It’s November, a time for giving tha… HOLY SHIT! THEORETICAL REFUGEES!!!
Sorry. I had a moment.
Despite overwhelming evidence to the contrary and assurance from every facet of people who actually know what they’re talking about in multiple areas of the political and theological worlds, there are still people freaking out about terrorists coming over with the refugees and killing us all. All of us. All 321 million of us.
I suppose the terrorists feel we’re doing it fast enough ourselves.
But I understand. I have an uncle who swears Barack Obama was raised as a Muslim goat herder in Kenya despite the pictures I’ve shown him of a young Barack smoking weed in high school in Hawaii.
The fear of death-dealing widows and orphans is one that can be easily eclipsed in the minds of the paranoid by something far more concretely terrifying.
If you’re willing to believe something absurd and fear-based, then there is little the world can do to change your opinion.
However, the fear of death-dealing widows and orphans is one that can be easily eclipsed in the minds of the paranoid by something far more concretely terrifying. So this year, when your relatives start rolling into their prepared speech about how they aren’t racist but need to tell you something about those filthy whoevers, fear not. The Red Shtick has a far more terrifying scenario for you to distract them with, much like one does with a puppy and a set of keys.
SCORPIO (Oct. 24-Nov. 22): Supervolcano — The Yellowstone caldera last erupted 640,000 years ago. If it happened again today, some estimates put the immediate death toll at 90,000 followed by untold deaths as clouds of ash block out the sun and lead to years of winter. The ground there has been rising at almost 6 inches a year as of late due to increased underground activity.
SAGITTARIUS (Nov. 23-Dec. 22): Solar storms — In 1859, a coronal mass ejection hit the Earth’s magnetosphere and knocked out huge swaths of telegraph communications. The aurorae it caused were seen in the Caribbean. Were it to happen today, our entire infrastructure would collapse, leading to millions of deaths in the first month. A mass ejection of that size just missed us in 2012.
CAPRICORN (Dec. 23-Jan. 20): You’re praying to the wrong god — I’m not saying there is no god, just that the particulars of the time and place your parents screwed and your mother ejected you face-first from her vagina may not have led you to be raised and hold dear a dogma that is the true word of god. Given that there are an estimated 4,200 religions known on Earth, the chance of you being correct are pretty slim. In fact, every time you pray, worship, or thank your god, you may be pissing off the true almighty deity that does exist to punish you for all eternity.
AQUARIUS (Jan. 21-Feb. 19): Superbugs — Do you have any idea how resistant to existing antibiotics current bacteria are becoming? The overprescription of antibiotics has led to “superbugs” that modern medicine is increasingly forced to fight a losing war with using pharmaceutical weapons of last resort. It won’t be long before a splinter could seriously kill you in a very painful way.
Every time you pray, worship, or thank your god, you may be pissing off the true almighty deity that does exist to punish you for all eternity.
PISCES (Feb. 20-Mar. 20): Honeybee colony collapse — Entomologists still haven’t figured out exactly why honeybees are abandoning their hives by the swarm and dying out in the wilderness. Without bees to do all the pollinating, we don’t get fruits and vegetables; livestock don’t get enough to eat, so we lose meat and dairy; and Big Macs suddenly cost $20 a pop.
ARIES (Mar. 21-Apr. 20): Nuclear annihilation — Do you have any idea how much we’re pissing off the Russians, Chinese, and North Koreans? And they all have nukes. (Arguably, North Korea is more likely to blow themselves up in a Wile E. Coyote scenario.) If President Donald Trump becomes a thing, he’s been simmering in his own delusions for so long that he’s likely to tell an actual world leader like Vladimir Putin to put up or shut up. Which Putin will happily do, since he’s ordered an increase in nuke production for the first time since the end of the Cold War.
TAURUS (Apr. 21-May 21): Death itself — It’s inevitable and could happen at any time. Tomorrow isn’t guaranteed. Hell, dinner tonight isn’t guaranteed. That little twinge in your stomach could be a hemorrhage slowly filling with blood, remaining unnoticed until you sneeze a little too hard and then barf up a little blood. Then a little more, and then fountains of blood pouring out of your insides until you die terrified and confused mere moments after the initial shock. Or maybe you’ll die of old age. Alone.
GEMINI (May 22-June 21): Asteroids — An asteroid hitting us might be big enough to knock out all life outright, but more likely, it would lead to nuclear winter and a drawn-out horror of starvation and survivalism. One that could have taken us out passed by on Halloween just outside of the moon’s orbit. It was discovered just three weeks earlier.
CANCER (June 22-July 22): Artificial intelligence — There’s a wonderful video on YouTube of an automated sheep processing plant. A whole sheep goes in and is methodically and efficiently butchered by soulless machines. That’s how they’d do it: not with endoskeletons and giant mechs, but coldly using our own fears to route us into poison gas or blades or just swarms of Google cars.
LEO (July 23-Aug. 21): Your home — Every year, more than 18,000 people die accidentally in the comfort of their own homes. Why wouldn’t you? You’re in your own private space where it’s nice and safe, and you don’t have to be cautious. Not a fire or poisoning, either. Just a slip on your wet kitchen tile could lead you headfirst into your counter. That’d do it.
Do you know your great-great-grandmother’s name? Do you care? That’s your own family. There are 7 billion people alive right now; 107 billion have died. You. Just. Don’t. Matter.
VIRGO (Aug. 22-Sept. 23): Your life is ultimately meaningless — As you walk through the supermarket or mall or swingers party, realize that every person you meet has an entire narrative that you’ll never know. Those people have people they love and who love them. Lives they’ve impacted. Dreams they cling to. You’ll never know any of it. An insignificant handful of barely sentient mammals in the pure infinity that is time and space will know yours. An even smaller portion will care. Do you know your great-great-grandmother’s name? Do you care? That’s your own family. There are 7 billion people alive right now; 107 billion have died. You. Just. Don’t. Matter.
LIBRA (Sept. 24-Oct. 23): Automotive accident — You’re driving home from Thanksgiving dinner, all full and happy, maybe a little drowsy. BAM! You’d barely have time to crap your pants before the cement truck that turned too sharply tipped onto your car, crushing you instantly and letting your side impact airbags spray the mush of your brain into the crushed remains of your hand-stitched leather seats.