Irrational fear

There are things that scare the bejeezus out of a lot of people that I don’t mind at all.

Spiders? No problem. I like ’em. Couldn’t kill one if you paid me. Snakes? Ditto.
Bees? AOK by me. Asteroid strikes, nuclear annihilation, the collapse of General Motors? Ho hum.

There are only three things I’m really scared of, and the odds of these things happening to me are probably lower than for an asteroid strike between my eyeballs. Here they are:

Car-jacking, dropping my keys down an elevator shaft and stepping on a cat.

It’s my habit when I get into my car to hit the door lock button immediately. It locks itself after the car’s been moving a little, but car-jackers aren’t going to get me after I’ve left the garage.

If I have keys in my hand, I put them into my pocket as I enter or leave elevators. That way they’re less likely to fall through the crack at the door. This also applies to sewer grates on curbs, but I’m not generally carrying keys when I’m walking around outdoors.

Cats always seem to be under foot, especially when I’m in the kitchen. I do not want to step on them and crack their little bones, and I worry about this.

Other than that, I’m fairly easygoing.


Barely 24 hours after I wrote this blog post, a man I work with told me about a weird experience he’d had recently. Just as he stepped onto an elevator early one morning his key ring slipped from his hand. As if in slow motion, he said, the keys made their way to the dark gap at the base of the elevator door, paused briefly, then disappeared into the void. He bent over and reached but not quickly enough. After several silent seconds, my friend heard a blink indicating that the keys had reached the basement.