, you'll notice good folks mowing their lawns and keeping their yards manicured and pristine. With these little two-stroke engines, people chop grass and sometimes fling detritus in the air. It is this detritus with which we are concerned.

You see, as you pedal along (or buzz by), rocks are fired at you with tremendous speed because the mower has neglected to realize that parallel mowing can impact passersby. You - a passerby - are subsequently struck by a sharp rock that slices cleanly through your elbow joint and arm, leaving you without any control over the handlbar of your vehicle.

Then, as you veer toward the municipal bus - speeding as usual toward you while the driver text messages her order for a lunch cake - you understand the fear early pilots had when walking around prop planes. And, just before the impact that takes your life, you think about your own lawn and how brown and dead it will get without you around to tend to it. To the very last, worried too much about what others might think of your outward appearance and too little about your inner beauty.

Escalating One's Fears


That the escalator on which you’re riding has a too-big gap between the plates forming its stairs. And the shoelaces on the shoes you chose to impress your audience (at the latest Inbound Marketing Summit session on how social media can actually cure sick kittens and make food appear in homeless shelters all over the globe) are destined to be sucked into the escalator causing not only a horrible grated human mess, but underscoring the fact that not even Zappos can deliver happiness if a contraption invented in 1891 hasn’t been refined enough to keep people from dying atop it.

It's a Crock...Pot


Whilst napping peacefully on the couch, you hear a slight clank. A sound like metal on glass. Similar to the cats’ tag banging against the food dish - but different and more sinister. The sound continues at regular intervals, just frequently enough to bother you, yet not so often that you are compelled to get up and investigate.

After 11 tortuous minutes of this noise, your brain starts to fill in the unknown. You imagine a rat is hidden in amongst the clean dishes and will bite off your hand when you open the cabinet. Then you think it’s probably a snake that has come from the sewers of New York City - because that’s what they do. And finally, you think it’s a person who was buried in the walls of your house ten or more years ago. This person has finally snapped out of their suspended animation and is knocking on the wall with their hook hand in a quest to get out and find the evil people who imprisoned them.

Alas, the movie producers and dark-novel writers like Steven King have triumphed again as you get up and find out the sound is just something bubbling quietly - mostly - in the crock pot on the counter.

Just Buggin'


That when the bug in the shower gets washed away with your shampoo and other suds, it emits a scream that only other bugs can hear as it enters the drain and then a sewer’s worth of bugs from all the pipes in all the homes and drains all over town start crawling back up toward your shower.

And, as you rinse the vestiges of soap from your body and squeeze the water from your golden locks, an entire battalion of creepy, crawly, icky, slimy and disgusting bugs emerge from the drain and immediately block your exit from the shower. You know in an instant that your moments are numbered as the millions of tiny feet grip your clean, glistening skin and crawl up your body to enter your soon-to-be corpse through your screaming mouth.

Manicure Mania


That while you're getting your first manicure - a treat for your birthday or even Valentine's Day - you relax a little and let down your guard. Next thing you know, your hands that were so comfy and resting in a hot-wax bath are now zip-tied together and you're being ushered into a nondescript van. Also, a hood has been placed over your head.

When you finally come to a stop, you hear seagulls and waves. You're unceremoniously pushed into a metal box that you can identify as a shipping container once you pull off your hood (hands still restrained by zipties) and you bang on the wall to no avail.

When you finally land in Marseille, France, you are taken to a farmhouse in Provence where you're put to work picking grapes for Angelina and Brad Pitt. You don't die, but you are extremely miserable and don't have any hope of inheriting their fortune because unlike the other children they've purchased, your purpose was to work on their farm and not look cute during photo shoots.

Birden of Guilt


That while watching the myriad birds dine on the feeder outside - filled by your wife or partner and not you, you lazy so and so - you stroke the cat on your lap (not a euphemism) and wonder at the birds' grace and skill. You neglect to watch the lap cat who has now started to get excited about the flying meals on the other side of the window and has poised itself to pounce.

Then, without warning (that you paid attention to) the claws come out and rip into your spleen and liver while the feline soars, ironically birdlike, across the room toward the window. You feel little pain as you bleed out on your new couch, but you do grin a little in the knowledge that the stupid cat sliced itself to ribbons crashing through the window. And you wonder if you and the cat will soon be reunited in some ethereal place on a comfortable couch with a laptop and a window with a birdfeeder on the other side.

Out of the Cordinary


That when you grab the power adapter that keeps your Macbook juiced up, you feel a slight tingle that then turns into a blazing, shocking pain and renders you incapable of movement—shaking your body in what can only be described as a full-torso twitch and causing you to pee yourself.

As you shudder and fall to the floor you realize that one of the cats must have chewed the cable in a cry for attention, but only wasted one of their lives doing so. Ironically, they've pretty much extinguished yours in the same move. You last vision as your lids close on your soon-to-be corpse is of the two cats sitting by the door waiting to be let out. Your last laugh is that they'll have to feed on your body as nobody is left to look after them. Ha. Ha.

Tow Torture


That while at a content strategy meeting at the Microsoft NERD center, you find that your car was towed from the front of the building. Then, when you find out where to go to get your car you realize that the weather has turned cold and that all your coats are in your car. You also realize that the tow company in the next town is closed and the taxis are all ignoring you and you might have to sleep on the street.

The last straw is the guy who comes up to you while you sob on the sidewalk and steals your laptop, your tweetup badge and your cell phone so you end up dying on the street in the cold and raw weather. Carless and sad and disheveled.

For the Want of a Nail


That when you yank your towel off the back of the bathroom door, the peg it sits upon comes with it and plummets to the floor at light speed. The trajectory is such that it doesn't nestle in the soft mat, but instead wails upon the top of your big toe, cracking the nail and immediately causing stars of pain and vocal spurts of horror.

But the worst part isn't immediate. It's when, years later - after having had that nail surgically removed never to grow back - when you're hiking in the Virginia woods and you hear a rattlesnake. Extensive training has allowed you to possess the reflexes of that same snake that's about to strike. So you snap alert and cunningly avoid the venomous creature's first stab at you.

Unfortunately, your prior injury slows you down just a tiny bit and the next strike from the snake hits its mark, sinking fangs into your flesh and sending poison coursing through your veins. To add insult to injury - literally - the rattler bit went right through where your big toenail once resided. And had it been in place, the fangs would have likely glanced off harmlessly. This occurs to you as you slip into a coma and die, the result of a loose towel peg on the back of a bathroom door.

Oil Spill Horror


That when reporting for #ioilspill you bend near the water trying to locate a tarball and suddenly are attacked simultaneously from three directions...from the water's surface by an alligator, from the shallows by a shark who's angry that it's currently #sharkweek on Discovery Channel, and from behind by a local rattler who is peeved that you've left footprints on his sugar-sand beach.

Needless to say, your last thoughts are about the gator, shark, rattler Po'boy you're going to order in heaven.

Fox Fear


That even after speaking with the town wildlife management office about the minimal likelihood that a hungry mother fox will eat your cats, you collect one of your cats from under a bush in the neighbor's yard and while walking to the back deck you feel a sharp pain in your kidney area and turn to find that same fox latched onto your lower back with its sharp fangs. Subsequently, the cat freaks out and scratches half your face off and jumps to the porch while the fox rips a good-size portion of your flesh from your torso and scampers away. Leaving you to bleed and writhe on the lawn, cursing the local government and the entire populace of rabid foxes.

Catcher's Dilemma


That while playing catcher in a baseball game, you are positioned behind the plate in an appropriate place to catch the ball, but the pitcher and the coach keep asking you to move forward so that sinkers and other breaking balls don't bounce in the dirt in front of you.

You comply after much berating and instantly feel the error of you decision as the batter swings wildly at the next pitch - but because you had inched forward, your head is actually on the same plane as the batter's bat and your eyeballs and a pile of snot are expelled from your skull with the force of the blow. And you collapse in a heap...your last thought, "I knew chess club was a safer choice."

Roof Deck Decimation


That when the fine weather appears and you go to the roof deck of your apartment with a mint Julep to stroll among the patio furniture, you realize that your glee at the moderate temps was premature and in addition to being slammed brutally by blowing umbrellas and wrought-iron chairs, you notice the nesting badgers in the corner that are skulking ever closer to your tasty flesh. And when you turn to flee, your sundress or other previously appropriate garb catches on the edge of the roof and flings you like so much detritus to the deck two flights below. Just far enough to break a number of bones, but not far enough to deter the badgers from pouncing on your unprotected visage, claws first. Ouchie.

Tropical Travesty


That the new bottle of shampoo in the shower is of the coconut variety that makes you dream of hula skirts and tropical beaches, but to your dismay - and much too late to do anything about it - you find out that the shampoo is really conditioner. And while slathering this substance all over your body you remember from early physics classes something about a coefficient of friction and stiffen as you feel your feet starting to slide across the floor of the shower.

Your reaction is anathema to what you should have done (curl up in a ball and wait for the water to rinse away the dastardly slickness) and stiff body and all you start to career around the shower stall like PopRocks in a glass of Coke. And speaking of glass, that's exactly where you find your unfortunate escape - through the glass door of the shower, sliced to ribbons and bleeding out on the cushy mat that ironically does a fantastic job of soaking up your O Positive and the conditioner that led to your demise.

Can You Hear Me Now - Electric Slide Version


That while you ride your environmentally sound motor scooter around town the old folks and tree huggers in their modern semi-electric vehicles are chatting on their phone while sliding silently down the road. And, while you are minding your own business, these Prius-heads are so inured to the world around them - believing they are in a meadow or something - that they fail to hear you puttering along beside them. In fact, they are so against creating any noise pollution that they fail to even use their directional when they take over your lane, nearly crushing you to a pulp and causing you to worry that they might not even hear your cries for mercy as you become paste against the curb.

**Thankfully, the 130 decibel horn you had installed on your scooter jolted them back awake...BUT only after pressing it for five full continuous seconds.**

Mocking My Turtleneck


That when a friend invites you to their office because they have a gift for you, and then they let it slip that the gift is a turtleneck, that when you arrive and put out your hands you feel a slimy tube of flesh that actually came off a formerly live turtle.

And as you yelp audibly and jump backward, you catch the heel of your shoe on the rug at their office and stumble into the hall, falling backward into the Poland Spring water dispenser causing the bottle to become unstable and subsequently drop onto your head.

Well, yes, you're knocked out. But when you come to the horror isn't over because during your collapse, the rubbery, slimy, icky turtleneck squirted into the air and came to rest in your mouth. And as you awake you feel the calimari-esque texture in your mouth as you scream for help and nothing comes out.