Thursday, November 24, 2011

On Halloween: Five things that scared me as a kid and the adult fears they morphed into.


In honor of Halloween, I’ve gone back and opened up those scary childhood closets, looked under the bed to remind myself of all the things that used to make me afraid. And, as an added benefit (no charge) we’ll see how those childhood fears have morphed into the things that now scare me as a grown-up.

1) Childhood Fear:Vampires
I was terrified of vampires as a kid. I watched a scary vampire movie and afterwards, had to sleep on my back for a year, afraid to give any vampires lurking nearby the temptation of too much exposure to my sleeping neck.
 Adult Fear: Upper Management
The way these guys unapologetically seem to relish sucking the life-blood out of companies and taking pay and benefits away from employees all in the name of profitability and responsibility to shareholders, then paying themselves big giant bonuses is terrifying. It’s even scarier when they drive their companies to the brink and then get big government bailouts. At my tax-payer expense. Yikes!

2) Childhood Fear: The open closet door at night
Even if it were open just a half-inch, my parents had to close it before I could sleep. I don’t know what I was afraid would come out of there, although those 1970’s fashions were pretty scary.
Adult Fear: The lack of transparency in our government
We really can’t see behind those closed doors. Until all politicians actually do start wearing NASCAR style patches from their campaign contributors on the outside of their suits, and until mayoral task forces designed to uncover abuses are free to delve into past abuses, then I see the closet door as firmly closed. Which begs the question, if it were open, what would come out of there? Boo!

3) Childhood Fear: Clowns
Whoever thought covering up a grown man’s face in white grease paint and sticking on a bright red nose would delight children was an ass clown. Which brings us to
Adult Fear: Ass Clowns
You work with them. They drive the streets (usually with a cellphone at their ear). They’re at the ballpark, on the El or at the grocery store, talking loudly about subjects they know little or nothing about, calling attention to themselves in any way they can. Shiver.

4) Childhood Fear: Lassie
There were episodes of Lassie I found so frightening it would bring me to tears and have my mom threatening to never let me watch the show again. That Timmy sure got himself in lots of trouble doing stupid things.
Adult Fear: Sara Palin
Someone so dumb should never, ever have gotten so close to the Presidency of our country. Her ignorance not only demonstrates what’s wrong with our country’s education system but also our political system: pretty people get votes when they spew the right catch phrases. Eek!

5) Childhood Fear: Flying Monkeys
I was incapable of watching the Wizard of Oz’s flying monkey scene without hiding under the couch. Now it seems unreasonable to me to be afraid of creatures I knew didn’t actually exist. Still, how could I know I would meet so many similar beings in my future career with the airlines? (see #3, Adult Fear, above)
Adult Fear: Interest Bearing Savings Accounts
Once again, I’m afraid of something that doesn’t actually exist. The Fed depressed interest rates to zero or almost zero, allowing big banks like Goldman Sachs to recapitalize on the backs of anyone with a regular old savings account, like retirees or people with kids going to college soon. (And just for the record, I want to say here that Goldman Sachs, the Federal Reserve Bank, quantitative easing and credit default swaps all scare me too.) Break into cold sweat now!


Happy Halloween!

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