After writing a bit about bears and their insatiable hunger for my possessions, I ran across even more things to be worried about, all thanks to my friends at the New York Times. I shouldn’t read the Times, because it’s sometimes the equivalent of watching “Dateline NBC,” if “Dateline” was hosted by a semi-snooty and therefore completely trustworthy Harvard professor (possibly someone who looks like Dennis Quaid in the terrible film Smart People). Be afraid, he says, in his studious I-know-more-than-you tone. Be very, very afraid.
Today, the thing to be afraid of in the Times is… granite countertops! Apparently, there’s a chance that your lovely shiny counters might have a touch of uranium in them. It’s only a danger if you stand near the counters or touch them a lot or are looking to start a weapons program. And then, it’s only like smoking half a pack of cigarettes a day. Ha! Half a pack! That was like the Atkins diet of the 60s, right? No problemo. Oh, wait…
Here’s the thing. I don’t have granite countertops. I aspire to aspiring to granite countertops. But if I did have them, I’m pretty sure I’d be near them all the time. In fact, I’d probably invite people over just to see the counters, and I feel certain (knowing who I know) that we’d all just lurk and linger around the counters anyway. Heck, we do that now, and I have some kind of crappy Formica-lite, radon-free countertop. If I had granite counter tops or, like one woman in the story, granite flooring, I’d probably name it and pet it and buy it treats. And if I found out I could also power my nuclear program from it, well, bonus! Have you seen what they’re predicting heating oil will cost this winter?
There are certain things I do not feel capable of being afraid of right now, or possibly ever. Mini-van roll-overs (hi, Dateline, I’m back to you) are one of these things. Jalapeno peppers are one of these things. Counter tops are one of these things. Waking up to an ant crawling across my face (which happened this morning) is another. I need to focus my fears, or I’ll never leave (or never return to, after the any episode) my house. So bears it is, still is, shall ever be. Glow-in-the-dark granite bears.
And Dennis Quaid.