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Irrational Fears -- A Neurotic's top ten

A psychologist friend of mine, Ann, said it's a good thing that people don't go around talking about all their inner weirdness, or it would be impossible to have a conversation because all anyone would be able to do would be to talk about themselves. In that spirit, I'm going to pick a few weird things in my brain--totally at random and blurt them out. When I'm done you can feel free to blurt back.

  1. I have an irrational fear of the serrated metal cutting edge on boxes of plastic wrap. I have this notion that somehow I'll be trying to tear off a sheet of plastic to wrap a piece of cheese and I'll have a spasm, or there'll be an earthquake or maybe just a strong breeze will blow the box into my face where it will slide down, creating a long scar.

    While facial scars can be quite dashing on certain people, I am not one of them. I would just look like some idiot who'd had a run in with a box of plastic wrap.

    Any time my wife goes to wrap something I have to sprint to the opposite end of the kitchen. I have similar but lesser fears about scissors and carving knives--in those cases it's not clear if it's the implements I'm afraid of, or some ire I might have raised in my wife. Either way, I steer clear while she's brandishing anything remotely sharp.
  2. Leprechauns. I know, makes no sense, which is why it's irrational. Where there's a leprechaun, a pot of gold cannot be far away. But somehow leprechauns... and clowns! How could I forget clowns! Both just kind of freak me out.

    One of the scariest dreams I ever had was about a leprechaun on a trampoline just outside my bedroom window. It's little head (topped with a tam 'o shanter) kept popping up into view and I woke up screaming.  I told you it was irrational!
  3. Botulism. This one's not really irrational, since botulism is one of the most potent poisons on this planet. But even as a child I was afraid of any can that was even remotely puffy, and by "remotely puffy" it meant I just _thought_ the can looked puffy or I didn't want to eat what was inside.

    Even today I want to boil anything canned (not so good for pineapple, trust me), though I read recently it has to boil for 10 minutes before it's totally safe. But when I'm hungry 10 minutes is an eternity, so I look at canned fruit as my own little way of living life on the edge.

    All this explains why the whole concept of Botox (which is literally botulism--a deadly toxin, hence the "tox" in the name!) and the idea of injecting it directly into your face strikes me as nothing short of insanity.
  4. People who've had too much Botox. On a recent trip to Los Angeles it seemed that one of the prerequisites of living in L.A. was that you had to have undergone at least one cosmetic procedure. The most popular procedure these days is Botox, which can to turn some people into something akin to expressionless mannequins with eyes that blink. Creepy.

    Plus the idea that they have botulism under their skin makes me not want to get close enough to where they might try to rub against me.
  5. Rejection. In other words, if you don't like this piece don't tell me.
  6. The police. I know our men and women in blue do valuable work, I just don't want them driving behind me. Inevitably they find something wrong--I haven't put the sticker on my license plate, my turn signal is blinking in a dot-dash pattern which, in Morse code says something they find offensive, any little thing they can think of so they can pull me over and wrestle me to the ground... well, not wrestle me exactly but act like they're going to wrestle me to the ground... OK, not act like it, but I feel like they're acting like they're going to wrestle me to the ground. See my earlier piece about the police wanting to haul me off to Guantanamo Bay.
  7. Undercooked Chicken. I had it once. That's reason enough.
  8. Being seen wearing a t-shirt with a beer logo on it. Why, you ask? They're notoriously hard to accessorize.
  9. Any car with a burgundy interior. Red is fine but burgundy (and certain shades of maroon, wine, port, claret and blood) makes me feel like I'm driving in a coffin.
  10. Scorpions and earwigs. Especially the alien earwigs that crawl in your ear and cause you go insane, like on Star Trek. As long as we're on TV fears: being chased around by a possessed doll wielding a knife, or having eerily smiling blond baby dolls stare at me, especially in my sleep. Ug.

That's 10, that's enough, especially since it eliminates my fear of not creating lists with at least 10 items.

What's your irrational fear? Tell me.



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P. S.

OK, so there are many things I'm NOT afraid of. Sending this letter is one. Then again, my wife suggests maybe I should be...



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