We Have Nothing to Fear but Fear Itself. And Toilet Squirrels.


I was thinking the other day about how most of the stuff you’re afraid will happen, never does. The everyday things we worry about mostly don’t ever come true. Things generally turn out alright. I have days where everything is a big fat pain in my ass, but life is generally good. Maybe that’s why they call certain fears “irrational.” Because they would never, ever happen in two billion years of incidents. I have a couple of crazy irrational fears. Now that I think of them, most of mine are completely insane. None of the standards faze me a bit – heights, spiders, enclosed spaces, crowds, public speaking, guns, etc. – no fucking problem. Bring ’em on.

One is fish. It stems back to an incident in my childhood where I was brutally attacked by a zombie salmon. I swear to God, I am not making this up. The fact remains that I cannot so much as walk through the fish section of a pet store without getting the heebie-jeebies, because – get this – I envision all of the little suckers leaping out of their tanks and latching onto my skin somehow. (Yes, I’m revealing myself for the complete whack-job I actually am.) Fish are creepy. They never blink, and the ones that have teeth? Forget about it. I couldn’t even walk through the beautiful restaurant in Honolulu that has the giant aquarium with the manta rays in it. Steve Irwin’s fate aside, I envisioned the tank bursting and one of the rays (gasp!) accidentally touching me. I nearly had a reltney.

Do you know how hard it was for me to image-search “fish with teeth”? Seriously, I may not recover.

Another crazy thing I’m still kind of freaked out by? Toilet squirrels.

There was a picture of it on the internet, so that means it is TOTALLY a real thing. ZOMG, you guys.

I heard a story when I was a kid about a woman who sat down in a park bathroom, and a squirrel was hiding in the toilet bowl and bit her um…more sensitive regions multiple times. Talk about feeling violated! She had to get tested for rabies and everything. It’s not a debilitating fear, per se, but I do always check public toilets for deviant evil rabid squirrels who are waiting to bite my business. I hear some people are the same way about toilet snakes.

I’m also not crazy about big ugly bugs. Particularly ones that fly. But I don’t get all girly and freak out, either. Mostly it’s the fish thing.

They totally have these (Wetas) in New Zealand. If they could fly, nobody would ever go there, ever.

I’m trying to think of stuff that’s freaked me out as an adult. The idea of lepers kind of freaks me out, not that I’ve ever seen one in person. Same goes for Siamese twins. Ever see the movie “Twin Falls Idaho”? Good flick, if you like creepy independent films. The nazi villian guy from the movie “Hellboy” freaked me out. The fish man was tolerable because the guy who played the brother on Frasier did his voice, and he seems pretty harmless. Oh! I just thought of another one! ALIENS.

I can watch blood, gore, violence, etc., but I can’t watch Close Encounters. It’s the modern-day pop-culture depiction of aliens I can’t take. They haunt my dreams, with their big black eyes and mean little mouths. I’m literally shuddering as I write this. I can’t even watch shows with aliens on them, or look at those cheesy bumper stickers, or 311 logos. Brrr! I hate it! Another thing that sort of creeps me out is being alone in a bathroom in the dark. Maybe it’s the “Bloody Mary” legends that do it, but I can’t stand being alone in the dark with a large mirror.

I can’t even look at this. If the aliens ever land here, it won’t be me trying to make friends; I will be hiding and crying in the basement.

Little kids are famous for insane irrational fears. I had nightmares when I was a kid about somehow being mistaken for a magician and being burned alive while I was chained inside of a coffin I was supposed to escape from. (Yeah, I was a morbid little kid.) Freddy Krueger used to scare me. I think it was the melty face and the razor fingernails.

The wicked witch from The Wizard of Oz used to send me running screaming from the room when that part of the movie was on, and hide in the bathtub with the shower curtain closed. I think it was the green skin. I don’t know why the bathtub. Apparently Psycho didn’t upset me. I also had recurring nightmares as a kid about suffocating – in a fire, or drowing, or sometimes, I’d somehow get sucked into the sky and slowly suffocate as the air got thinner and thinner.

The worst when I was a kid though was being afraid of a monster my cousin had dreamed up to scare me. She called him Blueberry. The idea of being afraid of a monster named Blueberry seems hilarious now, but at the time, I would hide under my covers, shivering with fear that he was under my bed. I wouldn’t so much as sneak my little toe out from under the covers. I pictured this guy – remember the big-headed alien guys from the original Star Trek?

I found out when obtaining this picture that they’re apparently called “Tosbaloks.” That’s a little more fear-inspiring than blueberries.

In my mind, his skin was bright blue and he had razor-sharp teeth and a huge mouth, and I believed that if I hung anything off the bed in my sleep – a hand, a foot, etc. – that he would snap it off and eat it. And cackle. Cackling is a big part of inspiring fear, I think. All the great villains cackle. The moral of the story may be to not let your already-kind-of-weird 6-year old watch Star Trek.

“I’ll get you for this, Wonka!”
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About Miz Parker

I'm a musician, writer, web developer and avid reader who maintains two blogs. For Bucket List Book Reviews (formerly Bucket List Media), my goal is to read and review each book on the popular list "1,001 Books to Read Before You Die." This blog is intended to chronicle my experiences and thoughts on each, and share opinions with other bibliophiles. Bucket List Media is a semi-serious blog which is appropriate for all ages. For Live At E's (see the menu), I rant in general about pop culture, life, celebrities, and current events. Live At E's contains foul language and is deliberately offensive. Turn on your sarcasm detector.
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20 Responses to We Have Nothing to Fear but Fear Itself. And Toilet Squirrels.

  1. Just kidding! These are pretty legitimate fears. You have valid reasons to be scared of these things. Birds scare me- all kinds. I can’t stand them. Bats freak me out. When I go camping I have something on my head 24hours a day. Ticks also freak me out which sucks when you live in Wisconsin. They’re everywhere, and almost microscopic. I’m convinced there’s one climbing on me right now. Gotta go…tick check

  2. lexy3587 says:

    ever since they found a guy hiding inside (as in INSIDE inside) the womens outhouse toilets, I have checked inside outhouse toilets. When I was little, I was scared of falling in, or dropping something of mine in.
    some of the other ones… a bit odd… but the ‘things coming out of the toilet’ one, i’d say it’s totally legit 😛 after all, it makes me seem less paranoid.

    • Miz Parker says:

      Gross! What kind of a pervert would you have to be to be able to stand hiding INSIDE an outhouse?!? Aaaaand, now I’M going to check them for that, too. Seriously, how freaked out would you be if you looked down into one and there was some dude there, just chilling?

      • lexy3587 says:

        Exactly! freaky and bizarre and creepy people out there! and how would a grown man even get into the tank to begin with? every one i’ve ever seen has a 1′ grid of metal near the entrance. that’s alot of work just to get peed on…

        • Miz Parker says:

          Oh, sick. I didn’t even think about the fact that he probably wants to get peed on. I pictured a guy hiding in the corner of the stall and just wanting to look at lady parts up close and personal.

          • lexy3587 says:

            I figure, he couldn’t get in there without ending up covered in sewage… it must be part of the appeal, because I don’t know any guys who would be willing to put up with that just to see lady parts…

  3. RasJane says:

    To this day, I am completely freaked out by mirrors in the dark. We have a huge one in our bathroom (double sinks) and I can NOT look at it when I go in there at night. Just can’t do it. Dh thinks I’m funny.
    Normally I’m not one to have a long list of irrational fears, but being a mother of 4 has given me a chance to flex that muscle some. Someone breaking into the house and holding us hostage seems to be my big one. But I apparently shock others with my complete lack of fear over my children hurting themselves. I don’t bat an eye when my 3 year old dances on top of the mini van.

    • Miz Parker says:

      Children are shockingly resilient!

      My husband is completely freaked out by bees, even though he has never been stung by one. I think it’s funny. When my brother was little, he had an irrational fear that a dragon was going to tear the roof off of the house in the middle of the night and roast everyone while they slept.

  4. Greg says:

    Wow! Lots of fears…I’m definitely afraid of zombie fish, the aliens I can handle but Freddie Kruger he kind of creeps me out. The squirrel thing reminds me of an occurrence that happened to me the other night. Our cat..we call him fat Bob isn’t scared of much but thunder he runs and hides behind the toilet. So I get up in the morning go to do my morning business and I guess I startled him and he darted out from behind the toilet, scaring me and causing my aim to deviate from its intended pat.

    Frankly I wish i had had a video of it, because we both cared the shit out of each other. Just what popped into my mind when I read about the squirrel. I’m little strange myself.

    • Miz Parker says:

      Oh, you can’t help that. Everybody’s mad, here.

      Sounds like it would have been worth the price of admission to see fat Bob shoot out from behind the toilet, mid-stream. Bathroom cams in general are probably a poor idea, though.

  5. I’m totally afraid of stuff coming up out of the toilet and biting my nether bits. I have to check the toilet every time.

    Also afraid of swimming in water I can’t see through. If I can see my toes, I’m not getting in. Zombie salmon or giant water monsters will eat me if I do.

  6. I have the usual fears: open heights, spiders, roller coasters, the impending robopocalypse…
    When I was a smaller and much younger version of myself I had a recurring nightmare. I was some sort of jungle explorer and would come across this pit filled with quicksand or tar (or maybe it was quicktar). Jutting up from the center of it was a flashlight. Naturally, as a jungle explorer, I needed that flashlight, so I’d reach down to grab it only to get swallowed up by what can only be described as the jungle-quicktar version of a lantern fish (Miz Parker is excused from googling it).

    • Miz Parker says:

      I LOVE roller coasters. And heights don’t bother me at all.

      That’s a terrible nightmare! I have lots of nightmares to this day where I’m in some kind of a fight (gun, fist, whatever), where my bullets and/or fists move so slowly that my opponent can just step out of the way, laughing.

      • Roller coasters and open heights tend to go hand in hand for me, so it’s a double whammy. I have a lot of trouble with ladders. Climbing up is one thing, down is quite another. When I was younger, my step-dad would send me up onto the roof to clean gutters. Getting up was kinda scary, but it was nothing compared to the agony of trying to get off the roof and back onto the ladder. Gah, I can hardly stand thinking about it.

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