By: Steve Heisler

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7 Irrational Fears That Are Real, And How To Avoid Them

Playing video games literally killing you

TRUE FACT: Everyone knows that video games are an enjoyable way to shirk responsibility and avoid human contact of the sexual variety (on purpose ‘yeah, that’s the ticket), but did you know that there’s a downside? A DEATH side? In 2011, one guy played so much Xbox that he died of “deep vein thrombosis,” which is when a blood clot in a lower limb or extremity surges up to the heart. He was 20 years old. He is survived by his Xbox Live account.

STAY SAFE: Celebrate your video game triumphs with a victory push-up. Or, if that’s too strenuous ‘and let’s be honest, it is ‘settle for a victory chocolate-filled croissant. Its gooey, satuated fat center will draw attention to your body’s UPPER extremities, like the aortas and whatever part of the brain controls self-esteem issues.

A meteorite coming down from space and smashing into your house

TRUE FACT: A meteor fell from the sky in 2010 and mostly burned in the atmosphere. But part of the rock embedded itself into the side of a man’s house. He heard the loud sound late one night, but decided not to check it out for a few days, when he found a severe dent that threatened the resale value of his bungalow.

STAY SAFE: Build “space shields” out of cardboard, tinfoil, and a whole lotta wishing. Place liberally around the house, both inside and out, spaced no more than a meteor’s distance apart. Investigate any and all sounds coming from outside, especially if you live in a metropolis ‘a hotbed of meteoric activity. What was that? The radiator? Probably a meteor burrowing into the ground and barrelling into the side of your windowless basement apartment. Better go check it out. Don’t forget your “spacesuit” (business casual)!

Parasitic fish feeding on the inside of your peehole

TRUE FACT: In 1997, some guy in Brazil known only as F.B.C. was peeing in waist-deep water when allegedly a candiru ‘a catfish-like little guy who lives in the Amazon ‘JUMPED UP FROM THE WATER AND WENT INSIDE HIS URETHRA OH DEAR LORD IT PROBABLY WRIGGLED AROUND BECAUSE ITS TEETH WERE STUCK INSIDE THAT GAAAAAAAAAH HOLY FUCKING SHIT THIS IS REAL. He underwent two hours of surgery to remove the fish from his peehole. Two years later, an actual marine biologist wrote an entire book about this actual incident, because the only thing better than thinking about THE DICKHOLE FISH is reading about it so the mental image remains fresh.

STAY SAFE: Whenever you have to pee in the Amazonian region, be sure to drink plenty of water and endure rigorous kegel training regimens so your stream is, like, really powerful. You should be fine everywhere else, but it might be best to avoid the candiru’s other home: toilets.

Being stranded in a subway car for an entire day

TRUE FACT: The subway is a cheap and efficient way to gallivant around New York City like you’re Jay-Z ‘until the cars come to an abrupt halt and you’re trapped underground for 32 hours in the middle of a blizzard. It happened at least once, to a bunch of nice, upstanding folks (and some monster who brought their cat with them) taking the A train three years ago. Will you be the MTA’s next victim? Yes.

STAY SAFE: If the announcer says anything about a “delay,” quickly size up who will be your Piggy and who will be your Jack, Lord Of The Flies-style. Because you’re Ralph, of course, even if your conch shell is your iPhone 3GS that still runs even though its screen is cracked and the headphone jack only works if you wiggle it around a little bit ‘AAAAAAAH THINKING ABOUT CANDIRU AGAIN!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Feast upon the empty Red Bull cans and discarded Egg McMuffin wrappers. Designate a corner for peeing, one for pooping, and one for the inevitable jizzing; the fourth is the Wild Card Corner ‘, and must remain hydrated at all times and at all costs according to MTA rules and regulations. Finally work up the courage to talk to that cute guy or girl across the subway car. Do not do this until hour 31, just in case you are rejected and must face them for the remainder of your stay, and one hour of boning in corner three is just about enough. When determining future travel plans, consider not doing them and staying home.

Cockroaches falling from the sky

TRUE FACT: Citing “science” as a valid reason why they would do such a thing, students at the University Of Nevada, Reno did an experiment last year where they sent boxes full of cockroaches into the sky via weather balloons. They were designed to soar higher and higher until inevitably bursting, raining the goods all over the ground where the students could go and retrieve them. I cannot reiterate enough times that this was a voluntary thing people did. Oh yeah, did I forget to mention they put blood in the packages, too? They put blood in the packages. You can’t make this stuff up! Well, I guess you can, but then how would I know which university to shame?

STAY SAFE: Cockroaches are relatively harmless unless they develop a taste for radicchio. Scrub and bleach your radicchio supply on a nightly basis, and keep your radicchio away from open ventilation shafts, from where their odors might waft. Feel free to post a sign on a nearby telephone pole to let neighbors know that your radicchio is cockroach-proof. Sell secret to Dr. Oz.

A ceiling fan comes crashing down while you sleep and kills you

TRUE FACT: According to ChaCha, which is a service that answers whatever weird questions you text it, four people were killed in ceiling fan-related incidents in 2011. Four! Do you know how many ceiling fans there are in the world? At least seven.

STAY SAFE: Get a bunk bed, even as an adult. Situate yourself on the top and keep your eyes open throughout the night. Fans are notoriously shy beasts who won’t move if you are looking at them, like the ghosts from Super Mario World. Tell yourself sleep is for pussies. Grow a pair.

You go on a blind date and get stabbed 300 times over the course of two days

TRUE FACT: A guy went on a date with a girl he met on the Internet, and was stabbed 300 times over the course of two days. Well, first he and the girl he was meeting had sex (bro!) and engaged in “consensual” stabbing of the kinky variety (bro!). Afterwards, her roommate came in and commenced with more stabbing as part of a Satanic ritual. The two tied him up, and then they stabbed him some more. Later, stabbing. 300 times. Over the course of two days.

STAY SAFE: Accept that stabbing is an inevitable part of life, and take a deep breath. You’ll remember this moment forever ‘a real character-building experience to tell your offspring for generations to come. “But grandparent, what is the Internet?” they will ask. You’ll show them your Twitter feed and they’ll laugh. Silly kids. They’re so obsessed with their rotary phones and printed newspapers, they’ve forgotten what’s truly important.

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