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Nina In New York: It’s A Scary World Out There

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Things that terrify me right this moment:

1. Elevators. I’ve been afraid of an elevator accident ever since I saw the 1990 Bill Cosby tragicomedy, Ghost Dad. It’s not ultimately how he dies, but it’s one of a series of near-fatalities he narrowly escapes in the first few minutes of the flick. I don’t think I willingly rode in an elevator until 1993. Now, after reading yesterday’s horrifying news about a fatal elevator malfunction at the Young & Rubicam offices, I’m frightened all over again. There is nothing funny about this. It’s just plain terrifying and relatively unpreventable as a random, elevator-reliant citizen. Unless I want to start climbing up and down 14 flights of stairs every single day, multiple times a day, I’m without recourse. So for now, I simply live in fear. Add it to the list.

2. Getting an iPhone. Actually this isn’t SO scary in a real way because I maintain my desire to stick with BlackBerry despite the fact that it freezes constantly, requires daily rebooting, holds a charge for approximately two hours, and doesn’t do anything even remotely cool. Also the Z/7 key is stuck, so I need to press it really hard and wind up typing things like: “Meet you there at zzzzZZZ7pm. But anyway, all of these iPhone muggers sound like pretty rough customers. They’re sticking people up all over the city with box cutters and handguns and demanding Apple smartphones. Fortunately for me and all the other “luddites” out there, they are brand-loyal. One mugger reportedly scornfully refused a BlackBerry from his victim and preferred to flee the scene empty-handed. Another, upon being told by his victim that there was only a Droid in play, demanded cash and then settled for nothing. On the bright side, it sounds like these guys are only after one thing and know when to cut their losses. On the downside, everyone who has an iPhone typically walks around in a constant, zombie-like state, staring at their phones, so they are probably easy to spot. I know that if I had one, I’d be trying to play continuous games of Angry Birds and Words With Friends while walking on crowded sidewalks and supermarket shopping, so I think I’m better off keeping myself out of danger.

3. Tourists. This is brand new. Normally I just feel rage and hostility and resentment. But a couple of days ago, I was walking up Fifth Avenue to meet a friend and watched not one, not two, but three separate and unrelated incidents in which several tourists slammed into the same poor lady in a walker as they were sprinting to get into the Hollister store. She was just trying to make it to the bus, people! Have you no mercy? I get it, the store has a wave pool or some such nonsense. But this isn’t Main Street in Disney World, it’s a real street, and these aren’t actors, they’re people. And that lady should have bludgeoned one of you with her Zimmer frame after she was done cursing you all under her breath.

4. This sentence, which I recently read on NPR.com: “researchers said bedbugs can survive many generations of inbreeding, allowing one pregnant female to cause a building-wide infestation.” Ah. Okay. There goes my one kernel of solace. Commence indefinite period of plastic bubble dwelling.

5. Hm, there always should be a fifth, but nothing newsworthy is jumping out at me. So I’ll just say toilet rats. It’s an evergreen topic.

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