And we're back! Let's cut to the chase and hook up a Runner-Up on the fly:

Fisher-Price Fun To Learn Musical Potty Chair - $28 (Normal Heights)

How weird is it that, at some point in all of our lives, we actually need encouragement to poop? Seriously, it;s even weirder than the fact that we drink milk, which is weird. Delicious, but weird. Maybe it's weirder to refer to poop as a "contribution," I don't know. Puts a whole new spin on the phrase, "I made a contribution to the local food bank." It's also weird to place a classified ad with a price ending in neither -0 nor -5.

Moving on to more adult fare (not that I, as an adult, wouldn't mind the occasional encouragement or reward for "contributing" something to society. Just saying):

Various Canvas Backgrounds (San Diego - Normal Heights)

WoooHooo! School Picture Day! Time to snap off some nice new photos to send to grandma for the bookshelf (she keeps a special spot). Plus, you get to have your picture taken in front of whatever cool backdrop you want. Awesome!

Unless, of course, you fear photographs, like me.

Yeah, that's right, I'm afraid of pictures. Not all pictures, mind you, just pictures of me. Pictures of you are cool, particularly if you're attractive and photogenic. As far as pictures of me are concerned, I try to avoid them coming into being as much as possible. Candid shots are acceptable. The candid photograph is an image which has been taken surreptitiously and is therefore more genuine. It's as though a little slice of reality has been stolen, a theft for which I am not the least bit culpable. Posing for a photo is another matter entirely.

In posing for a photograph, one becomes an accomplice to murder. The staged photograph is so spooky because it is a deliberate approximation of a living subject. The resultant image is a twisted sort of changeling; standing in for the absent subject. Looking at a photograph of yourself is a little bit like committing metaphorical suicide: "gee, there I'm not.

Another thing I'm afraid of is ladders. Not heights, never heights, just ladders. The following is a summation of my thoughts whenever I find myself on a ladder:

"Oh, jeez, this sucker's going down. Damn this thing is wobbly! What's the physics of a ladder, anyways? How can it NOT fall down when there's more weight on the top than on the bottom? Isn't there some sort of lever action in effect here? This thing's going down, I just know it...." Etc.

I have no idea whatsoever why I fear ladders so. It's not like roofers are dropping left and right or anything. We aren't plagued by hordes of falling painters or living in a world where the word "rung" strikes terror into the hearts of grown men. I just don't like them. The conviction that any ladder on which I set foot will topple without the slightest provocation is borderline phobic.

I used to be terrified of being eaten by sharks, even in fresh water. Totally irrational, but absolutely justified when you consider the depth and scariness that is the deep blue sea. Where is the most dangerous place on the Earth? Where else but the water! And what's a better symbol for the deadliness of H20 than the most merciless, efficient, ancient, and bada$$ed killing machine nature has ever invented?

Beyond sharks, ladders, and portraiture there isn't much to fear in this world.

Maybe Terrordactyls... Maybe.

More like this:


David Dodd Oct. 21, 2009 @ 12:58 a.m.

There are two fears that we are born with, all others are either learned or passed onto us from horror films. We are born with the fear of height and the fear of loud noises. Your fear of ladders is not at all irrational, especially if someone turns up the boom-box while you're climbing up.


PistolPete Oct. 21, 2009 @ 1:20 a.m.

My boss used to JAM this: at six in the morning in the dead of winter when I was a roofer's bitch in Wisconsin/Minnesota. Afterwards,we'd smoke a joint,drink a beer and work our asses off for 9-12 hours.


PistolPete Oct. 21, 2009 @ 1:23 a.m.

At the end of the day it was this: another joint and off to the bar for a few hours.


lovetowrite Oct. 21, 2009 @ 7:10 p.m.

My great uncle actually died of a fall from a ladder. The subject has been brought up at countless family dinners, ever since I was a kid. So I don't blame you for fearing ladders. I don't like them either.


CuddleFish Oct. 21, 2009 @ 8:01 p.m.

I fear heights, so I fear ladders for that reason, and because I also believe they are going to collapse. Anything higher than the second rung of a stepladder and I'm skeered.

Oh, and I thought people were born with one fear: Snakes.


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