Scary elves and big gulps


I don’t remember being afraid of too many things as a child. Heck, I don’t recall many of details from my youth. Maybe I suppressed a lot. I was the youngest. The seventh child. But as such, seven is my favorite number. I think it has a lot to do with me being the seventh born child in our family.

Hindsight, I should have gotten a “Number 7” tattoo. Now it would be pointless. With the way my skin is going, in a couple of years, it could look like some crooked stick with a drooping smile on top.

But I do like the number. I know I’ve written about it before, and I really didn’t intend to write about it today. But I just re-learned that the opposite sides of a dice cube, always add up to seven. So, if you are holding the “five” side to your nose, on the underside will be the “two,” and on. The one and the six. The three and the four.

Another win for the number seven.

We used to have a 7-Eleven Store not far from our home when I was a little kid. We never really went down that way on Main Street. A United Dairy Farmer was almost right at the top of our block. So that was our go-to, if we every were allowed to go buy candy. But I liked the 7-Eleven way more. Just for the name. I was never too big on their “Big Gulp” deal though. These days, the 7-Eleven Extreme Gulp is 50% bigger than the volume of the human stomach. That seems like over-kill to me. Or, again, at this age, an awful lot of peeing.

But the sign for that store is always a bit of a mystery to me. I wonder why they used the number 7, but they spelled out 11. And the other thing. When they write out the 11, they do it in all caps, except for the n. ELEVEn

Which, when I typed it like that, tricked my brain into reading Elven. And heaven knows, I love a good Elf. I haven’t run into one, in quite some time. But with Christmas looming, I am sure there will be quite a few imposters around. Like that very weird tradition of Elf on the Shelf. I am positive this will cause neurosis in children all over the world, by the time they are 12. But yes, Elves are good. They wear green. Like the “ELEVEn” word on the store sign.

But the ones on the shelves are kind of creepy. Like certain clowns. Scaring kids. Along with monsters under the bed or ghosts in the attic. Or thunder, and lightning.

These days, I am still afraid of some things. I wonder, as time has progressed since childhood, if I’ve lost more fears, or gained more fears. As things have gone.

I know the types of things I fear has certainly changed.

Like world rulers, enemies of equal rights, our earth’s poor condition, frequent mass shootings. And such.

They say that the best way conquer your fears is to face them. Unfortunately, these days, those fears seem to be right in my face.

Seven days a week. On the seven continents of the world. Over to the Seven Seas. Even the Seven Dwarfs are worried. And those seven swans a swimming.

That Lucky Number Seven tattoo might be just the thing I need after all.


“Fears are educated into us, and can, if we wish, be educated out.”
— Karl Augustus Menninger


“Fear is pain arising from the anticipation of evil.”
— Aristotle


“You gain strength, courage, and confidence by every experience in which you really stop to look fear in the face. You must do the thing which you think you cannot do.”
— Eleanor Roosevelt