~Recently NPR’s Radiolab highlighted the havoc caused by Orson Welles’s 1938 radio production of War of the Worlds. Surveys showed that one in twelve listeners believed the story was real and that Martians were invading New Jersey.
Actually, some thought it was Germans invading New Jersey, because this broadcast occurred against a backdrop of Hitler and fear, a time when kids in England were told to take gas masks to school.
Radiolab quoted transcriptions of people’s reactions; here are a couple:
- I called in to my husband, “Dan, why don’t you get dressed? You don’t want to die in your working clothes.”
- I looked in the icebox and saw some chicken left from Sunday dinner that I was saving for Monday night dinner. I said to my nephew, “We may as well eat this chicken. We won’t be here in the morning.”
How would you have reacted? I doubt I’d have had the presence of mind to eat leftover chicken.
~Under the category of things I worry about less than other things: Whenever someone high-fives me, my heart quickens with anxiety that my palm will miss the other person’s altogether and end up batting the air instead. But other than at that moment, I don’t worry about high-fiving.
Do you ever get high-five anxiety?
~Antidote to worry: Beijing.
PS Happy Halloween
What have you been worrying about lately?
The perfect gift for worrywarts or anyone who enjoys a “neurotic, hilarious, poignant,” deeply personal story . . .
MARRIAGE, RELATIONSHIPS, PSYCHOTHERAPY AND MORE IN MY NEW MEMOIR,
“A first-rate personal essayist, Susan Orlins delivers the goods time and again. Underneath her self-mocking voice, her abundant humor, her brio, there is the serious candor of a moralist who worries the problems that won’t go away.”
–PHILLIP LOPATE, best-selling author and editor of The Art of the Personal Essay