Today, I discovered I’m British.

I’m so afraid of Daleks that I’ve only watched the episodes of Doctor Who that they appear in through my fingers. Therefore, I needed to do a little fact checking on the subject as I prepared to write. Which led me to the phrase “hiding behind the sofa from the Daleks” and the realization that I am not alone in my affliction. In fact, it is shared by many, many British people who grew up in the 1970s and 1980s.

Because Daleks are really, REALLY scary, dude.

It’s definitely not their looks. They look like a cheesy SciFi prop, so much so that housemate MainFloor1, upon seeing the entrance of the Daleks last night in The Parting of the Ways, laughed.

Then she saw me cowering in a corner of the couch and laughed harder.

When I was six years old, I think the thing that scared me the most was their voices. Screechy, synthesized, and hollering about exterminating humans, with a ray gun that’s the ancestor of Avada Kedavra. Wee mutant critters in invulnerable tanks that would kill you just as soon as look at you, they travel in packs of thousands.  

Oh, yeah, and after 2004? We learned they can fly.
I’ll give you three guesses where I wound up when I first saw that.

I know what you’re saying, though. You’re saying, “Damnit, Mary Sue, stop being such a geek and get to the point!”

Or you’re laughing at me. Whatevs.

The point is, Daleks are insistent on destroying everything in their path. Everyone says they’re unstoppable. Everyone knows that if you see a Dalek, it’s probably the last thing you’ll see in this universe. They will take over, they will rend the world, they will make humanity over in their image.

And they never do win.

Something always stops them. People step up, people defy conventional wisdom, people stop the onslaught and turn the tide. The day is saved, and humanity goes on about its business.

Scary stuff’s coming down the pipeline in my life. Job loss. Career change. Address instability. Substitute pool interviews. And, yeah, maybe my church will pull itself apart and my government will piss off more people, who will then be calling for my blood due to my place of birth…

Where am I going to be when these mundane monsters show up? Facing them, or behind the couch?


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