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I will survive ... I hope

I worry a lot. In fact, I worry about worrying. And worrying too much can kill you. So you can see, I am right to worry.

I worry about lots of things, like elevators. Elevators can malfunction, leaving you trapped for hours, and so I avoid elevators. And I avoid moving sidewalks for the same reason.Freed

Fortunately, I purchased “The Worst-Case Scenario Daily Survival Calendar — 2014.” For each day of the year, it gives survival techniques for potential disasters surely headed my way. The store was selling it at half-off, which is silly, because we’re only one-quarter of the way through the year, but it’s their loss.

I’ve read ahead in it, because what happens if on May 3 I am faced with a disaster not described until May 4 and I end up dead due to my ignorance? Wouldn’t I feel foolish? And worse yet, I would miss Cinco de Mayo.

I’m not sure this calendar is going to help, though. The first scenario described is “What to Do When Trapped inside an Industrial Walk-In Freezer.” It’s far more likely I would get trapped inside my home freezer, so they should have covered that instead.

I’m not even sure this calendar takes itself seriously. Like under “What to Do If Stuck on a Runaway Horse,” they make suggestions like “Wait for the horse to stop.” But it did get me thinking about hazards associated with animals.

Like in Lake Oswego, we’ve had a lot of coyote sightings lately. (Not to be confused with our many “cougar” sightings at local pubs. Oh — snap!) So what do you do when confronted by a coyote? Conventional wisdom says to make yourself look as large as possible to frighten it off. On the other hand, when you see a bear, you should avoid eye contact and play dead. So what should we do if we are confronted by a bear AND a coyote? Impersonate a tall, shy zombie?

You see, this calendar only tells us how to handle one disaster at a time, but two disasters could surely happen simultaneously. Here’s another example. We’ve seen in movies that if you get bitten by a snake, someone is supposed to quickly suck out the venom. On the other hand, if you get stung by a jellyfish, someone needs to sterilize the wound by urinating on it. Well, what if you get bitten by a snake AND stung by a jellyfish in the same spot? Good luck finding someone willing to help you with that!

It gets me depressed, which is best fixed with a nice dish of ice cream. Though I’ll have to decide if it’s worth the risk of possibly getting stuck in the freezer.

Joan Freed is a Lake Oswego musical theater actress, author and worrywart.

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