04 November 2007

Boot 'n Paddle - October 26, 2007

I get scared…pretty easily.
I’m scared of sharp things, cell phone radiation, planets, a fire that’s too large, piano strings snapping, polyester, rabies, you (if I don’t know you), pewter, factories, palindromes, freedom, drifters, facial hair, the Gap, canvas, Julia Roberts…I’m scared right now, writing this. This keyboard is freaking me out.
So if I have a crippling fear of most things, how do I function on this campus- or anywhere- for that matter? Well, I was left in the dark for most of my life (not literally, but I am scared of the dark so even metaphorically it scared the bejesus out of me), and it wasn’t until I met John Zaffis, a paranormal investigator, that I finally found the secret to quelling my fears. Who better to ask about fear than a man who works with ghosts and demons on a daily basis (and runs a paranormal museum out of the second floor of his garage)?
This guy is good. I talked to him and he said he’s reduced combating fear to four simple steps that I now use several times a day. It’s pretty clear when I need to use them… my heart starts beating faster and faster, my hands go numb, my eyes tremble and fog up, my ears secrete liquid and my bald spot tingles. Here are John’s steps, and a real life situation that happened to me just a couple of hours ago.

1) Think about where you are and what you’re doing.
I’m at a grocery store buying unflavored frozen yogurt.

2) Figure out what exactly you are feeling.
My temples hurt.

3) Identify the scary thought that goes with that feeling.
Why is the man behind the counter not looking at me?! Are my ears bleeding?

4) Argue with that scary thought! Make fun of it and belittle it!
He’s probably just doing his job…oh look; he’s mixing potato salad. That’s why he wasn’t looking at me. And my ears? I can see my reflection in the glass display. They aren’t bleeding. What a dumb thing to imagine! Oh… now he’s looking at me. Why’s he looking at me? (At this point, I would have to go through the steps one more time.)

This Halloween, if you get scared, use these steps. They really work!

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