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The Worst Ways to Deal with Stress

by Terrye

I’m gonna rock yer world!

The bills are stacking up, creditors are calling and leaving rather rude messages, that paycheck that used to cover all the expenses and more, now looks like an insult to a starving organ grinder monkey.  Even worse, the economy looks like it’s headed for what seems like another big flushing in the toilet bowl of life. So, how do you handle the stress without possibly landing in jail, divorce court or on the evening news? I have no idea; I’m struggling with stress every day just like everyone else. But I do know what methods I won’t be using any more. Here are my 5 worst ways to conquer stress: Prostitution, Junk Food, TV, Party, and Self-medicating.

1. Prostitution: The wife has been hounding you about the insistent calls from the bill collectors, the boss wants you to work more hours and laughs at you when you ask about over time, and that dang dog continuously demands to be taken for a walk. You just want to get away from life for a little while. Your best friend calls and asks you to meet him down at the local hick bar because he’s got a little surprise for you that just might take your mind off of things. Billybob has never steered you wrong before, and he only has your best interest at heart, so you agree to a couple of beers and before you know it, you find yourself in the arms of the lovely Lulubelle, dancing the night away. Several hours later, you realize what you’ve done and hurriedly grab your clothes and head for the nearest door or window.

If you’re really lucky, the local paparazzi won’t photograph you when you’re sneaking out of the Mayor’s house at 3am, and splash your face on the front page of the local paper. Seems someone by the name of Billybob tipped off the resident newshound that the Mayor’s wife likes to run a brothel out of their house while the Mayor is at the Corn Grower’s Convention and Swap Meet in Kansas. Don’t worry, it’s only a weekly, so you have time to skip town before EVERYONE is talking about it. When interviewed, your wife will claim that you just haven’t been the same since the cow ran away with the spoon last month and the chickens started laying parboiled eggs.

2. Junk Food: Now that the hubbub surrounding that little incident with the Mayor’s wife is starting to die down, you can go to the grocery store without the finger pointing and snickering. Hold your head high and fill up that shopping cart with all your favorite comfort foods that will now be your steady diet since your wife packed up and moved back to her mother’s house in Hoboken. No matter how stressful life is, those cheesy poofs and Choco-logs will still love you. And if you slide a banana flavored moon pie to the dog, he’ll love you, too.

3. TV: After the news broke about the prostitution ring, your boss decided that you were no longer a desirable employee at the Farmer’s Grain and Chicken Breeder’s Co-op.  It also didn’t help that his sister is married to the Mayor. Being unemployed and shunned by your fellow chicken breeders just means that you can now catch up on all the soaps and talk shows. When the heck did Oprah start her own network?

4. Party: Out of the blue, good ole Billybob calls to apologize and wants to know if he can make it up to you by throwing a party in your honor. Since you were taught to turn the other cheek at Sacred Heart Academy, and your social calendar is fairly clear, you agree to head over to his place with a gallon of store bought potato salad Saturday night. With much trepidation, you pull into his drive and eyeball all the other beat up Fords and John Deere tractors. Billybob steps off of the slanted front porch with a big ole shit eatin’ grin and slaps a Coors Light into your hand. Suddenly, all is right in the world again.

5. Self-medicate:  With your wife, Bettylou, back home with her dear old mom, and all the re-runs watched, you are now free to spend all available time hanging out with Billybob. Your days are filled with watching his front porch slowly work its way off of the house and up against the ancient oak tree several feet away. The ever present cold beer is providing much needed pain relief from all that troubles you. In a moment of clarity, you wonder if things might have turned out different if you had just taken the dog out for a walk instead of opening the door and kicking him in the butt. Another swig of beer and you glance over at your best friend. No matter how bad things get, you will always have Billybob by your side.

In the end, we all have our individual ways of dealing with stress. Some are constructive and add value to our lives; like a hobby shared with loved ones or writing online content that might provide a little extra cash at the end of the month. Others aren’t quite as valuable and have the opposite effect, like prostitution, alcoholism, and other self-destructive bad habits. Regardless of how we deal with stress, one lesson is clear; never agree to meet Billybob at the local watering hole for a couple of beers. Especially when the Mayor is out of town and the bar is holding a wet bib-overalls contest.

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