I know it’s not sexy but I’m not much of a risk taker.

OK, sure, I once ran out of air at 60 feet during a scuba dive off Palm Beach, but I wouldn’t call that risk taking as much as being so anxious that I was practically hyperventilating into my regulator and sucked the air tank dry.

“He shakes like a leaf in the wind and cries out for his Mommy before being pushed overboard on a training dive. He’s the most interesting man in the world.”

You’ll note that no Dos Equis commercial says that.

I don’t like getting high

Not only am I not a fan of depths, I’m not good with heights either. When I stand up in a chair to change a light bulb I say to myself, “Don’t look down, don’t look down.” I once stood on a street curb in Chicago and shouted, “I’m gonna jump. Don’t try to stop me!”

High vertical recreation is thrilling to some people but not to me. I’ve never had any inclination to hang-glide, sky-dive, ride rollercoasters, bungie jump, go hot-air ballooning, or even jump off the high dive. I don’t even dismount my horse on the merry-go- round without assistance.

So, depths and heights are not my friends. But I’m very comfortable with widths. Flat and wide is good.

Flat is very good
Florida’s Lake Okeechobee is very flat and very wide and I was OK there — even while in a boat in the middle of the night hunting alligators during a state-sanctioned harvest in 1995. And yes, we harpooned and killed one. As we prepared to pull the 7-foot dead gator into the boat, Roy instructed me to grab it by the snout while he grabbed the tail and Mike grabbed a leg. I said, “Roy, there ain’t no way in Hialeah I’m putting my hand anywhere near that gator’s mouth!”

Roy reminded me that it was dead. I reminded him of movies where victims were surprised by gators, sharks, giant snakes, monsters, and space aliens who got their second wind after a seemingly fatal blow.

Losing money is very bad

Hunting alligators in the dark is exciting. Grabbing a dead gator by the snout —that’s risk taking.

I don’t take risks with my health, life, or with my money. I’ve never even bought
a lottery ticket. The closest thing to betting I’ve ever done is putting $5 in a March Madness office pool. That’s $5 and an hour of my life I’ll never get back.
One of the things my wife, Dorrie, has never had to worry about is me being a gambler.

I’ve never felt the desire to go to Vegas. I wouldn’t even be a good contestant on Let’s Make a Deal.

Monty Hall: Ramon, you can keep the peanut butter jar of pennies, or you can have what’s hidden in the trunk of the brand new BMW 325i convertible.

Ramon: I’m gonna keep the jar of pennies and just sit down.

Monty: What if I told you that what’s in the trunk is a small box containing something bearing a striking resemblance to a set of BMW car keys?

Ramon: I dunno… there could be a live goat in the trunk instead. And it’s eating a bale of hay. I’ve seen this show before.

Monty: Ramon, PETA would never allow us to put a LIVE goat in the air-tight trunk of an automobile.

Ramon: Oh, so the goat is probably dead. That’s even worse …

Monty: (turns to show’s producer) My gosh, Fred, who is screening these
contestants??!!

Of course, there are worse things to win than a goat. With my luck I’d win a Cessna Skyhawk and a year of flying lessons.

Ramon Presson, PhD, is a licensed marriage and family therapist in Franklin (www.ramonpressontherapy.com) and the author of several books. Reach him at ramonpresson@gmail.com.