tagReviews & EssaysThe Most Frightening Thing Is....

The Most Frightening Thing Is....


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Do you know what the most frightening thing on Earth is? Go ahead and guess. Think about it. I bet you don't know what the most frightening thing on Earth is.

What is the most frightening thing on Earth? Is it something living or something dead? We all have something that terrifies us, what terrifies you?

God forbid, something happens to our children, an accident or an illness, is frightening. Our wives or girlfriends having a scare with breast cancer is horrifying. Our husbands or boyfriends having an accident at work or getting in a car accident is frightening. Our parents having a stroke, a heart attack, or getting cancer is frightening, too. Yet, assuming our children, our wives, our girlfriends, our husbands, our boyfriends, and our parents are all healthy, what is the most frightening thing on Earth?

A Grizzly bear is frightening, when coming upon one in the woods? They can rip your head off with just one swipe of their paw. As if appearing from out of nowhere, a Polar bear that materializes against the white background of ice and snow is frightening, too?

Other than being at Sea World, imagine being in the water with an Orca whale or a Great White shark? Either one of those can bite you in two with one bite. Attracting dozens of them, they can smell blood from two miles away.

What about birds? You wouldn't think that a little bird would be frightening, but there are people who have a phobia of things that fly, such as a bat. For those who fear birds, big birds, how about an Eagle, a Vulture, or a Condor? Hawks have been known to carry off small pets. Any of those birds can tear the skin from your bones and actually pick you clean. Certainly, if you're not already dead, that's a horrible way to die. Fortunately for you, birds only eat dead things.

What about bugs? Are you afraid of bugs? Lots of people hate bugs. Imagine waking up and your floor is so thick with cockroaches that it appears that you have a black, moving rug. Your walls appear as if you have moving artwork and your ceiling is a sea of the giant pests. Now a roomful of cockroaches would be frightening to everyone, except for an entomologist or maybe to a Navy Seal. Having seen it all and done it all, those dudes are crazy.

How about a swarm of bees or millions of biting ants? With no place to run and no place to hide, that's crazy frightening? How about a Black Widow or a Recluse spider? Unless you have some anti spider poisonous serum handy, you don't want to be bitten by one of those, especially if your immune system is already compromised with another illness. For that matter, you don't want to be bitten by any one of dozens of poisonous snakes that slither around the Earth. If snakes and spiders scare you, I suggest you stay away from the south west of the United States and all of Australia, especially the outback.

We haven't even broached some of the more dangerous animals and reptiles, such as lions, tigers, hippos, crocodiles, and alligators. All of those things are deadly to humans. So, tell me, now that we have a list of scary things, what living thing scares you?

Now that we considered some of the most frightening living things on Earth, what about the dead? Without doubt, there are a lot of dead things that are frightening. What about a ghost? Do you believe in ghosts? Are you afraid of ghosts?

How about a ghoul or a goblin? Certainly, a ghost, ghoul, or a goblin would scare the bejesus out of me, especially if I were lying in bed in the dark. I can only imagine if I was staying overnight in an unfamiliar place, in someone's house or if I was a guest at a hotel that appeared haunted. Now, that would be frightening suddenly feeling the presence of a ghost or seeing a ghoul or a goblin.

What about witches? Do you believe there are witches? If you don't believe in witches, you should. There are lots of witches roaming the Earth. Are you afraid of witches, especially wicked witches? If you're not afraid of wicked witches, then you should be. There's no telling what a witch can do, especially a wicked witch. Some say Oprah is a witch, albeit a good witch, most times. We all already know that Sarah Palin, Hillary Clinton, and Michele Bachmann are witches.

Then there are all those vampires and werewolves to worry about. Have you ever seen a vampire and/or a werewolf? Except for your ex-wife or ex-husband, ex-boyfriend or ex-girlfriend, have you ever had your life's blood sucked from your body by a vampire or a werewolf?

I know what frightens you. Everyone is afraid of the Devil. Right? Are you? The Devil can take on any form. The dangerous thing about the Fallen Angel is that you'd never know when you are being tested and tempted by Satan. You'd never know if it was the Devil or your mother-in-law.

So, tell me, what frightens you? Because, to me, are you ready? The most frightening thing on Earth is...

* * * * *

"It's Halloween night. It's dark and it's spooky. All that's needed to complete the eerie atmosphere and the frightful illusion of the Halloween holiday is a full moon and a witch on a broom," said John, an unemployed accountant, to his friend Bob, an unemployed production worker.

"I hate Halloween. As if ever little sound is suddenly amplified, being out here in the dark gives me the heebie jeebies," said Bob rubbing his crew cut, as if he had just emerged from the barbershop at boot camp. "I can't help feel that I'm on reconnaissance patrol in Iraq, instead of walking the street of my neighborhood."

"You're right, Bob. Undeniably, there's something in the air. Listen," said John leaning his tall, lean body to the air to give his ear a listen. "Can you hear it?"

"Yes," said Bob. "It's spooky. What is it? "

"Wait," said John. "As if it's a premonition of something about to happen, can you feel it? Look," he said offering up his arm. "I have goose bumps."

"Yeah, I can feel something alright," said Bob rubbing his arms with fear. "What in the Hell is that?"

"Shh. Be quiet. Don't make a sound," said John. "They can hear you. They are listening. I can feel them listening. They always listen to whatever we say."

"Oh, my God, now you're really scaring me," said Bob holding onto John's arm. "Who can hear me? Where are they? What are they?"

"They are everywhere. They can see you. They watch us night and day. We're always under surveillance. We're always being watched. We can't go anywhere without them seeing us and listening to us."

"Oh, my God, John. Oh, my God. I just felt something crawling on me and it wasn't of this Earth," said Bob.

"Calm down, Bob. You're afraid, but don't be," said John. "Everyone fears the wrong things in life. Everyone fears the dead, the unknown, and the things we can't see."

"I just hate creepy, crawling, dead things," said Bob, "especially if those creepy, dead things are crawling on me," he said rubbing his body all over, as if he had just walked through a giant spider web.

"My mother always said the dead can't hurt you," said John with calm assurance. "My mother always said not to fear the dead but to fear the living. She was right, you know," he said looking over at his friend.

"Yeah, well, you're mother is dead and if she suddenly appeared before me, trust me, I'd be afraid of her," said Bob.

"The dead can no longer hurt you. It's the living that can. And these things, the most frightening things on Earth, are not dead but are alive. All this time, we've been fearing the wrong things. We must learn to fear the living, Bob," said John.

"Yeah, well, the dead can be pretty scary, too, especially if you can't see them in the dark, John," said Bob looking all around him.

"Everyone fears the shadows in the dark, the bumps in the night, and the howling in the distance. Yet, right there in front of us, right there in broad daylight, even captured on national television, magazines, and newspapers, there's something lurking not only in the background but right in front of us that's more horribly frightening than any monster you can possibly imagine." said John.

"What is it? Is it Big Foot, the Abominable Snowman, Yeti? Or...is it (gulp) the missing link?"

"No, I can assure you, it's nothing like that," said John with smugness. "Even though we've yet to capture one to prove they even exist, Big Foot is not real but imagined."

"What is it, then? Do you know what the most frightening thing on Earth is? Can you describe it to me?" Bob looked to his friend for answers.

"You can't even imagine the horror that it is and can do," said John, "that is, until it grabs you by the throat, turns you upside down, shakes out your pockets, and steals all of your money."

"Money? It steals money? What the Hell is it that it knows enough to steal my money? Is it thieves?"

"Well, yes, they are thieves," said John, "albeit legal criminals given our carte blanche to rob us blind."

"Are they gang members?" Bob looked around him, as if expecting someone to jump from out of a bush.

"Gang members? Oh, you bet they are, without a doubt they are gang members," said John with a sad laugh. "Thick as thieves, they all stick together with hundreds on one side and hundreds on the other side."

"Is it the Mexican cartel?" Bob hung onto his friend's arm.

"I only wish they were the Mexican cartel," said John. "Unfortunately, this group of thieving and murdering criminals are much more violent, much more powerful, and much more lethal than mere drug lords and their posses. With machine guns in hand and bullets sprayed in every direction, at least, you'd see and hear the drug cartel coming. Unlike this group, you'd never see or hear them coming, until it's too late."

"Who are they? Tell me. I need to know to protect myself from them," said Bob shaking with fear.

"Protect yourself? Don't be silly. You can't protect yourself from them," said John. "Not only are they are too embedded and fully immersed in every day modern society but also they have the full power of the law on their side."

"Is it the Mafia? La Costra Nostra? The Mob? Is that who you mean?"

"No, the Mafia fears them. Even the Mob is powerless against them."

"For God sakes, just tell me who they are, so that I can hide, when they come for me and for my family," said Bob quaking with apprehension.

"You can't hide from them, Bob. You can't run from them. As if an evil cult, they are more diabolical than the Devil," said John.

"Oh, my God," said Bob signing himself, while mumbling a prayer.

"They are more evil than wicked witches. They are even scarier than demons, ghouls, and ghosts. They are, without doubt and without exception, more frightening then werewolves and vampires," said John looking at his friend with assurance, instead of with fear.

"Oh, my God. I'll make my stand and fight them. I'm an American for God's sakes," said Bob sticking out his chest with pride. "I have a gun, several guns. I own an AK47. I'll shoot them where they stand. I'll blow off their frigging heads. Once a Marine, always a Marine. Semper Fi! I used to be and still am a Marine in heart, in mind, and in spirit," said Bob standing his ground, as if making his stand on his street. "Hoorah!"

"Calm down, Bob. You can't fight them. With the pen being more powerful than any gun you have, they are more powerful than a mama Grizzly bear protecting her children, more deadlier than a Great White shark smelling blood, and more relentlessly inescapable than a pack of hungry Gray wolves that haven't eaten in two days and are tracking you, as if you're their next meal. Without a doubt, they are the most frightening things walking on the Earth," said John.

"Oh, my God! Who are they? Just tell me who they are. Do you know? Where are they? Just tell me where they are. What are they? Just tell me what they are," said Bob showing signs of bravery.

"They gather in every city, mostly the capitols is where they feed. Their main cave, the place where you'll find the most of them is right here in Washington, D. C.," said John.

"Oh, my God. Oh, my God," said Bob making the sign of the cross again and again. "They're in Washington? Are they terrorists? Al Qaeda?"

"Even though Moslems would think that this American group are the true terrorists of the world, they are not terrorists or Al Qaeda," said John.

"What are they? Are they human?"

"Human? No, they aren't human. Humans have feelings. They don't. Even if you kill one of them, even if you kill the leader, another leader is voted in to take his or her place," said John.

"Are they animals? They must be animals, wild animals, natural born killers, just like my Rat terrier is a natural born killer," said Bob.

"Oh, you bet they are killers," said John. "They go right for the jugular, especially when they smell money."

"What are they? Who are they? Tell me, John. I need to know," said Bob.

"Come closer, so that everyone doesn't hear and I'll tell you who and what they are," said John. "Are you ready?"

"Yes," said Bob stepping in closer to his friend.

"They are politicians," said John. "Yes, our elected representatives are the most frightening things on the Earth. They are the most diabolical and the most evil people that you hope never to meet in person."

"Politicians? Really? But, my senator gave me a pen, albeit with his name on it, and my representative gave me a coffee mug, albeit with her name on it, too," said Bob.

"They can't buy my loyalty with a pen or/and a coffee mug. I need more than that, Bob. I need a job," said John.

"Me, too," said Bob. "I asked my senator and my representative to help me with a job and that's when they smiled at me, shook my hand, gave me a pen and a coffee mug, and directed me to the unemployment office. I stood in line with hundreds of others, who were just like me, out of work, out of money, and out of hope," said Bob.

"See? I told you. Unfeeling, not caring, they are, as a group, scarier than demons, ghouls, and ghosts," said John. "Without doubt, they are more frightening than werewolves and vampires, especially when pulling one of their all night sessions, where they give one another raises, just before they go on vacation, while the rest of us suffer without a job, without money, without a home, and without hope."

"Yeah, they gave themselves raises twice this year. You'd think when the rest of us are struggling, when so many of us are out of work, that they wouldn't rub their raises in our faces like that," said Bob shaking his head with sadness. "You'd think they'd have more sensitivity to the plight of the middleclass."

"Let me ask you this," said John. "When was the last time you had a raise, Bob?"

"A raise? Gees, I can't remember," said Bob scratching his head. "It's been a long time, years, when I was working, that is, since I had a raise," said Bob with sadness.

"When was the last time you had a vacation?" John looked at his friend with understanding.

"A vacation? Ha! What's that? Even when I was working, I couldn't afford to lose the overtime by taking so much as a day off from work, again, that is, when I had a job, never mind a vacation," said Bob with even more sadness.

"When was the last time you worked out in your private gym, had lunch in your member only restaurant, and played golf for free at the tee time that was most convenient for you? With the best healthcare in place, healthcare not even offered to us, if we could afford it, when was the last time a doctor came to your office to call on you, instead of you having to wait for an appointment and wait in his or her waiting room?"

"Wow, I never thought about those we elect to office in that way, but now I do," said Bob.

"We all wish we had it as good as our (ahem) public servants, but we don't. We're all struggling, unnecessarily, I might add, at the hands of those we elected in good faith to represent our best interests and from those who have squeezed us tight enough to suck the life's blood from out of the middleclass," said John with growing frustration.

"Those assholes," said Bob echoing John's frustration.

"Yet, once we placed our hope and our trust in our elected officials, once they made it to Washington, and once they made their introductions and connections, we lost them to the betterment of themselves and to their party, instead of to the betterment of the people. The personal betterment of the politician first, party politics second, and people that sent them to Washington last. At our expense, they all must pay the piper to play the game of partisan politics," said John with growing anger, "a game we never get to play."

"Cocksuckers," said Bob echoing John's anger.

"Once they increased their staff budgets, once they opened their hands to bribery, their pockets to influence, and their campaign chests to favor special groups, they no longer represent the middleclass. Once twisted by the power, by serving on this committee and that committee, is when they put their agenda ahead of our agenda. Now a part of their own political machine, they don't need us, the middleclass voter, anymore. Self-serving, insulated and self-contained, the only time we see them is when they want money for their campaign," said John with insightfulness.

"No good dirty bastards and bitches," said Bob.

"A fate worse than death, trust me, I'd rather confront the Devil, a witch, a demon, a ghoul, a ghost, a goblin, a werewolf, and/or a vampire than to run into my elected officials," said John. "I'd rather listen to the broadcast warning system, testing signal for 24 hours a day, seven days a week, than to have to listen to our elected officials make another meaningless speech written by their speechwriter and not by them. We're all tired hearing them double talking from out of both sides of their mouths, while waffling on this position and that position, depending upon which way the wind is blowing."

"What do they do in Washington, anyway?" Bob looked to his friend for the answer.

"What do they do? I'll tell you what the they do. They do nothing. Other than to help their friends and relatives to jobs and other than to steal from us, they do absolutely nothing for us. Just as we're out of luck, out of money, and out of hope, they are out of touch, out of our reach, and out for themselves," said John with more frustration and more anger.

"Dirty motherfuckers," said Bob.

"While pointing the finger of blame at everyone else for their inability to do the job they were elected to do, what they do is to cause us more pain and more misery than any creature that prowls the Earth," said John. "Be afraid of politicians, especially when it's close to Halloween, close to reelection, and close to the time when they are all campaigning, having fund raisers, and enriching their campaign war chests."

"Assholes," said Bob. "No good dirty assholes."

"Speaking of campaign war chests, did you know that even when not reelected our public servants are allowed to keep whatever monies they collected for their campaign as (ahem) expenses?"


"Guess who put that law in place during one of their midnight sessions, when we were sleeping and/or working and too damn tired to care?"

"No good sons of bitches and daughters of bastards," said Bob raising a fist of frustration in the air.

"Did you know that many of these politicians have collected millions of dollars? We, many of us, who aren't even paid for our untaken sick days and/or vacation time, that is, those of us that have jobs, our elected officials are allowed to walk away with their mega banks."

"Tell me about it," said Bob. "I had vacation time and sick days coming to me, when my company went out of business and laid me off from my job, just before the owner of the company bought himself and his wife brand new Cadillacs and took a vacation to the Cayman Islands."

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