I recently was asked by no one to conduct a survey of the entire world, but I did it anyway. The goal was to determine what people fear. Unfortunately, I was the only respondent.
Please now, be patient as I walk you through the data. The mathematical computations for such a large survey were challenging and the only break I took was when a cashier corrected my math as I tried to add the tip to the final bill at a local restaurant last week. He even rolled his eyes a little.
I fully expected my respondents to give the typical answers: disease, financial ruin, finding only whole milk in the fridge at breakfast time. However, that's not where the results went. Interestingly enough, they correlated quite closely to a camping trip I took last week. How strange is that ?!
Now, without further digression, here are the top three things people REALLY fear most.
Number 3: mice. Tiny. Furry. Fast. Buck-toothed rodents who try to steal anything they can unless they live in Pinconning, Michigan. One may live for several decades without sampling Pinconning cheese or even hearing about it, but one would be missing a grand experience. Fortunately for me, my children are not afraid of cheese. (They are, however, suspectible to gagging that may ensue when one smells a cheese store or when one thinks one is sampling Tiger cheese only to discover that it is not. )
Number 2: canoes. If before the trip one must first empty her bladder, but finds only an outhouse, the canoe will not seem a friendly place. If, during and after the trip, one finds that ALL her companions have peed in the river, the canoe oddly enough becomes a bit friendlier.
Number 1: pop-up campers. Say what you will about jacks and stabilizer bars. Laugh if you will but that will not alleviate the fear of the world's entire population. The math stands to reason. Two children constantly bickering, two teens constantly sleeping, one male parent flopping back and forth from stomach to back all night, one mother wishing she had a bathroom of her own = a pop-up that may well roll away or tip over. It will only be the sheer will power of the mother who refuses to move a single muscle all night that will stabilize the little vacation home and keep it steady.
Number 0: Yahtzee. Of course it's just a little, friendly game, but when this dice/numbers contest is played against friends who have played it since they were in the womb (and who may have tried their best to drown me with water guns during a canoe trip), it is only slightly less enjoyable than having one's math corrected by a teenaged cashier.
Thus ends my first world-wide survey.