The Worrier

[dropcap]Y[/dropcap]ou don’t want to know what goes through the mind of a worrier. We worry about money, life-threatening illness, rabid kitty cats, and rollerblades.

I’m a worrier. Take, for instance, a harmless ant bite, it looks an awful lot like a black widow bite. So do mosquito bites, raised freckles, and flecks of barbecue sauce.

Once while doing yard work, a small spider darted up the leg of my pants. It made it as far as my you-know-whats. I stripped down to bare flesh, only to discover our neighbor watching me do a version of the Roger Rabbit unfit for cable television.

I worry about more than just spiders. Whenever someone offers me a drink, I sniff the glass for unfamiliar residues. I’m no dummy. I’ve watched Dateline before. One minute you’re making smalltalk, then BAM, a little antifreeze in your Gatorade and you’re in the back of a van.

I worry when my gas tank falls below a quarter. That’s why, I carry five-gallon gas cans, and a dolly. Some folks carry only gas cans. Fools. One day they’ll find themselves in the Sahara, a million miles from a Tom Thumb. Ergo: the dolly.

I’m like you. I worry about carbs, saturated fat, politics, and Christmas lights. Yes, Christmas lights. I saw a news report that claimed decorative lights were responsible for fifty percent of holiday deaths. The other fifty percent were from brown recluses.

You want more worries? I once had a minor stomach pain. I went to the doctor. “Aw,” he said. “It’s nothing serious.”

“But, what if I have an infection from eating a piece of undercooked shrimp at Red Lobster?”

“Red Lobster?”

“Just level with me doc, how will it happen? Cold sweats, then kidney failure? Oh my God, I can’t feel my teeth.”

He placed his hand on my shoulder. “Look, life’s too short to be anxious. Everything will be okay, buddy. Drink this, it’ll make your stomach feel better.”

“It will?”

Because it smells a hell of a lot like antifreeze.