Fear me. I want everyone to tremble in my presence. Or even just at the idea of my presence, of being in my presence. And my presents, I want the very mention of my presents to instill a type of almost primeval terror in the souls of those unfortunate enough to receive a package in the mail with my address on the return label. “A present? For me?”
Fear me! Because just because my presents are wrapped up all shiny with a red bow, it makes them no less horrifying. They’re actually even more horrifying. Because there is no return address. That was all a lie, I want you to think there’s a return address. And the wrapping, you’ll get excited, “Oh, how nice!” and when you open it up, well, I shudder for anybody unlucky enough to be standing in the same room as you while you unwrap the box, your facial expression alone, the very embodiment of panic, it’ll be like second-hand fear, you, stone-cold scared, everyone looking at you, just slightly less scared, but still that’s really, really scared, much more afraid than they’ve ever been before.
Seriously, be scared of me. Like, you see me coming down the street, sure, I’m waving at you, maybe I’m smiling, maybe not, it doesn’t matter. Be alarmed. Don’t say I never warned you. “Oh, but Rob looks so nice, very friendly. What’s that, he’s extending his hand to me to say hello? Well I don’t see what could be so scary about …” BZZT! Trick handshake. It’s from one of those prank stores, the kind that give you a very mild shock when you touch the metal sensor. And sure, once in a while you’ll shake a little too hard, and I’ll get a little bit of that residual shock energy, but I can take it.
Don’t even think about high-fives. Don’t even think about going to the bathroom. One time when I was in college, my roommate Ben pulled a prank on me when I was taking a shower, the old filling-up-a-pitcher-full-of-ice-cold-water-and-dumping-it-on-your-roommate-when-he’s-taking-a-hot-shower trick.
Classic abrupt temperature change. Shocking? Yes. Infuriating? Oh my God, I’m seriously still pretty pissed off about it. But scary? Not very scary at all. Fear me. That’s all I could think about as I stood there in the stall simultaneously shivering and scalding myself with water that took about a minute and a half to change temperatures after I turned the shower knob.
Fear me. That’s all I could think about as I got up at four in the morning, not really certain when Ben had to get up for swimming practice. All I knew is that it was early, much earlier than I ever woke up. I’d always get out of bed in the morning and there he’d be, already like three quarters of the way done with his day, so much free time to sit around, planning his next prank, what would it be this time, almost-boiling water? Or water even colder than before? Like ice, like an unflavored Slurpee?
It was the most boring hour and a half of my life, me crouched in the shower, the bathroom door closed, the lights off. “Fear me,” I had to repeat to myself, over and over again, because I was actually getting a little spooked myself, sitting there in the damp, dark, I thought I heard something. I did hear something. It was Ben’s alarm clock.
The bedroom door opened. Ben walked into the bathroom and I waited just a heartbeat to make sure he didn’t see me right away, and then I pounced, “Fear me!” I screamed as I exploded out of the shower, “Ahhh!” Ben stumbled backward out of the bathroom and tripped on his computer desk.
If we’re at work, and you look over at me from way across the other side of the room, and you’re thinking to yourself, “Is Rob staring at me? That’s weird, I can’t tell if he’s staring at me or not.” I am staring at you. And it’s not weird. It’s frightening. Tell everyone how scared you were. Nobody’s going to want to get locked in my impenetrable gaze. That’s how it starts, with a simple look, and then your stuck, everything’s set in motion. You won’t know when, but …
Boo! Fear me!