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YOU’VE BEEN EXPEDITED!

Well, I’m back!  Back from a cruise on a big ol’ fancy ship to Northern Spain, Portugal, the Island of Majorca, Gibraltar, and Rome.  Went to celebrate 40 years of marriage with my man, “WW” (White and Wonderful) and my birthday of 71 years.  I had a blast ‘cause my man knows how to treat his woman—Oh yes, Jesus, he does!  He had been organizing this trip for two years, and it was outstanding—first class all the way!

Photo Credit: Eleanor Tomczyk/Bilboa, Spain

Talk about acting like a “balla”—for two weeks I was a committed hedonist.  (For the uninitiated, a “balla” [baller] is someone like a successful basketball or football player who lives like she is queen of everything—a Serena Williams or Beyoncé with so much money to burn that one’s lavish and outlandish lifestyle is de rigueur.) The way I acted over the course of those two weeks onboard the cruise, you would have never guessed that I was born a poor-Black-child in the inner-city of Cleveland because I took to being pampered like a pig to slop or a Trump. 

Everything was just perfect, and I can see why people prefer being rich rather than poor.  For me, this lifestyle was temporary, but if I could have stayed on an eternal cruise on this particular ship, you bet your sweet tuckus, I would have. That’s because humans—especially Americans—are prone to the seductive life of getting our own way when everything is how you want it, when you want it, and where you want it—a.k.a. easy.  In other words, my “idealized persona” (what Carl Jung calls our mask, and what the author Mateo Sol of Loner Wolf describes as “…what we would like to be and how we wish to be seen by the world”) was livin’ the dream on this floating luxury resort.  That is…until I boarded the plane in Rome to return home, and I got into a rip-roaring fight with my “shadow self” which is still whimpering today as I try to wean myself from all that rich food and pampering.

What is a “shadow self,” you might ask?  First of all, we all have one.  Mateo Sol* describes the “shadow self” as “an archetype that forms part of the unconscious mind and is composed of repressed ideas, instincts, impulses, weaknesses, desires, perversions and embarrassing fears.”  Carl Jung furthers Sol’s definition from his book: On the Psychology of the Unconscious:

It is a frightening thought that man also has a shadow side to him, consisting not just of little weaknesses—and foibles, but of a positively demonic dynamism. The individual seldom knows anything of this; to him, as an individual, it is incredible that he should ever in any circumstances go beyond himself. But let these harmless creatures form a mass, and there emerges a raging monster.

Spoiled Brat meme/Sylvester me.me

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BELOW IS THE TRANSCRIPT OF THE FIGHT WITH MY SHADOW SELF WHO HAD STOWED AWAY UNDERNEATH MY SOUL AND STAYED HIDDEN AND SILENT UNTIL MID-WAY DURING THE TRANSATLANTIC FLIGHT HOME AFTER THE CRUISE.

SHADOW SELF:  Psst!  Wake up!  Wake up, Fool!! Why the fuck are we in coach?  This is not what I signed up for.

MY PERSONA:  Oh, my God—where did you come from?  I thought I left you locked in the closet at home.

SHADOW SELF:  As if!  Where you go, I go.  Do you hear that nasty-ass old man hacking up loogies sitting just three seats from you?  He’s been doing it all night. We’re going to catch “p-new-moania” from this dude and be bedridden for weeks.  We’re almost 71 years old.  We can’t be putting ourselves in this kind of danger.  Now, on the other hand, do you hear anyone coughing and sneezing in First Class?  Did you notice their lovely hot meals (three choices—each with hot soup options) served on linen table clothes along with champagne and copious wine and hot fudge sundaes on trays in front of their lay-down beds and massive TV screens that tilt for maximum viewing? It’s a different world up there — a world where we definitely belong.  A world where people have been “expedited.”

What did we have for dinner?  A freezer-burned gluten-free cardboard chicken piece in a tin (half cooked) with unseasoned veggies (also freezer burned).  We are in a seat with a TV screen on the back of the seat in front of us which is the size of a postage stamp.  I tried to pee an hour or so ago and there were at least 250 people lined up to use the toilet.

MY PERSONA:  Listen, SS, we discussed this before I left.  We used all our Benjamins for the cruise and all our frequent flyer points for the flight to London.  You’ll survive this return flight from Rome. I know it’s like being in a can of sardines flying in coach, but unless you are Trump or a televangelist with a fleet of private planes, you’ll just have to suck it up.  Besides, this is why I thought I left you home.  I don’t want to hear any whining after such a fabulous vacation.

Used by permission: 212692_600 Jeff Koterba, Omaha World Herald, NE

SHADOW SELF:  There is always room for improvement, Chickadee.  The cruise line showed you the blueprint.  I keep dreaming of that ship and how this is the first time you’ve really treated me as I truly deserve.  The cruise ship had me at “hello!”  Remember the entry-way to the ship when one of the stewards looked at your ticket and said, “Oh, you don’t belong in THIS LINE, Mr. and Mrs. Tomczyk.  Come with me to the VIP line because “you’ve been expedited!”  God, I love the sound of those words:  “YOU’VE BEEN EXPEDITED!”  We were swiftly escorted onto the ship with not another person ahead of us which meant no lines and no waiting.  (Bitch, you know how I hate waiting in lines!)  Then, before I could say, “Let’s locate the martini bar,” a waitress gave us our choice between straight champagne or mimosas as we toured the ship — champagne in hand.  Didn’t even have to pick up the keys to our suite…just told to go to our lodging at our leisure where we’d find the keys in our mail slot. 

MY PERSONA:  I must say that was nice.  So easy. So expedient. Kind of makes you wish all of life was like that, especially the DMV.

SHADOW SELF:  Exactly.  See…now you’re thinkin’ like me.  That cabin was just to die for, wasn’t it?  A bathroom that was big enough to throw a party in with a bathtub the size of a six-person Jacuzzi.  And remember what was waiting for you when you opened the door?  MORE CHAMPAGNE! And not the cheap-ass stuff either.  Slap me some Moët, Baby…Happy Birthday and Happy Anniversary to me, Sister-Friend! 

Photo Credit: Eleanor Tomczyk

MY PERSONA:  Ummm…and the delicious chocolate-covered strawberries—so sweet, they made my toes curl.  And the flowers…weren’t they precious?

SHADOW SELF:  Yep, if only everyday could be like that, right?  Now my favorite was when we heard the knock on the door and in walks our own private butler.  Lawd, have mercy, I almost fainted!  I thought to myself: This po-black-chil’ done hit the lottery!  Remember what he said to you:  “Welcome Madam.  Do you find everything to your liking? I’m sorry that I didn’t have a chance to sprinkle the rose petals on the bed, but I can bring them later, if you’d like.  I’m on-call to serve you 24/7.  Also, would you like to be addressed as Mrs. Tomczyk, Eleanor, or Madam?” Sweet Jesus, I just knew we had died and gone to Heaven.  I was hoping you’d choose to be called “Madam” so I could pretend we were in an episode of Downton Abbey.  This would be the only time in my life that my Black-ass would be called “Madam” by a White butler.  BUT NOOOO…you went all egalitarian and shit on me, and said he could address you as “Eleanor.”  But I forgive you, because the butler was so hot.  Him with his silver-fox hair and Ukrainian accent—looking like a bleached Denzel Washington.  I knew right there, he would be just perfect for all my needs.

Stock Photo: Butler similar to one on cruise

MY PERSONA:  Would you cut that shit out, SS.  Did you forget I’m married?  I did not perceive the butler like that.  He was nice and attentive.  That’s all I noticed.  That and the fact he offered to do my laundry anytime I needed it done—for free.  I would have taken him home just for that.  Anyway, enough of this.  You know that the downside of any wonderful experience or gift is the sin of ingratitude. The worst part of the cruise were all the habitual cruisers (people who cruise every three months or so) who brought along their shadow selves and bitched and complained about everything under the sun (“it’s too hot, it’s too cold, this isn’t as nice as the other cruise, I don’t like the entertainment, why did they change the private bar area, why is the elevator so slow, where in hell did my butler go…”).  Get yourself together because if you think today is bad, wait until I get us back home and put us on a diet to take off all the pounds we gained over the past two weeks with a butler who would bring us any food and drink anytime we wanted it.

SHADOW SELF:  I loved that the first activity you did on the ship was get an 80 minute massage. I liked that almost as much as sampling the six different specialty restaurants with chocolate desserts that would make a grown man weep, and the premium drink package that could stock a neighborhood bar.  I figured if we started drinking at breakfast and kept going straight on to dawn, maybe we’d be able to use up all that drink package, but you wouldn’t even give it a try.  I kept nudging you to “go for it,” but after a while you kept choosing hot tea instead of pina coladas.  Where’s the fun in that, Girlfriend?

Photo Credit: Eleanor Tomczyk

MY PERSONA:  Because after the third day, my body was saturated.  I can only take so much rich food and alcoholic drinks.  Pretty soon the mojitos and creamed lobster artfully placed on a Sriracha aioli and partitioned by figs and fried marigold flowers have to be replaced by a juice cleanse and salad or I would have rolled back into town weighing 300 pounds. Besides, I wasn’t touring Spain, Portugal, and the like to just eat and drink.  I loved seeing the history of the towns (especially Sintra, Portugal).  I loved discovering their Jewish quarter and learning about Aristides de Sousa Mendes do Amaral e Abranches, a Portuguese man who issued thousands of visas for Jews to escape Nazi Germany against the wishes of his own king.  It was fascinating to learn how a large group of Jews appeared to assimilate into the Portuguese culture, pretending to be Christians (hidden in plain sight), and even inventing a sausage as proof of their conversion.  What the authorities didn’t know was that the sausage was made of cooked chicken, bread, spices, and tomatoes to give it a “bloody” look, but it was strictly kosher.  The sausage is still one of Portugal’s most sumptuous delicacies. 

And to top it all off, when I turned a corner after leaving the Old Jewish Quarter, I thought I saw Barack Obama waving to me from an apartment window as he stood with Chinese President Xi Jinping.  I almost fainted at the shock!  For a minute he looked eerily real, and another American tourist, an Australian and I teared up and waved back.  The White American from New Jersey said out loud to the other nationalities longingly gazing at the picture in the window: “We’re sorry we couldn’t give you another Barack Obama.  It’s not personally my fault, but we’re working on fixing it.  Please, please don’t give up on America. Ignore the clown masquerading as our President in the White House.”  That’s when I knew, this cruise was only a momentary fun event and brief respite; once I got back home, it was back to the grind of reality and into the resistance movement I had signed up for to help undo the national nightmare that had engulfed our country.

Photo Credit: Eleanor Tomczyk in Sintra, Portugal

SHADOW SELF:  Fine.  You went for the culture, history, and inspiration, I stowed away for the pampering and the spoiling.  I want you to figure out how the phrase “You’ve been expedited!” gets me rollin’ like a balla when we get home.  If you don’t, I’m gonna raise bloody hell!  I will be unable to be lived with—do you hear me, Bitch! ‘Cause once you go coddled and pampered, you never go back!  You tell WW, your trip to Africa next year has to at least be business class or I’m gonna throw a stage 4 temper tantrum in the terminal! 

MY PERSONNA:  Shut the fuck up and go to sleep!  You are officially on lock-down, Shadow self. I don’t want to hear another word from you!  Get yourself prepared to eat nothing but lettuce wraps, exercise incessantly, and attempt to write the next great American novel because my “idealized persona,” that I am a disciplined writer and in control of my flesh, is my modus operandi when I’m state side.

SELAH (MEDITATIVE THOUGHT FOR THE DAY)

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WANT TO READ MORE?  CHECK OUT AUTHOR’S LATEST BOOKS:  “Monsters’ Throwdown,” Fleeing Oz,” and “The Fetus Chronicles:  Podcasts From my Miseducated Self”—on sale now at Amazon!

WANT TO KNOW MORE ABOUT THE AUTHOR?  Check out her website at www.eleanortomczyk.com

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REFERENCES:

https://lonerwolf.com/shadow-self/*

Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Eleanor Tomczyk and “How the Hell Did I End Up Here?” with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

 
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Posted by on June 5, 2019 in Uncategorized

 

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Angry Birds, Randy Men, and Dog Whistles

Do you know what I’ve discovered?   I’m still exhausted from the election and have to get an eyeball operation (don’t ask—it’s too gross for words), and I’m looking forward to some much needed rest this Thanksgiving holiday.  Because my brain is so fried, I couldn’t think of a thread for a full humorous story to save my life.   But as I read the major headlines this week, I suddenly found myself wishing I were God so that I could chime in with some type of supernatural act of retribution regarding some of the news events that made me chuckle, caused me to be horrified, or made me really, really sad.

If I were a goddess, I’d tell turkeys to form a labor union, go on strike, and hide out in caves somewhere—never to return—until their consumers repent. I have become convinced this week that we Americans aren’t holding up our end of the bargain that would make it worth the turkey putting his head on the chopping block for us.  If I were a goddess, “The Petraeus Affair” would prompt me to initiate a recall of all the men who lived in America from ages two to ninety-two (that includes you too WW, just to be safe) to redo my initial design and implant in each and every one of them an automatic shut-off valve for their thingies when they start lookin’ to make a booty call on any other woman besides their wives.  If I were a goddess, the multitudinous racists acts that have flooded the news cycle since our President was reelected (i.e., “Kids Hate-tweet Obama, Echoing What They Hear at Home”), would make me want to open up such a can of whup-ass that the world would have to come to an end so that I could start all over with a new batch of people.  (Aren’t you glad I’ll never be endowed with any supernatural powers—I’d be an absolute terror?)

Image from boysrockbr.blogspot.com

EXTRA, EXTRA, READ ALL ABOUT IT:  Turkeys Revolt in Reaction to Black Friday Creep!

This would be my first agenda item as a goddess:  solidarity with the turkeys!   Target, Wal-Mart, Toys-R-Us, Best Buy, and Sears are starting the “Black Friday Creep” at 8:00/9:00 p.m. on Thanksgiving Day!  People already started lining up at Best Buy a week ahead of schedule (camping out in tents), and Kmart plans to open at 6 a.m. on Thanksgiving Day!    At this rate, why do the turkeys need to lose their heads for a dinner that will probably take place while standing in line in front of a retail store?  It is one thing for turkeys to sacrifice their lives for family bonding and communication (even if most of the time it is an illusion, at least people are trying), but if Black Friday gets to creep all over T-Day, then if I were a goddess, I’d snatch up all the turkeys and redistribute them to places like Africa, Haiti, and all the starving places beyond the realm of all the discount stores.  (I’d keep the turkeys in New York and New Jersey because somehow I think the victims of Hurricane Sandy could care less who is selling what this T-Day, and they’d give anything to sit around a bountiful table with their families and houses intact, while thanking God for their blessings and tripping all over each other to tell the world what they are thankful for:  survival.)

Summers Cartoon|Image from Orlando Sentinel

BREAKING NEWS:  Sound Judgment No Longer a Function of the Male Brain—Has Moved South

Let’s see nowWith the “Petraeus Affair” we’ve got two disgraced four-star horny generals, two possible femme fatales, one shirtless FBI idiot who doesn’t know when to cease and desist (start with keeping your clothes on, bucko), and a scorned and publicly humiliated wife who should attach an umbilical cord to the likes of Gloria Allred, because if I were counseling her as a goddess, there would be no forgiveness for little horny General-man, and he’d be gifting me bling until the day Jesus returned!

(Now do you see why I don’t deserve to have supernatural powers, and why I should remain a mere mortal all my life, even in storyland?  How can a world exist without forgiveness?)

If I were a goddess, I would be ripping right now because everybody is mostly blaming the femme fatale and not the man who was thinking with his one-eyed monster instead of his head (you know, General, you can always “just say no”).  In the meantime, America has lost strategic talent at a time when we most need it because brilliant men let their brains travel south to permanently take up residence below the belt, and sound judgment on multiple counts got flushed down the toilet.

A Mori Cartoon|Image from The Miami Herald

NEWS FLASH:  Black President Reelected—Racial Dog Whistles Still Selling Like Hot Cakes

If I were a goddess I wouldn’t be able to contain myself against the “haters” and I would fricassee each and every one of their asses.  Can I go on record here and state how absolutely fucking pissed I am as an African-American Christian that so-called “good Christian people—in the name of Jesus” (yeah, I’m talking about you Mike Huckabee, Newt Gingrich, and Franklin Graham) are blaring racist dog whistles with words that the Stop Dog Whistle Racism blog helped me list as “welfare queen,” “uppity,” “lazy,” “illegal alien,” “doesn’t think like an American—secretly prays to Allah,” “Kenyan,” “Communist,” “Socialist,” “takers” (the list is endless), as if the words were rabid dogs and those dogs informed their political choices.

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“Who can forget the Sarah Palin rally in 2008 when a woman clearly shouted, ‘Kill the n——!’ (speaking about Barack Obama) while the vice-presidential candidate blithely went on; not only did Ms. Palin go on with her speech, but she also wink-wink courted this kind of ‘passion’ in subsequent rallies.”By Marie Myung-Ok Lee “Kids Hate-tweet Obama, Echoing What They Hear at Home”|salon.com

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Who can forget when I pointed out the debacle at the Sarah Palin rally to a white Christian friend and what her response was?  At first, adamant denial that something like this had ever happened (as if I were lying or exaggerating the event), and then a glib dismissal:  “Oh, well so what—she blew it!  There’s nothing she can do about it now.”  Actually, Sarah did do something about it almost immediately—she let the race-baiting dog whistle blow and blow and blow, and then she passed it on to other members in the Republican party, because she knew exactly what type of dogs she wanted to respond to its pitch.

Google Image

All too often, images, symbols and language are used intentionally and unintentionally in our political elections and policy debates. These trigger unconscious racial stereotypes. The viewer or reader isn’t even aware that he or she is responding to unfounded judgments based on stereotypes rather than facts.”stopdogwhistleracism.wordpress.com

DeRosier Cartoon|image from Time Union

I am discovering that no one is immune to the racist’s dog whistles of our culture.  We must be ever
vigilant or our ears will tune into their whistle’s pitch while we adamantly insist that we, ourselves, are not racist.  Sometime ago, an African-American woman who was a friend of a friend, whose home I was visiting began to blow a dog whistle which played the tune:  “the Holocaust is a myth which was made up by the Jews to manipulate others in their quest to take over the world.”  I was horrified, I knew better, I pushed back (gently and with a sense of humor so as not to offend the hostess), but at the end of the day, I laughed it off and let it slide because I didn’t want to create a scene.  Shortly after that scenario, I went to live in Israel and for three years, stood with the entire country to annually memorialize the Holocaust with a moment of silence, I toured Yad Vashem in Jerusalem (the Holocaust museum)—uncontrollably sobbing from beginning to end—and I encountered several survivors from afar who still had the concentration camp number tattooed on their forearms from the Holocaust that “never existed.”  No one will ever get away with blowing a racist dog whistle against the Jews in my presence again, because I was given the privilege of touching their horror—if ever so distantly and momentarily—and it sensitized me to the racist whistles they hear that call out the dogs of destruction against them as a people.   I want that same sensitivity for every people group who is unlike me but suffers from similar contempt and disdain (we all suffer).  And the next time someone—a person who boasts of being a believer in Jesus, no less—refers to a group of Muslims as “diaper heads (true story),” he better be prepared for the tongue-lashing of a lifetime, because I’m not putting up with that racist shit anymore from Christians.  We of all people should know better, because it is not “what Jesus would do.”

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“I still smart a little at the slight.  When you’ve suffered a great deal in life each
additional pain is both unbearable and trifling.”—Life of Pi by Yan Martel   

“I have strong doubts that the first Thanksgiving even remotely resembled the ‘history’ I was told in second grade. But considering that (when it comes to holidays) mainstream America’s traditions tend to be over-eating, shopping, or getting drunk, I suppose it’s a miracle that the concept of giving thanks even surfaces at all.”Ellen Orleans

“When Romney thinks he’s behind closed doors and he’s just telling other people like him how politics really work, the picture he paints is so ugly as to be bordering on dystopic.  It’s not just about class, but about worth, and legitimacy . . . Romney doesn’t voice these opinions in public.  He knows better.  But so did the voters.  That’s what you see in the overwhelming rejection Romney suffered among African-Americans, Hispanics, Asians, and young voters.  They sensed that Romney fundamentally didn’t respect them and their role in the economy, and they were right.”—Ezra Klein, rom the 47% to “gifts”: Mitt Romney’s ugly vision of politics|The Washington Post

Don’t take any plug nickels and don’t respond to any dog whistles—except to render them ineffective!

Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Eleanor Tomczyk and “How the Hell Did I End Up Here?” with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

 
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Posted by on November 19, 2012 in Uncategorized

 

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How Then Shall We Live?

Do you know what I’ve discovered?  I have to believe in a God because I am obsessed with the concept of chaos emerging out of nowhere and steam-rolling my life—“Cheese and Rice”!  On any given day, something that you couldn’t possibly know about can come out of the blue, bite you in the ass, and take you out.  If I didn’t believe in God, I wouldn’t get out of bed in the morning (unless there were bed bugs and there is nothing I hate worse than bed bugs except roaches, rats, serial killers, and pedophiles).

I’m not an End Times nut, nor am I a conspiracy theorist, but if you’ve ever taken a gander at Revelation in the Bible (from which many a fantasy tale has been woven through the millennium), you’ve got to admit that those Four Horses of the Apocalypse (white, red, black, and pale) who wreak havoc on the Earth through conquest (people stealing your shit), war (people waging mayhem on you and your countrymen’s asses and stealing all y’all shit), famine (people starving you to death because of mismanagement—just ask Africa—and stealing the shit you were going to eat), and death (from diseases both known and unknown to random crap and planned attacks, and then fighting over your shit when you’re gone).

Four Horsemen of Apocalypse, by Viktor Vasnetsov—Painted in 1887||Wikipedia Image

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First, you’ve got your phobiashomichlophobia (fear of fog); chronophobia (fear of time); homophobia (fear of the gays—see Westboro Baptist Church for full-blown phobia on crack); socerophobia (fear of in-laws—if you had met my mother-in-law, you’d understand why this fear exists);

Engagement proposal card||styleblueprint.com

. . . triskaidekaphobia (fear of the number thirteen); metrophobia (fear of poetry, sorry M. Angelou and e.e. cummings); hippopotomonstrosesquippedaliophobia (fear of long words); agoraphobia (fear of the “market place” or crowds); aquaphobia (fear of water); vasovagal syncope (fear of sight of blood); claustrophobia (fear of tight spaces); anuptaphobia (fear of staying single); acrophobia (fear of heights); pantophobia (fear of everything!) just to name a few out of a list that goes on and on until Jesus comes back!

Healthtips from sastha.blogspot.com

And then if you haven’t had a stroke from the fear of your phobias, you’ve got your diseases: Necrotizing Fasciitis (fleshing-eating disease caused by bacteria getting into a cut or wound from brackish water, dirt, or body fluids—probably the mother of MRSA, but don’t quote me); Progeria (rapid and premature aging in children); Acanthamoeba keratitis (common amoeba found in tap water that invades the cornea and can cause blindness and is excruciatingly painful); Paralytic Shellfish Poison (PSP) (found in the tissue of some shellfish—death can occur within 30 minutes); and Candiru fish—aka, “the penis fish” (you must live near the Amazon River and swim in it if you’re human, pee in the water, where a translucent tiny fish will follow the stream of urine that will lodge in your penis and grow up to six inches long while feeding on your blood—moral of the story: never, ever pee in a body of water again, you nasty boys!); and Prion Disease (transmissible spongiform encephalopathy) which can hit us in one or two forms, just to name a few of the gazillion diseases on the Earth:

  • Fatal familial insomnia (genetic condition in which you will never fall asleep again—EVER!)
  • Kuru (disease from eating the flesh of another human—extremely rare unless you are a cannibal, so you should be good to go)*

joanhascheezburger.com

If we can manage to pull yourself out of bed after these revelations, then we’ve got our animals gone wild and opening up a can of whup ass on us when we least expect it (Google “Crocodile Hunter, Steve Irwin killed by Stingray”).  Oh sure, they look all cute and cuddly when they are babies:

Baby Platypus||M. Mentry Photo||animalz.com

“The baby platypus (platypi?) are adorable when they are little but the male platypus has venom strong enough to kill a small dog, or cause excruciating pain and leave humans writhing in pain for months.  The platypus is Mother Nature’s way of saying, ‘I made this thing out of spare parts I found on the workshop floor, and it can still fucking cripple you.’”—The 6 Cutest Animals That Can Still Destroy You |Cracked.com

I always thought baby hippos were so cute and harmless—too fat to do anything but eat and float about.  Baby-girl, my younger daughter, has had an inordinate fear of hippos since she was a baby, which didn’t make any sense because we live in the Northeastern part of the US and hippos generally hang tough in Africa.  She hated them from the first moment she laid eyes on them at the zoo and I have since learned why the “instinctual” repulsion.

Author’s perspective of a hippo’s non-violent life||pinned by Yvette Thorne on Pinterest

. . . And then just when I was contemplating a trip to Africa, I saw this video and I “got the joke” that Baby-girl had known all along—hippos are some angry sons-of-a-bitches:

Photo of YouTube video—“pissed-off hippo chasing a park ranger”|Google Image

“It turns out in the real world, hippos fucking kill people.” ”—The 6 Cutest Animals That Can Still Destroy You Cracked.com

Sigh!  And so, burdened with my life teetering on an apocalyptic precipice, and fearing injury and death from every corner, I went to Liberty University last weekend to support the graduation of someone near and dear to me.  Not having totally made up my mind about the fiber of one Mitt Romney to be the leader of the free world (I have Mormon friends who are the salt of the Earth and who we would be well-suited to be leaders in our government, so I don’t have “Mormonphobia”), I was hoping to take a measurement of Mitt’s character.  I went to the graduation hoping Mr. Romney would prove his critics wrong and throw me a freakin’ bone out of his Mormon heritage and roots to give me and the thousands of graduates some encouragement or revelation about “getting over” on this scary planet of conquest, war, famine, and death.  Ol’ Mitt followed the octogenarian CEO of Chick-fil-A who had brought down the house with a one-line homily:  “I decided long ago that a good name was better to have than riches.”  All Mitty-boy needed to show me was that he could at least match the chicken guy’s compassion for his community—a man who never went to college (S. Truett Cathy) but who has managed to provide 125 local students with college scholarships and sponsored and built fourteen foster homes in Georgia, Tennessee, Alabama and Brazil.  Hell, Mitt just had to show me he had a human heart and not the core of a robot underneath his commencement gown.

Well, I’m here to officially announce that Mitt gave a gift to the audience—thousands of graduates and I left the stadium with a new phobia:  mittromaphobia (fear of Mitt Romney becoming our next president).

Mitt Romney||Liberty University Commencement Speaker

 “I saw that the President and Mitt Romney both gave commencement speeches over the last few days.  Obama was like:  ‘You can be whatever you want to be,’ while Romney was like: ‘I can be whatever you want me to be.’  But actually during his commencement speech at Liberty University, Mitt Romney revealed his campaign staff loves Chick-fil-A—the other thing that he revealed is that he doesn’t know what to say in a commencement speech.”—Jimmy Fallon, Late Night with Jimmy Fallon/NBC

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Oh well, maybe I should give Romney the benefit of the doubt.  Maybe he has Glossophobia (the fear of public speaking)!

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I am discovering that most people just want to raise their families, have enough to eat, put a roof that doesn’t leak over their heads, worship the god of their choice, live in peace with their neighbors, have a little merriment with their friends every once and awhile, live a long and fruitful life, and die a peaceful death—scary trauma and drama need not apply.  We are pretty much the same underneath when it comes to our core desires in life under our different color skin, the veils, the turbans, the pe’ot (side curls of orthodox Jewish men), the Western suits, and the Eastern saris . . . until we are overcome with fear of the unknown (“we’re all going to die!”), and then more often than not, we make the choice to succumb to the choas and add our individualized mayhem to the mix.

Happy Children yr9naiduk.blogspot.com & www.123rf.com

Fear of the past (atrocities from those who hate us for no reason other than being different than they), fear of the present (attacks from those who hurt us to “get over”), and fear of the future (disastrous things of which we have no control) make us go crazy.  Reason alone fails to stand up to our own personal holocausts and reign in the phobias that overwhelming fear and hopelessness engender (sorry my Four “atheist” HorsemenHitchens, Harris, Dawkins, and Dennett).   Even though the fierceness of evil’s atrocity should make us want to sucker punch God for seemingly hanging us out to dry at times, it is only the ability to “trust” in a higher power that gives us hope beyond what we can see (faith) for another day, another generation, and another burst of “joie de vivre.”

The consummate expression of “Joie de vivre” on the face of a three-year-old||J Tomczyk Photo

***

“Courage is resistance to fear, mastery of fear, not absence of fear.”Mark Twain

“I learned that courage was not the absence of fear, but the triumph over it. The brave man is not he who does not feel afraid, but he who conquers that fear.”—Nelson Mandela

“I shall never believe that God plays dice with the world.”—Albert Einstein

“I want to know how God created this world. I am not interested in this or that phenomenon, in the spectrum of this or that element. I want to know His thoughts; the rest are details.”—Albert Einstein

“I fear one day I’ll meet God, he’ll sneeze and I won’t know what to say.”—Ronnie Shakes

Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Eleanor Tomczyk and “How the Hell Did I End Up Here?” with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

*http://www.thedailybeast.com/articles/2012/05/18/necrotizing-fasciitis-blinding-larvae-more-scary-diseases.html

 
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Posted by on May 18, 2012 in Uncategorized

 

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