First off, we seem to have received a very nice mention from over Survivalblog.com way. If you're coming from that direction and haven't been here before - Welcome. Sit down and take your shoes off. Don't even think of checking your guns at the door, we prefer our guests remain armed.
Howdy all. Patrice seems to be dealing with a touch of the flu. As you can imagine, this means that much of the house and barn work, while still being performed, isn't going as smoothly as usual. But...in the spirit of keeping things here on the blog happening, I'm going to post a humor piece I had published some time ago called:
What? Me Worry?
I am a Adverse potential prognosticator. Some of you may be scratching your heads (But be careful! Its possible that you might damage your scalp and cause an infection!) Others of you have worked out the proceeding sentence and are dismissively saying to yourself, "Oh, he's a worrier. Big deal! Everyone worries." Au Contrair! (Gee, I hope I spelled that right. If I screwed that up, the readers might think I'm a dummy and won't read anymore. They might even write or call the magazine and complain. Then the magazine will no longer purchase any of my articles. They probably talk to the other magazines out there by way of some secret magazine email list and will tell them not to buy my stuff either! My career as a humor writer could be snuffed by a single miss-spelled word!)
Anyway where was I? Oh yes. We members of the Professional Adverse Potential Prognosticators (PAPP) smile uneasily at those who think that we are simply "worriers". PAPP members are to worriers as Babe Ruth is to ahh...(Oh Lord! I can't think of a good analogy! disaster!), anyway, we are big time worriers.
As any big-time worrier can tell you, there are 3 levels or degrees of worrying. A Level one (or simple) worrier concentrates on single worries at a time. As an example, a Farmer might think, "oh no! the cows got out of the pasture, now I have to round them up". Actually that isn't the best example, because there is no such thing as a level one farmer. The most laid-back farmer is at least a level two, or compound worrier. Oh Geez!, the cows got out of the pasture, now I have to round them up. Wonder where they got through? Lord! There goes the rest of the day, fixing d--ned fencing!" (A side note of interest is how we farmers are able to swear with only a few letters and extraneous hyphens.)
A level three worrier, operating at the highest level of worry, or Fret Level as we professionals call it, is an exponential worrier; to wit, "Oh no! The cows got out!......We're all going to die!!!!"
So as you can see...Whats that?...Well, Yes, actually I did omit a few steps between the initial fact and exponential conclusion, but we PAPP Grand Master FussBudgets usually save time by skipping all the extraneous stuff in between. This is actually very easy, since the final conclusion for any level three worry is almost always total destruction.
So anyway....Huh?...Oh all right. Just this once I'll diagram the complete worry chain. I will also make commentary along the worry journey, pointing out some of the subtle maneuvers that separate the world class worrier from the amateur. Let's see, we begin with the cows getting out of the pasture. (Interestingly, many of my days and not a few of my nights begin with this scenario.)
1. The cows got out.
Just what does this mean? And why should I worry? Well, it means that a rather hefty portion of my net worth has left the safety and security of the pasture and is now roaming far and wide across the countryside and forests that surround our modest homestead. Naturally, cows being, as H.P. Lovecraft so perfectly puts it, Eldritch Demons from the outer dimensions of time and space, the first thing they will do is stomp out mysterious and complex patterns in my neighbor's soon-to-be cut oat field. This is done so as to send a long awaited signal to the mother cow ship that the time for udder world domination is at hand. (I think that we can now safely put paid to the mystery of crop circles. Obviously farm fencing in Great Britain is substandard.)
Ah you say to yourself, thus the: "We're all going to die!" conclusion. Don't be ridiculous. No self-respecting world-class worrier is going to spend more than a few hours, a day and a half tops, fretting about such an improbable occurrence. Its too easy and besides, how could a cow wield a light saber or fire a laser rifle without opposable hooves? Instead, we move onto the second level worry:
2.They are heading for the highway.
They always do. The nearest highway can be 60 miles away, but modern cows, equipped with GPS and some variety of bovine On-Star, will always head for the nearest main road. Once there, the cows, displaying the cunning usually associated with state highway workers, will spring (a truly ghastly sight, springing cows) out just behind a blind curve directly into the path of a unregulated tanker truck carrying unreported nuclear waste causing it to swerve across the center divider, directly into the path of a freight train filled with high explosives and highly refined liquid fertilizer! (oh the irony!).
By the way, sorry for the run-on sentences. Most really good worries depend more on commas and exclamation points than on periods.
Now, if I'm in a hurry, I could end my worry chain at this point since the requisite WAGTD! has been reached. But why stop now? I mean, I still haven't caught the cows, so I'm free to add new layers of worry over the others. So lets say that while running after the cows, or as is the case after the first mile, staggering, I might accidentally trip on the rough gravel road that leads to the highway. Unlikely you say? True, its only happened a half-dozen times or so. If it does happen (and I worry that it will of course), I gain even more time for fresh and exciting worries.
How so? Why its the result of the supernatural compression of nearly a month's worth of time into the 10 or so seconds it takes me to complete my 50 yard fall. A 50 yard fall doesn't mean that I fall 50 yards, (or at least it doesn't mean that assuming I don't go off the road and over a cliff.) No, it means that for the next 50 yards or so, the upper part of my body will be trying with great success to assume the horizontal, while my flailing legs are hopelessly, but heroically trying to maintain the vertical.
Oh the incredibly vivid and colorful worries I can generate in this zen-like state of suspended (I wish) time! Why, anxiety about nuclear explosions and flying cow parts practically disappear behind the swirling mosaic of dreadful potential inherent in a well executed (perhaps not the best choice of words) 50 yard fall. And if THERE is a cliff ahead... Well, you have enough additional worry time available before impact to; marry poorly, raise ungrateful children, divorce, go bankrupt, and die in the shoot-out between the driver of an unregulated tanker truck and the Highway Patrol as you try to herd a bunch of springing cows away from the imminent explosion!
Whew! That was exciting. And naturally, at the end of your 50 (or, if you go over that cliff, possibly many more) yards...as your face rapidly approaches the gravel of the road or a dry river bed as the case may be... your final worry is of course, "I'm going to die", thus completing the chain of a really great level three complex worry.
The Purists among you might now be smugly noting that "I'm going to die!" and "We're all going to die!" are not the same thing. Well I say, if I'm dead you can d--n well do your own worrying.