Some people say I’m scared of thunderstorms, but I’m afraid they’re mistaken.
That my brain, my heart and my bladder forget about their usual restraint and teamwork whenever lightning approaches does not indicate that I’m scared. As summer thunderstorm season approaches, I am merely cautious. Respectful of Mother Nature. Well attuned to the possibility of an imminent and painful death.
If you were to look at a cross-section of my brain, you would see many normal lobes — dedicated to such necessary guy functions as chore avoidance and retention of Wilf Paiement’s NHL career totals. But where in a normal man you would find the area dedicated to time indexing of nudity in major motion pictures — the so-called charlizebellum — you would in me find a hyper vigilance toward electrical storms.
And let me be clear: This is not a phobia. A phobia is an irrational fear. When I was a kid, I was scared of a thunderstorm’s loud noises. That was a phobia. Now I am scared of 300 kilovolts entering through my head and leaving through some of my more important appendages. I have a hard time seeing this as unreasonable.
But I am a courageous Canadian warrior, so I know how to deal with lightning when it strikes. When I hear thunder I courageously cover my head in blankets and courageously turn my iPod to full volume so that I might courageously pretend the storm is not happening. You know when you see a big-eyed dog trembling under the couch because of thunderclaps? I’m underneath that dog, whispering, “Keep me safe, Zoe. Good girl.”
Courage, my word.
I’m here to help you be brave, too, reader(s), so be sure to arm yourself with safety advice:
- Stand your ground. Lightning is as scared of you as you are of it.
- Avoid all conversations about God and irony.
- If it’s the Tampa Bay Lightning, dump the puck in and get a good cycle going off the forecheck.
- If you start to feel scared, try aversion therapy. Once you are struck by lightning five or six times, your body will begin to acclimatize.
- If you hear a Muppet counting, take cover immediately.
If you still have concerns despite these tips, you can always seek me out for support. But don’t call or email, because I won’t use anything plugged in during a storm. Visit me instead. I’ll be under the dog.