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