It’s Not Going to Happen to Me


It’s not going to happen to me.


Well, because I’m young. Sure I smoke, but so did my grandfather and he lived to be 97. Sure I eat a lot and I’m overweight, but so does my mom, and she can still do cartwheels. Besides, I’m a good person — bad things don’t happen to really good people. And, I have a strong relationship to God. He wouldn’t let anything bad happen. He’s on my side.

OK, I don’t know if it is a He or She, but I’m goddamn sure about God being on my side. I’m a spiritual guy. No, not the kind that has to go to church all the time, but God knows my heart is in the right place. I even gave 50 cents to a homeless guy a couple of years ago. Besides, I’ve been lucky all my life. And I’m careful, I have very good judgment. I look both ways before I cross the street. I plan in advance. Not to  mention, I’m really smart. I always got good grades in school. And before anything bad happens, I’ll see it coming and get out-of-the-way.

OK, sometimes I lie to the boss, sometimes I do a side job for cash so I can avoid paying taxes, but who doesn’t do that? The government would waste it anyway. I’m clever. I’ll never get caught.

Sure, there are some things I haven’t taken care of yet, some stuff I need to start, some projects I need to finish. But, crap, I’ve got time, plenty of time. There’s always tomorrow or next week. What’s the rush?

If I really wanted to stop smoking I could stop, but I enjoy it. And even if I do trip myself up somehow or some way, there will always be other chances. What’s more, I’ve got people looking out for me. If I were in trouble, they’d warn me and I’d change course.

The bad things that have happened to me have been someone else’s fault. I’ve recovered. See! I’m as good as new!

What’d you say? You said I drive too fast? Heck, I’ve got terrific reflexes, great hand-eye coordination. I’ve never had an accident, not even a traffic violation. I know what I’m doing.

Yeah, I drink, sometimes too much, but I never drive when I’m tipsy. How do I know? Well, I can just tell. I know myself. I don’t make dumb choices. OK, sometimes I have unprotected sex with people I have just met, but I don’t have sex with those kinds of people who would have AIDS or herpes or something. I guess I wasn’t always faithful to my last girlfriend either, but, I mean, who is? Jeez, I’m a man, I have needs, I have urges. I just do what other men do. What’s wrong with that?

I’m smart. I’m good. Don’t worry about me. I’ll be OK.

It’s not going to happen to me.

What you’ve just read is an imaginary conversation, not intended to resemble the words or attitudes of anyone living or dead, and certainly not the gentleman pictured. The top image is called Smug Santa, taken in 2008 at the New York Santacon by istolethetv and uploaded to Wikimedia Commons by Princess Merida.

7 thoughts on “It’s Not Going to Happen to Me

  1. I was just talking to my friend and physician yesterday about smoking (having quit 2 years ago February after 30 years). I told him I was an advocate of his, informing people of the medical problems I have because of it. The story I told 2 young men smoking outside of Vons was how smoking decreases blood flow and will lead to … well something not rising to the occasion. “They don’t put that on the pack” I said. Both were astonished, and I felt my work was done. 🙂


  2. Don’t you think that’s hitting below the belt, Harry? Sorry, I couldn’t resist. Good job!


  3. Our capacity to rationalize our life-threatening behavior is amazing.


  4. You are spot-on, Rosaliene. Whether it is blinding ourselves to our selfishness, to global warming, to our our moral failures, or even to our mortality, we humans all rationalize and deny. All of us, some more, some less. Some of it is necessary, some of it is not. It undoubtedly helps us get through the day, less fraught with anxiety and the self-condemnation that total self-awareness might bring. Unfortunately, as we are both trying to say, there are side-effects. The world is sometimes too much to take in with one gulp. The imaginary young man I wrote about, however, takes in only that part of the world that is self-satisfying, and just might cause the thing that “won’t happen to me” to happen.


  5. Thanks, Rosaliene.


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