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Interestingly enough, "anxiety" comes from an old Greek word that means "Dennis Miller."

Now I don't want to get off on a rant here, but to me, anxiety makes sense. I see it as a reasonable response to the frightening clusterfuck that is our increasingly stressful world. The people who creep me out are the ones who don't seem to be bothered by anything. My theory is that anybody who has it completely together in times like these is either stupid, crazy or evil. I'm on to you, Dr. Phil.

Mental health professionals believe that anxiety stems from not facing your true emotional needs. That's why psychiatrists advise you to uncover those hidden fears you dare not name-because then, and only then, can you can stop being anxious and start being completely fucking insane, and that's where you make the real money.

Over the last decade, pagers, cellphones and personal data assistants have marionetted us into a Sysyphean existence where we are perpetually ten minutes late for our next appointment. The only reason we're living longer is because we can't fit death into our schedules anymore. Anybody remember a simpler time when "Palm Pilot" was just a nickname your friends gave you when you hit puberty?

Youth-obsessed, money-hungry power-grabbing Los Angeles is Ground Xanax for anxiety. You see it right there in the clenched jaw of the high-strung B-movie producer who's wrestling his Humvee into the handicapped parking spot so he can get to his meditation class on time.

Anxiety can lead to certain phobias such as fear of strangers, fear of elevators, fear of airplanes, fear of heights, fear of speaking in public, and fear of parties. Got it, got it, need it, got it, need it, got it.

Some guys suffer from urination anxiety: the presence of other men acts like a psychological truck parking on top of their personal garden hose. Now, I have the reverse: I can only pee when somebody else is watching. So if you ever run into me in a rest room and I've got a sock puppet over my free hand saying, (SQUEAKY VOICE) "I can see your wee wee, Dennis!" I'm not a freak or anything. That is a prescription sock puppet.

Then there is sexual performance anxiety. Always having the fear that your cock is too big, or you'll last too long or after a night in bed with you, the woman won't find any other man satisfying and she'll fall into a deep depression. Of course, that was never my problem. NEVER. NEVER ONCE.

I suppose I have one of the odder anxiety triggers, I plunge into panic when Stone Philips wears earth tones.

Many people find the most disturbing thing about panic attacks is you never know when they're going to strike, which in itself becomes a source of anxiety. But I'm lucky. I'm in a constant state, so there's really never any surprises. Guess I'm just blessed. (DARTING LOOK OVER SHOULDER)

People deal with anxiety in many different ways: some take yoga, some take tai chi, others work it off in the gym. Me? Well, once a month or so, I take off all my clothes, get on my candy-apple-red moped, and drive really fast into a field of corn. As the stalks and ears of caressing maize batter my exposed flesh, I suddenly feel my other problems melting away. Sure, it means coming home in the back of a police car with a blanket around my head and shoulders, but sorry kids. Daddy needs his "Me Time."

Hey, if you suffer from chronic anxiety, repeated panic attacks, obsessions, compulsions or social phobias, take my advice, forget therapy and don't even think about drugs. I know it sounds crazy, but my sanctuary has always been... well... the Laundromat. Think about it. You can immerse yourself in the calming hum of the washing machines, the familiar warmth emanating from the dryers, the comforting smell of soap and the soothing snap and pleasant pop of loving mothers folding clean sheets. Relax in the uncompetitive, undemanding realm of vending machines that feature off-brand sodas and Circus Peanuts. Self-conscious about your appearance? Just take a look around. By comparison, you are a prince. Socially awkward? Well, anything short of flinging fecal matter at the change lady, and you're a charmer in this quirky little kingdom. Obsessive compulsive? Hey, go ahead. Count quarters until your fingers bleed. Sexually frustrated? Well, just collect the thick wads of lint from all the dryers and fashion them into a large lifelike doll, lean it up against a washing machine during the spin cycle and start grinding your pelvis against her-but be gentle. You don't want to cause Dusty Lady any anxiety.

Of course, that's just my opinion. I could be wrong.


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