We have a lot of fears. Some make sense; others, not so much. This latter type will be featured once monthly until we run out of material, at which point, we might begin accepting the fears of our readers. 

pranks

I’m not sure if I actually have “social anxiety,” or if I just have anxious times while out and about, or if maybe I had it once, and am doing better now. But very definitely for a while this was a very serious concern of mine. Ever since I was a child and saw TV’s Bloopers and Practical Jokes, starring that dream team of Dick Clark and Ed McMahon, I became horrified by the idea that people would film pranks and then air them on television for the viewing public to see. Later, there have been plenty of other such shows, some meaner than others, and of course now there is YouTube and I’m even going to include improv groups who like to make “magic” in the form of awkward public scenes. Shudder.

I’m aware that I think legally, for the most part, they have people sign release forms to be displayed on television. But I am not sure what YouTube does to protect the average kid from being the target of such. Probably nothing. Look! I’m talking myself right back into having this as a strong irrational fear again! I know that this is statistically remote, but oh god, the horror. It is enough to make me never want to leave the house again. I can trust no one.

We have a lot of fears. Some make sense; others, not so much. This latter type will be featured once monthly until we run out of material, at which point, we might begin accepting the fears of our readers. 

no

In this instance, I once again firmly believe that I am experiencing a rational fear, and always have behaved this way. Is it so improbable that while cooking, a little burst of oil would alter the course of my life? Maybe a face wouldn’t melt into an unmanageable tangle of scar tissue, but imagine what that would do to an eye. I have felt it on my arm! It hurts!

If I have to fry an egg or goetta or something, I am nothing but a mess of flinching and I actually stand several feet away until I have to draw near again. I just can’t get over my certainty that the moment I let my guard down or am caught by surprise because somehow water got into the pan, the oil will go straight for my face. Asking me to fry up a food is met with the same sort of reluctance as if you had asked me to volunteer to risk getting repeatedly snapped by mouse traps. If I offer to fry food for you for any reason, it means I like you enough to be brave, even though this comic shows that I am a big ol’ coward.

 

Mysteries of the Unknown is a Time-Life Series of books published from 1987 to 1991. They’re amazing. They focus on all things paranormal and weird as shit. For some reason, these books were a gigantic hit. They broke every record Time-Life had when they were produced, and they’re famous for the wacky commercials. Atlas Obscura wrote this great thing about them.

Well, I happen to have some of these books and I can impart this wisdom straight from its pages into your eyes. I have inherited these books from my father and 7 of the set of 33 remain. The others are probably somewhere in storage.

From sea serpents to yeti, dragons to griffins, mystery is all around us.

Mysteries of the Unknown: Mysterious Creatures

This is mostly about Nessie. It starts with other creatures like giant squids, which definitely exist, and whales not discovered until the early 1900s. It includes a bit of history of sea serpent sightings as well. But then it’s all Nessie all the time.

 

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