Saturday, September 20, 2008

Attack of the Death Worms!

I’ve got plenty of reasons to be grateful I'm an American…pro football, democracy, Yahtzee…but this week, the number one reason I’m happy to live in the USA is that I don’t have to worry about the Mongolian Death Worm.

Now, no one has been able to prove that the Mongolian Death Worm exists, but I've been reading about it on the Internet, so I’m pretty sure it’s real. This thing is one bad mama-jama. It's like five feet long, blood red, and has fangs at the mouth end. That’s pretty bad by itself, but what’s worse is that the Mongolian Death Worm spits yellow poison at you, and the poison gives you electric shocks.

Let me repeat that for emphasis: the five-foot worm spits lightning. If we can prove that it poops thunder, Don King and Sylvester Stallone might be able to get it a heavyweight title shot.

On the evil worm scale, I’d rank the Death Worm somewhere between the sandworms in "Dune" and Dennis Rodman. And I’m super glad that I don’t have to deal with any of them, cause the last thing I need is to wake up in the middle of the night and face down some five-foot earth worm with fangs that wants to electrocute my behind.

Even if the Death Worm isn’t real, there are plenty of other nasty things around the world that are, and I’m amazed that we don’t get many of them in the States. Rattlesnakes and cockroaches are bad, but they don't compare to King Cobras and the Japanese Giant Hornet. And as horrible as our hurricanes are, our natural disasters haven’t caused near as much damage as they have in other places in the world.

So what I’m thinking about now is how we handle all the good cards we’ve been dealt. I don't know that it's enough to just say I'm grateful and then keep to myself. I’ve only been out of the country once so far, and that was to eat at the Hard Rock Café on the Canadian side of Niagra Falls. I had a nasty time dealing with Canadian currency, so I don’t think I’ll go back.

But does that mean that I should turn my back on my Canadian brothers? Should I just leave them to their hockey and their decaffinated Mountain Dew? That can’t be cool. No, I think that when you’re blessed with something you’re obligated to use it to help out the people around you. It doesn't always mean joining the Peace Corps; sometimes it’s just supporting the Jamaican Bobsled Team. It might mean sending the CIA to assasinate some South American dictator. I think the point is that we should be looking for ways to help each other out, wherever they live. At the same time, we have to do it with tact. Just because my neighbor has lawn problems doesn't always mean he wants me cutting his grass. Luckily, when it comes to big world issues, I don't have to make the decision to fire up the mower. But I think we should respect whoever does.

As long as there are people out there getting shocked by Mongolian Death Worms, we should be ready to provide a little insulation.