Friday, June 22, 2007

A Healthy Fear

If you come from an extremely large family known for being generally "not quite right" as I do; you'll understand what I mean when I say you tend to cultivate a lifestyle of mute acceptance of the weird and unusual.

I was headed North on 400 the other day and as I idly noticed that I had just blown by my exit, I started thinking - I wonder if any of the run-of-the-mill pet peeves our family shares are actually mild phobias? By the time I'd gotten off, and back ON, the interstate headed South I had come to a conclusion. In a word: YES.

For starters, now I'm afraid of missing exits. I've done it so often in the last year or so that I have begun trying to trick myself into exiting on time by always choosing the "exit only" lane as early as humanly possible. If you see that "exit only" sign you better get out of the way. I'm 6,800lbs of unwashed steel hurtling your way like a four-wheel-drive comet and I do my own brake work.

I dredged up a list of typical phobias the other day and started mulling them over, so lets play a fun game: here are a few of my favorite phobias - read them and see which apply to you. My responses are in bold.

Amychophobia- Fear of scratches or being scratched. Nothing worse than that burning scratch feeling. Especially being scratched on an exposed screw. I found that out last night when the door fell on me.

Ankylophobia- Fear of immobility of a joint. I jammed my finger once and I thought it wasn't ever going to fix. Of course, now I can make it "pop" anytime I want, which is a huge bonus and even a potential interviewing skill if you play it right. But really, who wants a finger stuck straight up? Its probably an advantage if you're the idiot in the stretch Tahoe in front of me at 10th and Piedmont, other than that: not good.

Apeirophobia- Fear of infinity. Yes. Absolutely. Lets not talk about it.

Arachibutyrophobia- Fear of peanut butter sticking to the roof of the mouth. I actually have this recurring thought that it would be really miserable if you got that bell-clapper thing at the back of your throat somehow stuck in peanut butter. Eh? See, it bothers you too.

Atomosophobia- Fear of atomic explosions. Hiroshima? I haven't forgotten about that one. How could I? My grandmother mentioned it every time I saw her for 20 years.

Aulophobia- Fear of flutes. Actually more a fear of flutists really, but sure, all those silvery buttons and that weird reed you slobber all over? Count me out.

Aviophobia or Aviatophobia- Fear of flying. 650mph in something the size of 6 school buses supposedly floating along on "wings" 10 miles above the earth? Well, I ain't seen 'em flap yet, and buddy - don't lets forget it was built by the lowest bidder.

Bolshephobia- Fear of Bolsheviks. I don't know, but they always seem to be really upset. And they also seem to want to carry pitchforks quite alot. Emotionally unstable + pitchfork = X. Solve for X.

Bogyphobia- Fear of bogeys or the bogeyman. I wasn't afraid of them until somebody actually put this down, which makes me wonder if there are other people worried about bogeymen - they must exist. So, now I'm worried.

Caligynephobia- Fear of beautiful women. Ah, yes. They occasionally breathe fire - I've seen it.

Chemophobia- Fear of chemicals or working with chemicals. Nah, but I SHOULD be.

Cholerophobia- Fear of anger or the fear of cholera. I mean - I don't want to find a nice bag of cholera in my stocking at Christmas, you know?

Chorophobia- Fear of dancing. Yeah, ok. Sometimes.

Coulrophobia- Fear of clowns. Who isn't? The bogeyman (who is apparently real now) lives in clowns.

Cyberphobia- Fear of computers or working on a computer. Tell me about it.

Cyclophobia- Fear of bicycles. Ever wipe out at the bottom of that big hill? Want to do it again? Me neither.

Cypridophobia or Cypriphobia or Cyprianophobia or Cyprinophobia - Fear of prostitutes or venereal disease. Yes, and yes. I have sort of a "life rule" about this one.

Defecaloesiophobia- Fear of painful bowel movements. Talk to my buddy Josh Youssef about his last plane flight from London to Nice.

Dentophobia- Fear of dentists. "Hey! Yeah! Cram a rubber bite block into the back of my mouth and start drilling into a live nerve while I'm still awake. That sounds good. Let me pay you. No, really - I want to. Take hundreds of dollars of my money, then when I come back next week, drop a $1,500 gold crown down my throat and tell me to come back when I 'find it.'"

Dutchphobia- Fear of the Dutch. Yeah, I don't know. People who live in houses with round roofs on top of big dams? You know what else lives in round-topped houses on dams? Beavers. Sorry Little Drummer Boy, but I'm not super keen on 40lb rodents either.

I hear the Dutch are like water rodents - muskrat people or something. I'm not certain that I'm not afraid of muskrats too.

And wooden shoes? Seriously? Thats what you came up with in 2,000 years? Wooden shoes? Alright, well - you can strap those bad boys on and clog right on back home.

Dysmorphophobia- Fear of deformity. My right ear is significantly lower than my left. I have to keep an eye on the haircutter lady or she'll line me up on the lobes, then when you look me dead in the eye my face seems to be melting. So, yes.

Ecclesiophobia- Fear of church. 6 years in a baptist church choir will do that to you. I'm sorry, but those choir "robes?" - call it what you want Dr. Condra, but thats a dress.

Electrophobia- Fear of electricity. Ever tried to strip a live wire with your teeth? All my breakers are clearly marked now.

Eleutherophobia- Fear of freedom. What would I do if I didn't have to come here everyday?

Ephebiphobia- Fear of teenagers. 4yrs of youth leadership. Orthodontia and outdoor urination - thats what I remember.

Epistaxiophobia- Fear of nosebleeds. Ever happen to you when you're trying to give a speech to a crowd? No? How do you feel about nosebleeds now that you're worried about it?

Equinophobia- Fear of horses. I have a friend who says he's afraid of anything that produces feces bigger than his head. Puts it in perspective, eh?

Francophobia- Fear of France or French culture. (Gallophobia, Galiophobia). Yes, fortunately I speak French so I at least know what they're saying about Americans in Paris. You wouldn't like it.

Gamophobia- Fear of marriage. That big white dress reminds me an awful lot of a ghost....the ghost of your FREEDOM.

Gephyrophobia or Gephydrophobia or Gephysrophobia- Fear of crossing bridges. Did you see "A Bridge Too Far?" The Germans blew up tons of bridges. You never know when some German might want to blow up the one you're on. See below.

Germanophobia- Fear of Germany or German culture. Why do they hate bridges so much?

Gerascophobia- Fear of growing old. Yes, but I don't need to put my ear to the tracks to hear that train coming. Its headed my way and picking up speed.

Gymnophobia- Fear of nudity. I saw Kathy Bates naked in "About Schmidt" and I think that about did me in on naked people.

Gynephobia or Gynophobia- Fear of women. I'm afraid of anything that beats me every time.

Hadephobia- Fear of hell. Yeah. Sure. It bothers me. I'm bothered by hell.

Hellenologophobia- Fear of Greek terms or complex scientific terminology. Normally if somebody is telling you complex scientific terminology they're explaining something you didn't want to know about part of your body you didn't realize you had.

Helminthophobia- Fear of being infested with worms. Yup.

Hippopotomonstrosesquippedaliophobia- Fear of long words. The irony that this is probably the longest word in the english language is not lost on me.

Hygrophobia- Fear of liquids, dampness, or moisture. See my basement blog.

Hylephobia- Fear of materialism or the fear of epilepsy. I'm not sure how materialism and epilepsy manage to get encapsulated into the same word, but that sounds terrible.

Isopterophobia- Fear of termites, insects that eat wood. Again, the curse of homeownership is that you lie awake at night listening carefully for the sound of a tiny meal going on somewhere in your house.

Leprophobia or Lepraphobia- Fear of leprosy. I will readily admit to fear of any disease that makes parts fall off you.

Lockiophobia- Fear of childbirth. Ah. Yes.

Luiphobia- Fear of lues, syphillis. Absolutely. Although I have no idea what "lues" are I know that it must be something nearly as bad as syphilis, so I'm definitely afraid of it.

Lutraphobia- Fear of otters. The problem with otters is they're not really cat-like, nor are they dog-like. They're "other" and thats a problem because I imagine when confronted with an otter - you're not quite sure what to do. Do I look it in the eye? Whistle? Throw a stick and holler? Back slowly away and throw all your foodstuffs into a ravine? Roast a marshmallow? Who knows? Nobody ever sees an otter.

Musophobia or Muriphobia- Fear of mice. Long hairless tail. Need I say more?

Myxophobia- Fear of slime. (Blennophobia). Uh huh.
Panophobia or Pantophobia- Fear of everything. Nice of them to wrap it all up in a bow for you, isn't it?
"What do you have??"

Papaphobia- Fear of the Pope. Men in skirts with funny hats are scary. Thats all there is to it.
Pediculophobia- Fear of lice. Uh huh.
Pteronophobia- Fear of being tickled by feathers. Uh huh.
Russophobia- Fear of Russians. Uh huh.
Taeniophobia or Teniophobia- Fear of tapeworms. Uh huh.

Taurophobia- Fear of bulls. I'm scared of anything that weighs 2,000lbs, has a terrible temper, pointy weapons, and doesn't care if you die.

Testophobia- Fear of taking tests. Uh huh.

Toxiphobia or Toxophobia or Toxicophobia- Fear of poison or of being accidently poisoned. Uh huh.

Trichinophobia- Fear of trichinosis. Uh huh.

Tyrannophobia- Fear of tyrants. Or choir teachers. Its the same thing.

Walloonphobia- Fear of the Walloons. Oh man. Theres something out there im supposed to be afraid of and I can't even identify it.

Xanthophobia- Fear of the color yellow or the word yellow. AAAH!

Zemmiphobia- Fear of the great mole rat. This one nearly ruined my life. I have a tiny problem with rats, a serious problem with moles (born BLIND?? how is that normal?), and an overactive imagination. A "GREAT MOLE RAT"??? ARE YOU KIDDING ME? I'm certainly not ever going in the basement again.

Looks like I need some professional help. Unfortunately, I'm afraid of psychiatrists; thats latrophobia, in case you were wondering.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Just wanted you to know that "lues" is pronoused lou-ease and is an old name for the disease syphilis.