Friday, February 5, 2010!

Somewhere, at this very moment, deep in the darkest alley of Vancouver's underworld, there is a small, frail elderly woman. She's about 5'3" and weights maybe a hundred and twenty pounds. And she is, apparently, going to kill me.

This fact, along with a number of colourful adjectives, was relayed to me last week as I attempted to evict said woman from the premises, following a series of escalating aggressive behaviours. I did ask nicely. I tried to be patient. But I daresay, she was not impressed.

After finally leaving the building, she returned, repeatedly, each time encountering different staff members, to whom she relayed the list of individuals who had wronged her. Afterwards, she often added their names to her list.  There were a few more threats, including a vow to turn one coworker into mincemeat. And then she was gone, much like a small, elderly, terrifying nightmare.

As small and frail and she may be, I have no doubt of her ability to kick my ass and/or turn me into a pie. And while this fact is more than a little embarrassing, it is also really terrifying. I am scared of this tiny abusive woman. And she's out there, somewhere, waiting.

I know that she remembers me, because each time she returned she kept mentioning how much she hated me to other staff. She didn't know my name, so she called me, "that skinny one who smiles all the time. She's dead!"

Which...aww. That's the nicest death threat I've received in a long, long time.

...I'm scared.

Sunday, January 31, 2010

Life is Terrifying

Following my encounter with the gnawingly hopeless post-apocalyptic movie, "The Road," and my ensuing state of existential ennui, I felt inspired to read the original and much acclaimed novel. This, it turns out, was an incredibly good decision. Because fiction, no matter how bleak, is always a little bit nicer that life itself.

Life is a terrifying, terrifying nightmare. The following represent the three most disturbing things I have discovered in the past twenty-four hours, entirely by accident...

1. Did you know that there is a giant species of ant which lives in the jungles of South America which, entirely blind, will swarm and destroy any living species in its path...up to and including a horse? And that this same ant can use its body to build bridges over rivers and ladders up trees, thus destroying any chance its future victims possibly have of escape? Well, now you know.

2. And even more terrifying? The Human Bot Fly, which burrows into its human host's skin and then grows, slowly, leading to a festering wound from which the now inch-long, slug-like winged monster must be pulled from its screaming host/victim...which, if you've ever been to warmer climates, or been bitten by a horse fly, could be you. The horror.

3. But insects pale in comparison to their pale brethren, the Human species, when it comes to pure disturbia. A great many cultures have a long and terrifying history of child sacrifice. (Children are convenient sacrificial victims, since their tiny legs make all attempts at escape fairly futile.) But especially fun is the Aztec belief in the rain god, Tlaloc, who demands the tears of the innocents in order to induce the annual April showers.

Each year during the month of February, seven two and three-year-old children, either slaves or the second-born children of Nobility, were beautifully adorned and brought to a shrine where, surrounded by dancers, their hearts were torn out by a priest. (Once more, for emphasis...THEIR HEARTS WERE TORN OUT BY A F*ING PRIEST.) If the children cried on the way to the shrine, it was seen as a sign of abundant rainfall to come, but if they didn't, their fingernails were yanked off by priests until they cried anyway, and it was seen as a sign of abundant rainfall to come. Ah, religion.

The Incas also practiced a great deal of child-sacrifice, although their use of intoxicating beverages to minimize pain would likely have only angered the Aztec gods. But because of the remote, mountaintop locations of the sacrifices, the tiny victims became mummified, and explorers have only recently begun finding the bodies.

And if that doesn't give you a whole new reason to want to wander around Machu Picchu, I just don't know what will.

I'm closing the blinds and going back to my novel now...screw you, real world, I want nothing to do with you.