people are basically paranoid, and that description pretty much
suits me. In today's age I find a lot of things to be paranoid
about. It's easy. Just pick up the newspaper or turn on TV and
you will find a checklist of possibilities that can turn you gray
up in the sky and spot a cloud. Is it a possible tornado? Or go
to the beach, then you can worry about sharks or tsunamis. Somewhere
there is a bunch of killer bees ready to sting you to death. The
article I read about them said they were generally harmless unless
you aggravate them. I guess that means you are safe unless you
call them names, or buzz off-key.
just going to your fast food place for a snack can put the fear
of God into you. I headed out the other day with chili on my mind.
Then I remembered that story I had read about possible "mad
cow" disease being found in Alabama. That state is next door
to me so that put a chill on my chili.
I decided maybe some chicken nuggets would be tasty. Wait a minute,
I thought, what about bird flu? Do chickens get bird flu, or are
they all tested before they end up in those huge trucks I see
with cages piled on top of cages? Better stick with a salad. Then
when I got home I turned on TV and there was some guy talking
about too many pesticides being used on lettuce.
wife is a vegetarian, has been for years. She says she never felt
better and urges me constantly to convert. So far I have withstood
her pleas. I love steaks and hamburgers and chili. How could I
live without my weekly intake of spaghetti? Watching my wife eating
her salads and vegetables doesn't do it for me. Those are side
dishes, not the main course.
really think we have to just live our lives and pray for the best.
We can only hide from the realities for so long. I had a friend
whose parents were both sickly people. He worried all his life
about them dying, and you know what? They both outlived him. He
was killed in a car wreck in his early thirties and both his parents
are still alive. All that time of worry was just wasted.
I live in fear of the unknown. My poor wife has to call me when
she leaves school each day so I will know she is on her way home.
That way if she has car trouble, I will know to be on alert. I
also check in on my kids every day just to make sure things are
all right. I just need that daily reassurance they are doing okay.
I used to just have to only worry about my wife and two sons.
Now I also have two daughters-in-law and two grandchildren I have
it Churchill or Roosevelt who said, "The only thing we have
to fear is fear itself"? Anyway, they didn't know how my
mind operates. I fear everything AND fear itself. I know that
uses up a lot of energy and I wish I could stop, but I think I
am just programmed to be a little insecure about things.
preacher ended her sermon last week with this story. She said
there was a woman who was just sure her home was going to be burglarized.
She told her husband over and over that this was going to occur.
Finally one night they did hear a noise in their home. The husband
got up to check and sure enough there was a burglar standing in
husband looked at the burglar, who seemed to be searching for
an escape route, and said, "Could you wait here a minute.
I want to get my wife. She'll be so excited to see you. She's
been expecting you for years."
K. Cooper was born in South Carolina and now lives in Georgia.
He is familiar to people living in the middle Georgia area as
the "entertainment man" since his entertainment reviews
run in newspapers and are shown on television there. His short
stories have been used as commentary on Georgia Public Radio.
He also keeps active appearing as an after dinner speaker for
has lived an exceptionally interesting life and portions of it
are contained in his first book Journey of a Gentle Southern
Man. The journey continued in Chances and Choices.
first two books, Journey of a Gentle Southern Man
and Chances and Choices, were reprinted and published
by Mercer University Press in July 2004. His third book Halfway
Home was published by Mercer University Press in October
is currently at work on his fourth book, The Book Binder,
which will be published in the fall of 2006.
his website, or email
Jackie K. Cooper