Atelophobia Anyone? #363 7/18/2017

In the chilly hours and minutes of uncertainty
I want to be in the warm hold of your loving mind. Catch The Wind – Donovan -1965

Welcome to Drivel Over Coffee. A blog that ambles down the gravel road of life, stopping here and there for reflection, enlightenment, story-telling and joke telling. Caffeine induced coma from French Roast coffee and quite possibly a chocolate chip cookie always is with me during my journey. All the while my brain reverberates with the best music in the world – The ‘60’s. My music of the 60’s and early 70’s ranges from rock & roll to folk music to the music of the free spirits. The journey through life has not always been smooth, but with my music always with me I have managed to age 71.

Sad news this week. Daughter, NFD, lost her best friend Maya. Maya was her eleven-year-old Husky. It is devastating to lose your dog that is a family member and best friend. Maya will be greatly missed. She will, I am certain, Barney, Daughter Debby’s black pug, was waiting to greet her in heaven. RIP


It comes from Greek atelès, meaning “imperfect” or incomplete. Atelophobia, an anxiety disorder, is the fear of not being good enough; a disappointment; imperfect where the afflicted person feels like all they do is wrong.

Atelophobia makes a normal life difficult. The person experiences extreme anxiety when they face other people. While competition is natural for people, the atelophobic struggles with it. A person that loses may be disappointed but gets over it and is able to control their feelings. Meanwhile, an atelophobic becomes extremely depressed and starts doubting their own skills. This doubt further masks their abilities. Every disappointment moves them further into depression.

Living with this illness gets worse over time as the person is unable to cope and does not receive professional help. Atelophobia can destroy relationships and makes the person very difficult to communicate with other people. I was advised by a psychiatrist to assert myself to see if this would help. “You don’t have to let your wife henpeck you. Go home and show her you’re the boss.” He said.

I took the doctor’s advice. I rushed home, slammed the door, shook my fist in my current wife’s face, and growls, “From now on, you’re taking orders from me. I want my supper right now, and when you get it on the table, go upstairs, and lay out my best clothes. Tonight, I’m going out with the boys, and you are going to stay at home where you belong. And another thing, guess who’s going to comb my hair, give me a shave, and tie my necktie?” Sue says calmly, “The undertaker.”

Hey doc, got any other ideas?


I was stopped by the police around 1 a.m. and asked where I was going at that time of night. I replied, “I’m on my way to a lecture about alcohol abuse and the effects it has on the human body, as well as smoking and staying out late.” The officer then asked, “Really? Who’s giving that lecture at this time of night?” I replied, “That would be my wife.”

I happened to be in a coffee shop a couple of days later where I overheard three very hefty women talking. Their accent appeared to be Scottish, being curious I approached and asked, “Hello, ladies are you three lassies from Scotland?” One of them angrily screeched, “It’s Wales, you bloody idiot, Wales!” I took a couple of steps back, apologized, and replied, “I am so sorry. Are you three whales from Scotland?” And that’s the last thing I remember.

I belong to a Phan Rang Vietnam group Facebook. That was the air base that I was stationed at during the Vietnam War. I was scanning the posts the other day when I saw a post submitted by Herman James. Fifty-one years ago, Herman James, a North Carolina mountain man, enlisted in the Air Force. He was in my unit in basic training. On his first day of basic at Lackland AFB, the Air Force issued each of us a comb. That very afternoon the Air Force barber sheared off all our hair.

On Herman’s second day, the Air Force issued Herman a toothbrush. That afternoon the Air Force dentist yanked seven of his teeth. Now on the third day, the Air Force issued him an athletic supporter. The Air Force has been looking for Herman for 51 years!….. Herman may have some explaining to do I’m thinking.

New Lawyer Please

Some of these were hilarious. These are from a book called “Disorder in the Court” and are things people actually said in court, word for word, taken down and published by court reporters that had the torment of staying calm while the exchanges were taking place.

• ATTORNEY: Are you sexually active?
WITNESS: No, I just lie there.

• ATTORNEY: What is your date of birth?
WITNESS: July 18th.
ATTORNEY: What year?
WITNESS: Every year.

• ATTORNEY: How old is your son, the one living with you?
WITNESS: Thirty-eight or thirty-five, I can’t remember which.
ATTORNEY: How long has he lived with you?
WITNESS: Forty-five years.

• ATTORNEY: Now doctor, isn’t it true that when a person dies in his sleep, he doesn’t know about it until the next morning?
WITNESS: Did you actually pass the bar exam?

• ATTORNEY: The youngest son, the 20-year-old, how old is he?
WITNESS: He’s 20, very close to your IQ.

• ATTORNEY: Were you present when your picture was taken?
WITNESS: Are you shitting me?

• ATTORNEY: She had three children, right?
ATTORNEY: How many were boys?
ATTORNEY: Were there any girls?
WITNESS: Your Honor, I need a different attorney. Can I get a new attorney?

• ATTORNEY: Doctor, how many of your autopsies have you
performed on dead people?
WITNESS: All of them. The live ones put up too much of a fight.
ATTORNEY: Do you recall the time that you examined the body?
WITNESS: The autopsy started around 8:30 PM.
ATTORNEY: And Mr. Denton was dead at the time?
WITNESS: If not, he was by the time I finished.
ATTORNEY: Doctor, before you performed the autopsy, did you check for a pulse?
ATTORNEY: Did you check for blood pressure?
ATTORNEY: Did you check for breathing?
ATTORNEY: So, then it is possible that the patient was alive when you began the autopsy?
ATTORNEY: How can you be so sure, Doctor?
WITNESS: Because his brain was sitting on my desk in a jar.
ATTORNEY: I see, but could the patient have still been alive, nevertheless?
WITNESS: Yes, it is possible that he could have been alive and practicing law.

I was so much younger then.

In an earlier life form, I was a bricklayer for a while. Not a very good one I might add. I gave it up when I got hurt on the job. I was reminded of that day when I ran across the paperwork in my office. Here is the additional report I submitted that explains the incident.

I am writing in response to your request for additional information. In block number three of the accident reporting form, I put “poor planning” as the cause of my accident. You said in your letter that I should explain more and I trust that the following details are sufficient:

I am a bricklayer by trade. On the day of the accident, I was working alone on the roof of a new six-story building. When I completed my work, I discovered that I had about 500 pounds of bricks left over. Rather than carry the bricks down by hand I decided to lower them in a barrel by using a pulley, which fortunately was attached to the side of the building at the sixth floor.

Securing the rope at the ground level, I went up to the roof, swung the barrel out and loaded the bricks into it. Then I went back to the ground and untied the rope, holding it tightly to insure a slow descent of the 500 pounds of bricks. You will note in block number 11 of the accident reporting form that I weigh 135 pounds. Due to my surprise at being jerked off the ground so suddenly, I lost my presence of mind and forgot to let go of the rope. Needless to say, I proceeded at a rather rapid rate up the side of the building.
In the vicinity of the third floor, I met the barrel coming down. This explains the fractured skull and broken collarbone. Slowed only slightly, I continued my rapid ascent, not stopping until the fingers of my right hand were two knuckles deep into the pulley.

Fortunately, by this time I had regained my presence of mind and was able to hold tightly to the rope in spite of my pain.

At approximately the same time, however, the barrel of bricks hit the ground – and the bottom fell out of the barrel. Devoid of the weight of the bricks, the barrel now weighed approximately 50 pounds. I refer you again to my weight in block number 11. As you might imagine, I began a rapid descent down the side of the building.

Once again in the vicinity of the third floor, I met the barrel coming up. This accounts for the two fractured ankles and lacerations of my legs and lower body. The encounter with the barrel, slowed me enough to lessen my injuries when I fell onto the pile of bricks and fortunately, only three vertebrae were cracked. I am sorry to report, however, that as I lay there on the bricks in pain, unable to move, and watching the barrel six stories above – once again I lost my presence of mind.

I let go of the rope!

Ponder These

As you go out into the world this week, chew on these questions.
• How do you write zero in Roman numerals?
• Do Roman paramedics refer to IV’s as “4’s”?
• Those little diagrams in the mall with the “X” which say “You are here” — how do they know?
• Does killing time damage eternity?
• Why doesn’t Tarzan have a beard?
• Why is lemon juice made with artificial flavor, and dish washing liquid made with real lemons?
• How many weeks are there in a light year?

…. Well my friends, it has been my honor to have the opportunity to bring a chuckle or two into your day. If I can make at least one-person smile, laugh till they leak, or maybe spit out a drink, then my day was not wasted. Until we meet again -TA!”

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