The world is a worrisome place. Is worrying an Olympic sport? If it were one, I could take the gold medal. For instance, does the turkey vulture that has been perched in a dead tree in my yard for days know something I don’t? Every time I go out the front door, there he is, staring at me with that “pass the gravy” look in his beady little eyes. Whenever I pass his perch, I loudly announce, “Boy, I am feeling fit as a fiddle today!” or “My flesh is old and tough and full of gristle!”

I worry a lot. I worry that I might attend a performance of the Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra and the string on one of the violins suddenly will snap and then whip the temple of the first chair clarinetist in the next row, killing him instantly. Then the conductor might turn to the audience and ask, “Is there a clarinetist in the house?” Someone will point me out as a former member of the Bethel Tate Junior High School Band of 1965. I will feel obligated to step forward and save the day.

Unfortunately, the only songs I remember how to play are “Twinkle, Twinkle, Little Star” and “Little Brown Jug.” So I will just play those over and over while the rest of the orchestra is playing classical concertos. Eventually, the conductor will catch on and throw me off the stage in disgrace. Oh, the humiliation of it! I would never live it down.

I worry that scientists will succeed in their quest for a way to make skin temporarily transparent. I read about the study in the newspaper. It said if they succeed, it will lead to better, less invasive medical diagnoses and therapy. What if they perfect the technique and total strangers are able to peer right through our skin into our bodies?

As if there were not enough maintenance and grooming involved in making ourselves presentable to the public, we will have to make sure that our insides look as good as our outsides. Will I have to floss the plaque in my arteries as well as in my teeth? When I get dressed up for a night on the town, will I have to dye my gallbladder to match my shoes and my purse? What if I ran into the leader of my weight loss group and she could clearly see that the contents of my stomach consisted solely of an entire bag of chocolate-covered peanuts?

I have been unable to sleep well for months due to a really big worry. I went to a funeral dinner at a Catholic church during Lent. The church had two buffet lines set up. One offered no meat, in deference to practicing Catholics, who abstain from meat during Lent. I was in the other line.

I am not Catholic. I got a little smug with one of the Catholic guests in the other line. “Ha-ha,” I said, “We get meat and you do not.”

He replied, “Yes, but you get cold cut sandwiches. We get lobster, shrimp, and a very nice assortment of pasta entrees.”

Well, that did not seem quite fair to me. After a moment’s thought, I genuflected, gave the sign of the cross, and said, “Holy Mary, Mother of God, I have been saved! Pass the shrimp!”

This brought on the biggest worry of all. Can a person go straight to hell for faking religious redemption in the name of seafood? If it makes any difference, the lobster was exquisite and the pasta was divine.

Pray for me.



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