I wrote last week about my twelve biggest beach fears and let you in on the deepest and the darkest of my “what if” ocean scenarios (mainly, “what if a shark eats me” and “what if my kid fills his lungs with that filthy coastal erosion we call ‘sand.’“). While most of you responded with similar fears (and some humdingers I hadn’t though of <—“sand tunnel cave in” was particularly distressing) I did receive one comment from a reader who seemed surprisingly shocked and slightly outraged by my list of childish fears.
“Come on Mary Evelyn,” Anonymous wrote “you are an adult and should act like a adult. Where is your common sense?” They went on to explain that they do not have any fears. Not one. (slow clap)
But here’s my question– do fears have to make sense? Aren’t there oodles of things us humans fear, even though we understand in our brains that they can’t cause us harm (like frogs, stink bugs, and the way David Bowie in Labyrinth made you feel in 6th grade)?
Aren’t we all afraid of scenarios that we know, using our powers of logic and reasoning, will probably never ever happen (like home invasions, sink holes, or DQ deciding they’re “not into” making Blizzards anymore)?
So, in the interest of full disclosure, it’s time I told you about my biggest, dumbest, weirdest, and most illogical fear. I hope my anonymous reader will forgive my decidedly infantile terror.
Ever since I was little, I have been terrified of people in costume walking on all fours.
Let me say it again in case you didn’t catch that: people wearing costumes is cool, but if they wear a costume AND walk on all fours at the same time then I seriously want to karate chop them in the knee caps, pee myself for protection, and hide behind something big and sturdy (like a boulder or a national monument).
I will not watch it on stage. I will not watch it in movies. I will not watch it in a box, I will not watch it with a fox. I will not watch it here or there, I will not watch it anywhere... you get my point.
It all started in elementary school when I saw the film Return to Oz and was introduced to these guys:
I blame my parents for allowing me watch what is basically a horror flick for children. Hallways filled with screaming disembodied heads, angry apple trees, kidnapping… I was clearly not ready. If memory serves me (which it might not because I haven’t watched this movie since childhood and I swear by the old gods and the new to never watch it ever again) the Wheelers are a bunch of evil dudes who have wheels instead of hands and feet. They live in some kind of junk yard (maybe?) where they generally run amok, sneaking up on young girls and chasing them around.
Enjoy this clip (or don’t because it’s completely messed up.)
So, what effect has this irrational fear had on my life in general? Not much.
But it has prevented me from seeing a single Planet of the Apes movie.
It also meant keeping my eyes averted for the first 5 minutes of Wicked (and a few scattered times throughout the show).
As you can see, “shark attack” is not the only thing I have to worry about. It appears I have more than one fear that is worthy of eye-rolling– but I have a feeling that you do, too.
So, dear reader, will you join with me? Let’s form a sissified coalition of sorts. A cowardly alliance of pansy-arse wimps. Won’t it feel good to share your fears? To stand tall and proud shouting, “I am afraid of some dumb stuff! I am a weirdo! I am not alone!”
I, for one, feel better already.