Paraphobia

My biggest fear is that of being touched by another man, because I get uncomfortable even when another guy gets too close while trying to talk with me.  This is not homophobia, as I don’t dislike or have anything against gay people, but I don’t want them touching me and I would prefer not to see them kissing each other.  The other day a male nurse did an ultrasound of my bladder to see how much urine I was holding and he slid his hands inside of my shorts to wipe off the gel after he was done.  I could have wiped it off by myself and he never asked my permission to put his hands inside of my shorts and underwear.  If it was a female nurse, I would not have minded that intrusion at all.  I guess this all stems from a negative experience that I had once when this guy cut my hair.

I went to this salon to get my hair cut and I used to only having females cut my hair, but they said that it would be a long wait and if this guy could cut my hair, I would be the next customer.  I got the creeps when he started rubbing the back of my neck and I almost walked out at that point, but I let him finish, but from then on, no matter how long the wait, I was never going to let another man cut my hair again.  I have a female dentist, a female doctor and a female eye doctor, because I don’t mind females touching me.  I don’t have a fear of intimacy and I enjoy hugging, kissing and touching women, as well as being physically close to any woman, but I get totally opposite feelings when I am around men.  My fear of being touched is specific to one gender and I love getting a massage every now and then, but I could never enjoy this if it was a man touching me.  I realize that my fear is irrational, but it is who I am, or who I have become.

I don’t know anyone else that suffers from this disorder that I have and maybe I am just a gynocentric type of guy.  The female body fascinates me, but I don’t enjoy looking at the male body, be it a Greek god or whatever.  I will take Aphrodite inside of her clamshell any day rather than looking at Hercules whatever he is doing.  I do not fear any man, but if they get too close to me, that will make me uncomfortable.  I am OK being around men, as long as no touching is involved and anything that falls outside the norm of heterosexual sexual desire will not work for me.

Written for Mindlovemisery’s Menagerie Tale Weaver – Fear – hosted by Stephanie Colpron of Word Adventures.

Humans Burning Fossil Fuels

The evidence is clear about climate change being a real thing and this is mostly the result of burning fossil fuels such as oil, gas, and coal.  Earth gets warmed up by the Sun and some of the incoming sunlight is reflected directly back into space, especially by bright surfaces such as ice and clouds, and the rest is absorbed by the surface and the atmosphere.  Much of this absorbed solar energy is re-emitted as heat (longwave or infrared radiation).  The atmosphere in turn absorbs and re-radiates heat, some of which escapes to space.  If all heat energy emitted from the surface of our planet passed through the atmosphere directly into space, Earth’s average surface temperature would be approximately zero degrees Fahrenheit.  Our moon doesn’t have an atmosphere, so it doesn’t have a method to trap heat, thus it has temperatures of minus 378 degrees Fahrenheit up there.  Strictly speaking, outer space has no temperature since it has no mass.

A greenhouse gas will absorb and emit radiant energy within the thermal infrared range, causing the greenhouse effect (trapping of the Sun’s warmth in our lower atmosphere).  Greenhouse gases in the atmosphere, including water vapor, carbon dioxide, methane, and nitrous oxide, act to make the surface much warmer than this because they absorb and emit heat energy in all directions, keeping Earth’s surface and lower atmosphere warm just like the glass roof on a greenhouse does.  Without this greenhouse effect, life as we know it could not have evolved on our planet.  Adding more greenhouse gases to the atmosphere makes it even more effective at preventing heat from escaping into space.  When the energy leaving is less than the energy entering, Earth warms until a new balance is established.

Having established that greenhouse gas can be a good thing, right now it seems to be getting out of control.  I want to live on a planet where it is warm, but the increased greenhouse effect is causing changes in our planet that can potentially destroy everything, and Earth could end up being like Venus where no life exists.  The increased greenhouse effect will not go away unless we do something about it, as we have reached a point where it just keeps accumulating and this is a serious problem.  Even if human-caused greenhouse gas emissions were reduced to zero, global temperatures may continue to rise for centuries afterward, as some scientists think that we have already gone past the point of no return.  We may need some genius to invent a way to suck carbon dioxide out of the atmosphere and store it underground, which would make Earth’s surface brighter.  If we had our own storage container of greenhouse gas, then we could heat our planet up again, if it ever got cold.

Written for Mindlovemisery’s Menagerie Tale Weaver – Climate Change – hosted by Stephanie Colpron of Word Adventures.

In Space, There Is No Sound

Silence is the absence of sound just like darkness is the absence of light.  Silence may suggest a certain quality of peace which is associated with the cessation of noise.  The lack of air or any other suitable medium prevents sound from traveling in space, and that is why nobody will ever hear your screams out there.  Atoms and molecules will still vibrate, but since space is almost a complete vacuum devoid of matter, this emptiness results in an extremely low pressure caused by gravity amplifying the nothingness of space and allowing objects to attract to each other.  In the void of space, the pressure is so low that all molecules want to spread out as much as possible and this expansion, leads to the development of the stars and planets.  Every particle of matter, no matter how small, exerts a gravitational attraction on all other particles of matter.  There is no such thing as a complete vacuum and outer space has gas, dust, radiation, gravity, and a whole host of other things, but for the most part it is silent because sound is not allowed to propagate.

Sound is only apparent when an object moves and this might come from a vibrating guitar string or an exploding firecracker, as it pushes on the air molecules closest to it.  Those displaced molecules will bump into their neighbors, and then those displaced molecules will bump into their neighbors as they travel through the air as a wave.  When the wave reaches your ear, you perceive it as sound.  Aging and exposure to loud noise may cause wear and tear on the hairs or nerve cells in the cochlea that send sound signals to the brain.  When these hairs or nerve cells are damaged or missing, electrical signals aren’t transmitted as efficiently, and hearing loss occurs.  Higher pitched tones may become muffled to you.

Silence can make you hear things that are not there, as your brain will create noise to fill the silence, especially if it is a prolonged silence.  Sound is a constant in our lives every day, and most times we don’t even think about it.  Zero decibels dBA is considered the point at which humans can start to detect sound.  Since sound is usually measured with microphones and they respond proportionally to the sound pressure, it is possible to have negative sound levels, which would mean a sound with pressure x times smaller than the reference pressure, but these sounds would not be audible to a human.  Any sound that is too quiet for humans to hear is given a negative decibel rating.  For some sounds, a dog’s hearing is really hundreds of times better than ours, whereas for other sounds, dogs and humans have sound sensitivities that are very much the same.  Dogs can discern sounds down to -15 decibels and dogs do much better than humans with higher-pitched sounds.

Some dogs are able to predict earthquakes using their highly sensitive ears, and others have the ability to predict somebody’s arrival at your door detecting the sound before you can hear it.  Human ears have a maximum sensitivity of 2,000 Hz, which coincidentally, that frequency is right in the middle of the range of human speech.  On the other hand, dogs have a maximum sensitivity of 8,000 Hz, much comes from being ancestors of wolves and this is better suited to hearing their prey.  For humans, any sound over 85 decibels is considered to have the potential to cause permanent hearing loss.  The closer you are to the sound and the longer you listen to it, the more likely it is to cause damage.

Written for Mindlovemisery’s Menagerie Tale Weaver – The Sound of Silence – hosted by Stephanie Colpron of Word Adventures.

Always the Sidekick

I have always enjoyed trying to make people laugh and I don’t think that I was ever anyone’s assistant, or associate, or that anyone regarded me as being their subordinate, but I was willing to stoop to certain levels in order to make people laugh.  Artists must suffer for their art and it is not always easy being funny.  I enjoyed saying outrageous things and many people like to laugh at the misfortunes of others, so I became a spontaneous person that went the way the wind took me.  When I saw an opportunity to say something that I figured others would think was funny I blurted it out.  I went so far as to jump off of a cliff to make people laugh and when I crawled my way back to the top, I did it again, only backwards this time.

I grew up in New Jersey and I enjoyed winter activities there.  There was a Country Club that had the best hills for sleigh riding, tobogganing and skiing and all the kids went there.  One day somebody got injured on the golf course and they threatened to sue the club, thinking they could get some of their money.  While the litigation was going on, the Country Club put up big signs at the entrance stating that nobody was allowed to go sleigh riding any more and that any violators would be arrested.  It is a shame when one bad apple tries to spoil it for everyone else.

I was out with my friends driving around in my station wagon, partying, smoking some weed, listening to music and drinking beer that night and I pulled into the Country Club.  There was nobody around and I parked by the big hill which was the best one for sledding.  It was cold and the hill looked so pristine, because no one was using it and it was such a perfect night and I wished that I had brought my toboggan with me, so I could take a ride.  More beers and several more joints followed and eventually I came up with the idea that it could be fun to drive my car down the hill.  All the guys encouraged me to do it, but I hesitated a bit because of the being arrested warning and the fact that anyone who drove past on the main road would be able to see my car, as it was wide open there.

I decided that if I kept my car close to the wooded area, that I could drive down the hill without being noticed, so I went for it.  It felt pretty cool, the guys were all cheering me on and my station wagon kept picking up speed as I descended the hill.  I was used to driving on snow and ice, but this was my first time driving down a hill on this stuff that was not part of a road.  I knew that I had to keep the steering wheel straight and that I couldn’t apply the brakes, or otherwise I would have spun out and probably wrecked my car.  I got a little too close to the woods and I ran over several smaller trees, which made all the guys start screaming more.  My station wagon survived the trip and everyone had fun that night when the sleigh riding was shut down.  I guess I craved attention and when I had a chance to get under the spotlight, I usually went for it.

Written for Mindlovemisery’s Menagerie Tale Weaver I’m the Sidekick hosted by Stephanie Colpron of Word Adventures.

Served Up on a Golden Plate

You like having things your way, so go right ahead and take it, you can have it all.  Burger King said that you could have it your way and Adele said that we could have had it all and Frank said that he wanted to do it his way, and Kool and the Gang sang “You can have it if you want it just come and get it, and, baby, it’s yours, yeah”, so I put the whole world on a plate for you.  If you want it, here it is, but you better hurry, because it is going fast.  Don’t worry, as I will wash the platter after you have sucked everything out of the Earth.

Extract all of the oil, fill the air with pollution, create global warming, melt the polar ice caps, as nobody cares about climate change and the world will eventually recover in another hundred thousand years.  It is not like you did anything to earn this, or that you deserve it, but because you have money, you were able to purchase the deeds to the lands and manipulate the politicians and the laws to have everyone think that it is your God given right to drill for oil and since you don’t give two shits that you are ruining the planet for everyone else, just do it and be done with it.

Written for Mindlovemisery’s Menagerie Tale Weaver The World After hosted by Stephanie Colpron of Word Adventures.

The Devil Incarnate

Hard to think of him as human, just an utterly despicable lifeform and calling him evil would be an understatement.  As bad as it can get, a bloodthirsty monster that went around killing whoever he wanted.  Getting his enjoyment out of torturing women, children, babies, the sick, the poor and the innocent.  Acting with a level of cruelty unbeknownst to man, lower than the worst of the worst in all of history.  The numeral 666 is tattooed on his forehead, and he has pentagrams on each of his arms.  I am not speaking about Charlie Manson, Aleister Crowley, or Anton LaVey, as he is more wicked than all of them.  He is worse than Adolf Hitler, Joseph Stalin, Vlad the Impaler, Pol Pot, Idi Amin, Nero, Heinrich Himmler, Saddam Hussein, Ivan the Terrible, Attila the Hun, Kim Jong-un, Vladimir Putin, Ayatollah Khomeini, Genghis Khan, Mao Zedong, and Osama Bin Laden all rolled into one for his unimaginable acts of butchery.  Many people will say that Donald Trump is not wicked, that he is mentally ill, but that could be said about any of the people listed above.  This madman tried to destroy my country and build his own evil society by trying to find loopholes to screw people over.  He demands complete loyalty from everyone, wanting everyone to swallow his Big Lie so he can be a king in a society that is based on fear and hatred and he must be put down for the dirty dog that he is.

Written for Mindlovemisery’s Menagerie Tale Weaver A Question of Perspective hosted by Stephanie Colpron of Word Adventures who has taken over for Michael and the prompt is “Are people born wicked?”.

Why Do We Let This Happen?

Money rules the world and the rest of us fall in line, except for Media and Kip Andersen who decided to expose all the dirty secrets.  I hear a lot of people saying that they avoid the news, because all it contains is problems, like Covid and gun violence, but nothing will ever change if you burry your head in the sand.  I watched Seaspiracy on Netflix last night which uncovers the Fishing Industry’s environmental secrets.  This guy Kip loves the ocean, so he decides to make a documentary about all the wonders that it holds, but he gets sidetracked when all these whales wash up on the beach dead and their bellies are filled with plastic bags.  Now he is worried that plastic is the biggest problem that the world is facing and he wants to do something about it.  He meets this guy who tells him about these dolphins disappearing in Japan and this makes him want to investigate what is actually going on there, as everybody loves dolphins.

One thing keeps leading to another, but Kip is relentless and he follows all the tracks to get to the bottom of this.  He discovers that there are a bunch of groups who are claiming the be protectors of the ocean, but in fact they are profiting off its demise.  They claim to care, but in order to exist, they have to get donations, and these are coming from the Fishing Industry who seems to be corrupt as hell.  It is horrifying what is happening and we need to do something about this before all life on Earth disappears.

Written for Mindlovemisery’s Menagerie Tale Weaver #320 hosted by Michael where the prompt is Time For Change.

It is a Real Thing

A bookworm is any insect in its larval (or adult) forms that will injure books by gnawing away at the binding and piercing through the pages making small holes.  No single species may properly be called the bookworm, because a large number of insects feed upon dry, starchy material or paper and all of these different species may damage books.  There is actually nothing amusing about the damage that bookworms cause.  They tunnel through books, at times all the way from front cover to back, leaving holes on every page, or they carve meandering tracks across pages, obscuring text, weakening bindings, and leaving the paper vulnerable to tearing.  The culprits are not really worms having a long cylindrical tube-like body, no limbs, and no eyes, but other types of minuscule insects or creatures who like to live in, and eat, books, because they are attracted to the leather bindings or the wooden shelves the books are kept on.  This is the reason why many libraries have strict rules against bringing in any food or drinks, which might attract insects and cause future damage to the precious books.

The glue makes a nice meal for the bookworms and the pages become warm places for them to burrow through.  These bookworms can’t get enough of books, but if we can kill their parents before they lay their larva, we can prevent the books from being damaged.  We should also try to keep our books dry and clean, and remove them from the shelf every now and then to prevent a buildup of dust which insects like to nest in.  Once you see “frass” (insect poop) that spells trouble as this is a sure sign that a mother is lurking around.  Once a book worm inhabits a book and begins laying eggs, getting rid of the intruders before they destroy the book can be a challenge, but with some persistence it can be done.  The bookworm only wants the same thing that we do, being close to the warm, safe, environment that is provided by a good story.

Written for Mindlovemisery’s Menagerie Tale Weaver #318 hosted by Michael where the prompt is bookworm.

Wicked Witch

There was one in the East and one in the West
I never wanted to see either of them undressed
Glinda was from the North and she was a Good Witch
She had taste in her clothes, not wearing anything kitsch
Thus, not all witches are inherently wicked
Glinda was friends with Jiminy Cricket
The Wicked Witch of the West was known for her cackle
She always made sure to steer clear of any tabernacle
It is not all that easy being an old hag with green skin
Having to avoid water, I can sympathize with her chagrin
She knew that she was not pretty or becoming
One look at her and you would be off running
She controlled her Flying Monkeys with fear
They were not cute like Santa’s reindeer
She never joined a coven, but she enjoyed practicing her craft
She rode around on a broom and knew how to catch an updraft
She was good at boiling up a wicked brew
Her violent temper made her a real shrew
All she desired was to own the Ruby Slippers
Even though they didn’t have any zippers
They could not be removed till Dorothy was dead
She hated everything and she would remain unwed
Volts of electricity shocked her when she tried to touch them
Pandemonium always prevailed in her world of bedlam
The glorious, dazzling Ruby Slippers were symbols of hope
She went after Dorothy and her little dog she tried to grope

Written for Mindlovemisery’s Menagerie Tale Weaver #317 hosted by Michael and the Wicked Witch prompt.

These Shoes Want to Dance

Eric noticed the girl with the red hair and he thought that she would be perfect for the ballet production that he was putting on, the Red Red Shoe.  His last dancer had fallen ill and died from Covid-19 and his show was only two weeks out.  He was not sure if this girl could dance or not, but she did look graceful and he knew that the shoes would take care of the rest.  His last dancer was a clumsy oaf and the shoes did the trick for her.  Once she put them on, she danced all around and in fact, she was unable to stop dancing as long as she was wearing these shoes.  She danced into the night, until her feet bled and Eric was forced to remove them from her.

Eric knew that the red headed girl would be enamored with these red shoes, as they are fit for a princess.  Eric figured that he could get some Arm & Hammer spray to disinfect the shoes before he had the red head try them on, but he hoped that they would not take complete control over her like they did to her predecessor.  Maybe he could take the shoes to a witchdoctor, or pray to God for help, but all he knew was that his backers would want their money back so the show must go on.

Written for Mindlovemisery’s Menagerie Tale Weaver #316 hosted by Michael – the Red Hair Girl photo prompt.