Biblical Plagues for a Modern Age

Thursday, June 26, 2014

Yesterday on Twitter, I'm 99% sure that I saw one of the people I follow post something along the lines of "I have a hard time believing that humidity was not one of the biblical plagues." I say "99%" because I also am pretty sure that I clicked "Favorite" on that tweet, but it's nowhere to be found in my favorites list or my Twitter feed. SO, if you're reading this and you were the clever person who tweeted that, please make yourself known. Also, this might be the weirdest problem I have ever had. Yes, even weirder than that that time I ended up with a weird guy's fan in my back seat.

Okay, that requires some explanation, I suppose. In college, this TA in the chem department had invited me to watch a movie after some meeting with a bunch of people in his office, which was air conditioned, and since he seemed cool, I decided that hanging out and watching a movie with a bunch of nerds could be fun. Somehow, this turned into him stealing an oscillating fan from his office because he needed to go home to his unairconditioned (that is a weird word) apartment, and now he wanted me to come back to his apartment with him. This was complicated by the fact that I had a car and he had to take his bike, so he gave me the fan and told me to meet him as his apartment. I decided that this guy was creepy and that I didn't feel like fending off advances all evening, so I made up some excuse about needing to go home. Instead, I drove to Victoria's apartment and left the fan at her place because it seemed stupid to go home to NJ with this guy's fan in my car, and she ended up keeping it because it was a pretty good fan and I had no desire to see the creepy guy again to return the fan to him anyway.

And that's how I ended up with a weirdo's fan in my back seat. This exercise of trying to remember weird problems from my life has generated a lot of amusing memories that may end up as another blog post entirely, because apparently, my life is a bizarre tornado of weirdness. (This is not really news.)

Anyway... I'm pretty sure possibly hallucinating a tweet is weirder than the fan story, but I'm not sure. Back to what I was originally talking about though.

So, this mystery tweet got me thinking about plagues in general, and how humidity definitely deserved to be up there with locusts and dead livestock and frogs. Here are some things I think would be terrible (or great?) ideas for plagues in our modern era.

 1. Plague of Humidity
Whoever it was that tweeted this was absolutely right, so good job, whoever you are. I hate humidity, my hair hates humidity, my joints hate the humidity... it's just no fun. When the air feels like soup, I just want to cancel my life plans and stay indoors in the air conditioning for my entire life.

2. Plague of Hold Music
I know that this might be different for everyone, but I think we can all agree that most hold music is absolutely horrible. The worst for me is that incessant smooth jazz that doesn't really go anywhere or do anything, and second to that is overused classical music. Once I had bizarre salsa music on hold for TWENTY MINUTES. I nearly shot myself.

3. Plague of Phantom Phone Vibrations
I hate when I think my phone is vibrating and it isn't, because then I'm incessantly checking to see what's going on, and when it finally DOES vibrate for a real reason, I usually ignore it. Then my mom ends up calling me 93 times to make sure I'm not dead (or missing, if you're Kate's mom).

4. Plague of Bad Internet Signals
I'll admit it, wherever I go, I try to find a free wifi signal so I don't eat up my data plan. Even though I share 10 GB with my dad and step-family, I would rather be on the free wifi if possible. If there's no wifi, I'll deal and either use the data or shut it off and make my phone just a phone, but if there's spotty wifi, I lose my mind. My phone will spend all of its time trying to connect to wifi, and won't use the 4G because it has some obsession with not doing both at the same time. Also, when I'm somewhere without wifi and my data connection gets wonky, I also get irrationally upset. If this happened all the time, everywhere, I think I'd have a nervous breakdown. (This probably says something about my dependence on my phone.)

5. Plague of Anti-Vaxxers (led by Jenny McCarthy)
I argue that this may already be happening. Fortunately, those crazies just took a hit because a judge in NYC upheld the policy that prevents unvaccinated children from attending school during times of illness. There's a reason that measles, mumps, and other vaccine-preventable diseases are having a resurgence, and it's because crazy people have decided not to vaccinate themselves or their children. While the illnesses and deaths from these diseases are the bigger problem, the people who shout their completely inaccurate rhetoric from their proverbial rooftops are almost as bad. (For those interested in the public health perspective of this ruling, this article is also pretty good.)

6. Plague of the Invisible Hair
Have you ever been able to feel a hair on your face but not been able to find it to remove the damn thing? That. That for hours on end. ::shudder::

7. Plague of Jughandles
If you live in NJ, you know what I'm talking about. At least in southern NJ, it's nearly impossible to just make a left turn. There are very few left turn lanes and even fewer lights/arrows specifically for making left turns. Someone a long time ago decided that it was a better idea to force people to make 3 right turns instead, and so the the jughandle was invented to theoretically improve traffic flow. Instead, it just baffles people from out of state and angers people who live in NJ who have to hear the incessant whining about how you can't make a left turn. Imagine if all of a sudden, your precious left turn lanes blipped out of existence and were replaced with these monstrosities. This is what you normally want to do, right?

NOT IN NEW JERSEY! Sorry, folks. You get to do this:


So yes. A plague of those. EVERYWHERE. (NB: The roads in NJ don't actually look like that... they have more potholes. They usually don't have street signs though, so that's accurate.) A sub-plague (because those exist, obviously) of the plague of jughandles would be the confused people who have no idea what just happened to their lives.

8. Plague of Comcast
For you lucky folks that can have FIOS or U-verse or whatever the hell you can have for your high speed internet and cable needs, count your lucky stars because Comcast makes me want to murder someone on a semi-regular basis. So much so that I, a true lover of TV and the DVR, have considered giving it up and switching to Hulu+ and Netflix only, simply to avoid dealing with these people. Imagine if it were your only option! I shudder to think about such a world.

9. Plague of Unidentifiable Baked Goods
We've all been there. 

"Ooh, is that a chocolate chip cookie? I bet it's chocolate chip. I would love a chocolate chip cookie. UGH OH GOD, IT'S OATMEAL RAISIN."

Or something similar. Imagine if you could never tell what was in your baked good? Sometimes, it might just be a harmless chocolate chip muffin, but sometimes, when you least expect it? RAISINS. Or prunes. Or something else weird and decidedly not chocolate. 

*Pam is exempt from this plague because she doesn't like chocolate anyway.

10. Plague of Lost Mail and Packages
I was just discussing with Victoria the weirdness that is online ordering. Sometimes, your order gets shipped the next day, sometimes it takes a damn week. Until everything can be available via 2-day shipping from Amazon Prime, I suspect that neither she nor I will be completely happy. But imagine if you just LOST random crap in the mail!? Tracking numbers would be rendered useless. (Actually, this is kind of the case now. Maybe it's not so far off! ::cue dramatic music::

The horror.... THE HORROR!

So, if you're having a bad day, at least none of these plagues have actually come to pass. What would you add as a modern day plague? Does your state have jughandles? (If so, I feel your pain.)

See you tomorrow for Five on Friday! (Where one of my favorite things is definitely NOT jughandles!)

- A


  1. The rage I feel toward Jenny fucking McCarthy cannot be contained.

    1. I feel your pain, seriously. I did just find out that she's leaving The View, which I have never seen, but I'm glad she's getting off of another media platform. She should just blink out of existence, in my opinion!

  2. Oh my gosh! What is happening with that map? I'm never going to visit NJ :) haha.

    1. Hahaha, I swear, they're not THAT confusing in real life, they just look ridiculous. If you ever visit NJ, I will be your jughandle guide.


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