Which means, naturally, that I am quite likely to be wrong.

 

It’s not about fear.  It’s not about fear at all – fear is just the elephant’s tail that feels like a snake.

 

It’s about trucks.  It’s about everything sudden, significant, and unexpected being a bit like being hit by a truck.

If you’re not used to it, you don’t expect it, it means something, and you don’t have time to brace for it, you’re going to react a bit like you’ve been hit by a truck.  And by you I mean we, of course.  Jumped-up monkeys of so many flavors you can never possibly taste them all.  And we’re all bad at sudden, significant, unexpected things.

 

We gape, and stammer, and it takes a tick or two for us to gather ourselves together and respond in anything like a way that makes any damn sense.  Ticks can be shorter or longer – the more often you’ve been hit by a truck, the better you’ll be at dealing with the fallout.  Some people even practice at being hit by trucks so they’ll always have the effective equivalent of expecting a truck.

But that requires being hit by a lot of trucks, on purpose.  Opportunity cost.  Some people get hit by a lot of trucks just because, which probably is quite an irritating thing.  They’re probably better at trucks than most, too.

 

The thing is, though, it’s still a truck.  And the truck makes all the smart bits up in the front run around in a panic, throw their hands up, run into each other, and squeal like five year old girls.  Oh, certainly, the lizards in the basement may well give them A Significant Look and get on with things.  But those smart bits, it will take them just a moment before they’re back at post and back on form, running along like they’d never screamed in their lives, coughing significantly and avoiding eye contact with one another.

 

So now the question is, why do they have to scream and run?  Or scream and freeze?  Or freeze and run, which is quite hard to do?  Why do we have to be trained to be good at being hit by trucks?  We can manage having sex pretty well on the first try (nobody said competently, but there’s usually comparatively little screaming and running around (for most people)), and that’s orders of magnitude more complicated!  Why are we so damn bad at it?  We see trucks every day.  Some of us drive or ride in trucks quite frequently.  So – why are we so very bad at trucks?

 

I’ll get back with you on that one when my metaphor machine isn’t quite so focused on trucks, thanks.  Because right now I’ve run into a double roundabout that seems to end up in Italy, and I don’t know how to get off.

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