Help! I’m trapped in an El Camino wearing a Clown Suit with Mimi Bobeck

If you have never had the…um…pleasure of experiencing a full-blown panic attack, consider yourself lucky.  When I was in my early twenties–back in the days before compact discs and Pantene–I used to have a lot of them.  I worked in a bank and had what was, perhaps, the strangest job description a financial institution has ever concocted.  In the morning, I adopted the role of bubbly receptionist with an Osmond Family grin.  In the afternoon, however, I kissed my sunny disposition adieu and put on my snarly collection officer hat.  Ironically, my desk didn’t change.  Just my persona.  

Mayor from The Nightmare Before Christmas

I wonder how many customers wandered away thinking, “that little redheaded girl must suffer from a multiple personality disorder.”  Note to self:  stay away from former place of employment and men who drive large white vans with padded interiors.  

Anywho, I blame the sudden appearance of my panic attacks on my unusual job duties.  And on the fact that I was still living among cockroaches.  And I had just been chased down the street by a man in an electric wheelchair.  But you already know about all of that.  

And they thought I was deranged...

And they thought I was deranged…

Amazingly, I was not the lone sufferer of high anxiety.  It turned out that the soft-spoken, seemingly “had her shit together” loans officer–we’ll call her Wilma.  I don’t know why–spent a great deal of her time fighting heart palpitations, dizziness, and an irrepressible desire to flee with her hands up in the air yelling gibberish.  

panic attack

In fact, she introduced me to a sure-fire way to fight the panic.  And it involved lying on the floor.  Now, my fear of being stepped on–particularly by someone wearing golfing cleats–precluded me from flopping spread-eagle on the linoleum beside my desk, aka the Jekyll and Hyde district.

giant cleat

Giant cleats…they DO exist.

 “Wilma,” however had a carpeted office with a functioning door.  Here, we could both lie on our backs, engage in deep-breathing exercises, and imagine our “happy places.”  Hers involved meadows, songbirds, and sunshine.  Mine was Times Square on a July afternoon–which could explain why meditation has never worked for me.

happy place

Thankfully, once I shed the job, the panic attacks–and the need to find a carpeted spot in a low-traffic area–disappeared.  As did my antacid addiction.  And my fear of mental health professionals.

While I have been panic attack-free for twenty years, there are a few things that could potentially tip me over the edge.   

1.  creepy clownClowns freak me out.  Personally, I think there is something seriously wrong with someone who spends their day in big floppy shoes, an afro wig, and lipstick that looks like it was put on by a far-sighted centenarian with a tremor.  

Personally, I have never understood why people flock to circuses.  And I always give Ronald McDonald statues a wide berth.  But no amount of Zoloft could quell the anxiety that sleeping on an actual “clown pillow” would create.  

Seriously.  There are people that actually make clown pillows.  And, there are sick, twisted, individuals with way too much disposable income who buy them.  

Here is a horrifying glimpse of the many innocent pillows that have been defaced by clowns.   

clown pillow handstitchedclown pillow cheshire cat grinclown pillow 5 oclock shadowclown pillow hole in headclown pillow impressionistclown pillow pom pom fringe

Which one would deprive you of the most zzz’s?  Which one is the least horrific?  

imgElCamino

2.  This is a strange phobia, I know–especially for someone who loves cars as much as I do–but El Camino’s scare the crap out of me.  I don’t know why.  

For those of you who are unfamiliar with Chevy’s version of the Ford Ranchero (another freak on wheels), it was basically a coupe with a truck box.  Yup, Dr. Frankenstein bred a Chevelle with a C1500 and this is the ugly baby.  

Forget the ’57 Fury.  Christine should have been an El Camino.  Definitely uglier.  And a whole lot scarier.  

troll-dolls-i-prefer-wishniks-but-dam-did-a-fine-troll-job-i-demotivational-poster-1276801094

3)  The ugliest toy known to man, without a doubt, is the troll doll.  Dolls, as you know, are high on my list of “things that freak me out,” but the worst of all are these rainbow-coloured freaks with bad hair and mongoloid monkey faces.  Their association with Mimi Bobeck does not help either.  She was just weird.  

Since I’m supposed to be regaling you with dendrite-enhancing knowledge, here are a few little known troll doll facts.  

It turns out that it is perfectly okay to refer to these plastic atrocities as “damn trolls” as you are not too far off the mark.  The first collectible troll dolls were created by the Dam family of Denmark in the ’50s and are officially known as “Dam Things.”  

The most collectible trolls are black trolls, 2-headed ones (yikes), those with real mohair, and ones that appear to be the result of an animal pairing.  

DreamWorks animation has acquired the film rights to the Damn Things troll dolls and, apparently, plans to use them in a feature film.  This would truly be a horror flick.

That’s enough about troll dolls.  I’m getting hives.   

What things freak you out?  

Photo credits:  Old folk on Rascals (http://www.kulfoto.com/funny-pictures/20153/riding-together), Panic attack (http://www.trollmania.org/it-was-just-a-little-panic-attack/), Happy Place (http://yenyoga.wordpress.com/2011/06/24/celebrating-summer-yoga-in-times-square/), Giant Cleat (http://www.flickr.com/photos/redlady_rike/), “Go To Bed” (http://www.meh.ro/tag/clowns/);clown pillows: handstitched (http://www.etsy.com/listing/117997398/vintage-needlepoint-clown-pillow-pale), Cheshire cat grin (http://www.migandtig.com/Circus-Clown-Pillow-Down-Filled_p_2612.html), 5 o’clock shadow clown (http://etsystalker.com/2010/04/22/scary-clowns-for-violet/), hole in head (http://www.aliexpress.com/store/product/free-shipping-new-arrive-The-Horror-Clown-cushion-pillow-b0873/703275_421999360.html), impressionist clown (http://www.zazzle.com/funny+clowns+pillows), pompom fringe (http://www.craftster.org/forum/index.php?topic=34926.0#axzz2ajKJNvbP); El Camino (http://1969elcaminoforsale.com/), troll tattoo (http://pics3.this-pic.com/key/dam%20troll%20dolls).

Fish Heads, Canoe Heads, and Ones That Wear Suction Cups

Boycott shampoo! Demand the REAL poo!”  Steven Wright.

Some humans have way too much time on their hands.  Like bloggers, for example.  But at least we try to put this excess time to good use, entertaining and educating the masses.  Or at least that’s what we say to justify what we do.  Or at least that’s what I say to justify what I do.  I’m still not sure if anyone believes me though.

I could be doing much worse things with the extra hours in my day–I could sing a song about decapitated fish heads and dress them up in assorted outfits.  Right now, you are probably thinking that this is just some random, weird thought that I just pulled out of my head.  I wish.  In actuality, the comedy duo, Barnes & Barnes, did just this. In 1980, this video was everywhere…and my adolescent self thought this was very entertaining.  Now, I just find it disturbing.  Seriously, someone had to collect a pile of smelly fish heads and, then, find fish-cranium-appropriate Little League outfits, knitted sweaters, and someone who would actually consent to dead fish parts be placed on their drums.  And how did they ever convince Chip & Dale to do the vocals?

If you would like to see this video in it’s entirety, go here.  Warning: the actual song doesn’t start until past the two minute mark.

And, it would appear, that some of my fellow Canadians had a little too much time on their hands–and, perhaps, a wee bit too much to drink.  I admit that I love to canoe.  And I have had to portage from time-to-time.  And that I have often wondered what would happen if, while I am balancing my canoe over my head, I am struck by lightning.  Apparently, someone else entertained this thought too–and turned this thought into a character on the comedy show Four on the Floor.  The character, of course, was called “Mr. Canoehead.”  And, surprise, surprise, it was aired in 1986.  The 80s were strange.

To watch Mr. Canoehead’s inaugural episode, click on this:  

1) Fish Heads, Canoe Heads–I see a pattern developing here, so I might as well run with it.

As this blog has shown, the Japanese are a very innovative people.  The have a solution for every problem.  I, for instance, am a pretty dumb commuter.  Like the woman pictured here, I love to sleep on the bus, but I have failed to adopt bus-ride-head-protection-safety-gear.  I actually didn’t even know that such a thing existed.  I usually rest my head on the window, which results in my head pounding against the glass at every bump or turn.  (Can repeated small blows to the head inflict brain damage? Hmm.  That could explain a few things.)

She, however, is a  genius.  Why didn’t I think of suction-cupping my head to the pane of glass?  And, just in case she doesn’t wake up at her stop, she has posted a sign on her forehead telling other passengers where she is supposed to get off.  Not only is she clever at preventing head injuries, but she has also found a way to shirk her passenger-ly responsibilities.

I, however, cannot read in a moving vehicle without vomiting, so I wouldn’t be able to look at her sign at all, let alone know when to wake her up.  And wouldn’t her helmet give her her hat-head?

2)  I thought my allergies were a bitch, but then I came across an ailment called “Exploding Head Syndrome.”  Seriously, I will never joke around about my head exploding again–no matter how much snot I have in my sinuses and no matter how much pounding my migraines cause.

Now, don’t get me wrong.  People who suffer from this affliction do not actually experience the rupturing of their craniums (what is the plural of cranium, anyway?)  Rather, they hear extremely loud noises much like a gunshot, a roar, or a scream.  The noises come from “inside” the head.  And they usually occur when the person first falls asleep or within the first two ours of sleep.

Is it just me or does this condition sound freaky?  Voices in the head are bad enough–particular if that voice sounds like Fran Drescher.  But even she’s slightly more soothing that the sound of bombs or guns going off.  I repeat–slightly.  This would be enough to make me never want to sleep again.  Ever.  And I love sleep.

3) I couldn’t do a blog dedicated to heads without including an ode to the best one of all–The Mayor in Tim Burtons The Nightmare Before Christmas.  I have always loved both of this politician’s faces–his happy one and his stressed out one.

I just discovered that his voice was provided by the late Glenn Shadix (pictured here), an actor that has a very familiar face for good reason.  I remember him as Otho on Beetlejuice, Harold (Jerry’s landlord) on Seinfeld, and, of course, as the mayor of Halloween Town.  His list of credits is quite lengthy.

Shadix passed away at the young age of 58 due to a fall that caused blunt trauma to his head.

For a glimpse of his character in The Nightmare Before Christmas, click on this: 

This post wouldn’t be complete without at least one Bobblehead.  And who’s a bigger Bobblehead than Dwight Shrute?  (Rhetorical question.  Please do not answer.)  If you’d like to buy this bobblehhead of Dwight Shrute, you can visit Dwight Shrute Bobblehead at NBC.  I’d love to know if anyone actually has this Bobblehead or any other strange ones.  

Well, enough of this “heady” topic.

Photo Credits:  Subway Sleeper (www.weirdworm.com), Exploding Head (fishinmama.blogspot.ca), Glenn Shadix (aveleyman.com), anteater (http://justoutsidetheboxcartoon.com/tag/brain/)