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!”|