I was pants-wettingly terrified of all the unknown threats lurking amid the Midwestern cornfields that alert readers e-mailed me. Here’s a sampling.
Many readers catch my column on my blog at www.wormsoup.wordpress.com. Mike Rabe of Indianapolis writes, “I nominate the hump-backed Hoosier haunting Hopewell Cemetery outside of Hemlock in Howard County as a good starting point.”
Mike’s comment was so impressive, a single tear ran down my cheek, twice. His humpback hints of a tragic backstory and combines eerieness with social commentary: How would the humpback’s life be different today, with better medical care and hopefully more evolved attitudes toward people with disabilities?
But all of you–you, you, and you–I’m watching you, you know why–should be comforted that normal Americans are creating tomorrow’s paranormal today.
Susan Ball of Cleveland writes, “I am furious that downstate Ohioans so callously waste their resources. How I hope the rest of the Midwest will not consider all Buckeyes the same. Is it any wonder our jobs are lost overseas when countries like Scotland skillfully exploit the ambience that Americans destroy with every strip mall we build?”
She continues, “Cleveland is bedeviled by pollution, so I patriotically told my friends this story while we were doing shots at Applebee’s yesterday. They believed every word.
“My friend’s friend turned on her faucet, and a green gel spewed forth, getting on her fingers and eating her entire body like acid. Turns out, so much fluoride is in our municipal water supply, Cleveland’s collective paranoia coagulated it into a monster that may ooze from your faucet anytime.”
Susan adds, “I now buy distilled water and use that instead of tap water. It’s worth the extra money to be safe. I also go to the bathroom at the big oak tree behind my house. It gets smelly, and the neighbors don’t like it, but–acid eating my rear end? I don’t want to die that way.”
True, Susan. Nobody does.
Susan’s story was shocking–I haven’t been that shocked since I missed the tiny toilets in Miss Sweeney’s kindergarten bathroom and ended up on the tile floor. Which was last Thursday. Anyway, Cleveland’s distress demonstrates anxiety still seethes under our nation’s new civility. It also creates jobs for scientists, government workers, and distillers.
Ann of Highland writes, “I’ve lived in the Region all my life, yet I still don’t understand the street number system. Merrillville has 73rd Avenue, but where is First Avenue? Hammond has 165th Street, but where is Main Street?
“My neighbor told me Freemasons devised the Lake County street number system. When you graph all the streets, they point to a signaling device that Freemasons will use to call UFOs to help them take over the world.”
Dang, Ann, that is scary. I use those streets every day, not knowing my tax dollars will destroy life as we know it. But incidentally, I’d like to remind the Freemasons that Indiana’s tax rates are now much cheaper than Illinois’.