Look, I know you people ain't a bunch of readers, but read this: I never made me no practice of talking neither politics nor religion, I lack certain qualifications. But years ago, when Franklin D. Roosevelt told all them citizens the only thing to fear is fear itself, it might be the only time in history a president wasn't giving people a soft con. Fear is a hideous thing. It's a malignancy of the mind and soul and if it really gets to you, it can turn your life into a deadly horror. Fear can make a sucker do the most drastic things you ever imagined.
I never knew fear from the beginning, not even when I was a baby, because I was never coddled or sheltered from the stark realities of life.
I remember when I was two years old my two older brothers got those real sweet polaroid SX-70 instant cameras for Christmas. And being real careful about making everybody happy, my old man gave me this tremendous carpenter set. It had a hammer and a saw and a pair of pliers and a screwdriver and one of those miter boxes and zillion different nails. So one day I'm sitting on the floor in the living room whacking the nails in the miter box. Now, one of my brothers decides he's going to have a little fun with baby-face and what he does is putting a sheet over his head and his camera ready and says, "I'm the Bogeyman and I've come to get Baby-Face because he's been a bad boy." I reckon he had hopes of giving me the ultimate scare and nailing that mayhem on film in the process. Now, even though I'm only two years old at the time, already I was the most fearless son-of-a-bitch on the entire earth. I had no idea who might be under the sheets when this Bogeyman comes over and bends down to snatch me. I took the hammer and whacked him right on the head real good. And as the Bogeyman tippled over and fell smack on the floor, so did his camera.
I jerked off the sheet and saw it was my brother. He was out cold. Look, I put a knot on his head the size of a walnut. I jumped up and ran over to my old man yelling, "big brother's dead, big brother's dead." The old man came out and re-jived my brother and when every side of the drama had been told, and every piece of that busted camera had been collected the old man said to him: "It serves you right, you must not be going around and scaring others".
That Bogeyman con is one of the most vicious and grotesque propositions of all time. It's no wonder half the kids grow up afraid of everything from butterflies to the dentist's drill. My old man set me straight on all those scare propositions when I was still learning to walk. I never heard any of that Wicked Witch or Black Santa Claus or the Goblins will get you if you don't watch out propaganda. And that's the reason I can maneuver fearlessly around town even to this day.