The Perfect Life #44 by Dr. Perfect
Dear Dr. Perfect,
Every time I turn out the lights, I have a deep fear of decapitation. I always cover my neck with my hands just in case.
Lately, my wife is angry because I make her and the children do it as well. It is just a safety precaution, but she says if I don’t cut it out, she will divorce me. How can I show her that this is for their safety?
Scared of the Dark
Your concerns aren’t unwarranted, Scared of the Dark. There’s a reason I avoid rollercoasters, axe-throwing bars, and guillotine conventions.
I heard in the news recently about this poor woman who was decapitated by her psychotic ex-boyfriend. Really sick stuff. You’d think we were in the middle of the French Revolution. As we arguably became a more humane society, beheadings, as a form of capital punishment went the way of platform shoes. But leave it to degenerate murderers, drug cartels, and some countries to keep the gruesome practice alive.
Noted Renaissance author/philosopher Sir Thomas More said it best before he was executed for treason under Henry VIII’s rule: “I only regret that I have but one head to lose for my country.” I believe that was the quote.
After doing some research, I discovered a condition commonly referred to as Decap-a-phobia, the irrational fear of losing one’s head. In your case, such concerns extend to your wife and children. Subjects have reported frightening premonitions of a helicopter crashing through their bedroom, instantly decapitating them with its blades. Others struggle with the anxiety of their head simply detaching on its own as they sleep.
On the opposite spectrum, some people possess a rare phobia known as double-header syndrome, where they fear waking up with an additional head affixed to their body. That one actually happened to my sister.
There’s also little head syndrome, the fear of a shrunken head voodoo curse. I could go on.
We all have our own unique fears. It’s only human. One of mine involves being torn limb from limb by a mountain lion. I had to cancel an appearance in Colorado Springs because of this. I woke up in cold sweats, just like the night before my annual black-tie gala, where I feared running out of caviar.
The same dream (or nightmare) kept reoccurring in my mind. I was in the middle of delivering an eloquent toast when the head caterer informed me that we were completely out.
“Dip into the cheese and crackers strategic reserve,” I told him.
“There’s nothing left,” he pressed with a tone of finality. “We’re out… of everything.”
I usually wake up screaming by then and must read myself back to sleep. For some strange reason, my boxers are always off.
Your family is naturally skeptical of your nightly routine and insistence that they follow suit. They won’t be convinced of such measures until an axe murderer storms into their bedrooms one fatal night, looking to add some heads to his collection.
Your family might see you as a madman, monster, or tyrant even. It’s best to allow them to place their hands wherever they please. If you convinced them to wear neck braces, for instance, that would at least pave the way toward future indoctrination. These things take time. If you’re dedicated enough to stoking paranoia within your family, you’ll have to think creatively.
I’ve realized that my own fears, from an inexplicable lack of caviar to a mountain lion thrashing, are based in concern for my reputation. Certain expectations follow a name like Dr. Perfect.
The pressure of living up to those ideals can be relentless.