Ross Murray's Border Report
Ross Murray
is a freelance writer living in Stanstead, Quebec. You can reach him at
Posted 03.29.11
Stanstead, Quebec


Meeting of Scared Silly Synonymous

Hello, my name is Ross, and I'm scared witless.

"Hello, Ross."

And by "witless," I mean another word.

"Yes, Ross."

Rhymes with "spitless."

"We get it, Ross."

I'm glad to see so many people here this evening. It seems our numbers keep growing week after week! Our membership always takes a dive at the start of the new year, what with everyone feeling so optimistic and upbeat. But with all the calamity that's befallen the world over the past couple of months, attendance has been going through the bomb-shelter roof! That's good, because remember, people: there's no hysteria like mass hysteria.

Let's start off by reciting the club motto:

"Empowering While We're Cowering."

Very good. Now, if we could all fold our trembling hands and bow our perspiring heads in prayer:

"Lord grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, the courage to change the things I can, and the wisdom to know when to run like hell."

We'll now review the Twelve Steps for living with our fear:

1. I acknowledge that the world is messed up.

2. I recognize that way too many people have weapons who really oughtn't to. Ditto for hateful political views.

3. I accept that I am powerless to stop wars, natural catastrophes, federal elections, and other disasters.

4. I realize that, while it's important to be informed, obsessively watching footage of the carnage and chaos is probably unhealthy.

5. I admit that it could happen to me but, honestly, probably not.

6. I understand that the media has a vested interest in freaking people out.

7. While I recognize that escapism is a coping mechanism, I will not make "Entertainment Tonight" my primary news source, and definitely not "Entertainment Tonight Canada."

8. I embrace my anxiety bordering on terror.

9. I will not let fear drive my life, although I will hand over the keys.

10. I will make amends to those whose shoulders I have uncontrollably blubbered on and whose Italian suits I've ruined as a result.

11. I concede that staying in bed is not an option.

12. I recognize that I can be distracted from the sense of impending doom through the comfort of others and terrible puns.

Excellent. So last week, Reggie diverted us from our collective dread by providing us with a history of multi-functional furniture. You'll recall that the pull-out couch was originally developed by the Haida people but was later adapted by the Hide-A-Bed people.

We also had an excellent and highly informative presentation by Cecile on the high-stakes field of international spanking in which she expounded on her theory that the right hand doesn't know what the left hand is doing. Thanks for that, Cecile, although we could have done without the visual demonstration.

Now, before we get to this week's non-scary topic, a reminder that our discussions within this anxiety-free circle of safety should be as inane and stress-free as possible, no matter how irresistible the pun. Unfortunately, two weeks ago, Doris used poor judgment in referring to the terrifying unrest in the Middle East just so she could describe one particularly small nation as being "the Bahrains behind the operation." Consequently, Doris has been asked to leave the club. Plus, her pun wasn't really that good.

On to new business. This week Jerry has volunteered to demonstrate how all of us working secretly together in our own steel-lined safe-rooms can make an outstanding lemon pie, although he warns me that this recipe is not for the faint of tart.

Conspiracies and pies? Sounds like fun. After all, it's better to bake in cahoots than quake in your boots.

Sorry! Sorry! I didn't mean to say "quake." No, don't run! Come back! We've got to stick together! We're like a family, a big nuclear family. AH! Wait! Take me with you!

Ross Murray's collection, You're Not Going to Eat That, Are You?, is available in Quebec in area book stores and through He can be reached at