Be Afraid, Be Very Afraid

In this post-9/11 world, terror, the threat of terror or simply talk about terror has become as ubiquitous as to become banal. To this swirling mix of danger, fear and paranoia, I would like to alert you to a new threat, the “Little Drummer Boy”. This traditional Christmas carol has become the focus of the so-called Little Drummer Boy Challenge, a contest where participants strive to go a long as possible through the holiday season, without hearing any of that song, from its opening notes to that all too familiar refrain, “pa rum pum pum pum”. Like everything else in life these days, it has its own Facebook page. On it, participants obsess about the dangers of shopping in the midst of the holidays. They daily balance the need for milk, with the associated risk of walking to the back of the store. Will the extra time required going to the dairy section result in hearing that song on the store’s music feed? It is enough to make someone lactose intolerant. Other participants complain that the tension caused by the need to be ever vigilant has caused this song that they have sworn to avoid, to run on an endless loop inside their head. Did I really just hear it on the radio, or was I just hallucinating?

Fear caught me on my commute home yesterday. The source of this terror came from a most unlikely source, by beloved new Prius. As I left work, it beeped. The last remaining blip on the fuel gauge’s progress bar was blinking. I cycled through the different odometer selections to the one that displayed the remaining range. It said 22 miles and I relaxed. My commute home is only half that, so I felt confident that I could make it home to my favorite local gas station. Cruising down the highway, listening to NPR, happy to be on my way home, I noticed that the remaining range had already dropped to 12 miles. There was still plenty of margin left. A little bit of a backup at Olive allowed me time to glance again at the gauge, 8 miles left, but only 5 miles to go. I was quickly on my way again, I exited from the highway onto the parkway and now had 4 miles left in the tank, but only 3 miles to go. Exiting the parkway, I had 2 miles to go and only 1 then 0 miles left in the tank. What happens when a Prius runs out of gas? Could I limp to a station on backup battery power? I decide not to risk it and stopped at the closest possible station and refilled the tank, with that elixir that makes it go.

There was civil unrest in Saint Louis today. People were demonstrating in the streets, effigies were being burnt and extra guards were placed on duty to protect property. Fear and uncertainty has gripped the town. After a two-year wait, Saint Louis’s worst fears were realized, Albert Pujols is leaving the Cardinals. Some fans protested and burnt their red number 5 jerseys in effigy. Around the clock guards were stationed about the larger than life statue outside his restaurant in Westport. The Pujols departure will create a huge hole in both the Cardinals lineup and the Saint Louis psyche. I fear for the Red Bird’s prospects next year. The only silver lining about this cloud is that there is now $200M available to grow the team.

8 thoughts on “Be Afraid, Be Very Afraid

  1. I watched SportsCenter this morning and they talked extensively about Pujols. and specifically mentioned that there was no jersey burning. so are you making this up or is ESPN not covering the full story? (remember I am your Santa and lying is frowned upon. you will likely not receive that F/A 18 mentioned previously!)

  2. I only lasted 12 hours after my announcement about being LDB good. Starbucks got me, as I was walking towards the door.

    @Jane, I saw a picture of it on the news. SportsCenter is so East Coast centric, that it can’t even cover a story about Saint Louis correctly.

    Burning Pujols Jersey

  3. The other half of RegenAxe saw on the local news last night, (so it must be true 😉 ), that a local sports store was offering Pujols shirts for FREE!

  4. Now there’s a present for Carl! (Remember, the kids and Carl saw Pujols when he was just a man amoung boys in the minors.)

  5. The “St Louis Great Fan” mystique may tarnish if Cardinal fans can’t accept the best player around for 10-11 years. At least you had that. Be thankful. (And St. Louis really had great fans.) The true test will come when Pujols returns as part of a visiting team.

  6. As the creator of the Little Drummer Boy Challenge, I feel your pain and thank you for the mention. (Yes, I Google it to see who’s talking about it because I am, after all, as raging a narcissist as the next fella.) Puh-rum-pum-pum-pum.

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