Tuesday, February 14, 2012

What I Hate From A to Z - Roz Chast

In the middle of a reading slump, the best thing you can do for yourself is read a graphic novel.  They are visual, they are short, and generally entertaining.  Jenners' recommendation of this one came just at the right time.


Roz Chast, a cartoonist whose work as been featured, like EVERYWHERE, has humorously given us her list of things that make her uncomfortable, frightened, or just inspire a full-blown hate.  


Perhaps this attitude could be construed as somewhat negative, but these things are real people!  Most of the items on Roz's list would be on mine.  We are soul sisters.   


I commiserate with her fear of elevators, as shown here.  Does anyone else out there mentally think through how, if the elevator suddenly careens to the bottom floor, they will jump at the exact right moment to prevent injury?  I do.


I also share her irritation with doctors, heights, getting lost, and nightmares.  She eases my mind a bit with her hilarious illustrations of these maladies.  I am not alone, thank God.










After I finished her book, I gave some thought to my own list of things I hate.  I didn't want to make a list of normal things, but the subtle, insidious ones that I'm almost afraid to voice aloud for fear of bringing on a curse.  As a public service to you, though, I will share:





Not just bugs, or just cockroaches, but Palmetto Roaches, which can be found in warm tropical climates.  These little demons from hell are about three to four inches long and FLY.  You can rope and ride them.  They spring out of drawers, hang out in your shoes, and get in your hair.  They like to eat toothpaste and glue.  If this is what is left after the nuclear holocaust, I myself prefer not to survive. 












    
 Clogged drains:  I have a daughter with long, dark hair.  If I notice that my shower is beginning to drain slowly, or even failing to drain at all, I would rather take a sponge bath from my sink than clean it out.  This responsibility falls solely with my husband.  I just know it is going to look like something from The Grudge, and will have no part of it.








 Gas grills explode and incinerate homes and families.  I shall not touch one or cook on one.  Again, husband gets that duty.


























Yes, like half of the world, I am afraid of heights.  Specifically, though, I live in mortal fear of sky trams.  If they stay, let's say, one or two stories off the ground all the way up the hill, I'm fine.  It is when they span deep, rocky canyons that I begin to hyperventilate.  Just ask my family about the one in Poland sometime.  They thought I was dying.








   
 Let's explore the heights thing a little closer.  I also do not like bridges of any kind.  This bit of baggage was bestowed upon me when I learned about (then later saw with my own frightened eyes) the Sunshine Skyway Bridge in St. Petersburg FL.  In 1980, a boat rammed through this bridge one stormy morning, sending a Greyhound bus and ten cars plummeting 150 feet into the water, killing 35 people.  OK, just think about that for a minute.  Thus I present to you the triple-duty phobia of heights, bridges, and the fear of being trapped in a car underwater.     




 Tires:  Like Chast's fear of balloons and their imminent popping, I view tires as an imminent blowout.   Thus hurtling my car, containing my loved ones, off the road, into oncoming traffic, or the worst possible scenario, off a bridge.














Runner-ups:  The pool skimmer (lest I find live and dead critters, including snakes, frogs, or baby possums), my cable company (because they require me to sit home and wait for them, and once they come they can't fix anything), and hurricanes (goes without saying).




So probably by now you think of me as a slightly psycho person.  But if you share these hates, then please know that I'm here for you.


4 out of 5 stars







22 comments:

bermudaonion said...

Oh my gosh, Palmetto bugs are the worst! They have some kind of armor that is virtually impossible to penetrate! Thankfully, we're just a little too far north for them here.

I don't fear heights - I am petrified of them. I can do bridges okay, but driving over the Talmadge Memorial Bridge near Savannah creeps me out.

Don't give tires a bad name! Carl works for a tire manufacturer! lol

Jenny said...

This book sounds so funny, though anxiety inducing as well, LOL! I love your list! I did not know about that bridge thing in 1980! Sooo scary!! That sky tram thing would scare me too for sure!!

Peppermint Ph.D. said...

Palmetto bugs make me nauseous...I've seen them fly too and that will really freak you out!
Those sky trams are nuts...husband made me ride one in New Mexico and I was horrified the entire ride. It was packed full too, and some little kid thought it was funny to jump around and make the tram swing even more. I honestly thought I was going to strangle the kid.

I've seen this book reviewed a couple of times...I'm gonna have to pick it up :)

rhapsodyinbooks said...

I just read this too (I actually won it from Jenners!) and I too was inspired to think of things I hate. But gee, thanks for that picture of hair in the drain....

Marie said...

ha! great post. i hate clogged drains and sky trams, too. ewwww!!!

Brooke said...

I can't do hair from drains - my poor husband has to do that without question. And that sky tram picture you posted - I'm queasy just looking at the thing. It's not the height, it's the flimsy feel of the contraption itself. Just last year I was all excited to walk across and rope bridge over this deep canyon, got to the middle, and had a small panic attack. Good times.

JoAnn said...

Graphic novels are perfect for reading slumps, and I do enjoy Roz Chast. I never go near our pool skimmers - definitely a job for the hub!

Ellen said...

I dedicate a fair amount of time to considering how best to survive elevator falls, too (though maybe more time to the worry that the doors will close on me). I just read Mary Roach's Packing for Mars and got some elevator survival advice there: if you're in a falling elevator don't jump, lie on your back. This will allay all those fears, right?

http://www.lifeslittlemysteries.com/1682-how-survive-falling-elevator.html

Zibilee said...

I hate Palmetto bugs a whole heck of a lot, and get very upset when I encounter them. I also hate bridges, and when we are going over one, I have to close my eyes and count and do deep breathing. This means a trip to the beach is not as relaxing as it should be ;)

I really want to read this book because I think that I will find a lot here to agree with, and I am glad that you enjoyed it.

Very fun review today!

Anita said...

We share many similar hatreds! Bugs in general make me queasy, big bugs more so. I've never cleaned the hairy drains, but we've got them. Heights are a huge problem for me. Bridges and highway overpasses give me pause, but I do drive on them.
I might have to get this book. I've seen too many good things!!

Kathleen said...

I cannot bear the sight of Palmetto bugs! This graphic novel sounds like the perfect break in the regular reading for all of us!

Melissa (Avid Reader) said...

That picture of the drain makes me want to throw up. That would definitely be on my list of things I hate.

Alyce said...

I leave the drains to my husband now too, but that used to be my job - yuck! I would add finding any type of sickness on the floor. And I'm right there with you on the fear of cars underwater. When we had flooding a few weeks ago a family in a neighboring town took a turn onto what they thought was a wet road, but was actually an overflowing creek. A heroic bystander was able to rescue two of the four people in the car before it washed into a large culvert. It is just horrifying to think of.

Julie P. said...

Thank you for the laugh today. I needed it! What a fun post!

softdrink said...

I have a coworker who likes to jump in the elevator at work...the same elevator that likes to break down. I HATE it when she does that! Because I'm the one visualizing the cables snapping.

Tasha B. said...

You probably don't want to see the side of our house where the grill is, then... D:

caite said...

so with you on the sky trams..I remeber one in Alaska..I was sure I was going to die.
but I did get a good photo!

ds said...

Love Roz Chast. Am going to have to peruse this book. Am grateful to live far enough North never to have heard of a Palmetto bug, much less deal with any. I'm okay with heights, must drive in the center of bridges, and am terrified of being trapped in a car. But that drain...shudder...

Jackie Bailey said...

I hate heights too! Yesterday I took my boys shopping and the shopping centre was 4 stories high and all made of glass. I got dizzy everytime my boys went near the glass walls. Sky trams really make me ill!

Beth(bookaholicmom) said...

I have a horrible fear of heights! I couldn't ride any of those trams. No ferris wheels for me either. Nope, my feet like to be planted firmly on the ground! This book sounds like a fun read. You've got me thinking of my own A to Z list!

Jenners said...

Ok … I almost threw up at the clogged drain. That is disgusting. I love love love this post … you and Roz are soul sisters!!!

I'm frightened of ski lifts -- at least in trams you are inside. Being up high and barely strapped in (and having to go with people who swing their legs) is terrifying.

And I can't do glass elevators. I'm OK in "room like" ones (I just pretend I'm in a room). HOwever, I do plan how I would "jump" to save myself if we plummeted.

Now you have me freaked out about tires. Hadn't thought of that but now I am.

I love this post and how it inspired you!

Laurie C said...

I like Roz Chast, too, although my neuroses don't need any encouragement. I have overcome my fear of the propane tank exploding as soon as I turned it on and have learned to use our gas grill, so there is hope for us all!