Tuesday, May 2, 2017

Brian the Snake

Once upon a time there was a snake named Brian. Brian was a very happy snake except for one thing. Brian was afraid that if he cut his nails he might accidentally chop a finger off. Brian thought that maybe, while he was cutting his nails, he might slip and the nail clippers would slide up his cuticle and he would accidentally clamp down and the pressure would slice through the bone and separate a segment of the digit.

The fear so consumed Brian that he never cut his nails. He looked like a disgusting, wild creature that lived in a swamp. His lips were also very chapped because the smell and texture of lip balm made him afraid of being embalmed and then mummified like the Egyptians. Brian wondered how he would ever get over these fears so he turned to the Internet for help. He did Google searches for, "fear of getting fingers cut off accidentally," "fear of fingers cut off," "fear of losing fingers," and "worried my fingers will get cut off," but to no avail.

There is a long list of phobias compiled by the American Journal of Psychology but Brian's wasn't one of them. When Brian realized this for the first time in his life he felt truly alone. There's "apotemnophobia," which is a fear of amputations, a fear of having an appendage amputated, or a fear of amputees, but Brian felt that this was too broad of a definition to include himself in.

Brian's parents tried very hard to accommodate Brian's irrational fears. Late at night after Brian fell asleep they snuck into his bedroom and cut his fingernails and smeared Carmex all over his lips but the smell woke Brian up and he screamed at the top of his lungs until his parents retreated back to their bedroom, only to try again the next night.

Brian decided the only way he would ever be able to become a functioning member of society would be if he was somehow able to procure a device that would cut his fingernails and protect his lips from the elements in a way that did not trigger his obsessive-compulsive disorder.

Brian found an advertisement on Craigslist for a handyman called Mandy who said that he specialized in constructing "odd or unusual contraptions and devices for your home or business." He spoke with Mandy on the phone and explained his situation. Mandy said that it would be no problem.

Mandy worked day and night and night and day and day and night and night and day until finally Mandy came up with a solution to all of Brian's problems. Brian was so overjoyed when he heard the news that he jumped up out of his chair and danced a little jig.

Mandy realized that the best way to help Brian wouldn't be to invent something to assist Brian in living his life at the whim of his obsessions but to help Brian get over his fears by eliminating anything that Brian worried about.

When Mandy arrived at Brian's house to show him the final product, Mandy knocked Brian unconscious with an aluminum bat and cut off his hands and lips. From that day on, Brian never had to worry about his long fingernails or chapped lips again.

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