Since Halloween is right around the corner we were curious to see what Americans are really afraid of. You know, so we could work up a horrifying costume or two for the trick-or-treaters in the extended idler clan. Halloween spending is expected to come in at $7.4 Billion this year, with nearly $400 Million spent on pet costumes. For this reason alone the Idler has encouraged young vandals, er, I mean, trick-or-treaters of his acquaintance to save some money by coming up with scary costumes of their own making.
Chapman University in California conducted an exhaustive survey to find out what Americans fear the most, and guess what came in first? Government corruption. Fifty-eight percent of Americans are afraid of it, so that should make for a terrifying outfit. It’s just that it’s going to be a tough one to render. We suppose you might pull on some ill-fitting polyester plaid slacks, find a Ban-lon shirt with a gravy stain and go as a councilman. You’ll want to go a little more upscale and pour on the bronzer for speaker of the house. How about trying for borough manager as a guy with an enormous checkbook in one hand and in the other a suitcase with “California or bust” on it?
Computer related fears are pretty high on the list. Cyber-terrorism, government and corporate tracking of personal data and identity theft all come in near the low to mid 40% range. So you could go as a giant keyboard wearing a bandit’s mask. What is “cyber-terrorism” anyway? When the wife figures out your Amazon Prime password?
“Running out of money” is at 37.4% See, that seems either way too high for the Idler or way too low. Is something that we experience a couple three times a month supposed to he terrifying? How about something you experience on every trip to Kennywood, Dave & Buster’s, or the church festival? What, you aren’t used to it yet? So it seems to rank too high unless, of course, only 37.4% ever worry about it. Which would mean that 62.6% don’t worry about running out of money. If this is true, could any of you spot the Idler a small advance. Just until payday. I have this meeting at Dave & Buster’s.
Right behind running out of money is “Credit card fraud” at 36.9% So credit card use and credit card theft are equally scary. Just going as a giant VISA card should give ‘em the chills. A big “Declined” stamp across the front might be a nice touch.
More Americans are afraid of Gun control (36.5%) than War (35.8%) and they’re way more afraid of Gun control than they are of crime (Murder – 16%, Mugging – 15.8%, Rape – 14.5%). So you could dress up as an empty holster, or maybe an ATF agent (When nobody was looking, they added explosives to the alcohol, tobacco and firearms so I guess it should be ATFE.). I know, I know, you could go as Hillary Clinton, but we don’t want to traumatize anyone here.
How about this one. More people are afraid of Obamacare (35.7%) than of heights (27.4%), earthquakes (26.7%), dying (21.9%), ghosts (9.7%), zombies (8.5%) or clowns (6.8%). This is a real challenge costume-wise. It would be hard to go as the doctor you like but can’t keep, or the plan you weren’t supposed to get kicked out of. What would a $5,000.00 deductible look like? We don’t know how you’d make a costume that resembled 30,000 pages of law and regulations. Maybe you could dress junior up as one of those hospital statements that say “This is not a bill.” Just cross out the “not.”
We’re kind of disappointed that ghosts, zombies and clowns finished so low. These are staples of the Halloween costume genre; they’re what turkeys and pilgrims are to Thanksgiving and reindeer and Santa are to Christmas. Wait, there’s an idea, you could go as Santa Claus. You know, run around promising free stuff for everyone in sight. If you also shouted about the 1% and billionaires you might make a pretty convincing Bernie Sanders.
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