Wednesday, October 12, 2016

You Never Know What You'll Find

I was searching for my 1961 phone book, which led me to search Robert Benchley for a quote I apparently can't remember about something coming to hand (after a two-hour search). I found the phone book, and also this from Robert Benchley. Even though this was written about 80 years ago, it's still surprisingly timely.
"When we worry," says the doc, "every gland in the body pours energizing juices into the brain. It is the body's way of preparing the mind to meet an emergency. The biological purpose of worry is to enable you to get up steam."

* * * * *
Following are a set of worrying exercises for sluggish natures. Get those energizing juices to flowing!
Position No. 1.—On arising stand facing an open window. (Not too wide open, as, if you get to worrying too well, you may fly out.) Place the hands lightly on the hips and think: "On the fifteenth that big insurance premium comes due. On the fifteenth the income tax is due. On the fifteenth I shall be just eight hundred dollars short of meeting them." Repeat this ten times and then exhale.
Position No. 2.—Lie flat on your back, with your legs in the air, and run over in your mind the age at which you find yourself, the amount of money you have saved, the probable number of years left, and what chances you will have of getting a ten-year guest-card at the Home for Aged Men. As soon as the energizing juices have reached your feet lower them and adopt a sitting posture on the floor. Sit that way all day, with your chin in your hand.
Position No. 3.—Stand in front of a mirror and look at your stomach.
Position No. 4.—Wake yourself up in the middle of the night, lie flat on your back in bed and look at the ceiling. Then figure out just how you would get out of the house in case of fire, what you would do first if that pain in your side should turn out to be acute appendicitis, or how you would face an actual werewolf.
Position No. 5.—Just stop to think about anything.

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