The Countdown of Doom

Jon and I were driving to pick up Maddox from daycare when I thought I heard Jon say “eight” and then a moment later, “seven.”

Thinking, gee, this is a weird game, but okay, I’ll play too, I started counting down from six.

From Jon’s confused reaction, I gathered that I had misheard him, and we were not in fact flexing our awesome countdown skills.

Because I figured I might as well finish what I’d started, I kept counting aloud anyway. This had an interesting effect: Jon grew progressively more alarmed with each number. I began to realize that 1) this was fun and 2) he was anticipating horrible acts when I ran out of numbers and 3) that was why it was fun.

Although I don’t want to psychoanalyze what this probably indicates about our marital relationship (if you have a hot line Jon could call, you can tweet him), I am kind of excited about the ramifications of this discovery.

I mean, who ELSE might be susceptible to this? What will happen if I start from a higher number than six? Will the increased anxiety cause people to explode? Most importantly, could you use the Countdown of Doom to take over a small country simply by implying that ominous things will occur if the clock counts down to zero?

If you think about it, LOST used a countdown to add suspense without ever explaining what would happen if the computer stopped counting down. And we all have heard a Mom disciplining her child by saying “don’t make me count to three?” God forbid she reach it, I still don’t know dire things my mother had planned.

So here’s the takeaway. I suggest that today you try counting down in front of someone, calmly but without explanation or pause. Then, let me know what happened. Please do not try this on pregnant women or people with heart conditions.

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