by Michelle Robinson
Event coming up? Worried you’ll forget to WORRY about something? Fret no more. This handy checklist of unnecessary anxieties is guaranteed to have you losing sleep for weeks.
- I will not find the venue.
Not even on the map.
- I will find the venue is insalubrious.
- I will turn up on the wrong day/week/month/continent.
- My car will break down or else I will crash it. Probably into the venue. Or the children.
- The train will be cancelled. The train will break down. I will crash the train.
- I will be late. I will be flustered. Everything will go wrong.
- I will be early. I will still be flustered. There will be no excuse for anything to go wrong, and yet absolutely everything will.
- I will have to cancel due to crippling anxiety and/or illness. I will let everyone down. I will damage my reputation and no on will ever ask me to do an event again. Fingers crossed.
- The promised essentials (powerpoint, flip chart, paper, pens, valium, etc.) will not materialise.
- I will leave my books at home.
- I will leave my memory stick at home with my slideshow on it.
- I will remember the memory stick, but will bring the wrong file, most likely something inappropriate or incriminating.
- The event organiser will be unable to conceal their disappointment in me.
- The children will boo and chant, “WE WANT THE GRUFFALO.”
- I will have to read ‘The Gruffalo.’
- No one will turn up.
Not even remotely likely.
- Everyone will turn up.
- Johnny Depp will turn up and I will not be able to think of the first thing to say to him.
- Nose bleed.
- Panic attack.
- Sudden inexplicable onset of Tourette’s.
- Alien invasion.
- Brain drain.
- Someone will look at me funny, putting me off my stride so badly I launch involuntarily into a musical number from Grease.
- The children will be Mensa protégés who correct me on my grammar.
- A child will ask a question that destroys or unhinges me.
- I will fall flat on my face.
- I will catch shingles from lingering pox on the venue carpet.
- These are pre-school children. I could even catch bubonic plague.
- The organiser will not have arranged book sales.
Not even possible, really.
- The organiser will expect me to bring along books and cash float. They will also expect me to do maths while talking and signing books for children with names like, "Eve, spelled Yvxwezfgh."
- I will not sell a single book and everyone will know I am a loser.
- No one will offer me a drink all day.
- Someone will offer me a drink but I will start choking on it, mid-story.
- I will choke to death in front of everybody.
- I will not be able to locate the loo.
- I will have an accident.
- Looking for the loo, I will enter the broom cupboard and have to style it out.
- …resulting in a request to read ‘Room on the Broom.’
- My family will resent me for spending time away from home.
- My children will forget what I look like.
- My husband will think I am away so much I must be having an affair.
- I will go all that way and - assuming #18 did not happen - there will not be anyone worth having an affair with.
- No one would want to have an affair with me anyway: I arrive a witless, charmless mess dressed as an impoverished bag lady.
- A local newspaper journalist will come and take a horrible photo, capturing my dishevelled bag lady look forever and making it the most prominent image result for me in Google.
- The photo will appear in the paper with the caption, ‘Not even Julia Donaldson’.
Not even my book.
- The photo will not appear, being deemed less newsworthy than a sponsored shoeshine.
- My publishers will not even notice that I am hauling my arse all over the country to promote our book.
- My publishers will notice, but will be too busy celebrating the umpteenth reprint of ‘The Gruffalo' to care.
- My publishers will see the terrible national newspaper write-up with the unfortunate photo of me, book aloft, smiling, beside the burning venue and sobbing children.
- There will not be cake.
- There will be cake, but I will choke on it.
- Repeat anxiety #39.
- They will ring to cancel when I am five minutes away because, “We thought you had written ‘The Gruffalo'.”
- Julia Donaldson will turn up, dressed as the Gruffalo, and deck me.
- Some manner of very public, non-choking related death.
I’m worried I’ve omitted a load of things I ought to be worrying about. Please share any fears I’ve yet to consider below. Don't worry, folks. You'll be great. After all, you’ve got this anxiety thing nailed.
|Not a bad effort.|
|Not even Julia Donaldson.|
- Everyone will be disappointed that I am not Tim Peake.
- If Tim Peake were watching my event from space, he would be disappointed.
- They only invited me because they are hoping I can introduce them to Tim Peake. Disappointment is inevitable.