No, I really do read the articles

October 17, 1997

There are basically two kinds of fear, and I once experienced both on a Boy Scout camping trip. The first kind, private fear, is that fear only you have, and you have it when you’re either alone or everyone around you is asleep. I woke up in the middle of the night and, half asleep, thought I was in my room at home. I tried to turn on the light, and couldn’t move my arm. Panic. I tried to move my entire body and couldn’t–I was trapped, as though some enormous weight were pressing down on me. I broke into a cold sweat. I remembered that I was on a camping trip, that I was in a tent, but that still didn’t explain the paralysis. If he hadn’t snored, I never would have realized that one of my tentmates had, in his sleep, rolled over on top of me. By doing a sort of body-wave you’ve probably seen professional wrestlers perform, I was able to escape.

Earlier that evening, I’d experienced public fear–the collective fear of a large group, usually brought on by one very convincing idiot. We were supposed to be asleep, but we were hungry and rumaging through the leftovers. Then we heard the growl. "Oh man," said the idiot. "I read in this month’s Playboy that bears can’t find enough food and they’re eating people." Too scared even to ask another teenager where he was getting recent issues of Playboy, yet strangely impressed that someone really did read the articles, we all went into a panic. There was no safe place to hide from what sounded like a very large bear. After being thrown out of the scoutmaster’s van, we huddled together and waited for collective death. Growl. Growl. It was then that we noticed that this bear’s growls were amazingly regular. Slowly our group-hysteria became group humor as we realized that these growls were from one of the adults who had been sent to sleep outside the camp because he kept his tentmates awake…with his snoring! After exhausting ourselves laughing, we were hit with another fear: One day we would be old, and one day we might make the same noises ourselves.

Enjoy this week’s offering, which is almost as frightening.


DURHAM, N.C. (Reuters) – A North Carolina drivers’ education teacher has resigned after he was alleged to have told a student to chase down another driver, whom he then allegedly punched in the nose, a spokeswoman for the Durham Public Schools says.

Police in Chapel Hill said David Cline, 36, a teacher in neighboring Durham, was out teaching two students to drive on a local highway on Sept. 19 when he thought another driver, Jon Macklin, cut them off.

Police said Cline allegedly told the student driver to catch Macklin’s car and when both cars stopped at a red light, Cline got out of the car and approached Macklin. The two exchanged words and, according to Macklin, Cline punched him, police said.

Police learned of the incident shortly afterward when Cline’s car was pulled over for possible speeding. As the officer talked to the people in Cline’s car, Macklin pulled up and said he had been assaulted.

Cline was arrested, charged with assault and released on $400 bond.

Cline resigned from his job on Wednesday, the schools spokeswoman said. He had taught in the school system since 1986. REUTERS


Signs You May Be Drinking Too Much

  • You lose arguments with inanimate objects.

  • You have to hold onto the lawn to keep from falling off the earth.

  • Job is interfering with your drinking.

  • Your doctor finds traces of blood in your alcohol stream.

  • Career won’t progress beyond Senator from Massachusetts.

  • The back of your head keeps getting hit by the toilet seat.

  • Sincerely believe alcohol to be the elusive 5th food group.

  • 24 hours in a day, 24 beers in a case – coincidence?? – I think not!

  • "Two hands and just one mouth… – now THAT’S a drinking problem!"

  • You can focus better with one eye closed.

  • The parking lot seems to have moved while you were in the bar.

  • You fall off the floor…

  • Your twin sons are named Barley and Hops.

  • "Hey, 5 beers has just as many calories as a burger, screw dinner!"

  • Mosquitoes catch a buzz after attacking you

  • At AA meetings you begin: "Hi, my name is… uh…"

  • Your idea of cutting back is less salt.

  • You wake up in the bedroom, your underwear is in the bathroom, you fell asleep clothed. – hmm.

  • The whole bar says ‘Hi’ when you come in…

  • You think the Four Basic Food Groups are Caffeine, Nicotine, Alcohol, and [Women or Men].

  • Every night you’re beginning to find your roommate’s cat more and more attractive.

  • Roseanne looks good.

  • Don’t recognize wife unless seen through bottom of glass.

  • That damned pink elephant followed me home again.

  • Senators Kennedy and Packwood shake their heads when they walk past you.

  • "I’m as jober as a sudge."

  • The shrubbery’s drunk from too frequent watering.

  • You wake up screaming "TORA TORA TORA!" in the middle of the night.

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