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Fear Not
by Andy Cowan
TheSyndicatedNews columnist

Andy Cowan, an award-winning writer, whose credits include Cheers and Seinfeld, regularly contributes humor pieces to the Los Angeles Times and the CBS Jack FM Radio Network.

“Are you a man or a mouse?” This question may be redundant now that Japanese scientists have figured out a way to eliminate a rodent’s trepidation over his former arch nemesis, the cat. Who knew that removing a few nasal cells could transform shivering in a corner into snuggling with one’s natural enemy? I’m afraid to contemplate the potential human ramifications behind genetically engineering away the feline fear factor. But… I won’t be afraid for long!

No longer will I be afraid of not keeping up with the Joneses. Who needs a new car, or cell phone, or pants that don’t shine? There goes the economy, but not the plastic surgery industry. For I will no longer fear going under the knife to remove the love handles that would grow profusely from my lack of exercise, which leads to premature death – which I will now no longer fear.

I will no longer fear that Iran might get the bomb. I will no longer fear the IRS. I will no longer fear being labeled an idiot for not fearing Iran or the IRS.

As a single lifer, what will I do without my fear of commitment? I might get married, and fearlessly snuggle my way into procreating offspring whose nasal cells I’ll have removed, so they’re no longer fearful of getting wedgies or being called on in class. Unfortunately, they’d also no longer fear slacking off, cheating, getting expelled and landing on colleges’ waiting-till-hell-freezes-over-lists.

Then again, they wouldn’t be afraid to take chances and follow their dreams. But how far would they get without the fear of impending doom should their dreams not materialize? If the dreams involve auditioning for the 29th season of American Idol, at least they won’t be afraid to inform future judge Suri Cruise they’d rather be “pitchy” than bitchy.

Speaking of our national pastime, it won’t be long before baseball players missing nasal cells will be fearlessly sliding, battered head first, into yet another stolen base. At the very least, get ready for another era of records tainted with asterisks.

To Franklin Roosevelt’s declaration during one of the most fear-ridden times in our history, “the only thing we have to fear is fear itself,” I might add… “Or the lack of fear, itself.”

Then again, if the 1%ers were less afraid of sharing the wealth, we 99%ers might be making more progress in the cat and mouse game called life. And what about our presidential candidates? Imagine if they were no longer afraid of alienating their base. Imagine if they no longer cowered at the thought of promising what’s not popular?

It scares me to think about it.

Published: Mar 20,2012 23:40
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