I admit it. I’m a gum addict. I chew gum constantly. This is a new development for me, one that just came on out of the blue. I have packs of gum in my purse, in my nightstand drawer, in my desk. I have them in my pockets and as a result often have them in the washing machine. I even paused after writing that sentence to pop a fresh piece in my mouth. Mmm…minty. My gum chewing has definitely developed into a bad habit. If I’m not chewing gum I feel very…gumless. I look at it as an investment. I’ve got the strongest jaw muscles of anyone I know. With the exception of my dog, Peedum. She didn’t get that massive on genetics alone. If a burglar breaks into our house and doesn’t have a gun...or a knife…or any real threatening intent…I could absolutely chase him off by the sheer force of my bite alone.
Okay so that may be a bit farfetched. But I ask you, what good could possibly be attained by the bad habit of scratching your ears with your keys? Like your doctor is going to look in them and say “Gee, Louie, them are some clean ears! Say, what do you do to keep them canals so vacant? Car keys, eh? You’ll have to show me how to do that!”
My burglar biter doesn’t seem quite as stupid now, does it? The way I see it, there are a lot worse things I could be doing habitually. Like being one of those people who leaves about a twelfth of a serving left in the bottom of the juice box or milk carton.
One that gets me every time is perfectly capable people who intentionally walk with a limp disguised as a swagger in an attempt to look cool. I’m not sure if this walk is a byproduct of having their pants around their knees or if their AF1’s or Nike’s are contoured to give them that shuffle. Whenever I see my neighbor walk out of his house with his “Wounded in the War” strut my brain just starts chanting “Oontz Oontz!” over and over. Y’know, the sound that bass makes when it’s cranked up too loud?
The next bad habit is an annoyance shared by many and, unfortunately, practiced by many. People who can’t complete a sentence without using “Um,” “Like,” or little phrases such as “You feel me?” or “You know what I’m saying?”. Listening to these people speak is like trying to pay attention to a conversation while simultaneously working on a Jumble puzzle.
Alright, this one isn’t really a habit per se but still an annoyance nonetheless. My husband is a Professional Snorer with a PhD in Sleep Snorting. He’s also the type of guy who falls asleep within five minutes of his head hitting the pillow, leaving me to toss and turn to that horrible sound until I’m either too exhausted to stay awake or until I stick my cold feet on him and push him into a new position. If I use the Freeze n’ Push method I’d better hurry up and fall asleep myself because I’ll only have about four minutes before he starts up again.
How about people who chew on pen lids? I’ll admit, I used to do this when I was younger. Then I saw firsthand what was on the pen lid before my teeth got there in tenth grade science class and dropped that habit cold turkey. This one isn’t so bad when the perpetrator chews on his or her own pens and then keeps them to themselves. But there are those people out there who lend out their chewed pens. Or worse, the ones who borrow YOUR pens and return them chewed!
Everyone has at least ONE bad habit. Everyone also has a list of the ones that bother him or her the most. What are yours?
When you are six years old it’s okay to be afraid. No one questions why you don’t dangle your feet in the lake or why you vault onto the sofa when mom or dad turns on the vacuum cleaner. Kids are just expected to be scared of stuff. The kick in the pants is that a lot of these fears follow us into adolescence or adulthood where people’s perception of your unease goes from “Aww, that’s cute, she’s afraid of the toaster!” to “BWAHAHA! You’re scared of COLD CREAM?! You wuss!” The latter usually being followed by the jerk in question chasing you with the object of your fear.
I used to be terrified of elevators. And by terrified I mean I would throw myself down on the ground kicking and screaming, not caring who I was embarrassing or who was there to see me. I was NOT getting in that small box of horror that I was certain would be the means of my demise. I just KNEW that the cables were going to snap and the elevator was going to plummet straight down to Hell where I would be chased by toasters, vacuums, and demons with cold cream on their fingertips.
While I am happy to admit that I have since faced that fear (alone, mind you, without people to call me names or say I wasn’t doing it right) I still get uneasy in elevators. Especially the ones that take forever to let you out once you’ve reached your desired floor. I’m forced to confess as well that when there are others in the elevator who press buttons for floors that come before mine I give them dirty looks, as it means that not only will I be stuck in the elevator longer but I have to sit through that “Hurry up and open you stupid door,” waiting period longer than necessary.
Do you guys remember the movie Critters? It was a 1980’s horror flick about these evil porcupine looking things that could kill you by shooting their quills at you.
…okay, it doesn’t sound like much now but when you’re eight it’s terrifying. To this day I can scare the crap out of myself in the middle of the night with nothing more than the mere recollection of those little red eyes glowing in a dark setting like they did in the movie. I imagine them at the bottom of the stairs waiting to…well…shoot me with their quills I guess since that was their thing.
Alright, you’ve had your laugh. Let’s move on to a dear relative of mine. We’ll call her…Darla. Darla and her significant other…Bob…live in a relatively new developed area outside of Phoenix. Anyone familiar with the desert that is Arizona knows that with development you have…scorpions. Lots and lots of scorpions. And they aren’t shy about crawling into your freshly built house in search of shelter, air conditioning, or (if you believe as Darla does) your soul and still-beating heart. Darla’s fear of scorps is rooted deep in her childhood where she was unfortunate enough to have gotten stung by one of the little buggers. When Darla sees a scorp in her house this is what her brain registers:
Of course this is what really happens:
I could go on and on about my personal fears. Lizards are right up there. Germs. Moldy bread. Well, moldy anything really. Airplanes. Vomit. That I will crack an egg for breakfast and find a baby bird inside. It’s a wonder I can make it through a day with all of the things I have to concentrate on avoiding.
I know what you’re thinking. “Gee, Mabel, this girl is neurotic.” Au contraire. I am perfectly sane as long as I AVOID these things!