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The Scariest Things of the 21st Century



Living in the 21st century, we face some unique frights every day. Forget the headless horsemen and secret dungeons, nobody has time for that anymore. Instead, let’s remind ourselves in this Halloween season of some of the scarier events that we confront face to face, the moments where a bathroom check is needed, and the true terrors of the 21st century:

Eerie Internet
You’ve locked your bike outside, you order a large cup of a complicated coffee order (plus a scone), take a seat, boot up the computer to finish some work, and then it happens. A frustrated sigh from your neighbor whose tapping tips you off, a scolding taste of the coffee bites your tongue, and you realize with a disheartened shrug of the shoulders that the WiFi is not working!

Forgotten Facebook Page
On your way home it hits you. The vulnerability makes you shiver, the car veers to the side of the road as you consider turning around, but by then it’s too late. You have left your Facebook page open on a friends computer. What terror will they post? Some remark about your love of another person, place, or thing that you do not in fact love? What will your friends think? Your family? But by now, it’s too late.

Spooky Seat Assignment
What a rare treat. It’s not every time that you ride any form of public transport that you get a whole row to yourself. But when the plane, train, or bus starts to fill up without anyone sitting next to you, the tranquility turns to turmoil. Surely that seat next to you will be filled. But who will be that last person to walk through the doors and claim the empty spot? A smelly sasquatch, a bow-legged cowboy, or the dentist-fearing child about to go to his checkout? The anticipation can be the worst part.

Phantom Phone Tag
You’ve been expecting the phone call all day. That job opportunity, your soon to be spouse (if you could just go on that first date), that important conversation with a friend you haven’t seen in a while. The clock ticks slow in these times of waiting. Oh, what’s that, neighbor? Your knocking on my door to borrow some sugar, sure, no problem. And you missed it. The one small window in the universe where the phone call came in and you missed it between steps to your front door, starting a 3-day game of phone tag with no winners.

Nightmare Nap
Whew, it’s been a long day, you’re going to sleep well tonight. You might as well sit down a moment though, kick the feet up—15 minutes later—well, you got a quick nap in, not enough to completely fill the gas tank, but just enough to ensure your once readiness for bed is extended by three hours and is followed by five solid hours of tossing and turning. Don’t worry though, you can just take another nap after work the following day.

Time-Traveling Time-Off
5, the second hand creeps forward, 4, time moves like wet sand, 3, wondering if the clock is broken, 2, nearly there, I can feel it coming, 1, and yes, it’s finally the weekend. Time to sit back, relax, and take some personal time. And as the realization of another week done and over with finally dawns on you, there goes the alarm clock early Monday morning.

Surprise Spoiler
Almost like a fish finding its way from the ocean, up-stream, and back to its rightful habitat, the words find your ear. Amongst a crowded shopping mall, across from the office, or as your flipping through channels, the spoiler for the show you’ve been watching, book you’ve been reading, or story you’ve been following is murmured. You don’t catch it all, but enough to put it together. And that’s when the“Ah-ha” moment turns into “oh-man”.

Freaky Refrigerator
Whether it’s that late-night snack you’re really craving at 2 in the morning, or that bountiful feast you’ve dreamt about all day, nothing is more frightening than opening that fridge door to only see that desolate light shining back at you. It was there the day before, it was there so clearly in your head, so where is it now, where did your favorite food disappear off to?

Cash Only Curse
Hmm, what a satisfying meal. Nothing quite hits you better than being served upon and joining the clean plate club. And as standard practice, settling up the debt is the last step to the eating-out experience. No problem, pull out the debit card. What’s that? No Visa, Discover, or Diner’s Club? Why isn’t that sign more clearly posted? Of course I have it, let me just visit the ATM real quick and pay the $2.50 fine for my $7.00 meal.

The Unknown Sender
“Hey, how are you doing? I’ve been thinking about you lately.” It’s always an intriguing text to receive, if only you knew who sent it. A forgotten flame, an old bully from high school, or just your average stalker? The mystery is behind the number, and the first question isn’t if you respond, but what do you say?

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