But, let's face it, some fears are just downright stupid. And I don't mean stupid as in they're particularly wimpy - for example, I know one person who has an absolute aversion to swimming lessons because it messes up her hair and makes her nails go soft. I have lost count of the amount of times I have wanted to slap her for her sissiness, but even that cannot attain the heights of some of the utterly ridiculous things that people are afraid of.
And now, to prove I'm not a prating, bomb-proof Sergeant Major about to rant about how the world is full of pansies who should be deported to a Siberian bootcamp for the rest of their lives, I'm going to tell you my top ten silliest fears.
10 - The Dark
The cliche! It buuuuurns! But it's very very true - well, to a certain extent. While I no longer have the crippling fear of darkness that plagued me in my youth (up until the age of thirteen I still needed a light on at night because I was terrified of it), dark places do make me very very nervous. The worst part is I'm not even afraid of it being full of logically dangerous things, like rapists, axe murderers and inconvenient lego bricks. No, I'm more worried about dementor infestations and the possibility of being attacked by that terrifying dog thing from The Neverending Story.
9 - Jelly
What sort of demented survival instinct would you have if you looked at a wobbly gelatenous mass the colour of radioactive waste and thought "ooh, that looks delicious!" Seriously, the stuff looks like it could dissolve your insides! That is, if it's not full of alien larvae ready to breed in your appendix and, upon reaching maturity, take over your brain and use you for a living host until you outrun your usefulness and are broken down into more of that insidiously stinky substance to trap their next dim-witted victim.
8 - Hangnails
Don't ask, I just have issues with the things. Whenever I get one, I go straight for my nail clippers to take the thing off - I just can't stand them. Though, I like to think I have some justification for this - I'm rather prone to them, and when I just leave them hanging they have a horrible habit of getting caught and tearing very painfully up my finger and putting blood all over the place. The same goes for skin tags of any sort, really.
7 - Tweens In Makeup
There is someting horribly disturbing in watching a twelve year old girl totter down the street in a mini-skirt and midriff top slathered in a palette of makeup that makes her look like an escapee from the Barbie factory. It makes me just as angry as it does freak me out - one one level, I'm disgusted at the message society must be giving if girls that young feel they have to do this to be accepted in life, and on another I just want to storm up to them and go "DO YOU KNOW WHAT YOU LOOK LIKE? GO AND PUT SOME CLOTHES ON YOU LITTLE FOOL!"
And yes, the Caps Lock is meant to illustrate the volume of my anger. Fear it. Rawr.
6 - Noisy Kids' Toys
Many is the embarrassing time I have been walking down the aisle in Toys 'R' Us, looking for a gift for some small wailing spawn of a family friend or distant relative when, in the middle of deep inner discussion over whether the little darling would prefer a Transformer or a plush toy of Mickey Mouse, my world has been shattered by an inhuman scree-boop-wail that sends me ten feet into the air with a screech that has no right to be within the range of human hearing. It's as if the cursed things lie in wait for me and then loose their battle cries when I least expect it to see which of them can get my heart to explode first.
Not surprisingly, I now look like some sort of wanted criminal or paranoid psychotic when venturing into these aisles nowadays.
Furbies, I feel, should also get a special mention in this category. Ever since I woke late in the night to hear a faint "feeeeeeed meeeeeee" coming from my cupboard (which was terrifying enough), and then plucking up the courage to open said cupboard to discover one of the little furry horrors in the back, I have hated them with a special vengeance that I normally reserve for school exams and lumpy custard. The fact that I had tried to dispose of the monster in Australia, and then discovered it had somehow followed me across the world did not help either. If it is still here after the next move, I am going to kill it with fire. With fire I tell you!
5 - Onesies
Why anyone would want to wear something that looks like an oversized babygro is utterly beyond me - especially given their sheer impracticality in day to day life. Like many of my age group, I am adept at flinging of my pyjamas, dressing and eating breakfast in under ten minutes if the need arises, but trying to do that in one of those ridiculous affairs would probably see me flat on my face nursing a broken nose with my limbs trussed up like a Christmas turkey.
And that's without mentioning some of the truly infantile designs they come in. I gave up being an infant sixteen years ago, and I have yet to suffer any particularly scarring incident that would make me want to regress to crying all night and sicking up my breakfast over my mother's chest.
4 - Damp Wetsuits
Continuing with the theme of demonic clothing, I find there is nothing more un-nerving than the feeling of a cold, slimy and incredibly close-fitting piece of rubber being pulled over your naked limbs. Especially when you know the only cleaning said piece of rubber has had is a dunking in a vat of equally cold and salty sea water before being flung in your face by an overzealous surfer (who, might I add, is usually wearing his own, and is suspiciously dry and clean looking). Add this to my own personal paranoia regarding things touching my neck, and you have a recipe for disaster.
3 - Seaweed
I know for a fact I am not alone in being one of those people who, when feeling something suspicious brush against their leg at the beach, will immediately launch into something that looks like an obscure tribal dance, complete with ullulating wail of horror. And if you think that's bad, imagine what I do when it not only touches me, but wraps itself around my leg and will not come off. The results, as I'm sure my family can tell you, are really rather terrifying...
2 - People Touching my Feet
The fact that I'm exceedingly ticklish only adds to this. Seriously, as an advanced warning to anyone who has yet to meet me, or has met me and does not know me particularly well, here is a key piece of advice:
If you touch my feet, I am not responsible for any horribly crippling injuries I may cause you as a result. There will be neither compensation, apologies, or presence at your funeral in a worst case scenario. You have been warned.
1 - This
No matter how many times I see this image, or how many times I berate myself on the idiocy of being afraid of a picture and a caption of all things, it still gives me a serious case of the heebie jeebies. In the highest sense of the word.
And what about you, dear readers? Got any particularly silly fears of your own? Reckon any of them can outdo mine? Leave me a comment, and let's find out!
- Charley R