Scary Stuff, Kids….

In honour of All Hallows’ Eve – and an annoying case of writer’s block in terms of two projects I’m working on – here are 31 things that terrify me, The Hook, to my Canadian core.

31)  People that consider Justin Bieber an artist.  Ignore the monkey incident, the Selena Gomez break-up and the innumerable public screw-ups if you like, the kid is just plain creepy. The “young lesbian who longs to be just like her big brother” schtick has grown old and scary, kids.

30)  Old men who wear long black socks with shorts – in October.  What the hell?

29)  Erectile dysfunction.  (To every single man who just read this: I apologize. Just breathe and you’ll be fine in a minute. I promise.) I’m a forty-something, white male. I’ve been lucky so far, but the odds are against me, ladies.

28)  Hookers with empty eyes.  Young ladies who sell their affections for money and are well-adjusted and genuinely happy with their life choice are few and far between. I’ve lost track of the number of prostitutes I’ve encountered who are broken inside. It is easy to forget that these ladies used to be someone’s little girl. I have a daughter and I can’t imagine any set  of circumstances that would motivate her into allowing strangers to defile her for little strips of paper.

27)  Jimmy Kimmel’s success.  In my humble opinion, the man is only amusing if you’ve suffered a brain injury. 

26)  Travellers who use grandma’s wheelchair as a luggage cart.  This comes as no surprise to long-time readers, but when I see a senior citizen stumbling through my lobby while their mode of transport is filled with cases of beer and suitcases, I fly into a murderous rage. 

25)  Outdated laws that prevent me from throttling hotel guests – or any human being for that matter – who are too stupid to live.  Someone has to start playing judge, jury and executioner to these douchecopters and I’m just the bellman to do it.

24)  Home owners who give out apples or dental floss on October 31.  You deserve every egg that strikes your windows, you bastards. The Jonas Brothers just broke up. Haven’t children suffered enough?

23)  The Kardashians.  They endorse tanning as a viable way for women to feel thinner. They stage fake marriages. They reproduce. Will their reign of terror ever end?

22)  Kevin O’Leary wannabes.  I see one every week; a vain, ridiculously shallow douche in an imitation power suit. His car is leased. His girlfriend is rented. His wad is just for show. He watches every episode of Dragons’ Den and Shark Tank and walks around referring to colleagues as “cockroaches” with a smug manner that even his false idol would find offensive. Personally, I enjoy watching Mr. Wonderful work and I know he’s a decent man – he posed for a pic with my daughter with all the warmth of an automaton, but let’s face it, he didn’t have to, so he gets points for his generosity – but his public image is a a bit reckless at times.  To all those wannabes out there, I say this: It’s not the money that makes people want to emulate you, fellas, it’s what you do with it. 

21)  Twinkies.  They don’t spoil. I don’t know about you, but that scares the willies out of me. Then again, willies sound like something you shouldn’t have in your body anyway, so perhaps Hostess is doing me a favour….

20)  An untimely demise.  The prospect of death doesn’t really bother me, honestly. I imagine it would be cool to have the secrets of the universe laid bare before me. But I want to grow old with my wife. (Actually, I don’t want to grow old at all. The idea of having old man ball is beyond terrifying.) I have a daughter that I want to see graduate college, get married, have kids, or whatever she wants to do with what is sure to be an epic life. So I hope the Reaper keeps his distance for a good long while.

19)  The Bruce Jenner of Today.  I grew up idolizing the Bruce Jenner of the 70s. I have no idea who the hell that shell of a human being using his name is, but I miss the man who encouraged kids to down a box of Wheaties and run until they puke. That guy was cool.

18)  The “lazy” horror movie.  The Cabin in the Woods was a smartly-written, self-aware horror flick. The average creepshow being shown in multiplexes all over the world right now, isn’t. A gorefest that is devoid of true story substance is just the result of laziness and the hunt for a quick buck. 

17)  Pink Floyd’s The Wall.  The movie trailer gave me nightmares for years. The actual film was beyond ridiculous. The song reminds me of the film, so I’ve never been able to listen to the full version in decades. My family just laughs at that fact and on more than one occasion they’ve cranked the radio up until I threaten to run the van into a guard rail or off a cliff. Ah, domestic bliss.

16)  Lady Gaga.  Yes, she has talent pouring out of her body and over that meat dress, but she’s just bat crap crazy. Honestly, I firmly believe the woman, if tested, would be committed to a home for those folks who prefer to wear coats with pockets in the back. Then again, she’d be running the joint in a week….

15)  Those of us who lament our lot in life.  We all do it.  I’m no exception. This post was written to stimulate my stunted creative process; I’ve been wrestling with writing two separate books while helping my daughter’s dreams become a reality. As I sat at my desk scribbling in a notebook, a middle-aged guest approached.

He was wheelchair bound. His right arm was malformed. His spirit was bent, but not broken. “Its bad enough being in this chair, but having an arm like this makes it worse.” he lamented as he struggled to hand me the coat laying across his lap.

“It could always be worse,” I reassured him as I handed him a claim tag for his bag and coat, “you could be Stephen Hawking.”

“The scientist guy? Yeah, he’s fucked!” he declared, launching into a fit of raucous laughter. “Thanks, buddy. I needed that!”

“Likewise. See you soon.”

Told you we all did it.

14)  The prospect of society degenerating and staging real-life Hunger Games.  I’d be dead in two minutes.

13)  The release of a new album by Celine Dion.  She looks and often acts, otherworldly  but not in a good, Star Trek way. She married a man that was not only 25 years her senior, but also, for a time, her legal guardian. Her music has done more harm to the human race than the Black Plague. (I can’t back this up scientifically, but you can trust me, I’m a bellman.) 

12)  Weeping Angels.  Doctor Who For Dummies: Weeping Angels are killer aliens of unknown origin. At first glance they appear to be ugly, pissed off statues, but if you blink, they attack. With a touch, a Weeping Angel can send a person into the past, to before his/her own birth. The Angels feed off the “potential energy” of the years their victims would have lived in the present. They suck. weeping_angel

11)  People who don’t know what Weeping Angels are.

10)  Growing old.  To be clear: death doesn’t scare me, but the many limitations of our fragile, mortal form chills me to the centre of my being. Those of us with vast wealth can afford medical treatments designed to make our golden years more tolerable, but most of the world suffers at the terror known as old age.

9)  My many failures as a writer.  I’ve said enough on this subject to fill a second book. Assuming I could finish it, that is. Time to move on.

8)  The possibility of failing my child.  My crusade appears to have failed. Sarah understands, but that doesn’t lessen my burden. Any father worth his salt lives to see his child smile. Period.

7)  The fact that Chris Brown is walking the streets.  Yes, I know he’s actually too famous to walk – he probably has a driver named Moe – but you get the point, right? The truth is, Brown is an abuser, an arrogant ass, an elitist who fancies himself above the law and he is, in my opinion, a complete waste of space. And I’ll say this: if he beat my daughter and she reconciled with him on multiple occasions, they’d both be leaving this world in a hurry. (Hey, I brought her into this world, and if needs be, I’l take her out.)

6)  Fruitcake.  The food – if you want to call it that – not the term for crazy people or Kardashians.


4)  Fear itself.  Apparently it is all we have to fear. Except I’ve thought of thirty other things to fear, so the claim is a little misleading.

3)  Misleading claims.

2)  Those tense moments right before I knock on someone’s door to deliver their luggage.   I’ve walked in on:

  • Couples making the beast with two backs. (And trust me, most folks look nothing like actual porn stars.)
  • Battered spouses.
  • Rugrats driven into a frenzy by a breakfast of Red Bull and a bag of unrefined sugar.
  • Too many horrors to list here.

Even after 16 years, I know I have yet to scratch the surface of the surprises humanity has in store for me….

1)  Losing my wife.  Every sixth month that passes brings another battery of tests for breast cancer. Another battery of tests brings another wave of fear and anxiety to the woman I love. Watching the woman I love in the grip of the unknown is like having my heart squeezed. By Lou Ferrigno. 

And after 1,632 words, that, my friends, is my list of personal fears. I could say more, but I’m knackered. I hope this exercise is helpful and I can return to my writing of the fictional and non-fictional nature.

Be well, kiddies. Enjoy all that Halloween has to offer.

What can I say about the graphic?

I’m a guy. I spend too much time away from my wife.

You do the math.

About The Hook

Husband. Father. Bellman. Author of The Bellman Chronicles. Reader of comic books and observer and chronicler of the human condition. And to my wife's eternal dismay, a mere mortal and non-vampire. I'm often told I look like your uncle, cousin, etc. If I wore a hat, I'd hang it on a hat rack in my home in Niagara Falls, Canada. You can call me The Hook, everyone else does.
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105 Responses to Scary Stuff, Kids….

  1. MissTiffany says:

    You squeezed my heart in number 24, Hook. The Jonas Brothers are my number one band. I’m officially in mourning this week.
    Numbers 12 and 11 – serious fears. There is an angel statue in the old cemetery on my road – it freaks me out every time I drive by.
    And number one is the worst. I think my greatest fear would be losing one of my family members. I honestly don’t know how I’d go on if something happened to one of my parents or my siblings.
    Here’s to hoping you get past this writing block. Happy Halloween!

    • The Hook says:

      Thank you for weighing in, Miss Tiffany.
      Sorry about the Jonas boys.
      As for the dread “WB”, I’m sure it won’t be the last time it rolls into my path.

      • MissTiffany says:

        You’re welcome.
        Thank you for the consolation. I have faith that they’ll get back together someday. In the meantime, I’m sure they’ll come out with some interesting solo projects.
        Sadly, you’re probably right. It’s the bane of all us creative types.

      • The Hook says:

        Indeed. That, and critics.

  2. Love this post! Every time I see someone watching the Kardashians, I wanna reach into the TV, shake Bruce Jenner, and shout, “hey, don’t you know you used to be somebody”… talk about your fall from grace!

  3. tammyarlidge says:

    Hook! Even on hiatus you bring so much to the table! Love this post! Love Halloween. Thank you as always!

  4. tammyarlidge says:

    I will say 9 and 10 are my fears too. For sure.

  5. jmlindy422 says:

    Hey, if Jack O’Lantern butt does it for you, who am I to judge? Great post.

  6. Lucky Wreck says:

    This is great! I’m right there with you on many of them…Twinkies and Hunger Games for sure! I’ve never seen Pink Floyd’s The Wall…just heard the album. Now, I’m super tempted by curiosity to find it and watch the movie!

  7. Cancer is the worst.. All my family has passed and I am looking after my ex.. Prayers and hugs for all us this hallows eve.

  8. renxkyoko says:

    Uhm, I don’t know who the Weeping Angels are…. 0_0″ And I love Fruitcake… in fact , I’m going to bake soon for Thanksgiving dinner… we have a great recipe, , and I love the taste of rhum in the case….. in the Philippines, it’s traditional to have this on Christmas and new Year. *_*

  9. renxkyoko says:

    ooops… cake, not case

  10. As always, I love to read your posts! Sending well wishes for Mrs. Hook for many healthy years to come!

  11. I had a lot to say until I got to number 1.

    I, too, send the very best of wishes for Mrs. Hook.

    As for the rest of the list, rock on.

  12. Senor Hook… always, an emotional roller coaster of fears…and laughs! Your mind is truly an extraordinary thing and I am so glad you have the diligence to say the things out loud some of us may not be willing to admit! Sorry about #1 fear…..cancer is a very difficult thing to have and endure with those you love. I pray her healing is complete and she is around to grow “old” with you! 🙂

  13. NotAPunkRocker says:

    Guys who spend time away from their wives devolve to using graphics with sparkly fonts? Who knew? 😉

    The issue I have with #18 is the difference between good horror movies and the new wave of “horror porn”, ala “Saw XXV” and “Hostel: The Hook’s Revenge”.

    I admit to liking fruitcake, but I also know I am one of the few who actually like it AND admit it.

    (sending continued good thoughts to you and your family)

  14. Cameron says:

    Davros and the Weeping Angels… you just get more and more interesting, Mr, Not So Terrible.

    All kinds of good energy to you and yours.

  15. Ugh growing old is a scary prospect, by dying young could be equally scary.

  16. denmother says:

    A most excellent list, Hook but you can’t just hit me with “old man ball” out of nowhere. Talk about terrifying. Geez!

  17. This was so scary. Can I tell you that my dad listens to the Wall while he’s working on cars outside. Once our neighbor came out because the music was so scary sounding (the helicopters and yelilng) just to find out what was happening.
    And to me Celine Dion is terrifying!

  18. I love this exercise, Hook. I’m with you on so many of these, particularly your Celine Dion fear. To that, I would add Prince, who I believe to be some kind of Alien Vampire. Excuse me. Former Alien Vampire. Also, has been musicians playing in a nearby venue who send you three pages of instructions, which includes the expectation of a suite upgrade and a 9 am check-in. Oh wait, they belong on a different list. Although their expectations are pretty frightening.

  19. 30 very real and terrifying fears and one you should smile to with faith that it is gone forever…

  20. REDdog says:

    Yep, you definitely don’t want the willies in you, mate, go with your instincts on this one.

  21. List of X says:

    Robert, what also scares me is that you mentioned murdering other people in no less than 3 separate items… 🙂
    Hope you have a fun Halloween, and if you want to make it more fun, you can knock on the room doors and say “Trick or Treat!”, and then explain that you’re just dressed as a bellman.

  22. mabukach says:

    I agree with everything you wrote, Sir.
    Except for the horror movies – I love them all. Even the poorly written campy ones.

    Great list – happy halloween!

  23. Re number 24; people who give out apples and dental floss on October 31 – worse than that, apparently there’s a lady who gives out letters to any kid coming to her door who she considers overweight, addressed to their parents, saying that the kid is overweight and shouldn’t be eating candy!

    Oh, and I like fruitcake (I see I’m not alone in that from a few of the comments!).

  24. 1jaded1 says:

    Happy Hallloween, Hook!

  25. With you on The Wall!

  26. TBM says:

    Great list and the graphic is “cute”

  27. 31,27,25,23,18,13.
    I’ve always been intrigued by Celine Dion’s “love story”, did they wait till she was legal age to pop the cherry? I doubt it, sick, just sick.
    Best wishes for your wife.

    • The Hook says:

      And yes, the world chooses to ignore Celine’s skeletons, but seriously, her husband should have been prosecuted years ago.

  28. There are so many of these that I agree are terrifying…13 & 7 are high on my list. For the record though you got me with #15. Unfortunately I was not drinking coffee but hot lemon water and let me tell you that burns when snorted out your nose.
    I wish I could offer you some solace about your wife. It is something you have to work through yourself on your own terms. I will share this with you, though. I use to hate going for my 6/12 months checkups. After 10 years of them my doctor “released” me from them and told me I didn’t have to come back. I was shocked. I felt abandoned. I realized that every time I went to this man he confirmed that I was going to live. He had become my security blanket.

    • The Hook says:

      I think everyone has felt abandoned or disappointed by their doctor, Michelle. They don’t teach humanity at medical school, unfortunately.
      Be well, my friend.
      And by the way, #15 got me too. Sorry about the internal scorching…

  29. mairedubhtx says:

    31 things! My goodness!

  30. giselzitrone says:

    Happy Halloween lieber Hook lieber Gruß Gislinde

    • The Hook says:

      Nochmals vielen Dank, alter Freund. Haben Sie eine sichere und glückliche Halloween. Genießen Sie das köstliche deutsche Schokolade!

  31. bardictale says:

    You sir, made my day by referencing Bill Cosby. Though I’m not sure if he qualifies for Halloween…
    Enjoy tonight, and may your fears not come to pass (those that have should go sit in the corner as punishment).

  32. jlheuer says:

    That’s a crap load of fear Hook. As to 31, 23 and 7…those are freaks of nature that shouldn’t be allowed to reproduce..oh! too late. But I agree that Bruce Jenner is pretty scary (sold his soul to 23).

  33. Nora L Pratt says:

    Wonderfully written! A smile came across my face that was overdue – thank you! So glad I was able to stop in… thank you!

  34. >The Jonas Brothers just broke up. Haven’t children suffered enough?
    – *stifling a giggle* Aye.

    >But I want to grow old with my wife.
    >I have a daughter that I want to see graduate college, get married, have kids, or whatever she wants to do with what is sure to be an epic life. So I hope the Reaper keeps his distance for a good long while.
    – “I’m soft in the middle” sez the man. Hah. I didn’t buy it anyway.

    >Pink Floyd’s The Wall.
    >I’ve never been able to listen to the full version in decades.
    – Oh no! What great dance number, Hook! And a SOL (Sing Out Loud) one, too!

    >My family just laughs at that fact and on more than one occasion they’ve cranked the radio up
    – I burst out laughing visualising this. I tried not to, Hook, but I couldn’t stop myself. Um, I’m with them on this.

    >Told you we all did it.
    – Sigh. I wish we all would do it. No, no just this:

    >15) Those of us who lament our lot in life.
    – But this:

    >“Thanks, buddy. I needed that!”
    – Evoke such responses.

    >Those of us with vast wealth can afford medical treatments designed to make our golden years more tolerable, but most of the world suffers at the terror known as old age.
    – No, Hook, sadly, that’s not always the case. A lot of times, money ain’t everything during the twilight years.

    I volunteer with the elderly who are family friends. I choose to spend time with them because despite the trappings of physical comfort in their big homes, they are lonely. Their children live away and visit infrequently.

    Not judging the kids. I understand life. I lived that life once.

    >My many failures as a writer.
    – Failure? Well, you’ve got a book out with your name on it, innit? Can I say that? Okay, I don’t actually want to write a book, but, hey, let’s not dwell on the piffling deets, okay?

    >My crusade appears to have failed.
    – Failed? You’ve taught Sarah an important life lesson – put your wish out the world, and if not struck by a rainbow; keep trudging through the drizzle. Because you might come upon a meadow bathed in sunshine. Or you may encounter a double rainbow.

    >6) Fruitcake. The food – if you want to call it that
    – Hook, NO! I LOVE fruitcake. Nope, not having a narcissistic moment.

    >1) Losing my wife.
    – Oh, I know why you saved this one for last. THE MOST important? Hah. You ain’t foolin’ this fool, I’m tellin’ ya. You jus’ sayin’ this so that Wifey don’t make you swap places with Chelsea tonight for gettin’ back to the PC. Psst, Vampire Lover, I’m onto him. 😉

    Joke done, here’s the real deal: Good to have you pop in again, Hook.

    Oh, and I have indeed saved the best for last.

    >11) People who don’t know what Weeping Angels are.
    – Guilty of this blasphemous admission of unforgivable ignorance. Shoot me, Hook.


  35. MissFourEyes says:

    Twinkies ARE terrifying. As is fruitcake. I’m always afraid of running into people who actually like fruitcake. It happens more than it should. *shudder*
    As for #8, you could never fail your child. You just can’t, partner. I know it, she knows it. Don’t you ever worry about that.
    Lots of hugs to you and your family.
    Also, I missed reading your posts! This was great 🙂

    • The Hook says:

      I had fun too!
      Hopefully we can do it again sometime soon.
      For now, though, I’d rather find away to advance my crusade on Sarah;s behalf and my two writing projects.
      Wish me luck, partner!

  36. The Guat says:

    I like your list. It’s really cool and I agree with you on a couple of points. I too wonder at Jimmy Kimmel’s success, but I did enjoy his war with Kanye West. That was extremely amusing. And the horror that is the Kardashians … when will they all just stop reproducing and drive off a cliff and do us a favor?

  37. What can I say about the graphic?
    I’m a guy. I spend too much time away from my wife.
    You do the math.

    All I have to say to that is HMMMMM!!!!

    We have been invited out tomorrow…So you have to be bright eyed and bushy tailed because I want to go…..which means you are going – LOL!!! I will explain details later.

  38. No D and C Lucas want to meet up with us tomorrow if you are not tired after work. Its at my favourite Elvis sighting.

    • The Hook says:

      I’d say you’ve earned a night out… or ten!
      Unfortunately, I’ve earned the square root of nothing so far so I hope Elvis is picking up the tab!

  39. If only!!! It should be only for a few hours but they really want to see us. I didn’t think we were popular with anyone…LOL!!!

  40. GTG pick your daughter up…I put 60 back on the t.v. (hopefully).

  41. Saturn With Earrings says:

    Oh man, that was some list! A lot of it was really touching, like being afraid of fear itself and being afraid of failing as a parent and about your wife… I hope you guys pull through. I know there must be so much support pouring in right now, and I hope you spend as much time with her and your daughter as possible 🙂
    You sound like you have an amazing family!

  42. Pumpkin girl does look like Poison Ivy.
    For some it’s Christmas that brings clarity, for some it’s Halloween. For a few, like you, each and every day does it. May the spirits of all the seasonal holidays grant you and yours years of smiles.
    Well done, bellman, well done.

  43. Author Catherine Townsend-Lyon says:

    OH MY….At the end…Of course there is a little SEXY photo! HEY, didn’t you know…#30…the old guy with the long white socks, shorts, and sandals have been ALL THE RAGE & STYLE since the 70’s in Palm Springs, California??? YES BABY!! We used to go visit my aunt & uncle there all the time when I grew up in SO. CAL….we’d make fun of the old guys wearing that getup, walking along Palm Canyon Drive and we’d whistle and give them Cat calls!! Good Memories! Hope you had a Great TRICK OR TREAT! PS….WE Finally got a NEW APT and will be leaving our DUNGEON on Monday!! FREE AT LAST!….LOL.. xxoo *Catherine* 🙂

  44. Cayman Thorn says:

    Lady Gaga is actually quite tame when she’s not acting bat crap crazy. I ran into her whilst grocery shopping and she’s quite pleasant…surprised the hell out of me since I was kinda hoping she WAS the meat jacket persona, but she’s not. As for Bieber, I’d like to wrap him in a meat jacket and stick him in with the lions at the zoo. Same for Chris Brown. And Twinkies. Only one of those three would survive the ordeal…and it wouldn’t be the first two…..

  45. likeitiz says:

    Enjoyed your list. Can’t relate to the Bruce Jenner comment as I don’t really appreciate what he “used to be.” As for Beiber and The Jonas people? And the Kardasians? I guess you were trying to create a horror-filled post.

  46. Katie says:

    I think this list coupled with the graphic sums you up perfectly, Hook.

  47. Oh I hate the Weeping Angels! They are the scariest Doctor Who aliens ever. I saw an Angel Statue recently and the hairs on the back of my neck stood up in fear. I love your list.

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