Monday, January 08, 2007

Finally, the Three Phobias

I don’t just endure the phobias, I manage them. In other words, I don’t let them interfere with my life. Here are they are, followed by instructions in case you share any of these particular ones.

1. that I’ll go up in flames from the burners on the stove while I’m cooking something
2. that I’ll be torn to shreds by a vicious dog
3. that I’ll choke to death on a hard-candy

Here are my recommended phobia-management strategies for the above.

Phobia # 1:

a. Check obsessively that none of your clothing is hanging too near the stove.
b. Refuse to wear garments that are flammable, unduly loose or baggy, or of suspicious origin.
c. Use extreme caution while reaching into cupboard located above stove hood.
d. Keep fire extinguisher near stove; observe recharge dates on extinguisher canister; insist that loved ones be trained in use of fire extinguisher.
e. When possible, have other household members execute tasks that involve the stove.

Phobia # 2:

a. Avoid all dogs, even if not visibly vicious.
b. Assume all dog owners are lying when they refer to their dog as a "sweetheart," "teddybear," or the like.

Phobia #3:
3. a. Avoid eating hard-candy during any activity that involves breathing heavier than normal, such as riding a bike or moving parts of your body in any other physical endeavor.
b. Avoid eating hard-candy during any activity which may lead to gasping, such as driving a car, riding in the passenger seat of a car, riding a bike, or raising children.
c. Never EVER eat a hard-candy while in a lying down or partly reclining position, such as in a lazy-girl chair or a hammock. This rule would preclude sucking cough drops in bed, since cough drops count as hard-candy.
e. If hard-candy cannot be resisted, first take the following precautions:
Never eat hard-candy alone, and always announce to everyone in the area that you’re about to eat a hard-candy. Ensure that at least one person in your vicinity knows how to execute the Heimlich maneuver. Then adhere to the following procedure:
Wait fifteen minutes till pulse reaches resting heart rate. In a calm seated position with relaxing music playing in the background, insert hard candy into the mouth, and suck until gone. Continue to suspend all activity until finger swipe comes up clear of all candy fragments.

You see? A phobia need not stop all life as we know it. There are ways around them. If you have a concern that’s keeping you from riding your bike, post in the comment section and I’ll help you identify whether it’s really a phobia or you’re just being chicken.


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