Number one. Having the great Northwest earthquake occur before I die.
Number two. Not being able to have a drink at the end of the day with my wife. We've been married for 43 years, and my comment to my wife at our wedding was, if you can find somebody better than me you should move on, because I certainly will.
Number three. Having my special needs son be able to hire good attendants. He graduated from high school with a set of friends from San Francisco and they were in a car accident. He was driving, and the van they were in turned over. All of his friends walked away with almost no injury, and he broke his neck at the C5-C6. My wife and I were his attendants for the first 15 years of his quadriplegia, and the number one thing he wanted was to be independent of us. As a consequence, when we left, he was very happy. And we were very happy because he now understands he can live the rest of his life without us. And I think ten years ago he wouldn’t have felt that.
Number four. I just have this fear that there's a lot more randomness than we would like to think, and some of that's because of our son's accident. So, I just don't want to be in the wrong place at the wrong time.
Number five. Not being able to die on my own terms. I've been a believer in this ever since I saw Harold and Maude many years ago. When I first saw this I thought, why don't more people think about the way they want to die? I'm a control freak. I'm a Capricorn and a German, and I just like control, so I don't want to suffer a lot when I die, and I don't want doctors to determine when I should die. I want to do that myself and I think I have a right to do that.
Number six. Living up to other people's expectations. I went to an all boys Catholic military high school and I was the battalion commander my senior year, so that'll tell you what a goody-two-shoes I was.
Number seven. I didn't take a lot of risks or do a lot of strange things because I thought those things were dangerous and wrong. So I've never been a real adventurous person, although I was working for the CIA and I quit, and I drove to California and my first job was a Macy's Santa Claus. I called Macy's and they said we hire from Western Girl, and I went to Western Girl. They were two old maids, and they interviewed me, and the first question was, “Do you believe in Christmas?” And I instantly connected with them and said, “Of course.” And we had a long conversation. And the next day they said somebody got drunk at Macy's and they kicked him off and they said, “Are you ready to be Santa Claus?”
Number eight. Losing my ability to enjoy life and help people.
Number nine. Being late for events.
Number ten. That all my friends and family will die before me.
My name is Brian Ruder and these are 10 things that scare me.