(your) fear is funny

When I find that people are afraid of something, why do I have this intense desire to torment them with it?  Do I think fear is funny? Have I never been afraid myself?  I don’t know the answer to the first question, although I suspect the Devil is somehow involved, but the answer to the other two questions would be:  it’s not funny when I’m afraid, but when other people are afraid, let the games begin.

For example, I have a friend who is deathly afraid of flying on an airplane, and if she’s reading this, she should just X out of this and read no further. FAIR WARNING.

Here.  I’ll even give her a little time to do so.

Ok.  Gone? Good.

Seriously, GO.  You don’t need to be reading this.

Ok. I am not responsible for any damage I’m about to do.  Don’t make me say “I told you so.”

Anyway, this friend had never flown anywhere in her life – it’s been all cars, trains, and boats, so far – until one day I’m browsing  Facebook, and I see that she’s posted a status update: she’s finally flown on an airplane for the first time.  I think, “Wow! That’s great!”

And then I’m browsing some more, and I see someone else’s comment that I think is funny, so I click on his name to see if he’s done anything else funny, and land on a picture he’s posted on his wall of a plane, on fire.  It’s not just on fire, it’s on BIG fire, lots of dark heavy smoke pouring out of it, and you can just tell that anyone still on the plane doesn’t have a chance.  As an ex-Volunteer Fireperson (who dropped out after her first Burn Building training drill due to fear), I know fire is not funny, but to me, it is now very funny, when I combine it with the thought of how much the picture will scare my friend, and what a waste any therapy might have been.

I spend the next few minutes googling “plane on fire” and save 3 pictures. I name them after my friend (****1, ****2, and ****3),  thinking how great it will be, the next time I hear that she decides to fly somewhere, when I send her happy little “going away” cards.

“Have a great flight!  Good luck not dying!” 

“Don’t worry … I’m sure this won’t happen to YOUR plane!” 

And, “Just remember, not all crashes end in tragic loss of life.”

 

 And I sit here on my couch, laughing about this, having a grand old time, imagining her reaction, and how, the next time she flies, these pictures will surely pop into her mind – fully aware that the act of me posting this almost guarantees my death by such a method, yet curiously unable to stop myself from doing so, yet curiously aware that if I do die in a plane crash, all my nice friends who don’t do such evil things will come back to this post and say, “SEE! This is why you shouldn’t DO such evil things: KARMA!”  And people will laugh with evil glee, even though it won’t be funny, but it will be funny, if you know what I mean, and I really don’t know where I’m going with this, so I think it’s about time to stop.

*****

Now.  In case I have crossed any lines, and undone years of therapy, which I SHOULDN’T HAVE DONE, because I TOLD YOU TO X OUT OF IT AND YOU SHOULD HAVE LISTENED TO ME, here are a few facts that should set you right again.

The odds of dying on a commercial airline flight are as low as 9 million to 1.

It is 261 times safer to take a plane from New York to Los Angeles than to drive the same distance.

When one engine fails on a twin-engine airplane you always have enough power left to get you to the scene of the crash.

And if that isn’t enough, there’s always Xanax … two, not one.

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