5 Everyday Tasks We Don't Worry Enough About
Nobody wants a bad, but a lot of our behaviors just about guarantee a bad. We leave ourselves open to major problems without even realizing it on a daily basis -- and not just "the sky is falling" fears. These are all things that absolutely could lead to a horrible week. Like, you are definitely guilty of ...
Leaving Your Laptop Out At Starbucks While You Pee
When you ask the bespectacled maybe-a-lawyer at the table next to you to watch your computer while you take your morning pee (read: coffee dump), you're really saying, "Hi! Sorry, would you mind confronting a criminal on my behalf, possibly at great personal risk to your physical safety? I'm a stranger." This is absurd. What you should do is have social anxiety so great that you don't even ask anyone, instead leaving your $1,000+ possession out in the open, like Nemo in that part of Finding Nemo where Nemo is in danger.
Ohhhhhh careful, little guy!!!
Or maybe you're not worried at all. Maybe you're just so trusting, and so unwilling to risk losing your hard-earned table by packing up your laptop, and also you think wearing a catheter for non-medical reasons is "weird." So you head off to the powder room without a care in the world. This is like leaving a stack of hundos out in public and just trusting that no one has opposable thumbs.
The only reason laptops exist is that they're portable. You carried it to the coffee store, and you will later carry it out of the coffee store (unless you are tragically walled-in, like in "The Telltale Heart"). Thieves are not Thumbelina-sized; they are in fact the same size as you and I. We may assume that opportunistic thieves have hands -- unless both have been chopped off by an overzealous fruit market security guard. My particular laptop is a MacBook Air Mini, which weighs about as much as the coffee I'm holding. It could be easily carried off by any number of low-dexterity thieves, like a child with brittle bone disease, or someone on day five of the Master Cleanse, or a particularly determined sea bird.
That plant looks like it might be getting ideas.
The probability of theft is uncertain, but the possibility? 100 percent. It is physically possible for someone to carry off your laptop into oblivion, along with your honeymoon pictures and pirated copy of Final Draft. So why leave ourselves open to this nightmare? Instead, always bring a sweatshirt and a newspaper, use that to claim your table, and bring your foldy-robot into the bathroom with you.
Eating Unwashed Produce
I don't know about you guys, but I only wash apples when someone important is watching.
I don't like getting my hands wet, and I'm very lazy. Usually, I just opt for a hearty rub on my sweatshirt, as if that's going to make it clean. No harm, no foul, right? We're all gonna die, so what's the point in getting your hands all wet to maybe make your apple a little safer?
Well, here are all the things lurking on the surface of your apple:
- Bacteria from soil
- Dirt from the ground
- Dust and rat droppings from sitting in storage
- Bird feces from bird hole
- Pesticide residue from pesticide
- MONSANTO CHEMTRAILS
- Bad thoughts
The chemtrail ghost is the most feared of them all.
Generally, these things pass through your body unnoticed. But in some cases, you can get diarrhea, worms, or a rare condition called ghost-in-butt disease. Scared yet?
Breathe easy, comrade. Here's the FDA's approximately 100-step process for washing produce:
- Wash your hands first with soap and warm water for 20 seconds. To keep track of how long 20 seconds is, sing "Happy Birthday" twice or the "I Love To Wash My Produce" song once. (Lyrics: "Oh, I love to wash my produce / Because I'm an ass-kisser who never makes mistakes / I also pay my taxes early / My whole life is tidy and I've never had weird sex / My name is Claire or Seth, probably / I love lawn games / I don't like it when dogs try to get petted by me / I have an air purifier in every room / My spirit animal is a Brita pitcher / I can't laugh")
- Slice off any parts of your apple that are bruised, mushy, or moldy. You are a petting zoo goat, so it's understandable for them to include this seemingly intuitive advice.
Looks fine to me.
- Wash under running water -- not in a puddle in the middle of a baseball field, or in stagnant water in an upside-down trash can lid on the side of your house, or in a pond clearly marked "CHOLERA."
- Even if you're going to peel your apple (because you regularly excise life's little pleasures), you should still wash it first, because the germs and dirts can get onto the eat-parts. Do not allow this to happen. Your body is a temple, and the temple is clean.
- You should still wash your produce even if you bought it from a farmer's market or grew it in your home garden. Just because you're better than everyone else doesn't mean you can skip steps.
- No need to buy a special produce wash. That would be ridiculous! Could you imagine actually spending money on a product just for washing fruit? Ha ha ha!
- Scrub with a produce brush, a product just for washing fruit.
Or you could say "Screw you, FDA!" and get creative.
- Rub the fruit with a dry terrycloth towel after washing. Rub the towel on the fruit. Give the fruit a towel-rub. Pretend the fruit is a dog and you just brought the dog in from the rain. Rub the fruit with a towel. Do not ask why. Give a rub to the fruit.
- Wash your hands again. Why? Because ... you have to? Because you have to. Do not ask questions. The fruit is in charge now.
Now that you've spent four hours preparing your apple for your mouth the way Hebrews in the Book of Exodus prepared rams for sacrifice, you are free to bite into it for body-sustenance. Make sure not to enjoy it. Enjoyment attracts germs. Any possibility of having worms is not worth it. But also, do you own a produce brush?
Driving A Car
People often reassure fearful flyers by telling them they're more likely to die in a car wreck than a plane crash. I hear that and think, "I am going to die in a car wreck." And honestly? There's a 1 in 113 chance I'm right.
An airline pilot is a licensed pilot. There are very few drivers at 30,000 feet. The hotshot rich weirdo flying his private jet for the first time is likely to be the only asshole causing problems for anyone. Driving, however, is a massive metallic jumble of pollution-belching robots steered by angry, tired, drunk humans who have no idea what they're doing. So why are we using car facts to make people feel less nervous during the three times a year they get on a plane? I'm gonna need way more facts about poop germs on seatback tray tables to make up for how terrified I am of getting in a car.
How I picture the average trip to the bank.
I do have a license, and used to drive locally a little bit. But after years of living in New York (Gotham, the Big Apple, City of Dreams, America's New York), I don't think I could back out of a driveway without shitting myself. I'm sure if I lived somewhere that required me to drive to commute, I'd get used to it, but as a non-driver, I'm terrified. I rented a car when I visited LA two years ago, and I cried every single day out of sheer terror. All I could picture was everything bad that could happen: I slam into an oil tanker, I slam into a sedan containing a grandmother and mother and two kids and they all die and I'm fine, I slam into a school bus full of promising youngsters on their way to STEM camp, I slam into a rare deer, I get slammed into by a beloved celebrity so no one will ever suspect they killed someone, or worst of all, I get in a manageable car accident that was my fault and have to pull over and the other person yells at me and I have to answer cop questions and it's hot out and everyone's mad. Dying in a car accident is actually not so bad, because you're dead. The worst is that most drivers who cause deadly accidents survive and aren't injured at all. I do not understand how anyone can get behind the wheel every day knowing the untold carnage that could result.
Speaking of phobias ...
Letting Your Mental Health Issues Go Untreated
So okay, so you spend 80 percent of your time worrying about how you may have offended someone today. So you cried for 45 minutes because you couldn't decide if you should shower first and then have coffee or have coffee first and then shower. So you haven't done laundry in two months because the energy it would take to execute that task is so far beyond what you're capable of. So you compulsively picture taking your own life whenever you make a minor mistake as a way of punishing yourself. So you use substances to avoid the sinking feeling in your chest. So you take laxatives because you find your body offensive. So you realized the third time you had sex was probably rape. So you have a nosebleed every time someone says the word "mom."
Meaningless inspirational platitude!
You're not a pussy, are you? Of course not! So why seek help? Instead, do the adult thing and let those smaller issues snowball into much bigger, much more unmanageable issues, until you have a major breakdown and have to go to an in-patient treatment program and quit your job and worry your family to death and rack up thousands in emergency medical costs. Buck up, soldier!
It's weird that we live in a consumer-driven culture where people have no problem posting 40 selfies a week or sharing detailed info about their muscular #gainz, but the thought of investing in correcting minor mental health problems is seen as embarrassingly self-involved. Like, wow, who would go to therapy just because they use sex to feel less worthless? Walking around with a festering wound in your gut is a decent and okay way to live your short time on this earth. You can and should augment every part of your life to make it better, except this one part, because of reasons.
Therapy is for the weak, and it's unnatural. You should be strong and do natural things, like eating red meat raw from the butcher. Ask the butcher to slice it thick, and toss it to you over the counter so you can catch it in your mouth with a growl. Arrange to have your card left on file so they can charge you after the fact, so you can gallop out of the store on all fours into the woods, where you will give birth to live young, and then eat that young. This is normal and therapy is weird.
Talk to someone?! Like some kind of fucking extrovert?
OR, if you realize that you're in low-grade pain or panic that isn't getting better, address it now. Commit to going for a long walk every day. Tell a trustworthy friend about your compulsive rituals. Post in a Facebook group or other online forum you frequent, asking if anyone has resources on cheap therapy in your area. Journal. Write out your fears. Meditate even once even for five minutes. Call the number on the back of your insurance card and ask Denise (insurance phone reps are always named Denise) for a list of nutritionists on your plan. And if you're feeling alone in whatever it is, if you're not ready to talk about what's going on to any of your friends because it feels like once you do everything will change and you're not ready for things to get that fucking real, call a hotline.
If you or a friend is in immediate danger, call 911. But before things get to that point, you should know that it's not dorky or dumb or bad to address the smaller things that are causing you pain. Not advocating on your own behalf when things are still in your control means things will either go beyond your control, or worse: you'll live a life that was worse than it had to be because you were too stubborn to make a change.
Oooh, you have an exciting date tonight! Congrats! Here's hoping you have a blast meeting the person who will one day cause you pain.
That day could be today -- the pain of being disappointed by yet another lackluster date with someone who seemed better online -- or in a few months when they ghost you, or in two years when they quietly tell you they're moving out, or in ten years when you file for divorce and full custody of your son Blake-Trevor, or in 46 years when they die after a long battle with ghost-in-butt disease. Honestly, have fun at that beer garden, though!
Mention that you just read this really enlightening Cracked article for an added frisson.
Every relationship ends painfully, whether by death or being dumped via Instagram direct message. So why do we continue to put ourselves out there?
Because it's better to have loved and lost than to never have loved at all. Because we are hardwired to procreate. That's really it. I didn't re-download Tinder over bar WiFi at 2 a.m. because I believe that there's no lotus without mud. I did it because my body knows it's less than a decade from being classified at a "geriatric pregnancy" and needs to find me a condomless Brian, STAT. We have all sorts of high-minded explanations for these lizard-brain urges, because otherwise we have to face down the fact that we're alone in the universe and nothing means anything and we're all just meat with hair.
But honestly, have fun on that date!
- Kelsey Grammer has been married four times, once to a former stripper for a year, then had to dump and evict her when she was three months pregnant because she allegedly fired a gun at him. He met his third wife Camille on a blind date, and now he won't talk to her, not even to co-parent their two kids, opting instead to spend time with his fourth wife, a flight attendant who's 25 years younger than him whom he was secretly seeing while married to Camille.
- Catherine of Aragon was widowed by 14, married to her dead husband's brother King Henry VIII by 23, had several miscarriages and stillbirths by 25, was deposed of her throne by 40, and dead by 50. Her marriage to Henry was originally described as "unusually good."
-My Fair Wedding star David Tutera and his partner of ten years split while their surrogate was pregnant with their twins, but they handled the breakup super maturely and decided to each take one twin oh my God what the hell ahhhhhhh!
Let's look at love's decay in pictures:
+ cell phone
+ concealed dick pics
+ public apology
+ unconcealed dick pics
+ Carlos Danger
Ha ha, hiiii!
The person you're feeling butterflies about will one day humiliate, abandon, fade away from, or avoid you, or you'll do the same to them. And if not, you live your whole lives together and one day you lose them, or they lose you. Your best-case scenario is dying at the exact same time as your partner, most likely in a terrible car accident.
Good luck on your date though, honestly!
Learn why wearing skinny jeans can be risky in 5 Everyday Pieces of Clothing With Shocking Health Risks and check out the musician that risked his life just to play a concert in 3 Musicians Who Took Insane Risks to Play Awesome Gigs.
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