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The Observer has become something of a worrier in our old age. There are days when we seem to worry about everything, short of a meteorite streaking out of the blue and conking us on the head. Should we be worried about that? Maybe.
We worry about work. We worry about Spouse, and the kid, and the cat. We worry about the persistent ticking when we start the ol' Honda and the ticker in our own chest, though neither has given us real cause to worry. Both seem to have been designed with durability in mind. We worry that, thanks to the recently approved monument to the Ten Commandments on the lawn of the state Capitol, the yard out front of the People's House will soon look like Charles Foster Kane's rec room, so full of monuments to gods big and little that our legislators will have to be helicoptered to the Capitol dome at the end of a hook every morning during the session, just so they can get inside and screw up worse.
We worry about time, slipping by, even now. That's a nice way of saying we worry about death, of course. It's a common worry. You'd have to be a fool not to worry about the Big Adios, even if you claim to know where we're all going when the lights go out. The truth is, you don't know, and neither does anybody else. We worry about anybody who says, with 100 percent certainty, they do. We worry about anybody who says anything with 100 percent certainty, but especially those who claim to have perfect clarity about the afterlife. We worry those people might be delusional.
The Observer worries about people who go to see those "Saw" movies, though we know that attendance is, more than likely, just a sort of magic ritual to ward off the WPD — the Worst Possible Death. Nobody wants the WPD. Too, The Observer knows that once we saw everyday Americans make the choice between burning to death or jumping from the second tallest building in the world on live television, the popcorn-flavored nightmares our culture uses to deal with its collective anxieties had to go pretty gatdamn dark to get more frightening than reality.
We worry some Prius pilot is going to blow a stop sign while texting "no I luv u mor" to her boyfriend and send us ass over teakettle in the crosswalk, The Observer's whomperjawed black loafers coming off mid-rotation and reaching low Earth orbit before we eat the unyielding pavement at Second and Main. We worry about the hot water heater coming unglued one day while we're at work and flooding the Observatory deep enough to play water polo in the drawing room. We worry that we aren't getting enough fiber and exercise and that we are getting too much starch, too much television. We worry that there's a world out there, and we're not seeing enough of it. We worry, in a very disconnected way, about Miley Cyrus. Might be a phase on both our parts, though we have prepared ourselves for the idea that she might act like this until she's old enough for Medicare. Seems to be working out for Madonna.
We worry that we worry too much, but we're too worried about all that fine print in the TV ads to ever take a pill to chemically quiet this mind. We know it works for millions, and God bless 'em. But still, we worry about anybody who is taking something which says, right on the box: "May cause compulsive gambling, binge eating or hypersexuality." We'd be cool with one of those, maybe, but definitely not all three.
We worry this has gone on too long, and that you think us a kook by now, a sack full of anxiety. It's not like that, though. We have, over the years, found a kind of peace in our worry. It is comfortable, after all, to be able to say about whatever it is you're worried about: "It hasn't happened yet, thank the Lord, and may never." It's a troubled sort of hope, and we'll take all that we can get.
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