Today at work, I had the singular opportunity to don a chemical warfare suit to practice for a listening test. This was the first time I came into contact with the company's clients, which happened to be the U.S. government this time. It was a challenge getting into the mask, as there was a long rubber seal at the neck, much tighter than the tightest turtleneck, and I had to smother initial panic at the little space I had in there. The breathing, speaking, and listening apparatus was identical to what pilots use, so what made up my soundscape was a microphone squealing and ragged breathing noises. My partner put on the suit as well and we took turns reading out words and choosing them from out of a list. It wasn't too difficult, but the feeling I came away with was, surprisingly, adrenaline at the thought of people actually using these suits in the wild. And I really wished during that hour that I was doing something exciting and dangerous in the getup. Pardon my naivety, but my brain raved, "it's so cool that people in the military gets to use stuff like this!"
Life here is so very civilized and safe. Is this why we invent and play complicated survival and military video games and are drawn towards zombie apocalypse shows and movies? Does that contribute to the military's allure? Is it positive for our mental and psychological health that we will probably never have to worry about surviving? Have humans developed this far to sit at mundane office jobs for the majority of their adult lives? Now I'm not complaining about my wonderful, cushiony existence. It's just that I felt something alive today that was markedly absent from my daily experience, and it was powerfully attractive. Adrenaline, for starters. Is that sick, pondering this while people across the world are actually under threat of death and injury? It's so foreign.
Jerk me back to reality, Internet. Here we have a frosting decorating pen recommended by The Kitchn. Ooh fancy!